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The Weekly Froth! - 20161202

  • 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: ‘Used to Hold Me So Tight (Dr. Packer rework)

This starts out as something that you’ll be wanting to dance to, giving you the kick, the drum, and, a tad later, some of that bass to kick up that pace. Then, shortly after, the vocals, singing the title words, reminiscing about those good times when you Used to hold me so tight. And then, at 1:50, there comes la lady Houston, giving you some of that vocal prowess right there, letting you know who is the lady in our midst. Quickly in, the horns, giving her to work something off against. Then the verse, laying it out, laying it down, before coming back to the title words again, with Houston herself riffing up some magic as the backing singers mention again that there used to be a time where You used to hold me so tight. It’s just one of those beautiful disco mixes for a good night out on the dancefloor, and add those kind of vocals in there (and use them, like Dr. Packer does) and you know it’s all going to be quite all right.

‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ by Prince (Rayko Super Disco Lover re-edit)

Now, who can get enough of Prince, really? This one starts with a booming, slow bass, but the little guitar riff gives you the balance, with the drums kicking in at about the thirty second mark. Rayko rides those sounds for a while, occasionally crashing a cymbal, adding something else in, before smoothing it out until changing it up again at 1:40. And he does that a few times, keeping the bass at its core around which the rest give you a little bit of that slow down funk right up until all the deep sounds are booted out and the high pitched vocals of Prince come in, saying that he needs your lovin’, That’s all I’m living for. And then, obviously, it works up again for the rhythm section to barge in, with the bass and the drums giving you that dancing thing again to ride this one out.

‘Pacify’ by Kauf

Kauf starts this one oh so quiet, oh so still (kind of in keeping with the title then perhaps), bringing you something that, in a way, resembles bird sounds to me. Then the heavier, somewhat grainy deep instrumentation comes in, providing the canvas for all the lighter instruments to appear and shine on (white works better on black after all). At about the 1:20 mark you get some of that tropical vibe going, with the vocals coming in as well, singing that You forced me into the sun, with the vocals being a bit more slowed down, contrasting the instruments nicely in that. Those vocals get a bit of room to work, with just the smattering synths, after which the rhythm and tropical come back in for a bit, for some of that closed eye dancing with a drink in the hand.

‘Canyons’ by Clubfeet

They build up a bit of that wall of synth to start, but soon the drums break through it, giving you the dancing rhythm and the slightly detached male vocals. The other vocals, heavily worked, are a bit more immediate, a bit more punchy, giving you that different kind of feel. When the male vocals come in we get some extra percussion, making sure there is a clear thing to dance to there, a base of the track they are sure to not let up on. Although, for a few seconds, around 2:20, it’s just vocals, but quickly the bass is put in there, but it’s the only deep sound against the lighter vocals and instrumentation surrounding it. The band is releasing an EP late January, including this track, so that’s a 2017 thing already ready and rearing to go (with a pick-me-upper in terms of pace at 3:20 again to do the same to you when listening to this).

‘1 Of These Nites’ (LNTG remix)

Someone’s musical taste, surely, one way or another, is influenced by their mum and dad (whether it stays and remains or heads fleeing out the door), and the Eagles are certainly something I remember from my growing up days. LNTG gives you all the high pitched marvels in that track, and boosts a bit of that bass in there, bit of that rhythm, especially at the two minute mark, where he runs with it, powered by the guitars as the beacons through which the ships pass. Then we really get into the track, with the verse, with the the plurality of guitars, and then the high pitched chorus again, doing the Oooooh, coming right behind you, swear I’m going to find you one of these nights. After which he quickly returns to the ruggedness of the verse. I mean, it’s not a nostalgic dancefloor thing, but it is a nostalgia thing, and LNTG makes it a dancefloor thing, and growing up listening to this track I’m sure getting a kick out of this (especially when that screaming guitar comes in at about 4:20).

‘I Still Reach Out’ by Lenny Williams (Alkalino rework)

Four seconds in you already hear the former Tower Of Power frontman working it, with one of the better voices this side of the atmosphere. In the mean time the bass is getting da rhythm right, with the little guitar riff coming in at the forty second mark to finish off that funk thing they’ve got going on. The ladies in the back also rear their heads not too long in, helping out the man in the middle who is taking a backseat to the rhythms of the night. He himself only returns after 2:30, yelping out some Ahh babies, but, with that voice, so that makes a difference probably. Alkalino then briefly dials it down before he gets all the bass and the drums running again with the girls in the back leading the way. Short but sassy funk number, with some drippings of Mr. Williams vocals as the icing on the cake.


Sylvia Patterson - I'm Not With The Band : A Writer's Life Lost In Music + Book Giveaway

  • Published in Books

Equipped with a notepad and pen, dictaphone and an unwittingly sharp sense of humor Sylvia Patterson scrawls through three decades of the music industry recalling her wonderful and frankly odd interviews with famous faces. I’m Not With The Band starts in foggy Perth, at a time when music journalism was arguably at its best, and follows the decline of the trade and the rise of celebrity culture.

Patterson reminisces about past interviews, from jovial tales about the Smash Hits glory days to the whirlwind of freelancing for the NME. The book not only showcases the storytelling talents of Patterson, but also pinpoints famous music and historical milestones in a way that fills you with nostalgia. This frankly honest and personal account takes you through the Britpop '90s heyday and the rise of rap, to the gloomier present day - the music industry has without a doubt changed dramatically in the last 30 years. 

Musical quips with Oasis, awkward meetings with Damon Albarnweird encounters with the likes of Eminem and unforgettable moments with legends such as Prince; through the highs and lows Patterson’s story is an exciting one. Her fast paced, yet undeniably unstable career saw her fall head first into a rabbit hole of parties, romance, feminism, bankruptcy, mouldy rentals, all whilst befriending and upsetting the industry's finest.

Her account is like a love letter to her youth, growing up alongside the bands she admired without over romanticising the notion of meeting music’s biggest artists like Madonna. She opens up a world that many only dream about, but describes each encounter as, in most cases, business as usual. Reading this book is like taking the head off of Mickey Mouse at Disneyland to reveal a weedy, under-washed guy in his early twenties trying to make some extra cash over the summer - I’m Not With The Band may kill the magic that comes with daydreaming about your favorite band or artist. 

The book is broken up by a candid autobiography, which at times only mimics the running theme that flows through the pages; the decline of music journalism, its censorship and the rise of pop culture. Patterson gives a detailed account of the shift away from liberal writing into a culture where artists are media trained and ruthlessly safeguarded. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does open up an interesting debate.

Unstable yet thankfully long, her career covering three decades of music places Sylvia Patterson firmly amidst an earlier breed of respected music journalists. I’m Not With The Band is written from the heart of one music lover with the intention to be read by another. Through tales of interviews with ‘the stars’ to tribulations about growing up, you can see why Patterson took such a path and we are consistently glad she decided to relentlessly record every word.

(448 Pages, ISBN: 978-0751558685, Sphere) 

I'm Not With The Band : A Writer's Life Lost In Music is available from amazon and iTunes.

Here at Musos' Guide though we have one copy of the book to give away. Simply tweet us @musosguide with the name of one of the publications Carris mentions Sylvia writing for, including the hashtag #INWTB so we can filter the entries and the first out of the virtual hat wins. Only open to UK residents as the book's a hardback copy & not open to contributors to the site. Competition closes at 17:00 on June 29.

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