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The Weekly Froth - October #5

  • 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: ‘Trouble’ by Curses & DKDS feat. SYF

I like the military kind of percussion at the start, but what I love more is how that is juxtaposed by those soft synths that come in. Add to that the soulful humming of SYF, and you have an awesome start. When SYF starts singing that Time flies slowly everything else has to make way, as it should, with only one instrument remaining. When he gets to the core of the track (saying that he is not alone) you get the beat going and a very lovely, lazy bass synth sound to up the ante a little bit. There’s a lighter, faster paced synth sound waiting a little further on, and the beat gets a bit more prominent, to at least give the feeling that the pace is going up a tad. Then the vocals come back in to show that all these elements can co-exist perfectly, so around the middle part of the track you have a pretty intricate web of all those instruments that they have already introduced seperately earlier on. After that the track goes a bit more sparse again, making room for a thudding beat working with that bass synth and some club sounds to get the focus shifted a bit more to the dancefloor. The track ends on a percussion note, but the real ending is SYF coming back to sing one more word, namely the title of the track. I like this song a lot, it’s got loads of atmosphere, I like the way the boys weave those instruments in and out and then combine them as well. Furthermore, big fan of SYF’s voice, so that’s an automatic can’t miss for sure.


‘Pray’ by Clarens

This one starts with the atmospheric sounds, and in its three minute running time you’ll get more and more of the rhythmic elements for the dancefloor. Not yet, though. First we get the vocals and the sporadic beat & percussion, but at almost one minute on the dot (okay, about five seconds after, but that makes for shoddy writing, doesn’t it?) you get the beat, and thus you get presented the possibility to dance. In the mean time Clarens keeps the vocals going, singing about love or something like it. At about the two minute mark you have a short break, after which the beat doesn’t return. Instead, Clarens first goes for some more tropical sounds underneath of him asking to her (or the audience) to Please, don’t go. It is a lovely little song (little mostly referring to it’s 3:33 running time, which for this column, is half of what normally comes to pass) with nice rhythms, and I like the delivery of the lines. Definitely worth checking out.


‘Cruel Intentions’ by Art Department feat. Seth Troxler

You know that this is going to veer to the darkside with a title like that. The vocals already bring you over to the other side, especially the deeper, talky one, which both in terms of content as well as delivery will tell you exactly where this track is at. In the mean time, the song itself, it’s that kind of underground club House that comes on at somewhere after midnight for all the sexy kittens looking for love, lust, or something in between. I really like that you have this long monologue by the deeper voice, and then the kind of chorus comes in with actual singing. As said, the instrumental side of this fits it perfectly, it definitely gives you that 80s House club vibe, which is always very welcome indeed. There’s enough variety going on, and even when nearing the end the guys from Art Department mix it up one more time to make sure you haven’t had the idea that you’ve been listening to the same beat the entire time. Really feel that this one delivers exactly on what it promises and what it sets out to do, so looking forward to the album the lads have just announced to see if they’ve got a whole LP full of that.


‘Make Up’ by Jacques Renault

Never a bad time for a new Jacques Renault EP, one of my favorite producers and DJs out there. Here he starts with the beat, but soon all kinds of sounds come in that make you want to walk out of your booth and straight onto the dancefloor. I just love the synthesizers that come in at about the fifty second mark, that’s lovely, and the track certainly has pace and bravado. And, even, a bit of a rock edge to it I find. He’s definitely not holding back on this one, and he is just keeping the pace high and happening. By adding some extra sounds at the max he always has this illusion of momentum going on, and even when he puts on the brakes, you just feel that it’s just waiting to burst out full throttle again (which he does about 30 seconds later). That moment at 4:55 I really like, that second break he puts in there, and after that he goes on with his steamrolling tactic almost immediately. I’ll be honest, I’m always more of a fan when the disco and (vocal) house are more promintent, but no one can deny this one has pace & party written all over it. No holding back on this one, for sure.


‘Take That To The Bank’ by Shalamar (Werkshy Bank Holiday Rewerk)

Shalamar is one of those bands that just begs for edits, it’s just the way it is. Werkshy takes it to task in this boogie-licious edit, first starting with the funk, then going for the boogie & disco. It’s got all those genre sounds in there, including a nifty bit of guitar, and I just love the change-ups he throws in as well. For example at about 1:45, when he goes from the looping of this catchy bit back to the disco roots. The looping definitely gives this its contemporary club vibe, and on top of those loops finally come the vocals at about 2:25. He goes apeshit by basically kind of scratching the drums and vocals to the breaking point, and I love how he juxtaposes that moment by bringing in the clean disco sounds right on after that. If you like to dance on either some nifty looping action or on Shalamar, then this is a nice edit to throw in there.


‘Love Thang’ by First Choice (Get Down Edits quick fix)

First Choice is one of those bands that I, for one, certainly have some “45s of in my disco bag o’ sounds to bust out on a good day. It’s got the funk in there no doubt, and in this Get Down Edits that’s again totally evident. From the percussion to the guitar sounds to the horns: it’s all there, man. As old school as you’re gonna get it, and deliciously so. Add to that those lovely female vocals singing that It is a love thang and you’re just up and running with this one. GDE just keep riding the funk, keeping all the original instruments coming and coming, with the vocals saying that they’re about to lose control (and guess what, they don’t care. Since, ya know, it’s a love thing). In the middle you kind of get this awesome break introduced by the horns, after which you get this stretch of percussion-with-horns-combo, which is pretty nifty. After that another solo, a nice little guitar riff, and coming in just behind them the vocals come back again to top it all off. This one just rides that 70s vibe in all it’s funkiness, and who can say no to that?




The Weekly Froth - August #2

  • 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: ‘TNR’ by Kasper Bjorke feat. Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Kasper Bjorke is readying a new album, and for this song he has enlisted Jaakko Eino Kalevi, who recently released an album of his own. I happened to catch him not too long ago live as well, which was well fun. Here he lends his dreamy, airy vocals to Bjorke’s equally dreamy, yet darker arrangements. Especially the part after the vocals, like the one just after the minute mark, has a sense of deeper trouble. And not only the synth tapestries cause that, but also the way the drums are used. When Kalevi sings there’s a deeper bass sound that keeps the balance in those moments, and the synth and Kalevi seemingly reverse roles in the verse thereafter where he drops his voice and where Bjorke ups the synth. I really like Bjorke, his singles are always pure ace and as always I’m curious to see what the album is going to be like. Here you just see his ear for sounds, the way he alternates the deep sounds with the higher pitched ones, how he switches things up, and how he manages to create a mood through all of that. He’s doing some London DJ dates in September, around the release date of his album, which will also feature, amongst others, Nomi Ruiz on vocals.

‘Tiny Stars’ by Leo Zero ft. Candi Godbold

Leo Zero is coming with a new album, and this is a new cut off of that. It starts with a nice bassline and, what seems to me, plates that are being shattered. The rhythm builds, the synth comes in, and all of this is happening as the backdrop for the vocals of Candi Godbold, which have this minor Bjork quality to them, very atmospheric and whispery. When the vocals get a rest you really notice the bass that effortlessly gets this track to the next vocal bit. During the vocals you get loads of synth sounds to assist her, and for the parts without the vocals Leo Zero lets the rhythm do the talking, with the bass as his main priority. So if you like your bass sounds, this one is there for the dancing. I also like the deeper vocals going ooooohhh-hooooo-ahhh-haaa for the atmosphere, though the bass takes the cake in this seven minute affair, with Godbold’s voice giving it extra uniqueness points.


‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ by MJ (Young Pulse Rework)

Never not a good time to bust out an MJ (as in, Michael Jackson) track, as it is something that gets everyone dancing. Young Pulse takes an oooooldie, with MJ’s voice still oozing innocence over a plethora of strings. Young Pulse knows when to take back some sounds and just make it some conga’s as rhythm, because at times you just want to make sure that MJ gets the room to shine. At about 2:40 there’s a break in the action in terms of the vocals, and there’s a jazzy interlude that Young Pulse has decided to throw in there with some solos and stuff. It’s a pretty smooth ride, no huge drops or anything like that, which is probably the way to go. All the transitions seem natural, and with the percussion and extra keys in the interlude parts it gives it something festive and holiday like. So happy vibes all over, which I guess is the right kind of feel for an early MJ track, even if the King of Pop sounds a bit shout-y at times. Young fellas need to get heard though, right?


‘Party Lights’ by Jam Master

Jam Master immediately gets the funk and the handclaps out on this one, with the old school build-up arriving at about forty seconds in. That one ends, fittingly, with some horns, after which that typical bass sound takes over again. He lets those ride for a while before returning with the horns and, this time, the vocals. They’ve got a nice soulful ring to them as they ask you to boogie along with them as they “turn those party lights on”. I love the transition into the chorus, so smile-inducingly old school, after which they immediately announce they are going to boogie. At about 3:10 there’s this break in the action, with just some handclap sounds basically, and what I guess is the horn section who collectively shout out to “turn up those party lights”. I mean, it has that kind of vibe, three-man horn section in the back, playing those damn things to boogie the place up, and then during the drop they have their horns by their side as they sway back and forth and yell in the microphone to get those party lights on. The title says it all, it’s a funky party track with some delicious old school happiness to it.


‘Everything We Are’ by Slow Hands

Slow Hands will release a new EP through the Wolf+Lamb label, and this is a luscious track off of that. It’s got some nice, incessant drums that pop up on occassion, and that whispery voice certainly adds some mood to the whole thing. In the mean time something is going wrong in love country, with the lads singing that There’s nothing left to say and that you are The one that got away. I really like all those additional sounds they put in there at exactly the right moments, like that high synth, and those drums do give it a nice tinge of immediacy that go along well with the dramatic reading the vocalists give. Wolf+Lamb records always manages to churn out some quality, and this EP surely will be no different. Also comes with a Cameo Culture remix of this tune.


‘Got Me Moving’ by Sinden presents The Crystal System feat. SYF

"Party track!", that’s what this one screams right out of the gates. It’s got a punchy beat and some wavy, deep synths that the lads throw out there, though it are the piano and those vocals that are this track’s biggest strengths from the get go (even if I do think there’s something to that wavering, deeper synth that seemingly just lives on its own). That 1:30 momentum builder is build for the masses I do think, and SYF starts repeating the line “you got me moving” quicker and quicker before the track returns to normal again. This all is quickly followed by another drop, after which the track picks up some pace to give a bit of a jolt to those on the dancefloor. I would be lying if I said this is my favorite track SYF has worked on this year, but those vocals can get me to listen to an oral history of the aubergine on tape if that’s what he puts out. Sonny Fodera is one of the guys doing a remix on this though, and it seems like an album will be coming out some time, some place, so there you go.



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