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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: ‘Keep On Talking’ by Tensnake (Gerd Janson Raw Mix)

Gerd Janson and Tensnake don’t leave anything to chance, diving in there with some wild drums, a beat, and a deep bass sound to make sure that you understand that this is for the club. From the back to the front we hear a light synth sound coming, and when that synth sound has arrived to the fore, that’s the cue for a new rhythm to come in to shake all those lovely dancers up a bit. Around the 1:40 mark the synths start to arrive, even momentarily replacing some of the percussion as the track builds up to the fall, which comes at the two minute mark with some delicious house piano. That one is just awesome, pushing the beat to the background as it becomes the main sound. Not for too long though, as it is replaced not a whole lot later by some synth action that comes in to perform a similar function. After that it’s back to the beat, with some wobbly synths in there to flesh out the sound. Some drum action ensues, after which the track picks up the pace a bit to really make sure that everyone is dancing, if they weren’t already. The beat is stripped for a short while, though obviously it comes back, and it brings a little friend with it in the form of that nice piano action we already saw earlier. Just a lovely slice of house music here, with two mainstays in the scene doing what they do best.


‘Birthday Card’ by Marcus Marr & Chet Faker

From about the fifteen second mark these lads get the catchy going, with a nice little distorted bass sound on top of the fast paced percussion, soon evolving into a slow-to-mid tempo beat on top of which Chet Faker starts to croon that he wants to Be something. The bass sound gives it a nice little groove, and the beat keeps the pace in check to fit the Faker vocals. Just before the two minute mark the percussion ramps up the pace a tad, though it’s still the bass that dictates it along with the soulful vocals. There’s some nifty percussion in the background, a nice touch to flesh the sound out a bit on occasion, with sometimes an auxiliary sound taking center stage a bit more, like around the three minute mark. Still though, it’s all about the bass groove and the vocals, singing that they want to Feel your heart. At the four minute mark there’s another one of those auxiliary sounds hogging the spotlight for a short while, this time it being a slightly wonky electric guitar. It settles into a bridge for a moment, leaning a bit more on the rhythm beat thrown in there, though the additional percussion already indicates it’s ramping up for the finale, with Marr diving in there at about the 5:55 mark, with the bass coming back at that point. This after a moment where the track just focussed on Faker’s vocals. Nice groover with some nifty soul added by Chet’s voice.


‘Archetype’ by LukeMillion feat. Jeswon

Luke Million slowly gets this groover on, getting a bit of bass going to go along with a slow-paced rhythm for a track that would fit in one of those 80s soundtrack. It is some nice bit of that '80s synth pop action where the high school hunk is going for that blonde bombshell, finding each other on the dancefloor for a bit of that boogie-woogie. But Jeswon does warn you that She don’t want love, she don’t understand it. So watch out there, sir. At the 2:20 you get that lovely wobbly electronic guitar sound, and there are also some dashes of the vocoder to be found as well. In that regard this track reminds me a bit of that Chromeo fun to get a little funky to on the dancefloor.


‘Analogue Voodoo’ by Craig Bratley

Craig Bratley gets the voodoo out early with the drum beat, doing that New Orleans hocus pocus thing whilst allowing the rhythm to get going. Ominous sounds start at about the thirty second mark to really get the right vibe in there, and just after the minute mark we get some new, major drum sounds along with talking male vocals that are deep and seem to be laughing at our destiny, as probably they’ve put a spell on us. The synthesizers now come in to add to the feel and sound, not so much the rhythm, of the track. That is still firmly in the hand of the multitude of percussion sounds that criss-cross each other. At the three minute mark we do get a new synth sound that is more rhythmic, so that’s another thing you can hold onto whilst dancing. Near the end most sounds are stripped, aside from the main drum beat and the percussion element from the start, riding us towards the ending monologue of the vocals. A few years ago Craig Bratley also released a track called ‘Analogue Dreams’, but pleasant dreaming it ain’t with this one. Trippin’, more likely, with loads of percussion helping you out right there, along with the voice from your nightmares.


‘Nu4him’ by Shanti

This one starts out with a hard, steady beat, immediately laying the groundworks for this one as a club banger. After thirty seconds we get the quick hitting house percussion to up the tempo and pace, almost completely hiding the more bass sound that we do hear in the background. Female vocals come in, telling us (if I’m hearing it correctly) Don’t believe, and as soon as they end some lush synths come in, which are nice and drawn out to balance the fiery percussion this track throws at you. That percussion gets stripped for a moment after the two minute mark, but takes about twenty seconds before they’re back again, along with another synth sound. Just before the three minute mark the percussion gets shaken up a bit, just to throw another angle at you, though the core stays the same, so you can keep your dancing moves steady as she goes. Shanti makes sure the synths always are there to counter the quick house barrage of the percussion and drums, with the break happening just before the minute mark even opting for a more piano sound. After the break there’s another change up on the drum and percussion to ride all the dancers home, with the synth making sure there still is this feel of continuation. Really one for the Berlin night clubs here.


‘Over & Over & Over’ by Sylvester (Boogie Cartel mix)

The start already indicates that this is for the party people, with all them party people sounds coming in along with a quick drum-turning-into-a-fast-paced-beat as the backbone to this whole operation. After the minute mark we get some of those disco sounds, with the starting sounds making sure it doesn’t go all throwback, though especially as the beat comes back in at about 1:30 you do get some serious vogueing potential. The bass that then comes in does shirk more closely to a more vintage sound, with the backbone keeping the tempo up. Then again, there’s nothing quite so hgh nrgy as a bit of that ol’ Sylvester sound, and the thing we’re waiting for at this point is when this boy’s vocal breakout is going to come (though we already here some suppressed vocal work going on way back in the mix). At about 3:13 the pace is thrown up a bit more, and the dancefloor can definitely get a-rockin’ on this one. Around the four minute mark slowly but surely some of the rhythm elements are stripped, though the boogie definitely still is being taken care of. At 4:45 we do get most of the drums out of the way, and just before the five minute mark we really get the disco in, with the horns, the bass, and a steady-yet-simple drum having been turned into the backbone of this whole operation now, and with Sylvester coming your way. The bass really gets the main part from here on out, making sure you can do that little dance until the very end of this near 8 minute extravaganza from the boys of Boogie Cartel.



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: ‘Shadow’ by Chromatics

Gosh, Chromatics, I love that sound, you know? That cinematic, midnight feel that it’s got, this dreamy, lovelorn vibe it always manages to exhume; it’s pretty awesome. And here, too, you’ve got the beat laying the groundwork, the beautiful, removed vocals that come in, with the atmospheric synths making sure the Chromatics sound is there and ready to go. Something like the transition at 1:50, that’s pretty awesome, and Johnny Jewel and company always manage to find all the right instruments to not only make a pretty song, but make that pretty song fit their brand so tight whilst not being so repetitive it doesn’t pack that emotional punch anymore. In the meantime the song fades away as she sings For the last time, increasingly more removed and pathetically, to the point that you feel that somehow Bogart and Bergman found each other again, ever briefly, knowing they soon have to depart for a second time. Here’s looking at you, kid.


‘Moving On’ by Serge Gamesbourg

Apparently an old edit of his, never released, but his birthday gift to us is putting this one out there as a free download. After the obligatory talking he soon gets the pace going with a nice little riff on top of the drums. Vocals are already audible, but slightly back in the mix, though they get some room to play as he strips almost everything except the vocals and the piano. Naturally, then he starts building the sound back up and up, with the sound becoming more and more festive, and at the three minute mark he lets ‘r rip, with potential dancing mayhem ensuing. From that point on he just keeps on pounding with this disco & house dancefloor monster, never letting up the pace, and just adding a bit of nifty guitar work here, a moment of primarily drum and bass there, basically until you just can’t dance no more.


‘Three Way Situation’ by Nadie La Fonde (Al Kent remix)

Like the percussion at the start, especially in combination with that guitar when that comes in. Nadie la Fonde reassures us that, Baby, I know, as the synths then take over from the vocals. When the vocals come back, apparently, what she knows is that You belong to another, so maybe not that reassuring. At about 2:20 Al Kent lets it boil down to just the percussion for a minute, returning with the other instruments after a while. Around the three minute mark he lets her do that disco thing with the vocals, pouring her heart out as she decides that maybe what is best is to just Let it go. After that vocal round there’s a real nifty shift back to the instrumentals, that’s a lovely moment right there. He ends it with a good, old-fashioned fade out, with the Baby I know’s getting less and less confident of themselves as the song is being closed out.


‘Swing That Body’ by Jacques Renault feat. Luke Jenner

First we’ve got some of that woodwork percussion, the unique yelp of Luke Jenner (formerly of The Rapture), and more percussion follows with a bassy synth line in there, followed by a lil’ something something of that guitar. The percussion keeps the rhythm alive, and the synths make sure there’s some melody in there, a lovely one starting at 1:10. In the mean time you have those ever anxious vocals of Luke Jenner singing that you have to Swing that body (Don’t you wanna?) as Jacques Renault is throwing all kinds of dancefloor loveliness at you, including a sweet change-up not long after the two minute mark. Mr. Renault is one of my favorite DJs, and this song is on his first full-length album he’s putting out, for which he has enlisted loads of friends to make something really special out of it. You can stream the whole album on his SoundCloud, so give it a whirl if you take a shining to this one.


‘United 707’ by Wolfram (Radio Edit)

I really liked that Wolfram album that came out a couple of years ago, and it’s good to see the guy back in the fold with a DFA release, which just happens to be one of my favorite labels. This radio edit already shows us what we can expect, with the beat, but also the combination between the melancholic atmospheric synth and the bassy rhythm synth, soon getting some help from some snares and other drum stuff to keep it moving a bit. Around 1:10 we suddenly get a military barrage of percussion, after which the track slides back into its catchy rhythm. At 2:10 that rhythm synth gets the room for itself for just a moment, but soon the military percussion rides in again, after which it sweetly transitions back to all that’s rhythm again. Good to see Wolfram back in action, and I wouldn’t mind at all if this was a prelude to an album from this guy.


‘Holding Back (My Love)’ by Tensnake (Tiger & Woods remix)

Mix Tensnake with the looping louie’s Tiger & Woods, and you just know you are in for a modern sounding dancing treat. After thirty seconds they already make sure we’ve got the bass up and running, and when after a minute in the synths enter, then it’s all good for the dancefloor, especially if you sprinkle in some percussion action to boot. What Tiger & Woods do better than anyone else is taking this part of a track, loop it, and then change it up a bit, then loop it again. So you’ve got this amazing repetition that doesn’t get repetitive, which is pretty awesome and generates amazing momentum. The vocals also come in, singing that they were Holding back my love, which after a three minute period dives into a little part where they’ve stripped the beat and rely on the synth, along with some percussion, for the rhythm. They stretch that nicely, constantly adding a little element, or tinkering with the existing ones, before going for the punch again just before the five minute mark. A minute later they return to that bass again for the main sound, which they then help out with the vocals and extra percussion. It is a nine minute affair, and golly, both parties know how to do that, this being a prime example yet again.



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