By Stef Siepel
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.
It is almost November, traditionally a time some of those these-are-my-favorites-lists start to pop up. With this column going on hiatus after this one, lets look back at some tracks that either were released this year or were released on an album this year that, in my opinion, deserve some love.
‘Colour Wheel’ by Jan Ken Po
Jan Ken Po, aka Max Essa, came out with a deliciously bass driven album this year. This track has that trademark bass, which comes in a few seconds into the song. The thing that makes this one stand out for me above the rest is that typical sound. It really sets up a certain vibe, one that you don’t hear too often at that, and I always like that. Add to that a little nifty guitar fooling around, and you get this track that effortlessly seems to keep on rolling with that very unique vibe. Naturally, in the middle part the bass is stripped for a moment, and the “atmospheric” sounds get to put their stamp on the song even further, then for a moment you get a beat in there, after which the bass returns again to bring this one home. Just love how these sounds create this almost western-y vibe whilst that bass keeps propelling this song forward. I haven’t heard anything this year sounding quite like this track.
‘Her Fantasy’ by Matthew Dear
I’m not sure I like this year’s album better than Dear’s previous effort, but gosh it gets off to a good start, doesn’t it? ‘Her Fantasy’ is just this seminal Dear track which you can shuffle your feet a bit to, but which especially builds this somewhat brooding atmosphere without putting the weight of the world on you. Quite the oppossite in fact. Dear just knows how to put sounds togther. Listen from the minute mark on, and you have this beat, these “vocal” sounds, the actual vocals, all these percussion elements; it’s just such a complex tapestry which A) manages to bring out the atmosphere and B) manages to be easy on the ear and catchy as well. Complex things that sound clean and clear whilst still getting the depth, now then you’re doing a good job if you are able to do that. Not to mention that you can easily recognize this as a Matthew Dear song, one belonging in this Matthew Dear world, whilst still being distinctive to his other songs. Also love the vocal heavy intermezzo and how he pushes it back into gear around the four minute mark afterwards. Perhaps the best opening track of the year for me.
‘Troglodytes’ by Julio Bashmore
How about this slice of funk by Bashmore? Originally by I believe the Jimmy Castor Bunch, and Bashmore just made it into this amazing club track that will bring the house down on any fun loving dancefloor. You’ve got these really male, hoarse vocals telling you about how the only people that existed early on were troglodytes, and that voice is just so lovely. I can totally see why Bashmore wanted to take that and do something with it. And he gives that voice plenty of room to tell its tale, and when he’s done Bashmore puts the dancing in there with this light, breezy synth sound that juxtaposes that voice in a lovely manner. At 3:45 Bashmore strips everything except those vocals, and then obviously nicely builds it back to dancefloor mania. I dare you not to dance to this FREE download.
‘Lets Do It’ by Late Nite Tuff Guy
If you are an avid reader of this column you know I love these edits by Late Nite Tuff Guy. He takes these old songs (usually disco tunes) and seamlessly makes a version of it that you can play in a club and actually mix in and out. This one is by the S.O.S. Band if I’m not mistaken, and you get these lovely female vocals pleading to take some time to be alone / lock the door and pull out the phone to, well, Do it tonight (and do it right). This is what I want to hear in the club basically. These lovely emotional vocals talking about love and lust, put together with a nice beat. What I love about Late Nite Tuff Guy’s stuff is how he manages to marry the original song with these new contemporary elements so organically. That’s what makes it so easy and fun to listen to. Not to mention that this chorus is an absolute beast that you just want to be belting out on the dancefloor to someone or other.
‘Giving You All Of My Love’ by Drrtyhaze
Drrtyhaze came out with an album earlier this year, and this corker was on that. Just an absolute house cracker, one that is sure to set the dancefloor alight. Lovely, nice and patient build-up with a great main sound and some nice additional sounds for flavour. Two and a half minutes in these lovely male vocals come in singing that he’s giving you All of it, all of his love. And now, if that isn’t worth dancing to, what is, right? Then it’s a bit of almost vocals only, followed by a headlining gig for some of that horn action, which is a brilliant addition to this track. In the mean time the main sound keeps rolling on and it gives you every opportunity to keep on dancing. Seven minutes of dance action from the Nang label, and this wasn’t the only good tune on that album, so definitely worth a listen as far as I’m concerned.
‘So Will Be Now…’ by John Talabot feat. Pional
If there’s one album I consider an absolute hit this year, it’s that one by John Talabot. It is one of those late-night-through-the-city albums, one with that distinct vibe. This is one he made together with Pional, and it is perfection. The song actually has a little bit of a beat going on that you can even dance to, but it is just that atmosphere that is the thing that gets me most. Brilliant use of repetition and sounds to create this amazing flow, and he knows when to put in and pull back sounds to even get some emotionally evocative moments, like between 2:30 and 3:10. This album may not be a sleeper per se, and it may not be the best kept secret this year. But if it isn’t, that is deservedly so, and I couldn’t make this column without giving some love to both that album and this specific track he did with Pional.