Thursday, October 18, 2012

#42: Friendly Fires

These guys have been in my playlist for far too long without recognition. So I'm starting with the song that first addicted me to them.

I'll continue with quite possibly my favourite:

and the best ever remix:

Followed by the most melancholy:

The most get-the-fuck-up-and-dance:

The most awesome:

And the coverest:

...You get it. These guys are awesome. But it ain't usually my thing, so what the hell happened to make me addicted to them? So, I'll start with Kiss Of Life. Apart from the fact that it's been used by The Aston Shuffle (love!) in one of their MoS discs, it's one of those things where there's a lot of people singing (or it sounds like it, at any rate) and a lot of people singing sounds awesome. Something I call sound saturation. Two things make sound saturation: lots of music, or lots of voices. In this case, it works both ways, except the voice aspect is more prominent. It's like hearing a choir that makes you tear up, except this don't make me tear up. It makes me... um, want to get up and dance and, um... it evokes... emotions of... um... alright fuckit, when I'm in the right mood I tear up at this too. But it ain't a bad tearing up, nor a sad one. It's the best damn tearing up I ever did, and it's all happy emotions.

I just tried to pause it right now so I could move on to the next song. The silence sounded crap.

So what's so big about Paris? Apart from the Eiffel Tower, I mean. I can start with the fact that they love Au Revoir Simone (love!) enough to include them as backing vocals in the original, then they sang the lead vocals in the Aeroplane (love!) remix. It's pretty obvious that there's a huge difference and my gods, it's amazing. Well, they're both amazing in their own way. The Aeroplane (love!) remix is seven minutes long, and at ~4'16" it drops into moar sound saturation! The only gripe I have is that it's ultra slow, but hey, it means there's more time to listen to the liquidness that is the music. Otherwise, I melt whenever I hear Au Revoir Simone (love!), no matter what the song is. They have such beautiful voices. And beautiful... aw hell, they're all beautiful all over. But anyway. I wouldn't mind finding that French girl, but hell if I wouldn't mind five minutes with one of the girls from Au Revoir Simone (love!). But pressing on, and ignoring my hormones.

I love Hurting. Somewhat literally too. The best feeling in the world is making myself feel lonely (without actually being alone). It's the same kind of catharsis as punching a pillow just to get rid of excess rage and testosterone. Hurting isn't one of those songs, so I will say no more on the topic. Hurting is an amazing synthpoppy tune that gripped me as soon as I heard it. Melancholy lyrics <3. Matter of fact, take a Gem Line award for "Gotta let this go, gotta feel some warmth on my own." This is what you must do after a heartbreak. Stay single. Heal thyself. Possibly have a bit of fun in the meantime. Not a bad thing to be able to do that. And also the video is kinda cool.

There's no Friendly Fires song that inspires more energy in me than Hawaiian Air. Year or so old - in fact, I remember waltzing up to my friends' place in my suburb last year (they don't live there this year) with this playing on the radlio. It runs along similar lines to Zimbabwe by New Navy (love!) - take a fuckin' holiday. I wouldn't mind a bit of Hawaii. It's also just so dancy. Fast dancy, but I ain't complaining about that. Also wouldn't mind hearing this song on repeat for a little while. In fact, I'mma go do that after this review is done. And then I might grab a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice in one of those tall glasses and ice and an umbrella... and you know the rest. BEACH. SUNSET. ORANGE JUICE. Who doesn't love that stuff?

So what of Blue Cassette (Tiga Remix)? Well, I gotta confess, I never heard the original. But in all honesty, I don't need to. There isn't much about this song that isn't awesome, though probably a bit bass-heavy at the start of the song, then it melts into a beautiful summer song. And it mentions cassettes! I mean, hell, who uses cassettes any more? Okay, so vinyl is making a re-surface, but cassettes aren't. Vinyl was the bomb, so faithful. Cassettes weren't. The tapes twisted and stretched (though some funky sounds were made when that happened). Don't get me wrong, I loved cassettes (video and audio), but I was relieved when they took a step back for CDs and mp3s. Much love for Blue Cassette (Tiga Remix). Not overly fond when it gets bassy again near the end, but I can cut that out if I ever want to use it.

Wow. One to go. And what better way to end than by covering a cover? IMO this sounds better than the Lykke Li (love!) version, but that's probably a matter of taste more than anything. Hell, it's piano and it's a dude whose falsetto is actually not too bad. Don't ask me what the cover was in aid of, mind; it completely escapes me. It also escapes my best Internet tracking efforts (at 2am). I am happy that the song is this fun and pianoey, but it's over way too fast. Sad now. Which means the review is also over. Very sad now. But hey, there's heaps more Friendly Fires stuff. In fact, I'll just leave this here and begone.
My only gripe with Friendly Fires is that Ed Macfarlane can't dance well in the videos. But he looks like he's having fun so I'm not complaining any more.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

#41: Polar Opposites

Let's go from one extreme to the next here.

Number one was heard on the radio the other morning. Stayed in bed for a few minutes longer than I usually do (which is usual), deciding "I'll get up after the next song" - which just happened to be this one. After the song, however, I couldn't get up. I had melted. Simply melted away at the beautifulness of Bat For Lashes and this probably best ever song from their lineup. It even beats out the haunting Daniel. I'm also going to say this is gonna be in my best songs lineup for a long time, as well as a song that I really want to learn how to play myself. The song, seemingly about a superstar who just wants to be human, has echoed and resonated in me like nobody's business. For different reasons, obviously, since I'm no superstar. But hell... I ain't complaining. Anyway. If you want to melt, this is probably my Melting Song Of The Year. Also, have a Gem Line award: "you're the train that crashed my heart". Mwah. So much love. And speaking of love, let's jump to the other end of the scale for a bit.

I AM A NINETIES BITCH. I CRASHED MY CAR INTO THE BRIDGE, I WATCHED, I LET IT BURN. I DON'T CARE. I LOVE IT. Can you imagine anyone more badass? No, because Icona Pop are just as badass as Nathan Fillion, Morgan Freeman and the fucking honey badger. I fell in love with this song and it has just been playing nonstop on my speakers for the last hour. Non. Stop. Hurry the hell up and get your album out Icona Pop, because I seriously want to hear more of this amazing stuff. This may be a short, sharp shock of a song, but hell if I'm complaining. Sometimes all you need is short, sharp shock. At least they don't drag crap out - it hits you, then instead of being all "ooh, lookit me, I'mma hugely popular song so I'll make a longer version of myself and outstay my welcome", it leaves you aching for more. And more you shall receive, as you play the song non-stop for an hour like a crazy sumbitch of a song should be played. I don't think I'll get sick of this song either.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

#40: Beng - Rob Pix

@0'0": Dafuq is this? This song is brilliant!
@0'30": Dafuq is this? This song is shit!
@1'54": Dafuq is this? This song is brilliant!
@2'24": Dafuq is this? This song is shit!
You get the picture. This song is quite obviously two songs rolled together in the space of one, and unfortunately Rob Pix has decided to take the worst elements of one song (the hard electro) and make it the minority of the final product, while relegating the very best elements of the other song (the staccato piano) to about one minute of playtime. Seriously, as if we haven't heard enough of this shit already. Bring back classic house! Bring back big house! Bring on electroswing! Dance music should not drop crap right into the middle of a kickass song. This is the problem that David Guetta has suffered from for far too long. Not only that, but there's a handful of other artists who do the same thing. I will grant Swedish House Mafia clearance, but only because they keep epic songs epic and actually add substance to their music. If they start making music with the same template that is displayed here (classic housey tune, drop in the fucking bullshit bass, back to classic housey tune, back to the fucking bullshit bass, et cetera ad nauseum) I am divorcing them and taking 80% of what they own. It's bad enough that genuinely shit artists are making this music... but it annoys me when genuinely good artists like Rob Pix come along and churn out this garbage. Even worse, it sounds like it's going to be an excellent song, then the grindy bassy shit comes in. You get the picture - I'm annoyed. Please, Mr. Pix, make me a version - five minutes long, at least! - which has none of the bassy stuff and all of the piano awesomeness. Also, I'm sorry, but I can only give this song a maximum of three stars. If you're lucky. I'll bump it up to five if I ever hear a remix with just the piano bit. (And obviously some beats and styles attached, obvs... otherwise it's just a looped piano.) Alright, I'm done here.

#39: CJ's Addictions 7

Alright, let's get this shit going. I've got a lot to catch you up on.

I really want to play the song "Runaway (Yelle DJs rmx)" by Mr. Little Jeans, but there is no YouTube Link. I'll just say that it is markedly bouncier than the original and leave it at that. Instead, have these three:

We'll start with building a pyramid. This song fits in perfectly with the CJ Song Pattern - which means obviously that I love it without question. Having said that, there's a lot about it that works quite nicely. Key changes - perfect. Dancy rock - perfect. The only gripe I have is that the lyrics can get a bit incoherent at times, but I suppose that's half the point. And it's an interesting song too: "I'm counting crystals in my sleep while you're sitting there on that broken chair. I don't even know what colour it was. While we're still young, let's echo, echo..." gets a Gem Line award. Well played Nightbox, well played. Nothing wrong with this addiction. Now bring on the next one. Something even more incoherent.

Older. But Australian, and quite brilliant. Sampled from a bunch of different places, including an orchestra; fun music, including the word "rannygazoo"; visually funny, including a fucking coconut. CRAZY IN THE COCONUT. You can tell I love this song. A lot. I want that coconut. Who knew such an old(ish) song was so awesome. First came across it via a flash video which turned into an obsession to find the song which was actually satisfied rather quickly. And now I want to know how they made everyone look black and white with those spotlights. Suppose I'll find out one day. This is a lot of fun to listen to, despite being terrible to dance to. Triple J have gotten something right yet again. Winning!

Last one for now. Bit of cognitive dissonance (again).

"She mixed paint at Menard's". A freebie with WinAmp, and probably the best freebie I've come across, short of Evaporate by Rocket Empire (which was with my HTC). Despite the fact it's rap, it's also electronic and minimalistic. And it tells a lovely story about becoming friends - possibly even more than friends - with someone met in a hardware store. Ordinary, average love. Not fairytale stuff or mopey melodrama, just pure, unadulterated love. (Also I give props for "(mixing) the perfect black" because I love the colour black, but that's a different story y'know.) And I love the fact that the girls in the background are laughing. They're not laughing at him, they are genuinely laughing with him as he enjoys his new-found awesomeness with the girl who mixed paint. Your face when this song weaved its way into my collection, heavily laden with house and trance, but I love this song to bits. And that's pure, unadulterated love too.

Monday, July 23, 2012

#38: Starships - Nicki Minaj

Now, here we have a prime example of why I can't stand pop music. This song is particularly notorious because it can't decide what it wants to be. First, it sounds like it's going to be a poppy guitar track, reminding me of Hawai'i for some reason. Then not ten seconds in, she starts rapping and it sounds like it's going to be another crappy Rihanna-style RnB track. Shortly after, it becomes apparent that all Ms Minaj wants to do is remind us a million times that "starships were meant to fly". Good golly miss Molly, next thing you know she'll be telling us that the Pope is Catholic. Seriously. Either way, all that starship stuff is accompanied by a shitty electronic beat that is exactly what David Guetta has been doing wrong for the last few years. Except the buildup is practically non-existent. Which makes it worse. No buildup, the drop is too heavy for the song, and there's nothing heard of the only good bit in the song (the first six seconds that sound like it's a direct ripoff of Moves Like Jagger. Minus the whistling. I don't understand what gets people off about those electronic beats. A buildup that is practically formulaic, that breaks down instantly (and predictably), and breaks down into absolutely nothing. No substance behind it, nothing. Except DISCHORD. Then she goes back into "fuck who you want" and other fucking stuff like that. I understand a bit of language in a song, but seriously, that shit is fucked. No fucking context and no fucking sense. In other words: Worst song of 2012.

#37: CJ's Best Addictions

My favourite numbered post deserves my favourite songs that I haven't yet posted. So, have these: three songs that have some kind of importance to me and have been my biggest addictions evar. First things first: the song that is most played in my playlist.
Should NOT be confused with the alarmingly similarly-titled "Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)". This one is more upbeat and fun to listen to than the mopey (but no less artistic) "Day Before My Birthday" and my god, does it sound brilliant just before sunset. I love the way the background noise wobbles at a slightly faster rate than the beat of the song. No idea why it's a good thing, but it is. First time I heard this song, I honestly thought it was a fake song, but one Shazam later and it's confirmed that it's Sunday from Moby's B-sides. It deserves to be an A-side. Seriously, Moby, get on it. Unrecognised brilliance, right here. Unrecognised brilliance that is in at least three of my five major playlists and is the most-played individual song in my library. Time to turn to some brilliance a little more recognised (though I suggest not watching the video unless you are decidedly NOT a bigot):

I post this video merely because it's the radio edit and gets the point across quickly, not because of the hot chicks (although no complaints about the hot chicks!). The song is one hell of a reminder of summer, and in particular summer of 2010-11 (when things were amazing and I bought Wii Sports Resort, which this song constantly reminds me of and vice versa). And hell, the video has hot chicks. And one hell of a message. Note the flag that one girl drapes around her at ~0'23". That, there, is the message. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people exist and aren't going to stop existing, so get used to them and start giving them the same rights that OTHER normal people can take for granted. Yes, I said OTHER normal people, because those people are normal people too. ...ahem. On that note, finally:

It MUST be the Amp&eacute;re remix, otherwise it is Simply Not Good Enough. This song has managed to get me through a million and one nights in Melbourne and out. And it has infected my brain for just as long. The best bit, of course, is the bit from ~3'0" to ~4'50. (Wow, it lasts nearly two minutes?! Amazing! Thought it was longer!) I love it to bits and I will never lose sight of this song. In fact, I will never lose sight of any of these songs. Big house, tropical house and microhouse were never better than these three songs. And I have many many more addictions... soon to come. Have a break from my rambling.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

#36: Microhouse

I can't believe I haven't written this one up yet.
I went through a microhouse phase a month ago. First, we have an experimental minimalistic track called Heaven Can Wait, made up almost entirely of radio samples. In fact, to the point where there are over 2,000 on the one album. How the hell does one get that many radio samples? Either way, this guy's well worth his salt. Hell, it takes skill to take fraction-of-a-second bits and pieces from the radio and turn them into something resembling music, let alone a track that makes you think of the city late at night and your old college room that rocked your socks off and GODDAMN FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE and those nights where things just seemed to go right. Soundscapey stuff. And oh man do I love soundscapes. And hell, the title of "Heaven Can Wait" is a bold enough statement - I ain't dying yet. In fact, if heaven won't have me, then you and the rest of the world better hope that hell is damn well ready for me. Best bit IMO is at ~4'19" where the end bit starts, and suddenly it's a 6/8 beat instead of a 4/4 beat and suddenly life has changed to relax, and get some sleep. Oh man, this song is amazing. And speaking of amazing, have this:

I don't know who the hell Julian Jeweil is, and I don't know much about Markus Lange. This song came to me purely by accident, as when I thought I was getting In Search Of Sunrise 9 I instead snaffled a copy of Rave On Snow 16. Man that album has changed the way I see life. But let's get onto this song. The only reason I clicked on this song in the first place was for its title1. So, does it sound like a perihelion? I don't know, but it sure as hell sounds like a summer song. I wanna listen to this, fully, out on the Hill one day in the middle of a summer mix. It belongs there. Bizarrely enough for microhouse, it really doesn't belong at 3am when you're chill-banging (apologies to Min) and there's very little light and you're just reflecting on life, the universe and everything. Save that for Akufen and Felix Laband. And on that note:

Something a tad different. I listened to this last night, as opposed to throughout most of Jan and early Feb. Man did it bring back a flood of memories, because this chirpy piece was released in 2005. Taran first played it for me in 2007. I was instantly hooked and instantly associated it, quite rightly so, with the house we were in at the time. Good times. Light, chirpy, minimalistic soundscape2 that brings back memories and makes you think of fairies. Anything that makes you think of fairies that isn't absinthe has gotta be pretty cool. The whole song is pretty much the same thing, but it's a good "same thing" and it evolves quite nicely in the 3'26" it's been given. Now, one more, and then I'm gonna go comatose from a minimalism overload.

In lieu of "Lick Drop" by the same artist, I present Escape From New York. I would almost classify this as electro house, were it not for the slightly slower, more hypnotic beat, and the fact that it came directly from Rave On Snow 16. Man did that compilation win hard. Harder than I can ever mix. But we'll discuss my compilation later, because Escape From New York is smooth enough that it would belong in Rave On Snow, Discotek, or even Destroy if it wanted to. As is, it's only been on one of those. I'm sure its liquidy3 goodness will come to me, wrapped up in a nice neat little package of awesomeness within a year or two. So cool, and so smooth. And it's a Melbourne song, which fits well with the "Escape From New York" thing. And speaking of Melbourne, here's my own microhouse/minimalistic techno playlist.
  1. Abi 99 - Joachim Spieth
  2. Droplets (Early Night mix) - Dubshape
  3. In Aller Freundschaft - Reinhard Voigt
  4. Perihelion (Julian Jeweil rmx) - Markus Lange
  5. In White Rooms (Dubfraction rmx) - Booka Shade
  6. Heaven Can Wait - Akufen
  7. Alcoolic (Matt Tolfrey & Inxec's "Priorities" rmx) - Popof
  8. An Index Of Corporate Art - Bronnt Industries Kapital
  9. Come Into My Life - Jürgen Paape ft. Alison Degbe
  10. Polar Shift - Trentemøller
  11. Cucuma - Stephan Bodzin
  12. Lemon - Dettinger
  13. Trauermusik - Partial Arts
  14. Palestine Child - Remote
  15. Tonite - Superpitcher
Clocks in at 79'37" when it's done right. I consider it a win.

1For boffins who aren't so boffiny and don't know what "perihelion" means, it means "when an object is at its closest point in its normal orbit to Sol" - that is to say our sun. And we get about 91 million miles away from it at the closest point (compared to roughly 94 million miles at the opposite, or "aphelion").
2I find it ridiculous that the spellcheck doesn't accept "minimalistic" or "soundscape". Or "spellcheck". Or "microhouse". How dare it.
3Liquid music is the best music ever. Full stop.