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: B-Side - Zulu (MPJT edit)
I just love the groove this one starts with! Are you kidding me with all those separate elements. You’ve got the kick, but also the quick wood percussion, the bass sound and synth sound combo, and it just immediately has me hooked. Just before the minute mark another percussion element is added (or two, an extra one a little later), and the two men keep the rhythm high. At the second minute mark you’ve got talking vocals coming in, preaching about one thing or another with a bit of anger. At 3:30 there’s a bit of a change up, breaking up the groove for a minute, just to let it return after about twenty seconds with some more of that bass. When the vocals come in next they do so with an added round of cymbals to add a light sound to the percussion, which can be heard raging in the background. It’s pretty frantic back there, which, when the vocals subside, is dialled back in favor of a cleaner sound. I mean, these guys, let me tell ya, they just know how to do these things. Marc Pinol and John Talabot are experts in this field, and in this remix it shows again. The full-blown change-ups, the subtle alterations, and the mixing and matching of all those percussion elements to keep the rhythm on the go: it is all so fluent, and it certainly works like a madman. Even near the end, at about 6:30, they give the people just another little punch to get themselves in motion again. There’s just so much to love, I mean, really.
‘Gravity’s Angel’ by Laurie Anderson (Bottin Edit)
I love the slight space vibe that Bottin adds to that bass sound which he uses as the canvas for Laurie Anderson to croon over. And crooning it kind of is, with a surpising fragility to it. In the mean time Bottin adds a little bass line, though not as a continuous rhythm element. For that he uses that bass sound plus some synths. At 1:40 Bottin breaks it open with some drums and percussion, which then also form the rhythm elements during the singing, where previously there wasn’t one. So that’s how he adds a bit of pace to it. In the mean time some male vocals come in to help the female vocals out as Bottin adds more and more extra sounds that definitely help to cement the almost alienated feel, which heightens the almost in-the-spotlight loneliness of the singing. Though later she goes for the spoken word, which blends into the sounds quite perfectly. That moment at about 4:07, when she returns to singing, is completely in tune with the change-up in the sound as well. So really cleverly created this, with the kind of vocals that are on display here giving it this bit of extra uniqueness that’s always welcome.
‘Disco Fix’ by YSE Saint Laur’Ant
No points for knowing what this name is a punt on (unless you literally know nothing about fashion. Or pop culture. Or cultural memory. Or, well, life). YSE is not concerned about the pace with this one, just bringing you a cheeky bit of disco and soul, but old school, to do some slow twisting to. Primarily on the little bass line, that sounds more '50s than '70s NY. The vocals, especially, have that jazz club call & response thing with the band behind her going on, which give it this sense of fun. She is singing that you need to play that disco beat (which, ironically, is totally absent here), because she needs to get that disco fix. And if not, she is going to scream (she’s that kind of gal). It has this lovely lounge bass going on that primarily takes care of the rhythm, with some percussion in the back to help it out. The vocals, the backing band dynamic, and just how it leisurely trods on makes this an ideal download for some happy summer walks.
‘Bounce’ by Waze & Odyssey
How about some party house from the fellas of Waze & Odyssey eh? They get right into it with this one. They get the kick going, the little bass, the jittery synth line, and once in a while you get a soulfule male voice doing a “yeahhh-ehh-ehh” to just kick the house vibe up a notch. At the one minute mark they get the rhythm parts out, just having the synth there, which later gets some percussion help, primarily from the cymbals. At the two minute mark it gets the beat and bass back there for the dancefloor crowd to dance to. It uses the male voice nicely, not really to sing, but it gives you a good point to add a new instrument in there for instance. At one such point Waze & Odyssey use it as a cue to get some female vocals in there who, on repeat, say “bounce” whilst Waze & Odyssey slowly build the track down a bit. Obviously to come back with a vengeance at about 4:25. A good dancefloor track to keep the party a-rockin’.
‘Grit’ by Kasper Bjorke (Bryan Kessler remix)
Bryan Kessler is just a pitch away from starting this like a slasher B-movie (though the horse galloping in the background helps steer it away from that as well, to be fair, or does that only make it more Victorian Jack-the-Ripper like?). One thing is for sure though, it is a pretty deep&dark take on the Kasper Bjorke song, which is reinforced by all the atmospheric synths that enter the scene. Kessler takes his sweet time to get to the beat in this one, but after a complete break at the two minute mark he puts it in, adding a bass-y synth a bit later on. Still it is pretty deep, those rhythm elements don’t take away from that vibe. I love that sound that comes in at abou 3:02 or something, which unfortunately doesn’t stay for very long, just to come back at 3:38 as the main sound on top of the beat. That, too, gives it this immediacy, as if you are trying to run away from the Hack-n-Slash murderer on the loose somewhere (on horseback, probably). The whole of Kasper Bjorke’s After Forever album gets the remix treatment, with this one getting the deep and grind one. That original album, by the way, has some beautiful tracks on there, with my favorite being ‘Lies’, so if you haven’t had the chance to listen to that one, be sure to give it a whirl.
‘The Owner’ by NTEIBINT feat. Stella (Anoraak remix)
Love the claps at the start, that ‘s a good combination with the synths. The percussion comes in around the twenty second mark, and the piano that comes in at about thirty is absolutely lovely. All the rhythm and synth elements keep the pace up, and because Anoraak strips some down it seemingly lowers its speed when the nice, deep female vocals come in. Though halfway the vocal part the bass comes in to give it a bit of bounce. And slowly but surely more instruments come in again, and when the vocals subside a lovely, slightly aggressive piano enters to give it some punch before the vocals come back with a bit more emotion than before. It is quite amazing how all these layers work together and how smoothly they are being woven in and out of the line-up, with the vocals forming the anchor to an otherwise fairly fast paced affair. Around 3:40 he starts a patient break, where he strips most elements except for the vocals and one synthesizer, but slowly he starts piecing everything back together again, with around 4:50 putting it all in again for one more go around. Pretty nifty stuff again from Anoraak.