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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:  ‘Let It Carry You’ by Jose Gonzalez (Holy Ghost! remix)

I always love Holy Ghost!’s disco & synth sound, and here from the get go you get this lovely feel again. It’s got a nice drum beat to it, then you get the rhythm synth, and then a more atmospherical synth sound as the boys show off their hardware. Then the vocals come in, which add a hint of melancholy to the dancey affair. What I also like is how restrained the vocals are, but sometimes at the end of a line there’s this touch of rawness, which is nice. There are also some backing vocals in there at one point, and at 3:20 you have this moment where they’re really building up the sound for a minute just to have it all float back to this understated disco sound. There are multiple moments where you can definitely find them playing around with structure and flow like that. If you like the albums they’ve put out (and you should, gosh darn it!), then this is one to throw in that playlist too. Love the mixture of the tone in combination with this unrelenting drum & synth-for-a-touch-of-dancing action.


‘Holding On’ by Julio Bashmore feat. Sam Dew

The start definitely has this happy vibe to it, like you’re about to have fun. Julio’s got some glitchy looping going on, which is a nice modern contrast to the vocals. Which are, indeed, #broadwalk, as the SoundCloud page indicates. It’s got this old school vibe, but the looping keeps it grounded in the modern. At 1:20 it moves away from that a little bit, with the main sound now being a relatively poppy dance beat, which I can see the whole of America doing these lip dubs to. Also because it has this sense of happiness, and it does have this theatrical flair to it as well (also thanks to the multiple layers of vocals). There are moments where the beat is turned down to go back to those looping bits with the vocals, obviously to shift back to the fast paced pop action again a little bit later. Definitely a catchy tune this, with the different elements nicely keeping this one in balance.


‘Chicken Heads’ by Bobby Rush (Leo Zero edit)

Leo Zero brings the blues back to the dancefloor. He gets a nice little loop going for this edit of a Bobby Rush song, who is one of those blues guitarists from that time when there were still blues guitarists (and ones that were not victims of elder abuse at that). Leo Zero makes sure you get plenty of that blues vibe, bringing in loads of vocals and, more importantly, that nice little guitar riff that he rides and rides as he should. Obviously there’s also plenty of drums and percussion in there, as it is a dancefloor track, and a change-up like at 2:15 makes that abundantly clear (and makes it work, too). Now, I love me some blues, and these fellas know all about bringing some attitude to the mix, and Leo Zero makes sure he doesn’t forget to include that ingredient here. It’s just a really good edit of a blues man that includes the blues guitar, those blues vocals, a bit of spoken word as well, and even something that kind of resembles a chorus with the Let me in, let me in, let me in lines. It’s got the dancefloor rhythm and it’s got plenty of the original as well, and that’s all you want, innit? And for that I’ll forgive some of that production trickery like at 5:35-5:40. Don’t sweat it, just the kind of guy I am.


‘Slip And Do It’ by Betty Wright (Disco Tech Edits)

Got to have some Betty Wright in your life every now and again, don’t ya? And Disco Tech makes sure there’s a bit of a beat as well as a bit of the funk in this edit of Betty’s ‘Slip and Do It’. Just before the minute mark she comes in, with all the attitude she can muster, and the Disco Tech boys make sure she brings a bit of that guitar and some of those horns with her as well. She sings that When it feels so good, will you slip and do it?, which effectively summarizes the age old question of heart over head or not. And, luckily, she doesn’t mind being the other woman, so there you go. At the two minute mark she gets a bit of help from the girls at the back, as Disco Tech makes sure you can do some grooving to the bass that’s getting it on in the background. This is really an edit in that there are so many elements of the original, and Betty gets all the spotlight the world can buy, and that’s what makes it work. But the bass and the beat do make sure you can get funky to it on the dancefloor in your modern discotheque, and that’s all we want on a Saturday night (and whenever we’re at home, alone, with a bottle of whatever at our lips).


‘Once In A Lifetime’ by Talking Heads (Joey Negro edit)

Joey Negro starts this one off with some percussion and big drums, and a big, bushy bass, which seems a bit padded from the original track. That original track being ‘Once in a Lifetime’, from that band that just knows how to bring that city anxiety alive (if you haven’t succumbed to that in real life yet). After the minute mark we hear David Byrne coming out from the back to the front of the stage, with Joey Negro still riding the bass and, now, the line “same as it ever was”. In the mean time he’s having a bit of fun with some anxiety inducing synths as well, but he strips it all down to give Byrne plenty of room to do his verse, bringing the bass back near the end. When they enter the chorus, he introduces the guitar as well, after which we simply get the next verse instead of Joey Negro putting the chorus on repeat. At the three minute mark we get a bit of saxophone thrown in there to go along with the bass and other rhythm elements, which is a nice way to give some extra length to this edit. Not that it ends with that though, as obviously we always need some extra Byrne before the credits roll as the vocals make their encore. By the way, if you have never seen the video clip of the original song, do have a fun time slapping yourself in the face with that one.


‘Alright’ by Church Boy Lou feat. Paul Randolph

Church Boy Lou’s music is deeply rooted in the history of African-American music, both in terms of the piano house it evolves into after about the one minute mark, but also in terms of the humming vocals and the sounds-from-the-audience. I love how the humming seems to multiply, giving it this community feel that has always been a staple in gospel, house, but also blues music. Whilst the vocals and the organ lay down the vibe, the beat and the piano still keep this one rolling for anyone fancying a trip to the club. Near the very end the percussion shifts, which could easily lead one into a new dance track with a new feel to it so that you’re night out will never stop. Now, I don’t know what happens at the two and four minute mark (and there is always the hope that it is an uploading error, however faint), but the rest of the track oozes this atmosphere of hommage and pride whilst still working as something one could be giving a spin at the club.


The Weekly Froth!

  • Published in Columns

Shakarchi Straneus

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 year:  ‘Hissmusik’ by Shakarchi & Straneus (HNNY edit)

How about that start, eh? That is seriously old school right there, with that bass doing some of that jazz ditty. You won’t mistake it for the original of yore though, as you can hear some of that modern programming and cutting and slicing. I always kind of enjoy if something uses old school sounds, but does make clear that it’s not actually that old school sound, that it isn’t merely copying that. The vocals are punchy, and the delivery is fast-talking. After about a minute, just after the first round of vocals, the track really gets going, upping the pace and taking it to the dancefloor. At about 1:45 he dials it down for just a moment to give the vocals some room, who are telling you that she Will be coming around again, and she most certainly will be remembering what you said. The secondary sound on top of the bass counteracts that rather ominous statement actually, with it’s light-hearted demeanor. This one has just so much flavour, which gets highlighted when the bass stops for a moment, with just the secondary sounds and the vocals taking center stage. The bass does come back one more time to ride this one out, and I just love how this track is build up and structured, and those sounds and that vibe is just delightful indeed.


‘Shine on You’ by Satin Jackets feat. Esser

Some synth and handclaps are never a bad way to start it all off, in my opinion. As are using those lovely vocals of Esser who, apparently, just wants to Shine on you (ok, sure...). I like the way the vocals go up around the minute mark, which is also the cue for Satin Jackets to increase the tempo a bit and really get into catchy synth-pop mode. It is definitely an easy-on-the-ear track, with the instrumentals really giving off this dance-and-be-happy vibe. They use the vocals very well, manipulating them a bit here and there, and it’s got this pop sense of when to tone it down and when to get it up and running. Esser’s vocals definitely help with laying down the right mood for this one, and the instrumentals give you plenty of variation to make this one not too straight forward to avoid the risk of it becoming grating after a while. Actually, it is one of those catchy ones that you might find yourself hitting the repeat button for.


‘Highlights’ by Tuff City Kids feat. Shan

The way this one starts you just can’t help but be transported to the dancefloor. It’s just got this house vibe going on from the get go, definitely making it easy to envision this one in a set as you’re clubbing or whatever. After a minute in Tuff City Kids change it up a bit, adding an extra sound to the mix, and thirty seconds later adding another percussion element as well. Love the organ-like synth sound at about 2:10, that’s a nice touch, juxtaposing all the rhythm elements nicely. Tuff City Kids do a nice job of adding and subtracting elements, changing the tempo and changing the feel of it on occassion to keep it varied and interesting. And, of course, danceable, which is their prime goal from the sound of it. Working up to the 5:15 mark they, for instance, go for some extra noise and momentum, just to slide to a more low key beat and slowly work their way to the ending credits. A lovely slice of house, with plenty in there to keep the dancefloor occupied, I reckon.


‘Fractals’ by Keep Shelly in Athens (Tomas Barfod remix)

Keep Shelly in Athens sure have made some nice sounding tunes in the past years, and here again you hear these lovely, dreamy vocals as a key part of the track. Barfod, who released both a solo album and a WhoMadeWho one last year, is on remix duties, adding some big drums as a template, taking the track into a very theatrical, dramatical arena because of that. It’s actually quite nice that, when listening, I heard some elements that I thought, Yeah, that’s a sound Barfod uses more often. It’s nice when artists bring a bit of character to their work, I find. It’s very nice to see that, even though the instrumentals are pretty powerful, the vocals are still very much up front in the mix, and that this dreamy voice isn’t getting drowned out by the fireworks of Barfod. He adds a little moment of tranquility just before the three minute mark, returning with a nice drum line with some wood percussion to bring this one to a close.


‘Kong’ by Julio Bashmore feat. Bixby

How about some of that woodwork percussion to start this one, eh? Soon the beat comes in though, with some synth sounds to top it all off. The male vocals soon take center stage, with Bashmore working the momentum in the background, certainly not leaving the vocals all by their lonesome. In that sense it is really more of a power song this, sliding to the more chart side of the dance spectrum, as Bashmore makes sure there are plenty of booming sounds in there so there’s no time to zone out. The way the vocals are just so up front and in-yr-face, that works well in that system. At about 2:50 you get some kind of craziness, but the core sound in the back still has a solid rhythm to it so you don’t have to dance that funny if you don’t want to. There’s actually some melancholy in the vocals near the end, which is a nice touch, especially in such a booming track.


‘Make It Now’ by Thatmanmonkz

Thatmanmonkz starts out with this nice loop that’s got quite a jazzy vibe to it I find, though obviously with the bass in there it’s dancefloor friendly as well. There are some auxiliary sounds that are quite fun and unexpected, stuff you don’t hear too often. The muffled sense of the beginning vanishes at around the one minute mark, when the track opens up completely, and adds some percussion in to give you more rhythm next to the bass. Some female vocals walk onto the set as well, as dashing as a diva can with a stylish “oooooohhhhh, don’t hesitate”. In the mean time Thatmanmonkz is still doing some of that mean looping business to keep the crowd dancing, dialling it down a little around the three minute mark, bringing the punch back in about a minute later. At 4:50 you get a nasty piece of bass in there for just a little while when he turns away the percussion for a moment, and so there are different elements that take center stage and that you can latch on to. The ending, for instance, is more beat and vocal heavy, as the whispery female vocals ask you to not hesitate, echoing their way to the song’s end. Lovely little piece of looping house with lots of little elements, some making you work that dancefloor, others making it just a bit more colorful.




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