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The Weekly Froth! - 20161216

  • 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: ‘Absence Of Rhythm’ by This Soft Machine

If ya like it rough, with that nice, strong bass pushing this one forward, then this one might just be for you. These main sounds get counterbalanced by some lighter, playful synth sounds, and provided with some extra rhythm through some of that percussion action. In the mean time there is a kind of rhythmic spoken word vocal, almost hoarse, saying that You gotta drop out when you feel it spin. Which, then, is followed by a batch of percussion, which lasts even when the bass and beat are tuned out before coming back for a bit of that dancing action. A short time later there’s again a stop and go moment, this time riddled with spacey synths, before that bass and cowbell return to get dat riddim right. Just released, so instantly possible to pick up.


‘Lost Your Mind’ by Zimmer feat. Fhin

This one starts lovely understated, and then the melancholic vocals come in, which, in tone, are helped out by the piano. A slow tick can be heard in the background, before a more playful rhythm takes over, which is aided and abetted by the guitar. These two things, the verse versus the more chorus like feel of the aforementioned rhythm and guitar, balance each other out nicely, with the vocals the glue that keeps it all together. The vocals which, by the way, get a moment in the spotlight around the three minute mark, where all the rhythm elements (including the drums) are stripped, and only when the bass sound comes in do we slowly start returning to the chorus like structure. This is a cut off of a new EP that will arrive in stores later this month, if one still is in the business of late Christmas gifts, keep an eye out for this one right here.


‘Voices’ by John Talabot

John Talabot is back out with a release on Permanent Vacation, again coming at you with a hypnotically deep track, working the rhythms and, later in the track, some amazing chopped up female vocals to counter the bass sounds that he has put in there. A transition like at around 4:54 is just so nice, just slightly altering the pitch, giving you just that change in pace to give it this feel of moving forward, instead of making it drown in repetitiveness. It gives you the good thing of looping, but not the negative effects. And he does these kind of things throughout the track, sometimes as subtle as an extra instrument that only can be heard in intervals, and sometimes he goes into a different direction with a bigger tug at the steering wheel. Talbot is one of the main men out there for this kind of music, and something like this just probes me to put that vinyl copy of Fin on and give it a whirl.


‘Another Night’ by JKriv feat. Adeline Michele (Thatmanmonkz remix)

Thatmanmonkz is at the reigns for this one, taking the JKriv disco tune and giving it some deep & underground vibes at the start, bringing it back up with the bouncy bass and the vocals, courtesy of Adeline Michele. She is saying that it’s Just another night without your love, before hitting the verse around 1:05 after a little line by the bass. It seems a bit sped up compared to the original, which really was a love lorn disco song, with this one having a bit more punch, a bit more of that club vibe. But still it’s with Michele’s vocals and that tale of love gone by, even though she is admitting that When it’s good, it’s soooo good. And that’s why she’s still going out there to live and fight another day. At 3:20, that’s the moment, that’s when Thatmanmonkz gets out a bit of that nasty deep bass, ending it’s reign with a vocal turn before everything comes back in again. If you haven’t listened to it yet, the man released a killer album this year, just sayin’.


‘Love Me Tonight’ by Fern Kinney (SanFranDisko Digital Mix)

How about some of that old school, getting the energy up with this glittery disco ball of a tune. First you get the beat setting the pace, and then the guitar riff, the bass, and, finally, the vocals. Those vocals, and the build-up that you are hearing right on through, it’s just one of those hands in the air disco things that is just a dancefloor filler with everyone singing along with the "Hooooold mee clooose" lines of the chorus. After which they dive into the guitar riff again before Fern Kinney comes back in, explaining in even more words the one thing that disco sometimes simply is about, namely finding that person to Love me tonight. One of those euphoric sounding disco songs with a dash of longing that would work as close out to the night as well. Just in case you were still working out your New Year’s set.


‘Winter In America’ by Gil Scott-Heron (Moullinex Edit)

Moullinex immediately brings the percussion in, giving us those lovely wooden sounds before putting the beat and click in after the half minute mark or so. In the mean time we hear the jazzy sounds to set the tone, anchoring this track’s mood to balance the smoothness of the boogie. At the 1:39, that boogie becomes a blues, as the rhythm is dialled all but out for Gil Scott-Heron’s poetry, singing that it is Winter in America. A declaration after which Moullinex returns with the rhythm alongside, a bit later on, a new main sound that rides on top of it. The jazzy vibes persists though, don’t you worry about a thing darling. At about 3:25 again the rhythm is switched off again, first for the instrumentals, then for another storytelling tale by Heron, indicating that Nobody is fighting ‘cause nobody knows what to say. And if you don’t know what to say, you just dance the blues away, and with the rhythm back in that’s a pretty appealing prospect all in all.



The Weekly Froth!

  • 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: ‘Stop’ by Nicholas feat. Madafi Pierre

Nicholas knows how to do a bit of that house thing, and here he gets the rhythm going with a nice, dulled out beat, a slightly less dulled-out synth, and then a clear sounding percussion; all to get the Detroit on. Then you get these lovely senses-being-dulled vocals, pleading to Stop stop stop playing with my heart. Nicholas turns the cymbals on to give the track a bit of a kick, and they really light up the Christmas tree because it is a pretty clear sound compared to the beat. The vocals also do some spoken word, which is a nice bit of variety, and it always lends this bit of gravitas I find. It really says, All right, listen up, let me tell you something. He dials down the sound a bit around the three minute mark, obviously coming back in with all the rhythm & house sounds shortly after to get the dancing going again. If you, for instance, just look at the sounds at 4:22, this delicious combination of that beat, the more up-front percussion, and this auxiliary sound that so delicately weaves its way through the two rhythm aspects. Then, shortly after, the spoken word again, then the singing comes back, and you’ve got the cymbals delivering the punch again. It’s a super nice bit of house music from the man who has so consistently been churning these out in the past few years.


‘Why’ by Tim K & Honey Dijon feat. Nomi Ruiz

A team consisting of Tim K, Honey Dijon and vocalist Nomi Ruiz take on the old Nile Rodgers track ‘Why’. So you know there’s a little guitar riff in there, along with some almost Jamaica influenced percussion. After about a minute in the vocals come in, first with a la-di-da-di-da, then wondering Why does your love hurt so much, a lyric which fits right in the Ruiz oeuvre. At 1:40 the percussion stops for a moment, and then it’s just a piano and vocals combo, which brings in a nice bit of variety. I like how one of the instruments basically doubles Ruiz’ her vocal line of la-di-da-di-da, and everything does seem to gel really well. It’s got a nice, laidback atmosphere to it through all the wondering of the way love works (and other assorted mysteries of life). As the track draws to its close you get a bit where the bass gets a moment in the spotlight, which is a nice way to draw this one to its ending. Lovely cover from this team of musicians.


‘Talk System’ by Jacques Renault

I’m a complete sucker for Jacques Renault’s dancing tunes, so always looking forward to new work from this guy. The synths come in at about the thirty second mark, the vocals say a thing or two, and in the mean time you just feel he’s building up to the beat, which comes in just after a minute with a kind of military step rhythm. There are like three different layers of rhythm at work there, which is pretty awesome. The speedier, lighter one, the more bass-like sound, and just a regular ol’ beat to take time. Just before the three minute mark he dials most of that down, letting the vocals go on for a slight bit before all that rhythm goodness comes back in again. Which gets an additional kick around 3:28 to make sure that all those lovely dancers get this little jolt of energy again to keep on working it. Renault just knows how to keep that house feel in there, later on the track going for a prolonged stop of the rhythm sounds to then dial it back up one more time with that little bit more pazazz, ending it with that military step percussion. Just some of that good ol’ house music, y’all.


‘Heartbreak Reputation’ by Zimmer ft. Polina

Zimmer is readying his new release, the EP Coming Of Age, which will be out later this month. I love how he starts with those vocals, so dreamy and sweet, and then you slowly get the synths under there. Though it is the percussion element that dictates the (slow) pace at first, which nicely complements the vocals. The synths build and build though, and after about a minute you get the beat & synth combo for a slow synth-pop jam, accompanied by the vocals. After basically a vocal-led chorus the synths come in with a nice hop in their step, with a positive, feel-good vibe, which gets some extra flavour from the aaaaahhh-ing female voice which is a nice bit of extra to have in there. One of those summerday tracks, which is good listening in the heatwave that is happening as I’m writing this one at the moment. Maybe going to see him in a couple of weeks when he’s playing Buiten Westen in Amsterdam, something which I hope will fit in our rigerous schedule of dancing, shimmying, and all-out working it.


‘Coule’Ba’ by Analog Players Society (JKriv version)

JKriv takes on the Analog Players Society’s ‘Coule’Ba’, throwing in some of his strutting guitar play in there to go with all the percussion, beat, and African vocals they’ve already got going there. As well as a nice bass synth to add some of that boogie rhythm to it all. The vocals, though obviously not understanding a word of it, have a nice immediacy to the delivery, and I like how JKriv sometimes stops the proceedings for a bit of that guitar riff goodness, to then slide it back to the boogie again. Which sees the addition of some new instruments in the second go around, including a piano and some less identifiable sounds. Throughout the whole song the immediate vocals put a stamp on things, and the percussion and assorted accompaniments that weave in and out make sure there’s a little boogie there as well. As always, JKriv manages to mesh everything together nicely, so it is all sounding nice and smooth, bringing this little boogie-of-a-tune together nicely.


‘Is This It’ by Kenny Loggins (KB’s SChrebergarten Edit)

This time it is Kim Brown’s turn to get some of that lovely old stuff out there on the dancefloor, bringing the classic Kenny Loggins’ song ‘This Is It’ to a discotheque near you. She carefully builds up to the beat, which jumps in there at about thirty seconds with a nice, soft percussion vibe to it. On top of that there’s the original sound on loop, with just after a minute another one of those sounds which is used as a tease, as she doesn’t quite go to vocals just yet, instead turning back to the rhythm aspects to let all of them people dance some more. And she is in no hurry to get there, too, even doing a bit of playing around with that guitar riff before she turns to Loggins at 2:30. Now that she’s there though, she lets him go at it, with the vocals clear and up front in the mix, doing the whole first verse before she goes back to the guitar loop and rhythm beat combo to dance to. And it is like the chocolate equivalent of the dancefloor, just nice and tasty and filled with a flavor everyone knows. Plus, there are just some of those guys like Loggins, like Michael McDonald, that are just shoe-ins for a disco treatment like this. McDonald who, by the way, rears his head a bit later for the ultimate recognition moment when the chorus is used. The kind of thing I always love, and done in a nice, patient, catchy manner, but with the cheesy chorus pay-off at the end with Loggins doing the works. Which, for me, is a good thing, just to make that clear. Who doesn’t like a repeat of the chorus after having been patient for a good five minutes or so?


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