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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: ‘The Names’ by Baio (Wolfram remix)

Though Baio’s album hasn’t necessarily gripped me, Wolfram always manages to do just that with his expert synth work. First we get a little beat and some auxiliary sounds, but after about 16 seconds in we get those delicious synths that just have this sense of euphoria to them. A new, non-rhythm synth comes in around the fifty second mark, and after that what sounds like a ukelele gets in there. And so Wolfram builds this one up, constantly adding more and more until about the 1:30 mark, where he runs off with the rhythm synth and adds the vocals of Baio, singing that he can do that, If that’s what you really want. Shortly after Wolfram adds first the one drum, then the other to give the synths some help in getting the people to dance. There’s a short break, that is filled with first the vocals, after which he dives back into the synths again. At 3:30 another change-up, and Wolfram always manages to do them so smoothly. Just how he uses original elements, but then adds those lovely synths, and a bit of a beat to just add that bit of backbone; it just shows why this guy is at the top of my list.


‘Over It’ by Junior Boys

After a pretty long drought, Junior Boys now release yet another piece of original material, this one getting the pace of 80s dancing movies down with the kickdrum. Juxtaposing the quickness is the dreamy vocals, singing that hope is for the middle of the night. Though even the vocals have a pretty quick delivery. One layer down there is a light synthesizer that gains more prominence after the one minute mark, as the vocals go up a pitch in something that probably resembles a chorus. Sometimes the vocals are double layered, which adds some depth to it. At about 1:50 the horse comes galloping in, contrasting the moment where the beat is cut by half just a few seconds later. It is totally different from the other outing off of their yet-to-be released Big Black Coat, with this one going for a high paced synth-and-drum affair, with the vocals singing that You’re afraid to go home. And if this is the thing that they’re playing to get all your energy out on the floor, why would you wanna, anyway?


‘Everything Nice’ by Jaakko Eino Kalevi feat. Farao (Popcaan cover)

The flutey sound is a nice, airy contrast with first the deeper synth, then the deeper vocals, who are also aided by a deep beat. But then there are also the female vocals (courtesy of Farao) doubling the male voice, which is a nice touch, and lends a dreamy atmosphere to the whole endeavor. This before she has the chance to go at it alone, doing a fast paced spoken word thing. When the chorus is there Jaakko Eino Kalevi puts in a high-pitched synth sound, moving the deeper synth slightly to the background. The beat also makes sure you can do a little dance to it as well, as the two vocalists sing that Everything is nice, though that might be more longing than a factual statement. This is a sort of deep synth-pop version of a track by Popcaan, which it doesn’t resemble in the slightest anymore, in case you were wondering about that. Kalevi actually recently visited my country, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, though friends said the music was definitely up to scratch. So there you go, if you like your second hand opinions fresh out of the oven and buttered over to be presented as something good and tasty.


‘Live Together’ LNTG No More War rework

Lets get some of that old school funk in there with Late Nite Tuff Guy doing an edit of Timmy Thomas’s ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’. The start is percussion heavy, though soon enough that classic piano sound of the track comes in, which is quite the identifier of a sound. LNTG rides the combo of those two things for a moment, which works pretty well, as the one can get you to dance, and the other sets the tone of the track. This slight melancholic feel. At about 1:50 those harsh sounds come in, indicating that LNTG is working up to those vocals. But first, some MLK, and then, tell me why, tell me why, tell me why, why can’t we live together? At 3:10 some extra rhythm percussion to bolster the pace a bit, with in the mean time still all those characteristic sounds of this 1972 track that, apparently, is still as relevant today as it was back then. And leave it to LNTG to make it a smooth, funky ride with loads of percussion, respect for the original, and obviously something that you can do a little dance to, celebrating that, yessir, most people are actually quite successful living together and helping each other out.


‘Gruff’ by Fouk

Apparently Fouk is comprised of two Dutchmen, so those are two fellow countrymen right there. More importantly, they’re getting the funky on, with a lovely little wobbly guitar riff, some fast paced drumming, and other percussion elements. At the thirty second mark we get some bass action as well to help out the beat in the rhythm department, and after the minute mark that bass is going to get loud and makes a dash for it. At 1:20 we even get more into the old school funk, including some female vocals doing a nice little jazz ditty. And, why not, lets add some wah-wah synths in there as well so that those cymbals are not there all by themselves anymore. At 2:40 there’s a short break where all the rhythm elements are stripped down, and a little piano is the cue to at least get some drums in there (though they’re not the dancefloor ones we’ve heard earlier). The bass comes back at about 3:14 though, immediately picking up the pace to get some of that mania going once more. The EP will be out first month next year, so that might be a nice way to celebrate the new year with a little funky dancing.


‘Get Serious’ by Jermaine Jackson (JKriv’s Not-So-Serious Edit)

The guitar gets that riff going from the start, with the beat making sure there’s something underneath to keep this one dashing forward. With intervals, some drums come in to rattle things up a bit, but the guitar doesn’t get rattled that easily, quickly moving forward again with that riff they’ve got going. After about the 1:10 mark the bass dives in as well, rolling along with the guitar to the point where the horns are added to strut their stuff. So we’ve got the whole complement going on, which means the vocals are not far away. And yessir, there they are, singing that they Toss and turn, fall asleep hugging my pillow tight. And why? Because he is thinking of that one special one, of course, making him walking around With a smile on my face. So how about that for a feel-good track, eh? As he proposes, Lets get serious, and fall in love. Right after that the guitar gets some of its time again, soon scorching the solo along with the horns. And that’s the ball game people, a near eight minute Jermaine Jackson funked up R&B love fest to feast your dancing shoes on. With the horns, the guitar, the vocals, the whole shebang to get that party going. Nothing like a bit of fun when on a night about the town, no?



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: ‘Higher Lovin’ by Rocco Raimundo feat. Stee Downes

No sign of a beat at the start, though after fifteen seconds we get some percussion in to get the rhythm going. At the thirty second mark we get both beat and bass, though the piano and all sorts of auxiliary sounds make sure to keep this one grounded. Stee Downes then comes in with the vocals, and I do always love that voice. It has this nice mix of rhythm and soul, singing about Higher Lovin’’ over lush instrumentals, definitely going for the love side of the House dancefloor instead of the lust. Just before the third minute mark they dial it down a bit, then the first batch of instrumentals comes back in, after which the rhythm side of it all returns. As said, the feel is that of hoping for love whilst doing a little dance, with a nice bassline that, combined with the fairly light set of instrumentals Rocco Raimundo uses, sets the tone and feel for this one. Apparently one of the remixes that is being done for this one is by Yam Who?, who are also quality as well, so not a shabby package to be had here, I reckon.


‘Big Black Coat’ by Junior Boys

A while ago Junior Boys released a cover, indicating that the synth-pop band was doing a Rip van Winkle and returning to the fray. The rhythm of this one indicates that they are not just returning where they’ve left off, putting on an almost dub-like beat and a dark, brooding atmosphere to go with the light vocals. Even those vocals have a sense of desperation to them, underscored by the jittery synth and the more deeper sounds. Just before the three minute mark they do get in some catchy club vibes though, and at the 3:40 mark the atmospheric synth is accompanied by a proper beat. More synth layers are added as the narration is put on the backburner for a while, as the pace and the franticness is dialled up and up, with the last four minutes definitely giving people a chance to dance a bit, even if the overlying feel is one of dark and deep minds more than of festivities. It is as if the almost romantic, yearning-for-love feel that an album like Begone Dull Care had has been experienced and turned bitter, leaving the question out there that if love is not the answer, what is? A question that might throw any mind into a frenzy every now and then. The lads are also going to be touring Europe in 2016, so loads to look forward to I reckon.


‘Darkstar’ by Morgan Geist

Morgan Geist is back making music under his own name, veering from the emotive house music of Storm Queen to a more tech heavy dance approach with ‘Darkstar’, part of a new EP called Megaprojects One. Geist always knows how to add some flavor even to a more minimal beat and percussion combo, like with the sound that comes in around the minute mark. From there on he keeps building, a floating synth, extra percussion, and just after the two minute mark he takes on the actual beat sound as well, adding some oomph to it. Thirty seconds later he slides that sound into a new feel altogether, and he mixes it up so nicely. At some points there’s the more minimal tech approach, which he then infuses with some extra sounds for more warmth and feel.  In the mean time, obviously, he makes sure that everything aids (definitely not detracts) from the dancefloor experience, putting this in the Berlin clubs after midnight. Just look at that bass note he puts in there in the last minute, for instance. Small touches like that, eh? Geist is one of those experienced guys out there knowing how to deliver, showing that with this one yet again.

‘Loud Places’ by Jamie XX (Mike Simonetti’s Dark Places Remix)

Obviously mister Jamie XX is a popular brand nowadays, and add to that the vocals of Romy and you already have a combo that will especially appease the popular dance public. Add Mike Simonetti though, and you get a boy like me excited as well. Simonetti is one of those guys of the Italians Do It Better label, doing everything from moody instrumentals to Whitney Houston edits. I love how that beat is in the mix, it  just takes care of that momentum. Add to that the juxtaposition of the almost military step percussion and Romy’s dreamy vocals, and you’ve got an ace first part of the track. After a short moment of just Romy’s vocals, Simonetti dives into the darker realms of the dance scene, keeping the percussion, but adding some of those deep, wobbly sounds in there to keep it all well below surface levels. Dark places indeed, Mr. Simonetti. So here, definitely, his qualities on the moody side of the spectrum come to the fore. Free download, by the way, for those not minding sliding in some of that deep house hypnosis.


‘Victim’ by Dinamo Azari

Dinamo Azari was one part of the producing duo calling themselves Azari & III. That project has died, but that hasn’t stopped Azari from teaming up with the two vocalists they enlisted back then to help out on this track off of his debut album. Those vocalists complement each other so well, the higher, soul pitched vocals of Starving-Yet-Full and the rhythmic, deep sounds of Fritz Helder, not to mention how fun they were when doing that stage thing they do. The Azari & III album was a mixture between some darker cuts and more all-out House live-it-up fests, and this is definitely more towards the darker side of the line. The percussion provides the rhythm, and there’s a nice bass there to help out. First we hear SYF sing, but the growling Helder soon comes in as well, talking us through the fact he isn’t our bitch. Just before the two minute mark he dials it all down for a short while, and I love the restraint with which he comes back, putting the atmosphere first there. Loved the live shows that Azari & III always put up, thought that album was a mixed bag (some of those songs though!), so curious to see what this album is going to end up like.

‘Bad Blood’ by Nao

Nao definitely has the vocals to make one dream away whilst walking the midnight city. Here, it is put on display in superb manner early on, with just some simmering synths to accompany them. They provide a nice background, and are never in the way of them. At the 45 second mark you get the electronical percussion sounds, getting that dubby beat going, and Nao turns it up a notch to make sure she is audible and that the emotion is put in there as well. She sings that you choose not to remember, making her believe that it is the bad, bad blood. at the 2:50 mark some of the instrumentals are stripped away, leaving only the drums and the vocals, though soon some of them return and she turns it up a notch for one last time. First single off of the debut album, and with people like Nao and Kelela out there representing, this kind of sparse, electronic music with that urban, midnight vibe is in good hands. Both of their vocals, in any case, are a delight.


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