Friday, February 14, 2014

Straight outta Norwich

Just heard this thanks to the Guardian.  Recently I've been a bit jaded about throwback-sounding dance music, but I quite like the samples used in this track by Context, a Norwich-born rapper who I know next to nothing about -- but if you like the tune you can easily do your own research.  There's a very Mike Skinner-y remix by Mike Skinner out there too.

Also heard some nice dancey stuff from Appleblim, thanks to XLR8R, which I've been meaning to put up. Doesn't have the chunky feel of the Context track but I appreciate the smoothness myself.  You can hear a full stream of the new EP below:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

going in deep

For quite a while now the '90's sound' has been back. You can hear it all over in the house and techno tunes that have been coming out for a few years now. And now apparently deep house is back as well.

Here's the thing though. Some of us, like me, never stopped listening to that stuff. I've always listened to deep house and 90's house. I mean, always. My brain loves that time period. So even though its 2014 I've been listening to that stuff since middle school, so for me, and I assume many others, that sound never went away. Thus its kind of funny to see people say that those sounds are 'back' coz in my opinion, they never actually went away.

And now that more people think those sounds are cool again, maybe they realized those sounds were damn good all along. Which is why I never stopped listening to tunes from those eras, because they are great. And to be honest, I don't think those sounds, that 'deep house' sound or that '90's sound' ever went away actually. Maybe its just that people are realizing how crap the other stuff is that they've been listening to (ahem Skrillex, D Guetta, C Harris, Deadmau5, etc...) and now they're getting back to the good stuff.  :-P Is America about to wake up from its "EDM" obsession and throw down a much-delayed a deep house revolution?

Here's a mix by my friend Jay that's got a lot of those recent deep tunes, with some classics thrown in.

And here's a tune by Georgie Porgie whom I've blogged about before. I think this one really showcases that 90's feel. It almost sounds like it could've come out 10+ years ago. To me "Thinking of You" just goes to show that these sounds never really went away. There's always been producers hammering these tunes out, now they're just more popular again and aren't as underground anymore, perhaps.

Anyway I could be wrong on all of this of course. This is just my 2pence. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

achtung baby

I think U2's best album is Achtung Baby. Then again that's really the only album of theirs that I have save for a "best of" disc. I love the twangy and distorted guitars, the hurried drums, and here I think Bono's at his best, being sincere in "One" while being flippant and playful in many other songs like "Even Better Than the Real Thing". I love that the band challenged and reinvented themselves and weren't afraid to try something new. And "the fly", of course.

I only started to listen to and appreciate this album about twenty years after its release in 1991. And that only because I picked it up as a used CD back in 2009. I was already familiar with the major hit from the album "Mysterious Ways" as I remember watching the music video as a little kid. I think my fave song though is "Acrobat", especially for its line "I must be, an acrobat, to talk like this, and act like that."

What a wonderful metaphor, for a hypocrite. That line is one of my fave metaphors and showed me how a metaphor can actually reveal truth, much more than a regular flat statement - dressing something up as a metaphor adds a whole lot more dimension. One could say "oh yes, I'm a hypocrite" but to describe as one's self as an acrobat, ie someone who's constantly twisting and turning or going through hurdles, really makes it hit home of how much of a hypocrite Bono thought of himself to be.

Anyway, here's one of the reasons why I still buy CDs - they're like a mini time travel machine. I can open up the sleeve and see in the notes addresses to Amnesty International, Greenpeace, etc. I can see photos of the band during that time. And these guys gave us a good sleeve, with lyrics and lots of photographs. You can't get any of that with a bunch of mp3s, and you'd forget you have these songs since they're just digital files. With CDs, I can see what music I have right in front of me, and I'm a lot more likely to listen to whole albums rather than just random tunes.

While I'm not a huge fan of U2, apart from this album and some other songs of theirs, I do appreciate that the band has been around for so long and that its always been the same 4 blokes. Good for them.

sidenote - after I watched Melancholia a couple years ago I thought "Until the End of the World" should've been on that film's soundtrack. Woulda been perfect!

Here's a cool video of the band performing one of the songs from the album, near Detroit, and this was broadcast live during the VMA's, or nowadays, we'd say, livestreamed. Pretty nifty for back then.

More things I have heard and liked.

This new song by Maximo Park has a pleasing indie-guitar sound:

This song by Breton is rather catchy, but I hate the video and the singer's manner of singing is a bit annoying too.  Still, it pleases me when I hear it on the radio; I especially like the housey piano and the steel drum sounds: