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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: ‘Nevermind’ by Leonard Cohen (PillowTalk Re-Rub)

How about we start with some of that bass, these lads must’ve thought. I also love that the second sound is this sort of amplified snapping-of-the-fingers. Leonard Cohen is doing his ultimate low voiced, spoken-word growl, which has something ominous about it. It gets balanced out a bit by the female vocals, though Cohen’s voice sure puts a stamp on this one. It goes lovely with that bass though, which keeps on rolling to make sure the boogie vibe is staying right there in the song. As said, PillowTalk makes sure there are some balancing elements, like the strings, like the female vocals, to make sure this one doesn’t slant too much over to the dark side (especially since, with Cohen’s vocals, you’re almost halfway there anyway, not to mention lines like “I could not kill, the way you kill”). I also like the cleanliness of the track. The bass and Cohen’s vocals are the mainstay, one taking care of the narrative, the other taking care of the boogie, and then there are a few elements thrown in there to take care of the balance, but which do not overcrowd it. A sweet combination it surely makes.


‘Combination’ by Woolfy vs. Projections

On the label of Permanent Vacation the people of Woolfy vs. Projections have a go at a slice of Deep House, which PV is kind of a quality stamp for. So here, too, it starts with a nice beat, but soon the rest of the percussion sounds come in, and that’s where the track starts to become fun. There’s this grainy, deep bass sound that gets thrown in there, just to be juxtaposed a little while later with a lighter synth sound. Around 1:40 there’s the space whirl, giving the track some atmosphere on top of the beat and that aforementioned bass. And so the guys add multiple instruments until they dial it down around 2:40, where they turn down the rhythm sounds for a moment, building up non-beat percussion elements up to the point where they slide the beat back in for the dancing crowd. There’s this nice change-up at around 3:45, where one synth sound is swapped for another, which does the trick in altering the tone somewhat. And these changes make sure the track doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, whilst in the mean time keeping the club side of it up so all y’all can do some dancing after midnight.


‘U Make Me Feel’ by Unique (Ilya Santana edit)

Around the mid Eighties there came Unique saying that she feels so good. And Ilya Santana recently felt good too, grabbing this one and putting his own spin on it. Which includes a kick, a nice bassline, and some high-pitched synthesizers to help out Unique, who comes in at about 1:10 to give it this emotional Eighties Funk & R&B slant. Then leave it to Santana to keep mixing all those aforementioned instruments and turn it into something that not only resembles the original, but even moreso resembles his own sound, which usually veers a bit towards the space disco side of the spectrum. This time, though, he freely twists that up a bit because of the main bass sound and the vocals, whilst also having some fun with those crazy synths in there. It’s got some nice Eighties flavour, a nice, funky bassline, and it exhumes some fun because it is, at times, a bit all over, as if someone was smiling when making this, transporting that to the dancefloor a bit with this Unique and Ilya Santana crossover.


‘In Infancy’ by Museum Of Love (Bottin remix)

Bottin really wastes no time laying down the feel of this one with some really specific sounds that he uses, this strumming guitar and this deep, bass like sound. Add another, more tingly, guitar sound, and you really have a particular feel out there which then gets trumped by the tropicana club feel after about forty seconds in, when the track starts to put in the rhythm sounds to give the audience some opportunity to do some dancing. Boy, those starting sounds had me blindsided there pretty good, as this tropical piano I had never seen coming. And it is that feel that really dominates the tone, so you get this cocktail-in-hand feel, but with some grit to it, to make sure no one is taking to the lounge chairs or anything. At about 2:40 the vocals come in, again giving a different flavor to the proceedings. After the vocals Bottin adds a bass to take over balancing duties, making sure the track never becomes just this or just that. At the five minute mark you get this lovely moment where the vocals go in chanting mode and you just have the bass, I really like that, and it is a nice set up for the final run of the track, which mood is a bit lighter again thanks to the guitar sound he throws in there.


‘The Bottle’ by Gil Scott Heron (Mike Simonetti 10:30 Bootleg)

How about a near 11 minute edit of a Gil Scott Heron track eh? One by Mike Simonetti no less, a sir who knows how to get people dancing in front of his DJ booth. With this one he is certain to put a nice bass in the background to make sure there’s something to hang your dance moves on, and other than that there’s loads of Gil Scott Heron and flutes and things. Really making sure that the rack is packed with plenty of vibes connected to the original. And yet, it is strangely party-ish, good natured, very let’s-be-dancing. Not in the least because of that quick bass in the back, which is dialed down around 3:30 where Simonetti lets the vocals and the percussion have a swing at it for a moment (or an afternoon, having a quite lengthy run up towards the moment the beat gets back in again, which is at about 5:24 after a percussion and rhythm solo of proper length). The bass rears its nose back in at about 6:10, and a good twenty seconds later you get the whole band back together, coming around again to this uplifting party feel that this track manages to exhume. Apparently Simonetti sometimes ends his sets with this and I, for one, would not be complaining if that would be bestowed upon to me.


‘Spirit Talkin’ by Dan Beaumont (Spencer Parker workmix)

The pace is set right from the start, going frantic with the beat and the additional percussion elements. So no slouching on this one, that’s for sure. Then again, the title already indicates that you should be working it, so nothing lied about that one there. Just after the minute mark you hear the first additional sound creeping up from behind the curtain of beats and percussion, and at 1:30 we start seeing where this is going. At about 2:10 we also hear the female vocals for the first time, indeed sounding like the Spirit is talking through her, giving it this gospel vibe that, somehow, goes nicely with the fast-paced beat that this track still has going on. A feel, by the way, which gets amplified by some additional piano Spencer Parker throws in there as well. And those two elements (vocals and piano) get their little moment in the sunshine around the halfway mark, where it becomes even more clear that it sure gets its inspiration from the Sunday morning sessions under the Lord’s guidance. After that little moment it also feels more and more like the beat is there to uplift, and not just to go at it hard. And because of how it turns from just hard clubbing at the start to this, it makes sure the track gives you a good nine minutes of feeling it.



The Weekly Froth - October #3

  • 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: I’m A Cliche edit service 44 by Marcello Giordani

Can I just say that I love that cheeky synth sound at the start? That’s just awesome, just like those first additions to the song are at about 30 seconds in, those are lovely too. A minute in, again, he manages to throw a great synth line out there. In the mean time, in the background, you do have the percussion line going along with a rhythmic synth, but these are so secondary to all the loveliness that is up front you hardly hear them. Not to say they’re not needed though, always good to have a backbone for the dancing, but all those synthlines, these atmospheric sounds, and just that whole Italian flavor: it’s just there in all it’s awesomeness. It’s basically a master class in how to use synths, that’s all I’ve got to say about it. And who doesn't like a good master class that’s fun for the dancefloor to boot?


‘The Who’s Who Of Who Cares’ by Museum Of Love

Museum of Love is a band from the DFA roster, and that is pretty evident. It’s got the catchy that most on the label have, but it also has a certain aloofness as well. The synths and those talky vocals examplify want I want to describe pretty well, though at about 1:40 you get the horns in there, which kind of break through that magnificently. Those horns do give it kind of a jazzy vibe, which does give it a slightly different feel compared to the other bands that are working these sounds. At about the four minute mark that jazzy vibe kind of takes over from the more calculated, clinical synth driven first part, kind of making this track a cross between labelmates The Juan MacLean and ‘Golden Years’ Bowie I would say. It’s a lovely track, and with the album out now it’s well worth a listen I’d say.


‘Two Bodies’ by Flight Facilities feat. Emma Louise (HNNY remix)

These two names together, that can only mean something good is about to happen. Flight Facilities have made some deliciously catchy synth-pop tracks in recent years, and HNNY really knows how to get in some R&B flavors and how to work repetition and patience. So, in essence, these are guys that know how to create tunes, and they have different qualities. Combine them together, and apparently, you get this. It starts with some African drums, and then it slides into this chilled out synth vibe that HNNY uses to build up this track. So that’s the patience right there. After about a minute the dreamy vocals of Emma Louise come in, and HNNY keeps the sound behind her chilled out, which fits nicely. My guess would be that the original track went more for the dancey, and you can still hear the catchy qualities and the more pop-ness in there, but that’s been overtaken by the overall vibe. There are some nice drops in here, where the rhythm synths and the drums are stripped away, and you get some atmospheric synths supporting the dreamy vocals of Emma Louise. After the first drop the track comes back in with a bit more focus on the rhythm to make sure that people know that they should be dancing to this. And after the second drop, HNNY does this again, but even more so. So you get a catchy tune, with a bit of a chilled out vibe, but with the percussion still giving you that boogie feeling. Add some dreamy vocals to it, et voila, a very nice track indeed.


‘Water Come Down’ by Rosie Lowe (Pional remix)

This one starts out with just the vocals, which work nicely in unison. After that you get a little piano, but slowly a slow, deep beat comes in that already indicates that those vocals will get some body underneath to buff the track up a bit. After that slow beat you both get a light piano as well as a synth line in there, with Rosie Lowe’s vocals coming in shortly after. It is more of an atmospheric piece than anything else, a bit of electro experimental that works really well. Pional uses the combination of different synth and piano sounds to perfection, and together with the other elements he manages to craft an intriguing piece which has a slight air of mystique to it, also thanks to the (multiple layers of) vocals. Pional ends it with a bit of punch, working the asymmetrical beats and with the final beat being a quite deep and forceful one. A piece not so much for the dancefloor, but definitely one to have a listen to and be captivated by.


‘I Love Video’ by New Paradise (Gilbert Cohen & Vidal Benjamin edit)

This one starts out in such a way that just screams Dancing to me. It wastes no time with like, say, slowly introducing the track, it just starts out with all the pace it has and then hopes you get swept along by it. As a matter of fact, the pace seems to steady a bit with the introduction of some of the other sounds, which kind of tone down the illusion of full-on-speed. This includes all the disco vibes they throw in there, but also the talky vocals that you get. In the mean time, sure, the backbone of the track still keeps chugging along so it definitely doesn’t come to a grinding halt or anything. I like that slow down just after the two minute mark, with the track going back to its roots thanks to a very happy sounding little sound. Which, arguably, might sound too peppy for some, but I kind of like it in this kind of track. In the second part of the song you get the actual singing vocals, pleading to save the video, and this argument is given an extra boost by the horns that they manage to get in there. So if you either love video, or you just love dancing on happy sounding disco tunes, this might just do the trick for you.


‘How About It’ by MDMC (JMMSTR Italo Edit)

There’s no time that’s a bad time for an all-out '80s edit, and not many tracks sound more Eighties than this song by the Dutch group MDMC. Add to that Jam Master’s italo synths, giving you just enough of that ol’ school Moroder flavour, and you’ll be expecting Falkor to swoop by any time soon. All the 80s vibe not withstanding, it also is just a fun, catchy edit that works to do some dancing to. The synths are catchy, and he throws in enough variety to keep the dancefloor going. The fun also comes from the talky vocals, which are just so fun and retro that it just adds an element of having a blast on the dancefloor. As said, in the mean time, the synths keep on coming, but there’s also plenty of other stuff going on, like for instance that little guitar that you can hear in there pretty well. If you’re not allergic to the 80s and don’t mind some played up corny, this should be a fun 7 1/2 minutes for you. Free download as well, by the way.


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