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The Weekly Froth - September #1

  • 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: ‘Satisfy’ by Bicep (John Talabot remix)

You know two things when Talabot does a remix, it will be nice and deep, and it will have plenty of atmosphere. He starts with the latter, getting the rain to pour down on whomever is listening to this one. After he’s got the water in your brain he gives you the beat, which is, as expected, pretty deep and lovely. The synth provides a lovely counterpoint to that, and together they soon have you hypnotized. Just before the two minute mark he mixes it up a bit, adding some muscle (...) to it to give it a bit more bass for the dancefloor. In the mean time he’s not forgetting the details though, still bringing you all the little bells and whistles to make sure there’s always enough atmosphere for you to understand that this still is mister John Talabot you are listening to. Take that lovely sound just after the three minute mark for instance, which just cuts through all the dancefloor sounds like a knife through warm butter. At about 3:30 he gives you the ol’ stare down, building up to the re-introduction of the beat. But, again, not in any ordinary way. He’s got the synth wavering, ready to go, but in the mean time he almost gives you this cinematic interlude with plenty of vibes and images, just so that after a mintue your body will start to automatically dance again when the bass comes back in. It’s Talabot, what more can you say? It’s deep, it’s hypnotic, but it still has plenty of vibe to go around. And there’s nine minutes of it to boot!


‘Take Shelter’ by Years And Years (Onra remix)

Years and Years is fronted by Olly Alexander, someone who surely has a fabulous voice. So no wonder that’s the thing Onra focuses on and runs away with. Basically, the whole first minute is a showcase of the vocals, with only a piano that manages to squeeze out a bit of that attention. After that you get some percussion beats and a synth line, but the vocals are still out and up front. The original is a relatively fast paced pop track, especially compared to this remix, where the beat slows it down, which is emphasized by a deep, lazy synth sound that arrives around 2:30. I love the comeback of the piano at around 3:10, that’s nicely done, and this one as a whole certainly gives you a totally different kind of angle than the original track. Years and Years doing some touring this Autumn, so if you fancy the voice (which also featured on a fairly recent The Magician track), pop in and have a look.


‘Calling Out’ by Midnight Magic (Bell Towers remix)

Midnight Magic is readying a second album I believe, so they are dusting off some old tracks and they’re putting them out there again. This is a Bell Towers remix of ‘Calling Out’, a cut off of their lovely What The Eyes Can’t See EP that was released a few years ago (and was a free download, I believe at the time). That first sound you hear, that’s the main asset this remix gives you, putting that one underneath a lot of the original stuff to provide you with the Bell Towers signature. It gives it a sort of clubby vibe, which the lovelornly sung original does not really have. “Calling Out to you, I am”, she sings, as the vocals are left behind for some clubby electro sounds. Which doesn’t mean they are cutting the vocals out, not at all, they are still allowed to shine, which I would consider a very wise move. I would be lying if I’d say that I’d prefer this to the original, but the more mechanical sounds of Bell Towers do provide a different background for the vocals, making for a nice contrast. The last couple of minutes they kind of ditch Midnight Magic and they run with their own thing aimed at the dancefloor, really indicating a clear break from the disco sound of the original.


‘One More Day’ by Sven Weisemann

If you kind of know Sven Weisemann you know he’s kind of an all-around guy. He’s got his DJ stuff going on, but he also likes to veer into the more classical side of the whole music business, and this is a good example of that. Not short on atmosphere this one, as one has come to expect from him. He’s just one of those guys whose got an ear for music and who can seamlessly weave sounds in and out of a song at the exact right time. It’s like the piano version of something like Nicolas Jaar this, the kind of music you put on after midnight as you’re walking around through all the city lights. All the different sounds, from the piano to the voice (no real vocals though) to all the sound effects, they blend together perfectly to create this beautiful atmosphere. It goes from slightly melancholic and dark to, at around 3:30, the opening of the heavens and the seeing of the light (whether that is a good or bad thing I’m still debating, as it can be an epiphany or the putting-your-troubles-at-ease-forever kind of thing). And as everyone who reads this column faithfully could’ve guessed, he had me at the horn sounds.


‘Sun Down’ by Tricky feat. Tirzah

Tricky is one of those guys whose name will be forever linked to the Trip Hop hype, and here he teams up with Tirzah who provides some actual singing to this track. With Tricky doing the talking, of course. I just love how this track works, when those strong instrumentals come in and when they disappear into the background. They definitely give the track something ominous, something immediate. And that vibe definitely seems to fit with the lyrics, with Tricky saying that she makes him “run round” and asking “where is the fun now”. Just a prime example of how music and story can really enhance each other, even when, at one point, the music pierces through Tirzah’s vocals, presumably out of anger and frustration. New album coming later this month.


‘Sunrise in Paradise’ by Satin Jackets

There’s already that sole drumkick that helps the piano move along, but after twenty seconds you get the full rhythm in, which after another twenty seconds gets some help from the synth to keep ‘r moving. Slowly but surely more instruments are introduced until about 1:15, when all the drum sounds get stripped for a moment as a lead up to some brief vocals. Soon, the percussion comes back again, not scaring the vocals away, and the track really gets into its feel good groove. It is the kind of soft disco track I would play at the end of a set in summer time. You know, sun already rising again, at no point during the night was there any cold whatsoever, and you are trying to get everyone going home in a good mood. The piano certainly helps with that, as in the middle of the track that takes over from the beat for a moment before, obviously, the latter comes back again to give everyone the opportunity to do some more dancing. It’s just got this happy-go-lucky vibe to it, where you breathe in the fresh summer air and are like, Yeah, this was another good day. After having typed all this, I certainly see why they named the track like they did. Not too fast paced this one, not too much of a floorbanger or something, but a gentle kiss into that ol’ goodnight. With the percussion at the end having a bit more kick to it than at the start to make sure everyone can put their last bits of energy in.



The Weekly Froth - July #4

  • 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: ‘Deep Into The Night’ by Ali Love (Hercules & Love Affair remix)

I really loved that Hercules and Love Affair album they put out this year. Just such a sassy record that one is. Haven’t heard the new Ali Love LP though, so curious to see how this is sounding. Now, when Andy Butler does his remixes he tends to veer to the tech-house side a bit, and the start of this track certainly seems to go into that direction. That vocal pom-pom-pom sound, though, is definitely genius, and just the right thing to balance the main vibe of this one out. That synth sound that comes in at about 1:40 also is more house than tech, and those vocals are just brilliantly soulful and remind me of Azari & III a bit. So, all of a sudden, this track has morphed into this soulful tune with, as main instrumental feel, that 90s industrial house sound. Don’t ask how he did that one, but I’m just glad because I was definitely worrying my ass off after that start. Around the four minute mark he starts this huge build-up with the sexy “I want you” line repeated over and over, and exactly at 5:00 he throws some warm beat and bass sounds in there for the clubbers to get down to. So much to love, so much to dance to.


‘It’s All Over’ by Pional (John Talabot remix)

I like Pional, I like John Talabot, so you know, how the heck can this go wrong, eh? There are some deep drums in the background that kind of create the canvas, and then you’ve got the synths, the bass, and the secondary percussion floating around to create the right rhythm and vibe. Love that almost trombone like synth sound that comes in at about 1:10, though it really are the fab deep rhythm sounds that run away with this one. Talabot just sneaks them in there so that you’re like “fuck yeah” as it gives another oomph to dance to. You get the vocals in there along with some lighter snare sounds, which are soon ditched for a sort of break with just the vocals and a deep main sound. Slowly you get some woodwork percussion in the background as it builds up to the break-and-release that happens at about 3:15. It’s just what you expect from a Talabot remix, really. Skilled, layered, and smooth deep house with plenty of atmosphere in there for people also to just enjoy aside from the dancefloor. He does know how to create that dance momentum though, it works on all kinds of levels really. At about 4:30 you get another break as the music almost goes church on you with that organ-ish sound, and I would lie if I’d say that I think the part after that is as impressive as the first 2/3rds of the whole thing. Then again, that wasn’t really possible with the first part being just that good,  now was it? I do like the very, very end of this thing though.


‘Drop the Top’ by NSFW

Let me go a bit patriotic on you with this one, as NSFW is from my home country. About ten seconds in you get the drums for the dancing, and about 30 seconds in you get the synths which almost seem to transport you into an '80s edit (especially with that little guitar riff and that dash of piano he throws in there as well). Next to the beat there’s also the bass for the rhythm and the moving of it, and you already hear the vocals coming, as NSFW introduces them slowly to the masses. Just after the two minute mark (and the first kind of break) those vocals truly come out, and instead of some '80s soul&funk track (where I honestly thought this one was going) you get this hipperdy-hopperdy MC style vocals that he curveballs its way towards you. Rest of the track (luckily) doesn’t adapt too much of that style though (though that piano sound in the fifth minute sure sounds '90s-kitsch all of a sudden), and it’s all just merry dancing on that catchy, funky sound. Free download people, by the way.


‘Let’s Stay Together’ (Jean Claude Gavri soulful relief re-edit)

You know it’s Jean Claude Gavri if it starts out with those rhythmic bongo’s right there. And if it is that man, you better ready yourself for another funky edit of some old track or another. This one is ‘Let’s Stay Together’ by, well, a female vocalist, singing that you need to stay together with her, Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad. A line which is followed by a mega saxophone, which I love. There’s just so much old school soul and funk in this track, but also with plenty of rhythm for you to do some dancing to. But the auxiliary sounds really give you the right vibe, and those female vocals are really going all out, and they’re giving plenty of room (and are actually helped by all those original instrumentals) to put her heart out there. And she’s got the girls with the mics behind her to back her up. Vocals galore, and you have the horns, the organ, the bass, the whole lot really, and this one is there to sing along to on the dancefloor.


‘Lux’ by Ballet School

Some dreamy synth-pop from Berlin now, with Ballet School coming with a new track called ‘Lux’. You’ve got the light, tingling sounds which balance the percussion sounds, which are (of course) deeper. The vocals, courtesy of singer Rosie Blair, are an intriguing mixture of Bjork like yelping and a much deeper singing voice (though her range is, like, all over). When she goes high it sounds really atmospheric and dreamy, and when she goes lower it immediately veers a bit into '80s synth territory. I totally see her swaying around like Kate Bush in that one clip everyone knows the sight. Lovely sounding dream-pop, with the doubling of the vocal lines being perhaps the thing that attracts me to this one the most.


‘Do U Wanna Get Down’ (LNTG rework)

The antidote to any rough week you might have had is walking into the discotheque and hearing some big ass edit of any disco queen of your choosing (male or female, I don’t discriminate here). So leave it to Late Nite Tuff Guy to bring some joy back into your life and that warm, loving feeling back into your body. Here he takes on Donna Summer, taking the “Do u wanna get down” lyric from her ‘Bad Girls’ and riding that with all the disco sounds he’s got in his bag. So expect a little guitar riff in there, a beautiful bass that will help your hips move, and a beat for anyone that wants to be safe on the dancefloor. And, of course, horns and whistles, because, you know, it’s Saturday night in the discotheque after all. At about 2:50 he throws in all of Donna Summer, with the chorus and the verse of that aforementioned track of hers. So yeah, bad girls, talking about the sad girls, and the other way around, and they’re all so naughty, and what would your mother think? Thing is, even your mother can dance to this (whether you want to be watching that is another matter entirely), because this is just another smooth edit with all that disco stuff from the '70s. Though, luckily, with the beat, the bass, and the naughtiness for a lively night out on the town with all the young, scantily clad dames of all sorts.



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