Tag: Soulwax

The Bonus List

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As a special Friday bonus here is the Bonus List – the extension of our weekly A List (posted every Sunday) and another chance to showcase some of the other songs we’re still really liking right now.

[If you’re particularly interested, I set out how it works in last week’s debut; if not, just read on and enjoy the music] 

There are some cracking songs on here; the first seven weeks – or so – of 2017 have been rather kind to music fans. So here we go, here are 11-20 in our current chart.

 

11. The XX – Dangerous (fourth week; up 2) 

A tremendous statement of intent to kick off new album I See You. Every time I hear the opening notes I can’t help but smile at the joys this track – and the album – provide.

12.  Mixhell, Joe Goddard – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) (third week; down nine) 

A five minute industrial revolution full of dancing percussion samples and snippets.

13. Magana – Pages (new entry)

Twinged with sadness, Pages is the end of a story which seems to have come to an abrupt and not entirely mutual ending.

14. The XX – Performance (third week; up two) 

A heart-dropping, mournful and gripping track that finds The XX back on familiar ground. Romy’s vocals are – as usual – emotional in a way so few other singers can manage.

15. POOLCLVB – Waiting for You (new entry)

Waiting for You sounds very much like the child of the nu-rave scene, with memories of Delphic and Klaxons coming flooding back.

16. Stage Van H – Orange Beach – Marko Melo Remix (fourth week; down four) 

Orange Beach has a top-line that constantly teases you; dangling melodies and noises but withdrawing then before you get too comfortable and drawing your ears and imagination back to its dynamic underbelly.

17. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter (new entry)

Sleep Drifter is the musical equivalent of being awake for 48 hours; everything is there but you’re not sure you can piece it all together.

18. Father John Misty – Ballad of the Dying Man (new entry)

On the Ballad of the Dying Man, Father John Misty has found himself back at his mischievous best.

19. Tall Tall Trees – Freedays (third week; down four) 

Sounds like a product of vast and hazy country landscapes, and would comfortably sound at home alongside records by Fleet Foxes and Jonathan Wilson.

20. Tourists – Masquerade (new entry)

Synths, bass, guitars, drums and vocals come together like the five Power Rangers to create a grand and ambitious record that sounds both fresh and vintage.

The A List: Sunday 5th Feb

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Here’s the A List for this week: my favourite 10 tracks at the moment.

Every Sunday I post a new A List,  an insight into what I’m loving right now. Tracks featured here will either have been previewed on the blog beforehand – either on the This Week Playlist or as a Track of the Day – or come from albums I’m listening to at the moment. Tracks can stay on the A List for a maximum of four weeks.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the Bonus List – an extension of the A List with 10 songs that just missed out on  the A-List – as well as the This Week Playlist – seven new tracks that will tickle your ears. George will also be posting an album review tomorrow, and I’ve got a couple of gigs this week that I’m very excited about – more later this week.

So let’s get to it. Here is this week’s A List:

1. Jamiroquai – Automaton (New Entry)

What an extraordinary return from 90’s superstars Jamiroquai. An electro pop masterclass with euphoria, menace, and a playful 90’s pop-meets-hip hop breakdown. I’m not sure anyone realised the world needed a Jamiroquai return, but Automaton sounds as fresh and innovative as anything released so far in 2017.

2. The Black Madonna – He is the Voice I Hear (Down 1; 3rd week)

He is the Voice I Hear is a rollercoaster ride with strings, jazz piano and disco-influences. Fresh from the – incredibly exciting – news that she’ll be taking over the residency at London’s XOYO, the best DJ in the world right now looks set to build on all her numerous successes of 2016 and take over the world in 2017.

3.  Mixhell, Joe Goddard – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) (Down 1; 2nd week)

This is a five minute industrial revolution. Full of dancing percussion samples and snippets, the spoken word sections only add to these feeling like it has transported 1980’s electronica and transported it to the future. It’s a fine record, and one I’ve enjoyed every listen of.

4. Parcels – Allaround (New Entry)

With beautiful vocals that sound like they’ve been borrowed from Kings of Convenience, layering them onto a track that plays with disco and funk – a la Jungle – and delivering some stunning musicianship along the way, this is a superb piece of music. Parcels have released a steady series of hugely impressive singles, and this is my favourite so far.

5. Husky Loops – Fighting Myself (New Entry)

This track is a spring of menace and insecurity wound way too tight; it’s initially menacing – with traces of art rock – before building to a frantic and thrilling finish. I’m very excited about seeing these guys on Thursday.

6. LOYAL – Moving As One (Down 3; 3rd week)

LOYAL’s Moving As One has plenty of layers that span different genres and enough musical ability to bring it together seamlessly.

7. Priests – Jj (New Entry)

A post-punk quartet, Priests have delivered their second single from new album Nothing Feels Natural. It’s like being trapped in the getaway car from a bank robbery in the wild west: country-twinged, all action, energy and attitude.

8. Tiga – Eye Luv U (New Entry)

Canadian DJ and producer Tiga has a pretty stunning back catalogue, creating some of the most innovative of off-beat electro bangers. Eye Luv U finds all of his favourite hallmarks, an infectious beat, weird and slightly off-kilter vocal snippets and a playful approach to melody.

9. Esther Joy Lane – Ever Ever (Down 5; 3rd week)

Ever Ever starts off on familiar terrain for Grimes fans, which is certainly no bad thing. But it then takes a different path; meandering between synth pop, electronica and dance

10. Bonobo – No Reason (Down 5; 3rd week) 

Mournful vocals are matched by elegant electronic touches; it’s a claustrophobic listen that leaves you wanting to curl up in a blanket and hide away from the world.

 

 

The A List: 29th January

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Here’s the A List for this week: my favourite 10 tracks at the moment.

Every Sunday I post a new A List,  an insight into what I’m loving right now. There’s a strong dance feel to the list at the moment, with four of the top five representing the genre’s different forms. There are three new entries this week, and one track is celebrating a third week on the A List.

Quite simply, there’s a lot of good music out there right now. It was tough to get it down to 10 tracks this week, so I’ll be posting the B-List tomorrow – the 10 songs just below the A-List – that I’ve christened the Bonus List. I’ll also be posting the This Week Playlist tomorrow, seven tracks that will tickle your ears. I warn you in advance: it’s a strong list this week.

So let’s get to it. Here is this week’s A List:

1. The Black Madonna – He is the Voice I Hear (Non-Mover; 2nd week)

A lot of people are dismissive of dance music. The world of EDM bangers and superstar DJ’s has – over the past few years – led to a perception of formulaic dance-by-numbers tracks. But then every now and then a dance song comes along that completely changes what dance music can be; He is the Voice I Hear is one of those tracks, a rollercoaster ride with strings, jazz piano and disco-influences. It’s a masterpiece, and it rightly stays at number one.

2.  Mixhell, Joe Goddard – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) (New Entry)

This is a five minute industrial revolution. Full of dancing percussion samples and snippets, the spoken word sections only add to these feeling like it has transported 1980’s electronica and transported it to the future. It’s a fine record, and one I’ve enjoyed every listen of.

3. LOYAL – Moving As One (Non-Mover; 2nd week)

LOYAL’s Moving As One has plenty of layers that span different genres and enough musical ability to bring it together seamlessly.

4. Esther Joy Lane – Ever Ever (Non-Mover; 2nd week)

Ever Ever starts off on familiar terrain for Grimes fans, which is certainly no bad thing. But it then takes a different path; meandering between synth pop, electronica and dance

5. Bonobo – No Reason (Down 3; 2nd week) 

George reviewed Bonobo’s album this week and rightly picked out No Reason as a highlight.  Mournful vocals are matched by elegant electronic touches; it’s a claustrophobic listen that leaves you wanting to curl up in a blanket and hide away from the world.

6. Army of Bones – Don’t Be Long (Down 1; 3rd week) 

I’m still loving this unexpected indie treat. Strong pulsing guitars and a polished melody makes this a fine January listen.

7. The XX – Dangerous (New Entry)

A tremendous statement of intent to kick off new album I See You. I struggle to think of another band who have so effectively stated a change in direction and a stepping-up of their sound as The XX have with Dangerous.

8. The XX – Performance (New Entry)

A heart-dropping, mournful and gripping track that finds The XX back on familiar ground. Romy’s vocals are – as usual – emotional in a way so few other singers can manage; elevated by the strings and stripped back guitar.

9. Dan Croll – Away From Today (Non-Mover; 2nd week)

A slightly disorientating indie pop track that could easily have been take from Bombay Bicycle Club’s back catalogue. It plays with the senses a little, never quite settling. But for the ridiculously abrupt ending, I rather like this.

10. Tall Tall Trees – Freedays (New Entry)

Our Track of the Day on Thursday, this is psychedelic-infused indie folk – with a banjo. It sounds like a product of vast and hazy country landscapes, and would comfortably sound at home alongside records by Fleet Foxes and Jonathan Wilson.

You can listen to all ten tracks here:

This Week: seven new tracks to tickle your ears

logomakr_76k0fbI meant to get this out yesterday, but an unforeseen work crisis kept me in the office. Annoying, but it happens. If you’re super angry about the delay, here’s a cute picture of Max to pacify you:

Beyond these seven tracks we have three additional tracks lined up this week as ‘Tracks of the Day’, the First of which will appear this evening.

Anyway here is the This Week playlist; seven songs that I’ve given a couple of listens to, like, and are here to tickle your ears. Let me know what you think.

Naives – Crystal Clear 

It’s a little early to be predicting the songs that will send crowds bonkers at summer festivals, but I’m pretty confident anyone seeing Naives will remember Crystal Clear. Sitting in a ‘indie meets pop meets dance’ bracket occupied by Friendly Fires and Late of the Pier, this is a shapeshifting track that sounds carefree and playful.

Anna of the North – Oslo 

It’s bloody freezing in London right now, and the icy electronics of Oslo pretty much mirrors that sensation. There’s a strong Chvrches comparison to my ear, and a mournful euphoria at points in this record. It is certainly simple, but more than merits a few listens.

The XX – Performance

For the second week in a row there’s a track from The XX on the playlist. But whereas last week there was the bombastic Dangerous – a complete change in direction for the band – this week we have Performance, a heart-dropping, mournful and gripping record that finds The XX back on familiar ground. Romy’s vocals are – as usual – emotional in a way so few other singers can manage; elevated by the strings and stripped back guitar. I’ve listened to I See You a fair few times in the past week, and Performance is the track that grips my insides more than any other.

Sohn – Harbour 

There’s a lot of good things to say about Rennen, Sohn’s recently released album. I shall hopefully be blogging about it in the next few days. I was a big fan of 2016 singles Signal and Conrad. Harbour is the album closer and has an eery opening; like the beginnings of a science fiction movie. But then it begins to explore the electronica landscape, evolving into something that Caribou would be proud of. Sohn has an interesting habit of writing songs that have two distinct parts, and Harbour is a fascinating idea of what future Sohn albums could sound like; expansive, eery and electrifying.

Black Map – Ruin 

Time to shake away those wintery feelings and embrace the world of rock. Hailing from San Francisco, this trio all feature in other bands but have come together to make some stonking rock music of their own. Ruin starts ominously and has an early 00’s vibe to it. The internet (read: Google) tells me they’ve an album coming out in March, which I’ll certainly check out.

Mixhell – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) 

I don’t really know how to succinctly describe this record. A robot disco travelling in Doctor Who’s Tardis with Kraftwerk to a distant planet in the future? It’s the best I’ve got. Soulwax remain one of the most interesting acts in music and following a few years doing their Despacio  project it certainly seems like they’ve found their groove in the long-forgotten vinyls of 1982.  It’s certainly distinct and if you can get through it without wanting to sing ‘These are my rules’ then you’re made of sterner stuff than I.

Stage Van H – Orange Beach (Marko Melo Remix) 

I love dance tracks that make me feel like I’m on a long train journey, with scenery flying by the window and the sun setting. Orange Beach has a top-line that constantly teases you; dangling melodies and noises but withdrawing then before you get too comfortable and drawing your ears and imagination back to its dynamic underbelly.

Friday Feeling Playlist: A tribute to the Buggedout Weekender

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It’s Friday. Woo-hoo!

One of the regular features I’d like to add is a feel-good playlist to power us through Friday afternoons/help shake off the hangover/get ready for a big night out [choose the most appropriate for you]. There will be a theme to each week’s playlist – which I’ll briefly explain – and there has to be an upbeat feel to the song for it to be included.

This week’s theme is the Buggedout Weekender. By way of background, almost a year ago to the day my – then fiance, now – husband and I went to Butlins in Bognor Regis with 20-odd of our friends for a weekend of dancing, laughter and joy.

That weekend was incredibly special; it was one of the best of my life. To be with such good friends, far away from anywhere we know yet surrounded by people who were having a good time was just amazing. We partied hard. Some of my friends were still messaging a couple of weeks later saying they hadn’t recovered. But there were so many moments – highlights – that I think we’d all admit it was worth it.

Buggedout’s slogan is that its ‘just a big disco’. And it was. But it was also something a little life altering. Last week I watched a documentary on the rave culture in the early 90’s and those who attended said it felt non-judgmental, safe and free. It struck me that it was similar language to the hippy movement. And what’s most surprising to me is that, when I think back to the Buggedout Weekender, I felt like it had those elements as well, and they’re not always easy to come by.

So here is the first Friday Feeling playlist.

  • Bicep – because they were brilliant that weekend, closing the event on the Sunday.
  • Daniel Avery – because he was my gateway into the world of Buggedout, and I shall forever be grateful.
  • Armand Van Helden – because he headlined the Saturday night and played pretty much every 90’s dance classic I can think of.
  • George Fitzgerald – because his set on the Friday night was the main reason I couldn’t get out of bed on the Saturday. I went way too hard and heavy.
  • Tame Impala (Soulwax Remix) – Heidi played this at the end of her set and it was magnificent.