With summer upon us, spoiling us with random spots of stunning weather, it got me thinking what are the tunes that will be blaring from our speakers on the way to the beach, by the pool, or just sinking a ice cold beer or seven on the patio? Well here is the most comprehensive seasonal mix your bound to find anywhere on the innerwebs! You'll find upbeat, sun drenched melodies; rhythms filled with bongos, cowbells and distortion, and just plain fun and energetic music in general to pair up with the sun and sweat that is summer!
Click on the link to bring up each youtube clip. ENJOY!
Enough Thunder EP: Track by track
Once We All Agree
- Simultaneously atmospheric and brooding, creating a sense of space with echoing tones and minimalist feeling, yet thoroughly overloading the senses with an array of soundscapes and stunning vocals.We Might Feel Unsound
– It is almost as if Blake
purposely attempts to throw off the listener with his abstract beat patterns and glitch, that he cleverly couples with strange whirring that fades in, out and across the listeners palate which should be erratic, but flows incredibly well; managing to build a sullen mood broken by dulled down bass and snare rhythms.Fall Creek Boys Choir
– Featuring indie-folk hero Bon Iver
, we are treated to otherworldly, auto-tuned overlapping vocals backed by Blake’s
signature disjointed organ broken by a strange noise; (Blake’s search for strange distinctive sounds finally including a dog’s distorted bark), and bizarrely enough two 80s influenced power drum breaks. A Case Of You
– Stripped down to basics of organ and voice, a rare exhibition of Blake’s raw angelic voice with equally as sweet lyrics “your my blood, your my holy wine, you taste so bitter and so sweet I could drink a case of you darling, I would still be on my feet
” the soul and gospel influence exerted clearly here complete with religious reference. Not Long Now
– Ignoring James Blake has an incredible sense of provoking the senses with heavy use of build ups (baring his dubstep origins), and fluctuations in tone and volume. A silence so clear and searching, that the opening of Blake’s
lips and breath become audible and exert a wholly sensual feel unto this soft beginning, until the bass enters taking over the senses, hitting a deep register connecting with the body changing the mood entirely, exerting a dance-floor feel to this brooding piece.Enough Thunder
– Rounding out his EP with a solo track with organ and voice full of echo in full force providing further emotional provocation for the sensory overload that is Enough Thunder.
James Blake's slight shift away from his dance roots is somewhat suprising (no pulsating sub-bass breaks ala Limit To Your Love
, or more dance induced tracks CMYK
, The Bells Sketch
and I Mind
) focusing instead on building atmosphere through a variety of abstract sounds, some which work incredibly well, some which don't (dog barks I'm looking at you). There is no doubting the originality of James Blake's soundscapes, they are incredibly unique and challenge the way we connect with music, both intellectually and physically, which is so exciting. James Blake's self titled debut record was in my opinion the most original record of the year, for these reasons and more. This EP comes across as somewhat of an experimentation, but showcases the physical toils of an incredible mind working far outside of the common musical spectrum.
The entire EP can be streamed here
Opening the night was the eccentric Tim Derricourt of Dappled Cities flying solo under the guise of Swimwear. Aided by a danceable indie pop backing track, outlandish choreographed and improv dance moves were the go as he strummed his guitar and danced his way around the stage to a lively set that was akin to a hip Japanese Karaoke singer going crazy to his favourite Ayumi Hamasaki track!
took the stage in front of a sizeable crowd, and warming with an energetic percussion intro. Building energy with their unique blend of indie dance/punk which draws influence from UK indie-dance groups such as Foals
is the latest single released, and similar to its radio success, achieving extensive airplay on FBI 94.5
, Triple J
and Unearthed Digital Radio
had the crowd moving by the first verse! Habitats
is a killer track that is going to continue to gain momentum through radio, you can download it for free here
. The driving rhythms are ever present, hardest hitting in White Flag
, laden with cowbell-goodness! This track had the crowd writhing in pleasure! Can be downloaded (in EP format) from their bandcamp site here
. Most noteable was crowd favourite Illuminate
which has received 5/5 reviews on their unearthed page (Lewi McKirdy
you champ). These guys have a really great energy and stage presence, their next big gig is supporting Goldfields
at Oxford Arts Factory
on 11 November!
Off the back of a killer Parklife tour, RUFUS were last to hit the stage, and were quick to impose their unique bass driven dance music on the packed Beach Rd dance floor with a wide array of killer tracks. These guys have quite possibly the most catchy electro-synth dance music out right now, mixing adorable synth and ecclectic percussion with throbbing basslines and catchy melodies, most evident onStars Ago (feat. Elizabeth Rose' stunning vocals), Paris Collides and We Left. The set flowed flawlessly and all the songs translated so well into the live setting, with each of the band members lifting the performance to a party vibe, in particular the keyboardist, who apart from grinning like a cheshire cat the entire set, was adding extra percussion, engaging band mates and swinging off the barrister. Thats the kind of performance that really engages the crowd! There was not one still body in the entire room! Interestingly, Rufus have incorporated dubstep style break downs in some songs, which are made more noticeable in the live setting by huge drum breaks. The highlight was definitely their cover of Gotye's Hearts A Mess, relabelled Trents A Mess (for the sake of originality) which was absolute bliss! Rufus guys have huge potential as the next big thing in Australian dance music, already staking a big claim on Triple J radio airplay. One to watch!
This is by far the best dubstep album I have come across. Excision delivers high energy, hard hitting rhythms and drops throughout the entire album, with not one skippable track throughout. It’s one for the dirtiest dance floors out there. Like many of the high-profile dubstep producers such as Datsik and Skrillex; Excision has an extremely distinctive sound, which builds upon the aggressive dubstep sub-genre. His work borrows influence from across a diverse range of electronic music. Excision’s songs have an electro-esque flow, delivering constant throbbing energy, and although I often find myself waiting for the drop, it isn’t like a lot of other dubstep, which deliver lacklustre build ups and force me to skip towards a drop, often taking up a small portion of the song. I find Excision delivers constant energy through his songs which do build, but build in a more complex and intelligent manner, and it seems as if he has put thought into the build ups, intros and breaks as opposed to just delivering a monster break and ignoring the other elements (a widespread weakness of a lot of dubstep artists). The production of this record is flawless; his collaborations with established dubstep artists Datsik and Downlink add another level to his songs, which bring their own distinctive sound to the record. Hands down, it’s the most consistent dubstep record I have heard to date, and is going to win over a lot of fans, haters, appreciators and plain ignorant people who just reject dubstep as a thoughtless genre (oh my, you couldn’t be more wrong
Title track X Rated, The Underground and Execute are prime examples of his filthy, hard-hitting dubstep complete with thoroughly manipulated heaving bass and are delivered in brutal fashion! Complete mind benders! Swerve and Ohhh No blends his trademark bass lines with an electro house and incorporate all manner of strange noises that blend together to become a remarkably hard hitting pump songs fit for a dance floor massacre! Outstanding! 8-Bit Superhero lends more to the Drum & Bass genre, kicking in with the arcade like transition “MEGAMAN!” Even more laid back tracks such as Jaguar and Sleepless are hard hitting, and flow incredibly well. It is a credit to Excision that he has laid down 10 flawless tracks of pure brilliance which will no doubt have dubstep DJs baffled as to which song to weave into their live shows in order to have crooners lose their collective mindholes!
EIGHT years since the last record. Wow. A great deal of scepticism meets any band who wait this long to release a new record, especially when the quality of their previous work is at such a high standard, and holds such a significance and meaning to an audience who see Blink-182's music as a soundtrack to a large part of their lives - teenage years? Yeah thought so. Opening track Ghost On The Dance Floor fades in with an incredibly technical, fast Travis drum fill, and carries the songs energy with absurdly quick hi-hat rhythms. The song is a clear reference to Travis’ close friend Adam Goldstein AKA DJ AM who died of a drug overdose in 2009 a year after he and Travis survived the plane crash that killed 4 other passengers (the main reason Blink-182 won’t tour Australia). The lyrics “I saw your ghost tonight, the moment felt so real, if your eyes stay right on mine, my wounds would start to heal … I’ll never leave this dance floor, I’ll never leave you here” are a powerful testament to friends they’ve lost. With the band in their mid-30s, it seems they haven’t lost sight of their origins and are still writing powerful lyrics on love, life, loss, and mayhem, putting them together with great harmonies and choruses. It is interesting to note that Tom’s voice dominates this record, with Mark singing back up on all but 4 tracks, standing out on the fast, powerful punk infused Heart’s All Gone, which is right up there with The Party Song for its speed and complexity. The punk influence is still rife on aforementioned Heart’s All Gone, Natives, Ghost On The Dance Floor and Hearts All Wrong.
Travis’ drumming is outstanding on this record; perhaps expecting a more R&B influenced approach evident on his solo album and side projects, laying down beats for everyone from Lil Wayne, Drake, Steve Aoki and Rihanna; Travis holds onto his hard playing style, and unique rhythms, noticeably inserting more percussion (some electric) and complex drum fills, standing out on the tracks Snake Charmer, Ghost On The Dance Floor, Kaleidoscope and Love is Dangerous. Travis exerts a huge energy on each of the tracks, bringing out the early punk influences which were evident on their early albums, with impossible speed and energy which were more consistently evident on live recordings found on The Mark, Tom and Travis Show; such as tracks Heart’s All Gone, Natives and Up All Night. Check out the energy and aggressive but flawless playing style in the new live clip for Heart's All Gone:
The beauty of this album is it’s not radically different; we don’t hear all of the band member’s side projects influences exerted and elbowing for space on the record. There’s no ego clash, there’s no fight for attention. Mark, Tom and Travis are completely in sync, contributing their own style and creativity on this record and it works so well! Tempted to pick a timeframe to pinpoint where there sound is coming from, it’d be unfair to do so, for its as if they’ve captured a more mature Blink sound, which comes from each musician going their separate ways with side projects, experiencing life outside the band and going through external experiences and tragedy. At the same time the album manages to capture the sounds of all their previous records, with influences ripe throughout the record, but at the same time you can’t take away from the originality. The album is an great listen in full, the tracks just mesh together perfectly with the right amount of hard hitting energetic punk infused rock and softer melodic tracks. I thought I'd post the track MH 4.18.2011 for a variety of reasons, firstly it showcases Mark Hoppus voice nicely, it has a fantastic melody, probably my favourite (and most catchy) melody on the album, and its the first song that actually (or blatantly) deals with heavy issues such as war and violence "Line them up on the wall coming out with their hands up give them all their share Let it burn, let it fall, let the end of the world come. Whos left to care?" Mature Blink!
Their live show hasn’t suffered, if anything its grown! Translated into a live setting, the energy exerted from these songs are fucking incredible, check out the live vid for Ghost On The Dancefloor below, take note of Travis’ intro (makes me drool) ! ! !
Rating: 9.5/10 ! (Its that good)