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: ‘Popup Cinema’ by Tropics
Last year British producer Chris Ward, aka Tropics, released his debut Parodia Flare, and this is a new track from his hand (seeing an EP release on the 5th of next month). It starts really atmospheric and, well, a bit slow really, with at one point the vocals coming in ever so British. Very fragile, which fits the track to that point. Then you get a little bit of percussion in there, but the real turn comes at 1:22 when the beat first appears. The piano still gives you that bit of a melancholic feeling, but now the pace is upped a bit as well. In the mean time, naturally, he continues to add sounds and altered vocals, and the latter sound like they’re trapped in a box and can’t get out. Then the clear vocals come in again in all their vulnerability. They get a bit of the spotlight on them as Tropics takes away the beat for a moment, and after that he first goes percussion before he lets the beat return again. I think it’s a really lovely track. Very delicate piece of work this, which still has a bit of pace because of the beat, and its high on atmosphere. Definitely ups the anticipation for his sophomore turn.
‘Changes’ by LOL Boys (CFCF remix)
I’ve tooted CFCF’s horn so many times it probably is a bit ridiculous, but the kid really has an ear for sound and how to use it to convey certain moods or emotions. So expectations are always high. He starts this one with a bit of piano, sounding like it came straight from a Chris DeBurgh album, and then the vocals come in from the LOL Boys, makers of the original track which I haven’t heard. The first fifty seconds it seems like its heading straight for this terribly generic pop tune, but then the “complex” drums come in and it lands in a different area all together. I like the rhythm of the vocals when the singer is singing “Things won’t change until we do”, and I like the contrast between those complex, very nu sounds, and that more old school ‘True Colours’ vibe that comes from the piano. That’s cleverly done and quite fun. It’s got some nice elements to it, though on the whole probably not something I’ll be returning to all too often.
‘Edit Service 01′ by Bot’Ox
I’m a Cliche will be releasing an edit every two weeks, and this one is by the duo Bot’Ox, and they immediately get the funky going. That synth after one minute is genius and so old school, and it definitely steals the show. The rest, for me, is kind of too fast. No idea how high this runs on the BPMs, but its got this incredibly hurried and fast vibe to it which makes my head spin a tad. After three minutes, with the increased role of the drums, it regains some footing, which gives me the idea I’ve got a bit more to hold on to. But still the thing remains that if you either don’t like a bit of funk, or if you don’t like the pace to be too high, you’re probably better off with next week’s edit in this series (we assume).
‘Leaving Tomorrow’ by Chris Malinchak
Chris Malinchak has been red hot lately, doing some amazing releases/edits that certainly got me excited. This one starts a bit tough, but when he turns it back after forty seconds and you get the vocals; that’s just the perfect balance. What I really love is, that although the beat is pretty big, the vocals are allowed to pierce through, and the music just seems to slide around it, not interfering with it at all. That’s really lovely. After that vocal turn (I believe that’s Lionel Richie by the way) I do like how the beat returns, a bit cheeky, and you can do a bit of the sexy to it. It seems that the beat also gets slightly less oppressive as the track goes on, something I’m definitely in favour of. Clever use of the vocals, a beat that, though at the start perhaps a bit overpowering, definitely will get people dancing on the dancefloor, and just another catchy and clever edit from Malinchak.
‘La Foret’ by Lescope (Joakim Balenciaga remix)
Joakim released an absolutely ace album last year, so to see him doing something is always intriguing. At the start you get this really quick beat which I’m not sure I’m a fan of, but in combination with that equally frantic sound that comes in after twenty seconds and that talky, French vocal delivery suddenly it makes sense. For some reason — and not only because of the French vocals, mind you — it has this French vibe to it, which done this way is lovely. I also really like that chorus, which just sounds like the people making it having fun. After the three minute mark I also like what they do instrumental wise, contrasting that quick beat with this more lazy piano. And to add some flavour to that they bring in some cafe noises as well. People talking at the bar. And that’s kind of the vibe I’m getting, two friends in the bar making this track on piano and some electronic gadgets, smiling at each other when they do the chorus and when they bring it to a nice, fitting close. And that makes it really easy and lovely to listen to.
‘Shelia’ by Memory Tapes
That first album by Memory Tapes, gosh that was brilliant, still have it here on blue vinyl. The second one had some great songs on it, but for some reason didn’t quite stick to me (though I do still on occasion enjoy listening to it). I could see the growth in it though, the song structure on that one was perhaps even better than on the first one. Anyway, on to his next one, and this is the first take of it. I love how it starts, but when that second sound comes in at around 45 seconds or so, that’s too big a contrast isn’t it? It sounds really high and piercing that sound. Then, after 1:20, that’s ace again. That beat that slides in, those lovely vocals, and that dreamy atmosphere (also helped by the sound that is introduced around 1:30), that’s all good. 2:40 is another nice change-up to “heavier” sounds, which are contrasted (in a good way) with his vocals. The big turn around is when he puts in the rock guitar and the big drums, that really go into this total Deep Purple rock aesthetic, and its impressive how fluently he slides from that back into his more dreamy mode. Its an epic, quite impressive track, with loads of elements that work really well. Three times in the track though, when he goes from dreamy to high-pitched sounds, it seems like it just goes a bit too bang for me.