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.
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.
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?
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 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.
Thursday // March 24, 2011 at 12:53 // filed under Music
No need to
tell you that the combination of Tame
Impala and Daft Punk is
something to be looking forward to. The unexpected remix of the Australian psychedelic
boys for the French duo is only going to be released on the Australian version
of Tron: Legacy R3CONFIGUR3D, which, for the rest of the world,
is a total shame.
remix, the boys jam around the synth of ‘End of Line’ and totally own it. The rhythmic
drum becomes the new center of the song, but the space synthesizers travelling
around the main melody is what makes it so especial.
Tame Impala, Mark Ronson and his
band the Business Intl (on that particular day, the band featured Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and Rose
Elinor Dougal) covered ‘Solitude is Bliss’ for the Triple J radio
show. The band gives a very good interpretation, but as much as I like Rose, it
was a bit odd to listen to this song with female vocals. For those who liked
the cover, there is an mp3 just after the video.
Mark Ronson and the Business Intl - Solitude Is Bliss (Tame Impala cover)
Wednesday // December 15, 2010 at 17:13 // filed under Music
Illustration by Fontaine Anderson
Amadou & Mariam are a couple from Republic of Mali, Africa, and have a really cool history. Known as “the blind couple from Mali”, because they are a blind couple from Mali. They met in the 80s and have since been playing a type of music that mixes traditional and local sounds with guitars and other traditional instruments from around the world. Their sound has since been known as afro-blues.
Although together for ages, it wasn’t until 2003 that the world paid them any attention since they had an album produced by Mano Chao. Stuff started to roll on for the duo after that. They were selected to write the official anthem of FIFA’s 2006 World Cup, they opened for Scissor Sisters and Coldplay, played festivals like Lollapalooza and All Tomorrow’s Parties, 2008 saw them place a song in Pitchfork’s best of list and - my personal favorite - they were invited to write a song for Twlight’s New Moon soundtrack (thank you, Wikipedia...by the way, have you helped them Wiki peops out already?).
To add more awesomeness to this impressive resumé, the band is releasing a remix album that features some of the coolest people around, like Yuksek and Vitalic as well as Akon and Bob Sinclar (the world ain't a perfect place and you know it) with 13 reinterpretations of Amadou & Mariam tracks.
Some of the tracks have been floating around for a long time, like the awesome Theophilus London remix for ‘Sabali’, that Theo named 'Grey X Sage' on his mixtape. Theophilus actually told us a little tidbit about this in reference to how good the remix is; because apparently as a result of this remix alone, Damon Albarn invited Theo to become a character in the cartoon band Gorillaz.
And there are new remixes, like the Miike Snow contribution, that re-arranges the track with an amazing electronic vibe that works beautifully with Mariam's falsetto vocals. The Miike Snow remix is mellow and uplifting, yes, but it's in the original that you can truly see exactly what it is that all these talented people see in the blind duo. Kudos to Damon Albarn for the production on this one.
Amandou & Mariam Remix is out in January - but you can already hear 30 seconds snippets on their Myspace - and will be followed by an album with new songs in February that will feature Santigold and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner.
Friday // January 22, 2010 at 15:23 // filed under Music
I've never been a fan of Crookers,
but apparently this new album, appropriately called Tons of Friends, is going to be good and, erm, well, starred! The Italian duo are stepping away from the
chainsaw type synths and are working on a new mix of techno and electro sounds
that can get super heavy, but manages to remain away from that bleeding ears kinda noise.
Come with me on a journey to listen to all the released songs from this album...I
can guarantee you that they are - mostly - good.
Back in October, they released 'Put Your Hands On Me', featuring Kardinal Offishall and Carla-Marie. The single sounded like any
other mainstream hip hop song, but not as catchy as you would like it to be. At
least a nice 'shocking' video was created (as long as two lesbians
grandmas are shocking).
Crookers - Put Your Hands On Me
Then, they gave away a new track featuring the likes of Soulwax and Mixhell (Founding member of Sepultura Iggor Cavalera
plus wifey Laima) called 'We Love Animals' that's rather huge. Great drums, amazing synths
and, of course, a genius step into the game of "real electronic music" as rave
puritans like to describe their own tastes. Awesome!
Later, they asked for our favorite one hit wonder to bring her milkshake to their yards and 'No Security' was born. Kelis, big beats and dubstep synths actually look more exciting on paper than it does as an actual song. It's good, but kinda lacks spice...I'm
pretty sure a great remix could be born somewhere out of this track though.
Crookers - No Security
Now, they are releasing the first official single with the
great trio Miike Snow that shows a
completely different side to them. I think (and if I'm wrong please correct me)
that this is the first listenable track of Crookers' career. Unfortunately the
song could be much better than it is (any track off of Miike Snow's debut is bigger
than this one), but I'll give it the thumbs up for concept.
The video shows two scenesters stealing stuff from old
ladies and distracting people enough to create a logo for the Crookers' single. If you go Youtube it,
there are some people discussing Nazism. Yeah, I also love Youtube
Crookers - Remedy
So Crookers with friends is better than Crookers by
themselves - though their ambition to make another 'Day 'n' Night' might kill
the evolution of their songs and instead deliver what was a good idea with a blank result.
PS. I'm extra excited to listen to their next single which
features The Very Best, Marina Gasolina and Dargen D'Amico.
Monday // August 24, 2009 at 11:26 // filed under Music
Okay, before I begin, I'm going to say sorry about these photographs below. They are meant to be of Miike Snow, but my camera ran out of batteries before I got any decent shots.
BLURRY. It IS them, I promise
Anyway, they were playing at Cargo on Friday. Their self titled debut album has been one that's been on rotation quite a lot, establishing itself as one of the most smoothly charming albums I've heard all year. Incredibly accessible without being obvious, this debut is an extremely easy listen, with it's piano driven melodies and the grayscale
rainbow of swirling, sparkly electro.
I think they're my Lykke Li of 2009; the artists whose album and
remixes I will listen to incessantly until I've wrung it of all it's
sweet juice, only to lay them aside in a business like fashion to wait
to hear their next releases.
I thought I might drop in to see how they'd measure up live. Admittedly, I can't seem to think of Miike Snow without Britney hovering about too; though for all intents and purposes, aside from their undeniable hook riddled music, there's nothing to connect the two entities.
Andrew Wyatt and someone's head
A six piece on stage, all wearing slick black satin jackets, Miike Snow is, in it's way just as produced as the popstars that Pontus Winnberg and Kristian Carlsson (aka Bloodshy & Avant) have worked with.
I arrived just in time to hear the opening bars of one of my
favourite tracks on the album 'Silvia' thrummed out. The first time I heard this song, it
literally made me want to die. In the best, melodramatic Britney way possible. Miike Snow rocked it out, with frontman Andrew Wyatt being the owner of a laidback charisma, cranking up some dirty guitar with an extended solo in the middle of the track.
Though the crowd on the other hand, seemed like they knew not what to do in response to the band. I initially thought that perhaps not so many people knew who they were; until 'Animal' kicked in and everyone sang along. I swear to god that they they were teasing me by cutting in Britney samples, but I think that was just wishful thinking. Regardless, Miike Snow didn't fail to disappoint live and I thoroughly enjoyed their gig presence as much as I enjoy them recorded.
In an attempt to make up for my shit photos, below is the new video for 'Animal'. Check it if you haven't already.
Friday // August 14, 2009 at 07:05 // filed under Music
The you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours of the indie
world has a good new example. After remixing Peter Bjorn & John's latest single, 'It Don't Move Me', Miike Snow got the favor back, receiving
a very hip hop themed remix of 'Animal ' from Peter Bjorn &
John. But as we are talking about Swedish bands here, you know their hip hop is
not only about strong beats. The trio also brought their fancy synths and polished
production to the remix which ended up sounding like Lykke Li getting down on the floor. Classy and booty. You've got to
love the Swedes!
Wednesday // July 15, 2009 at 14:03 // filed under Music
We adore Miike Snow and the way their music makes the juxtaposition of being beautifully melancholic yet oddly uplifting.
Here's the new video for Miike Snow's 'Burial' directed by Daniel Wirtberg and Jonas Rudström. Shot with a
documentary feel, in what I think is somewhere in India, the video opens with the morning stirrings of the waterside.
I like how the video plays along with the sound effects on the track. Despite this interaction, if the track were a piece of fabric, it would be a sheer, finely woven muslin that has been draped over the video. Not quite see through, not quite opaque and not quite a part of the scene; a little disconnected but somehow it's not a bad thing at all. The scenes are underlaid
with that kind of serious mysticism that permeates the east, and at the same time brims with wonder and sparkly good humour - and the feel good factor of lots of kids and people dancing.
Burial - Miike Snow
Did you make the mistake of predicting that the thing swathed in cloth was going to be an urn of ashes too? And I thought I was being so clever. Nice touch guys.
Monday // June 01, 2009 at 19:02 // filed under Music
(I HEART PHOTOSHOP)
Again two artists we absolutely adore have collided. This time it’s a newer paramour Miike Snow with longer time love, Passion Pit.
The opening is a more noir affair than the original; the syncopated synth chords here are so laid back that they’re almost out of synch, before being pulled into line and drilled over with frenetic fast bleepy electronica.
Miike Snow keep the glory of the chorus in tact though, it’s Passion Pit through and through. It’s less of a remix and more of a re-edit and it works it really does, and works great. Bloodshy and Avant themselves are obviously very used to applying themselves to other artists, with much success. And their skill in production is most evident here in their handling of ‘The Reeling’; they sublty mould the artist in question with their mad skillz, but they also leave the bulk of what they're about in tact. If it ain't broke don't try and fix it too much, is I suppose, the adage here.
Miike Snow do a nice job, but if I have to critique, they don’t really do all that much to the original (though what they do add I love); they don’t particularly reinterpret it nor do they improve on the fantastic original track. It left me just lukewarm - I feel like this remix was a little unnecessary, but still appreciated because I can’t resist either band!
Tuesday // May 19, 2009 at 17:51 // filed under Music
If you ever wondered how 'It Don't Move Me', the best song from Peter Bjorn & John's latest album, Living Things, would sound if it had a more complex production, Miike Snow
spares you the trouble of imagining such a scenario with their latest remix. It's
dancier; almost the radio's interpretation of dance music, but it going beyond this idea. Like
a battle between different high pitched synths, placed along a heavy bass sound and manufactured
In case you didn't know, Swedish duo Bloodshy and
Avant (responsible for Madonna,
Britney and Kylie's songs, along many other huge acts) go by the name of
Miike Snow when working with the North American singer Andrew Wyatt (Ebony
Bones, Amanda Blank, Daniel Merriweather). These big names all around are making
the indie world spin faster.
Also, their debut
album selling on the iTunes already. Those guys created Britney Spears's 'Toxic', so obivously there isn't a need
to further stress that you need to have this album. Peter Bjorn & John's Living Things is out now.