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: ‘Just Say the World’ by Matthew Kyle
This immediately starts right with a nice groove, and after twenty seconds it gets a little something something with a nice beat to put some extra oomph to it. Another twenty seconds later it gets some percussion to flesh it out even more. It also puts some variety in it not to make it just the ongoing beat to listen to. After a minute there’s a slow down, and after that those amazing, colourful vocals come in. Kyle rides that for a while, brings it down a bit, and then he puts a new vocal line on the more minimal sounds. After that he goes back to what he did before, but attaching that new vocal line to the old one. I really like that – taking two elements you have already heard and then mixing those together in a later stage of the song. That’s really nicely done, it adds variety, it adds recognition, it gives the song a clear build-up; that’s good thinking right there. I happened to come across a song of his not too long ago which I also really liked, so he’s on something of a run definitely.
‘Royaume A Stockholm’ by Mari Posa (Mike Simonetti remix)
I love Mike Simonetti, and I love Mike Simonetti remixes, generally. It took me a while to get going on this one. The start put me off a bit, but slowly it grew on me. There’s something about the vocals that’s very mysterious and sexy, like being at a ball masque I guess. Simonetti starts a bit lean here, but after a minute he adds one layer and slowly he builds on the main sounds. Maybe that is why the closer you get to the end of this song, the better it seems to get. And I like it when she really starts narrating her story about two minutes in. I love when those vocals get to the foreground for a while at about 3:30, with underneath them this nice Italians Do It Better sound to add some atmosphere. I think the song really comes into its own from that point on. So arguably, yeah, it takes a while, but after that it gets going and it is a very nice remix indeed.
‘Sa Sa Samoa’ by Korallreven feat. Julianna Barwick
It starts very angelic, very Scandinavian in that you seem to be able to imagine watching a sunset over the Fjords with no city in sight. Around the middle it gets a bit stronger some of the sounds, but in its core it is really an atmospheric, ambient song. After halfway suddenly what seems to be a children’s choir pops up, which takes it from Scandinavia all the way to Africa. It is an ambient song that relies on you being outdoors in natural splendour I reckon, and with me sitting in my stuffy old room behind my laptop, not really something that excites me. Though at the right time, and for the right person, I reckon you can be swept away by this. I am not the right person I think, natural beauty has the tendency to bore me.
‘Following’ by The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Special Single Version)
They are back! The Phenomenal Handclap Band really put out some stellar songs their first go around. They start with a sort of 70s psychedelic, cosmic sound, which quickly is supported by a catchy rhythm. Because of that the track gets a nice pace and rolls along very nicely. At the two minute mark they get the vocoder out and put that to some use. I just really like the interplay of the pace and the catchiness in combination with the female vocals singing over it, and with that vocoder on the male vocals you get this typical atmosphere that makes it all a bit retro. Lovely little song, without setting the room alight. But not every song has to do that I reckon, and I could listen to this multiple times a day easily.
‘Alphaville’ by Bryan Ferry (Todd Terje remix)
Monsieur Ferry is obviously best known for heading Roxy Music, and definitely not for his latest solo album. Todd Terje takes on a track from that last one though, and he makes it a whopping eleven minutes long. Starts with very light and happy sounds that I see doing well on a beach party with cocktails (with that said, it is November). There are some sounds at around 2:00 and on which could easily come out of a SNES game I reckon. Fittingly the music stops altogether when Ferry comes round for the first time, you have to pay due respect for art rock icons naturally. I actually like his vocals on here, which are kind of subdued, I’m just not sure about the core sound that propels this song forward. It sounds a bit to 8-bitty for me. What are those, steel drums? That percussionist sound. I’m horrible with instruments, but that makes it a really really happy smiley shiny track. Not sure that is for me. I get images of blokes in shorts and sunglasses with a cocktail in their hand and a smug smile on their face doing some sort of dance that’s not really a dance at all. Two fingers in the air and boogie-woogie on flip-flops.
‘Don’t Break My Love’ by Nicolas Jaar
I absolutely adored that album this young man put out earlier this year. So fabulous in terms of sounds and moods. It has been my favourite album this year to listen to while roaming through the streets after midnight. This track has a bit of a run up before the first sounds come in, after which he mixes melancholy with a sort of slapstick routine. Only after two minutes real beats come in, but those beats are kind of botched up. Definitely not as smooth a cut as most of the tracks on his album, with the album definitely being more my style than this. I like parts of this, and I like how clever he is with the combination of sounds. Mixing, deep, light, high, vocal, etcetera in clever ways. The canvas though, that beat, that’s just something I can’t get past. More experimental and less flowing, it does take its toll I’m afraid. It just feels like it costs so much more energy to listen to than the songs on his album, and quite frankly I’m already running low on energy always. The ending is more my thing, with the new vocals adding some additional warmth.