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The Weekly Froth! - 20160212

  • Published in Columns

The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. Bit of a mixed bag with a slight leaning towards house, disco, and remixes, but generally just anything that for some reason tickled the writer’s fancy.

Track of the Week: ‘Cost To Love’ by Rare Cuts

Lovely slow burning start here, getting into that looping business a bit, increasing it in volume slightly, setting the rhythm and pace immediately by repetition. And so they loop their way forward, sometimes hinting at changing it up, but then settling back down a bit again. That is, up until the 1:20 mark, where we get those lovely disco strings and sounds that also put some atmosphere in there. And, after two minutes, we get the vocals, those lovely ol’ disco vocals full of love yearning and the heart burning. Then the girls in the back start to help out a bit with the chorus, singing Rising, rising close to love, then adding that, oh boy, how that is costing her. In the mean time the loops are still churning as wheels to drive this one forward, with the disco strings and the old vocals giving it its heart. Lovely slow burner this one right here.


‘Love Train’ by PillowTalk & Soul Clap feat. Greg Paulus & Crew Love

The people of PillowTalk and Soul Clap get the party  started in here, first with a clear beat and some percussion help, and after that you get a nice little bass sound in there. That deeper sound gets juxtaposed by a nifty bit of piano playing, as in the mean time the percussion still gives it all the rhythm you need. After the minute mark we get the vocals, announcing that they Wake up every morning (ehrm…), but obviously in a specific sort of way. At the 1:40 mark the piano gets back as they hit the chorus, saying that they’re Riding on that love train, love train. So spreading the good vibes there, and the piano certainly helps with that. Shortly after, a moment of mostly just vocals, and then the bass comes back in to ride along with the percussion and beat, waiting for the vocals to come back in again. At the three minute mark we get some Caribbean horns in there to vary it up a bit, even more giving the feel that we’re there to party and love. There’s some nice interplay with deep and lighter sounds, there’s plenty of rhythm, and the vocals and piano finish it off nicely. Just a good vibes tune to get dancing to.


‘Little Bird’ by Annie Lennox (Du Tonc Rework)

Du Tonc gets it on the road with the deep sounds, getting the deep beat in which then gets juxtaposed with a slightly lighter woodwork percussion sound. The synths start to arrive, followed by a rapid-firing percussion sound, which pace gets juxtaposed by a deeper, mellower synth sound which brings some calmness to the proceedings. The beat and quick percussion then gets hold back a bit by some of the sounds on the foreground, including a slower, deep synth sound to move it a bit more into the pop realm. Shortly after, Annie Lennox walks in, singing that she wishes she was a little bird and could fly. After that Du Tonc gets into dance mode a bit, getting the electronics in there, but soon the more atmospheric, calmer sounds arrive back in to juxtapose all of that. Around the 3:45 mark Lennox gets back, and with her some more of those non-dance sounds. So there is a definite mix going on here of the beat, the rapid fire percussion—  in short all those dance sounds— with Lennox and the original song’s sounds on top of it all to get a little bit of both world’s goodness in there.


‘Keep The Fire Burning’ by Gwen McCrae (Joey Negro Feed The Flame remix)

Joey Negro put out an album that showcases some of his edits, like his versions of tunes by Grace Jones, Patti LaBelle, Thelma Houston and also including this old tune by Gwen McCrae. First he makes sure he gets the dancefloor going, but soon he gets the naughty in there by immediately entering McCrae asking you if You can feel it (and, oehmmm, it feels so good). Then she starts giving us some instructions on how to move to all of this, as Joey keeps the rhythm going in the back, only stopping for a moment when the girls in the back sing to us that we need to Keep the fire burning. After that demand the bass starts riding his ol’ horsey, and Gwen McRae starts singing on top of some of the original sounds, like a nifty little guitar riff. McRae sings that You need to give it all you got, and she certainly does, doing the works here as the disco strings calm us down in the mean time. It is just one of those ace disco edits giving you that dancing with the big love and big vocals that go with it. The SoundCloud is just a snippet, the entire track running over six minutes, so that means plenty to work with in that discotheque.


‘Girl On The Wire’ by Tweaks

Tweaks is gearing up to release their EP later this month, and with ‘Girl On The Wire’ they give another sample of their nocturnal sound (they’re even denoting the time there, 4 in the morning, there you go). First you get the more dreamy vocals, though that switches to a more immediate voice demanding to know, Girl, why are you keeping me up. There are some nifty sounds to help out there, a pretty sweet (what I believe to be a) guitar riff, and the drums have this nice, soft and deep sound. I love the layering of the vocals, that’s pretty nice right there, and the lighter sounds pierce through the blanket of the night nicely, to make it not too much of anything the same. If you like this kind of late-night-under-the-city-lights sound, that EP coming out might be worth giving a spin.


‘No More Talking’ by Tiger & Woods

I pretty much love the looping business that Tiger & Woods have set up, and they start this one out by looping a bit of that bass action that actually reminded me a bit of that ol’ The Jones Girls tune. It’s super funky, has got a bit of attitude to it, and Tiger & Woods give it this more modern, mechanical slant for that Berlin dancefloor. They also bring back the old times though, not only with that rhythmic thrust, but also when the old school disco vocals come in. These vocals are of the feminine variety, not one of those strong powerhouse kind of things, and that juxtaposes the looping of the beat and bass action nicely. The vocals, by the way, also being looped, with one line being repeated over and over (and over and on top of each other as well), after which that punchy bass comes in to set the dancefloor alight again. Tiger & Woods are so good at doing that, and I, for one, am glad they’re back in action again with this burner of a tune.


The Weekly Froth! - 20160129

  • Published in Columns


The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. Bit of a mixed bag with a slight leaning towards house, disco, and remixes, but generally just anything that for some reason tickled the writer’s fancy.

Track of the Week: ‘Can’t’ by Mall Grab

Mall Grab gets the beat going, but also the jazzy vibes with some nifty guitar work. A lethal combination, as the beat, and the extra percussion that is added, give it its hypnosis and rhythm, with the guitar and, later, the vocals giving it its heart and tone. The vocals sing that they have had a long conversation on the phone with you, and she Can’t get you out of my mind. The beat is the backbone here, keeping it ready for the dancefloor with a reasonably deep flavor, especially when at the two minute mark you get a bit of that deep grain as effect. In the meantime, the vocalist keeps repeating her conversation to us, clearly not able to let it go, with only the guitar able to clear it out of her head for just a minute. Though the bluesy overtones might just be a decent representation of her state of mind anyway. I just love that sound, with the beat keeping it from stalling, and the vocals almost resigned, beaten. One of four tracks on Mall Grab’s upcoming Sun Ra EP.


‘Fashion’ by Joey Negro & the Sunburst Band feat. Pete Simpson

Perhaps the sole good thing about a star passing is that we get some of all those old works back out there (for free downloading, no less). This is an older remake of Joey Negro doing that David Bowie thing, taking on the funky ‘Fashion’, which here, too, gets plenty of that bass. Though the little guitar riff is not forgotten, as the girls in the back sing that they are the Goon squad and we’re coming to town (beep-beep!). Different vocal turns are used, both male and female, going all out. It makes it more of a funky disco sound than the more apathetic turn of Bowie. At about the three minute mark we get some serious horn work, with shortly after the vocals coming in, all singing together Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion, before steering away again for a bit of that sax solo they manage to work in. Just another Bowie inspired thing to boogie to-till-you-can-boogie-no-more.


‘Just A Little Love’ (Dr. Packer rework)

How about 'Just A Little Love' from Dr. Packer, going all Teena Marie on us with this funky little something. You’ve got the quintessential disco sounds already, and with the twenty second mark he puts in the boogie-woogie with the eloping bass. Around the fifty second mark we get some string action, and just after the minute mark we first get the women in the back, though Teena Marie herself soon walks out on stage as well. After doing her thang, quickly, the bass is put back in to get back into that funky little dance y’all were doing. The bass takes a backseat for a minute, coming back together with the vocals at about 2:10, as Teena Marie says you should ask her what she needs, to which she will reply that oh, how she needs Your lovin’ (just a little bit of it will do, babe). Dr. Packer knows how to get the disco and funk to the dancefloor, heralding the bass and vocals, with flurries of horns and strings and what not. He sure manages to make everything sound like something you want to dance to.


‘Bless Her Soul’ by Man Without A Clue feat. Meleka

BBC Radio went for a bit of that dance and house when they played Man Without A Clue’s ‘Bless Her Soul’, with a serious vocal take from Meleka. There’s a fast paced beat in there, which gets its help from a rhythm sound, some extra percussion, and, on occasion, something of a horn-like persuasion that comes in. And, as said, Meleka, who goes full throttle in blessing this woman’s poor soul, with, after done so, that horn sound coming in. It’s a fast paced tune for the dancefloor, not letting up, and the big, bold, vocal turn makes sure it keeps the pedal to the metal. Will be out early next month through Defected Records, if you fancy this one.


‘Don’t Go Lose It Baby’ by Hugh Masekela (Vito & Druzzi rework)

Vito & Druzzi waste no time getting those characteristic percussion sounds in, soon adding a beat to that to give it a clear backbone. After that, a deeper drum sound enters as well, though lighter, more African sounding percussion balance it out again. At the 1:30 mark the girls briefly come in with the vocals, though at all times it are the multiple layers of percussion and rhythm sounds that bring the best out of all the dancers with this one. And they keep pushing that sound relentlessly, making sure you get all the drums, toms, and hums to move your body to. At the 2:30 mark we almost, nearly, get the famous Oh noooooo (before he dives into the "don’t go lose it baby"), but it stops short of moving into the chorus, instead focusing on the percussion once more. Just before the four minute mark, a similar set-up, with a similar result, moving to the lighter percussion before adding the deeper sounds in, though these are in the background. If you’re craving some percussion, then this might just scratch that itch.


‘808 Beauty’ by Dam-Funk

Dam-Funk released kind of a beast of an album last year, with loads and loads of tracks, and this is apparently an unreleased one that wasn’t on there. It is a lush, funky slow groover, with a big, grainy bass sound which gets juxtaposed by the light, clear piano and synth sounds that are woven through there. To help the bass out, there are also the drums in the back, just  to give this instrumental piece a bit of extra backbone. Just after the two minute mark the bass gets a short bit of rest, with just those padded drums and the synths giving everyone a bit of a peace of mind. Shortly after though, the main sound (aka, the bass) gets in there to groove this slow burner forward a bit. It’s for the lovin’, and the making of it, at night.


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