drwex: (Troll)
I keep accumulating music tabs as I'm trying to get work done between the multitude of meetings this week. Let me try to close a few here since I have no idea when I'll get time to do another music post. Five entries, five different music styles, GO.

I found Fort Knox Five originally through DJ Steveboy who uses their stuff a lot in his sets. Here they're bringing a "Latin Funk" track, a concept that I had no idea existed and am immediately in love with. "Cinco to the Brinco" bounces back and forth between Spanish and English and across a variety of musical styles - there's obvious Latin and funk and some glitch and some electro thrown in. Nice bass, nice horn bits, very much my kind of thing.

Rage Against the Machine takes me back to a period of my musical past when I was listening to a lot of harder-edged stuff. RAtM, Rammstein, Godsmack, etc. This is a modern electro-fuzz remix of "Wake Up" done by someone calling themselves Machete. Like a lot of modern reworks it doesn't quite seem to know what to do with the vocals which is a shame, I think because although the intense drums and screaming guitars are key features of this genre so are the intense vocals. RAtM were particularly known for anti-establishment lyrics and you can't just ignore that.

For contrast, here's a doube-shot of RAC. First up, a remix of Gwen Stefani's "Make Me Like You". The music in this one is almost disposable pop - what matters are Stefani's vocals and they're front-and-center in the remix. For contrast here's the original - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uljUDtv1Kw - and I think the remix is significantly better. The original has a tamped-down pop beat bouncing around; the remix has more of a dance beat and it's layered underneath the vocals rather than mixed side-by-side with them. Second is RAC's take on "Victorious" from Panic! at the Disco (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUChk0lxF44). Again, it's fundamentally pop, and the remix doesn't change that, but it does separate and amp up the vocals, giving it a dance slant.

I had to investigate something with the label "panda funk" and I'm not convinced it was a good idea or a good label. There's a pandafunk.com that appears to be the label behind this, but the track is less funk and more electro-bounce. If that's your thing, Dirty Ducks & Luca Rezza have a stomp-inducing example of the genre for you right here. I'm still on the fence about this one.

I've been meaning to post this since I first heard it a couple months ago and it kept getting pushed off. So let's close out this set with an awesome track from DJs from Mars. "Varanasi Ghats" takes its name from the stairs (ghat) constructed specifically so people can go down to holy rivers. This track steals liberally from Indian celebratory music both in the beats and the sampled vocals. These elements are assembled with the DJs traditional stompy style and the result is awesome. There's an invitation to remix that comes along with a purchase of the track but I'd be surprised to see someone outdo the original.
drwex: (VNV)
Missed doing this on Friday (what else is new) so here's your latest set of beautiful tracks. This time we're going to keep things low and slow, saving the house bangers for next time.

Illenium is a DJ named Nick Miller and I've no idea why this track is tagged with #dubstep and #skrillex because I don't think it's either of those things. Instead it's a lovely melodic dance piece featuring some beautiful vocals from a singer Joni Fatora (http://www.jonifatora.net/) whose debut EP is just out now. I must take a moment to say this is the most unreadable Web site I've seen since Flash went out of style. It uses a dreadfully small poorly kerned font in white text on a light blue-gray background. If you can read it you have better eyes than I do. Fortunately her voice is a lot better than this design, but sheesh.

Most of the things I link to have fairly high BPM, but I can still appreciate a good slow track, like this one. This is RAC's slinky melodic slow-mix of Bob Moses's "Tearing Me Up" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4oUeqOkb90). It's not hugely different from the original, but the remix adds some layers of sound, smooths some of the original's roughness, and just generally leaves me thinking this should be playing as part of foreplay. Also, am I the only one who hears echoes of Timbuk 3 here?

A little farther up the BPM scale, but still in the sexy department, comes Hooya's remix of Mako's "Smoke Filled Room" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TutIVpWf4U). The remix is more house and less frenetic than the original but still very vocal-centric and wants to win you over with beauty rather than force.

Loo & Placido produce a slow-dance mash-up take on Major Lazer's "Lean On" using some of the best chill/funk/soul sounds from Gramatik. I can't place exactly which track(s) they're sampling but it's still very close to the slow-dance vibe of the previous track.

This is a blast from deep in my childhood. The original "Wooly Bully" was something of a one-hit wonder back in the 60's and has showed up here and there in covers and references since then. This is an updated and funky take that is very true to the original. There's still the original blues rhythms that you heard in so many early rock hits but it's gently filtered. I bet I could still Twist to it, though.
drwex: (VNV)
I have two half-formed posts in my head and am not having much luck fully baking them. So like I do when that's going on, I listen to music. This set of links isn't planned out so much as "a set of musical coincidences".

Florence is coming to town. I was a big fan when she first got played on this side of the pond and have dropped off considerably since then. It's not like Infected Mushroom where the music has changed. Nor, I think, is it the old fogey of I-can't-like-anything-once-it-gets-popular. Florence is still doing her thing, except with a big stage now, bigger budget, and the trappings that come with that. In this live recording from last year you can hear her with a big-stage quality drum kit backing, two backup singers, a harp, and a full live horn section. I'm left wondering if that makes her (act) better or not. What attracted me to her was the combination of her voice and the deep weirdness of her lyrics. It has been a very long time since I've seen a show at a place so big they needed Jumbotrons - I forget what stadium-concert sound is like. She's very clearly having fun, though, and that's a strong incentive to try and see her when she comes around. Of course, the ticket price is likely to make me balk, but it's a thought.

Also coming to town is Bob Mould. I've written about my admiration for him a few times in the past. Going to see him would be a no-brainer except it's at the Paradise, a venue I despise. Their sound quality is uniformly terrible, sight lines are mediocre, and it's never comfortable. But it's Bob Mould, and I'm going to go in part because we've lost some great talents recently and I feel like I want to appreciate the really great gray-haired performers who are still with us. And because, duh, it's Bob Mould.

This was one of the fine tunes in the New Year's Eve party soundtrack. The host who had programmed that night's set has different musical tastes from mine, but there's a fair degree of overlap to the point where it's enjoyable for me to notice something they've picked and inquire, or to suggest something they can check out. Here is Melosense with a deep chill track. Very 'night music' and slinky acoustic sounds.

While we're still in the mellow part of this post, let me also introduce you to Phutureprimitive. This track came off Pandora's recommendations from my modification of [livejournal.com profile] sweetmmeblue's Glitch Mob station. The resemblance should be clear - bass electronica, with a strong beat and some stutter programming. "Kinetik" is also an acoustic-only track.

Vicetones continue to supply me with lush, sweet club sounds. It's a house track, like their other work, but it's also uptempo and melodic (despite the title). As so often happens I wish to complain that the track clocks in at under 3 minutes - feels more like a teaser than a fully developed track.

Back in 2014 I noted that RAC mixes have this habit of slipping by unremarked. And somehow I managed to go all of last year without blogging any of his work. My bad - I do follow it but don't always notice and mark his entries in my stream. This one reaches out and grabs you (well, if you're me) entirely because of the vocals. Frida Sundemo fronted this track for Morten originally and this is RAC's mix. Her voice is excellent - I particularly like how she handles the minor-key bits without sounding whiny.

I hope you've had enough of relaxing because the last two items are going to break that mode. First up is DJs from Mars' year-end megamash. This is the extended mix - I linked the original when it came out last month but I like this better. You get an extra minute and a half of ear teasers as a bonus and where I thought the end of the original mix was kind of a letdown, this one goes strong right up to the last 20 seconds.

About a decade or so again there was a thread in club music that was just generally called "hard". It featured very fast beats, electronica with distorted edges, insistent repetitive phrasing, and a lot of the tropes of club music at that time - sound samples, manga or Japanese animation elements, using horns or whistles as found sound, and simple message-oriented vocals. The first link is a recording of Marco V doing his hard anthem "Godd" recorded in 2005. I had forgotten all about this track - and really never was much of a hard fan - until a version of this got sampled in a DJ set I was listening to last week. I have no idea where the memory is from, but I remember thrashing to this track until my shirt was soaked with sweat. (I believe the track first came out in 2001 which only broadens the possible places/occasions - my best guess is one of the poolside parties that used to happen at Disclave.)

The second link is the V-Dubb remix of "Godd" and it's what started me on this as it was sampled in the DJ set and something in my brain pinged. This mix has some of the elements of the original but I think I can see how the edges are starting to soften and evolve into what house music would become in the years after. If you don't like hard techno you're not likely to enjoy this mix any more than the first, but for me it's a nice reminder of where EDM used to be when I was first dipping my toes into the waters.
drwex: (Troll)
Here's Part 1 in case you missed it. On with the tab-closings we go.

I don't think I've ever seen Nas X, Aerosmith, and Sinatra all in one place. Of course, Aerosmith once made a big splash by appearing with Run DMC's cover of "Walk This Way" so now we have another Aerosmith-hiphop mash. OK fine, but adding in Sinatra? That's either genius or madness. CHEATCODE uses a light touch, which avoids a trainwreck, but I'm not sure it fully works either.

I continue to believe that you generally make things better by adding Tegan & Sara to it. Here DJ Bahler gives us a pretty straight-up A|B mash of their "I Was A Fool" with Rise Against's "Audience of One." It's interesting to hear their vocals against the rock instruments.

RAC mixes have this unfortunate habit of slipping under my radar. A lot of his stuff is very easy to listen to and when I'm working I don't necessarily pick it out. I heard this one twice before I went back and said "Hey!" Once again, RAC has stripped things down to essentials and rebuilt them into a pleasant, upbeat, and entirely danceable track.

This is a giant stomping remix by Sean & Bobo of "Arcadia" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d5ZxZdEUvA) a summer dance track from Hardwell. The original is pretty high energy; this remix adds some additional punch and scratch to the vocals and pushes the beats to even more driven levels. I really like it, but I realize this kind of thing is not everyone's cuppa.

We're reaching the time of year when DJs put out their mega-mashes. This is Mashdnkutcher (yes, really) doing 24 tracks in three minutes. It's exactly as frenetic as you'd expect in places, but there are also relaxed bits, and interesting transitions. The good part is that if there's a bit you don't like it's not likely to last more than a few seconds. The bad part is that if there's a bit you do like, it's gone too quickly.
drwex: (pogo)
I keep thinking I can do this post, what with all the meeting cancellations, but stuff keeps getting in the way. Let's see if I can close this out as the week ends. I've been a bit stressed out of late so this is mostly gentle relaxing stuff. Not ear-filler, but engaging soothing sounds.

Thomas Jack (http://thomasjackmusic.com/) is a new name to me. He's a young new DJ out of Australia who seems to specialize in deeper house/electronics. This track, however, caught my ear because of the way it uses traditional instruments. The piano/horn segment from about 2:00 to 2:20 is just beautiful and the entire track has symphonic sweep and bright touches. Yes, that's a house beat but I don't think this is like any house you've heard before.

CRNKN (https://soundcloud.com/crnkn) sounds like someone who should be producing hard-hitting floor clearers, but this is a vocal-driven, low BPM, electro-house track. The original is Ofelia (https://www.facebook.com/ofeliasings) a classically trained vocalist singing for Felix Cartal (http://www.felixcartal.com/) on a track called "New Scene". The track is off Cartal's latest EP, which I intend to grab and may blog again.

Another three-parter that mixes two distinct styles. From the top: it's Bebe Rexha (http://www.beberexha.com/#!) a New York-based singer/songwriter fronting for Cash Cash (http://www.cashcashmusic.com/) on a track called "Take Me Home". The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDo2SiW3JHU) is a kick-drum heavy track that pushes Rexha's vocals up and into dance space. The Flaxo (https://www.facebook.com/Flaxomusic) remix here is much more chill and stylistically varied, ranging from near vocal trance to prog to moombahton.

RAC turns in another fine remix. This time he's working with Imagine Dragons' "On Top of the World". The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8PrTzLaLHc) is a pleasant hand-clapping dance rock track with afro-carib influences that came out last year. RAC builds up a lusher and more layered sound than the original, while still keeping its bouncy spirit intact.

With any luck the previous four tracks have you relaxed and feeling like you can let go, in which case you want to listen to this one. It's Steerner remixing Sub Focus's "Turn Back Time." The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWRJbHmvtIU) just came out in September and it starts out as a nice vocal house banger but drifts into annoying bloopy electronica. Steener strips out the most annoying bits and amps up the electro-house banger bits. A definite improvement on the original.

This track has been making me crazy with that "I know this..." feeling. Divide and Kreate (http://divideandkreate.com/) is at it again, remixing favorites. This is his bootleg remix of the popular Daft Punk "Get Lucky". It's a good mix. What's making me crazy is the opener - the first 25 or so seconds where D&K has put the string bits. In the track comments I asked him about it and he said he played it from the vocal track. Which is fine, but that just tells me Daft Punk lifted this from something else. But frelled if I can figure out what.

And finally, a remix to get you grinning. Kill Paris (https://soundcloud.com/killparis) takes on the thematic track from the Ghostbusters movies, giving it what he calls a "future funk" sound. That's not a bad descriptor for something that has heavy fuzz electronica but the fundamental timings of funk. It's a loving and danceable cover of the original.
drwex: (pogo)
They cancelled my midday meeting so you get some music links instead. There's not been much these past few weeks that appealed all that strongly, but give these a spin.

I had to listen to this a couple times for it to catch me. DJ Schmolli replaces his trademark metal components with Paramore's "Brick by Boring Brick" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A63VwWz1ij0) which isn't per-se metal but has the same urgent drum-driven sound. That goes underneath Beyonce's gentle puppies-and-sunshine "Halo" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnVUHWCynig). Having heard a lot more Beyonce since that track came out four years ago it's remarkable how obvious the auto-tuning there is now. Part of what makes this mash work is that it feels like un-smoothing Beyonce improves her sound.

You'd think something called "Turbofunk" would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, most of what they put out has too much electro-disco for my ears. That touch is obvious here as well. Unfortunately the Punx have only released a "teaser clip" so I can't do a full compare, but it seems like what Rocoe did is keep the original rich horn sound, but speed things up and give it a stronger beat.

So there's this singer who goes by "Kay" and she did a track called "Back Off, Bitch!" with producer Static Revenger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2whHOeZ9ygQ) and it's a decent club house dance. Kay seems to want to be/compete with Azalea, a throwdown I suspect she'd lose, but anyway. This is Taco Cat's dub remix and I think it's a big boost on the original. It's hard to quantify exactly why I like one better than the other, but there you are.

In the past RAC has done notably good work with other peoples' vocal tracks. Here is one of his original tracks, "Let Go" that has been jazzed up by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom. The original is pretty standard vocal electro-pop; the remix has the electro turned up and the pop turned down - though it keeps the nearly naked vocals and snare drum I liked in the original.

Groovefunkel (http://www.groovefunkel.com/) is a new name for me. He seems to specialize in remixes of classic 70s tunes. When you lay hands on something that many people grew up listening to it's always dangerous. I can still picture the place I first heard "Rocket Man" (though I'd have to think about how old I was - maybe 11?). Groovefunkel seems to be aware of this and applies a light and dextrous hand to it. Excuse me, I have a nostalgia bus to catch now.
drwex: (pogo)
Some seriously funky stuff in this batch, plus a surprise or two.

One of the things I like best about modern electronic dance music is that deep in the genome is funk. Sometimes it has to pass through disco to get here, but even that can be tolerable. This groovy funky dancey track is a collaboration of two UK-based artists who go by the names Blende and Surrender!. They have an EP coming out next month and this "Circus" is the first single off it. Boppin' good.

Last time I promised you TURBOFUNK and here it is. I do not believe it's possible to listen to this without turning it up loud. The track is by Reset! (http://soundcloud.com/reset-1) who are a new name to me but definitely now on my to-check-out list. There are two other mixes available, and of the three I think I like the original video version best. That's a narrow win, though, because both the vocal mix and the Monique Autoerotique remix are pretty good. Three times the turbo!

DJ Steveboy's latest mix, "Chimera", is one of his funkiest, and finest in recent memory. It's got some good vocal bits, but the real win for me here is the middle acoustic sections, which spread across a variety of modern styles, all of which have some connection back to the base funk roots.

Mashup Germany continues to surprise and delight. He may be the most underrated mash-up DJ working today. Here he tosses off a casual 11-track beauty that I can't stop dancing to. This is a traditional dance-floor destroyer done beautifully. One of the things I like about his productions is that he's not afraid to let them be quiet for a bit. Listen from about 0:45 here to see what I mean. Then he starts to pull in "Kids" and the whole mix takes off. The bit up to 1:05 where the mix hits full stride is just brilliant, and who else would think of using "Tom's Diner" like that?

I continue to think that one way to make the world better is to have more Tegan & Sara in it. This cover of the Rolling Stones' "Fool To Cry" was put together by RAC and it's a surprise and a delight. I'm not that fond of the original but the harmonies in this one really do it for me.

This one I'm blogging because it took me by surprise. It's Heart, doing "Stairway to Heaven" as part of the Kennedy Center Honors Led Zeppelin. That's not hugely surprising, as Heart have done Zeppelin tunes for many years as part of their regular sets and the Wilsons have been forthright about how much Zeppelin influenced them. It was somewhat surprising to see them doing it with Jason Bonham and also how much I liked the orchestral arrangement. True, prog rock has a long and storied history of orchestral arrangements but part of what makes "Stairway" is its sparsity. The choral bits here just... work. The guest guitarist (unnamed here) is really good. And the bowlers are a nice touch.
drwex: (Default)
Busy, squeezing in a few minutes between this and the next that, trying to close out a bunch of tabs. I won't have time for all of it, so expect more next week. This week, a new track with its remix, a remix of a favorite, and a full-length stream of epic awesomeness as our finisher.

The Very Best (http://www.facebook.com/theverybest) is a Malawian-inspired trio that has been storming London underground shows for a couple years now. Their new track, "Yoshua Alikuti" is a straight up strong-vocal celebration of their unique style. Mwamwaya's voice is powerful and the electronica beats/backing are good. Nadastrom's remix pulls out the vocals and makes the sound more intimate. While keeping the fundamental beat, the remix also makes the track more complex and layered. It's hard to say one is better than the other - both are really excellent.

Speaking of remixes and excellent voices, I had just been replaying Gossip's "Perfect World" the other day when this appeared on my stream. It's RAC's remix - apparently it came out about a month ago but I just heard it. The remixer is listed as André Allen Anjos, who I don't think I've heard before. It's got RAC-signature touches, though, particularly the intensely woven electronica. I suspect we'll see more mixes of this track coming soon - it's too good to ignore.

I class this as one of those "if you're in the mood" tracks. It starts off as a very typical disco-influenced banger and honestly I almost didn't listen past the opening bit, which is just so typical I didn't want more. Fortunately about 40 seconds in the entire track takes a whole new subterranean dive and about 1:30 we get the vocal over-tracking. So, if you're in the mood for something that's definitely a banger, but not your typical, then give this a go. Heavyfeet (http://www.facebook.com/heavyfeet) did a decent job on this but I'd like to see them redo it and tighten up the opening to where it matches the originality and quality of the middle.

This? This is brilliant. The word "unique" gets overused to death but what we have here is a collection of truly unique sounds. The roots are in traditional Hungarian folk music and modern dance/ectronica remix styles. Analog Cuvée have been doing this kind of thing for a couple years and here they bring in some of the best names in the business (Young Punx, Phil Retrospector, DJ Schmolli, and more) to take the idea to a new level by remixing and mashing. I've listened to the entire stream multiple times now and it still blows me away. Get your free download here: http://digitalcuvee.tumblr.com/
drwex: (Default)
A chance to get this week's post out on time, I hope...

I didn't like this remix the first go 'round, but on re-listen it's growing on me. Goapele (http://goapele.com/) has one of those beautiful melodic voices that comes across tinged with gospel and soul flavors, but isn't using either of those styles. The first link is to the original, which is a little thin-sounding. What Los Rakas (http://losrakas.com/) have done is add Latin vocals and played up the snap beats to make the whole richer and more energetic.

Another original-plus remix comparison. "Love You More" is itself a cover, (of Sunscreem - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4MPPOTarDM) by Sunday Girl, like the other track I found of hers last year. And also like that track this one is autotuned and has a heavy producer's hand in it. Once again the remixer - RAC (http://remixartistcollective.com/) in this case - has stripped down to the vocals and then rebuilt it entirely. The result is more bouncy and, I think, a much better use of her voice.

DJ Steveboy's latest is a house tour de force (see what I did there?). He puts together 11 tracks sampling a variety of things that get called "house" music these days in a mix called "Open House." It's fun to listen to the variety, though no one of the tracks really leaped out at me as particularly noteworthy.

Kraddy has put up the entirety of his new remix album for free download (and you can buy a copy, which I intend to do). I love reading the story of the album on his site. I think he's done a really good job of recreating much of the feel of 70s anthem-rock but with a modern, electronic feel. In particular I commend to your attention his take on the Sabbath classic "Iron Man".


drwex: (Default)

August 2017

  1 23 45
67 89 10 1112
2021 2223 24 2526
27282930 31  


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 03:46 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios