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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: ‘Fight’ by Nicolas Jaar

It’s always brilliant to hear from the talented Nicolas Jaar, and if you didn’t manage to get in a listen on that first album of his, definitely still worth your while. Here he starts with a piano that, to me for some reason, indicates something not quite right (maybe it’s the contrastive aggressiveness of that last note he hits, or the industrial and increasingly more distorted sounds that float underneath the piano). At 2:10 he starts using his voice, trying to get through, and even when all the instrumentals are stripped away, they still they can’t quite manage to convey what is on their mind, settling for a rhythm role as the bass-functioning synth sound drags it all along with it. Constantly he goes from a relatively clean rhythm sound (albeit already slightly menacing) to something more distorted, to the weird, the flailing, until at one point it arrives at a point of nothingness, which is then picked up again by, first time around, the vocals, and second time around, the vocals preceded by footsteps of him, Him, or anyone coming. Then it settles for the nocturnal peace again, in this case with the voice finally able to utter some words, namely Select your fight. This song is, again, quite the construction, so expertedly put together to tell a story through sounds and soundscapes that one could almost put it in a museum by itself or to go with some video installation of something (of urban unrest, perhaps, or one of the other ideas floating in my mind at this point). Definitely up there with Circlesquare’s ‘Fight Sounds’ in terms of evoking a hazed and dazed night of disobedience out under the city lights.

‘Rockets’ by VYD (Xinobi remix)

Och, that percussion to go with that simmering synth sound, how lovely. Just that woodwork sound is amazing to bring the rhythm in there a bit as well. The atmosphere is expanded by the almost ghostly vocals at the start (which then normalize a bit, as they almost go at it spoken-word), and a sort of trombone sound which is just perfect for here. The vocals, in the mean time, sing that they dance alone Far away from you. After which, perfectly timed, a beat comes in to underscore that dancing. More percussion is added to help the rhythm a bit, though the trombone and the new female vocals make sure the atmosphere is still put in there. In the mean time the male vocalist seems to lose it, almost panting and heavily breathing as he sings No questions baby, as the beat is slid back in to dance on his demise, which is further expanded on by the haunting synth sound, followed by a lovely clear rhythm piano line to round it all off. Love how he strips the beat about one and a half minute before stoppage time, that’s a beautiful moment, and then he brings in the beat and percussion again to get it to the end. Definitely a beautiful remix from Xinobi, who knows how to deliver some quality.


‘Sisters’ by Tweaks

Tweaks released their first single ‘Sisters’ not too long ago, going for the nocturnal with the melancholic piano and the deep, male vocals singing on top of the sparse keys. That sole piano gets more and more help, first adding more orchestral sounds to it, then coming in with the drums for the extra oomph, eventually settling for a little military drum roll to stay as the vocals return. Those vocals tell us to Love your sisters, after which a nice little piano squeaks through in between the different drum and percussion sounds. At 2:30 they dial it back down, amongst some heavy breathing, laying down the percussion for a few seconds to just give the vocals and piano some focus, though soon the drum sounds are back. At about 3:10 we get some haunty female vocals doing a sort of opera ghost-from-the-lake kind of thing, which fits the tone of the track I’d think. Not too shabby a debut I reckon, hitting the nighttime vibe with ease.


‘Dig It (It’s Time)' Young Pulse edit

This one sure starts with a pulsing (ha!) rhythm, getting the drums and beat in early, and after a few seconds they go for the wobbly bass sound. They go a-glitchin’ a bit, doing a little sample over and over with very clear cuts in between, letting us know that we’re rolling the same thing for a while. After a bit of guitar the vocals come in, giving us the whole disco works, which is added to by the horns that also enter the scene. That little bass that gets it on at 2:10 to move it forward underneath the vocals is quite lovely, and the female vocalist sure works for it, as they are singing if it Isn’t time, time, time, time, to change your mind, come to me. At about the 3:20 Young Pulse lets the rhythm do their thing a bit, to which he adds first a guitar, later some other instruments to (including the bass making its comeback). I love the old school disco works of the girls in the back basically telling the tale, and with the main vocalist really going at it. It’s a lovely, funky edit of the 1982 Kasso song, with the clear sampling at start and finish giving it a bit of a modern slant as well.


‘Killer’ by Beato Cozzi (Magic Feet remix)

There’s a hard hitting drum that makes up the first thirty seconds or so, with after that the bass taking over and giving it this slow burning house feel. The grainy sounds give it this modern, industrial touch which is then juxtaposed by a clear piano, almost veering to the disco side of it all. At about 1:45 the clear piano changes its sound, and it gets some help from some tropical percussion, with the distorted electro sounds still running in the back until they aren’t anymore, as  at one point it is just the bass and a singular beat. This soon gets the clear piano added to it, giving it this uplifting rhythm sound that nicely balances the track out. Drums indicate the upcoming change-up, with some extra instruments (including the electro sounds as well as the tropical percussion) there to lend a hand. It’s a nice track where the balance between the modern grittiness versus the clear dancefloor sounds in terms of the piano is just about right, with the bass leading this one to its eventual end.



‘White Horse’ by Shit Hot Soundsystem (rework)

I’m sorry, but whenever I happen to come across a rework of this ol’ tune I just have to post it. Shit Hot Soundsystem ride the cowbell for this one, getting the funky dirtiness of it quite right. After the minute mark they punch it up a bit, and at 1:18 you get that beautiful sound of the original, indicating that, Yes, this is that tune, and Yes, lets get this party on, with all the rhythm sounds doing their thing for the dancefloor. They ride and expand that little horsey (ha!) for a while, and at 2:20 you get the vocals, delivering us the line that If you want to ride, don’t ride the white horse. In the mean time there’s still the drums, percussion, and bass to keep this one going for the dancefloor, with at 3:20 the guys taking a break from the vocals, focussing on that disco&funk dance sound for a moment. Then the lads of Laid Back come back in to warn about riding that white horse, with at 4:20 them returning to that iconic sound of this track. After that some echo laden vocals bring us to the next bit of the track, singing that Riiide, the white pony. It’s just a lovely, up-tempo, funky remix existing to let any disco dancer get down ‘n dirty to. And a free download of 9 1/2 minutes at that!



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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