By Stef Siepel
December 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: ‘No’ by HNNY
HNNY is one part of Montauk, who released an amazing EP called Boys a few years back with three absolutely amazing, smooth, low paced edits. This one is no up-tempo dance driven tune either, though with the percussion and the thudding drum it does provide a little bit of a core to bob your head to. Elegance, that’s kind of the word you can slap on this one. It has an elegant way of moving forward, with this kind of melancholic vibe at one point thanks to this atmospheric auxiliary sound that floats above the rest as the rhythm elements below undergo some slight changes from time to time. One of the nicer of those changes is at about 2:19, when those hi-hats come in which give the track a bit more pace. Around the three minute mark you start hearing some vocals, though these are at that point still fragmented. At 3:20 he strips the lot, just giving you the beat as he starts to increase the vocals. The lyrics, by the way, lifted from TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ (hence the title of this one). I just love the patience in introducing them, and then how he rides them into the sunset as soon as he puts them in. Really cool in my book. By this time the rhythm part is also more catchy and simple, letting the vocals do most of the talking (…), though there’s still this shimmering synth to add some warmth. Quality track this.
‘Okay’ by Holy Ghost! (a/jus/ted remix)
For me, that Holy Ghost! album called Dynamics was one of the albums of the year. This is a track off of that, though I’m pretty sure the deep house vibe that’s on display here is courtesy of Eddie Mars and Justin Strauss, who turn this one into a deep club track. Lovely vibes from the get go, and that continues after the change-up at about 1:40 where they really get into the rhythm side of things, from woodwork to bass, to what not. Everything adds some sort of rhythm to it, that is before that lovely spectral sound gets introduced. The vocals, that sometimes get mixed in (though in snippets at first) juxtapose the deepness of the sounds nicely. At about 3:20 the rhythm side gets stripped a bit, with more focus on that spectral sound and some keys that come in. This is also the moment to add some more vocals to the mix, and sure enough they do so shortly after. Naturally, we’re working our way back to the beat here, first with some hi-hat action, then the vocals shout something out which is the beat’s cue to move back into the track again. Really great remix this, just turning the whole vibe of this track upside down to make it all ready for the club, and it does so in this really smooth way. Good stuff by these guys.
‘Love Sublime’ by Tensnake (feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora)
Nile Rodgers must be, at this point in time, the most succesful guy in music. No fading away for this man, as 2013 must’ve been like his best year since forever. This track, coming from Tensnake’s upcoming album (highly anticipated by loads of people I reckon), is just this great slice of house heaven with a spoonful of pop sensibility thrown in there. The latter especially in the transition to the chorus, which surely is more pop music than house I’d say. Just before the two minute mark you get this nice bridge from one chorus to another, and there’s this lovely little riff in there which has Rodgers written all over it (and throughout the song that guitar work is present, don’t you worry!). It’s catchy, it’s fun, and it is very accessible, so it’s not just for House aficionados. Though I certainly am not turned off by the accessibility at all, because who doesn’t love a bit of catchy pop thrown in there?
‘Soul Satisfaction’ by Bit Funk
Bit Funk has an EP out this month, and this is a track from that one. And it starts with a nifty bit of piano, after which they don’t play around and immediately get those vocals in there, soon aided by that same piano whilst in the mean time the beat goes on. It’s got the soul down pat, not in the least thanks to the vocals, that are courtesy of Clara Ward I believe, as she preaches and then preaches some more. Now, I love me some vocals, and Bit Funk really gets them going on this one, riding them like you ride a guy whose been shooting 9-for-9 from downtown in a basketball game or something. The piano is the clincher for me. Yeah, maybe for some there’s a bit too much oomph in here with the vocals ongoing (and never holding back any punches), but if you like that like me, here’s some piano funk and Clara Ward for you to enjoy. As a free download no less.
‘Icarus Complex’ by YACHT
Recorded for charity this one is, though it takes some time for this one to get some recorded music in there at all, the start taking a really long time. Apparently this one samples a children’s choir, in case you’re wondering where these vocals are coming from and why they’re so different from the duo comprising this band. Things soon get trippy, which kind of goes against what they normally do I guess, since usually I connote them to a pretty smooth sound, which is not really this trip-heavy normally I believe. They do come in with a nice drop though, after which you can dance some more (if, that is, your body moves this way). I would be hard pressed to say it’s a no doubt recommendation for fans of YACHT, because it isn’t really an exact match with their regular output. Then again, it’s on a compilation for charity, so there are worse blind buys if you decide to go for it without having a listen whether or not it’s truly your cup of tea.
‘Buffalo’ by Peter Power
Definitely gets right down to it, this one does, with that menacing deep sound that starts it off. You can already hear a percussion element seeping in, and a few seconds later that percussion element is one of the main rhythm elements there. Those percussion rhythm punches are expanded upon later, though when the vocals get in it kind of resorts to the more atmospheric side again for a second. Every time it does that, it is always waiting for the rhythm section to come in again to propel this one forward. Something which Peter Power does again at 2:29 for instance. That’s the point you can start dancing again, and these are the moments I really like. I just love the combination of good rhythm pieces and a nice atmosphere, and at those times both are there. And especially the latter in abundance. It’s got a good vibe to it, which is heightened by the constant (yet circular) changes that highlight those elements. When the drums provide that slight base to do a bit of moving to, that’s when the track’s at its best. And for some reason, aside from the near animal noises you can hear on this one, the slow jam of the beat also, somehow, fits the buffalo tag.