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 year: ‘Hissmusik’ by Shakarchi & Straneus (HNNY edit)
How about that start, eh? That is seriously old school right there, with that bass doing some of that jazz ditty. You won’t mistake it for the original of yore though, as you can hear some of that modern programming and cutting and slicing. I always kind of enjoy if something uses old school sounds, but does make clear that it’s not actually that old school sound, that it isn’t merely copying that. The vocals are punchy, and the delivery is fast-talking. After about a minute, just after the first round of vocals, the track really gets going, upping the pace and taking it to the dancefloor. At about 1:45 he dials it down for just a moment to give the vocals some room, who are telling you that she Will be coming around again, and she most certainly will be remembering what you said. The secondary sound on top of the bass counteracts that rather ominous statement actually, with it’s light-hearted demeanor. This one has just so much flavour, which gets highlighted when the bass stops for a moment, with just the secondary sounds and the vocals taking center stage. The bass does come back one more time to ride this one out, and I just love how this track is build up and structured, and those sounds and that vibe is just delightful indeed.
‘Shine on You’ by Satin Jackets feat. Esser
Some synth and handclaps are never a bad way to start it all off, in my opinion. As are using those lovely vocals of Esser who, apparently, just wants to Shine on you (ok, sure...). I like the way the vocals go up around the minute mark, which is also the cue for Satin Jackets to increase the tempo a bit and really get into catchy synth-pop mode. It is definitely an easy-on-the-ear track, with the instrumentals really giving off this dance-and-be-happy vibe. They use the vocals very well, manipulating them a bit here and there, and it’s got this pop sense of when to tone it down and when to get it up and running. Esser’s vocals definitely help with laying down the right mood for this one, and the instrumentals give you plenty of variation to make this one not too straight forward to avoid the risk of it becoming grating after a while. Actually, it is one of those catchy ones that you might find yourself hitting the repeat button for.
‘Highlights’ by Tuff City Kids feat. Shan
The way this one starts you just can’t help but be transported to the dancefloor. It’s just got this house vibe going on from the get go, definitely making it easy to envision this one in a set as you’re clubbing or whatever. After a minute in Tuff City Kids change it up a bit, adding an extra sound to the mix, and thirty seconds later adding another percussion element as well. Love the organ-like synth sound at about 2:10, that’s a nice touch, juxtaposing all the rhythm elements nicely. Tuff City Kids do a nice job of adding and subtracting elements, changing the tempo and changing the feel of it on occassion to keep it varied and interesting. And, of course, danceable, which is their prime goal from the sound of it. Working up to the 5:15 mark they, for instance, go for some extra noise and momentum, just to slide to a more low key beat and slowly work their way to the ending credits. A lovely slice of house, with plenty in there to keep the dancefloor occupied, I reckon.
‘Fractals’ by Keep Shelly in Athens (Tomas Barfod remix)
Keep Shelly in Athens sure have made some nice sounding tunes in the past years, and here again you hear these lovely, dreamy vocals as a key part of the track. Barfod, who released both a solo album and a WhoMadeWho one last year, is on remix duties, adding some big drums as a template, taking the track into a very theatrical, dramatical arena because of that. It’s actually quite nice that, when listening, I heard some elements that I thought, Yeah, that’s a sound Barfod uses more often. It’s nice when artists bring a bit of character to their work, I find. It’s very nice to see that, even though the instrumentals are pretty powerful, the vocals are still very much up front in the mix, and that this dreamy voice isn’t getting drowned out by the fireworks of Barfod. He adds a little moment of tranquility just before the three minute mark, returning with a nice drum line with some wood percussion to bring this one to a close.
‘Kong’ by Julio Bashmore feat. Bixby
How about some of that woodwork percussion to start this one, eh? Soon the beat comes in though, with some synth sounds to top it all off. The male vocals soon take center stage, with Bashmore working the momentum in the background, certainly not leaving the vocals all by their lonesome. In that sense it is really more of a power song this, sliding to the more chart side of the dance spectrum, as Bashmore makes sure there are plenty of booming sounds in there so there’s no time to zone out. The way the vocals are just so up front and in-yr-face, that works well in that system. At about 2:50 you get some kind of craziness, but the core sound in the back still has a solid rhythm to it so you don’t have to dance that funny if you don’t want to. There’s actually some melancholy in the vocals near the end, which is a nice touch, especially in such a booming track.
‘Make It Now’ by Thatmanmonkz
Thatmanmonkz starts out with this nice loop that’s got quite a jazzy vibe to it I find, though obviously with the bass in there it’s dancefloor friendly as well. There are some auxiliary sounds that are quite fun and unexpected, stuff you don’t hear too often. The muffled sense of the beginning vanishes at around the one minute mark, when the track opens up completely, and adds some percussion in to give you more rhythm next to the bass. Some female vocals walk onto the set as well, as dashing as a diva can with a stylish “oooooohhhhh, don’t hesitate”. In the mean time Thatmanmonkz is still doing some of that mean looping business to keep the crowd dancing, dialling it down a little around the three minute mark, bringing the punch back in about a minute later. At 4:50 you get a nasty piece of bass in there for just a little while when he turns away the percussion for a moment, and so there are different elements that take center stage and that you can latch on to. The ending, for instance, is more beat and vocal heavy, as the whispery female vocals ask you to not hesitate, echoing their way to the song’s end. Lovely little piece of looping house with lots of little elements, some making you work that dancefloor, others making it just a bit more colorful.