March 2, 2007

Tangoterje - On the Beach / Belladonna Edits


In the race to mine the archive of early eighties sounds, there’s bound to be a few strange excavations. All kinds of “bad” music, not least of all disco (and its bastard progeny), have been dredged up, washed off, inspected, re-evaluated and finally defended: “You dismiss Antillean ska-folk disco, but actually…” Perhaps this intro is just an indication of my ignorance, not to mention my cynicism, toward the excesses of a necessary and interesting process. There are lots of instances of maligned genres containing fascinating musical ideas, could we but overcome our prejudice and listen carefully. Wally Badarou’s music is a fine example on this tip.

Having said all that, I’m failing to see what Todd “Tango” Terje does in “Belladonna” and “On the Beach.” To me at least, this is just MOR dreck that’s been given far more attention than it deserves. “Belladonna”, (originally by Andreas Vollenweider), is a kind of elevator music epic that belongs on the soundtrack to “Blame it on Rio,” melding a Brazilian jazz sound to disco and a yucky “ethnic” female vocal. Likewise, “On the Beach” (originally by Chris Rea) has all the hallmarks of a 1983 promo video for a three star conference centre in the Bahamas. Perhaps there’s “more to it than that” and (once again) this music is not being given its fair hearing. Okay, but you try listening to it. Blech.

Balearic Biscuits / bb04
[Peter Chambers]

February 2, 2007

Home Video - The Penguin

Was this inspired by March of the Penguins? I hope so, because I really like my read: Like March humanized the flightless birds to now parodied degrees (cf. Bob Saget’s latest Farce), “The Penguin” redeems countless hopeless/loveless/escapist/truly awful lyrics via penguinization: Sometimes “I wish I could fly away” is just “I wish I could fly away”; sometimes “waiting for the light to change” is not just the stuff of late-night high-school instant messaging. What I’m trying to say is that if you imagine this song being sung by a penguin, it’s pretty great. Otherwise it’s merely a good Maxi Priest mockup (”I just wanna be close to yoooouuuu”) with better-than-average bedroom dance-pop synths and drum sounds, and way better-than-average mixing and programming. There’s a steel-drumlike synth arpeggio that pops up every now and then and it’s just gorgeous. On the backside, DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy makes his solo remixing debut as the Loving Hand. To most it’ll just sound like a flightier DFA remix, much like the Unkle “In a State” one or the Chemical Brothers’ “The Boxer,” but keen ears will notice that the drum kicks are softer, and the background mix is extremely dense, with layers of soft ambient textures tickled by competing skitters of synth. It builds well and isn’t afraid to break down for the verse and build back up again. Really quiet, really confident.

Defend Music / DFN 80015
[Nick Sylvester]

February 2, 2007

Charts: February 2 2007

Todd Hutlock
Kiki - Trust Me (Super Dub) [Bpitch Control]
Radio Slave - Weeeze [Rekids]
Pantytec - Micromission (Daniel Bell Remix) [Perlon]
Thomas Brinkmann - Wait A Minute [Max Ernst]
Mikkel Metal - Noff [Echocord]
Sieg Über Die Sonne - You’ll Never Come Back (Tobi Neumann’s Waiting For You Rmx) [Multicolor Recordings]
Villalobos - Tub [Playhouse]
Alan Parsons Project - I Robot (Pilooski Edit) [D*I*R*T*Y Edits]
Depeche Mode - Master And Servant (An ON-U Sound Science Fiction Dance Hall Classic) [Mute]
Convextion - Solum Ferrum [Down Low]

Mallory O’Donnell
Roxy Music - Same Old Scene (Glimmers Remix) [Virgin]
Love Supreme - Pork Chop Express [Tirk]
Kathy Diamond - All Woman [Permanent Vacation]
Flim Flam - Best of Joint Mix [Dum Dum]
Marsha Raven - I Like Plastic [Red Bus]
Pet Shop Boys - One More Chance (Remix) [ARS]
Orgue Electronique - The Garden [Creme Organisation]
Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words [RCA]
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime [Kompakt]
Gui Borrato - Chromophobia [Kompakt]

Michael F. Gill
Tenderness - Got To Keep On Trying [RCA]
Bob-A-Rela - Why Does It Rain? [Channel]
O’Gar – Playback Fantasy (Instrumental) [Magic Circus Productions]
Quartz – Beyond The Clouds [T.K. Disco]
Omar-S- The Maker [FXHE]
Robert Hood – Hoodmusic 2 [Music Man Records]
Marcellus Pittman – Come See [Unirhythm]
Herbert – The Movers & The Shakers (Green Velvet Remix) [!K7]
Remo feat. Chelonis R. Jones - Empire [Dance Electric]
Home Video - The Penguin (Tim Goldsworthy’s The Loving Hand Remix) [Defend]

February 10, 2006

Defender - Defender


Known mostly for their excellent remix work for Annie, DFA 1979 (their take on “Black History Month” was one of the defining mixes of last year), Royksopp, and Goldfrapp, the duo of Alan Braxe and Fred Falke make their debut as Defender with this stellar two-track single. The self-titled A-side is a bouncy, aggro romp that strongly recalls Human After All era Daft Punk (muted metal guitars, robotic backbeat,) but with an added kick in the pants courtesy of a monstrous hard-house thump. The flipside, “Bliss” is refreshingly different, a slice of pure disco heaven dripping with FX-daubed strings and gorgeous synth runs atop a smooth-yet-funky backbeat. Two tracks, two winners, and with a perfect run so far in the remix department, we could be looking at another great year for the duo.

Vulture Music / 013
[Mallory O’Donnell]