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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:  ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Chromatics

And who says that advertisements can’t lead to something wickedly good? Apparently, the new MANGO clothing line will be accompanied by a Chromatics take on Cindy Lauper’s '80s pop hysteria. The original track was girl power before Spice Girl power even got here, and seemed a sort of call up to all the girls to cut loose sometimes as well, get rid of the restrictions, and just have a bit of fun (as, you know, that is what girls want). In the hands of Chromatics, it turns into a wistful, wispy, wishful endeavour. Not a breaking out moment, but a moment of longing, of hope that, yes, one day you won’t be missing out anymore, but you’ll be running with the young and fool-hearted (in MANGO clothing, no doubt!). Chromatics just get that atmosphere spot on every time again, and surprisingly the lyrics suit it as well, sliding into the slow beat, the sad synths, and the soft percussion sounds with ease. It is also a lovely proof of how a different context can give something a new feel and a new function. Just ace, yet again, by that band.

‘Tall Stories’ by World’s End Press (Bottin remix)

This one starts out with some fast paced synths before the beat comes in to lend a helping hand. Not long after, another rhythm elements enters, followed by the rhythmic vocals. Add some more percussion in there, and you’ve got a track that paces forward, both because of the percussion elements, the beat, the synths, and the on-rhythm voice. Only around 1:40, during the chorus, do they get a different function (as well as that they go an octave higher). After that chorus there is a sort of synth-string section that comes in, after which Bottin strips out a lot, having just a couple of deeper rhythm sounds with the vocals as contrast. And that kind of works, the combination of the forward driving nature of the track along with the vocals and occasional string-like sounds, with the synths being Italian and high-pitched as well. After the four minute mark there’s a prolonged instrumental part, where the strings really get to work, which has a super nice effect. Bottin knows how to do this sort of thing, and here too he delivers, as the strong rhythm section is put into balance nicely by the higher pitched strings and vocals. Lovely work yet again right here.


‘I Couldn’t Fool Around No More’ by The Keeper

The Keeper gets the ol’ soul and R&B vibe going, first with some drums, then with the synths, and when the guitar comes in you know for sure. It’s got a bit of that love making pace going that soul music did so well, and it has all those instruments that befit that air. Then the vocals enter as well, singing that they Couldn’t fool around no more! The vocals are slightly back in the mix, but sometimes they are multi-layered and come through, with some extra emotion in the voice to really get that full effect. The guitar, in the mean time, gets plenty of time to add the right colours in there to complete the atmosphere as it sees fit. Add a dash of piano on occasion as well, and, voila, you’ve got the finished product. Around 3:35 the guitar really is allowed to scorch it all up, giving it some of that steakhouse blues vibe with that smokey sound. In the end the vocals repeat the title of the track, as love and lust still is that what makes the world go.


‘All My Lovers’ by Starchild & The New Romantic

Let’s get nocturnal with this starry-eyed track by Starchild & The New Romantic, giving us this cross of a jazzy soundtrack for Chicago at night and a more electro pop song. It starts out with laying down the feel of the track with some synths before, softly, the drums come in. The drums, however, turn more insistent as the time goes by, and they move this one forward. A floating, jazzy influenced layer gives us the atmosphere in which they sing that All my lovers they, look the same as you (if I hear that correctly). The higher pitched vocals are a nice contrast with the drums, giving the track a dash of emotion as well, with the nocturnal soundtrack having a slightly alienated layer too. The track was released last month on Ghostly International, which is always a lovely label to keep an eye on if you like this sort of thing.


‘Bird Matrix’ by Actress (Kid606 Dub)

Kid606 takes on ‘Bird Matrix’ by Actress, diving deep into the industrial sounds out of which, around the 44 second mark, a nice juxtaposing synth sound comes that, along with the slow beat, tries to fight for its space amongst the machinery and the soul-less. Later they get help as well, some floating synth sounds opening the track up a bit. And more instruments weave in and out of the track, taking the middle path of it and finding a way to put life in the industrial and mechanical sounds. Kind of as you are walking through all that is concrete in the city and there is that bright yellow flower growing, that is kind of what makes this track work so well. At one point Kid606 strips the beat and the percussion out, leaving us with different synths that each have their own function, and around 4:15 he brings it back in to help this song trod forward. It is a beautiful narration of urban life, with undertones of sadness, the mechanical, and beauty, the latter maybe highlighted so well because it’s contrasted in sound so nicely with the former in this slow paced walk through the industrial. I mean, those angelic sounds that suddenly come in around the seven minute mark, those are just the things that work, aren’t they?


‘I Can’t Go For That’ by Hall & Oates (Vito & Xavier No Teeth, No Marks mix)

This one starts surprisingly patient, with a beat that they ride for about forty seconds before some of those more disco sounding synths come in. A little guitar appears in the background as well, as the track really starts to appear through the more house-y vibe that Vito & Xavier go for. The vocals then come in, with at about 1:40 the first verse that is the starting sign to really go with the song from that point on. And obviously, we know this one, with after the verse the higher pitched vocals singing that they would do Almost anything you want me to, but obviously, he can’t quite Go for that. After that moment we get a nice little guitar riff to go with the chorus, after which they put in the horns, which then move away in favour of the bass and beat combo. Those more deep sounds get contrasted nicely by the higher pitched vocals of the Iiiiiii, would do almost anything you want me to, after which they then move to the chorus again. And even more horns! Who doesn’t want that? Don’t expect a major disco edit, but the beat and bass as the bottom layer sure provide some dancing fun on this Hall & Oates classic. We sure can go for some of that (...).



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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