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: ‘Never Had the Time’ by WhoMadeWho (Saschienne remix)
Guess who’s coming to dinner? Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but Saschienne is someone I connote to the same kind of aesthetics as that of the BPitch label. Which, in other words, means minimal techno, not so much brass synths like that of WhoMadeWho. So lets see what happens here. Saschienne definitely doesn’t want to compromise, immediately setting the tone with that minimal aspect I immediately thought of when seeing that name. This monster spans nine minutes, and basically is a deep, minimal beat (& stuff) accompanied by the more melancholic and restrained vocal parts of that fabulous WhoMadeWho album. Which, naturally, is made even more restrained and melancholic by Saschienne to make it a perfect addition to that main sound. Really out of the box and smart thinking this. It just works (for me) as a minimal track with a nice hypnotic beat, and it just happens to have some amazing and somewhat familiar vocals. Good stuff, especially if you like your dance on this side of the spectrum.
‘House Track One’ by Moon Runner (Pete Herbert Version)
You know which genre you will be listening to just by the title (though in all honesty that’s one of the most unimaginative things I’ve ever seen). Pete Herbert knows how to do deep disco (for loss of a better word), and you immediately get both deep and disco right from the start. That quick, starting sound is definitely nice and disco/house, that kind of aesthetic, and immediately he puts in a deeper than average beat. After half a minute the song gets rolling with a nice bass, and throughout the song you start hearing some male vocals and some synthesizers to add a bit of flavour to it all. Love the change up at about 1:40, and about half a minute after that he strips the beat, which he then builds up again for a release. Herbert knows how to get that deep beat and ride it to the end, so if you’re on the dancefloor you have got that stability to move and groove a bit. Though I like that, there are times where I wish Herbert would let go of that and make something else king for a moment. For me, his best work is where that happens, though this and the rest of it I’ll happily slide into a set just for that beat and those aesthetics provided by the supporting sounds.
‘Same Way I Feel’ by Midnight Magic
The fabulous Let’s Play House label recently released a sampler containing this track by disco ensemble Midnight Magic. Some of their tracks (and the remixes as well) I’m just smitten with, so new output is always something I’m welcoming. The singer has put on her sultry voice for this ballady tune. The sound is a nice change of pace for them. Though I’m not a particular fan of it, it does show they can put in a different vibe than usual, which is always good, especially with a possible album in mind. Love the horns that come in just after the minute mark, through which she croons “Tell me you feel / the same way I feel”. So again you’ve got that major theme of love and longing that’s so big in disco, highlighted by the horn section in the chorus. The delivery is also ace, as Tiffany Roth shows she cannot only belt it out, but also has longing and yearning in her reportoire. Another stellar outing by the NY band.
‘Earthforms’ by Matthew Dear
The album is coming, the album is coming (or by the time this is printed, it may just be out). His last LP was superb, the teaser ‘Her Fantasy’ was magnificent, and hopefully for the album I’ll be able to churn out another one of those terms of endearment. It starts almost a bit post-punk this, with the dark vibe, the drums, that bass that comes in at nineteen seconds, and that kind of rock sound he establishes here. Then those typical rhythmic vocals by Dear come in, and immediately he draws it even further into the shadows of the city. Because of that bass and guitar you almost get the feel you’re listening to something out of the Cystal Stilts catalogue, another band with heavily edited vocals. Don’t think this is a simply rock ditty though, as it has all the complexity you can expect from a musical mastermind. The rhythmic vocals blend in perfectly, and its all about the structure of the song and the additional sounds to give some extra flavour to those post-punk sensibilities. That way it never becomes something too attached to that realm of music. Especially that static noise that increases as the song goes by really makes it all perfect for the Dear universe.
‘Not This Time Baby’ by Bastille Edits
The label Superbreak knows how to churn out beatific disco tracks, and this is no exception. You’ve got that strong beat for the modern dancefloor, but as soon as those vocals tease you into the song you know there’s some disco to be had here. The female vocals and the title immediately indicate that you’ll be listening to one strong lady, one who says that she’s got some love on her mind (and it’s no good wasting her time). Not this time baby, she announces over the beat that keeps this thing going (in most parts, in combination with a deep bass to which you can perfectly dance to). I mean, this has everything that I’m looking for when diving behind my mixer: It’s got the beat and the bass for the dancefloor (the pace is kept high, the beat has a certain immediacy to it, the bass gives you reason to shake your booty), and it’s got some strong vocals and a strong female protagonist. One I’ll happily add to my go-to-tracks. It’s strong, danceable, and has got some nice vocals which are perfectly audible and never have to fight against the beat (instead, they’re aided by it). DJs take note.
‘Feeling’s Gone’ by Beacon
And now for something not danceable, but definitely electronic and heartfelt, Beacon’s track is a sort of ballad for the electronical age. Acoustic guitar is fine and all that, but Beacon makes perfect use of some technical gadgets to enhance the mood he’s aiming for. I really like how he plays with the contrasts loud and soft. Sometimes they are really contrasted with each other, and at other times they smoothly blend into each other perfectly. I’m not sure what he’s singing about, but I like that, as I like that post-modern thing of people reading the signs in the song and then interpret it per their own personal experience and how they read all it. I just need to get some of the words right though, as now I’m torn between a love that is nearing its end or a cheeky bugger whose arousal has gone, but if you stay the night, it’ll surely come back. I’ll probably be emberrased by both thoughts when I get a lyric sheet in front of me and go Oohhh, yeah, that makes more sense that.