Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Thanks MCA

Quite simply without MCA and The Beastie Boys this blog or mix would not exist; they are therefore dedicated to week to Adam Yauch. 

 And for those who wish to download for your chosen MP3 device, well lets face it, it's going to be an apple product.

Frankie Rose – Apples For The Sun (The Go! Team Remix)
The Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
Alphabets Heaven – Genggeng
Heavenly Beat – Messiah
We Are Standard – Bring Me Back Home (Age Of Consent Mix)
Saint Savour – Reasons (Marabou State Remix)
Dems Remix – God Of Loneliness
Space Ladies – Fields
Thomas Barfod – November Skies feat Nina Kinert
Elliphant – TeKKo Scene feat Adam Kanyama
Drake – Crew Love feat The Weeknd (Star Slinger Remix)
Alphabet Heaven – Woman (Robot Koch’s Around The Moon Remix)
Menik – Addict
Angel Haze – Higher
Mayhem Lauren feat Himanshu and Action Bronson – Special Effects (Produced by Harry Fraud)
Ditt Inre – Manljus (saknad)
Twin Shadow – Five Seconds
Major Lazer – Get Free feat Amber of Dirty Projectors
The Stoops – Free (Xsessiv Remx)
Mikal – Head Banger
Terminal State – Unwritten Law

Yes yes another Submotion remix but Ruby Wood's voice lends itself so well to being remixed, especially on this lush, deep roller from Alix Perez as featured on Friction's Radio 1 dnb show, amazing, be interesting to see if this get a release, here's hoping so. The original ain't half bad either.

Pretty hard to pick just one tune to remember MCA by so this pretty slick Medley is by far a more fitting tribute. I was genuinely sad to hear about his passing, no shit when I was younger a real career aspiration of mine was to be a Beastie Boy. One of my earliest and fondest musical memories, I can still picture myself sitting on the floor in front of the TV now, was watching the Intergalactic video for the first time, with that fish eye lens and all in one hazard suits and aggressive rapping motions and thinking it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, probably still is. From there on in I was obsessed, getting into their back catalogue and hip-hip in general. 

It was sad watching some of their earliest performances, notably one on the Joan Rivers shows and seeing them just mucking about as carefree kids do, as it was reminder that no one can avoid the inevitability of time, that no one can avoid the evaporation of youth toward old age and mortality. Saying that, 47 is by no means old, especially for some one still so active, another Beastie album was on the way. He will be missed; thanks for the music MCA. For a good little bio featuring some tunes, the hilariously negative, conservative reaction to the group back in the 80's and some tributes, look no further than here

Is it the wonderful stabbing synths that makes this compelling? Or the intermittent bass? Or the glitchy harmonious vocal? Or the simple clean drum beat? I probably think it's all of these things working together, beautiful. 


Come on boys grow up, this is some horrible Kasabian, Hard - Fi (who? Yeah I had fucking forgotten about them as well until I heard this) love child, born unto parents who have long since given up on life, especially music. 

Born into a depression, Wind Cries Mary world of headline tours at V festival and sold out T4 shows where either twelve year olds or people who look like Greg James or that other wanker, Grimmy, sing along to your tunes in plaid shirts, red chinos and stupidly wicked up hair hoping it won't be too long till they can say something like "random," or "epic fail," again.

This is the sound of strolling down the road towards the local corner shop, knowing full well they only pay out on winning lottery tickets that are less than a 100 quid, gloating as you go and promising everyone you meet a fair share of your cash.

Some nasty industrial business on this one Headbanger, like the Deceptacons from Transforms taking a load of ketamin by accident thinking it was antirust powder and actually liking it. I saw that film the other day and jesus christ is it shit, if you look at just the editing alone (forget the acting, plot, costume, sexism, gratuitous sexism, massive lets all stare at the fit bird fixing a car sexism, pointless inconsequential action and shear uncontrolled noise), it's like the directors dog was trying to do them all a favour by eating all the film, only to have it sneezed out of by some pepper placed in his Pedgree Chum, landing in some form of order on the wall, which the team took one look at and thought, "good enough for us," opening up another beer, turning up the football and shouting at poor Megan Fox to bring them more cheese strudels wearing only an apron.  

Mikal's second tune, The Chant, is more like the Decpetacons taking way too much into the K hole where they kick massive metal footballs around a city full of phallic sky scrapers or what ever it is that turns massive alien robots on these days

This 17 track project from producer 184 called Where's My Parade features lyrics from the cream of UK hip-hop, Jehst, Stig Of The Dump, Wordsmith, Dr Syntax and Chester P to name but a few. You can stream it all above or press the buy button and own it forever and ever for the extremely reasonable sum of just a fiver.

Not such a fan of Sell Your Soul, a bit too minimal for me, too many airy high synth chords and not enough pronounced bass; even when it does come in a little later with a jaunty little sequence it seems muted. However, Guillotine more than makes up for it with that wobbling bass that reminds me of the Wibbles or something, little creatures in penguin like groups shuffling about in random circles and making pointless noises at each other; now that makes me smile.

Cool, obscure production on this from Animal Collective, full of playfully interesting sounds like comical springs being pinged into puddles of water. Lots going on, I would expect nothing less.

Again there is plenty of depth in the production of this, the rain in the background providing ambience, a plodding bass drum, the occasional sound of a ghost passing by, gospel like synths and plucking guitars and percussion all create a surprisingly upbeat atmosphere. 

I love the juxtaposition of the "do da ba dum," 50's harmonies, with the depressing lyrical content.

This beautifully atmposheric, dream like track is ruined by Bearcubs obsession with the gain, an intermittent cutting in and out effect like what it's going to sound like when I bash their midi keyboard into their heads. The rest of the tracks on their SoundCloud don't have the same issues thank god. 

This has a rousing quality to it, like Lou Reed has given up the smack and become a spokesman for the Isle Of Dogs Independence Party. 

Come on you know you can't deny how good that bass line is?

Really deep, rumbling bass line and female vocal combo; I never stood a chance. 

This is a track about hair extensions and the incorrect semantics of those who claim "that ain't your hair." Absolute genius. There is also a remix featuring Lioness and other female grime artists. 

She's like a French - Canadian Bjork, amazing vocal and arguably even better production, as recommended by Jekyll, whose killer double A is out now on Diffrent and whose guest mix for Kmag can be downloaded here

Give this some time, just look at the waveform, it soon gets so dramatic, moving and loud. 

I Love It. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What's This Track Sound Like?

Down at the bottom of this post I've featured an incredible The Go! Team remix of a Frankie Rose track, as good as it is I'm frustrated because it sounds so familiar but can't work out why. So I'm running my first competition, with a prize for whoever can work it out, further details by the track near the bottom of the page.

It's May, so apparently the sun should be shinning but it ain't. Good news though, at least you can make it feel like it is with this beautifully up lifting track from Eternal Summers, see what I did there!? Download it for free, whack it on your iPod, put on a mac and take a stroll down to the local shop and buy yourself a Calipo, chow down on it with a glass half full attitude, hey, at least it won't melt as fast as it would in the heat.

Beautiful track produced by Kieren Hebden, a.k.a. Four Tet, soon to be released on his own Text label.

Aussie hip hop is normally pretty funny, part content matter part sound of the accent but this is neither. This is a proper dark slice of impoverished, abusive Aussie life, his accent instrumental in giving it a location and context. 

Yasiin, the artist formally known as Mos Def, has just previewed this unbelievable collaboration with J Dilla, the beat is sick and the rhyming slick!

Regular readers will know I'm a big fan of Fracture, especially his recent double A with FD, adept at creating those arid, post apocalyptic soundscapes and Tunnel Track is no exception. A haunting, air raid siren sound drifts in and out of the tune, like the ghost of a warning that failed in it's purpose, leaving what life survived, alone to scavenge in a twisted graveyard of metal and wood, those hollow percussion sounds like these now primitive lifeforms discovering the use of tools all over again.There is also an ominous sub bass, almost hard to individually distinguish from the rest of the mix, which adds a further cinematic helplessness to the overall sound.

On an entirely different, less depressing note, Lately is a fantastic summer track just in time for the festival season. Again the elements that stand out on this are the percussion, a scraping rack sound like those insects whose song rings out in the air of hot climates and hollow, wooden toms like bongos on the beach. A fantastic use of vocal, smooth and therefore an interesting contrast to that warm, widely fluctuating bass line sure to be a smile raiser in fields across the country this summer.  

What a charming tune from Andrew Bird, lovely melody. 

A lush roller from Line Runners, whose sound is getting more mature and refined with every track, still full of those trade mark lazer swipes but toned down somewhat to accentuate those throbbing bass stabs. I'm also noticing a lot more variation in terms of switch ups and differing samples that provide loads of musical interest; best yet.  

This is pretty much what I'd expect it to sound like if I commandeered a boat, put on my captains hat that I brought from Oxfam and went and picked up ten of my most untrustworthy friends, along with 30 odd litres of rum, some illegal fireworks, quite possibly some kind of pain suppressants and sailed to the middle of the ocean to do them all.

Is it in tune? Is it not? Is that point? Who knows, well I think it's out of tune, the singing that is and that's why I like it so much, teenage boys moaning with lust over some girl who won't give them the time of day; yeah embrace your emotions lads, this is the twenty first century.

Drama is built up so well on this with guitars and those pulsing piano chords.

Nawty little bass line on this one from Meth & Anile, distorted and rumbling, I appreciate the variation in the drums later on in the track. 

A jangle filled pop number from The Words as featured on Tommy Robinson's introducing show.

The vocal on this track is wonderful, damaged but all the stronger for it, like having your heart ripped from you can be a reformative thing. 

Snappy percussion has definitely been a theme this week, thus this wistful track from Coast Jumper, which accurate to it's title, is an apt ode to the carefree nature of youth.

Free download of this airy beated, old school hip-hop track from Danny Brown, those muted piano keys providing a reflective tone.

This is the sound of taking loads of ketamin and stumbling into Lazer Quest, in your sparkly, L.E.D. adorned back pack, your suddenly transported from that crappy, MDF constructed battle arena to a hilly oasis, full of green, blue skys and bold rainbows, where opponents fly at you from behind hills, firing streams of Coca-Cola and Fanta, occasionally throwing bubble gum grenades and taking shelter behind the cover of clouds. After one of these incendiaries explodes in your face like someone has popped the bubble you were blowing, you awake drooling in the dark, damp corner of one of the upper "turrets" to find a group of fascinated kids poking you with the barrel of their guns, the birthday boy crying his eyes out and calling for his mummy. 

I love the way her voice skips along and works so well with that scratching guitar although it's a false promise for what turns out to be a rather disappointing chorus. 

Good to see Tom Vek is able to turn his talents to making full, noisy and captivating remixes such as this with an uncharacteristically angry bass line.

Who does't love a regional accent half rapping half singing in a mundane drawl about everyday life? Thanks Arctic Monkeys for making this endemic. 

How cool is the bass line, like an energetic Smiths, shame it then leads into a disappointingly distant, largely inaudible vocal; he could be saying anything! Like slagging our mums off and laughing whilst we bob our heads along in ignorant appreciation.

Frankie Rose, good. The Go! Team, good. What could possibly go wrong? Well absolutely nothing, this is amazing but it's also really pissing me off, that doorbell melody really reminds me of something, a film or series from when I was a child, it's on the tip of my tongue but I can't get it out. Any ideas? Answers on a postcard, got some out of date Amazon vouchers for who ever works it out first and puts me out of this misery. 

I've liked everything from this duo so far, whose debut album is out on Fat Possum on 28 May, being produced by the same guy whose worked on My Bloody Valentine and Depeche Mode albums, very promising.