Sunday, 21 December 2008
Buenos Aires is totally bueno. Been here for 4 full days and feel like I've done a month worth of stuff. Very cool city. Not sure how much time I'll have to yap on here, so I'm guessing most of these posts will be fairly brief. Sozski. Here are some songs from the vault.
So.... Everyone loves The Rapture. Both their albums are long time megafaves of mine and the older they get the fresher they get, I reckon. These are a few of my favourite dancified remixes. The DFA dub is a really slick reworking with some gorgeously constructed sounds, in true DFA style. The Tenderlions mix is probably my favourite of the lot - a totally classic song that gets blended up with a bit of clubby electro vibes and some funky bassline grooviness. I used to punish Ewan Pearson's mix on the decks way too often, kind of forgot about it for a while but giving it a good ipod revival now. It's a really cool version! And the Prince Language edit of Get Myself Into It is in for good measure, a more DJ friendly option of my personal 2006 (may or may not be correct year) summer anthem.
The Rapture - Sister Savior (DFA Dub)
The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers (Tenderlions Remix)
The Rapture - I Need Your Love (Ewan Pearson 'Stay In School' Vocal Mix)
The Rapture - Get Myself Into It (Prince Language Disco Edit)
I wish I wasn't so useless at speaking spanish. Aside from asking for beer, counting to 6 and thanking people left right and center I'm pretty useless. Loving the size of beer servings here. And the weather. Not loving cinnamon on top of cappuccinos. What's with that? Seriously, worst combo.
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
My last morning in Sydney for 10 weeks! Crazy. I've got the BARE bones of 10 more posts ready to flesh out and post while I'm in South Amerry, so with any luck nobody will go hungry. Although if my ipod gets lost/stolen there's a good chance I won't have any idea what I'm talking about with half of the tracks, so let's hope that doesn't happen! There's a lot of stuff being heaved out from the vault since I can't really be finding new music, but I think it should all be pretty decent! Anyway.....
Super authentic funky disco from France! Arpadys' self titled 1977 release seems to be the only thing these guys put out under this name, but it's HOT. A couple of their songs remind me of Space a bit, though maybe a touch less spacey. Monkey Star in particular makes me think of them. Stone Roller does a bit too, but with a bit more funkfunk. PS, man this Space video rocks.
Arpadys - Monkey Star
Arpadys - Stone Roller
Arpadys - Meteor One
Be cool kids this summer/winter! Details of my escapades will be on offer for those who wish to feign interest.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
I didn't really do one of these last year, but figured i might as well keep going with the crowd and jump on the top 10 bandwagon. Love conforming. I know it's a little bit early but I wanted to get it out of the way before I skip the country in a week. Most of the tracks act more as representatives of a certain artist or label or album or whatever, so keep that in mind.
I've loved this year and the way it's panned out music-wise. My electro hangover began to creep up in earlier months and I was left in a bit of a 'what the fuck was I thinking' state for some of it. Oh the bangers... Listening to some stuff I used to post feels like witnessing a death metal band being murdered with chainsaws and cheap drum machines. As we know, what comes up must go down. I've since been drifting through phases of house, disco, nu disco and other stuff that's a bit more laid back. Perhaps senility and a sudden enthusiasm for playing bridge instead of going clubbing is just around the corner for me. We'll see. Anyway I feel like 08 has been great for me in terms of discovering new music that I really love. So without further ramblings, here are my 10 picks for two thousand and eight.
#10 Heavinz - Ride (Matt Hughes Remix)
Matt Hughes has been a star this year. His gorgeous funky house music is just so refreshing and enjoyable in any situation. The same goes for everybody else on the exceptional Us Two Music label from the Netherlands. This song in particular really hits the spot for me. Uplifting spacey vibe with an irresistibly beautiful sounding bassline. Top notch production (I can even look past the blatant use of the drum line from Girl And The Sea) and just an all round nice feeling. Pleasant!
#9 Mr. Oizo - Two Takes It feat. Carmen Castro
After a long wait between albums, Lambs Anger went above and beyond to meet every expectation I had of the genius Mr. Oizo. I don't like picking one song out since it's really all about the full album experience and the context the tracks provide one another, but this has to be my favourite. Such a super fun party mentality, and the production is ridiculously good. Nobody makes it seem as easy. An absolute must-own LP!
#8 In Flagranti - Codependancy
Again I don't really want to just choose one In Flagranti song. And this one might have you cats scratching your heads (might) since it's probably not the most obvious pick. Regardless, this tune in particular really grabbed me. Such an insanely solid groove (hehe i said solid groove) all sitting on just about the one note. Pretty much. It just shows how magnificent they are at producing and the infinite levels of attention to detail that make their tracks extra special. They always stun me with their versatility and their ability to make it seem like they've been producing [insert genre here] forever and ever. Love it.
#7 Ian Preece - Superfuzz (Disco Mix)
Ok so this wasn't originally released this year, but it does seem to have been re-released once or twice in 08 since its conception last year so WHATEVER. This is dazzling lounge disco at its finest. Such a sensationally smooth bassline groove with beautiful creamy synths, funky strutting guitar, melting horns and fiery percussion. Every detail is well thought out and perfectly matched. Gorgeous stuff! This kind of thing can surely never get old. Moral of the story: Ian Preece rocks.
#6 The Whitest Boy Alive vs Mylo vs Cut Copy - Otto's Golden Journey
Alright, I really want to stress that this isn't some kind of self-indulgent wankery. I'm posting this because it's a good way to combine my heavy obsession in 2008 with Mylo, Fred Falke and, to a lesser extent, Cut Copy. It's also a way of including all three without addressing the fact that none of the songs involved were actually released this year, unless you count Hearts on Fire's re-release. Otto's Journey was undoubtedly one of my most listened-to songs this year. The Whitest Boy Alive remix is a dead set classic. Hearts on Fire, despite being one of the most overplayed songs of the year, is still a work of sheer brilliance and has to be recognised for that. Together I think they go quite nicely and allow me to squeeze all three infatuations into one space-saving slot here. I hope you, my dear friends, can accept my justification!
#5 The Juan Maclean - Happy House
I live for summer! I pretty much spend the other 9 months of the year checking my watch, tapping my feet, generally looking very impatient. And cold. For me, this tune is a stunning musical representation of summer. 12 minutes of tropical jam! I just float away and imagine drinking all kinds of delicious alcohol out of coconuts while riding dolphins and having my back scratched by beautiful women in straw skirts who I can't understand. Usually the reality is more like 15 tonnes of meat on a bbq with a beer in one hand and a sweat rag in the other complaining about my 3rd degree sunburn, but I'm fine with that. The fact of the matter is that The Juan Maclean has summed it all up with Happy House, one of the most fun and enjoyable tunes to surface this year, from its bouncy beach start to its firey club end.
#4 Syclops - The Fly
Syclops' album I've Got My Eye On You is my album of the year. A crazy genre-spicing experiment gone horribly right, the band pull together jazz, electronica, nu disco, indie, avant-garde wackiness and a whole bunch of other fancy categories in an amazing way. This is awesomely eclectic music. This song in particular just blows me away. You'll need to properly listen and pay attention to it to reap the rich rewards it offers, but it's well worth it. It really is just genius. The Soulwax-esque mono synth darts around for the first half of the song building up plenty of anxiety and then BAM - but a really gentle kind of BAM - a delightfully mellow synth comes out of nowhere and the song is immediately transformed into a dazzling lake of musical sex. The addition of one simple instrument is like a sudden injection of intense emotion, and from here the track just spreads out over a colourful psychedelic jam landscape. These guys are just too good - get their album!!
#3 Hercules and Love Affair - Blind (Serge Santiago Version)
Yep, a terribly obvious selection. Seriously, who didn't Hercules & Love Affair impress this year? Aside from people who just couldn't get their head around Antony's unique and perhaps gender confused gorgeous voice (I'm not saying I don't love it! I do!), did the album actually disappoint anybody? I can't see how it would have. The simple and superfresh nu disco vibes certainly had an influence on our little corner of music this year, and I expect will continue to inspire in years to come. Yes, the Frankie Knuckles mix is just the epitome of exquisite, but I reckon the Serge Santiago version is just as special. So deep and brooding, and a perfect match for the vocals. The sheer weight of it always leaves an impact on me. Can't wait for more H&LA in years to come, if we're lucky enough!
#2 Holy Ghost! - Hold On (Mock & Toof Remix)
Holy Ghost! have to be the most consistently brilliant act of the year for me. Yes they've been blogged like crazy and in a lot of cases that would turn me off a bit, but these guys are simply too good to let that worry me. If they reached Daft Punk stupidfame status I'd still openly admit to listening to them non stop. Once again being a bit of a sneak, this fantastic Mock & Toof remix means I can post this track as a tune which was released in 08. And oh my god I've been loving Mock & Toof this year too. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Hold On appearing on a bunch of 'best of 09' charts too - it seems ridiculous that they haven't exploded by now even with just that track. Their upcoming debut LP is my most anticipated release right now, bar none. Enjoy these peachy plodding summer sounds.
#1 The Laughing Light of Plenty - The Rose
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Tim Sweeney - if not for going to see his brilliant set in Sydney I would probably not have known of this perfect track. To be totally honest, upon first listening to this after hearing Tim was punishing it as a set opener, I was a little underwhelmed. I guess listening to so much 'dance' music in the last few years has made me a bit impatient. I kind of wanted some crazy explosion after the build up and didn't feel properly satisfied. Five listens later I was nearly in tears over the unparallelled concentration of joy pumping through my body. The amount of energy this song manages to ever so sneakily cook up is just absurd. I think it might one day be used as a healthy alternative to caffeine. Perhaps it will eliminate the need to give adrenaline shots to people having bad allergic reactions. Listen to this AS LOUD AS YOU CAN. For me it still gets better with every listen, which must be defying some sort of scientific laws of existence... I can only hope that The Laughing Light of Plenty will release more.
What do you guys think? I know top tens are always a bit controversial, but I tried to really just represent as a whole everything I've loved about this year. It really has been a great one: one in which I feel like music has really moved forward in. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't, but that's how it's been for me. Hope you're all still enjoying the stuff I'm putting up here! Keep reading! Kisses.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
I have been absent for far too long.
I'll try to not let it happen again!
Let's get started...
This track by Live Element is a simple, care-free groove riding on a wave of French filter:
Live Element - Be Free
Roy Rogers delivers an often missed French house gem from yesteryear (2001):
Roy Rogers - Graceland
With a crazy, pornographic breakdown, Australia's own A.D.A.M. BABY! (A Disco Ate My Baby) dishes out a super chic track with vocals you wish your girlfriend had:
A.D.A.M. BABY! - Hi Beam Baby
In a classic French house style, Nicolas Vallée offers up a great track with wobbly synths and epic swooshes (that's how I'd describe it!):
Nicolas Vallée - New New York
Tube & Berger only had one hit song, but it was a doozy. This extended version gives you the satisfying vocals while sticking around long enough to give you a satisfactory amount of that quirky melody before the track ends:
Tube & Berger - Straight Ahead (Extended Version)
By FAR one of my favorite disco house tracks. This Les Rythmes Digitales remix of Chili Hifly (very little produced) has you so entranced with the looped vocals that you're taken aback when the breakdown hits. If you didn't flip out around 4'40", seek help:
Chili Hifly - Is It Love (Les Rythmes Digitales Remix)
Ladyhawke is hot enough as is, but an Alex Gopher remix gives this track the bitchy, distorted overhaul it needs to get worked up. I know you shake about in sync when the vocals get cut up & looped - don't lie:
Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning (Alex Gopher Remix)
A little out in left field, Magazine 60 created an intoxicating melody with wacky vocals way back when (1981). With strange telephone ringing sounds, ridiculous breakdowns, and spectacular 80s synth lines, this is a classic. Is it too weird to enjoy? No señor! Amazingly, these guys are actually French:
Magazine 60 - Don Quichotte
Though it takes about 700 hours to get up and moving, Playmaker & Stonebridge & Axwell work together to make a super smooth house tune. Sure, it doesn't really go anywhere - but with so many layered instruments and classic disco house production styles (come on, they're all Swedish), you won't care. Those high piano notes coupled with echoed vocals make this a classic house track from a time long forgotten (2003):
Playmaker - Black Pony (Stonebridge & Axwell Ecstasy Mix)
Today's post was mostly a journey through outdated French house from the early 2000s - but wasn't it nice to remember? There's so many interesting things happening in music today, yet so much forgotten and missed from a few years ago. Did you get your healthy dose of filter house?
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Have to keep this short, too much to dooooo!
In Flagranti must be seriously busy guys. Keep seeing new things popping up all the time - it's swell. This Act Yo Age remix in particular is one of my favourite things of theirs I've heard lately. Solid solid solid bassline groove. So solid. A FlagrantiHunt also sent me in the direction of Ajello, a couple of Italian guys making some interesting music on a predominantly techy label. See what you think.
Act Yo Age - La Fumo Loco (In Flagranti Remix)
Ajello - Dolphy (In Flagranti Re-Edit)
Love Mock & Toof. Really. This is one of the nicest songs I've heard lately. A lovely spacey disco cruise with some very pretty production. And this Pilooski edit has dominated my stereo for quite a while now, I've only just worked up the courage to post it. How outlandish! Seriously it's quite sensational, Pilooski is just stupidly good.
Mock & Toof - Zomby Disco
Del Shannon - Gemini (Pilooski Edit)
I'll have a top 10 of '08 up within the week to make sure it's out of the way before I go get South Americanised. Tata.