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The Weekly Froth!

  • 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: ‘Calling Card’ by The Galleria

Morgan Geist knows how to mix danceability with some emotive vocals, and here he does so as The Galleria, which takes it’s cue more from '80s pop than the house or disco music that he has emulated as part of his other monikers. So here you’ve got some iconic synthesizer sounds, using the ticks, bleeps, and percussion hits well alongside the throwback sounds that one remembers from radios or discotheques past. Jessy Lanza is on vocal duties, putting in some emotion with her rhythmic delivery. At about four minutes in we get this bell solo (!), which then is followed by a more bass-synth line as he goes for an instrumental passage for the dancefloor, with Lanza doing some “oh-ho, yeah”s to get some sexy in there as well to end the track. I love a lot of Geist’s stuff (those Storm Queen singles are especially superb), and he knows how to mix dance with the vocal outings he gets from his leading men and women. This is more on the catchy and pop side, a nice supplement to his oeuvre I reckon.

‘Escape’ by Zimmer feat. Emilie Adams

Emilie Adams wastes no time entering the scene here, immediately putting her dreamy, far-off stamp on this undoubtedly catchy track by Zimmer (because, you know, that’s just what he does). So no wonder that you get this elegant beat and synth combo after just a few moments, which he halts at about the forty second mark to go just piano to help out his singer here for a moment. Just for that extra emotional touch. Soon the percussion elements come back in, with the guy obviously working his way back to, in this case, a new beat. And the occassional touch of horns, which is always a good addition (they’re horns, what do you want from me?). Again, he takes his foot off the pedal for a moment, but that beat is quick to come back, though this time it seems he combines the two different ones he’s already used to give us the full monty that he has been leading up to the whole track. It’s a track of his new, upcoming EP, one that will be an enjoyable listen no doubt.


‘The Formula’ by Eli Escobar

Eli Escobar seems to have recently put his whole album Up All Night on his soundcloud, so if you missed listening to it on release, here’s a way to preview it no strings attached. This track, ‘The Formula’, starts with some of those club sounds. Far away music, people talking, and other assorted sounds associated with a night out. The music, though, creeps to the front of the mix with a nice bit of piano house arriving first, with a soft percussion line still being a bit shy and taking a back seat at the start. The vocals then really come in again, repeating the line I’ve got something for you, which in the club can only mean one thing, really, can’t it? In the mean time the piano has been integrated into the more percussion based rhythm sounds, with a jazzy saxophone putting this in a smoking bar in NY before it takes you to town a short while later when the rhythm takes you out and wants to do some serious dancing with you. Doesn’t mean the saxophone can’t be there, cause by this point everyone wants to join the party in this catchy little number. Loads of atmosphere, super smooth, and loads of fun: if you’re working at home and you’re looking for something to stream to get your energy up a bit, his soundcloud is where it’s at.


‘Lucia’ by Ishinohana (John Talabot Sunset edit)

John Talabot is the master of atmosphere combined with deep beats, and here, from the get go, he shows you why. He starts with a nice, deep, bit African sounding percussion. Some extra hand percussion comes in, soon being combined with these lovely secondary sounds to really give you the feeling you’re watching the sun set over the plains and all that jazz. He adds a little bass sound in there too, and a lighter rhythmic percussion, though it is that guitar that really puts this one in the place where it needs to be. He is super in terms of building his tracks up, and here, too, the subtle transitions, the subtle changes in volume, the subtraction or addition of certain sounds; it’s all done with an expert ear. At 2:50, for instance, there’s little left in terms of rhythm sounds, but just over the three minute mark they come back in without overpowering the main instrument at all. Keeps you out there in sunglasses riding around the out-of-town roads, just because it feels like that’s what you gotta do listening to this one.


‘Fear the Night’ by Luke Million feat. Jesse Davidson

I’m more prone to fear mornings than nights, to be honest, but Luke Million certainly gets those italo synths blasting as if they’re doing a sci-fi soundtrack with the hero vs. baddies sequence coming up. Jesse Davidson puts in a rhythmic vocal turn, saying that You’ve got the right, to fear the night, a line followed by a nice, bordering-on-cheesy piano line from Million, with the synths and beat combo still hammering this one onto the dancefloor. At about the second minute mark Million comes with a new synth line, which is pretty catchy and awesome, as Davidson mentions that You’ve said that you’d never be unfaithful to me (Ha! We all know that was a lie!), so there’s a bit of an emotional thingy going on, which we dance away on the synths and cheesy-piano-chorus, turning it up a bit with a sort of male back-up choir near the end. As always, dancing the blues away on a catchy-little-tune like this one beats out dancing the blues away on a tearjerkingly-serious-affair, so don’t mind if I do it right here, right now.


‘You Got the Love’ by Candi Staton (Dr. Packer rework)

The bass gets this one rolling out of the gates, with some percussion and synths helping out after the initial few seconds. These sounds become more prominent as this one closes in on the coming of the vocals, which we all know at one point or another will arrive with a vengeance. First we get a few rounds of building up the instrumental structure of the track, with Dr. Packer adding sound for sound before dialling it all down a bit for some muted bass and vocals. Which he is wise enough to turn up quickly again, as he knows that, now we’ve heard it, we want it. It’s one of those tunes that everyone who has ever been on a dancefloor knows, with that big, all-out vocal turn by Candi Staton, exclaiming that Your love is real, and she does feel sometimes like putting her hands up in the air in praise of that. In the mean time the bass keeps rolling to provide that base for dancing, and at that point you just have to make sure you’re not in her way, because she is barreling through this ode to true love. Some subdued horns and a dash of piano can be heard as well, and this is just one of those feel good edits you can throw out there for just about every crowd. As, Lord knows, we all need a bit of that Staton real love every once in a while.



The Weekly Froth!

  • 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:  ‘Possibilities’ by Flip ft. Elou Elan (C90s remix)

The C90s make sure no time is wasted in this remix, getting right into the nitty gritty of things with the beat and that percussion (cowbell?) sound that I totally like. Now, what I really love are not only the handclaps that join in, but that bass and vocals combo that they enter at about the 40 second mark. Those vocals are just ace, they’ve got a nice, full sound that complements that bassline ever so nicely. They keep adding a bit of that cowbell, and this one has got me dancing in no time. At about 1:30 there’s a little change-up, going for a chorus like approach in terms of vocals, and adding some synths in there as well to spice it all up a bit. At 2:17 they come back with another verse, this time with a bit more help from some synths, putting the bass a little bit on the backburner. The chorus sees an invite from Elou Elan, singing that there is a New dawn, filled to the brim with possibilities. And if you aren’t afraid of that, she says, extending her hand, then Come with me. Between the two choruses, she does a little “di-didi-di-te” bridge, and after that the C90s build it all up a bit again, just to make sure the last bit sees them in full party mode, also thanks to the piano they throw in there as well. Lovely track, ace vocals, and you get plenty of nice party sounds with the percussion, the bass, later on the piano, and so forth, with the ending doing a bit of that beat and cowbell so you can slide your next tune under there with ease.


‘On & On’ by This Soft Machine

Apparently everyone and their mothers helped out on this catchy, summer festival dancefloor tune by This Soft Machine. Dave Harrington, who we remember from Darkside, does some instrumentation, and the synths are courtesy of Dan Whitford of Cut Copy fame. The vocals, sultrily singing that "we’ve got it going on", are by Lorraine Nicholson. The percussion gives it this idea of dancing in the outdoors at some summer DJ party or another, though the vocals and auxiliary instruments do give it this at-night-getting-down feel. Around 2:30 you’ve got a bass synth and the vocals doing most of the work, before half a minute later the percussion and some of the other, more summery sounds come in. For the last one and a half minute or so, it kind of veers into this psych-out direction, switching the more summery and catchy vibes with a more gritty, grainy dance sound. Not too bad a debut I reckon, definitely put himself on the radar with this as far as I’m concerned.


‘Without You’ by John Talabot (Mistakes Are OK Midnight version)

Are mistakes okay at midnight? John Talabot seems to think so, and this man might know, as he sure is apt at making some stuff best suited for the wee morning hours. This, too, has this nice, midnight-in-the-city vibe to it, starting it off with primarily some percussion to get the rhythm going, with at about 1:20 putting the beat forward a bit more. There’s this lovely repetition, this looping of some lines that he always does so well, and which creates this really nice flow. But not only do these instrumental lines do that, but their pitch also creates this coherent feel, even as new instruments are being woven in and out of the track. So there’s always something new going on, whether it are auxiliary sounds that are being sidled in to add some extra atmosphere, or whether it is more a rhythm line to add another dancing possibility to the whole thing. I can’t help but feeling that some of the side sounds give it a little bit of this mysterious-feel-in-the-orient vibe, but I am fully aware that I might very well be the only one thinking that. At about 4:20 he dials down the beat and rhythm sounds a bit, leaving most of the work to be done for a little synth line, before he gets the bass sound in there again. Another welcome addition to the library of sounds that is John Talabot.


‘Saturday Love’ by Zimmer X Pallace

How about some collaboration eh? We always need good people working together. The combo here works on a little piece of house, with loads of celebratory piano in there, immediately giving it this sense of euphoria. Enter some handclaps, some high-pitched vocals, and then the beat, and the party will and can get started. It has a little bit more of that summer festival feel to it than midnight-at-the-club, so there’s no reason to not be dancing on the beaches this summer. There’s some serious momentum building going on, with them dialing down the beat sounds on multiple occassions in the short (4 min) running time to then burst the track wide open again. It’s a nice catchy piece for those pool parties with your friends and other sordid party people.


‘The Light’ by SBTRKT ft. Denai Moore (Xinobi remix)

I’m not sure I really have the need to listen to SBTRKT all times of the day, but Xinobi sure brings a smile to my face almost any time I’m listening to something from his hand. Now, Xinobi does love SBTRKT (so who am I, eh?) and tried his hand at a more clubby version for his DJ sets and for dancing at home in his pyjamas, or whatever. So here not so much the synthy catchiness of his own work, but a deeper, more beat heavy cut, though that gets contrasted by this floating flute-y sound that starts about a minute in. Then the beat is turned off, the aforementioned sound stays, and you get some of the vocals to step into the spotlight a bit. After that you already get some drums in before the actual rhythm beat takes over again. Though, not really, as they seem to be a bit further down in the mix, to make sure those vocals stay front and center. And certainly Xinobi makes sure they are not muffled by any of the other sounds. I like how he slides the beat back in at about 3:25, that’s a nice momentum builder right there, and after that you get a bit of a masterclass how you can bring a couple of extra sounds in there in an understated manner. After that you get a little bit of a freak-out bit near the end, going full-fledged party more for the final minute to end this all on a dancing note. Free download, by the way. Just saying.


‘Fooled Around’ by jackLNDN

I love the way this one starts, it’s got this soulful feel to it, especially when the vocals and the backing Ooohhh sounds come in. Then, after about half a minute, you get get the main percussion, the handclap-like sounds, and even more rhythm to keep this one moving forward, though never in a real dance club feel. After about 1:10, all those rhythms are subtracted from the track so you’ve got this lovely voice again for a minute, and then he slides all the drums&stuff back in underneath the vocals to give you the complete package. He’s definitely not married to the beats and sounds, so no marital favors as he turns them down after about half a minute again, letting some piano in for a minute to then build up to the vocals and drums combo for another go. He does this once more, so there is this continuous flow and structure, though he ramps it up slightly for the last time. The ending gives you a bit more catchy synth, taking this lovely tune to its close. It’s from his Summer Never Ends EP- Vol. 1, so if you like this, give that one a whirl.


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