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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:  ‘Two Brothers’ by Hanni El Khatib (Holy Ghost! remix)

Slap that bass, baby! How about that one to get this on the road, eh? Add to that some synths and some '80s soundtrack sounds to big it all up, and you are off to the races with this one. High paced disco for those long summer nights where you can use that extra jolt of hgh nrgy. To make it even more disco-ish you get some horns in too, and there’s also a nice bit of piano to go on top of the beat to keep this one going. A little while after, the vocals come in for the first time, telling us that our brothers, mothers, and children love us, and crazy uncle Randall down in the basement probably loves us a little bit too. More horns after the first run of vocals, and you can never go wrong with those. Then you get this nice little build-up with primarily beat, synths, and vocals, with a dash of guitar thrown in there for good measure, after which around 3:50 the bass takes off with the loot and makes a grooving dash for it. These lads know how to make a catchy, groovy tune, with this one sounding especially disco compared to some of their other work (blame it on the horns and the way they use some of the synths). Again, lovely high paced, and sure to get the people dancing as if on a cocktail of a couple of energy drinks and some lovin’.


‘Rock Steady’ by The Whispers (JKriv edit)

I’m not one to say no to a good seven minutes of disco. JKriv starts out with the beat to get this edit of The Whispers ‘Rock Steady’ on the road. Soon enough, you get some of that bass guitar in, along with the vocals, after which more and more of the original sounds enter the vincinity. And just after the minute mark you get the full back-to-the-disco vibe, with the beat sliding down to the background to get the full The Whispers experience going. Which means some Steady rocking all night long (rocking ‘till the break of dawn). JKriv makes sure to herald the stars of the show here, giving it this lovely slower-to-mid disco pace where the vocals keep going and going. Until the four minute mark that is, when you get some piano solo first, and then a little bit more emphasis on the bass. Soon after though, you get those soulful vocals in there again, talking about how he almost gave up on courting her, before they started to rock, steady! A lovely edit that keeps all of that old school magic right there in the spotlight.


‘Another Way’ by Crooked Colours (Mickey Kojak’s Soundtrack edition)

I love the drums that this one has, gives it some punch from the get go I reckon. Add some dreamy vocals to that, a dash of those space sounds, and you have quite the beginning for this Soundtrack edition. After a couple of seconds in Mickey Kojak dials down the drums for a bit, to bring them back later along with some additional synths firing their sounds off to help them out. I love the added synths around the two minute mark, they give it this nice, little touch that I really like. This carefree line of sound that floats its way in between the heavier weaponry. At the three minute mark it’s a moment of vocals-and-synth only to calm everyone the fuck down for a moment or so, after which you get the drums back, but not before you have this lovely dramatic, theatrical moment of vocals in there, which does kind of gets me smiling. The combination of all these things makes it definitely worthwhile to have a listen to, I’d reckon.


‘Make It Easy’ by Ben Browning

Ben Browning wants us to feel good this summer, and with ‘Make It Easy’ he sure keeps it light and fresh like a nice, cool salad you’re enjoying at the beach to secure yourself that bathing suit/speedo figure. Where Cut Copy - the band he is in - tends to veer towards the all-out dance side of synth-pop these days, this one slides into the jammy, lets-have-fun-together end of it all. He advises to "Make no money, make it easy" (how, exactly, that makes it easy is up for debate), and obviously there is a nifty bassline hidden down there somewhere to keep this one moving forward, along with plenty of auxiliary sounds, most eye-catching of which the guitar riffs that he has put in. This one is the first single off of his debut album called Turns, which will be in shops this summer.


‘All U Writers’ by !!!

Again with the bass, wow, that one immediately lays down the rules of the land I’d say. Nic Offer comes in with a deeeep voice to get that nightclub dirty out there, which gets juxtaposed by that light-pitched synth sound that they float around. Later on we get some more singing vocals, which are decidedly higher pitched, though the bass still keeps it on the down low and grooving forward. There are some nifty auxiliary sounds thrown in there, though none more lovely than the guitar stand-off that starts just before the three minute mark. In the mean time, the heavily worked vocals keep on coming at you from all sides, and at the 3:40 mark you get the bass back in to do some of that down-to-the-ground dancing to. I loved the most recent !!! album quite a bit, and this again is just a great track to be shaking some hips on, with Offer leading it from right up front, no doubt.


‘Heard It’ by Marvin Gaye (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit)

You know you need this in your life, don’t you? Starts out with a flurry of, ehrm, strings? On top of which, soon enough, you get that soulful voice of Marvin Gaye (which, soon enough, you’ll get in stereo, no less). After the initial, theatrical start LNTG gets the groove on with some bass and percussion, some original sounds, and some new, auxiliary sounds to help out as well. And, of course, quite a bit of Marvin Gaye and his backing gals singing that, yes, I’ve heard it through the grapevine (that no longer you will be mine). Love the use of that guitar just before the two minute mark, and about half an hour later you get some of those strings from the start reappearing again. LNTG does a good job pacing this, not going full party mode, but he knows when to take it down a notch for a moment to let this catch its breath before hitting the run+sprint button again. Not that this is fast paced, mind you, it’s got a nice little groove to it, led by that bass. Gaye can be heard a plenty, so fans definitely don’t need to feel short-changed here.



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:  ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton (Todd Terje remix)

Now, who hasn’t been waiting for this? ‘Jolene’ is just one of those songs that I’m always wanting a good edit for, and leave it to Todd Terje to bring the bass & groove out for this one. Add some of that percussion, and then slide it into that little country guitar about a minute in so that everyone knows what we’re talking about here. That guitar and the bass then form the base of the groove, and then it’s just waiting for madame Parton to enter the scene to narrate her tale of jealousy and love as she tells Jolene not to take the man she adores, Just because you can. It just is one of those tracks that secretly has that disco touch, that Girl-stay-away-from-my-hubby-because-flaws-and-all-I-love-that-man. The vocals, obviously, are amazing, and they just have that right slant for this track. Terje, in the mean time, keeps that dancing groove going, as well as that guitar line which he keeps looping to keep the track firmly rooted in its, erhm, roots. One of those edits I’d play anytime, any place, anywhere.


‘What Kind of Man’ by Florence + The Machine (Nicolas Jaar remix)

Mr. Nicolas Jaar has been keeping himself busy. Scoring a short film, scoring a feature length film, and then he’s here with a remix of Florence + The Machine. He gets the percussion going immediately, short and snappy, which then gets juxtaposed by that bassline to provide this lazier groove sound. After about a minute Florence her vocals come in, heavily distorted, sounding both electronical-yet-emotional, which is a nice contradiction to work with. In the mean time the bass is still going, and it gets some additional drums to keep that dancefloor vibe intact. In that sense, the base is not like a Jaar track as you have heard from either his debut album or his Darkside project, as the bass gives it more of a funky groove sound. Yet, it still is very much Jaar, as the auxiliary sounds as well as the moments he dials the bass down (like at 2;30) you get that industrial, that urbanite soundtrack that you have come to expect from the man. And then at the three minute mark he puts the dancefloor back in, to make sure you don’t forget to move your body in this twelve minute affair. Those lighter sounds he drops at 3:40, those are super sweet, and Jaar is just one of those guys who understands how to create this excellent soundscape. As said, it is a twelve minute affair, but rest assured, there’s plenty of variation in there (just head to 5:28 for a complete change-up for instance), Florence rears her head enough to really call this a remix, and both the vibe and the dancing are a-okay. So definitely worth the full listen.


‘Sirens’ by Antony & Cleopatra

It starts with some sounds-of-the-streets, but then you get the atmospheric synth in, even though the real addition are the oooohh vocals. those two combined give off this delightful '80s vibe, but the beat draws it back into the (deep)house after-3-am-club feel soon enough. The female vocals do the spoken word first, and then get some rhythmic singing going on, with an R&B slant to them I reckon. In the mean time the beat has lightened up a bit it seems, and the male vocals are more soulful than bariton as well. And now, at about two minutes in, it has become more of a catchy dance-pop song than the deephouse club vibe you got at the beginning. And that feeling gets an extra oomph by the horns-alone moment that they add as well. So from 80’s and deephouse to 90s R&B in terms of the details, though in essence it is just a really catchy tune where I like the rhythm of the vocals a lot.


‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac (Late Nite Tuff Guy version)

Because you can’t really get enough Fleetwood Mac, Dreams, or Late Nite Tuff Guy in a day, now can you? LNTG gets the bongo percussion out for that Florida disco vibe, but soon the bass and the Dreams synth line come in to provide you with that canvas, not to mention THAT sound from the original track (if you hear it, you know what I’m talking about). Sure enough, the Stevie Nicks vocals are in there, wistfully singing that You want your freedom, with the melancholic guitar coming in shortly after to finish the deal. In the mean time “regular” drums have kind of taken over as far as being the kingpin of the rhythm goes, and LNTG sure knows to let the royalty do their thing, almost putting the entire vocal track of the original in there. Thunder only happens when it’s raining, player’s only love you when they’re playing, say, women they will come and they will go, when the rain washes you clean you’ll know. And then that guitar. And that’s the ballgame, really, isn’t it? Seven minutes of this, by the way.


‘Out of Violence’ by Montmartre (Louis La Roche remix)

There is some of that snare drumming going on in the background, but the synth is the king at the start. Louis La Roche then puts a no-holds-barred beat in, as Montmartre narrates his tale with a voice that is powerful enough to hold their own against the beat (while still getting some of that emotion in there). And that is luckily what makes this work, because the beat is pretty big, but the synth and the vocals are not being washed away by any means. Louis La Roche also knows that, at times, it is a good idea to dial that beat down for a moment to give everyone some breathing space, which he does at about 2:20 for a fairly lengthy stretch. And then you get some handclap rhythms, a barrage of synths, and those vocals doing their things, before a slightly different beat seems to come back to provide the rhythm up until the end. A nice four minute affair where the mix is just right enough to make it all work.


‘Be’ by Citizenn feat. SYF

Citizenn gets that alienation going on with those dubby dub beats, though the contrast is quickly put in by those silky smooth vocals by SYF, as well as the synth sounds that come in at about the fifty second  mark. SYF sings “Get to know the real you”, which I guess can be done through dancing, because Citizenn slides some of those house sounds in underneath that original beat to give all the party boys something to be dancing on. SYF increases his repertoire, going from that one line into full verse mode, as Citizenn keeps toeing the line between giving people something to dance to and giving people that quirky, dub drum. At the 4:10 mark it’s just SYF for a minute, with some echoes and double vocal tracks, which is exactly what the track needed, as because it isn’t that straight forward house beat, it is a bit more demanding to listen to. And, besides, I just love those vocals by the former Azari & III singer, so there’s that.


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