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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:  ‘Coastal Love’ by HONNE

The lads of HONNE will be releasing a new EP in May, and this is a cut off of that. I like the start, catchy enough, but not obtrusive. And that is a good quality here, as the melancholic vocals talk about him being a dreamer, and he is convinced (oh the foolishness of youth!) that this long distance thing is going to work with his loved one. And the synths and percussion, as said, it does have a slight catchiness to it, but it is exactly the right tone to go with the vocals and subject matter. And I do love the vocals, and in the chorus it even gets some help from a little guitar riff that they put in, which is a nice touch. The synths lay down the right atmosphere as well, and this is one of those dream-away thing whilst road tripping and the sun shines through that car window and lets you bathe in its light. Something to look forward to in May, I reckon.


‘Love Myself’ by Ebony vs. Bicep

Ebony and Bicep cross the continents to do some work together, and apparently that should mean we have to "Be happy", as the female vocals repeat those two words at the start, even before the song gets going. Then the synths build it up and up and up, and then it’s just waiting for that bubble to burst. That, it does at about 1:30, when the house beat comes in, with some fast talking vocals, and some strong synth lines. The track definitely has some attitude to it, with the pace of the beat, but especially the way the synths are used. That deep, short little synth line just pounces through, it definitely gives the thing some oomph. At about 2:45 we get some drums in, for the people who know how to dance to that fast percussion kind of thing. The vocals have returned to the “be happy” singing of the start, though it is a layer below the percussion, though still pretty much audible. Then those starting synths come back as well, building it up once more before the collaborative group of Ebony vs. Bicep brings back the beat to ride the last few minutes out. Definitely a punchy affair, for if you’re not in that soft kind of mood.


‘Falling In Love With A Memory’ by Monarchy

The boys from Monarchy are back, and the start with the synth and piano already indicates this sort of pop bigness. The track gets a little extra oomph from the drums and the vocals, which then slides into a more soft synth-pop sound when the vocals pace it up a bit. At this point, you just get this happy dancing vibe from the instrumentals, really catchy and fun, and the vocals are a slight counterweight to that as you do have the idea that the narrative story isn’t quite as happy-dancey as the track itself. It’s been a while since I interviewed them for this site when they were getting ready to release their first album, and this song is a good example of why we did that. It’s just got this lovely pop vibe to it, giving you some strong vocals and some catchy synths, but then there is also, for instance, that more subdued piano to end it with. Their new album is, I believe, almost ready to go, so if you like those synths that make you dance (and who doesn’t), this is one to have a listen to when it arrives.


‘System 90’ by Holy Ghost!

So what do you get when you put two hardware nuts in a room with two synthesizers (new System 55 and System 35 modulars, apparently), and you give them roughly five hours to play with them? Apparently, this synth ditty-jam. First you put the kind of bass rhythm in, and then you start piling layer upon layer. It is just fun to hear all the different synth sounds, and how they are floating ideas around on top of the base rhythm After the two minute mark they do seem to mix that base layer up a bit as well, even getting rid of it completely for a moment to get some of that jazz improvisation going (but, synth style, obviously), and then it is cool to see how they fizzle this thing out. It is definitely a jam, and not a perfect piece of song that they always do manage to get when creating an album. But it is cool to see two guys trying new stuff out and finding a way to create a four minute piece that, surprisingly, actually has quite a bit of structure (In just a few hours yours truly probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon such a thing, I’m sure).


‘Believe in Me’ by Jamie Lidell

I must admit that I do have a soft spot for that voice that Jamie Lidell has. In this track you’ve got the understated, slightly haunting synth line that is on loop, and then you immediately get his vocals in there. And these are so powerful that it adds some instant strength and emotion to the track, and he does know how to play with them a bit as well. In the mean time, the synth is still going, and it gets some help from both a bit of percussion as well as some aerial sounds, as they relieve each other from duty every once in a while. As said, the vocals, he does know how to make them work. Sometimes they’re bolstered a bit, sometimes you’ve got some overlapping layers, and sometimes he adds a little humming there for good measure. And then, suddenly, something like after the three minute mark, where the main vocals really go for it comes in, even to the point they can ditch the synth line as, really, the vocals are near enough to hold the track afloat. I saw him live once when he was doing his ‘Multiply’ thing (guess my age now, eh), and although I do have to admit that I haven’t religiously followed his every step, I am always happily surprised when I get the chance to hear that voice doing something again.


‘It Looks Like Love’ (Rayko Super Extended Love Re-Work)

Because there’s always a need for your dosis of disco eh, and you know you can get it here weekly, right? This time thought I’d slide some Rayko in for you, doing his thing by putting the disco and the dancefloor in this old son-of-a-tune. You’ve got all those original sounds right in there from the get go, really laying down the vibe from it’s very moment of birth. But, obviously, you’ve got some beats to bolster the whole thing up as well. Add the little guitar riff, the violins at about 2:20, and you know the vocals are going to be coming in at any minute now. He’s a big tease though, and he rides those sounds out for a while, even doing one more change-up before getting there. And then, he gets there, the whispery vocals first, and the rest later. In the mean time, the disco groove is still going full throttle, as the vocals, by this time, are telling you that, yes, It looks like love. At this point, we’re just halfway of this nine minute disco monster, by the way, so better get your dancing shoes out for this one (and always, really). Just happy he did ditch that flute-from-Marocco thingy of the otherwise superb original.



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: ‘Shelter Me’ by Late Nite Tuff Guy

Oh honey, are you kidding me? Late Nite Tuff Guy comes out with a free download to thank people for their support, and surely there are not many better ways to have ended 2014 with. All your Christmas presents be damned, who doesn’t want this lounge tearjerker of Sade turned into this melancholic, heart-broken disco track to dance your sorrows away to? LNTG gets the vibe right from the get go, especially when that hit of piano comes in at about 30 seconds (the end of the track will see that smooth jazz saxophone sound of the original come in as well). So you’re dancing now (not too fast, mind you, this is not that kind of dancefloor killer), on the beat, on the percussion, and so forth, and then, at one point, she comes in. Sade, with her smooth voice and lovelorny singing that "you’ve shed a shadow on my life, shed a shadow on my love, took the shelter out of my life, took the shelter of a lie". And when she then sings she could "see it in your restless eyes (the truth that I was hiding and you could not disguise)", LNTG slides that beat underneath to support her exclamation, and that works so well. He does that a number of times to perfection, having this slight change in his sounds to aid Sade’s singing, which enhances the emotional punch of this track. And, at one point, she will pathetically admit that I wish you could shelter me, and then that saxophone comes in from the original 1988 track, and that’s the ball game.


‘Same Town, Same Story’ by Interpol (The Field remix)

I’m not going to lie, I just haven’t been on the return-to-form bandwagon that some have been riding concerning Interpol last year. I loved their first two, I think ‘Pioneer To The Falls’ was the most fab thing they’ve ever done, and everything after that track was just downhill for me. The last album, to my ears, didn’t have the peace, the moments of quiet, the spaciness of that debut of theirs that I fell so in love with. Enter The Field though, Mr. Loop knows how to create his minimal, Scandinavian beat that he then expertely rides into oblivion. Here, too, you’ve just got this rhythm line, sounding a bit like a heavily distorted bass sound, which gets help from some light percussion elements and a tingly piano to contrast the heavy vibe with the light. Somewhere in the middle of the mix you have Paul Banks' vocals, which do fit (and provide some of) the melancholic vibe of this atmospheric behemoth. Don’t expect them to be the focal point though, as the vocals kind of are entrapped somewhere in between the layers that The Field expertedly both keeps sounding the same, yet deviates from slighlty. He is always so in control and patient. At the five minute mark, for instance, he keeps he main elements, but adds this kind of military drum percussion and that does shake the track up, but because the main sounds are still there you do get that hypnotic vibe The Field always brings to the table. So if you were disappointed with the Interpol album just like I was, then be comforted that this sounds more like The Field doing his thing, aided by some Interpol elements that do fit the cold Scandinavian air.


‘Noth’ by HNNY

HNNY always knows how to get some of that funk and some of that more contemporary R&B vibe in there. Here, no different, it’s already playing that funk from the get go with that beat, and that secondary sound is awesomely fun. Just before the minute mark you get the first female yelp in the vocals, and he always knows which vocals to use. They’re nice and soulful, and even get some room to strut their stuff as HNNY dials down the beat for a minute. And thus we can hear her sing that "Nothing can keep me, keep me from youuuuu", after which he slides the beat back in (along with some additional percussion). It’s a 3:18 snippet of a thingy, so cannot enjoy it too long, but the repeated beat and secondary sound are just lovely, along with the repetition of the resilient/pathethic/however-you-want-to interpret it line she sings over and over, making it stronger/less believable with each utterance. So how do you like your one-sided 12” releases, eh?


‘Oil’ by CFCF

If you like your atmospheric pieces, CFCF is definitely one guy doing it right in my opinion. He has just got this knack for finding the right sounds to go together, and here the start is pretty immediate, with some momentum building sounds that promise more to come. He builds on that for a good while before he adds the beat at about 1:15, which immediately makes it this thing suitable for the dancefloor. And even though the big, bad bass is heavily throbbing away, there’s still so much atmosphere there which keeps on taking the cake until about 2:30, after which he switches it up again, ditching the main sound and adding some more traditional beat sounds to go with a beautiful little bit of piano that does keep that whole vibe intact. The whole track is layered, littered with switch-ups, and constantly there are instruments there that make this one stand out above the fray. It are all those semi-classical components combined with that heavy base layer that makes this one so intriguing to listen to.


‘The Boy Who Thought it Was A Good Idea To Cry” by Johan Agebjorn feat. Shally Shapiro

How about that one for a title, eh? Agebjorn and Shapiro are no strangers to each other, and usually they collaborate on the italo-disco sounds Shapiro is known for. Not on this one though, with Agebjorn going all cinematic on us with this beautiful piece of work. It's just one of those things that manages to conjure up all these visual images as if soundtracking a montage in a film or something. Definitely high on atmospherics, though obviously you shouldn’t be expecting the dancey Shapiro & Agebjorn stuff. Shapiro does make an appearance though, but she sounds more ghostly/angelic than ever, with her whispery vocals doing some ah-haaaa lines over the layers of piano that Agebjorn has filled the track with (though not to worry, there are some strings and a bass as well). Don’t go in here with the wrong expectations, but if you know about Agebjorn’s upcoming album Notes and are intrigued by the style he’s going for, this is well worth the listen.


‘Dare Me’ by Gorillaz (Rayko Dirty Discoteca Edit)

My goodness, I do remember dancing to this in the indie disco in my teenage years (might be smuggling a year or two there, but whatever). The original by the Gorillaz that is, not this Rayko edit, which makes this dancefloor-ready for the dance crowd, as opposed to the gangly indie kids who are more professed at jumping (don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of how your body works later on lovies!). It still keeps that “daring” aspect of the original, that energetic punch that made so many people fall in love with it in the first place. Naturally Rayko also plays around with the stripping away of layers, the beat, and what not, to really make use of all that dancefloor expertise he has. Just listen to from about 2:30 to like the three minute mark, and everything that happens in between there before he slides it back to the main sound at the latter end of that spectrum. It’s just one of those amazingly fun things that makes you jump up in recognition when it’s played, but that keeps the vibe of the disco/house set going so you can keep moving your body whilst singing along with this cheeky little bugger.


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