Re-Introducing: Alpines

16 Apr

My blog has now reached the ripe old age where we can update previous posts! So today I’m going to talk about a band from South London called Alpines, who I was first harking on about way back when – or here, if you choose. So why are Alpines back on the radar? Well, in the time since I last blogged them, they slipped into a pool with a bunch of other bands who I’d heard and quite liked, and I wouldn’t say forgot about, but moved to the back of my brain? Well, they’ve very much re-entered my consciousness with some rather awesome remixes just uploaded to their Soundcloud.

Alpines – Drive (Skream’s I Ain’t Got a License Remix)

Seeing the name Skream on a track can mean one of two things. As he’s shown with Magnetic Man, it doesn’t really guarantee anything. However, to counter that there’s the remix he did of La Roux, confident sub bass rather than pandering to the “filth” happy masses as he did with Magnetic Man. Happily this remix of Alpines takes the latter formula, brooding sub bass eventually breaking out into a fast paced anthem that utilises the original ‘night-pop’ aspects very well indeed.

Alpines – Ice & Arrows (Dark Sky Remix)

Although Dark Sky are virtually worshiped in some circles, I’ve only managed to hear the remix they did of Crystalised, which is admittedly pretty impressive – because that’s one special track, but they managed to carve their own niche in it and come out of it sounding pretty good. They’ve gone for a similar style on this track, and sounds good. If the original had been produced by MJ Cole, this is what it might have sounded like.

Alpines – Drive (Akira Kiteshi Remix)

Confession time – before downloading this track, I had no idea who Akira Kiteshi are/is. I still don’t if I’m honest, but from what I hear here, it seems they are a dubstep act of some sorts. Now, as you’ll probably know I’m not a fan of dubstep, and this certainly has something of a wobble in it. In fact, it kind of sounds like Pendulum. I’m not entirely a fan. But that said, I think it works better here than normal – there is a nice contrast with her voice – this isn’t a bad song – if it was, I wouldn’t have posted it – but I do prefer the other two.

So You Like Garage?

14 Apr

Following the positive feedback on my last post featuring garage, I figured I may as well give you garage junkies some more.

Checan – Absent

Basically how this works is – Checan makes a new song. It is awesome. I tell you guys about it. You agree it is awesome. We all wait for Checan to make a new song. And now he has! And yes, it is awesome!

FaltyDL – Brazil (Cairo’s Falling Down Remix)

I for one regard FaltyDL as one of the most exciting electronic producers out there – so his decision to release the stems for ‘Brazil’ excited me. This remix from Australian Cairo (who ought to be Egyptian, surely) is one of the best reworkings I’ve heard so far.

The xx – Shelter (C.R.S.T Remix)

The main problem I find with remixes of The xx is that they ruin the key aspects of the track – the space and so on that makes the tune even more poignant. This future garage remix from C.R.S.T manages to avoid that – while the tune is maintained, so are key aspects that keep the atmosphere of the track.

Sentinels – Spirals

To sum this up is easy – it basically sounds like what would happen if Hudson Mohawke started doing garage. While you might see garage as a form of dance music, I’d say this is the only track on this list that you could really dance to.

I’m Still Alive

10 Apr

I’ll write it here so I can’t break it – my new April’s resolution (?) is to start blogging again! I’ve managed to build the blog up to a reasonable readership, then I just stopped for 2 months, without good reason. I’m sorry – I have awaken from my stupor, and I’m back, and I promise from here on in this blog will only continue to get bigger and better!

Now musically, I don’t really know where to start, because although those two months have not been as fruitful musically as some others, there’s still plenty I could and should have shared. To get things moving along, I’ll post some stuff that I’ve got really recently.

Jamie xx – Boiler Room #35, Unknown Track

So I actually don’t have a clue what this is. New Harmonix has been suggested. I’m posting it here for two reasons – firstly, it sound like it’s pretty good – somewhere between Burial and Hudson Mohawke. The second reason is to ask you guys. If anyone knows what this is, please, I beg you comment below!

Jamie Lidell – A Little Bit More (Luke Vibert Mix)

This track is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. It takes aspects of all sorts of genres and crosses them into one, giving this song a really unusual feel – does it belong on a high energy dancefloor or in a relaxed living room? It also gives me another question – why hasn’t it become any more popular?!

David Morales – Needin’ U

If you live anywhere near me, you’ll be experiencing the weather that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have been waiting for for the last eight months. What better way to celebrate the sunkissed state of affairs than with this early 00’s house anthem from David Morales?

Quantic – Not So Blue

I’ve always wanted a friend who listened to different but good music to me – and now it looks like I found one! So cheers buddy, you know who you are. This 2002 track from Quantic blurs the boundaries between electronic jazz and instrumental hip-hop.

Tall Ships – Chemistry

Those who were reading this blog when Foals last album came out will remember my disappointment at the loss of the ‘original’ Foals sound and it’s lack of a replacement. Well, eventually my woes have been brought to an end by Brighton-ers Tall Ships, who compose a similar type of maths-rock aesthetic. I’m looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

Well those highly varied songs are enough to be going on with I think. I will bring more soon, and it won’t be in such a jumbled fashion as this. Thankyou for reading.

Compromise Music Presents: The Remixtape, Vol. I

2 Apr

I’m pleased to eventually be able to introduce you to a project we at Compromise Music have been working on recently. Basically what happened was, we gathered a few of our favourite producers, and got together for a bit of a mixtape. What we did is got them to remix one song of our choice, and one of theirs. Here’s the final project, which I think it’s fair to say all involved are very pleased with! I’m honestly proud to be introducing these artists to you and also to be at least partially responsible for the existence of some of these tracks! You can grab the tape here, but most of the tracks are available individually on the artists Soundcloud pages, listed below.

Tracklisting:

1) Yelle – Safari Disco Club (HLM Remix)
2) Trophy Wife – Microlite (Randy Lauren Allien Remix)
3) The Streets – Soldiers (Danny T Remix)
4) Camo & Krooked – Climax (Ollie Macfarlane Edit)
5) French Films – Take You With Me (HLM Remix)
6) Foals – Miami (Randy Lauren Allien Remix)
7) Jamie Woon – Missing Person (Danny T Remix)
8) Skream – Midnight Request Line (Ollie Macfarlane Edit)

Enjoy these exclusive tracks!

HLM on Soundcloud
Randy Lauren Allien on Soundcloud
Danny T on Soundcloud
Ollie Macfarlane on Soundcloud
Compromise Music on Soundcloud

More music will be coming very shortly!

Trophy Wife – Interviewed

17 Mar
They say you should never meet your heroes – and Trophy Wife aren’t actually my heroes, and I didn’t really meet them, but I guess the principle still applies. However, my email interview with them was in no way anti-climatic, and left me very much looking forward to the album promised ‘before the end of the year’ – as if I wasn’t already looking forward to it! So, here they are, in their own words, and be sure to check out the two tracks included.

1) So, tell us about Trophy Wife…
Trophy Wife is Jody Prewett, Kit Monteith and Ben Rimmer. The band grew out of late-night recording sessions on the top floor of an old town house. Initially we had this loose idea that wanted to play really simple, stripped down and repetitive music with a 4/4 beat always present- a dance version of The Shadows or something.

2) How did you meet, and why did you decide to form a band?
The three of us met in a cafe on Oxford’s Little Clarendon street. We went back to Kit’s garage to make some music where it transpired that Jody was actually a guitarist masquerading as a drummer.

3) What can you tell us about a tour. I know alot of people who’d love to see you guys..
We just got back from our first headline tour. It was a lot of fun and it was a pleasant surprise to see so many people turn up. Things got a bit out of hand in Manchester; some of us ended up sleeping in our tour van in the city centre with the engine running to keep us warm.

4) How about an album, is there anything in the pipeline, any dates for our diaries?
The songs are gradually taking shape in our heads. We’d like to get something out before the end of the year. We’ve amassed a lot of material and strands of songs. In between our festival dates this summer we’ll be pulling the disparate parts together that will form the debut.

5) What are you listening to at the moment?
Warpaint, Austra, Metro Area, David Byrne and Twin Shadow.

6) Favourite movie/tv show/book
The Wicker Man
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
One Hundred Years of Solitude

7) Favourite band/album of 2010?
Caribou’s ‘Swim’ was flawless.

8) How do you go about writing a song? You use disco-style beats.. are they programmed or do you create them?
Usually things start with a drum loop loop that is programmed on a computer. We also like to use live percussion instruments and create loops from those as well. Then we’ll put a basic guitar chord sequence to it and build things up as we’re recording.

Trophy Wife – Spinalonga

9) If you weren’t in a band, where do you think you’d be?
Retaking GCSE maths exams

10) Tell us an interesting fact about each of the band members?
In a past life Jody was a female builder from Saudi Arabia
Ben’s great uncle invented the shower curtain ring
Kit was an extra in the movie Free Willy after entering a Blue Peter competition.

11) Any plugs, shoutouts, football teams to cheer, basically anything else you want to say?
Ich bin ein Berliner!

Trophy Wife – White Horses

Loose Ends Need Tying Up

6 Mar

So I’ve done one post since I got back with a few tracks in, but they were mainly stuff I got just before I went away and never got round to sharing. Here’s some odds and ends that I’ve ‘found’ since my return. Hope you enjoy!

Jamie Woon – Lady Luck

If you’ve been reading this for any time now you won’t need me to explain that Jamie Woon is a surefire favourite of mine. He’s up to his usual tricks in Lady Luck, his latest single, as he cleverly bounces his voice of the heavy bass below. Good as this is, I still don’t think it’s up there with Night Air.

Earl Wolf – Orange Juice
(Upload Blocked By Soundcloud)
The whole Earl/MellowHype/OFWGKTA thing is far from clear to me, but I think this is by Earl Wolf. It’s from the album Radical, anyway, and in my eyes at least, it’s the best track from there. The beat, stolen from Gucci Mane, is especially fantastic, but let’s not take anything away from the rapping, which as a friend remarked to me yesterday, surely should see these guys destined for success very soon.

Summer Camp – I Want You

I wasn’t too familiar with Summer Camp before hearing this one. It seems that witch-house is now the backing track of choice for a certain kind of love song, the kind where you love someone you need their permission to breathe. A tad melodramatic perhaps? Maybe, but this has come off sounding quite a lot like CREEP – not a bad thing at all…

Gold Panda – Marriage (Star Slinger Remix)

Two of London’s glitchiest, most-sampling artists come together in one track…I almost expected a crescendo of crashing drums, glitchy beats and all in all vaguely-organised chaos. But it seems that this hasn’t happened at all. It’s just glitchy enough, I’d go as far as calling it coherent at times! But seriously, this is a good track, mixing the glitchy style of Gold Panda with some dubstep style bass and some house style pianos variously. Very good.

The xx – Islands (Jamie xx Remix)

Another Jamie I’m very much a fan of is Jamie xx. This remix of his bandmates relies less on deep bass than normal, instead replacing the sparse backing track with a fuller, garage instrumental. It’s hard to say whether I prefer this to the original, such is the difference between the tracks, but had this been included on the album it wouldn’t have been short of the standard, even if it might have sounded somewhat out of place.

Cults – Go Outside (Brainbheats Remix)

This remix of one of last years biggest remixes has all things in the right proportions – just the right amount of distortion, of electro but coupled with the fact you can still hear that key riff that made this song so so popular. I have to say I’m surprised at the lack of remixes of this track though..

Arctic Monkeys – Brick by Brick

The world should soon be in hyperbole, for the Arctic Monkeys have released a new track. It’s actually quite good, certainly an improvement on Humbug and maybe even Favourite Worst Nightmare, even if it hasn’t reached the heady heights of the long titled debut album – no, I won’t type it all out. Anyway, this is a good deal more upbeat than what we’ve become accustomed to – and thank God for that!

Jai Paul – BTSTU (Nu-Direction Remix)

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when this was branded as ‘liquid drum and bass’ so I have to say I was pleasantly surprised upon hearing this. It should be enough to say that it does the original justice.

The xx – Basic Space (Pariah Remix)

Quite how, in 2009, this didn’t make it onto the single release of Basic Space is a mystery to me. It’s leagues ahead of anything on that release – including the original, which for what it’s worth, is a pretty good track. But this remix from Pariah, which mixes dub and house, blows it out of the water. I may be late hearing this one, but I’d go so far as to describe it as my favourite remix of The xx, one of my favourite bands…

Oh Hey There

2 Mar

Right I’ve been far too lax, been back a good couple of days and really done nothing productive – no work, no emails, no blog, no nothing. So this is my reminder to myself. Get your ass in gear! Here are some things I should have shared earlier. Sorry. Still, better late than never!

Fatima Al-Qadiri – d-medley

Without wanting to sound EDL, I can’t think of many headscarf-wearing-female-Brooklynites making music today. That’s not the only way in which Fatima Al-Qadiri’s unique however. Her music sounds like nothing else out there. The closest I can come is it sounds vaguely like a Vampire Weekend instrumental – and that is a serious compliment coming from these lips. I have to express my shock that this hasn’t taken off on a greater scale – I think it’s all a matter of time though.

Dominant Legs – Clawing Out at the Walls

Dominant Legs are fast becoming one of my favourite new bands. I really like their unique brand of almost operatic indie pop. The use of a strings section works well in every track – giving it extra weight and verve. I really like the little tune you find in every single Dominant Legs track – to me at least, everything feels like a past classic, with a real nostalgic singalong feel.

Dominant Legs – About My Girls

To me, when I listen to this, I picture a bunch of preppy students from the 60s sat around on the lawn of some prestigious college – not quite sure why that is, but that’s all I want to say about this one!

Big Wave Riders – Skate or Die

Funnily enough, as an eleven year old I actually had a sticker on my ‘deck’ commanding that readers ‘Skate or Die’. And now it’s been made into a song by Finnish garage-rockers, Big Wave Riders. It’s not nearly as bad as you might expect! No offence guys – the name isn’t cool. But fortunately, the music more than makes up for it, starting off as some kind of stadium rock jam, before mellowing out into a great indie mix, which combines the sounds of Two Door Cinema Club with some lo-fi rock in tremendous style.

Trophy Wife – Take This Night

I mentioned that Dominant Legs are fast becoming one of my new favourite bands. They’re still behind Trophy Wife in that race however. Consistently, these guys are pumping out beautifully melodic post-pop. I always like an act to have their own specific sound – and Trophy Wife have definitely got that – and what a sound it is!

Trophy Wife – The Book of Right On (Joanna Newsom Cover)

I just alluded to Trophy Wife having their own style – and that remains true, even on this cover version. But what is this style I keep referring to? I’d say it’s a less frenetic Foals, a melodic style of indie, with drum patterns which almost feel like they belong in house. Is this post-disco I wonder…

Dominant Legs – Clawing Out at the Walls (Algodón Egipcio Remix)

Back to Dominant Legs then. This remix comes from Algodón Egipcio, the world’s foremost purveyor of loop-based Venezuelan electro-pop. This remix speeds up the original and changes the drums, making it more dance friendly. It says alot for this track that I can happily listen to both the remix and the original without feeling the constant need for comparison.

Teengirl Fantasy – Dancing In Slow Motion (Algodón Egipcio Remix)

Another up-and-coming band, another Algodón Egipcio remix. This time, he’s turned the slow house of Teengirl Fantasy into something approaching a ballad. That’s until a brooding bassline gives it a much more contemporary feel. It’s interesting that these two remixes have been taken in reverse directions – one made more dance-friendly, and the other the complete opposite. I guess it shows what a versataile artist Algodón Egipcio is. He also has a great afro…

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