Quantity, But Where is the Quality

December 12, 2008

Yes, once again it has been like 2 months since my last post. I will say I have been busy. Yes…busy. Anyway, I’m disappointed. Disappointed with Crookers and Sinden and anyone else who just recylcles tracks and calls them a “new song”. I am not dupe. What is most pissoffish about the matter is that I like these guys. It’s not like they are some shitty adult contemporary musicians who make music for people who don’t actually like music. These are guys who can make some of the most solid shit to hit the dancefloor. You want examples? Let’s let Sinden go first. Off the top of my head I can name the songs “If You Don’t Give a Damn” and “Hardcore Girls”. What is worst about these songs is that they came out more than a year apart. Was Sinden thinking we would forget about the first one if given enough time. Did he care? I’m sorry, but by virtue of it having come out 2nd I think I can safely say that outside of recording the vocals, “Hardcore Girls” probably took about 5 minutes to make. I have spent more time hearing it then hetook to make it. Crookers have done few like this. I know that there are a few tracks off the EP.istola EP that i’ve heard before (at least parts) and a handful of other songs that borrow from each other. I have talked about this before during an earlier post. It just pisses me off so much I will say talk about it again. Also, I didn’t think Sinden would stupe to it too. I had faith in him. He makes such a diverse array of tracks with so many different types of beats. He was my new favourite. He still is though. His recent remix of Metronomy is deadly.

Advertisements

T.I. ft Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne – Swagga Like Us

October 27, 2008

Been some time since I’ve looked at a hip hop song on this site. Well bitches, your wait is over. Not like this song is a hidden gem or anything. This is like right off one of the biggest albums of the year. I think the beat of this song is pretty dope. They use a sample of  M.I.A. in  “Paper Planes” that puts the words in a completely different musical context. Finally there is the fact that the guys spitting on this track are biggest damn names in the business today. This song is great because it shows there can still be some sick songs coming out of hip hop. I used to bang so much hip hop but shit is so stale. This song is mainstream and interesting; something one used to encounter a whole more frequently once upon a time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZpX3Y6CN3A&feature=related

Calvin Harris – Disco Heat

October 27, 2008

I know his album was out for a while but, as often is the case, I refused to give this guy a chance because everyone else was hyping him up. One day not long ago, after hearing about him for the thousandth time, I caved. This was a good thing. He has a couple of pretty good songs. He has some shitty songs too but let’s not get into that too much suffice to say that sometimes the same loop goes on for too long and he seems to mistake kitsch for irony. 

     This particular song succeeds because it blends just enough funkyness, electroness and disconess to make me feel like a sexual tyrannosaurus rex when it comes on in my i-pod. It’s got a little rockyness to it too that gives it a little extra edge. This is music to strut to. In this song, the repetition works in it’s favour because it just repeats awesomeness. Sometimes you just wanna hear the same awesome loop repeated for 4 minutes. That’s life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIF-rxcs7rw&feature=related

More Than 2500 Hits – A Rhumination

September 7, 2008

As I sit here on this rainy September Sunday, I find myself in a contemplative mood. I come back to this blog after perhaps a week or so of inactivity and wonder: What is the point? As it stands right now, more the 2500 hundred people have viewed my blog since it’s inception sometime in February of this year. That is not bad, but let us be honest with ourselves that it represents but a scant sliver of the sum total of what we call humanity. Wikipedia tells me that as of December of last year there were at least 112 million blogs in existence which would make me like a grain of sand in the Gobi Desert. Well, maybe not that insignificant.

But again, what is the point? Imagine standing among 112 million people, all talking at once, and trying to be heard? It would seem pointless. As I look at my tiny piece of the Internet pie I can find some solace however. I have still reached 2500 people I never would have otherwise. Who knows who those people are? It’s crazy to think that someone from a far off place has read my words. At this moment, those images that you always see in commercials that tout the way this or that company is using the Internet to connect the world come to mind. I see a youth in a Brazilian favela reading one of my entries or an African tribesman. I know that this is highly improbable. My readers, whoever they are, probably hail from less exotic locales. Still, even if someone from St Louis or Rennes reads my blog I am happy. I get the impression (hopefully correct) that in some way I have connected with them. That something has been shared.

Thus we come to why I choose to write, despite the overwhelming evidence of it’s complete and utter futility. If you have perused this blog even superficially you can tell my entries about music are not bound by genre or subject or really anything. I guess the spirit of this blog can be summed up as: here is a good song that I like and think you might like (with a definite “party music” slant). One could ask why I would think that I am any more qulified than anyone else to do this and truly I am not. The difference between me and anyone else is that I am doing it. 

I do have other motives as well. I believe in a unifying theory of all music. I believe all genres are in some way interconnected. I believe if you truly like music then you should like it all. As a dj I try to illustrate that as much as is technically possible with two turntables and a mixer. Which comes to another of my motives as well: self promotion. But then, aren’t all blogs fundamentally a type of self promotion? The blogger giving regular newsflashes about their lives or ideas in some way?

Anyway, back to the music.

Profile of an Originator: Cerrone

August 26, 2008

Before I talk about Cerrone, let me show you his album covers which are examples of 1970’s genius:

Alright then. To start off I have covered Cerrone before. You will find on this blog a review of the song “Hooked on You” which is in my opinion his greatest achievement. It has been a long time coming for Cerrone to be covered here. He was indisputably fundamental to laying a foundation for later electronic club music. Listen to the song “Supernature”. That shit came out in 1977 and it is so forward looking. The crazy thing about it too is that it touches on themes of environmentaldegradation and genetic engineering. Listen to the song “Got to Have Lovin'” he produced for Don Ray. That song may contain what is the greatest breakdown and buildup in Disco history. Listen to the song “Gimme Love”. When I hear that song I feel like hopping on a plane to a Mediterranean island and partying on the beach ’til the break of dawn. What I love the most about Cerrone is how he shows that a little Frenchman with a bit of talent can be a sex machine. That gives me hope.

Cerrone has made some awesome straight up Disco songs as well. “Midnight Lady” comes to mind. It starts off as just pure sweetness. Builds so sublimely with this two note thing from I don’t know what instrument. There is also the much recognized “Love in C Minor”. Some straight up epic disco clocking in at around 15 minutes. Like Moroder, Cerrone is really well recognized in certain circles but not by the wider electronic listening audience as a whole. I think he deserves props, not just for his more electronicky work, but for his more discoesque offerings as well. His disco work has a structure that can be unmistakeably linked to later music. The way he works his buildups and breakdowns must have caught the ear of later producers. There is so much attention to layering; adding things and taking them away. Music critics who think they know say disco is coming back (once again) and if that’s the case then we need to hear some Cerrone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBG91hgW4Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V112pTo–Js

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiDjqpGHIzI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2IGJVH2_80&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT0oLBWfekM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgS8HNGhFh4

Spragga Benz Feat. Lady Saw – Backshot

August 26, 2008

I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this song yet. This is one of the best damn dancehall songs of all time. Once again, I know this song is hella old but long ago I decided that this blog is not about new music but good music. Anyway, I first got into this song from the movie Shottas. Spragga Benz played one of the main characters in that film and he was way better than Ky-Mani Marley though he was not as good as that guy who goes crazy and ends up writing the number of people he kills in blood. See that movie if you can. It’s a little too dramatic and preachy at times, but it is a good look at badman culture. This song distinguishes itself from almost all other dancehall songs because it’s all about fuckin the ass or “batty” as is the parlance of Jamaica. It is just some back and forth between Lady Saw and Spragga about getting nasty in the ass. It’s a fun time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBCJZnma7Fw

Rye Rye – Wassup Wassup (Crookers Remix)

August 25, 2008

Yeah yeah, I’m talking about a Crookers remix again. This one is so hot though. I fell in love with it while I was walking to my crummyday job about a month ago. I was struting down the road in the shitty commercial zone of corporate head offices where I whore myself for cash when it popped up on my Ipod and I felt like a sexual Tyranosaurus Rex for the rest of the day. If a song can make you feel sexy as a sellout then how can one protest? Rye Rye has proven she can hold it down with her work with Dj Blaqstarr and she kills it here. This is actually better than the Diplo produced original. I’m not to big on that song because it’s kinda trying too much and being too disorderly. I must say as well that this is also good usage of the old “Trans Europe Express” motif. Check it out. Dance to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLxWssA9m3k

Dr Evil – More Punany

August 25, 2008

So yeah, what’s the deal with this Dr Evil fellow? Well I actually know what the deal is with him. This man, known as Leftside once upon a time when he rolled with Esco, has now based his career on one of the most improbable conceits in music history. Essentially, he is Dr Evil. Yes, the character from the Austin Powers films. He uses a nasally voice, talks about his mojo and even has a higher pitched voice come on in parts of his songs to represent Mini Me. Now this may seem like a description of the most ludicrous career in music, the product of a disturbed mind, an idea doomed to failure. Here is the thing though; this guy is killing it. He is one of the hottest things in Dancehall right now. I chose to feature this song because I find the riddim particularly awesome but he has a plethora of other hits like “Stamina Man” on the 2070’s riddim or “This Is Why It Hot” on the This Is Why I’m Hot riddim to name a few. One can only ask however how long this can be sustained. Will he now go on forever as with an identity based on a character from films that are already so early 2000’s? Will he ever be able to spit as himself? I worry about him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lubKGYDsaaE

ACDC – Thunderstruck (Crookers Remix)

August 25, 2008

Now I love the song Thunderstruck. I also am firmly on the Crookers bandwagon. I shelled out 20 bucks to see them when they came to town and pumped my fist as one does when one is dancing and enjoying themselves. A cursory look at the entries on this blog will show I mention them frequently and often. So what am I building towards here by saying these things? Well what do you think? Obviously I am disappointed with this song. Why? Well I feel that way mainly because this song recycles parts from the “Salmon Dance” remix they did. Not only did they reuse the “wow” vocal but also they used the same break after it. I can never excuse recyclingin music. I can excuse sampling because that is recontextualizing a peice of music as a component of something new. Sampling yourself remixing another song less than a year after the fact however is not so great. When Tricky (yes! remember him of trip hop and 5th Element fame?) used the same verse on both the first Massive Attack album and his first album I lost respect for him. You just don’t do those things. Maybe I am too harsh. Am I crossing a line by demanding a fully original (well as original as remixes can be) product every time? The worst part is that had the Salmon Dance remix never existed I would have had an emission of the nocturnal type over this song. I will admit that when I hear this in the club I still go bonkers. Just bonkers with an asterisk beside it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBpUbaqrOCM

Fake – Frogs In Spain

August 25, 2008

I discovered this song about a month or two ago and now it is my new favourite Italo Disco song. It has the usual nonsensical English that I have come to know and love. It has a really different feeling though than a lot of the Italo songs I typicallygo for. I would say it has a really high school feel to it. I could see 80’s high school kids sitting around angsty trying to figure life out listening to this song. It’s not really a club song unless you like moping. That feeling I think especially comes from that “buh buh buh” thing going on in sections of the song. I find it really interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yai-9u5_VZ4&feature=related