By Stef Siepel
September 13, 2013
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: ‘Got to be Real’ by Cheryl Lynn (Get Down Edits quick fix)
It’s 1978, and Cheryl Lynn releases ‘Got To Be Real’. For this 2013 edit if you, by the time the horns break into the song at the 40 second mark, haven’t figured this one out as disco yet, the sounds after that surely leave little room for guessing. Don’t think big beat, as the name already indicates they have gone for a quick fix. So you better get used to dancing to that bassline, because that is all you’re getting as far as dancing aides. Then again, disco is for dancing anyway, so who needs added beats when you’ve got the horns, the little guitar riffs, and that beautiful voice and those backing vocals. Plenty of emotion there, for sure, as she warns you that It’s got to be real with the horn section giving it plenty of oomph, in case you thought she wasn’t serious enough. At one point the vocals are temporarily ditched for a musical interlude including piano, though soon that delicious horn section comes in again to help. At one point Cheryl Lynn’s vocals return again, bringing it to the end with gusto. If you love disco, this free download sure is one to add to your playlist, with the strenght of the original coming through in full here.
‘Acapulco & L.A.’ by Clubfeet
Clubfeet has just released their album Heirs & Graces, and they celebrate that via some fun, sunny, and most of all catchy synth pop beach music (especially the choice of instruments indicate sunny and Acapulco probably, moreso than L.A. I imagine). The vocals don’t particularly add to the joy of the music, being on the detached side of the Cut Copy model moreso than the party side. Then again, if the synths and the percussion elements are all so light and summery (despite the lyrics going on about broken hearts) it is hard not to see this playing at a beach festival or something. I like that, at 3 minutes, the vocals get some more character to them, which is given to them shortly before a short break, after which the synths come back again soon enough to get everyone dancing. Fun and catchy romp this, very fitting to celebrate an album release with I would say. Even though if you don’t like the genre, you might find it sounding a tad similar to the aforementioned Australian band.
‘Money’ by Rainer
Rainer puts out a little electronical tune anchored, primarily, by the strong female vocals. Mechanical drum sounds in the background provide a slightly experimental base to layers of vocals, which they use cleverly to add some depth to the track. It shows that you don’t need 800 instruments to have a layered construction. Rebekah, meanwhile, is singing about the plight of a woman who does things she might not particularly want to do, however, she needs the money. Something that causes her to spent much energy just to stay strong. I like that, at one point, there’s really a minimum amount of drums in the background with only basically the secondary vocal group to sing over, it’s a nice and effective little break that adds much to this track with a relatively short running time.
‘In My Arms’ by Luvless (Ooft! remix)
I love that slightly melancholic and longing tone in the sounds here at the start. The beat, to me, is night personified, and underneath that there is this atmospheric line with a slight sad tinge. Around the minute mark you get a more outspoken sound, which is alleviated twenty seconds later when it seems a main percussion element forebodes the coming of the vocals. Those vocal moments are quickly helped by the synth, as Ooft! nixes the first moment they could’ve gone for the kill. Instead they patiently wait and build it up a bit, just to slide extra sounds underneath it instead of going for a break-and-go. We do get that break later in the song, as the beat is stripped away for a moment in favor of just atmospheric synth sounds and the vocals, saying “Just to hold ya in my arms” before the beat returns for the people to dance to again. So from a relatively mood driven start this, by now, is working on the dancefloor level with the beat, which is definitely aided by the sparse-yet-effective lines by the vocals.
‘Sixth Nonsense’ by Roberto Rodriguez
Roberto Rodriguez is mixing some house beats (with a definite mechanical sound to them) with some female vocals in the hope to get some dancing done on the dancefloor. The vocals are soon kind of doubled to add a little bit of extra atmosphere to the track. The same trick is basically being used for the beat, though that one is not literally doubled, however at times is is slightly heightened to add the illusion of depth to it. Around 3:30 the beat is stripped, and the female vocals are gone as well, leaving the vocals that “doubled” the female vocals as the sole survivor, along with some synth-as-percussion (at least, that’s how it sounds to me). After that, obviously, the beat returns to get the dancefloor going again. This song sure doesn’t overcomplicate things with a needless amount of instruments, but rather uses the sounds it has and then deviates from them by adding secondary lines that slightly differ. And if you go with that old school beat, nothing for the people in the club to get offended by I reckon.
‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Rufus & Chaka Khan (Derek Kaye rework)
Derek Kaye is an old hand at this, and he takes on this 1983 single by Rufus and Chaka Khan to make this into a nine minute monster sure to please every crowd there is. He starts with the beat and some woodwork, quickly working his way up and adding percussion and synths until the inevitable moment comes that the song really kicks into gear. Which is just after the second minute mark, when the change up clearly shows the track readying to get going with the vibe of the original. Just before 3:30 we hear the inimitable Khan for the first time, though her voice is distorted a bit, just to tease you. Soon though, she’s there singing Ain’t nobody, though the vocals are not full throttle placed front and center yet, but they seem to be one layer down, giving it a curious effect of restrainment. Shortly after that we get some unaltered vocals that, now, are clearly audible. Not yet the chorus though, first a bit of the verses with that awesome guitar in there. After that comes the chorus which you and your mum can happily belt out together, though Kaye does keep the percussion going underneath to keep everyone dancing. At about 6:45 there is a little drop sans the beat in which we get the backing vocals doing the chorus along with some nice piano as well. After about half a minute the percussion is back again along with Chaka Khan herself. Just one of those mega edits for DJs to please the crowd with, and now tell me, who doesn’t want to do that?