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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: ‘Shelter Me’ by Late Nite Tuff Guy

Oh honey, are you kidding me? Late Nite Tuff Guy comes out with a free download to thank people for their support, and surely there are not many better ways to have ended 2014 with. All your Christmas presents be damned, who doesn’t want this lounge tearjerker of Sade turned into this melancholic, heart-broken disco track to dance your sorrows away to? LNTG gets the vibe right from the get go, especially when that hit of piano comes in at about 30 seconds (the end of the track will see that smooth jazz saxophone sound of the original come in as well). So you’re dancing now (not too fast, mind you, this is not that kind of dancefloor killer), on the beat, on the percussion, and so forth, and then, at one point, she comes in. Sade, with her smooth voice and lovelorny singing that "you’ve shed a shadow on my life, shed a shadow on my love, took the shelter out of my life, took the shelter of a lie". And when she then sings she could "see it in your restless eyes (the truth that I was hiding and you could not disguise)", LNTG slides that beat underneath to support her exclamation, and that works so well. He does that a number of times to perfection, having this slight change in his sounds to aid Sade’s singing, which enhances the emotional punch of this track. And, at one point, she will pathetically admit that I wish you could shelter me, and then that saxophone comes in from the original 1988 track, and that’s the ball game.


‘Same Town, Same Story’ by Interpol (The Field remix)

I’m not going to lie, I just haven’t been on the return-to-form bandwagon that some have been riding concerning Interpol last year. I loved their first two, I think ‘Pioneer To The Falls’ was the most fab thing they’ve ever done, and everything after that track was just downhill for me. The last album, to my ears, didn’t have the peace, the moments of quiet, the spaciness of that debut of theirs that I fell so in love with. Enter The Field though, Mr. Loop knows how to create his minimal, Scandinavian beat that he then expertely rides into oblivion. Here, too, you’ve just got this rhythm line, sounding a bit like a heavily distorted bass sound, which gets help from some light percussion elements and a tingly piano to contrast the heavy vibe with the light. Somewhere in the middle of the mix you have Paul Banks' vocals, which do fit (and provide some of) the melancholic vibe of this atmospheric behemoth. Don’t expect them to be the focal point though, as the vocals kind of are entrapped somewhere in between the layers that The Field expertedly both keeps sounding the same, yet deviates from slighlty. He is always so in control and patient. At the five minute mark, for instance, he keeps he main elements, but adds this kind of military drum percussion and that does shake the track up, but because the main sounds are still there you do get that hypnotic vibe The Field always brings to the table. So if you were disappointed with the Interpol album just like I was, then be comforted that this sounds more like The Field doing his thing, aided by some Interpol elements that do fit the cold Scandinavian air.


‘Noth’ by HNNY

HNNY always knows how to get some of that funk and some of that more contemporary R&B vibe in there. Here, no different, it’s already playing that funk from the get go with that beat, and that secondary sound is awesomely fun. Just before the minute mark you get the first female yelp in the vocals, and he always knows which vocals to use. They’re nice and soulful, and even get some room to strut their stuff as HNNY dials down the beat for a minute. And thus we can hear her sing that "Nothing can keep me, keep me from youuuuu", after which he slides the beat back in (along with some additional percussion). It’s a 3:18 snippet of a thingy, so cannot enjoy it too long, but the repeated beat and secondary sound are just lovely, along with the repetition of the resilient/pathethic/however-you-want-to interpret it line she sings over and over, making it stronger/less believable with each utterance. So how do you like your one-sided 12” releases, eh?


‘Oil’ by CFCF

If you like your atmospheric pieces, CFCF is definitely one guy doing it right in my opinion. He has just got this knack for finding the right sounds to go together, and here the start is pretty immediate, with some momentum building sounds that promise more to come. He builds on that for a good while before he adds the beat at about 1:15, which immediately makes it this thing suitable for the dancefloor. And even though the big, bad bass is heavily throbbing away, there’s still so much atmosphere there which keeps on taking the cake until about 2:30, after which he switches it up again, ditching the main sound and adding some more traditional beat sounds to go with a beautiful little bit of piano that does keep that whole vibe intact. The whole track is layered, littered with switch-ups, and constantly there are instruments there that make this one stand out above the fray. It are all those semi-classical components combined with that heavy base layer that makes this one so intriguing to listen to.


‘The Boy Who Thought it Was A Good Idea To Cry” by Johan Agebjorn feat. Shally Shapiro

How about that one for a title, eh? Agebjorn and Shapiro are no strangers to each other, and usually they collaborate on the italo-disco sounds Shapiro is known for. Not on this one though, with Agebjorn going all cinematic on us with this beautiful piece of work. It's just one of those things that manages to conjure up all these visual images as if soundtracking a montage in a film or something. Definitely high on atmospherics, though obviously you shouldn’t be expecting the dancey Shapiro & Agebjorn stuff. Shapiro does make an appearance though, but she sounds more ghostly/angelic than ever, with her whispery vocals doing some ah-haaaa lines over the layers of piano that Agebjorn has filled the track with (though not to worry, there are some strings and a bass as well). Don’t go in here with the wrong expectations, but if you know about Agebjorn’s upcoming album Notes and are intrigued by the style he’s going for, this is well worth the listen.


‘Dare Me’ by Gorillaz (Rayko Dirty Discoteca Edit)

My goodness, I do remember dancing to this in the indie disco in my teenage years (might be smuggling a year or two there, but whatever). The original by the Gorillaz that is, not this Rayko edit, which makes this dancefloor-ready for the dance crowd, as opposed to the gangly indie kids who are more professed at jumping (don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of how your body works later on lovies!). It still keeps that “daring” aspect of the original, that energetic punch that made so many people fall in love with it in the first place. Naturally Rayko also plays around with the stripping away of layers, the beat, and what not, to really make use of all that dancefloor expertise he has. Just listen to from about 2:30 to like the three minute mark, and everything that happens in between there before he slides it back to the main sound at the latter end of that spectrum. It’s just one of those amazingly fun things that makes you jump up in recognition when it’s played, but that keeps the vibe of the disco/house set going so you can keep moving your body whilst singing along with this cheeky little bugger.



The Weekly Froth - October #2

  • 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: ‘Big Foot’ by Ilya Santana (Rayko remix)

These two people together can only be good news. Ilya Santana knows how to put the Space in Space Disco, and Rayko sure as hell knows how to put in the latter. So what you get is a nice drum rhythm, and when the synths come in after about forty seconds you get the space vibe no doubt. At 1:10 you get that fist-in-the-air-bump moment when there’s another rhythm element added to give it a nice little boost, and about half a minute later you get some extra synths to add some extra space to the atmosphere. What I love is that Rayko just builds to those change-ups. The music, very naturally, lets your brain know when he’s going to alter the song, so you get that sweet anticipation. At the three minute mark, that’s just a stretch that I just love. You have the drums, the more rhythmic synths, but also the atmospheric synths to make sure there’s plenty of that vibe in there. It certainly is plenty danceable, and it manages to be both catchy as well as hypnotic. I must say, this instrumental track actually kind of exceeded my expectations, no small feat considering these guys are really up there in my mind.


‘Vicious Love’ by Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic is about to release an EP, and this is the title track off of that. This one starts nice and boogie, with the deep bass being contrasted by the horns that come in. The diva vocals are certainly present again, including a bit of echo to give them even more of a range. It really starts out as a lovely slow jam, just dreamy and sad enough for the star crossed lovers with darts in their eyes. She sings that she can’t conceal it anymore, as after all, love is vicious, though it certainly is time to take a chance. It certainly is a track with a narrative and lots of vocals, and for me that’s never a bad thing, especially as there is enough variety in them between the chorus and the verses. In the mean time, the instrumentals are keeping it slow jam disco, with the bass there, but also plenty of auxiliary sounds to set the mood as the drums and bass set the pace. At about 3:50 they put in the big guns with the horns, which get some lovely play to end the track.

‘Desire’ by Years & Years

Years & Years are really working towards an ace debut. They’re touring with Sam Smith, but more importantly they’ve released two killer singles already with ‘Real’ and ‘Take Shelter’, which are really top notch. This is perhaps their most overt attempt to pop out, with the other two leaning perhaps more heavily on the R&B side of things. This one seems slightly more up-tempo, especially the quick rhythm part that comes at the start of the chorus, that screams big pop track maybe a bit too much. Still, like the other two, it’s got some great vocals (not to mention multiple vocal layers on top of each other), some interesting drums, and it still has a high catchiness factor. No, I’m not as enamoured with it as with the previous two (they seem to have a bit more “air” and “space” in them, if you know what I mean, not as foot-on-the-pedal as this one), then again, that album is still being played the first day it hits the shelves no doubt (and certainly hoping to see them live well before that). The energy and those vocals just have me hooked, what can I say?


‘Supernatural’ by AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge certainly made some waves last year with their album, and based on this track I would say deservedly so. I love the whole rhythm behind the track, it’s so darn catchy and it’s got such a good pace on it. I also love the different layers, they complement each other nicely, with the rhythm in the back, and then the sparser dum---dum----dum in front of it. The female vocals slide the song nicely into the chorus, where the pace picks up and where she sings that it is all so supernatural, and her more soulful vocals contrast nicely with the altered male vocals, which are made to sound more mechanical. It’s a lovely, catchy slice of electro pop, the kind that actually makes me curious about what a whole album would sound like.

‘Down From The Rafters’ by Hundred Waters (The Field remix)

I’ve seen The Field live a couple of times, so it’s no surprise to me what’s coming next. You’ll get plenty of chilled out atmosphere, with a real hypnotic backbone that keeps the track in place and that will keep you entranced whilst doing some of that eyes-to-the-floor shuffling. There are enough subtle changes to keep this from becoming monotone, from little additions to the percussion to changes in the atmospherical synths that certainly paint the landscape you’re meandering in within your mind. The looping of certain elements, he does that so effectively, especially with that higher percussion sound, which is amazing, and then those haunting synths that keep floating over the beat throughout the whole song. Certainly, if you allow it to do so, this is one that will take you by the hand and lead you to this alternate world somewhere.


‘Don’t Wanna Dance’ Deep & Disco rework

If something is named ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’, and behind that you see that it’s reworked by Deep & Disco, you can be pretty sure that they’re gonna make you, no matter what. The build-up is splendid, from the funky guitar to the drums to the bass they slide in after about forty seconds: that’s how to get the catchy wanna-move-vibe in there. After about a minute you get a little break, but slowly you hear the track come back in, and the horns announce the return to full volume. Later in the track you get these lovely ol’ school vocals, asking you how you’re gonna do it if you really don’t want to dance. I love that moment at 3:26, when those soulful vocals come through full throttle announcing his advice with an “I say people” yelp. The cherry on the cake is when the song slides into the familiar “get down on it” sequence, which is just this fabulous moment where the dancefloor will either recognize the reference or will recognize the fact that it is just a killa’ moment to keep dancing to. Again, just a lovely, funky, catchy rework with the right amount of attitude to pull it all off.



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