Beyoncé - 4
We swear this isn't an ironic listening. We love Beyoncé and 4. OK, we might unironically skip straight to track 5, 'Party', produced by Kanye West and with rap by Andre3000, because we ain't no stay-home-mums that need all those ballads about being broken hearted and finding the right person. But, after that, the album turns into a beautiful compilation of classic r'n'b, soul and a bit of sweat-inducing booty tracks - not too many though - that sound surprisingly courageous considering the actual state of pop music. And for that, we bow down and hail Queen B. P.S. Get the deluxe version, for those extra couple of amazing tracks.
Bassike
The name of this label has been interpreted in many ways; from 'bass-seekey' to 'base-ike', but the correct way describes exactly what this label is about: BASIC. Bassike delivers easily breezily cut staples with an interesting little twist that keeps them from being your run of the mill. For those that live in climates like that of Australia (where Bassike hails from) or Brazil, you'll know how easy it is to make fashion faux pas when the weather gets hot and the prospect of wearing anything but a bathing suit becomes slightly unappealing; Bassike is all and everything you need.
Game of Thrones
Before watching HBO's Game of Thrones, I assumed the series would tend a bit more towards the blood-dripping Danish movie Valhalla Rising rather than fairy-tale stories a lá 'Lord of the Rings'; and for that I didn't really like the series at the beginning. But slowly, I found myself submitting to tales of bad kings, midget juggernauts, savage warriors and... dragons. And that happened probably because there aren't exactly good guys and bad guys here, like there are in Tolkien stories - and that is, of course, a simplification of his work. Another reason I relented to this series is because of the intriguing political backstage element that leads to the ever-happening dance of thrones. Oh, and did I mention the gratuitous nekkid-ness?
The Norfolk // Sydney, Australia
Of the slew of new spots having opened up in Sydney in the last six months, The Norfolk on Cleveland St in Surry Hills has been one fated with success. Owned by some of the same kids that have brought The Flinders back to life (and currently, it's incredibly quick onset of 'The Norms'), you'll undoubtedly find The Norfolk rammed with all kinds, vying for a bite, a beer and a spot in the garden out back. The aim of the game is to cultivate Aussie pub culture at it's best; and it's doing a pretty decent job so far - if only you could get a table!
Super Sad True Love Story
Super Sad True Love Story is the third book from the writer of the best selling Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart. Incidentally, I read him name dropped in Flavorpill's Ultimate Hipster Reading list and in the same sentence as James Franco (they're buds, apaprently) just before I finished his latest offering. Don't let any of that put you off, or take away any of the sad scary brilliance of Super Sad True Love Story; written from the perspective of one 39 year old Lenny Abramov, son of Russian immigrants and in love with the impossibly cute and cruel Eunice Park. A satire that cuts to the bone, Super Sad True Love Story is exactly it's title. And it's good.
Posts in June 2011
Interview // NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB

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Aside from what they describe as the curse of coming to the fore as one of the progenitors of the controversially neon nu-rave craze that swept the world around five years ago, New Young Pony Club haven't had the easiest road. Whichever way you'd call it, NYPC's own brand of dance-punk happened to rise during a time when dayglo was enjoying a renaissance; and happily, they are also one of those few bands that have managed to maintain a devoted following after the lights came up and everyone realised they had a highlighter hangover.

 

The strength of their music, aesthetic and modus operandus is what has kept NYPC riding through the changing pastures of the music industry; and this is undoubtedly in no small part due to the strength of their women (and man). Hardly needing introduction, NYPC is made up of Tahita Bulmer (vocals), Andy Spence (guitar), Lou Hayter (keys), Sarah Jones (drums) and Remy Mallet (bass). As a whole, NYPC is one of those rare and wonderful creatures that don't necessarily need to draw attention to (or exploit) their strengths - because they're obvious enough, as opposed to what a lot of female driven entities in pop find it necessary to do. Which is exactly the kind of woman power the world needs - less lip service and just plain old being.

 

Since 'Ice Cream' hit the airwaves, the band were reportedly begging to work with such pioneering types as Diplo and DFA; but Modular Records simply didn't have the same ideas as they did and geared them towards more mainstream sensibilities. That was a long time ago though, and NYPC have found freedom in their own record label and have managed to sort themselves out to crystalise their sound and vision in The Optimist.

 

Already with a third album in the works, the band are currently playing some dates in Brazil as well as a few dates in the UK. We managed to get Tahita and Andy to answer some questions (that have been burning in my drafts folder for a couple of years in fact!) in between being effortlessly fierce, working on their new album and gigging in São Paulo. Check Tahita, Andy and I chatting Achilles heels and bad ass bitches...

 

THE BAND IS PLAYING TONIGHT AT BECO 203 SP BRAZIL. DON'T MISS THEM!

 

Interview after the jump >>

New Things from Rye Rye (ft Prabal Gurung & Robyn)

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This is one of the most successful combos I've seen lately, with New York Fashion Week darling Prabal Gurung roping in the one and only Rye Rye to shake his Resort 2012 collection to the ground. Rye Rye makes Prabal look sssmokin' hot and edgy as opposed to his usual, more ladylike cool/cocktail eleganza. Great move on both sides with Rye Rye getting a polish and Plus the track is banging - what more could you ask? Check it:

 

 

BONUS: Here is the newly released video for Rye Rye's track 'Never Will Be Mine (feat Robyn)'. Robyn and Rye Rye didn't work nearly as well as Rye Rye and Prabal in my opinion, but some of the styling is kinda fun and I do love a bit of both of these bad ass bitches - though more so separately, since they seem to have cancelled each other out a little bit on this number; with Robyn unable to exercise the extent of her usual angst ridden pop-tastica and Rye Rye not her usual exuberant self...

 

MIX // James Drake

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Bringing Drake and James Blake together was a pretty fabulous idea - with masterminds Bombé and Mr Caribbean blurring the two together effortlessly. In my ears, James Blake is what floats to the top of this rippling pool...but that's because I've only ever listened to Drake tokenistically. Either way though, this was rather delicious. Check the tracklist entangling the two below and cop the mix below that:

 

Find Your Limit       
Measure It All

Wilhelm's Fucking Best

Forever Bells

Successful CMYK

Ransom Money Youth

Fear Logic Freestyle

Going In For Half Heat

Fall For Your Man at 9 AM

Go get the mixed AND unmixed mix HERE

Nicola Roberts and the pop song of the year

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Fuck Cheryl Cole and her American TV Drama, we are obsessed with another Girl Aloud. One that we’ve never thought we would be - frankly, I’ve never thought I’d be obsessed with any of them - especially not in 2011, but anyway... Nicola Roberts, the youngest and most awkward of the girls, went solo and her debut single is the shit.

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Produced by Diplo and Dimtri Tikovoi, ‘Beat of My Drum’ is stupid, fun and sticky. Think The Ting Tings before getting utterly annoying, Yelle and... Major Lazer. Yes, most of the sounds and structures can also be heard on ‘Pon de Floor’, the same song that Diplo and Switch sold to Beyoncé for her latest album, but, as opposed to ‘Who Run the World (Girls)’, this track wasn’t born underground and (badly) adapted to pop. It’s that same kind of monotonous track that you are constantly listening to on the radio, only sparkled with cool drums and weird samples.

The chorus is so simple, it’s almost impossible not to compare with all the songs that decided to spell words in a cheerleader type way, because, frankly, all they're doing is spelling “L-O-V-E” and singing the line “Dance to beat of my drum” with a military drum in the background. Of all the songs that go down that path, the one that this reminds me of the most is Gwen Stefani’s “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” break in ‘Hollaback Girl’. Coincidentally or not , Diplo remixed this early in the game and it still maintains as one of his biggest mainstream remixes.

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But back to Nicole. While her music is probably the best pop thing we’ve heard this year, the video is a bit... awkward. Her hair looks alright and her wardrobe makes her look fun and young, but her inability to dance and to change her facial expression kinda ruins it for me. Not in a “OMG, this is garbage” kinda way, just in a way that won’t make her a threat to any other big girl in pop, even with music produced by Diplo, Metronomy and Dragonette.

Nicola Roberts - Beat of my Drum

So woman up, Nicola, go rehearse faces and dance moves in the front of the mirror, to prove us wrong by overlooking you and your entire career.
Fare Soldi partying with Beyoncé and Toro Y Moi

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Italy is the house of one of Fare Soldi, a duo responsible for some ultra fun disco reworks of my favorite tracks. We already praised them for their Chilly Gonzalez remix, but when they chose to work on Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy In Love’ and Toro Y Moi’s ‘New Beat’ we realized these guys are playing to win.

After a few seconds of percussion, that amazing brass is slowly added until the most powerful couple in music, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, announce that the hit has officially begun. But Fare Soldi decide not to rush things, and simmer the remix for a little longer, putting B and her “uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-oh-no-no” on loop with more percussion and a hyperactive piano progression. Suddenly, the white noise takes over and you know a big explosion is coming but before it finally hits its climax Beyoncé appears to check if you are ready for this jelly - and you better be. To get everybody sweaty and remembering what perfect pop music sounds like:

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For Toro Y Moi, the Italians decided to work with the instrumental only, but that doesn’t mean they turned the song into something unrecognizable. In fact, there aren't any changes in the structure of the song. Basically, they add more danceable elements - a helluva lot of cowbells and a synthetic bass - which were necessary to take the song from a sunny afternoon into a funky evening.

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It makes us wonder what a 'fun' set from Fare Soldi would sound!
The Bay

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There's something in all of Metronomy's videos that I really really love (besides everything). Something about the energy of the band and the way they come across is just really cool. And the video for latest single 'The Bay' is no exception. Opening up with one of those island adventure film shots; a camera flying over the ocean to rest upon Joe doing a cocky little strut across a lawn. Good walk, Joe.

 

Stylized, funny and unmistakably Metronomy, this isn't a groundbreaker, but this video for one of my favourite Metronomy tracks off The English Riviera sure makes a smile break onto my face. And hats off to Gbenga for being a total scene-stealer! Check it:

 

 

 

BONUS: Here's a very deadpan, rather serious remix from Stop Making Me of 'The Bay', who flips it and turns the vocals into the instrumental track and uses a few repetitive synth notes as the focal point in the mix. Check it:

 

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MIX // Kisses Aussie Tour Mix

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Kisses are going to Australia! So they made a special little mix for In The Mix in anticipation for it. Hungover as I am this morning, Kisses' mix coccooned my ears and fragile head with their laidback, effortlessly cool tracklist. Easy listening, in the best way possible. Check the tracklist, then stream it below that:

 

Eazy E - No More ?’s
SOS Band - The Finest
Nite Jewel - Am I Real?
Monica - Don’t Take It Personal (Remix)
CEO - No Mercy
Destiny’s Child - Jumpin, Jumpin
Gary Numan - Complex
Digable Planets - Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
Robert Palmer - Woke Up Laughing

 

 

And of course, the reason why the duo made this easy little mix are the dates they're playing in Australia... so Aussies, you can go see Kisses at the following:

 

Melbourne Thursday June 9th @ Shake Some Action – One Six One
Sydney Friday June 10th @ Last Night – The Gaelic Club
Canberra Saturday June 11th @ Trinity Bar

Jessica 6's East West Funk

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Jessica 6's debut album See The Light has FINALLY come out on Peacefrog Records this week! To celebrate, the band have generously dropped a new B-side, entitled 'East West Funk'.

 

And unsurprisingly, it's awesome. Jessica 6 are masters of the souled out hook accompanied by nu-disco instrumentals. Nothing they do sounds like it's trying too hard; they simply seem to have a 6th sense when putting together their tracks as to exactly the right amount of retro, soul, R&B, nu-electro and that good old je ne sais quoi in the most natural and genuine way. 'East West Funk' is no different; truly funky in the freshest way possible, this is yet another Jessica 6 track you'll have on repeat. A perfect warm up for the dancefloor. Cop it below:

 

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