July 26, 2007

Turbo Crystal - French Girl

Jean-Francois Mouliet is Turbo Crystal, a Frenchman armed with only a stiff drum machine, a slap-bass, some really goofy spoken-raps, and a sing-song falsetto reminscent of Chromeo or Mocky. His two short tracks here, self-described as “ghetto rock”, will be hard for any dance fan to take seriously, but to their credit, they’re perverse and sparse enough to at least keep your attention while they are playing.

The real interest here is in the remixes by Escort and Bear Funk’s Fabrizio Mammarella. Considering they have so little to work with, it’s no wonder Escort have “pulled an Aphex Twin” and completely reworked “French Girl” as a tidy piece of keyboard-free Eurodisco. They’ve added in female backing vocals, horns, and a live rhythm section to back up the main vocal. It charms, but they are a bit too generous. Mammarella gives the original the respect it deserves: he phones it in. He simply drops the vocals over a run-of-the-mill disco-tech rhythm, adding just enough reverb shots and synth drones so it could pass for being spaced-out. Being blase never felt so right. I guess.

Tiny Sticks / STICK 12
[Michael F. Gill]

December 15, 2006

Mocky - Extended Vacation

I’m glad I gave myself another week with this one, because all my initial gripes about Mocky’s cloying, overstuffed whiteboy soul shtick (much like his boy Jamie Lidell’s) and the song’s bah nod to the “mile-high club” (somebody didn’t get that memo) have turned into mucho respect. This is great songwriting-really concise, really compressed, borderline neurotic details-wise-but Mocky’s big brilliant stroke is that his concise, compressed, neurotic bustle of a song is all about how he needs an “extended vacation.” I agree, man! Go to Spain or something! Once you crack that nut (i.e. the song’s form vs. the song’s content), the Radio Slave and REKID mixes will seem far less leftfield: RS and R’s slowburners more or less signify Mocky’s extended vacation. Radioslaves mix is an expansive, colorless, Pong-like paranoid vamp not unlike all his other expansive, colorless, Pong-like paranoid vamps, which beyond making for an awesome track is also kinda funny in context. REKID meanwhile turns the original into this laidback downtempo hiphop jam that’s better than 80% of Made In Menorca and 90% of laidback downtempo hiphop jams in general. Mocky’s anxious vocals are now but a blissful, forgetful slur.

Four Music / FOR 82876883831
[Nick Sylvester]