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The Weekly Froth! - 20160219

  • 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: ‘I Still Reach Out To You’ by Lenny Williams (Underdog’s Breakdown edit)

Getting the disco going from the start with that nifty bass line, and then those era-defining strings coming in to really set the feel for this one. Then the boogie with the rhythm bass and percussion, followed by the unique vocals of Lenny Williams, whose voice I adore. Some nifty guitar work comes in at 1:30 to help the subdued set-up, and then the girls come on in from the back to lure you into the song as they want you to tell them what to do (a dangerous proposition in whatever context I’d say). In the mean time Underdog slowly raises the funk level in the back with the instruments, and then, at 3:06, the big reveal, including Williams doing some of that thang. He goes full throttle, yelling out he’s Reaching out, and announcing, Here’s my love, take it baby! In the mean time that disco boogie is still going on, with some funky rhythms in the back, with Underdog also knowing when to slow it down for a minute to not have any overkill here, going all in on that main groove. It’s a superb disco dancefloor edit with lovely bits (bass, guitar riff), but most of all those fab vocals from the old Tower Of Power frontman. Definitely one to get it on to under those discotheque lights.


‘Vendetta’ by Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra (Al Kent remix)

There’s a bit of that African percussion to get your rhythm vibes working, some string work to remind you of the disco dancefloor in front of you, and then at about the fifty second mark the beat comes in to help you get on there and do some grooving. Especially with the percussion that comes in just after, that helps with that I’m sure. And Al Kent really goes the distance with the rhythm here, providing you with plenty of it, only giving you strings for the disco atmospherics. The rest is all about the shakin’ and the bakin’ for a long while. At the 2:30 mark we get a bit of a change-up, but the main idea stays the same there. The 4:40 change sees some bass action entering though, so that is a pretty huge thing, with it still even more rhythm entering the equation, which is being highlighted beyond believe in this Al Kent groover. At 5:40 that bass and the earliest form of percussion get some time at center stage, with at the six minute mark a more steady rhythm bass entering to give those hips something to do some damage to. It is a super rhythm heavy turn for the floor, understated-yet-bouncy. The singular disco sound does get back in there for some extra euphoria, which is a good way to draw this one to a close I reckon.


‘Pusherman’ by Curtis Mayfield (Pied Piper Regroove)

I love the slick, on-the-down-low-Jazz-club start of this Pied Piper regroove of a Curtis Mayfield tune. Very sultry, very percussion funk, and it sets the tone for the track. After about half a minute the track gets a bit more of a backbone to it, and with the guitar riff at about the sixty second mark the funk really gets in. Just before we get to the two minute mark we get the vocals, singing that he’s Your pusherman. It’s really got the cocaine jazz feel to it, and the non-straight percussion really helps out there. The vocals and the lines, too, do this, giving it this at-night-in-fright vibe where all that hazy shit is going down. The guitar, as said, that’s really a great addition, it gives it something to hang on to as well and, by doing that, help keep the percussion at ease. At 4:30 we get a momentary stop, which gets kicked back into gear soon enough with all the smokey bass and percussion that have been putting their stamp on the entire track for the entire duration. Put on those funky, round glasses, the black turtleneck, smoke something, and do that difficult Jazz dancing Beat poets do.


‘Prayer To St. Therese’ by Johnny Jewel feat. Chloe Sevigny

Johnny Jewel teams up with actress and poetess Chloe Sevigny for a campaign for the perfume company Regime des Fleurs. As always, Jewel manages to get all the vibes in there, providing just the right sounds floating around, slowly adding some rhythm elements there to help out Sevigny’s delivery of the poem. I love the spoken word vocals, she does that well, and in the background the midnight approaching menacingly with some rays of sunlight or some form of the divine glowing through all that. It’s a short little thing, but it is just another one of those by Jewel that just takes into account tone, audience, and the narrator delivering the odorous tale that needs to be soundtracked. Apparently at an event of the company the entirety of this will be on display, but in the mean time, this will do just fine I reckon.


‘Horizonte’ JKriv Rework

Starting with some beach sounds, then a little bit of acoustic guitar; you’d almost think you’re at some sort of beach with palm trees there. Then he fades that all out and comes back with some similarly vibed sounds, though this batch does include a bit of a beat to have a little beach party to. The sparkly sounds still give it this light-hearted holiday air. At about 1:20 you get an extra percussion in there that gives the track a bit more punch, though they trade that in for some Miami sounds around the two minute mark. And so this track keeps moving on, with the beat as a bit of a backbone, but especially the Hawaii feel which dominates the tone of the track. The vocals doing a du-du-dup line only add to that. Some of the sounds do have their origins in the disco, and all of them can soundtrack those holiday dreams you have around 16:00 of every day at the office you’ve ever had. Chillin’ the day away with that in a coconut served cocktail, right here.


‘Qwazars’ by Mr. Fingers

Any time you get a slice of house by Mr. Fingers it’s worthy of a listen. Here he rides those old school house sounds into the middle of the night, with a nice deep beat in the back, and some lovely synthesiser action up front. He adds a second one around 1:40, giving it a lighter vibe before adding those deep, dark vocals. He doesn’t forget the rhythm though, adding a bit of extra percussion in there before coming with some additional drums. The pace, though, is still dictated by the starting beat and synth, and emphasised by the secondary synthesizer. It is one of those groovers for your drug riddled mind (high on love, obviously, nothing else), a deep house slow ride that pushes all those buttons a track like that is supposed to. I mean, this year, there’s a new EP from this guy, what is there to further want, really?



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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