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The Weekly Froth! - 20160219

  • Published in Columns


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: ‘I Still Reach Out To You’ by Lenny Williams (Underdog’s Breakdown edit)

Getting the disco going from the start with that nifty bass line, and then those era-defining strings coming in to really set the feel for this one. Then the boogie with the rhythm bass and percussion, followed by the unique vocals of Lenny Williams, whose voice I adore. Some nifty guitar work comes in at 1:30 to help the subdued set-up, and then the girls come on in from the back to lure you into the song as they want you to tell them what to do (a dangerous proposition in whatever context I’d say). In the mean time Underdog slowly raises the funk level in the back with the instruments, and then, at 3:06, the big reveal, including Williams doing some of that thang. He goes full throttle, yelling out he’s Reaching out, and announcing, Here’s my love, take it baby! In the mean time that disco boogie is still going on, with some funky rhythms in the back, with Underdog also knowing when to slow it down for a minute to not have any overkill here, going all in on that main groove. It’s a superb disco dancefloor edit with lovely bits (bass, guitar riff), but most of all those fab vocals from the old Tower Of Power frontman. Definitely one to get it on to under those discotheque lights.


‘Vendetta’ by Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra (Al Kent remix)

There’s a bit of that African percussion to get your rhythm vibes working, some string work to remind you of the disco dancefloor in front of you, and then at about the fifty second mark the beat comes in to help you get on there and do some grooving. Especially with the percussion that comes in just after, that helps with that I’m sure. And Al Kent really goes the distance with the rhythm here, providing you with plenty of it, only giving you strings for the disco atmospherics. The rest is all about the shakin’ and the bakin’ for a long while. At the 2:30 mark we get a bit of a change-up, but the main idea stays the same there. The 4:40 change sees some bass action entering though, so that is a pretty huge thing, with it still even more rhythm entering the equation, which is being highlighted beyond believe in this Al Kent groover. At 5:40 that bass and the earliest form of percussion get some time at center stage, with at the six minute mark a more steady rhythm bass entering to give those hips something to do some damage to. It is a super rhythm heavy turn for the floor, understated-yet-bouncy. The singular disco sound does get back in there for some extra euphoria, which is a good way to draw this one to a close I reckon.


‘Pusherman’ by Curtis Mayfield (Pied Piper Regroove)

I love the slick, on-the-down-low-Jazz-club start of this Pied Piper regroove of a Curtis Mayfield tune. Very sultry, very percussion funk, and it sets the tone for the track. After about half a minute the track gets a bit more of a backbone to it, and with the guitar riff at about the sixty second mark the funk really gets in. Just before we get to the two minute mark we get the vocals, singing that he’s Your pusherman. It’s really got the cocaine jazz feel to it, and the non-straight percussion really helps out there. The vocals and the lines, too, do this, giving it this at-night-in-fright vibe where all that hazy shit is going down. The guitar, as said, that’s really a great addition, it gives it something to hang on to as well and, by doing that, help keep the percussion at ease. At 4:30 we get a momentary stop, which gets kicked back into gear soon enough with all the smokey bass and percussion that have been putting their stamp on the entire track for the entire duration. Put on those funky, round glasses, the black turtleneck, smoke something, and do that difficult Jazz dancing Beat poets do.


‘Prayer To St. Therese’ by Johnny Jewel feat. Chloe Sevigny

Johnny Jewel teams up with actress and poetess Chloe Sevigny for a campaign for the perfume company Regime des Fleurs. As always, Jewel manages to get all the vibes in there, providing just the right sounds floating around, slowly adding some rhythm elements there to help out Sevigny’s delivery of the poem. I love the spoken word vocals, she does that well, and in the background the midnight approaching menacingly with some rays of sunlight or some form of the divine glowing through all that. It’s a short little thing, but it is just another one of those by Jewel that just takes into account tone, audience, and the narrator delivering the odorous tale that needs to be soundtracked. Apparently at an event of the company the entirety of this will be on display, but in the mean time, this will do just fine I reckon.


‘Horizonte’ JKriv Rework

Starting with some beach sounds, then a little bit of acoustic guitar; you’d almost think you’re at some sort of beach with palm trees there. Then he fades that all out and comes back with some similarly vibed sounds, though this batch does include a bit of a beat to have a little beach party to. The sparkly sounds still give it this light-hearted holiday air. At about 1:20 you get an extra percussion in there that gives the track a bit more punch, though they trade that in for some Miami sounds around the two minute mark. And so this track keeps moving on, with the beat as a bit of a backbone, but especially the Hawaii feel which dominates the tone of the track. The vocals doing a du-du-dup line only add to that. Some of the sounds do have their origins in the disco, and all of them can soundtrack those holiday dreams you have around 16:00 of every day at the office you’ve ever had. Chillin’ the day away with that in a coconut served cocktail, right here.


‘Qwazars’ by Mr. Fingers

Any time you get a slice of house by Mr. Fingers it’s worthy of a listen. Here he rides those old school house sounds into the middle of the night, with a nice deep beat in the back, and some lovely synthesiser action up front. He adds a second one around 1:40, giving it a lighter vibe before adding those deep, dark vocals. He doesn’t forget the rhythm though, adding a bit of extra percussion in there before coming with some additional drums. The pace, though, is still dictated by the starting beat and synth, and emphasised by the secondary synthesizer. It is one of those groovers for your drug riddled mind (high on love, obviously, nothing else), a deep house slow ride that pushes all those buttons a track like that is supposed to. I mean, this year, there’s a new EP from this guy, what is there to further want, really?



The Weekly Froth! - 20160115

  • Published in Columns


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: ‘Good Lovin’’ by PillowTalk

Love how PillowTalk starts this one of with those lovely vocals, this duet asking each other "to keep on loving me", as both he and she "really really need you baby". In the mean time PillowTalk gets a slow grooving bass sound in, on top of a bit of percussion. But it’s especially the bass providing the groove, leading the loving vocals to the right place. There’s also a smattering of keys there, providing the right atmosphere, adding some of that love duetting vibe right in there. The vocals, by the way, are Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, so these are none to shabby obviously, with PillowTalk really getting the warmth and the slow soul working, with a bit of that love jazz feel as well. If you weren’t feeling the love of 2016 yet, hopefully this helps out a bit, with Terrell ending the track by repeating that "life is so wonderful, with you here in my arms".


‘Get On Down’ by Martin Hayes

Obviously, when you name your track ‘Get On Down’, you’d better make sure that we can get on down. And from the start, a bucketload of all kinds of percussion, including some Latin vibed ones, wash over the dancefloor to get your hips a-shaking. At the one minute mark the percussion slides to the background a bit as we get some guitar and horn work for the dirty and the disco. At about the 2:15 mark we get even more of all that jazz, letting the air in and, at one point, even the vocals, as they shortly appear at 2:50 before the track walks back to the dirty funk feel with the sax giving it some air of respectability as the rest of the instruments drag it down and low to the underground club. Before the four minute mark though, it moves its way to the glitterbox dancefloor, with the disco prevailing for a minute. And that combination, of a bit of down and dirty, and a bit of chic, le freak, that makes it such a surprising listen and an EP worth watching when it will be released first thing next month.


‘One For The Money’ by The Whispers (Pied Piper Full Blooded Disco Regroove)

How about that boogie for the start, eh? Add some horns in there as well, a little drums to make sure there’s a bit of a rhythm backbone there, and some organ too, and we’re off to the races with this regroove of an old The Whispers tune. And they make sure to add everything, including a bit of screeching guitar as well, but they also know how to keep that thing rolling, with the bass doing the groundwork so that everything else can live off of it. This including a big break for the horn section at about 1:20, giving you a bit of that funk before the vocals come in, telling you to "get on down". The organ keeps delivering, the guitar does its little riff in there, and the Pied Piper makes sure that all that boogie keeps on leading you to the dancefloor with all the holiness from all those other instruments. The vocals are old school, with the main vocalist doing the whole church thing as the rest of the band makes sure to get in a word edgewise as well. And how about all of that for close to nine minutes, eh? Though at about the 4:40 mark they do bring it down for a minute, just letting the rhythm section go at it for a moment, with only a bit of the keys on top of it. Soon enough though, the party gets blazing again, and it is just one of those things to get that disco dancefloor working.


‘The Queen On Her Throne’ by JKriv

JKriv gets the beat down in there as the classic sounds of this sublime track fill the void alongside of it. Soon the percussion sounds come in as well, helping out in the rhythm department, as he dials down the other sounds just before the minute mark to get the bass in (and some other instruments too). The harsh beat has faded to the background a bit, with the percussion and bass providing a warmer canvas on top of which JKriv builds his empire with the sounds of the original tune, coming to fullness around 1:45 where he does everything except adding those triple vocals. Obviously, at 2:20, here comes the main vocalist, admitting that, yes, you are his Darling darling baby, and JKriv first adds a little instrumental piece in there, not getting quite to the chorus just yet. And he shows restraint, going through a few more rounds of the Darlin’ darlin’ bit, after which he first throws in a nice bit of percussion with a nice, deep tom drum sound, adding to the funky feel of the track. Lighter sounds soon arrive, working up towards, yes, the chorus, with the vocals upping the ante. This before the beat gets stripped, with the main vocals now getting the room for themselves. At the six minute mark, we get the boys in the back as well, adding their ooooh-hoo lines to the whole proceedings. Just a lovely rework, with plenty of vocal goodness, a nice funky and smooth rhythm line, and enough subtle variation to have some 8 minute long dancing fun.


‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart’ by LCD Soundsystem

First we hear some festive sounds with the bells, but soon James Murphy starts telling you that Christmas will break your heart, with a sad sod arrangement in the back as Murphy is complaining that "your body is getting old". The composition has some piano, some drums, and slowly and slowly more and more things are added, with at one point even the background choir joining Murphy, who, despite everything, admits that he will be "coming home to you". Like a New York, I Love You, this track is a slow tale of woe, where the inner voices and emotions battle from quiet desperation to quiet love. At the end, the anxiety comes out, with the instruments building up a little wall in the background as Murphy yelps out What if you’re done?, screaming it out in the crescendo, before the track settles down again with the snow bells and a slow, clean drum. Obviously, this was the start of what since has become a little comeback announcement of the band that, for a certain group of people, did probably define a certain era a bit. And it’s good to see that they come with these Seasonal greetings, without feeling the pressure to come back with the next hit, dance, anxiety fuelled tune right of the bat. We just like to get new stuff from this expert band, so pretty chuffed to have them back as far as I’m concerned.

‘Under A Silious Moonright’ by David Bowie (Dimitri From Tokyo remix)

Dimitri From Tokyo, years ago, got grooving with this funk track by Bowie in his Nile Rodgers period. Dimitri adds loads of percussion, but makes sure that guitar riff gets the whole spotlight at the minute mark, and he knows to ride the bass after that. Sure, Bowie’s vocals, too, are brought to the fore as the weapon they are, with the horns complementing the moments the vocals are silent. And at 1:50, the chorus, where the main rhythm is still there even though some things are stripped away to make sure that Bowie can sing that his love For you, will break my heart in two. And as he sings Trembles like a flooooo-wer, all the other instruments are, literally, being turned down, before that funky rhythm gets back in there with the percussion, the bass, and the horns providing plenty of atmosphere to help out the vocals. Dimitri From Tokyo goes a bit club with it, before Bowie gets a bit jazz with it as the horns come in, and then the funk can be found underneath it again. It’s just one of those things I’ve got on vinyl that just shows the far reaching hand of Bowie. From his Ziggy Stardust glam rock to the cold Berlin sounds to the whole Fame thing and the Nile Rodgers stuff to, eventually, his very last new album; he was just one of those artists that did so much, and with that, inspired so many. And, luckily, we’ll be able to love and listen to his records, the sounds he inspired, and even the dancefloor edits for eternity and beyond.


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