drwex: (VNV)
Once upon a long ago I used to merrily blog music. Yay, it was fun. Sometimes people would leave comments telling me they liked this or that or otherwise indicating that I wasn't just blogging into the void. That's always nice.

Then [personal profile] mizarchivist pointed out that LJ has these things called "tags" and I could tag my music entries. This is helpful to know what's going on, and particularly helpful for back-reference and finding things that are particularly notable. Eventually I got enthusiastic enough to go back and tag my existing couple years' worth of music entries... at which point I promptly ran out of tags. This more than anything else prompted me to move to a paid LiveJournal account because I needed more tags. All is fine until the company owning LJ decides to move the servers into Russian airspace and I decide it's time to move over here to DreamWidth. Which, I shall not bore you with details, will not allow me to have unlimited tags, even if I do pay them.

For a while this has stymied me. I really like the convenience of being able to go back and revisit things I've blogged in the past, and I blog a lot of new artist/DJs in a given month so the list of tags grows with no obvious way to condense them. I'm tired of being stymied though and it finally penetrated my thick skull that this convenience I've grown used to is just that, a convenience. I don't actually have to tag music entries in order to write them. So I'm going to start blogging music again, only with erratic-to-nonexistent tagging. You've been warned.

I realized this because I have re-remembered (I keep forgetting, somehow) that music is important in my relationships. Intimate, certainly, and otherwise. If you and I don't share some musical taste or other, it's likely we're less close of friends than we would be if we did share. For example...

This morning Pygment and I responded to a wedding invitation that included a request to list something that would cause us to get up and dance. At first I snarked that my music tastes would appall most people and DJs wouldn't play it at weddings anyway. Pygment agreed and said something like, "Yeah but imagine if they would, we could get them to play..." and in two clicks I had the track linked below, which we put on the RSVP card. I'll let you know if it plays at the wedding because I will sure as shit be dancing if it does.

We Can Make the World Stop
drwex: (VNV)

So, this showed up on Twitter recently. It's a snippet of the ongoing development of Blade 2.0, the Glitch Mob's custom performing instrument. They couldn't find anything off-the-shelf that let them play their music the way they wanted to play it, so they created a thing. It's awesome.

In case you're wondering what it's like live, here's a pretty reasonable facsimile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7SoQWTFJ_k

I have no idea if/when they'll make it back to Boston but if they do you can bet I'll be there.
drwex: (VNV)
I have nothing coherent to say about Prince, nor am I likely to. But there is still music in my world and some of it is really excellent. I'll save the best for last, naturally.

In case you didn't get enough house with your house last time, here is Pagano doing a remix of "Are You All Ready?" from Tony de Vit. It's energetic, high BPM, and with enough non-traditional influences to keep me interested. Like a lot of house tracks it can get a bit repetitive and I don't think it entirely does enough to justify eight minutes plus, but I prefer that to something chopped down to 3:30 that never has time to develop fully.

Mr Stabalina brings us a funky disco-y tribute to "Get Down". I'm far from an expert on sampling but I think they're pulling from the original Kool and the Gang track.

I don't blog a lot of downtempo/chill stuff. It's not that I dislike it so much as I'm usually listening for music that'll boost me up and get me going during a workday. This is kind of relaxing-around-the-house evening music. Glass of wine optional. Phaeleh's new EP, All That Remains, has at least these two tracks and they're beautiful. Like a lot of this (sub)genre it skirts the edges of somber, particularly the opening of "Mountain". It's also heavily electronica, which isn't everyone's thing.

Moving back uptempo, DJ Soak gives us "Run Away" with an interesting mix of styles. It's electro-house with some nu-disco feel. Mostly non-vocal, it's good background sound for focusing on other things.

OK, I did promise you something good so here it is. A new set posted by The Glitch Mob from Coachella this year. It's full of fun things, new things, and while it's not as good as seeing them it'll hold me for a while. Some of the tracks are Glitch Mob standards ("Drive it Like You Stole it"), and some are their favorite covers (the Daft Punk "Derezzed" is worth the price of admission on its own). There is also a great deal of edIT (one of the Mob core trio) which means the first half features more fast-pumping rap lyrics and hip-hop styling than you might be used to. Me, I love it - the lyrics are clever and the rapping is fast and tight.
drwex: (Troll)

A really nice little 15-minute look at the Glitch Mob's new performance set, dubbed "The Blade". It's a lot about the process of designing and making the stage set and a good deal about why. When I reviewed Simon Posford's recent show I noted that he suffered from a problem lots of DJs have connecting with their audiences. The Glitch Mob take that challenge head on - everything about The Blade is designed to connect the audience with the performers through the music. Having seen it live twice, I'd say it's a success.
drwex: (Troll)
This post keeps getting delayed by all the interruptions ever so excuse me if I'm a bit brief. Three URLs but all give you more than the usual sounds to groove with.

There's a new EP out (and the guys are on tour again). Here are three tracks that hit my favorite spots from the Mob and I cannot wait to see them done live. The first one, "Head Full of Shadows" is a really interesting example of how their style has evolved. It's drum-heavy but much less bombastic than I expect for them. The drumming is more earthy, almost tribal-feeling. I adore Glitch Mob drumming more than anything since Concussion Ensemble ceased to exist.

The second track (Better Run, Better Hide) is strongly rhythmic but the beats are there to support almost-trancey vocals. Very movie-soundtrack material. I particularly love the drop to vocal around 1:20. This track says "featuring Mark Johns" and I'm wondering who that is. The only musical Mark Johns I know is a well-respected and long-practiced session guitarist and not someone I'd associate with this style.

The last track, The Clouds Breathe For You, again subdues the beats, this time behind smooth electronica with echoey minor-key chords and a scratch-pop edge that I wouldn't normally associate with these guys but it works well.

X-Ray Ted presents about 45 minutes of old school, which means some beautiful brass horns, some classic rock beats, a lot of hip-hop snippets, and a lot of rethought gems. There's no track list so I can't give you precise pointers, but the reworked "Praise You" sticks with me as particularly good.

Another hour-long mash mix from the DJs from Mars. I've listened through twice and haven't had anything particularly leap out at me as a notable favorite but then again I've been really distracted. I'll probably highlight a couple tracks in the next post.
drwex: (Troll)
Herewith an assortment of shorter listening. The fact that they're all short is about the only thing they have in common. Well, and I like them.

It's Glitch Mob; it's Metallica. Do you need to know any more? Glitch Mob have often covered metal tunes as part of their shows, notably Prodigy in the past. Here they're remixing the acclaimed masters of metal and it's every bit as much fun as you want it to be.

Speaking of metal, Fissunix gives us a power-pounding mash of Kanye West with some Led Zeppelin drums and some heavy-duty samples.

Those of you who've been reading me for a few years may recall that I mentioned Up and Over It some years ago as part of a music story post. Since then I haven't kept track of what they've done. So here we are a few years on and they've got this interesting hand dance done to a minimalist pop tune. What the animal masks have to do with anything is beyond me, sorry.

Mac Stanton has a vocoder - let him show it to you. I remember when these things were everywhere and while it's possible to overuse any kind of sound I'm a little sad they've fallen out of favor. The basic track has the funk and the horns I love.

And while we're on the funk, let me close this out with a little turbofunk from Msystem. I've been unable to track down the original but this is good as it stands. It's hot, it moves, and I need that sort of thing these days.
drwex: (VNV)
Been a while since I did a music post. There are a few open tabs - mostly different kinds of house tracks - but the real reason for doing this post now is the last item on the list. Yes, I'm making you wait, or encouraging you to jump ahead, as you wish.

Audio Bastardz serve up a thumping electro-house track.with hip-hop vocals over high-energy dance rhythms. It's been a while since I was motivated to blog a straight-up house tune but this banger caught my ears at the right time.

The Homogenic Chaos (yes, that's what he calls himself) offers up a California-themed mash. I can't count the number of tracks in this short mix but all have some connection to the state of CA, either by lyric, song theme, or identification of the artist with the state. It's an interesting conceit and a fun mash.

Another new name - deejaytrademark from Chicago - offers up a very smooth four-way mash. I like this particularly because it's built around "Anchor" from Tritonal (https://soundcloud.com/tritonalmusic/anchor) a nice prog-house/vocal track from last fall that gets sampled a lot but not really well used in most of the mashes I've heard so far. This track uses a lot of the Anchor vocals and mixes them up and down through the other three tracks. It ends up with a really uplifting feel.

Dem Slackers contribute something they call a "tropical house" dance track version of Sia's "Elastic Heart". THe original is much more electro-pop and sparser. Dem Slackers have filled in the spaces and though the track still respects Sia's vocals it doesn't ride solely on them.

After I posted the Beats Antique cover last time, MizA sent me a list of related tracks that included this gem. It's B.A. remixing The Glitch Mob's "We Swarm" which is from their debut album. It's interesting to listen to it now and hear again how the Mob's style has evolved. Meanwhile, this track has those luscious horn sounds and dance beats that I love from Beats Antique. Two great tastes that taste great together.

If there was anyone among you who still doesn't know why I think Mashup Germany is the best, most underrated mashup artist playing today, give this a list. This is nothing less than a 100-minute flying, swirling mixing mash set. Like any set it has stronger and weaker moments but I'm amazed Mashup Germany is able to keep the transitions and mixes going for that long. I can't imagine trying to do something like this in real time and I wonder how long it takes him to plan it out. It's utterly brilliant.
drwex: (Troll)
I doubt I'll be posting music on Friday, and I just had both my afternoon meetings cancelled AND it's the end of year so I'm going through a bunch of "best of" tracks, so let's clear the decks shall we?

DJ Schmolli is back with a pleasant and fairly sophisticated mash. He's got four tracks including two versions of "She Moves" by Alle Farben (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC1MmjPu3Xo) a lovely vocal dance piece that has some obvious swing influences. Schmolli skips his usual metal componentry in favor of more subtle beats and horn accompaniments. Using other vocal bits from "La La La" as counterpoint works very well. If it wasn't December I'd say this was a great summer track.

This is an oldie but somehow I failed to notice it. Back in 2012, dj bahler and Frail Limb Purity sat down with their friends from the Glitch Mob and put together a full mixtape of mashes using mostly music from Glitch Mob and The Weekend. The set tones down and mixes nicely with Glitch Mob's usual bombast. I'm on my fourth listen-through and I think my favorite is still the opening track "Unspoken" which uses five tracks in a mash that is at once innovative, surprising, and intimate.

A triple-pack from a new-to-me remixer who goes by kill_mr_dj.

The first one, I am not quite sure what to make of. It is clever and it makes me listen to Alanis Moreupset again, which I generally try to avoid. The mix is definitely arranged as a point/counterpoint with a strong transition starting about 2:30 in. I confess that "Edge of Seventeen" is one of my weaknesses, having come into my hearing when I was about that age, and feeling some of those feels. I don't know if it'll appeal to anyone else, though.

The second is a straight up A|B mash using Men at Work and Avicii. It, too, is clever and more pop-appealing than the previous track.

The third one, well you can like or not. It's using London Grammar's cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" which I think is as haunting and even more beautiful than the original.

Speaking of clever, ChasingPlanets has built a nice combination using guitars from "See Fire" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fngvQS_PmQ) a track off the previous Hobbit movie soundtrack. This is overlaid with some of the lyrical poetry that made Nas and Tupac famous. It's haunting and beautiful in ways wholly different from the original, but similar in spirit.

James Brown mixes are easy to do wrong. You end up with something spastic or something that just recapitulates what everyone who followed Brown sampled and took from him. Here MadMixMustang shows us exactly that by using Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" with Brown. WBSS is very clearly a direct descendant of Brown's work and pairing the two is a nice Master-and-pupil duet. A bit too much Michael for my tastes, but that's just me.
drwex: (Troll)
Got to see Glitch Mob again, at House of Blues. We got seats for this one, which meant we could sit through the lamentably loud and awful opening acts and still have plenty of room to stand and dance for the Mob.

The show we saw back in March was basically the same material as this time around and the things that were good about that show were good again. Being on tour for most of a year has helped them tighten up their performance - they were much smoother at handing off to each other this time; they did more improvised bits, too. They did less of the spontaneous drumming than they did last time, but threw in a couple more remixes and extended mixes of their tunes so the set ran about 1h45 with no breaks. That's a lot of energy, and a lot of fun.

They also did a really good job with the sound, so I was able to take out my earplugs for much of the set and enjoy. The opening acts - though different from last time - were so monotonously bad that I actually downloaded a db meter app for my phone to check if damage was being done. Fortunately the only damage was the time that was wasted waiting for Glitch Mob to come on, and they are worth the wait.
drwex: (Troll)
I don't have the time for a full music post but since we're going to see Glitch Mob next week I wanted to share this gem:

Khameleon808 returns with another of their tightly-edited video mash-ups, this one set to the Mob's "Warrior Concerto." Featuring snips from videos and movies ranging back as far as Revenge of the Nerds and as recent as Guardians of the Galaxy it's fun to see how many snips one can recognize. The video has a great sense of timing and pace and matches the Concerto perfectly. All of which just makes me want to see Glitch Mob score a movie someday.
drwex: (pogo)
Another cancelled meeting, another music post.

I was fond of Florrie's single when I heard it last month; unfortunately much of what she has uploaded on Soundcloud so far is pretty bog-standard dance tracks with typical pop beats and catchy riffs (see for example "Shot You Down" - https://soundcloud.com/florrie/shot-you-down). This one, "Live a Little", is at least somewhat different, with a nice horn sound and some scratch in the mix as well as pacing changes.

I've been listening to Sebwax's stuff off and on trying to find something to pick out and this one keeps coming back to me though it's a year old. He's doing the same trick of taking one instrumental and one acapella track and overlaying them. The orchestration and richness of this mix appeal to me - the vocals are played way down in a way that makes me think of a movie score.

I keep thinking I've heard this mash before - it was first put out in 2009 - but if so I forgot to post it. The elements are classic Schmolli - Beastie Boys and Metallica - with help from Ting Tings and a few samples. It's a little rough around the edges, but a lot of fun.

This track has appeared in a couple of DJ sets lately and I can see why - it's beautiful vocal trance but featuring a male vocalist rather than the more traditional female voice. If I have a complaint it's that the instruments aren't up to the quality of the vocals. Tritonal and Paris Blohm throw in a few prog-house riffs but really don't do much with the track. I want more drops, swoops, sustains... something. I'm sure there are remixes out there; I just need to find them.

I've played this almost daily since I saw their show and it's still great. Glitch Mob, featuring Aja Volkman (of Nico Vega), doing "Our Demons". They did this track as part of their show, with some great improvised drum riffs thrown in. The video doesn't capture how thunderingly awesome this can be in person.
drwex: (VNV)
Been meaning to write this up and keep forgetting. The Glitch Mob are a fun thunderous show. 4/5 for them, though there were... challenges. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] taura_g who kid-sat for us very late.

The opening acts were so bad as to be worthy of negative mention. First (after the obligatory hour-past-doors wait) was Penthouse Penthouse. They were unremittingly awful. The two of them bobbed along frenetically to a beat that existed only in their heads, not in the discordant and disjointed noise they produced. It was like jazz and electronica had a head-on crash with no survivors.

Ana Sia, a solo female DJ, was... passable but by the time she got started we were two hours past when I wanted to be seeing Glitch Mob and her adding a further 45 minute delay moved her from "mediocre warm-up act" to "get off the stage already".

Listening to Glitch Mob you can feel the bombast and barely controlled thunder. They come out of L.A. and a style there that is simply called "beat". If you're not familiar with their sound, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKxDzyHPo0o - That's "Can't Kill Us", their set opener, which is used in the new trailer for the upcoming Sin City movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHCJfhXvDM0). I was hoping their live act would have the kind of rolling percussive assault that I haven't heard since the last Concussion Ensemble show, way too many years ago. I was not disappointed.

Their electronica is a set of large-pad consoles that they use to trigger musical phrases and sequences. But behind the three of them are several pairs of drums, which are hooked up to cool lighting and video effects, and... drums! In person the effect is phenomenal. They are loud without being offensive - I could feel the pulse of the bass against my skin even though we weren't up close.

On stage they're three guys clearly having a great time. This was the second night of their tour, and they were excited though still finding their feet. Some of the transitions were not as smooth as you'd likely see late in the tour but they made up for it with a freshness and energy I really enjoyed.

We decided to get actual seats, which put us in the balcony rather than on the floor. We missed the crush and the crowd surfing that went on below but, for me, the ability to have room to dance and being able to sit for the hours while I waited for Glitch Mob to hit the stage was crucial. I was notably less people-phobic the next day than I am after a standard general-admission show.
drwex: (Default)
Been a while since I found a selection of tunes this fun.

Email this morning announced a new free track from The Glitch Mob for We Can Make The World Stop their latest album. You can stream three tracks at their site now and buy the album in various configurations at various pricepoints. I think the title track "We Can Make The World Stop" is not as good as "Warrior Concerto" but I loves me some big thumpy electronic bombast.

This is the SFW version of Handsome Furs' "What About Us". If you search you can easily find the NSFW version (NS for male and female frontal nudity and sex acts). OK with that out of the way, what about the music? The Furs (http://www.myspace.com/handsomefurs) are a Canadian indie duo who have been around for a few years. Their sound is rich and melodic and reminds me a little of Bryan Ferry but with more drums.

This is the Villa Remix of Slice & Soda's "Year of the Dragon" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqX1BQYJ2q0&feature=related). In my opinion the remix is a huge improvement on the original. S&S (http://www.myspace.com/sliceandsoda) have a neat Bowie-esque vocal (US-based San Serac) and synth/piano thing (French DJ/producer Para One) going but the original track feels choppy and disjointed. What Villa (http://www.myspace.com/villanese) does is speed things up, tone down the random piano bits, and lay it all over a fast dance synth that really gets me moving. Villa has a bunch of other remixes up that are on my listening list now.

I'm still not a huge dubstep fan, but this track wins by using dubstep rather than being overwhelmed by it. Which is to say there's some dep wub and some oontz going on for sure, but rather than leaving the space in between empty, Nero has mixed in the vocal loop and the Dizzy rapping bits from The Streets' "In The Middle" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWnT82gwyEs).

Divide and Kreate bring together the popular Adele "Rolling in the Deep" with Gnarls Barkley. I haven't visited Divide & Kreate's page for a year and he's been busy. I'll probably blog more off of him, too.

This is an older track from Celebrity Murder Party (http://www.celebritymurderparty.co.uk/) in which they do a straight-up techno house remix of "Passion" by Gat Decor, an early 90s house tune that has been remixed about a million times. This CMP version is a nice updating of an old classic.

Get People (http://www.myspace.com/getpeople) just released a new EP and I've been seriously grooving on this track. It's definitely a techno base, but with major ambient and trance influences that form a very different sort of techno sound from, say, the CMP track. The vocals are spacey and the overall feel is much more like a solo night groove than a dance club track.
drwex: (Default)
A weird assortment of music tabs left over from various things.

Yoshida Brothers was a discovery from Pandora, via MizA. The brothers are a pair of shamisen-playing Japanese musicians. You can find many of their pieces up on YouTube. I'm fond of the shamisen played in traditional styles, and I am even more fond of how these guys mix the traditional instrument with modern (Western) beats and synth pieces.

Once upon a time there was this thing called rock&roll and a feature staple of rock&roll was the electric guitar. Over the years many masters and lots more lesser players made their mark using the electric guitar. When I was growing up one of the staples of a Top 40 rock&roll song was the guitar solo. Often with the drummer along to keep something like regular time, guitarists would use these solos to show off their style. Some of the better ones would bounce melodies back and forth with other band members like the bassist or guitar player. Others would just rip or shred or whatever verb was used to describe their style and it was fire and it was, some said, the essence of rock and roll. These days you don't get a lot of that, at least not in the music I usually listen to. Dennis Coffey is a throwback to those days and that style. He's good, and this instrumental track lets him show off what he can do with a few backing instruments.

Also back in the dark ages (but not quite as dark as all that) there was this phenomenon called Depeche Mode. Here, Royksopp gives a very modern electro-disco update to one of the old D.M. tunes. APC claims this track is 30 years old, which just doesn't seem right, somehow. 'Scuse me while I shuffle off in search of my Geritol.

Speaking of D.M., lobsterdust (who remains too cool to have DJ in front of his name) takes another of their popular singles (this one a mere two decades old) and weaves it together with Gaga's "Just Dance" pop hit. Like Gaga, D.M. were generally not known for the depth of their lyrics. What makes this mix interesting is that lobsterdust is good - really good. Listen to the middle bit, particularly starting around 2:35 where he's weaving the sounds in and out and using different layers from each song.

Jessica 6 is a modern disco-lounge trio with a silky sound. Nomi Ruiz, nominally the front woman for the trio, takes a back seat on this track to some darker male vocal. I love the slinky feel and if you let their stream play you'll get treated to some more house-kick tracks as well.

DJ Steveboy put out another mix he calls "Lucid Drumming." Nominally it's a tribal/drumming mix but what makes this one unusual is that he is mixing in spoken word pieces. The mix opens very strong with a nicely re-synched version of Hauswerks - Savanna (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5XkZL5V26A to hear the original) with some black vocal over it. I also wanted to point at the mid-mix track called "Gorgeous" by Rives. The Rives in question is a poet/spoken word artist. It's worth pausing the mix to go to Rives' site and listen to the original of "Gorgeous". If you also take the time to listen to the Julson remix you can get a sense of just how much work Steveboy is putting into these mixes.

I'm pretty sure this one is Purple Terror's fault. I was at a party and this came on the sound track and I did one of those classic head-snaps. "Hey! That's... Glitch Mob!" and went to find him to confirm. That it is. It's not particularly new, but I love it in part because it builds from such simple components. You start with a simple pattern of notes, add a melody track, then build a beat complex around it with staccato and, yes, heavy wub. Get over it.
drwex: (Default)
I've almost got enough saved items to make a themed post so let's see how this goes. Most of what we have here is smooth and wonderful electronica of one sort or another, with new beautiful vocals to enjoy.

LeeDM101 is someone I found late last year and his best work, in my opinion, works with strong female vocalists and here he lays in another in that genre. Ellie Goulding's "Lights" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NKUpo_xKyQ) is, as I noted last month, pretty syrupy synthpop. Husky Rescue's "Sound of Love" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg7pjP9idSk) is more sophisticated and LeeDM picks out the best of both for this mix. I will probably have more to say about Husky Rescue later.

Photek unfortunately doesn't tend to put up full tracks. You can get a number of samples off his page via the player, and also don't miss the entry in the Tron: Legacy R3CONFIGUR3D remix set. He keeps the strong thudding house bass but weaves his special magic around it.

It's interesting to put that one up with the Glitch Mob entry into the Tron remixing set. The Glitch Mob don't have Photek's smoothness; what they have is incredible intensity and an ability to work with electro-fuzz in a way that doesn't set my teeth on edge. Normally it's not my cuppa but damn it works so well here. The video artistry by Khameleon808 is also tight and cut fine.

If this one doesn't send chills up and down your spine then I'm not sure what to say. Josephine has a gorgeous dark rich vocal style that makes me think of elegant nightclubs, and DJ Copycat's electro-disco supports it extremely well. The result is much more vocal-trance than you'd expect - intimate and just a little bit ethereal.

Yes, dear readers, that is Clivester. You know, the guy who does all those fun 80s-metal remixes and hard-edged Nordic/German rock stuff? Yeah, um, took me completely by surprise too. This one takes Axwell's "Heart Is King" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyUiVCiNURw) a modernist John Williams-esque instrumental piece, and plays beautifully against Chase & Status's "Time" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWP9VvkeTmA - warning, video is about domestic violence). Chase & Status are a drum&bass DJ duo; here they're featuring Where the original is a sort of minimalist pop tune, this mash is a stronger anthem. The singer is just credited as "Delilah" and I've not been able to track her down yet.
drwex: (Default)
Don't worry, I promise I'll explain that title. Most of what I've been listening to these days are longer mixes and sets, so there are only a few URLs here but a lot of hours of listening pleasure.

DJ Steveboy's latest is "Oblivion Express." It's another drone mix, which means it's less bouncy and more spacey/cerebral than the usual stuff from him. I'm not a huge fan of his drone mixes, but this is great background music for work or study where you really need to concentrate on what you're doing and not be bouncing around too much in your seat.

Mashup Industries is hosting two good sets from KrazyBen. In these sets he has included 40 different tracks from the pure.fm November compilation, remixed by him. Also on the page are four links to his own mashes, all of which are quite good.

As you'd expect from a 40-track set there's a lot of variety here, but most of it carries a signature slower tempo and somewhat downtempo feel. He also mixes sources I don't usually hear, which is very nice. All four of his mixes are top-notch and you can download those directly via the separate links. I also wanted to pull out two tracks that give you a feel for the range here:

I'm quite fond of the Editors' "You Don't Know Love" and here the Cagedbaby remix pumps up the fuzz and funky base-line without messing up the silky noire voicings that make the original so great.

This is the Venaccio Remix of Jónsi's "Go Do" and I confess I'd heard of neither before this. Here's the official video for the song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYb2Q3DvLNE - but it doesn't do much for me. Near-falsetto male vocal isn't a big thing for me. What Venaccio (http://www.myspace.com/venaccio) has done is tone down the highs, lay on a fast house beat track, and generally fit it into standard electro-house style with cuts and dubs.

The Glitch Mob have put out a big, beautiful, luscious 24-track remix sampler in two parts. Using material from their "Drink the Sea" album this two-volume collection brings in a different remixer on every track. To my great surprise, the collection is much more unified in sound and feel than you'd expect from that description. For one thing - in keeping with the theme of this posting - most of the tracks are down-tempo, slower and pay at least a nod to dubstep if not being actual dubstep themselves. Even the included remix of "Drive It Like You Stole It" - the track that drew over 100 remix entries in their contest last year - is downtempo.

Since dubstep seems to be the theme here (and may be the hot new things for club tracks in 2011, we shall see) I sent a link to http://soundcloud.com/theglitchmob/between-two-points-spl-remix - the dubstep remix of "Between Two Points" which I love for its torch-singa vocal quality to a friend of mine. He replied that he found it good, and dubstep good in general, because the sound is sparse and leaves him (a musician) space to fill in his own stuff, as he says, "oontzing and beeping" along with the track.

So, you see, oontz is totally a verb.
drwex: (Default)
Lots of tabs have hung about open for a while. Herewith an attempt to close the first half dozen of them. I'll save the real brain-twister for last, I promise.

A while back the Glitch Mob announced a competition in which people would remix their "Drive It Like You Stole It" track, the remixes would be posted on Soundcloud, and people would vote for their favorite. The winner is now up, a high-hard fast scratch mix by mirkokosmos. It's not my favorite personally, but it's quite good.

I've only listened to three pages of entries so far. The Soundcloud set-up is nice in that you can just push play on the first track and it'll stream all the entries on that page. I don't recommend doing more than a few a day, or you'll get seriously earwormed, but the variety of styles and influences brought to bear shows there's some awesome talent out there just waiting to break through.

Speaking of talent, The Kleptones have another beauty of a mash-up posted on their blog. "Vicarious Devil" puts together Tool's disturbing "Vicarious" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hii17sjSwfA) with Laura Marling's "Devil's Spoke". I confess I'd never heard Marling before and I must now immediately remedy this. Both tracks have a dark energy that makes them work extremely well together.

I admit I wasn't that taken with the Duck Sauce (http://www.myspace.com/ducksaucenyc) "Barbara Streisand" track when I first heard it. It's a bit of a dance-pop confection but it didn't seem worth calling out. The video made me change my mind - it makes so much more sense when it's not taken on its own but rather as the soundtrack to a video. And what a great vid - featuring Streisand herself - for anyone who loves or even likes New York a bit. The video shows the wild variety that makes the city so interesting, and features lots of fun short snips remixing the original, including a guest scratch from Armand Van Helden.

Sometimes things get blogged because I can't stop playing them until I do. About a month ago I posted about Gravitonas' (http://www.gravitonas.net/) "Religious". That track is remixed a bunch of times on their YouTube channel, and more and more of them are being blocked by copyright claims, which is just a damned shame. The song, both the original and the remixes they've got up, remains beautiful and haunting and something I play over and over because I like the way the sounds wash over me, and move me.

This extended remix by Ramadanman (http://www.myspace.com/ramadanman) is another one I'm loving for the lush soundscape. It's an extended remix of Jamie Woon's beautiful "Night Air" (http://www.youtube.com/user/jamiewoon). Unfortunately there are only short bits from the original online, but you can still get a sense for it. There are blues, jazz, and definite soul influences permeating this track, and yeah, it's perfect to stream out the open window after dark when you're stargazing.

OK, I promised a brain-twister to close this out and here it is. Wax Audio (http://www.waxaudio.com.au/) have done A Bad Thing. They've taken The Bee Gees' "Stayin’ Alive" and mashed it with Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. II". Yes, really. Go listen. What's even more frightening is the video - both of these songs are not just aurally famous, but have appeared prominently in iconic movies (Saturday Night Fever and The Wall).

It's even more personally disturbing for me, as those movies both have drwex stories associated with them and both are reminders of a long-ago time when I was a very different person, who is also me today.
drwex: (Troll)
Someone pointed out that I hadn't visited Bootie Blog in a while and it's true. They have a bunch of top N lists up that I want to check out and will probably blog next time. Which means I need to clear out the other backlog, so here goes.

That link should get you a download for the ZIP file of "Drink the Sea", a free CD length mix from The Glitch Mob (http://www.theglitchmob.com/). You can get the MP3 from their site; the ZIP also includes JPEG cover art.

The mix is awesome! When I blogged the first Glitch Mob track I'd heard back in April, I noted good beats with the muted electro and hot funky undertones. You get that again here in bigger format. Yeah, they're using older stuff like Daft Punk and La Roux, but their approach is fresh and styling. I just wish they'd provided individual track links to all of it, but such is life.

Finally, I have to give extra props to The Glitch Mob for mixing in some of the better rap/hip hop elements without falling into the bitches/niggas/hos quagmire that turns me off from so much of that genre.

OMD, OMG! Every over-tuned electro-disco gayboy wannabe that has come out in the past two decades can just step back. The original masters are back with a beautiful, understated, melodic tune that reminds me why I first liked them. You can watch the official video for the original track and also listen to one of the remixes by Villa Nah - http://www.myspace.com/villanah - a Finnish electro-pop duo who just released their debut album this year. This remix and a bunch of others will come out with the upcoming single release. APC also says that Villa Nah are touring with OMD, so I'm off to listen to more of their stuff.

In the best/worst names category we have Marcus Lambkin who performs as Shit Robot (ugh) but whose first release is called "From the Cradle to the Rave" which is just an awesome name. Once again we get an example of how a remix can really lift up a mediocre track. The first MP3 is the original, which is sort of OK, but not really remarkable. The second, a remix by TBD (http://www.myspace.com/whoistbd), is much better - though I admit the first 45 seconds almost turned me off.

Superman (http://soundcloud.com/sprm) has produced a fascinating project. It is an hour-long reconstitution of Orson Welles's classic radio drama broadcast of the War of the Worlds adaptation. It uses the original radio audio and a wholly new ambient soundtrack. The two tracks play against each other, sometimes foregrounding one and sometimes the other. It's a brilliant project and unlike anything I've ever heard before - the modern music re-infuses the old sounds with a deeply atmospheric and slightly scary air, bringing to mind how listeners of the original were said to have been frightened by what they heard.

Booka Shade (http://www.bookashade.com/bookashade/) make what I call driving music. It's high BPM, but low distraction. Very listenable and pushes me forward without being jarring or monotonous. It's the kind of thing I'd put on the player if I had hours of highway to cover. Good, smooth electro.

Roots Manuva (http://www.rootsmanuva.co.uk/rootsmanuva/) are a low-key Caribbean riddim dub duo. According to the extensive blurb on RCRD LBL these tracks aren't per se originals but rather reworks by a DJ/producer who goes by Wrong Tom (or Wrongtom - www.wrongtom.com). Since I never heard the originals I don't have much to compare against, but I like these.
drwex: (Default)
Most of these tabs have been open for a while.

I'm putting this one first because if I put it last you'll have the damned song stuck in your head for days. Like, say, me. DJs from Mars do their thing on Katy Perry, with the help of some seriously hair-era Van Halen. Further warning: a couple of people have found the video to be even more annoying than Ms Perry, which is going some. Personally I ignore the video in favor of imagining just where David Lee Roth would like to "put his hands up."

Toddla T (pronounced a lot like "Todd latte" - http://www.myspace.com/toddlat) is a young UK DJ who lays down here a serious boom-skank tune. High-speed, reggae-rapping courtesy of Wayne Marshall's (http://www.myspace.com/truwaynemarshall) Jamaican sounds. The video is silly but you don't have to watch it; just get up and dance.

DJ Earlybird (http://fairtilizer.com/users/DJVU) puts out an unusual mash-up by combining two older tunes. The famous Clapton "Cocaine" lyrics go with the sounds of Hot Chocolate's 1978 disco hit "Every 1's a winner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-GkwIRbLw8 - check out the PANTS!) What's interesting about this is that re-listening to the Hot Chocolate track, which I haven't heard in probably 25+ years, it sounds a lot like the guitar riffs Clapton used in Cocaine. It's worth remembering that Clapton didn't write Cocaine originally - it's a cover of a 1976 JJ Cale song, recorded in 1977 by Clapton.

Ben Double M (http://belgabootlegs.be/) is a European DJ with some definitive ideas on what's a remix versus what's a mash-up. This here is a double sampler of his work. The first one is a slow, electro-trance feeling mash using Massive Attack's "Teardrop" and some contributions I can't identify from Waterspark (http://www.myspace.com/infynitwaterspark) an Eastern European trance DJ. Ben speeds things up a little bit and adds a beat track to give the tune a house edge that works surprisingly well below the vocals and electronic instruments.

The second track is much more "meh" - I'm not a jazz/soul fan and wrapping disco beats around it doesn't really help.

A much better set of beats comes from Glitch Mob (http://www.theglitchmob.com/) who have been running a remix competition to benefit Haiti. They've got an instrumental album out and have invited remixers to go at it; most put vocals on top, which is cool, but here Eskmo (http://www.myspace.com/eskmo) lays down some old-style electro and heavy sounds - shades of Jan Hammer.

Laura Branigan's early-80's hit "Self Control" gets a very modern makeover here from Sunday Girl (http://www.myspace.com/wearesundaygirl). The single came out early this month in several remixed versions, with this one having an etherial and haunting electro texture courtesy of Azari and III (http://www.myspace.com/azariandiii). The a capella version on Sunday Girl's page is pretty thickly produced, which is a shame. I think her voice sounds better with the effects turned down and instead laid over the Azari beats.
drwex: (Default)
But I've got a ton of open tabs and want to close some of them out, so here goes:

This is a really brilliant mix from Marc Johnce & CjR working under the name Audio Lynch (http://audiolynch.wordpress.com/). It's got five major tunes, phat horn sounds, and a pleasant but not overdone dance beat. What's not to like?

It's pretty rare that I link to anything from Bootie that I haven't seen elsewhere - see next link for example - but this one is ridiculously catchy, assuming you have some old fondness for late 70s metal and aren't utterly revolted by disco. It's merging The Gossip's (http://www.myspace.com/gossipband) "Heavy Cross" with old Kiss guitar licks. And it doth not suck.

I've already sung the praises of The Kleptones' latest effort, but you should grab this single remix of their "Welcome Back DJ" track. Again, it helps if you like old metal, as this track absolutely rises and falls with classic GnR.

Daft Punk are very much old hat by now, so nobody should be mixing against them, right? Well, it's good so screw that. Moonrunners (http://myspace.com/moonrunners.universe) put their "Feels Like Magic" up against a Daft Punk staple and if it is, as APC says, a guilty pleasure it's a damned danceable pleasure. This is very much a pick-you-up-when-the-world-sucks track.

Speaking of things you want to dance to, this Glitch Mob track - the first off their upcoming album - has a really sweet set of beats going. Some definite house thump going on here, plus fuzz-muted electro and near-ambient vocals that I really like. "Drive It Like You Stole It" - drive with it cranked WAY up.


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