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The Weekly Froth! - 20161021

  • 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: ‘You’re So Special’ by Chesus (Jacques Renault edit)

From the start this one gets the festive tones in, with a right amount of house as its base and the disco sounds running right on through it all. At about the thirty seconds mark there are the vocals for the first time, though at that point still slightly muffled. The sound cleans up though, getting a clear drum in with some of them horn sounds, and the classical tones of the original that we know so well. Renault keeps it running though, just looping the vocal line mentioning that you are a Very special lady, but not ready to cash in on the big kahuna just yet. Instead, at 2:30, he moves to a deeper beat, with the original sounds hidden deep and far underneath that blanket, giving himself some time to crawl out from under that one again. Which, about a minute later, happens, with the clarity returning in the drum and other instrumentals. Around the five minute mark, near its end, the track goes back to the deeper bass, moving this lovely dance tune to its close.


‘The Spell’ by David August

David August starts this one by providing us with some atmosphere, with the deep synth that comes in at about the twenty second mark doubling in function as both aiding the aforementioned and a working as a sort of riff. Then the drums come in, taking over the role of the deep sound with the synth moving to a more lighter tone. At the 1:30 mark they strip it all out, just putting the atmospheric synths in again and what sounds like some vocal work. Then, a more rhythmic drum line, indicating the start of the second part of this track. If you just listen to something like at 2:40, where basically all the additional sounds also give off a kind of broody vibe whilst not disturbing the momentum of the drums until these are taken out completely yet again, that kind of exemplifies this track nicely. This time around, there’s a long interlude, that first sees some spoken word before it moves to the piano. It’s a track that moves you through a couple of phases, all building blocks to the overall atmosphere, which seems to complement the SoundCloud picture next to the track quite well I’d say.


‘Off The Wall’ by Michael Jackson (Young Pulse rework)

This has just about got to be one of my favorite albums, such an unmitigated joy runs through it. And Young Pulse takes on the title track, giving you the vocals first, then putting a deep bass underneath that becomes more and more prominent before the actual funk comes in just before the minute mark. That funk is driven, amongst others, by the steady pace of the drum, and the little guitar riff running right on through it. And Jackson, in the mean time, sings that Tonight, just enjoy yourself (a sound advise for all y’all across the world, I’d say). In the mean time, all the rhythm parts keep on working, the horns come in to get it going on as well, and Jackson is talking about Boogie down, which one certainly should have the intention of doing when having this song on. It’s a fab track, and the rework keeps all them dancers doing their thang on this ol’ classic.


‘World Turning’ by Fleetwood Mac (Ray Mang edit)

Ray Mang opens with some spoken word about expression through music and stuff, taking about until the thirty second mark before the almost country sounding guitar riff comes in with the piano basically dictating the pace. The minute mark sees the growly male vocals enter, singing about The world turning, and how they need to get their Feet back on the ground. Ray Mang has a nice piano momentum working there, giving you that hypnotic loop but without any of the “normal” rhythm instruments until after the two minute mark, when the drum kick comes in to help out all that country&western that’s going on. At the three minute mark he mixes it up a bit again, and the guitar is let loose some as well, giving you a bit of that solo work on top of a fairly minimal base almost solely consisting of those drums. This until some extra percussion is added after four minutes have gone by, drumming their way to the end of this rework of some old Seventies Fleetwood Mac.


‘Sleepwalkin’’ by Cheryl Lynn (Doctorsoul Wake Me Up Dub Rework)

Doctorsoul is giving you the dancefloor vibes with that kind of drum, adding the deep bassline to put Cheryl Lynn’s tune to. Those are the main elements to get that mid-paced funk moving, really bringing those vibes with the guitar riff and the more Caribbean sounding percussion as the track moves closer and closer to putting those vocals in. In the mean time he keeps running with the deep bass, giving that some extended focus in this dub. Just after the three minute mark Doctorsoul lightens up the mood a bit, moving slightly away from the deeper bass to get the guitar sounds in a bit more, and then finally adding the vocals with Cheryl Lynn singing that she wants you to Wake me up with your love. With, at this point, you getting the full goodness of the 1982 track. And after such patience, Doctorsoul is relishing having her in now, adding the echoes to the vocals to prolong the goodness and savor the flavor of this funky little number.


‘Key To Life’ by Kauf

Kauf starts with some guitar, building a melancholic nighttime sound around it with a bit of a grainy growl in the bass. This is juxtaposed by the relatively higher pitched vocals, which give you that distanced, alienated vibe on top of the more angelic “aaah-haaa” chorus line that sometimes double the main voice. The drum and bass are there to provide the deep canvas, with primarily the guitar that keeps cutting through it, almost as a mediator to the vocals and the rhythm sounds. As soon as Kauf mentions the Key to Life the grainy bass gets back before the drum kicks up the pace a bit and whilst the guitar keeps moving through it, giving you that Darkside feel a bit, that nice mixture of a hypnotic, melancholic dance sound with the guitar lines cutting right on through all of that. Especially nearing the last minute there is a part where the layers build up, though never making it too muddled, but instead creating a unison that fits the atmosphere he has set out from the get go. A lovely cut from the upcoming album (early 2017 it’s saying at the minute).



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: ‘Who Do You Believe In?’ by E-Work feat. Trudie Dawn Smith (Vocal Mix)

E-Work, alias Mark E, gets the slow bass rolling in this one, with the drum dictating the pace. Soon enough Trudie Dawn Smith comes in on vocals, singing If I gave you, Could you take it?, with some piano for extra dramatic effect. She puts in the drama ballad performance, with the slow bass rolling the sadness forward. It gets a slight kick in the pace at about 1:45 with the lighter, faster element, though it are still the beat and bass that are the providers of rhythm here. At about the 2:30 mark he dials it down a notch, with the vocals asking Could you handle it?. If the answer is yes, lets slowly build it back up through some synths to get the beat back in. Mind you, it is all really supportive of the feel that the vocals also exhume, with this lovely, slow trud to go with the drama of it all. Sometimes he builds up a wall of synths or drums, which he then strips to slide in another round of that bass. Got to love a good, slow burnin’ house tune, especially with those lovely, battle-worn vocals that keep asking you the same heartfelt question over and over, like a ghost roaming around the premise where only a positive answer will warrant its release.


‘Freedom! ’15’ by !!!

How about that funky start, with that wobbly (synth) bass that they start the proceedings with. I kind of like the decision to put the vocals so up front in the mix, and the music so far back. So you do feel the funk and disco, but they just make sure you hear her out, singing that You’ve got your freedom, which is the cue for the music to burst out, and thus also for the audience to really start dancing. Which coincides with the words sung, so that’s a nice theater lesson they put to use there. From that point on the bass is put a bit more to the front, though they sure don’t obscure the rhythmically delivered vocals. Which, whenever they sing “freedom”, get some help from some relatively booming instrumentals. At the three minute mark, there comes this lovely, catchy synth line, soon aided a little bit by the bass, which is this dance-daddy-dance moment in the middle of the track which is kind of fun. Soon the vocals come back, asking how that freedom is Working for you babe?, which incidentally puts the House music phrase “working” in there. After that, again, a little musical interlude with all sorts of catchy rhythm lines to make sure you’re not standing still on this one. I, personally, loved their last album a great deal, which, for my money’s worth, seemed a bit underappreciated. Or at least, I had great fun with it, and this track sure seems to build on that blueprint, so that’s one happy customer right here. Also, live, good fun.


‘Marzipan’ by Amateur Best (Ray Mang remix)

Certainly starts out with a bit of that wooden percussion, though soon you get plenty of other sounds in, which definitely fall into the weird-yet-surprisingly-wonderful category. Obviously, also, a beat comes in, at about 45 seconds, doubling the wood percussion. The song definitely is set in the rhythm department, and at 1:30 it gives you a little bass to go alongside this heavenly brass-like sound which then leads to some jungle rhythm again, on top of which the vocals come in for the first time. They sing that It was always you, careful with the careful lies, so it seems like someone had an achy-breaky-heart. Somehow, Ray Mang manages to mix the very rhythmic, very percussion heavy with this bayou laidback sound, this softness that he shows during, especially, the verses. I love Ray Mang, and on some records I have of him he really struts his stuff, and not sure I’ve seen this eye for combination from him before. Which takes on yet another dimension when he brings the lead piano in later in the track. Pretty nifty stuff from a definite talented guy.


‘Let the Music Play’ by Charles Earland (Kon remix)

Kon gets the party going again, doing a high speed, 125bpm take on the old Charles Earland song. You’ve got all the disco good times there, with the piano, the drum beat, the electric synth sound, and then some sort of deformed horns or vocals that enter the scene as well. It immediately flows over with good vibes and '70s party flashbacks, with all the retro instruments that they could muster (probably even retro for when this song was made, I reckon). At 2:10 you get this amazing horn solo, whilst in the background it’s a colourful cacophony of all manners of sounds, rhythm and otherwise. Even that horn solo makes sure the pace is kept up up up, setting in stone that this is one to just have some fun to (if that wasn’t clear already). Love the fact of how they keep the party going in the background and continuously put some instrument or another in the spotlight to just do their thing. Like the grandest ol’ jam session in funky Harlem town or wherever.  It certainly lives true to its title, with the addition “and let the people party” secretly put on the flip side.


‘Come Together’ by Cassio Kohl

Cassio Kohl starts this one with the atmospheric sounds, and just a little bit of those cymbals to at least get some of the percussion in. The rest of the percussion, along with the beat and, slightly later, the bass, follow soon enough, turning this one into a deep house slow burner. The track gets some spoken word, which is pretty well done seeing how fast-talking it needs to be (and how easily that can sound sooo wrong. The faster you go, the more risk you’re taking, I feel). I love some of those auxiliary sounds from at about 1:40 on. Those give some nice flavour, add a bit of jazziness to it as well. Plus it combines well with the floating synth line the track puts in there. In the mean time, still the percussion and the kick beat taking care of the rhythm aspects, and the synths keep it from going too deep in there. Those synths for a moment get teamed up with just the beat, the rest of the percussion having to take a backseat. Over this minimal structure the vocals come back, during which the rest of the track slowly reassembles. Definitely one for dancing with your eyes closed, it’s got a sense of hypnotism to it that adds to this drug fuelled industrial party feel it has, undoubtedly being thrown somewhere in a former atom-bomb basement in Berlin (just to add a slight And-this-week-in-history thing to it, ya know?).


‘Endless Rhythm’ by Baio

Okay, confession time, when I saw Vampire Weekend live at a festival, that was about the slowest ten minutes of my lifetime before I walked out (which surely has more to do with me than the immensely popular band). Baio, the bass player of the said band (you didn’t really think I held such a grudge that I just randomly put the above anecdote in just about wherever, did you?), gets a little bit of that surf pop going here, there’s a little Seventies vibe combined with a bit of contemporary retro. As in, it does kind of tell you it isn’t an original from back in the day, but it sure feels as something celebrating those things that were fun in the golden olden days. So what you get is this nice slice of catchiness, with especially that synth adding the feel it’s aiming for. Though the chorus sings I can wait, I can wait for you, which sounds really romantic, there are also lines in there like Every lyric that I’ve written, is a lyric I despise, Oh I despise, so make of that what you will. Again, just loving the synths and the feel they put into the track, in the end producing something that just sounds like fun.


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