We’ve had so much music invade our iTunes library recently that absorbing it alone has been a considerable challenge. Whilst you can expect some more detailed posts in the coming week on our choice picks from the influx, we thought we’d do a quick(ish) run down on a handful of tracks we’ve had on repeat. We’d suggest you press play on the following:
1. Bullion – It’s All In Sound
Having established himself via the ‘Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee’ mixtape which put The Beach Boys‘ seminal LP head to head with a variety of J Dilla‘s finest productions, Bullion has since proved himself to be quite the chamelon. His latest venture, the ‘Love Me Oh Please Love Me’ EP, sees him building on the more song based material he’s been producing latterly and offering up some fully formed psychedelic, kraut influenced pop. We mean this is as a compliment when we say that it’s a bit like what you’d imagine Deerhunter would come up with if re-imagining Metronomy‘s last album. Our favourite from the collection is ‘It’s All In Sound’, a pacy number characterised by its retro drum machines, loosely twanged guitars and distinctly British vocals. We think what’s really getting under our skin though is the saxophone, playing a key role with both it’s insistent parps throughout and lengthy solo as the song reaches its climax. Very unlike anything we’ve ever posted on Beats & Pieces before, but very good indeed.
2. Adana Twins – Everyday
Representing Hamburg are Adana Twins (as far as we’re aware, they’re not prefixed with ‘The’). The last year has seen the duo carving out a name for themselves as Exploited‘s most accomplished purveyors of thoroughly groovy house music, notably on their Notorious BIG / Mtume-sampling ‘Juicy’ alongside Doctor Dru. The Twins’ latest, ‘Everyday / Strange’, has been doing big things, riding high in the Beatport charts and getting spins from a broad range of DJs, owing to how carefully it straddles the line between deep house, tech house and plain ol’ regular house. ‘Everyday’ balances it’s elements perfectly, with it’s soulful American vocal hooking the listener in and setting the scene before some tight percussion and deep, groovy bass takes hold. Carefully placed 80’s electrofunk pops hit in all the right places and the track contains one of the best builds and drops we’ve heard in quite some time making it the perfect candidate for dancing in the summer sunshine (if, of course, any of that EVER appears).
3. Nelly Furtado – Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)
We have to admit we’re slightly baffled as to why Justin Bieber‘s ‘Boyfriend’ seems to be regarded as the cool, happening pop song du jour; whilst we can definitely see it’s a big step up for Biebz and pretty solid, it is essentially a very sanitized version of The Ying Yang Twins‘ ‘Whisper Song’ on the verse, and an underwhelming homage to NSYNC‘s ‘Girlfriend’ on the chorus. Nelly Furtado‘s latest, the Darkchild-produced ‘Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)’, is, on the other hand, getting us very excited indeed. There are many things we love about it – the big rumbling bass, the military drums, the cowbell (obviously) and the squelchy synths are but a few examples. Nelly’s vocal techniques is also steely and detached, not unlike Rihanna, which can be no bad thing. And, although we only very occasionally condone such things (Tinie Tempah and Björk we’re looking at you), the drum and bass breakdown at the end is frickin’ rad. If the rest of forthcoming album ‘The Spirit Indestructible’ is as good as this, we’re in for a treat.
4. Clock On 5 – Theme From Furyo (Special Disco Remix)
A bit of a curveball here – “Wait, isn’t that an illustrated David Bowie on the cover of the ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ soundtrack from 1983?” you ask. Well, yes, but it is not he that we’re dealing with today, instead we’ll be looking at Clock On 5‘s luscious italo reworking of Ryuichi Sakamoto‘s beautiful theme from the film. This is a piece of Oscar-winning music that in it’s original form you will undoubtedly be familar with. We have to thank Dalston Superstore‘s Facebook feed for putting us onto this remix, released a year after the film, but two years before we even existed. It’s a testimony to Clock On 5 (Italian producers Raffaele Fiume and Alberto Carpani) that this still sounds amazing nearly 30 years later, like so many of the italo classics. Both discotastic and grand, but also mellow and contemplative we’re going to dedicate this one to the queen of disco Donna Summer who sadly died yesterday. We feel love!
5. The Staves – The Motherlode
And to finish part one of this round up, some beautiful folk from The Staves – a band who’ve embedded themselves deeply in our consciousness. There’s not much that needs to be said about these three sisters from London as they’re an act whose music absolutely speaks for itself. Delicate guitar, gorgeous melodies and flawless harmonies characterise their sound which is perfectly illustrated on new single ‘The Motherlode’, from the EP of the same name. It’s worth YouTubing some live performances to see how captivating their vocals really are (we particularly like this version of ‘Winter Trees’), but we’d also highly recommend getting your mitts on both this latest release and the ‘Mexico’ EP if you fancy treating yourself to some aural bliss and a watery eye.