drwex: (Troll)
I don't feel like posting an update because it's too depressing. Soundcloud was down for a bit last week, which caused me to wander over to Bootie Blog and check out some of their monthly listings. Lots of pop stuff, but it's not bad for all that.

Warning: all of these MP3s tend to start playing LOUD. If that's not what you want, tap the volume slider or download and playback through another device. There's also a ZIP file link that gets you all these tracks and the other Bootie Top 10 for June.

Lobsterdust doing what he does, a technically proficient A|B|C mash with Montell Jordan's classic "How We Do It" updated and modernized with a nu-disco feel.

Maya Jacobson who goes as DJMaya is an Israeli mash-up DJ, new to me. Here she's got the Major Lazer ft M0 "Lean On" that I mentioned in last week's music post going up against some old Back Street Boys. My biggest complaint is that the track is short and ends abruptly. Seems like more could be done here.

DJs from Mars with one of their standard high-energy dance tracks built around Alesso/Tove Lo "Heroes". It's interesting for the number of styles they mix into it. There's still a basic dance feel but it's got a lot of different tempos and sounds going on.

Kill_mR_DJ has a nice summer nostalgia mix of five favorites. It's bouncy and trippy but also a bit on the short side. I know pop songs aren't supposed to be much over 3:30 but who said mash-ups need to fall into that same creative sinkhole?

I keep think I'm going to get tired of the "Shut up and Dance" mixes but it's a damned catchy hook. Here Cream & Gary W use a couple of minor supporting tunes to play around with the basic "Dance" elements but it's still largely the track you expect.

Amoraboy, a French bootlegger, gives us what's listed as a simple A|B mash but I think at a minimum he's using versions of these tracks I haven't heard before. The components are Charli XCX's "Break The Rules" that I heard a lot last fall and an old track by Antares called "Ride on a Meteorite" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA05D5rkHFA I think) but this mash has a level of profanity I didn't hear in either of those source tracks. I'm betting it's someone's remix but I haven't bothered to sort through all the options to figure out which one.
drwex: (VNV)
I've gone through the Best of Bootie 2014 mixes and have four to talk about. If you just want to stream or download the whole thing you can get it at that link. Fair warning: the Bootie links are MP3s that will probably start playing on click.


DJs from Mars make several appearances in the Bootie list and I think I like the first in this pair best because the source material is James Brown and Bob Marley. Kind of hard to go wrong with that, and this mix doesn't disappoint, mixing soul and reggae and the DJ's signature stomp beats.

The second track is pure fan service, putting together Queen's beloved "We Will Rock You" with Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name". That itself is well done, but then the DJs reach again into the popular closet and come up with some Prodigy and some Skrillex to give everything a racing fast harder edge. It's still a love anthem to rock, and when it kicks into high gear around 2:35 it's a hard rock on meth mix.

Loo & Placido have two entries in the set and this one is the better of the two for my money. It's a high-energy bounce-and-rock opening that has some real surprise change-ups in it. The transition from piano to piano-and-vocals caught me by surprise and actually made me laugh out loud at its cleverness. This is the sort of track I'd open a club set with - enough energy to get people moving and enough variety to catch attention.

Lobsterdust makes an appearance with an eight-way juggernaut of a mix. This one is clearly done for the humor value, as there are both lyrical and musical juxtapositions that are done just to say "isn't that funny". I suspect if you don't like the humor you won't like this mash, but I don't recall Lobsterdust ever doing a humorous mix before so I flagged this one. His other entry is a standard A|B pairing that's fine but unexceptional.

I can't remember the sequence that landed me on Eelke Kleijn (http://www.eelkekleijn.nl/) but his compositions are an interesting atmospheric palate cleanser. They're mostly instrumental, or use voice-as-instrument, and his work has started appearing in media such as TV/movie trailers. His style, as here, is often ethereal and I like it as background while I'm working on other things.

You know there are going to be any number of end-of-year mashes and I'll probably blog the ones I find interesting, but I wanted to pull this one first as it's something I've not seen before. Dzeko and Torres have put together not a single mash track, but ten full minutes showcasing EDM tracks - 62 to be precise - of 2014. There are some big names in here (Tiesto, Hardwell) but the majority are lesser-known producers doing interesting things. At 600 seconds to cover 62 tunes you're rarely getting more than a tiny snip of anything before the track moves on, but there's a listing you can use to track things down (if you're crazy like me).
drwex: (VNV)
On Friday, not 10 minutes after telling DJ Purple that I was putting together a music post, my building lost power and they sent us all home. Since all my open tabs are here (I listen to a lot of music at work; let me tell you about my lovely loud cubicle environment some day) this had to wait.

All the songs here are favorites reworked; I'll save the new tracks for next time.

While looking up some old favorites I came across this, which is Bel Air's bootleg of Stromae's "Alors on Danse". It's really more of a mash-up, as it draws heavily on Egypt's "In The Morning", a bloopy disco electronica track from years ago (that's the source of the "Let your love come in" vocals) and several other uncredited tracks. I remain fond of Alors and this was a nice find.

Another rework of a perennial favorite from Bel Air: Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster", this time mashed up against Swedish DJ Sebastian Ingrosso's "Reload" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuAtcpFQpMw), a Euro tech-pop hit from last summer. Once again the Bel Air DJs haven't done much but lift the best bits of their source tracks, and that's OK.

Lobsterdust offers up a sweet little house mash-up of a classic Marvin Gaye track, "I'm Too Busy Thinkin' (About My Baby)". The track retains a fair bit of Gaye's original soul sound, but with modern up-tempo beats. Lobsterdust is, as always, an excellent technician. I just wish he's put in a few more surprises in his tracks.

Two recent remixes of London' Grammar's "Hey Now" give a chance to compare-and-contrast. The first is Zero 7's slinky electro groove. This one tip-toes into the darker air you can hear in the original track, but doesn't dive in headfirst. The track tries to keep a lighter feel with a persistent upbeat that I think doesn't improve the effort. It's apparently taken from their limited edition vinyl release so the track ends rather abruptly. Not bad, but wouldn't make me sit up and take notice.

The second is Sasha's chill-dance remix. Unfortunately, Sasha doesn't seem to share my belief that Hannah Reid's voice is the main thing you want out of London Grammar. He fills the first couple minutes of this track with completely disposable electronica that would be good to play in a club while people were filing in, but doesn't make for good focused listening. We are Not Impressed with Sasha, sorry.

Discosid is someone I've been listening to off and on for a few months but haven't liked anything enough to blog. Here he hits a solid double by mashing two of my favorites: Rihanna's "Rudeboy" and the Panjabi MC's piece from a few years ago that he did with Jay-Z called "Beware". The mash uses Panjabi beats and Indian traditional riffs with Rihanna's voice, which I think is a wise choice.
drwex: (pogo)
Work has kept me super-busy, so I've done less listening and much has slipped by. Here are a few things I've had time to tag - 80s nostalgists in particular rejoice. More links to come, but I've no more time today.

DJ Schmolli does a nice job combining the 80s hit "You Spin Me Round" - another track I have a lot of sentimentality for - with some more modern MGMT. I particularly like that he's pulling from both the original "Kids" and a remix. That remix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb1jBn0uEOc) by Soulwax is worth a listen on its own. It's a high-pitched electronica piece that is way more experimental than you'd expect.

Our next installment in the 80s nostalgia train is a mostly instrumental nu disco piece by Tronik Youth that riffs on "Safety Dance". I think you really need to have loved the original to appreciate this the way I do. The remix isn't all that novel, but it's just a fun song to riff on.

Here's a new voice with a retro sound I'm liking. HEARTSREVOLUTION (apparently it's all caps, one word - http://heartsrevolutionrideordie.tumblr.com/) are putting out their first EP and this single, "Kill Your Radio", sounds like electronic, punk-influenced, rockabilly, if that even makes sense. You probably want to listen and judge for yourself.

Riva Starr, who I mentioned last month turns in a gorgeous deep house track in collaboration with Carmen Consoli, another new name for me. Consoli (http://www.carmenconsoli.it/ - warning, site loops music on entry) is an Italian singer-songwriter whose traditional style is much closer to opera house than club house but she can also turn in some gentle nightclub-style vocals that Starr uses to great effect.

Lobsterdust is not known for traditional A|B mashups, but he turns in one here that totally kills it. He's mashing "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams (http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526?syndicationid=bb8a16ab-1279-4f17-969b-1dba5eb60eda&shortlink=W0OCcA&country=US for the unrated official video - features boobs) and Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6FBfAQ-NDE). Both are modern pop confections so the joy is in hearing how Lobsterdust weaves them with side notes and grace samples.

Budo and Hollis turn in a brilliant and beautiful cover of "Open" by Rhye. The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sng_CdAAw8M&feature=youtube_gdata) is a gentle love track in which the singer pleads for her partner to "stay open." The cover is more of a duet and as APC says, it's very "XXXish" and I like the treatment. I find myself singing along more with the cover than I ever did with the original.
drwex: (Default)
Some old favorites are back this week in new contexts.

In 2010, Skye Edwards rejoined Morcheeba. She's still working on her solo projects. This is the first single from her upcoming solo LP. It's got her voice, but it's more fast-paced and less bluesy than I'm used to hearing from her. She's still very talented and even with all the electro in this track I'm liking it a lot.

Lobsterdust turns in his latest banger, a six-way mash. He's still very good at what he does, but he's not doing anything new here. It's a high-energy party track, as you'd expect. If you like his stuff this is a good track; if not, you probably won't like this one either.

This one you should watch if you can. The video is a really fun stop-motion animation tribute to music video images that have been popular at one time or another. It's neat to see how many you can identify. Some I got even though they're just on for a few seconds; others I'm still scratching my head over (the solo guitarist in front of the church - help!).

The track is a fun collaboration between DJs from Mars and Fragma. I have not been that fond of Fragma's solo stuff but her voice really works well here, over the strong techno beats that the DJs provide. It's a fun track through and through.

MIA's "Bad Girls" has been remixed a hundred ways by now, so it's rare to find something new/interesting/unusual done with it. Surkin scores a hit here, though in part because he's pulling from so many influences. As Carter Maness says in the blurb you can clearly hear African rhythms in the remix, and also high-speed street-dance sounds. That kind of thing can easly turn into a mess, but it's kept tight and the sound layers are managed well. Check out the bit starting at 1:50 where it drops to solo flute and then slowly builds back up over the next minute.

I had forgotten how much I liked Public Enemy. Every time I listen to a new rapper I hope I'll hear someone who has Chuck D's ability to sling words and mean something without every fifth word being 'nigger', 'bitch', or 'ho.' The man was - is - an amazing vocalist/lyricist. Featurecast (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Featurecast/8844117036) gives us his vision of what those words would sound like above some slamming techno dance rhythms and phat horns. I've had this on frequent repeat for most of the past week and been missing P.E.

Well, if you're like me you can do a little searching and find that Chuck is still out there doing his thing. The second link is to "I Shall Not Be Moved" and just appeared last month. He's slowed down a bit - he's joking about "the senior circuit" now - but it's still that style and that voice. He hasn't lost any of his political sensibilities either ("What good is doing some record/ When y'all only listen to fifteen seconds?").
drwex: (Default)
Browser has many tabs open. Let's see what I can close out here. Thursday was busy so I didn't get to it. Today I'm waiting around for people to be done with other meetings so they can meet with me. Allow me to carry on...

Bootie's February top list is up and I've picked three for your listening pleasure, two from familiar names and one new artist. I really like the first two in part because they're built on long-loved tunes.

"Sexy Boys and Girls Know It" is by a French bootlegger called Bogoss (http://djgrenouillebogoss.free.fr/Bootlegs.htm) mashing LMFAO with Blur's "Girls & Boys" which remains far and away my favorite tune by them ever, despite its popularity.

"Changed The Way You Relax" is Lobsterdust's set-opener these days and I can see why. It's a slow-build very danceable mix of Example's "Changed the Way You Kissed Me" with the awesome classic "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Frankie doesn't get remixed much these days, which is really a shame if you ask me.

Finally there's a "New Years Eve Party Anthem" by MadMixMustang. This is a mega-mash of at least seven artists - modern (Pink, LMFAO) with some great classics (Queen, James Brown, Rick James). This mash is brilliant. The LMFAO/Pink combo alone would be worthwhile but then about 1:30 in the whole thing shifts into a higher gear and keeps pushing up. Putting James Brown into something almost always makes it better and this one has some really funny transitions to keep you from getting complacent.

Deep88 (http://www.deep88.com/) is an Italo-disco DJ with a lot of interesting roots: jazz, salsa, and funk in addition to disco. He makes interesting blends that aren't what you expect. This one, for example, is kind of deep-house mellow, but with definite nu disco influences.

Also on the nu disco tip is "The Light" by Le Castle Vania which, despite the non-English sounding name is a US producer (http://lecastlevania.com/). APC calls this song a "flirt" which is quite appropriate. It's flirty and fun with just a tinge of sexy.

Now turn that flirt up to 1000 and you've got hot and sexy. This is sensual silky Destro whose beautiful form is on full show in the video, as well as her luscious voice. *fans self* There are lots of little details here that make it fun, too. I've not seen Destro before and her hair style caught me by surprise; it's non-traditional in a very hot way (long except for one side being shaved). Also, the song is about hands and face, which makes it easy to read as a queer love song, as long as you are OK with conventionally beautiful female bodies in queer relationships.
drwex: (Default)
Still catching up on end-of-year and best-of lists. I was particularly disappointed with Bootie this time. They list lots of mashes, most of which I've already heard, from a pretty narrow list of half a dozen artists. Here are two of the good ones, followed by some new-to-me stuff.

Lobsterdust has been busy (see his 2011 mashed download page). This one, called "Roll It" is a pretty simple three-way of Salt 'n' Pepa's "Push It" and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, with some A Trak thrown in for vocal variety.

Titus Jones has a thing for female and high-pitched vocals. Here he's got another brilliant mega-mix with four current and past divas along with Journey and Bruno Mars who fit in just right. Notably lacking in Katy, it manages to work in a big helping of Ke$ha without setting off my teeth-grinding. And yes, it's got a standard party-banger beat in places, but what makes the mix work well is that Jones doesn't rely on a single beat throughout. He mixes it in and out, dropping both vocal and instrumental samples in.

The Limousines (http://myspace.com/thelimousines) are a pair of guys who manage to walk the line between respect and irreverence in style. Here they're covering a massively (over)played Paul Simon track and doing it with verve and originality. They keep the signature trumpet and the vocals on the cover are similar, but there are fillips and flourishes and a modern electronic sensibility that re-infuse the song with fun.

If you know The Limousines at all, it's probably for "Internet Killed the Video Star", their biggest hit to date. Itself an homage to the (over)played Buggles tune "Video Killed the Radio Star" (sometimes called the MTV anthem). You can find the video and a free download of the MP3 for it on their MySpace page.

Gotye's quietly beautiful "Somebody I Used To Know" gets even more haunting and yet more soothing in this "repaint" from Rey & Kjavik. It's an extended mix that rolls gently along fading vocal bits in and out over snap rhythms and understated electronica samples.

Amadou and Mariam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_%26_Mariam) are a blind couple from Mali who perform traditional Malian music infused with modern electronic instrumentals - primarily guitars - and a wide variety of vocal styles, ranging from melodic choral backing to near-rap intense vocal fronting. The word "unique" gets abused a lot but I feel confident saying theirs is a unique sound and if you like afro-beat, tribal or Caribbean styles at all you'll recognize bits of those in here and - I think - enjoy it as much as I do.

Mighty Mike puts Blueboy's 2009 UK dance hit "Remember Me" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGIeJswiJU4) side-by-side with the modern soul track "I Need a Dollar" by Aloe Blacc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR6oYX1D-0w). Blacc brings both the Motown horn sound and the mournful vocals of great classic soul, which plays up certain parts of the other tune and gives the overall mash a wonderful chill.
drwex: (Default)
Old joke I guess. Does anyone even know what a music deck is anymore? Anyway, here are three new sounds and some nice remixes from old favorites.

Creep (http://www.myspace.com/wearecreep) are a Brooklyn duo that live musically someplace between punk and electronica. They call themselves trip hop but this stuff is much darker than what I usually associate with that kind of sound. The two remixes here have a minor-key electronic buzz that took me a couple of listens to get into, but is definitely growing on me.

Also outside my usual, Chucha Santamaria y Usted is sort of punk and sort of electronic and definitely Hispanic. But with church-choral overtones mixed under the typical Latin rhythms it comes across as an odd sort of inside-out music that is also pretty solidly electronic dance-pop. Go figure that one out.

Zagar (http://www.zagarmusic.com/index_en.php) have a number of remixes out for this, their "Prophet Is A Fool" track. You can find all of them at the Soundcloud link. This one, Eriq Johnson's take, is neatly experimental and pulls in things from New York style R&B rhythms to Australian digeridoo influences, to vocal trance choral bits. Zagar themselves are Hungarian indie rockers who pull from all over - particularly jazz and trance-dance.

Dan Mei does a "return to a classic" mix here, using Katrina And The Waves' well-known "Walking On Sunshine" underneath Eric Hassle's "Hurtful" and speeding both up to a seriously kicking BPM. Say it with me - heavy horns make everything sound better.

Speaking of Dan Mei and making everything sound better, apparently it is possible to take a seriously mediocre and over-autotuned cover of Patti Smith's "Because The Night", mash that with a little Britney Spears drivel, an overplayed Bon Jovi tune, a heavy dollop of t.A.T.u and come up with something wholly awesome. I have no idea how, but it works. I blame it on t.A.T.u. whose hauntingly pained "Can you see me now?" echoes so strongly over the second half of the mix.

Production Unit (http://dave.marciablaine.com/) takes two nice tracks - Alliyah's "Try Again" and The XX's spare and haunting "Intro" - to create a smooth beautiful mix with her vocals floating above the bass and beats. I've had this one on repeat for several days and it doesn't get old.

And finally lobsterdust, who seemingly can do very little wrong these days. Here he takes the sacred psychedelia of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" and puts it up with the big dance sounds of Fatboy Slim's "Praise You." I linked to the video rather than the MP3 in part because watching it - and the very young Grace Slick - brought back memories. I believe the last time I saw her (and them) live was 1983 in a small theater just outside PA. From the sixth row I almost felt like I could touch her and when they sang this song she leaned way out over the audience and sang her heart out.
drwex: (Default)
I can't believe it's been 10 days since I last posted a music entry. Partly I've been busy, partly APC has been extraordinarily quiet, and partly it's been suck city in the new music I've listened to in the past week or so. I've gleaned out a couple of worthwhile items nonetheless. Herewith three voices and two megamixes.

Rachel Goodrich (http://myspace.com/rachelgoodrich) is another artist I'm surprised I haven't written about before. She's a fun poppy folk-acoustic performer with a light pleasant voice. I find myself grinning while listening to her music - it's catchy without being too kitschy (despite the whistles, oompahs, and ukelele).

New single from Jess Mills. She continues to be as silky and seductive as when I first heard her but this track feels like it has more underlying power. I'm just waiting for a good remixer to take this one and tear it up.

I had been on the fence about this one when it came out. I don't think much of Rye Rye's lyrics or voice on this one and I think she comes off particularly poorly against Robyn - Rye's voice is thin and the damned clap-beat almost drowns her out where Robyn's vocals are strong and she just soars.

I pulled this one back just so I could comment on the video, specifically the costuming. Rye's outfits range from awful (the yellow thing at the start) to passable (the green-blue thing you start to see around 2:20). However, the dress Robyn is wearing starting from about 0:35 is possibly the most AWESOME thing I've seen on a singer in a while. It fits her perfectly, moves well, and the wild color scheme goes well with the graffiti-filled filming locations and contrasts perfectly with Robyn's platinum cut. Whatever idiot decided she needed a jacket on top of it should be slapped. The analogy of Robyn's voice:Rye's voice :: Robyn's dress:Rye's dress is just too good to pass up.

lobsterdust's "Whole Lotta Extra Dougie" begins with a classic Zeppelin tune and shows that you can put together that, some standard rap lyrics, and some heavily edited Katy Perry to get something unique. The man is a master - I'm convinced nobody else could've done this and made it work.

Speaking of masters at work, here goes DJ Earworm with another mega-mix. This one takes 19 tracks from 15 artists and produces a high-energy summer dance extravaganza. He's so good at this it's hard to realize how much work goes into these things. Again I don't know anyone else who is pulling off these kinds of megamixes these days.
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)

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