Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Pleasant Surprise

Over the last year, I have stated a few times that modern dance music is suffering from a lack of decent songs, and singers too. So it is very nice to hear something like "Anthem" by Filo and Peri, with singer Eric Lumiere. The only problem I have with this song is that the vocals have been treated too heavily by the producers, which is a common problem in electronic music. It would be better to let the singer's voice stand without too much interference from electronics. Apart from that, I really like the lyrics and music of this song.

See the video and hear the remixes at this link: http://www.positivarecords.com/filoandperi/

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Imitation

I mentioned a mash-up of two songs in yesterday's entry. This phenomenon, increasingly popular in the last seven years, is often criticised for not actually bringing anything new to the songs in question. This is entirely true, but usually no-one makes any claims that they are being highly original when they make something like that. I think that some mash-ups can be very interesting, and sometimes even fun, if the two tracks are chosen correctly and mixed well. It is really an extension of the role of the disc jockey, not an attempt to usurp the original artist.

However, blatant copying of other artists is not so fun, and in fact is extremely frustrating. One song in particular has suffered from extensive borrowing since its release; "Blue Monday", by one of my favourite bands, New Order. I'm quite happy with Orgy's cover version, but the poorly-disguised rip-offs by Rihanna ("Shut up and drive") and M.I.A. ("20 dollar") do no justice to the original. Even worse, there appears to be no acknowledgement of the influence of the New Order song on the creators of those two songs, which shows no respect for such an important milestone in electronic music.

I have to get back to my work now; I just felt like a little diversion as soon as I heard the song by the so-called artist M.I.A.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Supplement

I think that this weblog is in serious need of some attention, and would benefit from actual enthusiasm being put into the posts here. I shall be making a serious attempt to do this, and you can believe me this time, because I have a lot that I want to write down now. Also, the name will be changed soon. I do still like the song, but apart from the fact that it attracts people looking for lyrics here, it just does not seem right to have those words at the head of what is quite a solitary weblog.

I am preparing to write a little bit more about Chicane, who I mentioned in my last entry as I had just bought all three of his albums. In the meantime, I will leave a link to a video "mash-up" of the music video to the Chicane song "Saltwater" (itself a remake of a piece by Clannad) and the video for Natasha Bedingfield's song "I Bruise Easily". I had never heard the latter song until I saw this video, and I am quite surprised at how much I like it, as Bedingfield's previous singles were quite annoying and seemed to be fairly unimaginative by comparison. That is in my opinion, of course: the British chart performance of "I Bruise Easily" was worse than that of her dull "Single" and excruciating "These Words". Nevertheless, I really like this song now, and the song could almost have been written with the music for "Saltwater" in mind, as unlike many mash-ups, the mood of the two pieces match perfectly. Follow this to see it on YouTube: "Natasha Bedingfield Vs Chicane - Bruised Water".

Friday, 7 December 2007

Re-acquisition

I have now started to replace my collection of music CDs, starting with some of my favourite electronic albums from when I first got into dance music. This begins with two compilations, one of which I have been told by friends is one of the most consistently good collections of trance they have listened to, and I have mentioned previously (here is a link): it is 2000's Ibiza Euphoria compilation. I'm glad to have this back again, as I cannot imagine that my listening tastes would have developed in the same way without it. It is also my preferred collection for playing while doing a fairly intense piece of revision or coursework, and I would not want to do any serious studying without some trance in the background, so I had to get it back. I have also re-purchased the sequel from 2001; this was mixed by Dave Pearce and is not as good, but is still far more impressive than the other electronic compilations I've heard since.

As for proper albums, I have replaced Chicane's first two CDs, Far from the Maddening Crowds and Behind the Sun, while also buying his latest, Somersault. The former two were the first artist albums based entirely around dance and electronic music I owned, and I could not do without them either. I have once again had to search carefully for the various versions of BT's first three albums: I prefer the American version of Ima, British of Escm, and a rare special edition of Movement in Still Life and needed to use eBay and Amazon's US sites the first time round. These are equally important, and are particularly good at taking me back into my memories of the summers I enjoyed between 2001 and 2004.

Next I will have to start on the albums by Queen, Faithless and Kosheen, which are my favourite 'proper' bands, if there is such a thing. Then I'll have to go to the earliest music I liked; Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Erasure. Without all these my collection has none of its best songs, so all are essential.

I think that I probably indulge my nostalgia too much for a young man, but I do not care. I was highly annoyed at having these foci for my memories taken away, and will remain displeased until they're all mine again. I will probably mention all of the above artists again soon, to reveal why I like them all so much in more detail. Otherwise, this weblog may remain fairly barren for now.