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.