Thursday, 23 April 2009
This post's title is a quote found on the Amazon page for the debut LP (How to be A Lady, Vol.1) from Electrik Red, The-Dream's version of Vanity 6, a collection of sass-factories who could all be underwear models/catwalk panthers if they weren't so good at being airbrushed animatronic robo-harbingers of the r&bleep apocalypse melded with the whores of Babylon (if Babylon was a nail-salon made of liquid metal in Queens). Not sure on the "Lady" label though, just check out the "lady-like" behaviour on show here:
Electrik Red - Drink In My Cup from c mack on Vimeo.
Of course if these so called ladies landed in the club when we were there, we would be grovelling at their canary-yellow heels because for all the sharp visuals, sassy eyes at the camera and well choreographed cubicle break dancing, Electrik Red actually possess songs that swan dive into the sea of crystal brilliance, lighting the nite sky with a million disco balls that yo-yo in unison back and forth to a low slung bpm groove:
Freaky Freaky 90 Sec Snippet - Electrik Red
"Drink in My Cup" is the scarlet laser-guided minimal synth ode to born-bad bitches, hump-dancing amid torrents of dry ice, vicious schematic hi-hat formations and brazen acts of phone theft, and "Freaky Freaky" boils all that down to a white hot pneumatic icicle of a synth stab that fires through endless walls of glass with Electrik Red floating in on a cloud of pure white peacock feathers, winding to the stutter-drums and brooding bass, delivering an aching love-saturated vocal.
While we're on the subject of faux operatic ENCOM-sponsored divas, Ciara is finally bringing "Fantasy Ride" to the masses after various incarnations have flooded messageboards via RapidShare URLs for months. This can only be a good thing, but So Bones is as unsure of the apparent exclusion of the track "One Favor" as much as we are the batshit Venom vs cornrows cover art - are there not enough pictures of her with big hair looking like a robotic Amazonian Louis Vuitton demon-slayer they could of used?
On "One Favor", Ciara is as much the alien ice queen as she is on the effortlessly overwrought and perfectly ridiculous "High Price", stalking the urban wastelands like a 50ft porcelain opera diva with LED eyes and ray guns for fingers, but this time instead of comedy gigolo-ganster Ludacris bouncing around like a cyborg werewolf, her partner is a rhythmic whiplash syndrum wrapped up in gold plated psycho killer strings.
One Favor.MP3 - Ciara
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Wednesday, 22 April 2009
I don't watch TV much, but lately whenever I do it seems as if I cannot for the life of me avoid the video for that irrevocably naff Pussycat Dolls feat Nicole Scherzinger(!?) and A.R. Rahman song, which somehow has something to do with Slumdog Millionaire. Anyway all this Pussycat Dolls feat Nicole Scherzinger business has made me suspect the one who sings may be attempting to give her botched solo project another go at some point this year which I'm all in favour of if she can produce another song as mindblowingly good as her 2007 mega-flop, horror-jam "Whatever You Like." Polow Da Don has a habit of recycling his beats and this is a perfect example of him doing just that having already palmed this beat off on Kelis for the equally blackhearted sexfest "Blindfold Me" and Chilli's unreleased "Straight Jack." In this incarnation though that hardly matters at all as Polow fleshes out the beats and perfects that ominously seductive, "poison on the lips" sound that suggests a tender caress to the left, and a crystal dagger through the heart to the right. While Scherzinger sings like a woman possessed trademark voodoo death drums and incessant, state-of-emergency rave sirens are overshadowed by an arching, dread-soaked synth line straight out of an 80s monster movie, the kind that gives you that frozen spinal fluid feeling as if slowly something horrible is about to rise up above you from behind. My advice; Don't look, just dance.
Whatever You Like - Nicole Scherzinger
I'm not usually too sold on mash-ups or whatever the fuck they're called these days, but this sonic collision of Salem's cave-crunk atmospherics and Busta Rhyme's typically barking delivery which comes to us courtesy of NYC resident J-Stor is actually pretty decent. The middle eastern T-Pain vibes that slither across the atomic sandstorm of noise which erupts over Heather's hook girl from Hell vocals only confirm in my mind that the sooner DJ Paul & Juicy J come to their senses and hook up with Salem, the better.
J-Stor - Jayshiki (Rapidshare link)
Just to say for those of you dwelling in NYC, make sure you go and check out the quite awesome guys behind Tanlines do their ringtone tropicalia thing at Glasslands (between Kent and South 2nd, Brooklyn) this Thursday. It will obviously be much fun.
Monday, 20 April 2009
"Dont Talk" isn't particularly new, but I feel the need to write about it mostly out of recent rediscovery and because aside from being a sonically impressive update on the beloved freestyle sound, it's also fascinatingly horrid. Vanessa Hudgens is the Disney mannequin most famously known for prancing around in high school musicals and having a fetish for Santa Clause, and who somehow over two albums has managed to get some pretty ohK songs out of her producers. Don't Talk though is something quite special indeed. The Sunglasses At Night synths weaving through a series of increasingly frenetic Miami machine claps are all in place and very nice too, but lyrically this song is beaming in from a whole other universe, miles away from the plastic cuteness we would usually associate with Radio Disney. Just imagine if all those tinny aspirational hymnals about making it in the world with a little help from your friends and staying true to yourself had been replaced with poison pumped, spite anthems about selfish sexual voraciousness and cold hearted elitism, themes taken directly from the bible of Kimberly Joyce.
I'd go as far as to say "Don't Talk" is a kind of pop equivalent of the Japanese shocker Audition in the sense that just as that film starts out like a Meg Ryan fluff-fest, it quickly descends into something altogether nightmarish, akin to expecting a beautiful butterfly to emerge from a chrysalis only to witness something altogether nastier uncoil from within. I'm not suggesting the extremities of Audition are mirrored in "Don't Talk", but the unnerving double bluff formula certainly is as Hudgens initially begins to wax lyrical, sweetly and politely enough about "shooting stars" and her seemingly innocent hopes for the future of a potential relationship, only to turn distinctly sour with the chorus in which she implores to her suitor...
"Don't talk, don't tell your friends about us.
Don't talk or this song will end, I promise.
Be quiet, be quiet, or I will just deny it.
Be quiet, don't talk, keep it between us."
Sounding entirely joyless and calculating, the archetypal American teen sweetheart becomes a dead-eyed, black hearted terror who isn't interested in real love at all, but only in self serving motives. When she whispers "keep your mouth closed" a bit later on in the song, you're inclined to believe that in her own universe this girl is indeed a destructor of sorts.
Vanessa Hudgens - Dont Talk - Vanessa Hudgens
Following on from the first one which was all kinds of fun, another SO BONES party is happening very soon. Friday May 1st, if you happen to be in London and you wanna shunt and sweat with us come upstairs to Catch.
This time around the usual XXJFG DJs will be in the awesome company of the Notorious V.I.C. and Bumps (aka Dom & Eka.)
Disclaimer: No fucking Akon. Or Flo-Rida.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
I'm starting to feel like "the Britney guy." Last Friday one of the first things Daniel from Mi Ami said to me was "so I hear you like Britney Spears", and then just the other day Guillaume from Blog Digger asked me the exact same question. I probably shouldn't be too surprised when I do things like drunkenly slur into a fellow XXJFG brother's ear about how Gimme More is sooo Lynchian, or explain to bemused friends how I've been in the process of writing an essay relating Blackout with the Japanese man and machine epic, Tetsuo. Anyway I'll be the first to admit Circus as an album wasn't exactly up to scratch; badly sequenced, a ballad about her babies, and way too much back peddling. What the album mostly missed was Danja's diminished presence in Britney's music. Danja was of course the man who transformed Britney into a malfunctioning renegade robot, clipping, pitchshifting and stretching her serpentine purple-funk croak with such extremism it often felt as if he was trying to make the American teen version of Medulla.
Flamethrower, sung here by Chris Brown (music unrelated comments are now too obvious and dull) is actually a demo that was intended for Circus and gives us a glimpse into how that record might have sounded if Danja had been given more free reign. Gothic Lolita crunk atmospherics and percussion that sounds like multiple animatronic steeds galloping and clattering across glowing ENCOM landcsapes fuse with the man's trademark woozy, creeping synth work which manage to infect the proceedings with a mildly nauseating, "it's time to face Bowser" plastic dread. Alas...what could have been.
Flame Thrower - Chris Brown
Earlier I mentioned Blog Digger, a collective of super nice guys who throw super swell parties in super beautiful Paris which is where I was on Friday night playing some records with my brethren Juan. Amongst all the italo and Chicago jack-house noise I managed to slip in what's probably one of my favourite records of the year so far. Took The Night by Chelley is basically the sound of Nina Sky's floating, disembodied heads forever spinning with Uncanny Alliance through a complex riddim matrix. Last year it was quite sad when no "Uh Oh" or "Pon De Replay" emerged, so it's very nice to have this kind of record back in time for Summer. Plus "hate, hate, hate, hate, hate" is the line of 2009. Period.
One last thought. What the fuck happened to this beat? From 2.57. Some serious monolithic tekno stuff going on!
P.S. Ciara dances for art.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Due to the gargantuan nature of her greatness, she will be referenced in every post (probably). On the other hand, if she carries on working with Akon and P.Diddy then our interests will wane, and so too should yours. Its The Underdogs/The Dream/Tricky Stewart all the way for "Electro Love", an album long in gestation, short on any actual release dates but generous in the amount of leakages.
Take this renegade from the rings of Saturn, "Keep On Lovin' Me", a track that may appear on an LP sometime in the future. As Robin points out, this has similarities to "Millionaire" by Kelis & Andre, but this version is less sultry and instead just plain zingin' pop, sugar coated and harmonic, set in shades of pink and baby blues.
Keep On Lovin Me (Prod. By Tricky Stewart) - Cassie feat. The-Dream
Another staple of this blog will surely be the soot-and-glitter-flecked hellish souls, SALEM, a group of spectres that may be a hard pill to swallow for any strictly Rn'B-only fan, but their black hearts shine through the mire of the slowly disintegrating synthesizers and they drag with oily fingers the thumping soul of thug rap and the jittery Juke beast into their forest cave, melting the two together to create something sleekly vicious. If Portishead re-recorded "Machine Gun" with a lost in the k-hole Savage on guest vocals, it would go like this:
SALEM - Sip It Cup (feat. DJ Sippycup) (Rapidshare link)
Merok 7" now, new Japanese 7" soon.
Dizzee's Dirtee Stank Records is shaping up to be a sweet selection of knife stabs straight outta Dalston. Dizzee's last album didn't really work for the most part, what with the Lily Allen collab and the confusing lack of actual grime, but he seemed to be circling around that most amazing debut album sound with "Maths + English" bonus track, "Drivin'". There's none of the feral gats-at-dawn & teen pregnancy capers of "I Luv U", but the screw face bile of "Vexed" is removed and replaced by stoned drawls over a similar spider web synthline - a downer twin of So Soild's "Ride Wid Us".
Dizzee Rascal - Drivin' (Rapidshare link)
Download from Juno.
Sunday, 12 April 2009
So the week I decide to set So Bones up I go awol. Score! Anyway in all fairness it's been a slow week although I did learn probably for the tenth time in my life that drinking a bottle of vodka and a bucket of beer doesn't combat a cold, Heidi Montag records slide quite nicely into DJ sets that mostly consist of Salem and Chicago house records (please see below), and Cassie continues to be the shit not only for almost single handedly continuing to keep the spirit of freestyle alive but for going all Alice Dellal on us...
The last few days I've been mostly caning a new Underdogs production I've come across. Apparently a demo for Usher which makes sense considering it's actually pretty good, and Usher very rarely actually records or releases any of his good stuff, James Fauntleroy continues to impress me with that distinctly melancholic falsetto of his, but as is becoming typical of an Underdogs production it's mostly all about the beats. Having produced three of my favourite songs in 2008 I think it's safe to say I have a lot of time for the work of The Underdogs. I might even go as far as to say they could be the best production team functioning at this moment in time. There was the digitized Wuthering Heights melodrama of My House that captured Cassie inside a cavernous castle constructed out of haunted synthesizers groaning atop the ashes of a thousand Prince femme-protégés, the epic Radio Disney R&B kosmiche of No Air which quietly became song of the year once everyone had gotten over the fact that the song of the year was an incredibly overblown rococo ballad sung by a nondescript American Idol winner, and of course the sonic batshit that was Mannequin, which even after a couple hundred listens still makes not a lick of sense. Seriously someone find these guys a girl they can mould and have their way with. Or better yet get them on board to produce Telepathe's next record.
Just to say, Friday night I had the pleasure of DJing at Mi Ami's London show. Needless to say aside from being beyond excellent, they requested all kinds of good stuff (mostly Kylie Minogue and Britney records.) From what I can recall this is what I played for anyone who cares. Probably not that girl who got pissy cause I said I didn't want to play The Cure
MI AMI (The Lexington) 10th April 2009
Chandra - Kate
Panda Bear - Bros
Telepathe - Devil's Trident (PTR Remix)
HEALTH - Die Slow
Photonz - Shaboo (Andy's Edit)
Leif - Black Magic
Dharma - Plastic Doll (Club Mix)
Kylie Minogue - I Believe In You
Inner City - Ahnongay
Parallels - Ultralight
Madonna - Words
Azari & III - Hungry For The Power
Hounds Of Hate - I Like Triangles
Britney Spears - Womanizer
Salem - Tent
Sakura Night - Sky Ferreira
Heidi Montag - Fashion
T.I. - Whats Yo Name
Beautiful Swimmers - O Yea
Telepathe - So Fine
Brandy - I Wanna Be Down (Matt Pendergast Remix)
Britney Spears - Breathe On Me
Salem - Skullcrush
Dreamburger - Destiny Is My Child
Xeno & Oaklander - Blue Flower
Monday, 6 April 2009
For a while now I've been musing along with my fellow 20 Jazz Funk Great brethren about things like Armani italo cyborgs lost inside inpenetrable disco vortexes, Arthur Machen analogue lullabies, and mind-melting tribal jams created by feral, spazzy kids banging on blocks of wood with bones lost amongst the trees. While I still love all these things with a heart fit to explode, I wanted to set up this page to muse about another love of mine. I'm talking about the sounds that emanate from the packs of girls forever fixed to the backs of buses, and out of the speakers of radios eternally locked on Kiss F.M. and that have haunted my every move since Brandy got all up in Monica's face, or vice versa.
I will always maintain that Liar's "Drums Not Dead" and Britney's "Blackout" are two of the most important records of the last decade. This is basically what So Bones is about.
This music is special. I want you to think it's special too.