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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: ‘I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler’ by YACHT

Seriously, that title alone makes this one worth talking about, because that is just friggin’ awesome. Not only that, it’s probably exactly what every semi-nerdish person is thinking at this very moment, because who hadn’t expected the future to be cooler? At least give us that hooverboard man! Google Glass is too 1984 (never mind all the curfews-following-protests and stuff), but the hoverboard is the epitome of futuristic playfulness! Anyway, YACHT, I love YACHT. Not only for their witticisms (there’s an English grad in that band after all), and not only for the fact that there’s an actual ideology-- or at the very least, workplace ethos-- behind it, but also because they know how to create a catchy tune. First Claire sings the title of the track, layered with a bit of roboticism. And then the tune start, with the kickdrum, with the bass, with loads of auxiliary sounds like that catchy piano line that starts at around the fifty second mark. They attack the chorus pretty niftily, dialling it slightly back for the verses. There is a little break with some handclaps around the two minute mark, then they go at it again, and then they bring it down to just a synth line and the vocals, before going all out to the finish line again. Love the double vocal layers, the catchiness, and just this whole track is wickedly fun, to be honest.

‘Stranger In A Room’ by Jamie XX feat. Oliver Sim (Pional’s Room Version)

Last week this column featured a Pional remix that he did together with John Talabot, and this week we’ve got a track where lonesome he takes on Jamie XX’s track ‘Stranger In A Room’, featuring Oliver Sim on vocals. Love the piano at the start, leave it to Pional to herald that instrument, and the drums give it some backbone. A floating synthline is underneath it all, being a constant in the background. Soon the vocals come in, slightly detached. At about 1:14 Pional slows the pace down for a moment, going with a non-rhythm bass sound. I love the atmosphere of the tune, it is slightly dark, moody, but for instance that guitar that comes in at 2:16, or the sudden relative clarity of the vocals: just some things that then suddenly come above the fray and give you a little jolt to the body. The ending, pretty nifty, with a slow guitar sound over the more trippy percussion. Another power offering by Pional.


‘Disappointing’ by John Grant feat. Tracey Thorn

John Grant already went fairly electronic with his quite awesome previous album, veering away from the more singer-songwriter territory of his first solo endeavour. After his Hercules And Love Affair stint it should come as no surprise that this new single really starts rubbing its shoulders with the disco. The electro synth lines give it this bass-y catchiness, with new instruments popping up every now and again. In the mean time John Grant puts on his low voice for the verse, where he names all kinds of things that are Disappointing, compared to you. I like the theatrics of the backing vocals doing a sort of shubby-do-waa near the end of the chorus. The second verse Grant gets some help from Tracey Thorn, who helps him come up with stuff that don’t quite cut it if you put it next to love (or, at least, him). In the chorus they kind of dial the pace back a bit, though they keep a kickdrum behind it all to make sure you can still do a little dance whilst the tune keeps plodding forward. At about three quarters of the way through there is a little instrumental interlude, capped off by a moment of just vocals before it reaches its end. Which it does with a sound that is pretty uplifting, they managed to choose the instruments well to convey that feel. Saw them two years ago in the pouring rain at Primavera Sound in Barcelona (No no, look here, it says it’s not going to rain, so we can leave our raingear at home...), and looking forward to seeing him this Autumn when there’s actually a roof over my head.

‘City’ by Stuart McCallum

Stuart McCallum is gearing up for an album release, of which this is the title track. The start is really electronical, with a simmering synth, a bit of echo on the vocals it seems, bit after about thirty seconds you get the soulful voice and a nice slice of guitar to pierce through this atmosphere of a more industrial (nay, city) vibe that the instruments build behind that. At 1:20 he goes ghostly, having just the vocals at first doing some ooooh, after which you briefly here a soft guitar, before it goes into a sort of dub-steppy drum rhythm. In the mean time McCallum is singing that He fell in love with that city, after which you get a sort of jazz guitar solo, which is pretty wicked. And that makes it the intriguing listen that it is, the theme of it that is enhanced by the more electronical drums and instruments, but the humaneness of the soulful vocals and the jazzy guitar sound that walks right through all that. Album will be released on the 28th of August, if this tickled your fancy.


‘Lost In A Dream’ by Eagles And Butterflies (Larse remix)

Larse knows how to make a good deep house tune for the dancefloor, and here too he starts with a nice bit of rhythm with the percussion and beat setting the pace. At about the fifty second mark he sets the tone in terms of atmosphere, before combining that with the returning beat again after a couple of seconds. At the 1:20 mark he slides in a nice, reasonably paced synth line, which becomes more prominent in the upcoming parts. At 2:30 he starts to sneak in the piano, which will become an actual piano bit when he dials out the synth line. Which is neat, as he already introduced the replacement earlier, and when it comes it’s a smoother transition. At the halfway point he again subtly changes things up, in with some new stuff and out with some old stuff, but the core stays within this realm to help the track keep its continuity, which is no bad thing for the dancefloor. Before the five minute mark he turns down the beat and most of the percussion, starting with basically just a synth before building it up with, as the last addition, the beat coming back at the six minute mark (like, exactly). Another awesome instrumental house tune by Larse, who knows how to get those people down by the underpass dancing.


‘You Can Shine’ by Andy Butler feat. Richard Kennedy (The Carry Nation Remix)

Last month an EP of sorts was released where three people took on Andy Butler’s solo effort ‘Can You Shine’, which has Richard Kennedy on vocals. This is The Carry Nation’s takes on the tune, who starts it out with a bit of that bongo percussion to get that rhythm and jackin’ vibe going. Then the beat comes in, and even more African based percussion come out of the woodworks to get all y’all doing whatever you do on that rhythm thing. Just after the minute mark there comes a bit of Berlin in there too, a bit of that industrial synth, before Richard Kennedy comes in with those crystal clear house vocals that sing that He makes me special. The synth, in the mean time, is doing that bass thing to really get that House vibe going on, with this one transmorphing into an old school House tune with the soulful vocals, all those jackin’ rhythms, and this tale of love that fell apart, with house music and the dancing as the saviour. That change-up at about 4:20, that’s sweet, that’s some bass sound dancefloor goodness right there. Which, incidentally, starts an instrumental house-a-thon with some lovely change-ups to keep the dancing crowd going, and it’s only after 1 1/2 minute that the vocals come back in (though, from the back of the mix). Basically it’s just an 8 1/2 minute long party for all the freaks and geeks who like that House sound.



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:  ‘Just Give Me Joy’ by Elvin Tibideaux

The label is called Let’s Play House, so what  exactly are you expecting honey? It’s got the bass beat down from the get go, has the looping sample going on as well, and the playing with volume and pace is right there too. That’s, mind you, just the first minute, after which the bass comes alive even more, and those base sounds get some help from, for example, a nifty little guitar that moves up in the mix as the looping goes on and on. They dial it down just a little bit before the two minute mark, after which the thing jumps back up again to get the dancefloor dancing. That bass sound, that’s really what this one is all about for me. That and the loop give it this continuation momentum, and then you’ve got the guitar to give you that little bit extra. The real extra comes around 3:30, when the sky opens up and that major vocal turn comes screeching out from the balcony. “I need you” indeed, and full throttle at that. It gives this one the naughty and the nice for sure, bringing a complete punch-out to cap this one off. Always good to keep an eye on this label, and Elvin Tibideaux doesn’t disappoint when it’s his turn to deliver.


 ‘Gratte-Ciel’ by Patrice Mondon (Pilooski & Glb’R edit)

This one gives you a little guitar riff before it goes into retro '80s space mode with a nice little bass  which dictates the rhythm of the track. If the space vibe hadn’t gotten through to you yet, there are the vocals, there are the synths, and the deliciously soundtrack-y auxiliary sounds that give it this pop bigness. After the peak of that pop sound the track dives back into the bass the first time around (which is a nasty little piece of business, let me tell ya), and the guitar sound the second time around (after which the bass comes in a few seconds later). The third time it’s the vocals they turn to, and I just love the way this thing is structured. It’s got this space opera feel, but it also has that little dancefloor bassline that makes it such a successful edit. The original is from 1982 I believe, and if you love a bit of dancing and the whole atmosphere of it all, then it’s really to infinity and beyond on this one!



 ‘Enemy’ by Kelela ft. Tosin Abasi

How about a little nightcap with this lullaby from R&B artist Kelela? Featuring Tosin Abasi on the eight string guitar, the sweet voiced Kelela brings a tear in her vocals as she sings that she has given up for their “love is not enough”, and that it just isn’t a “remedy” for their aches. This is the kind of track you just love to have as the closer on an album or a set in my opinion. Just the vocals and a minimum of arrangements, and together these two bare-boned essentials just bring forward the exact right feeling of sadness and longing. Don’t think it too sweet and sugary though, as there are one or two f-bombs in there. However, even they don’t break the melancholy of the song. One of those to have on at night, looking out of your window, glass of something strong in your hand, to cheers! and salut the days end.


 ‘You Can Shine’ by Andy Butler feat. Richard Kennedy

Butler has always had an inclinition with the tech side of the dancefloor (some of his and Kim-Ann Foxmann’s remixes were already very much veering into that direction), though this one still rubs its shoulders quite firmly with the Hercules and Love Affair sound. Which, you know, is to be expected, as Butler obviously is the driving motor to that, and the big, booming vocals of Richard Kennedy give it this guest-turn feel that Butler’s  troupe also has. This one is decidedly aimed at the dancefloor, so you’ve got the beat, the percussion, etc. to bring the rhythm, and it’s got the vocals singing that he knows that he is loved, and they work nicely to build some of that feel-good momentum. If you not only like his Hercules stuff, but the remixes that he has done as well, then this is a good combination of both worlds probably. And he knows how to hit that bulls-eye in terms of his vocalists, that’s for sure!


‘Lost U’ by Rangleklods

Rangleklods released their debut a few years back, and I quite fancied that one. ‘Lost U’ is their first original material in a little while, and the starting electronics are more aggressive than anything that I can remember from the album. After that start you get a piano & female vocal combo, which is bigger and more pop than earlier work I reckon. It is also a work that perhaps is a tad more dancefloor-ish, which gets a nod anyway as the talking is apparently done by the pitched down voice of a girl from a rave documentary from the early 1990s. Don’t expect a straight up dance track though, as there’s still plenty of electronics in there that is a bit off of the beaten track (thank goodness). The Danish duo have changed their source of energy I’d say, and curious to see if they come up with an album’s worth of that, or if this is an expansion of their arsenal instead of a complete shift. Debut album still one to have a listen to if you have never had the pleasure yet, and sure enjoyed them live as well.


‘Wicked Game’ by POP ETC

I truly apologize, but Chris Isaak just is my weak spot. Don’t blame me, don’t judge me, it’s just the way this is. This time it is POP ETC, formerly known as Morning Benders, who take this classic tune on, doing this one subdued and with an acoustic guitar, though there’s still this deep drum to propel it forward. The chorus boys that back him up, that’s a nice little touch, that sounds so church like that it’s kind of nice. I mean, what is there to say? If people keep making them, I’ll keep posting them, it’s just this wicked thing I do. By the way, I saw them live when they were still the Morning Benders, and that was a good time out, so there you go.


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