Eighteen million blogs (I don’t know, but you get the idea), even more songs: it’s really hard to chart that. So lets not pretend to do such a silly thing here. Instead in this weekly column we go ahead and talk about a rather random take of six tracks that came to our attention through the blogosphere in the past week. The songs are collected from Wednesday to Wednesday, and we quickly and swiftly review them here. The Hypem links make sure that you can listen to the track if you haven’t heard it yet so you can instantly disagree (or in a stunning move, agree) with what is said about it. And hopefully you come across something you like but had overlooked in that ever-crowded internet.
TRACK OF THE WEEK: ‘Night by Night’ by Chromeo
Danceable and catchy, that’s the least you can say about this new track by Chromeo. The vocals are a good fit for the Eighties vibe that runs through this song, which is delightfully slick. Around the 2:20 mark the vocals are put on hold for an old fashioned guitar solo (who would’ve though that, right?) which runs over the beat and synths. After the guitar it’s the piano’s turn before manipulated vocals introduce more of a club direction. If this doesn’t get people dancing you’re probably in a dead town club. And yes, it has a bit of that retro sound to it, but for the past years the best tracks to get people dancing have had that, and it has proven to be good dancing to it in the d.i.s.c.o., no?
‘Leach Power’ by Servo
Old fashioned disco, and that is pretty obvious from the get go. Instrumentally at least, and in terms of vocals it’s a bit funky. Which is underlined by the repeated shouts to “funk out”, directed at all the “funky people”. Next to all the drums there is an occasional synthy intermezzo. It is reasonably danceable, though it does not run as smooth as this sort of track perhaps needs to. And if it in places does, it are the old-fashioned bits of it, which sound vintage Seventies underground in which Servo put some contemporary elements as to make it sound not too dated. I could see it work live in front of the right crowd, but stand alone like how it is now it misses a bit of punch to induce dance mania all by itself.
‘She’s Electric’ by Nightwaves (Vega remix)
Ah, VEGA, Alan Palomo’s pet project which is not called Neon Indian, which with its album release has edged his disco band in fame. Truth is though, I’m more of a VEGA guy, his disco sound suits my likings. It is not surprising with VEGA being disco that this remix is labelled as an Italo Dub, a style which often crops up in remixes under the VEGA moniker. And the label is not misplaced, as the track could definitely fit into an italo set. The vocals are dreamy, and the instrumentals are typically Agebjorn and others in that field. With that said, Palomo has made better remixes under the VEGA name (last week’s remix of Mimo’s ‘Running Out’ par example). Maybe it is a bit too soft, even for italo. It’s still decent though, and if you find this remix to sound pretty decent I recommend you try and find some of his other remixes, which I would rate higher.
‘Black and Blue’ by Miike Snow (Tiga remix)
Miike Snow, ah, that debut was pretty nice, right? ‘Black and Blue’ is perhaps one of the better tracks on that synth pop album of these lads (and the clip was pretty cool too), so leave it to Tiga to make a club track out of it. Tiga’s DJ set last summer at the Lowlands festival was pretty minimal compared to the electroclash extravaganza he puts on his own records (though he found a way to incorporate a couple of his own tracks), so don’t be surprised if this remix is a bit more techno than you would expect. It’s a club friendly track, with a beat, handclaps, and some club noises and scratches put in there. And of course with certain vocal bits being repeated throughout the song. Two/thirds in the tone shifts slightly to then build the song up again to the typical club sound. If techno is your thing you might like it better than the original, though I don’t see this featuring as the climactic end to his DJ set anytime soon.
‘You’ve Got The Love’ by Florence and the Machine (The XX remix)
Florence and The XX are both really hip and happening right now, I know, but to make a cover of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ to begin with, and then making a remix out of it, well, I don’t know. Kudos at least for making the track sound completely different. The vocals of the male singer of The XX are mixed in, which makes the track rather more melancholic instead of the euphoric dancy song it traditionally is. The XX are really good at making their own songs run smoothly, and this track doesn’t compare really favourably in that department. It all is a bit too fragmented, both in terms of music as well as vocals. The idea behind this is perhaps more interesting than how the track eventually turned out. When Florence starts belting and that gets manipulated it does not sound particularly well, and when the guy from The XX has to turn it up a notch you can hear that is not what his voice is made for. More of a novelty track than that it is actually good.
‘Back Down’ – van Munk (Cut Copy Jackmaster remix)
Ah, Munk with his piano house bits, but it always does the trick. Especially with Cut Copy behind the buttons to give a different twist to it. Because Cut Copy knows. They know how to make a good sounding tune after two well-received albums. And a good sounding tune this remix is. The track is happiness inducing and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some people dancing to it on a Saturday night. The vocals never go beyond two syllables it seems, which is slightly odd, but does not go beyond “slightly odd” into amazement and disillusionment. The drums make a good variation to the piano, and you can just see those three lads of Cut Copy doing these handclaps. A welcome and cheery song, and the enthusiasm that simmers through makes that repeat button very enticing.
This column is also a regular feature of the Dutch blog IKRS.