Turn your focus to Freddie Gibbs’ “Oil Money,” which has already secured a prestigious spot in my top songs of the year list. The beat is simple, entrancing, and dirty as shit. The less is more minimalism gets run over by the all-star team of rap stars filling in the spaces. Bun B, Chuck Inglish, and the track’s leader Freddie Gibbs glide effortlessly into the incredibly smooth chorus that separates their verses. Reminiscent of the communal circle-rap of Souls of Mischief’s “93 til”, “Oil Money” might just earn that classic status.
What might seem like a tired and overdone description, this Strokes meets Vampire Weekend rollicking rock band, The Dig, have room to push them aside. The only VW reference comes from a similar nasal vocal delivery, and the Strokes share some gutting guitars. Touring relentlessly, and opening up for other Night Bird favorites CHIEF at Bowery Ballroom this Tuesday, this group of Berklee graduates have a musical gift just itching to be discovered by the masses. The chorus soars mightily backed by the off beat drums that works so well behind the shouting “I give it all!” that cements this track as a perfect entry point.
There were a few barriers to entry into dubstep for me. The first, you can’t really dance to it– I mean, yeah, you can dance to it, but it’s more of a dark, introverted, full-body experience than the mega rush you get from electro and house. Secondly, dubstep put me into this mysteriously depressive trance that felt like I was getting smothered by a pillow. Most people would give up on the genre after these descriptions, but not I. I prevailed.
I realized all I needed was a fresh take on a familiar sound. Skream’s remix of La Roux had the blog world lit up last year, but still it didn’t win me over completely. Roksonix’s remix of Imogen Heap’s “Hide & Seek” is new, exciting, and most importantly, easily accessible to the novice dubstep listener. It’s a tough genre to break into, but the rewards are limitless once you do. You want to get into dubstep? Listen to this–
An ironic title to say the least, Four Tet‘s glitchy, uncomfortable “Sing” does everything except that. The only vocals are scattered, unidentifiable howls and yelps that are nothing more than layers of sonic beauty that make this mid-album tune stand out above the rest in the fascinating There Is Love In You. Though “Love Cry” made headlines as the first single (and I’ll be the first to sing its praises) “Sing” rides along a repetitive melody that steals your attention in ways only The Field can. It almost sounds like Kieran Hebden stumbled upon a winning twist of knobs, and just went with it to see where it would end up. Falling somewhere between a dance-able track and a contemplative, introspective minimalist song, “Sing” achieves a magnetic, transcendental sound that will you utterly shocked that such a simple arrangement can have such an effect on you.
Miike Snow, the trio of pop super-producers who tried their hand at making a synth heavy indie album, are more relevant today (literally, today) than ever. First of all, I am currently trapped inside amidst a blizzard. Today is the today for Miike Snow. And I just happen to come across this remarkable remix of “Silvia,” a highlight of the band’s self-titled debut album. “Animal” has already been remixed more times perhaps than D.A.N.C.E, of which there were toooo many variations. Any dj trying to get attention would throw a couple loops around those kids screaming “Do the D.A.N.C.E!” and suddenly reach stardom. The same was almost true with “Animal” but some top notch remixers got a hold of the track, and we were left with some true bangers (here’s looking at you Fake Blood, Fred Falke, Crookers, and Treasure Fingers). The “Silvia” remix package too comes stacked with some A+ knob-twisters in Sinden and Felix Da Housecat, but the Robotberget (who?) remix takes the cake here. It’s pure monstrosity.
Hear the original before the remix: Mike Snow – “Silvia”
In other Miike Snow related news, Crookers put out a new single featuring Miike Snow (well basically just sampling “In Search Of” from MS’s album), and let me tell you, this is not to be missed. That crunching, deep bass line is enough for me to sell everything I own in devotion to this winning combination.
I haven’t gone this long without hearing a song that catapults me to a computer to write this here. But upon listening to “Big Love,” the massive, Herclues & Love Affair-ish track from CFCF, I literally couldn’t wait to get home to post this. Driven by a smooth, happening bassline, the song grooves and grooves for six and half wonderful minutes. The piano, maracas, and chirping vocals take the song from great to amazing– possibly even phenomenal (ed. note– yes, phenomenal). Not since “Blind” has a song been able to invade the dancefloor, living room and bedroom so fittingly. It won’t be long until everyone’s got the fever– and you’ll know it when it happens– I’m currently very, very sick with it.
Mark Ronson, the multi-talented and multi-faced producer responsible for soul-bending albums from Amy Winehouse and his own record of covers, shifted gears into some smooth and flowing hip-hop back in his 2003 debut album that acts like a magnet with your feet to the dancefloor. Passed on greatly when it was released, it features Ghostface Killah and the always crooning Nate Dogg– and then there’s Ronson who’s crafted a soulful, old-school inspired rap gem to wipe up the aisles cluttered with dumb one liners and chipmunk samples that have taken over hip-hop lately. Ghostface slides across the trumpets and saxophones until Nate Dogg breaks in with his “oooohhhh weeeee” that sounds as sweet as anything he’s ever sung.