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.
This week we’ll have a look back at some of the more awesome disco/house/electro stuff that was released this year, unfortunately omitting loads of deserving and quality songs that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in 2014. But here are six of my favorites to just remind you how awesome the year has been!
Track of the year: ‘Happy’ by Tomas Barfod feat. Eddie Chacon
Eddie C. comes up with an amazing performance on this WhoMadeWho solo effort by Tomas Barfod. Stating that even though all his life people have been slipping away (“they keep dying on me man”), he vows that he’s Gonna be happy. Barfod puts in some synth work and, of course, drums, changing it up for the sections in between the vocals, upping the pace a bit. Throughout the song there’s both this sense of melancholia and perseverance. It’s so easy to fold, and there’s a lot that sees people hurting, but no matter what, I’m going to make the most of it. The second time those drums come in for the chorus (around 2:30), there’s a nice bit of oomph in there to power up that message. Not on the album I believe, but in my opinion the best track he released this year (though WhoMadeWho’s ‘Hiding in Darkness’ is a killer track as well).
‘All That She Wants’ by Yolanda Be Cool feat. SYF & Fitz Helder
Don’t mind me while I enjoy a corny edit or two, but even if you take some of the most well-known tracks (like ‘All That She Wants’) as your core, you can get on heavy rotation at my house. Or perhaps because of it, as there’s a certain awesomeness about standing on the dancefloor and then getting that recognition factor in. Now, the original definitely wasn’t this deep, and those vocals make it sexy and saucy, as the boys formerly of Azari & III know how to bring some attitude into a (deep) house track. So this is the version for those late hours at that seedy club then, as all involved just give it this awesome vibe, and those vocal turns by SYF and Fitz Helder are powerful to boot. There’s something about an edit of an older tune done well, and this definitely ticks all the boxes, from changing it up to something completely different to actually working as a deep, soulful grind tune on its own. Unfortunately no Azari & III anymore, luckily the two eye catchers on stage didn’t go gently into that good night.
‘My Offence’ by Hercules And Love Affair feat. Krystle Warren
Are you as cunt as I am? That is the question. Though not Shakespearian in origin, it does pack some punch and plenty of attitude as the lads from Hercules and Love Affair, supported by Krystle Warren, are basically saying, You know what, what according to you is my offence, actually that is my essence, and I’m going to take the word cunt and run with it in pride. Now, I already like how much of an idea there is behind it (and the clip, for that matter), but that would mean nothing if the track was a soft-ass tune no one could ever dance to. Fortunately, Andy Butler knows how to make it work, giving the music itself plenty of attitude as well, reinforcing the lyrics. I believe in an interview he called it a tom heavy “bitch” track, so there you go. Plenty of toms, and a lot to get bitchin’ to. Attitude heavy, but also fun and dancey, Hercules and Love Affair made an amazing house album this year, and this is definitely a prime example off of that.
‘Ain’t No Way’ by Opal (Horse Meat Disco edit)
The start says enough, me thinks, with a woman screaming to “get your hands off of my man”. You heard her! What then happens is basically what happens any time the guys from Horse Meat Disco get their hands on things (...); an eruption of euphoric sensation. And, of course, they transform it in a killer disco dancefloor song to do some moving to. You’ve got the bass going on, the synths, but those lovely old school vocals reign supreme, as she is fighting for her man with all the attitude in the world. She goes from warning everyone around her to keep their hands off of him, but she also resorts to pleading him to “stay right here, stay right here, stay right here”. Horse Meat Disco throw a deep rhythm synth in there as mid-section, which is slowly build-up back to a disco anthem with synths and other such devices (even coming with nifty little guitar line at one point, just before the drums come in) to help out with the feel, vibe, and dance department. There’s still plenty of disco left in this world for sure, and 2014 is no exception to that.
‘Sugar’ by Alkalino
Talking about old school, the fuzz of the LP is very much part of the sound of this track. I just love the whole feel of this one, even if some of the transitions aren’t as smooth as on other tracks (though it feels almost intentional in an effort to date the sound even further back down in history). Actually, it does give it character, especially those volume jumps in the singing. I just love those old vocal tracks that are happening here, which have plenty of soul to carry this one and even give it some gravitas. Additionally, Alkalino puts in those drums and those pace changes to spice up the disco vibe a tad. The main thing about this one is the aged vibe that it provides, combining it with just enough drums to keep this one trotting forward whilst keeping the soul front and center. Just such a good example what you can achieve in terms of sound and feel if you think outside of the box a little.
‘I Know It’s A Good Thing’ by Shamir
To be honest, that ‘On The Regular’ single I could’ve lived without, though I’m still gutted I couldn’t make it to his live show earlier this week. I do love this track of his EP so much though. It’s got the kick going in the background, but it’s the piano and the fragility and desperation in the voice that gives this rather down paced track its power. Those backing vocals he brings in are also just an ace little touch that just add the right amount of feel to this one. At about the two minute mark he kills the drums for a moment, doing just the piano and his vocals that are singing “God knows I’m hard to please”, after which the beat comes back again. It’s just the mixture of all these elements, even in the delivery of the vocals (which later become more bombastic and emotional, which it has to, as the instruments do the same), that make this one both quirky and working brilliantly at the same time.