Thursday, 24 July 2014


I dunno how or I can't remember how I stumbled across Parisian singer-songwriter ECHO – it was a while ago. I followed her on Twitter, occasionally checking her SoundCloud; all I know is that she's good. For instance, you may want to check out her Midnight Chronicles EP, released recently on French label Cosmonostro.

Called 'Fusional' it is a creation of fellow Parisian In Love With A Ghost, a purveyor of substantially chilled sounds – as you can instantly tell from the endlessly arpeggiated harp sounds at the beginning of this track. But as soon as the robust beat drops, thick with bass and the crack-rasp of snare, it becomes a different beast: an odyssey of cool plucked ambience, like a fresh breeze, paired with the stifling heaviness of trap-inspired beats, a soothing yet spooky adventure through musical phantasms.

And of course there is the voice of ECHO, singing with an endearing lilt and layered with a pitch-shifted equivalent that follows her like a murky shadow. Her brisk delivery has an almost rap-like air to it, following a simple melody, evoking calm-faced ghosts singing with otherworldly beauty; it's hard not to like the way she sings "So many clouds above me…" or "I want to free myself from this / I'm so in love with a lie" – and with that sludgy low-end doppelganger layer almost growling beneath, it's perfect for this track.

It comes from In Love With A Ghost's aptly named Love Ghost EP, something that lives up to its title – in the same way that 'Fusional' does it, these four songs demonstrate not only phantomatic vibes but also those of styles often used in songs of love and lust, think R&B slo-jams distorted, played backwards through haunted apartment blocks, and you're pretty much there. It feels sad, but it also feels accepting of that sadness – a nice mix.

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Wow. Well. Here's a damn good remix of a song that was damn good anyway; Craig David's 'Fill Me In' was like the popular garage song when it came out – a strong and immortalising debut solo single for Mr David, and another garage song in a year that was big for garage in the UK's mainstream: 2000 (which saw hits such as 'Flowers' by Sweet Female Attitude, 'Movin' Too Fast' by Artful Dodger, and 'Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)' by Oxide & Neutrino, to name a few).

In any case, the remix by Norwegian producer Good dish revitalises this track with some next level euphoria – not Balearic euphoria, but pogo-sticking, happy-happy euphoria. Listen.

Starting with the original, it's soon interrupted with dancehall-esque kicks and the original sounds are cut and looped into stuttering rhythm. And if there was ever a song to include those cheeky little bed-spring sounds, it's in this remix of a song about a guy trying to "romance" the girl next door. They feature heavily, as do a whole host of heavenly-triumphant snare rolls, which provide a sonic red carpet for the soft synth sounds and muted marimba chords that fit perfectly with Craig David's vocals. The end section marks a final 2-step to the finish; I picture people sneaking round their next-door neighbours' houses only to start dancing with them in their bedrooms, not creepin' for romance as was the original track's story.

Whew, I mean, it's just a heavily heavily addictive sound, one that is as delicious to the ears as pear-drops or unadon or I dunno pizza, burgers— basically, it's something mad tasty, but for your ears. Lol and I totally forgot this guy was called Good Dish: makes sense that his music is as nice as nice food, right?

Quite fittingly, the producer who's remixed this old classic is grounded in a particular style not all dissimilar to garage; not in that the genres themselves are similar, but more that Good Dish is part of Rytmeklubben ("Rhythm Club" in Norwegian) collective – a group of producers who produce a kind of footwork, to be extremely generalist about it. Garage has a specific sound; so too, kind of, does this breed of footwork. It could be a Norwegian phenomenon (songs are tagged #NorClub), one that seems (SEEMS) to have started with Cashmere Cat and which shows no sign of stopping – and I'm v glad about that.

THAT SAID: futuristic R&B-inflected juke-flavoured bass-simmering stuff like this is popping up everywhere. To say it's a particular country's speciality in this connected digital age is reductionist and a bit sensationalist, so I'm sorry about what I said. But I kind of still mean it lol. Either way, if this is NorClub then I need to get myself to a NorClub.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

FINDSERENE – いつまでも、私と恋に落ちる

It's another short one, a looped beat that doesn't quite reach the 2-minute mark. However, it is also two other things simultaneously: the latest track from Bangladeshi beatmaker Findserene (as in "Find" and "Serene"), and also the perfect track to suit its creator.

As you can see, the title is in Japanese: roughly it means 'Forever, Fall In Love With Me' – for now, let's call it that. On the other hand, it reflects Findserene as an artist; one trip to her Tumblr will tell you about feeling like an outcast because of her interests (anime, Japanese culture), and how she one day decided to just make beats, despite what anybody might have said. And in this creative outlet we see and hear Findserene's interests surface, turning herself into a kind of cultural conduit, a nation-bridging spirit from Bangladesh's Faridpur District.

The track itself is delicate and dreamy, a hypnotic lo-fi sound with a thin mist of a beat adorned with shimmying shakers and popping electronic toms in place of kick-snare patterns. Glittering melody cascades through the low, sparse membrane of the drums, like old memories flooding into a heart full of longing. The fade-in & fade-out makes it seem like we have just been blessed with a brief opening into a very serene place indeed, like walking down a street and hearing the murmurs and sounds of living from windows up above; the heaven of now.

You don't necessarily need very long to tell how good someone is at making music, or how well they can inject their own emotion into their creative output – almost as if the two were one and the same – and 'Forever, Fall In Love With Me' is a perfect example of that. Let's hope there are more & even greater things to come from this musicmaker in the future!

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