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The Weekly Froth! - 20160624

  • 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: ‘Rise’ by Herb Alpert (Late Nite Tuff Guy Remix)

It’s been a while since Late Nite Tuff Guy uploaded something to his SoundCloud, and his first in months is a remix of Jazz great Herb Alpert. LNTG is really good at delivering a smooth disco ride, and here, too, he sets the rhythm immediately, giving you that delicious dancing feel. He throws in a little riff, and at 1:20 he dials it down a bit to get the piano and the jazzy horns in. Then the percussion, to come back to the bass and the riff again for those on the dancefloor. The next segment sees those melancholic horns again, conjuring up the image of Bogart and Bergman saying goodbye at the airport. It’s a lovely mixture of a smooth disco ride with the rhythm, and the jazzy sounds of Herb Alpert giving you all the mood and vibe you want for a lovelorn night of disco dancing.


‘Just A Lover’ by Hayden James

Hayden James doesn’t waste any time, immediately coming in with the vocals, the beat, percussion, and bass. The vocals are nice and deep, fitting for this kind of sound. The rhythm sounds, too, are relatively deep, though at about the 50 second mark he adds some lighter sounds to shift. Just before the 1:30 mark he strips the real deep sounds, even adds some piano, before bringing those rhythm instruments back (though having put the brakes on the pace a tad compared to the beginning). The vocals let you know that You were temporary, you were just a lover (just a prop to occupy your time?). It’s a nice, catchy tune that takes the deep road with the rhythm, at the end switching it up and finishing it all off on some higher piano notes.


‘Thrills’ by JMII (John Talabot’s Early Edit)

John Talabot gets the pace going from the start, using the beat to provide the steadiness of a dance track before adding a relatively deep sound on top of it to balance the lighter sounds he had already put in before and the one coming in after. About ten seconds before the two minute mark he changes the track up, even adding some warped vocals (which say a whole lot of nothing) on top of this synth heavy part. Obviously, one expects him to return to the deep rhythms of before, though he does take his sweet time to build up the suspense. The drop comes at the three minute mark, though he keeps the sounds of the previous part as well, making sure that it’s a completely new chapter in the track. It’s another quality tune by the man, exactly the kind of thing one has come to expect from his hand.


‘Boipeba’ by Joakim

Joakim starts this one with a bit of percussion, adds some sounds of the sea, but above all keeps the feel exotic, also by the choice of instruments. A bass beat is added just after the minute mark, sliding underneath the sounds he introduced some moments before. There are some ethereal sounds in the background, which kind of get juxtaposed (if not replaced) by a slow, deeper rhythm sound that is put in. Joakim is going for a lovely deep cut here, providing us with a hypnotic, slow rhythm but also plenty of mood to keep this one on your mind. After some thunder, he moves to a deep beat again, adding a sort of military drum to move it a bit more to the old school house vibe. Then he adds that slow, deep bass sound again, just to let you know you’re not out of the woods yet. It’s a lovely, deep mood piece that shows the ear Joakim has, being able to compose a thing like this.

‘Phreeky’ by Eli Escobar feat. Vanessa Daou & Nomi Ruiz

Eli Escobar knows how to get the most out of his tracks, surrounding himself with Vanessa Daou and Nomi Ruiz for this up tempo house cracker. It’s got the beat going, the percussion on top, and then he yells out that he needs a Phreek as the track stays true to its house vibe. Then he slides more to the disco side of the equation with the piano and bass, introduced by a female voice saying Aaaaah, come on (le phreek). After a moment without he puts the beat back in, and at 2:12 he ups the pace again, adding some soulful vocals to the whole proceeding as well. Just before the three minute mark we get a du-du-du-du line from the female vocals, first without anything else, and then the percussion steps in to get dat rhythm right. The track is really easy on the ear, and I love the different segments and the transitions to them. He keeps the pace up high, making sure there’s no one there regretting bringing their dancing shoes.

‘Tresor’ by Flavien Berger (Paradis Shuffle Mix)

I always love Paradis’ stuff, here starting it off with some jazz horns in tranquility, with the synths providing a subtle backdrop for them to shine on. Then, after about forty seconds, they add a sharp beat, a little piano riff, and then the spoken word. It is a voice with some gravitas in it, though in a foreign language you can have me believe anything I suppose. In the mean time, underneath, some dancefloor elements come in, before transitioning to a rather trippy synth track. Even with the trippier moments there are still the tranquil synth sounds that add a bit of sanity to it to balance it all out. And then, at about the halfway mark, the horns again, this time on top of the trippier sounds, but because of that providing it with perhaps a more important function. And I do love that combination, giving you the Paradis feel with a bit of an edge this time around.


The Weekly Froth! - 20160122

  • 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: 'Northern Merry’ by Dan Shake

Lets get into the groove with Dan Shake, first putting in the blues organ before diving headlong into the deep, dark beat of the underground club. In the background we get the soul of the church coming through, with them really coming to the fore when the beat is stripped for a moment around the minute mark, singing that she sees Your face around, with that beautiful raspy voice that brings the flavor out full throttle. In the meantime Dan Shake keeps the track rolling, with the beat, with the percussion, and by shifting the vocals front and back, sometimes putting emphasis on that emotional punch, and at other times letting it slide down in the mix to make sure we reload on the rhythm of the tune. At about the 3:30 we get some idiosyncratic drums in there, taking over momentarily, but soon it gets shooed back down again by the main beat and the vocals. Love the ending as well, it’s like an outtake reel at the end of a film.


‘La Rumba Experimental’ by Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band (MCDE remix)

Gilles Peterson puts the rumba in with this Latin vibed track, including lots of those characteristic sounds and loads of percussion. But also, a beat, which enters around 35 seconds in. Sure, one that fits the vibe, with the drums and the toms helping out there, but it definitely also makes sure it is in tune with the dancefloor. And you can leave that in the safe hands of Motor City Drum Ensemble, who is pretty awesome and knows how to get something out of this material (or, like, anything). So the percussion makes sure the rhythm keeps going, with on top of that some nice auxiliary sounds. The deeper percussion elements are dialled down a bit before the three minute mark, just to let the flavor come to the fore some, slowing it way (waaay) down for a near two minutes or so. Slowly, you can already hear some percussion elements with the cymbals and stuff, which is the prelude to the beat and rhythm to come back in. At the end you even get some soft vocal work (and sinister laughing) on top of mainly the beat. The mix is super smooth, super organic, and will let you get some of that hip action in.


‘OB-8’ by Shit Robot

Shit Robot is back in action, immediately doing that menacing thing with a dark synth sound and a deep beat, just to make sure that you know that you better start moving or he’s coming for ya. Love the percussion added at about the thirty second mark, a bit lighter than the main beat sound, giving it a nice balance. At the minute mark the bass sound comes in, providing some extra deep rhythm to hang your hat onto. The song really opens up with the keys coming in at 1:30, aided by an extra auxiliary sound. Still there is plenty of that hypnotic dance rhythm going on (so don’t you worry my sweetie!), but the lighter keys balance it out without having to hand in some of the rhythm for that. So this one keeps on grooving just so you can keep on moving, with that deep sound and quick pace. Shit Robot keeps the synths working for atmosphere though, upping them just before the fourth minute mark as a prelude to dial it all down in terms of the rhythm, though all of it comes back shortly after, including some “uh”s being yelped by some guy or another. A nice banger of a dance tune from the DFA label.


‘Fast Hercules’ by Aaron Neville (Dr. Packer’s Uptempo Rework)

How about some of that nice disco & funk eh? Aaron Neville’s track ‘Hercules’ gets a Dr. Packer rework, upping the pace but keeping the funk, for all your dancing pleasure. So there’s a nice beat going on, some extra percussion to give it an additional boost, and the bass that runs right on through it to give you all that dancing. After the minute mark you get the piano, already giving it a bit of that disco party feel. And on that score Dr. Packer holds no punches, making sure there’s plenty of stuff to work with as a disco dancer. He turns it all down for a few seconds to introduce the vocals, which then get to work with the rhythm and all the other things there. Bit of organ, bit of guitar, and what seems like the girls in the back doing some “doo-do-doo-do” lines. He plays around with pace a bit, like the transition just before the three minute mark, which is quite splendid. The vocals have a nice funky rhythm to it, singing that, well, It must be Hercules (who else?). Add some horns in there as well, and you’ve got the whole dancefloor disco bonanza, which Dr. Packer knows how to bring like no other.


‘Swim’ by Cape Cub (YSE Saint Laur’Ant extended DJ edit)

Super lush start for this one, with YSE making sure the start is super mellow before the soft paced beat comes in on top of some tropical percussion and the main sound that he makes sure to keep right there. Then the deep vocals arrive, contrasting the somewhat lighter main sound. Second time ‘round that the voice tells his tale some extra percussion is added back in there as well, another way to contrast that deep male storyline, which gets some echo and less rhythm accompaniment during the chorus, singing that he will Give myself to you. In the mean time the tropical percussion, beat, and that core riff keep it working, making sure that, Yes, it is not at a breakneck pace but, also Yes, you can still do a little dance to it. YSE manages to keep that feel from the start there for the entirety of the track, whilst also making sure to at least get some rhythm in up until the very end, where the percussion helps the main sound to ride it out until the last half minute or so, where it closes the song out all on its own.


‘Paradis’ by Alain Chamfort (Paradis reprise)

Paradis always manages to make something sound so effortlessly good (and with a suave French New Wave vibe as well). Here they take on a track by Alain Chamfort, a track which happens to also be called ‘Paradis’, just to get some of that optimal confusion running in there. The first synth sounds around the 15 second mark that come on top of the percussion, that is just magic, and then the vocals of Chamfort slide in, singing something I don’t quite understand (because, French). At about the minute mark they turn up the volume a bit and get a beat going for your dancing pleasure, being helped out by some extra rhythm riffs. The synth, meanwhile, still helps the vocals out with creating the atmosphere. The tone of the vocals provide a nice contrast with the more paced beat that keeps the track moving forward, and that beat in itself is laced with loads of sounds to wrap it all in. At about the halfway mark the vocals are allowed to rest for a minute, with Paradis coming up with a nice little sound as placeholder. It is one of those dance-with-your-eyes-closed-while-dreaming-away tracks, and just of that impeccable Paradis quality again.

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