By Stef Siepel
August 30, 2013
The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. A 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: ‘Cabaret’ by Escort
This one wastes no time getting off the starting block, already putting plenty of energy in right from the start. Add to that some strings, a pretty fast paced beat, and a story about a Cabaret just off Avenue A (where, apparently, you could get anything you want as long as you know what to say), and you’ve got this fun and entertaining disco romp of a song with plenty of pizazz. There’s a change-up at the two minute mark, clearing everything out for a little guitar riff, on top of which they bring back a few layers before the big drums, the strings, and the vocals take over again for the chorus. It is a really fun tune, clocking in at a swift 3:17, though hopefully the live version will double that to make it pandemonium come gig time. Also, what I do really like is how the subject matter fits the vibe and fits the song. Because they are all so connected it just puts down an atmosphere where it all just clicks and an audience immediately know what the score is, which is quite nice I must say.
‘Okay’ by Holy Ghost!
Holy Ghost! are readying their new album, and after a few (awesome) songs and a few (awesome) teasers, now we get the next full track to preview. It dials down the complete disco feel of ‘Dumb Disco Ideas’ and exchanges it for something slightly more subdued (though naturally still embedded with a certain lower paced disco feel). I just love some of these elements here. There’s some lovely synth action in there, love the handclap-like sounds, and there are just all these subtle things that mesh fantastically together. That’s perhaps the biggest thing of the song, how they really melted this one into a cohesive whole with this laidback attitude. Including the vocals, I might add, and they don’t settle for one overlong chorus, but there’s quite a full tale they are telling. There’s one real change-up at about 2:50, where they go for drums and vocals as the core sounds for just a moment, but soon the synths come back in to ride this one home in a dancey manner. The new album, called Dynamics, will be released on the 10th of September, and it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to.
‘Can’t Get Enough’ by Yeah Boy
For his solo project Johnny Castro is gearing up to release his first single in October, and this is it. I think the thing that’s really fun about this track is that there isn’t that much noise in here. It is all pretty clear and clean as there aren’t too many layers going right on against each other. And the layers that are there work pretty well together, but more importantly, some are quite surprising. The first time those deep male vocals going “ba-ba-ba-ba-bam-bam” came in I couldn’t surpress a smile. That’s just lovely. Add some nifty guitar playing in there, some light sounds that are nicely uplifting, and you’ve got a really fun track with clear sounds that, in any case, brought a smile to my face. Nice way to get your solo stuff going, I reckon.
‘Save Our World’ by DJ Pierre
DJ Pierre puts you firmly and deeply into old school house territory here (like, arguably, he always does). One of the classic men behind the decks, he knows how to make his audience move, and in this cut he pulls no punches. Immediately in the first minute you get a big build-up, followed by a fast paced beat and synth that puts you in the middle of the dancefloor and nowhere else. One of those that you can pull out if the crowd is already getting it going on and you want to up the energy just a bit more to really make them get down. The vocals, in classic house fashion, are male and talking (instead of singing), though in this case it is more screaming than that deep storytelling kind of voice you also hear fairly often. It fits the energy of the track, which is high, and every instrument from beat to cymbal to vocals make you not forget that. After one of those build-ups just before the five minute mark DJ Pierre changes it up a bit, going for primarily the beat, which makes the track a bit less manic but definitely still gives the dancing crowd plenty to hold on to. After a minute the background sound basically gets pushed to the fore a bit more, giving it kind of a Caribbean edge I suppose (at least, that’s my connotation with it) as the beat rides this one out. Definitely high on activity this one, so not for the faint hearted.
‘Tears Apart’ by Letters To Fiesta
The first thing that really jumps out at you are those vocals, which really have a huge presence, not in the least because of how high they sometimes go. Sometimes this gets encouraged by some sort of spectral sounds, though luckily sometimes this also gets contrasted with deep drums as to not go into overload. Arguably, for some, this might still be the case I guess (like with most bands that even go as much as semi experimental) as it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. On the flip side, not every band has a voice like that, so there you go. With the use of the vocals and alternatively supporting it and contrasting it (sometimes, like at the start, both at the same time by using both the drums and the additional vocals) they definitely put down the atmosphere. At 2:20, everyone who is a weekly reader of this column knows I’m going to say I personally could’ve done without those glitchy sounds where they purposedly go for something which, to me, just sounds like you’re using an instrument the wrong way, but I guess that’s just a pet peeve of mine. Aside from that, the atmosphere and the big female vocals are two weapons that will no doubt have a bit of a persuasive force.
‘Starman’ by David Bowie (Jean Claude Gavri remix)
You can always count on Jean Claude Gavri to do a fun remix or edit, usually in the disco vein. The music keeps that vibe, but this time he doesn’t pick an old classic in the genre, but rather takes on David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, off of one of my personal favorite albums. Gavri makes it into kind of this slow jam thingy, where you can have a bit of fun dancing and moving whilst, obviously, singing along to this classic. And Gavri doesn’t chop up the vocals, doesn’t put the chorus in repetition, but instead he really makes the song go from A-to-Z with a very fitting new soundtrack to have a bit of fun on the dancefloor. Don’t think major beat or something (goodness, no), but instead he uses all these lovely sounds that just totally fit the vibe of the song and the vocals. Sounds really organic this, definitely doesn’t sound as a classic song made dancefloor ready. And if you can do that whilst keeping the vocals intact, and offer it as a .wav free download as well, nothing but huge props in that case.