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.
Track of the week: ‘A Piece of Paradise’ by Ilya Santana
Ilya Santana, aka the master of hypnotic balearic. Not always equally hardcore danceable, but you sure know he puts in the mood and that he can make this hypnotic ride out of it that has you shuffling and bobbing for its entire duration. This is, again, not a banger, but it’s a tune that rolls on with that beat, but especially with all those other sounds he weaves in there, like that bass and what almost sounds like a flute of some sorts. Hypnotism at its best, put some snakes in baskets in front of this and you’ve got them coming out and doing that Middle-Eastern market thing they do in no time. For me, this is the essence of balearic, where it just keeps rolling, where it’s got bags of flavour in it, and lovely hypnotic sounds you can close your eyes to and get swept away with. That sound he comes up with at 3:40 is just such a prime example of that. I also just love that continuity, how it flows on. If you like this sort of thing, Santana is where you can’t go wrong. Now, if y’all excuse me, I’m feeling like getting some vinyl of his out to play.
‘The Giver’ by Duke Dumont
It starts really atmospheric. It immediately sets the tone, and to add even extra flavour you can hear some vocals in the background that really enhance the mood. After that, the vocals really come to prominence, saying “you’re that special someone that really makes me want to give in”. The vocals are lovely, nice and warm, and after they’ve told you what the song wants to evoke, Duke Dumont gets the beat and the club sounds going to get the dancefloor a dancing. Some of those sounds would ordinarily perhaps be a bit too “club” for me, but they are nicely set off against those vocals, which would make me not mind listening to it outside of a dance atmosphere. Some warmer sounds you get after the three minute mark, and then another round of vocals, this time a little bit botched up as to not repeat it exactly. After that he goes real club with a kind of siren sound that I could have done without, and if there is one thing that, personally, I would’ve liked is that the sounds would’ve matched the warmth of house as well as the vocals do. Overall though, a nice dance track with a splash of atmosphere to keep it all interesting.
‘The Returning’ by Downtown Party Network feat. James Yuill (The Time and Space Machine mix)
Nice little beat to start, and almost immediately those vocals come in with a bit of echo to them – immediately adds some feel to the track, which gets another boost when the bass comes in after fifty seconds. At 1:20 you get some lighter sounds which nicely contrast with both the bass and the beat, and then at the two minute mark you get a nice little guitar riff to keep it all fresh and exciting in this balearic track that keeps chugging smoothly along. And that they do splendidly; you’ve got the base in the beat and bass which makes sure it rolls along like a balearic track is supposed to do (that slightly hypnotic idea), and on the top of that you’ve got plenty of sounds to add warmth, depth, and variety so that it doesn’t let down in the vibe and atmosphere department either. Especially that little guitar riff that returns now and again is a splendid addition. Lovely track.
‘How Do You Do’ by Hot Chip (Todd Terje remix)
Now, Hot Chip AND Todd Terje, these guys should know how to put on a banger, right? I’ve been watching some Hot Chip concerts online lately, and they’ve really become those house machines live, so can’t wait to see them in October when they come around here. Todd Terje is a known hand as well, so this should be a complete all-out dance fest, no? It starts surprisingly deep, so that’s something that takes me off guard, and I’m not sure that I personally find that meshing with the “Hot Chip” sounds very well. Kind of feels Terje had that deep beat at the ready and he just sprayed Hot Chip on over it. I like that build-up at 2:20 with the handclaps (and sans the deep beat), and the release after that with especially that bass. That would get me dancing. You get a full stop just before the five minute mark, where it hits the brakes in full. Then via the vocals and handclaps it tries to get the mood back in, naturally working to the release that Terje manages to delay until 6:22 where he goes in with the big guns (aka, the deep beat). For me, this is not a remix that makes me ecstatic. Some elements seem not to gel as I, for one, had hoped, and I think I’d rather hear a extended (and more house-y) live version of the song than this remix.
‘Augusta’ by Silver City (Toomy Disco remix)
Toomy Disco dives in with this heavy beat, though luckily that is contrasted with that lighter thud sound. Thankfully, all that is toned down in favour of a bass that I do like. That bass has got a bit of attitude to it. Just after the minute mark you get some building up sounds before the track’s main sounds are let loose, and by the time that has happened luckily most of that start I’ve already forgotten. This is way more dancey than that heavy handed beat could ever have hoped to be. Like that the beat is stripped away just after the two minute mark, you get a light intermezzo just after, and obviously then it gets kicked into higher gear (thankfully not with that beat, but with other elements). So, three quarters of the track has got these disco like sounds, but on acid so to speak. So you can hear some disco influenced sounds there, but it is all a bit harder, a bit tougher, and a bit more focused on a (high speed) dancing crowd.
‘Cashback’ by Neneh Cherry & The Thing (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas remix)
When Lindstrom and Prins Thomas team up, you know that you’re going to get this epic affair that just keeps rolling on and on. They really pick that disco tinged base and just ride it into oblivion, garnering momentum along the way. Now, in the hands of some artists this would become stale quickly, but in the hands of Lindstrom and Prins Thomas it just keeps on going. That’s because A) that base is delightfully danceable (always), and B) because the toppings they decide to sprinkle on over it give enough punch and variety to keep loving it. It’s really about having a little dance this, and when the horns come in at the four minute mark you’ll definitely be wanting to shake your tail-feather. And if you’re late doing this, the vocals will at one point literally start advising you to. Lovely catchy stuff this, Lindstrom & Prins Thomas as we know them.