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The Weekly Froth!

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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:  ‘I Got Your Number’ by La Bionda (Rulefinns lravstor gitarist edit)

La Bionda is one of those groups that, in the '70s, was tagged with that label of Italo Disco (Pitchfork, fairly recently, did a nice little piece on the genre’s history, if you’ve got some time on a lazy Sunday afternoon). Now, Rulefinns must have thought, what if I make the guitar the hero of this one, and just add a shitload of that in? So, next to the synths, the drumbeat, and all the stringwork that give this one its dancefloor pace and its disco vibe, you have this electric guitar in there as well, just to roughen them up a bit, those disco dancers. A second before the three minute mark you get the high pitched vocals in there, saying that Aiiiiiii’ve got your numberr, so no surprise what you’ll be doing tonight then, eh? In the mean time, you’re still dancing, with that beat and all those disco sounds persuading your body to do some moving and grooving. Deliciously fast paced as well, and the contrast between that guitar and basically the rest of the song-- which is baby-skin-soft-- that is just a nice little example of brains at work.


‘From The Basement To The Roof’ by Club Cheval

This one starts slow and easy, with just some piano and female vocals. Soon enough though, the beat comes in, and slowly it reveals itself as a nice little club track with a little pizzazz, not in the least because of the rhythmic vocals and the way the beat unfolds itself. In the main line “running from the basement to the roof” there, too, is a sense of movement, which this track just breathes, exhales, and does all kinds of other things with. Club Cheval also knows when to dial it down for just a moment, making sure that the poppy beat doesn’t outstay its welcome. And they also make sure when to make it the track’s main sound and when to help it out a bit with other instruments as well. Also enjoyable is the way they kind of play with the vocals, for example making the last two words of a line seemingly coming from somewhere/someone/someplace/else/somehow. The track has a nice vibrancy to it, which is contained by the piano bits that bookmark this song from Club Cheval’s yet-to-be-released debut album.


‘Ember’ by WhoMadeWho

WhoMadeWho is one of my personal favorites. I just like the deep sound, this melancholic mood, but always with a little fun and dance mixed in there as well. This one starts with a slightly-deep-near-Western guitar line, followed by some percussion and then those lovely vocals, singing that If you feel like having fun, you can’t say no until you’ve done time with me. Followed by that nice and deep guitar line and the drums courtesy of Barfod, who keeps this one moving forward. Just after the two minute mark there is a vocals only moment (as in, really, just vocals. Honestly), and after that the lads ride it out instrumentally. This one will be the title track of their new EP, to be released in May, so that is something to look forward to as far as I’m concerned.


‘Long Train Running’ by The Doobie Brothers (Disco Syndicate Version)

How about some of that dad-rock guitar to start this one off, with a fairly well-known riff I’d say. Then add the bass, some bongo’s (?!), and then the vocals of the Doobie Brothers, as it is their track ‘Long Train Running’ that gets the edit treatment here. And it is really a version geared to the dancefloor, with loads of moments where the instrumentals get turned down, just to get all that rhythm back in there again for that momentum building that you need. It’s not just about the rhythm though, with plenty of guitar being available for consuming, and plenty of vocals to go around. Around 2:38 you get a change-up in guitar (and with that, in mood, as the guitars are here a-plenty), though after another moment of primarily vocals-sans-drums you get the main sound again. Tom Johnston was the man behind this track, and he’s responsible for both vocals and that lead guitar riff, so if you’re a fan of him in particular amongst all the other Doobie Brothers, then you’ll be over the moon with this one.


‘Glass Grinder’ by Antoni Maiovvi

I always like me some Antoni Maiovvi. Nothing says cult b-horror-flick quite as much as some of this man’s output. You get the atmospheric sounds right there from the start, then the tougher strumming of that guitar-like sound, and all this before the beat comes in. Because vibe is always what sells me on his stuff, but with the hard hitting beat he does make sure that he keeps driving this one forward and that one can dance to it as well, for those freaks doing that crazy dancing after midnight. In the mean time he keeps coming with all these sounds that just fit the bill, that make sure there is this consistency in terms of mood that is so important if you want to do something like this right. So it’s lovely and dark (I mean, the track is called ‘Glass Grinder’ after all), and when those human yelps are put in you can’t help but smile and go at it a little bit harder. There’s also plenty of variety in there, hitting the drum computers and the synths hard, though always coming back to the main beat and slasher synths. Can I also just say that I love that he puts his set-up below the SoundCloud track? I’m always interested in what creates these sounds.


‘Redo’ by Adeline Michele

On production duties here is JKriv, who has made some amazing (nu-)disco in the past few years, some of them for which Adeline Michele was on vocal duties for. So you know it’s going to have this catchy-yet-lovelorn vibe with some silky smooth vocals on top of them. You’ve got the bass and the drums dictating the rhythm, and some sweet synth and guitar to round it all off. That little guitar line in the chorus, that is a lovely thing right there. At about 2:30 you get a bridge build on some percussion, before the synth comes back in again and you get some of the drum rhythm elements returning as well. Michele sings that she cannot rewind or redo her life, and she really cuts loose after the three minute mark. The track, anyway, has a big role in mind for the vocals, which get a bit of help from some retro synths at the end. It is a lovely track, with a nice disco & '90s soul + R&B vibe. Released on JKriv’s delicious DeepandDisco label.



2014 In Music - The Columnist's View #2

The 5 Most Memorable Gigs I Went To In 2014

Thankfully, this was yet another year in which I saw loads of amazing bands play and where I had loads of great experiences at gigs, festivals, and club nights. This was my first year at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona (which was awesome! Even if it did drown one pair of my shoes), and this was the year two excellent new pop venues opened close to where I live. The new Doornroosje at a stone throw’s distance looks wonderful, and the new Tivoli Vredenburg with all its different rooms on different floors is just perfection. I saw new and upcoming bands like Years & Years and Thomas Azier (2x), people at the top of their game like St. Vincent (3x) and Spoon (2x), and old dogs like Morrissey (almost 2x, you know how that goes...) and Giorgio Moroder. Oh what a year, and the following five gigs were the ones that stuck out of that whole pack of great experiences for me for one reason or another. (vids not from the gigs listed below)

  1. WhoMadeWho @ Ekko

These boys, when they’ve got it on, they’ve got it on. In the small venue Ekko in Utrecht these guys were really doing their thing, with those soulful vocals and those melancholic-yet-dancey sounds they create. Add to that the fact that these guys, whilst playing an instrument, still manage to add some theatrics in there as well, and you’ve got a live show with great music plus some good entertainment to boot. Not to mention that it does seem like they are having fun, which in turn spreads to the audience like a virus. Thus live they both sing and play their instruments expertedly, they add theatrics, and they put the joy in the experience as well. Plus just that little dash of mayhem when they end it in the audience with ‘Satisfaction’. What more do you need, really?

  1. Blood Orange @ Primavera Sound

I vividly remember this young fellow sitting right in front of the mic stand by his lonesome self a good half hour before the show. After the gig, I knew why. Blood Orange, the funk outfit led by the prolific Dev Hynes, really turns up the groove live. The sound at the start of the gig was a tad dodgy, but that ship was righted after about a song and a half or so, and then it’s all fabulosity from there on. You’ve got the funky guitar of Hynes, the female vocals, the horns, the tight rhythm section: it all just works. Add some good, groovy tunes in there, a Solange cover, and Hynes busting a move like he’s Mr. Jackson himself, and you’ve just got this deliciously fun & funky show on the “small” Pitchfork stage at the Spanish Primavera Sound festival.

  1. Darkside @ 05 Days Off

I would remember this show only for the girls trying to squeeze their way through the audience a minute before the start. Getting loads of dirty looks as they push their way up front, one of them agitatedly remarks “why the heck are they looking so angrily at us. It’s not like they reserved these places or something”. Ehrm, yes we did, the moment we arrived at the place an hour before kick-off time to make sure we’re close to where the action is. Oh well. I already loved the album by the duo of Dave Harrington and Nicolas Jaar, and what they do live so well is that they just add a bit more oomph to the beats to get a bit of a dance vibe going. Add that to the fact that they are craftsmen in their respective fields, and that they nail the vibe perfectly, and then this show maybe epitomizes the year 2014, if only because apparently the lads have (at least temporarily) retired the Darkside moniker.

  1. Future Islands @ Melkweg

Next to the fact that I just love the album and the songs, live they do add exactly those things that you want a band to add. Extra emotion, extra theatrics, extra effort, and this whilst still performing the songs as tight as on album. Frontman Samuel Herring really takes over. He looks like a real proper bloke, and sometimes he almost grunts as if in a metal band and nearly charges into the audience aggressively. Moments later though, he is shaking his booty or is doing that leg thing those girls in Western saloons always do (though slightly distorted, slightly more manic). And then he suddenly tries to touch the sky with his finger as he is almost teary-eyed. The guy really knows how to perform. Luckily the lads back him up in as solid a way as possible, so if you just love the songs, you’re not getting short-changed on that either. A must see live band, if only because next to all of this, they also do seem genuinely grateful and humble that they can perform for whatever audience is in front of them.

  1. Slowdive @ Primavera Sound

Two major blokes just fainted during this show! True story, though I’m not sure if that’s because of how much they love Slowdive or whether something else was in play (probably the latter, though it was in the open air, so it wasn’t a shortage of oxygen or whatever). Slowdive have reunited for a string of gigs (and, next year, an album apparently), and they didn’t make a mockery of their former selves, performing as tight as a band with so many guitars can possible perform. Dreamy shoegaze performed to perfection, the band just weave this intricate web of guitars and other sounds, with on top of that these dreamy male and female vocals. From the word go they managed to completely mesmerize me, and as someone who missed them during their first go around I’m happy they’re not only back, but that they have matured rather than aged (not that they were teenagers when they stopped or anything, but you get my drift).

This list is Stef Siepel’s, writer of, amongst others, the Weekly Froth column that goes live every Friday. It does in no way reflect the collective Musos Guide opinion.

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