Lost In Translation – Friday Bangers Fresh From Berlin


By
Oranit

Sometimes living in a place where English isn’t the first language really pays off. This week, I received the best text of my life, from a hotty bum botty German. I’m not sure that he didn’t know precisely what he was doing (there’s a good chance he did, to be fair) but yeah. Maybe trying to save characters, who knows, he decided to shorten the word analysis. When life gets you down, remember, you can text someone and ask them to meet up for some anal issues.

Canal

And yeah, of course I told him I was totally down for hanging. Right?

OK, let’s get some sweet tunes on the rip.

SHINDU – Just Go (Reflex Remix)

Ah man, I love a wee bit of disco and this song is pure screaming for some dance moves. The best of the Just Go remixes, the drops and lifts are perfectly timed to keep momentum in this simple but seductive little synth number.

John Talabot – Last Land (Kenton Slash Demon Remix)

I’m cheating a bit – last weekend, this song was played at an incredible party I attended and so, yeah, has a bit of a personal hit in the stomach for me. Nonetheless, it’s a belter! The Danish duo Kenton Slash Demon really worked their magic on the originally pretty ethereal John Talabot track, Last Land. Dark and intense, this tune is simply killer! Find a dark, sweaty club and play this puppy as loud as it’ll go.

Karen Harding – Say Something

This song should come with a warning. One listen, two listens, three – it’s not enough. A real feel-good sassbag number, “Say Something” has a vintage Whitney feel but with the energy and pump to guarantee it’s place on any dancefloor. Check out the remixes on her Soundcloud page, but honestly, the original is a slice of pop gold. She’s a wee newbie, so watch this space – good things will come from this girl!

Cat

There’s Only Juan Maclean

Juan
We’re totally stoked to bring another new contributor into the Gigantic fold this week, and it’s none other than the inimitable Chris Jones. Chris is without a doubt one of the most esteemed music journalists to hail from Northern Ireland. Starting out at Alternative Ulster (of which he became the editor), he now writes for various outlets across Ireland. Chris has an eloquent yet authoritative style, and he’s never afraid to speak his mind.

To kick things off we have tasked him with giving a run down of the best moments from The Juan Maclean to date. His new album, In A Dream, just dropped yesterday, and if you’ve somehow not heard of him yet, here is a list of very good reasons why it deserves your full attention. And over to Chris…

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Give Me Every Little Thing

I’m going to start at the start with the first track I ever heard by The Juan Maclean. It’s Give Me Every Little Thing, and it appeared on DFA Compilation #2, which came out way back in 2004. I was already a big fan of LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture but hadn’t delved too much further into the DFA family, and this 3-disc compilation – which is well worth seeking out, by the way – introduced me to a whole new world of weird dance music by people who didn’t necessarily come from a dance music background; undoubtedly a large part of why my resolutely indie kid 21-year-old self related to it at the time. Give Me Every Little Thing just drips with attitude – it’s an out-and-out club track built around a monumental, bouncing bassline with an indelible vocal hook. Along with The Rapture’s House Of Jealous Lovers and LCD’s Losing My Edge, it defines the sound of DFA in its first few years. New York cool distilled into five-and-a-half minutes.

As a bonus, here’s a tough, metallic remix by Cajmere aka Green Velvet. Nasty!

Feel Like Movin’

I love dance music about dance music. Katy B does it particularly well on Katy On A Mission and What You Came For; so did Thomas Bangalter on Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. There’s nothing like the feeling of communion on a dancefloor when as tune like that goes off; everyone in the moment, lost in the music, focusing on exactly the same thing. Feel Like Movin’ is Juan and Nancy Whang’s contribution to the genre, as Nancy challenges us to “get your feet on the dancefloor; show me what you’re made of” over a bubbling piano house groove. You don’t want to argue with Nancy. It’s also proof that there’s much more to The Juan Maclean than his three albums. He tends to save his biggest club bangers for one-off singles, so there is plenty more where this one came from.

Happy House

This one is an obvious choice, but you can’t leave Happy House out of any Juan Maclean love-in. It was a bit of a comeback tune in 2008 as a taster for the second album, and (unusually for him) Juan couldn’t resist including it on that record too. Who can blame him? It’s a monstrous 13 minutes long, an odyssey of everything that makes The Juan Maclean great – rock-solid DFA drumming (from Nick Millhiser of Holy Ghost!), a funky-as-shit bassline, joyous keys, little dynamic shifts exactly where they are needed and a great vocal from the inimitable Nancy Whang. And then there’s the “launch me into space” breakdown… God-tier tune.

Sally Shapiro – I Know You’re My Love (Juan Maclean remix)

A confession: I’ve only just come across this in preparing this post, but I’m very glad I did. In 2007 Swedish singer Sally Shapiro released an album called Disco Romance – a gorgeous, entirely swoonsome blend of italo disco and electro-pop – that featured a wonderful track called I Know. Turns out Juan Maclean gave it his own twist for the Remix Romance compilation that came out the following year. As remixes go, this one is pretty faithful, but then you wouldn’t want to fuck with that delicate vocal or the structure of the song. Instead, he’s focused on propulsion, giving it some more oomph with that dry DFA drum sound and sending it to the floor with layers of fluttering synths.

I’ve Waited For So Long

There’s more to The Juan Maclean than club bangers, which is why he has been such a successful album artist as well. That’s where he is able to stretch out and indulge influences away from the dancefloor – The Human League, New Order, even a bit of prog. His new album In A Dream – quite possibly his best so far – includes several fine examples, but I’ve gone for I’ve Waited For So Long, a duet between Juan and Nancy Whang. It includes all the Juan Maclean hallmarks, but at a slower tempo and with the focus on the song – a bit of a tear-jerker – rather than any impulse to make people move. Juan would probably admit that his voice is limited but he takes the first verse with some style, before Nancy takes over for the chorus, imbuing it with her customary character and emotional pull.

Chris.

Two For Tuesdays #2: SOHN

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There is a very good chance that you are all over SOHN already, as he has been around and doing his thing for a while. If he has somehow passed you by, then you need to rectify this immediately and go buy his album Tremors immediately. It’ll be one of the best decisions you have made today. It’s an unforgettable collection of what you could call ‘electronic soul’. The whole album is laced with raw emotion and feeling, simultaneously delicate and powerful. And if you have yet to catch him live, then you need to rectify that also. He’s a captivating and engaging performer that draws you in like a Dyson, and can make even the large festival arenas feel like intimate moments.

Here are two of the best cuts from the album. Give them a listen if you aren’t familiar already, and let yourself be won over.

Jonny.

Friday Bangers #39: Cat ‘International Celebrity’ Anderson

Today the Friday Bangers are being picked out by the inimitable Cat Anderson. Back in the day when Cat used to live in Belfast, I called her ‘Local Celebrity Cat Anderson’, because that is how she kind of behaved. Then she went and [joint] won a Belfast edition of Come Dine With Me, and people started to recognise her in the street and stuff, and it was like the prophecy was fulfilled. Then Cat went and moved to Berlin, where she now works as the Community Manager for the super cool photo sharing start up EyeEm, and now she is becoming ‘International Celebrity Cat Anderson’.

As well as being a great person, Cat also has excellent taste in music (which means she loves electropop, and that’s enough for me). She has kindly agreed to become a regular contributor to the blog, and for her first post she is picking out the Friday Bangers for the week. So off we go…

Jonny.

CatBlog

Time to live it up, yo!

 

All day, every day, I want to dance. Obviously, this is not quite possible, so I have found an alternative. To create a constant state of club euphoria or disco delight, I simply don some dark glasses and pop on the headphones. Buying some bread – drop the beat! Brush your teeth to an electro pop boogie, boomtown. It’s how I like to roll, yo.

As it’s Friday, that means I have merely turned up the volume to tinnitus-friendly levels. This week, I thought I’d share my happiest, darkest, loudest and favourite tunes of the week.

Dombrance – The Witch

Ohh snap – This song has got it going on. It’s the music equivalent of the hot, hairy and dangerous looking boy in the corner of the club. Honestly, from the toe-tapping dark minor tones, simplistic but heavy bass and monotonic, melancholic voice – I’d be trying to convince this song to dance with me, but of course it’d be having none of it. Cool as hell, and there’s no doubt in my mind that these lyrics were penned with nothing but venom. Oh, and did I mention they are with Kitsune? Natch, darling.

DOMBRANCE – THE WITCH (official video) from PATOX on Vimeo.

Theophilus London – Wine And Chocolate (andhimRemix)

This song has been in my blood this week. I’ve been that girl, nearly cycling into trees whilst pressing skip over and over until I get to hear it again. Citing all sorts of genres as influences, Theophilus London is just too good to miss. Hip hop, pop, soul and funk – it’s all in there. This song is unrelentingly happy – the slightly speeded up remix has added a don’t-stop-never-stop pounding beat, and paired with the celebratory lyrics of modern love, it’s a great song for the weekend. Being cool can mean being happy too.

Axel Le Baron & Kourbatov – Menace (Original Mix)

This song is a little embarrassing for me. The love child of mid-80s Prince and pure Discovery-era Daft punk, it’s an unadulterated pleasure. Stick through the extended vocalised beginning (super reminiscent of “Da Funk”, no?) to jump into some dirty deliciousness, not to mention killer guitar shreds. That’s right – I said “killer guitar shreds”. I told you it was the love child of 80s Prince…

Cat.

* Photo by Raffaele Cavicchi

Friday Bangers #38: Andy ‘Free Hugs’ Campbell

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Since my last Friday Bangers post, there has been a tidal wave of fantastic tunes that I’ve been exposed to, which makes narrowing it down to 3 favourites almost impossible – almost.

I’ve opted for a ‘straight in, no kissing’ approach, not unlike the tracks themselves (or the set I’ll be playing in Gigantic later tonight).
First up, Jessie Ware – Tough Love (Cyril Hahn Remix). This one slipped under the radar somewhat for me, and I’m glad I eventually caught wind of it. Jessie Ware’s ever pleasant vocal over a club-strong indie dance production, what’s not to love?

Next, a great remix of the already esteemed Oliver $ – Pushin’ On by drum and bass veterans Delta Heavy. Everything you already loved about this track just got that extra oomph to transform the original ‘groover’ into a complete banger!

Finally, the crème de la crème… I can’t even begin to explain how excited I’ve been waiting for this song to be in my possession. Arthur Baker teams up Chromeo’s Dave 1, under the alias Slam Dunk’d to grace us with a slice of modern disco perfection – No Price.

Andy ‘Free Hugs’ Campbell

Throwback Thursday #7: Wee bitta MJ

disco-ball

Earlier this week the Michael Jackson song P.Y.T. popped into my head for no real reason. It made me realise that it really is an unbelievably good tune. Then I remember that I had this remix of it which I have DJ’d out a few times. It’s by the Bixel Boys, and they have a good few other edits on their page too. They don’t mess with it too much, just enough to make it a bit more dance floor. I like it.

And seeing as I’m throwing back to MJ today, I thought I’d share this amazing Disco remix of The Jacksons ‘Blame It On The Boogie’. Again, it doesn’t push anything too much, but the drums are way funkier. I’ve played the entire 7 minutes in the Lavery’s Ballroom before and people have danced for the whole time. Total beast.

Feel free to post your favourite MJ track or remix below too!

Jonny.

Gigantic Recap: 1/08/2014 – FAUX DJs

LIL JON USA- April 2005 Credit: (Mandatory) Shannon McCollum / WENN

Well, that was fun. Gigantic is always an event for us but last night seemed a bit special. When someone is about to make a request but runs to the dance floor when they hear the next song instead you know you’re doing a decent job. We had stupidly good fun playing all manner of tunes from Future Islands, Childish Gambino and Ejeca to Danny Brown & Rustie. It was one of those nights where all the requests just seem to fit in seamlessly with everything we were playing. Well played requesters, well played dancing bar staff and well played smiling punters.

Here’s a bunch of stuff that went down well:

Popped this in early and everything started to accelerate from then on:

This tune had people falling over themselves to run to the dance floor.

Who knew that the intro to this song could be mixed seamlessly with house? Everyone joined in for this one near the end of the night.

Big big love to Nikki, Anna, Zahra, Kim, Dave, Cate, Martina, Leah, Don, William, Tracey, Simone and everyone else who danced.

FAUX

Friday Bangers #37

VintagePrince

You’ll never guess what genre the songs are from today? That’s right, electropop! It’s like I’m on some sort of mission to make everyone listen to as much electropop as possible. You know what though? It’s all great. All of it.

This first track was picked out because this week I had a dream where I was mates with Prince, and he asked me for advice and stuff. One of the best dreams ever. Reality bites. I have no idea why he did this song with Zooey Deschanel, and I could probably find out via the internet, but all that really matters is that the song is really good and it has been floating about my head for months.

Credit for the fact that this next song gets played in Gigantic a lot goes to Cate Walshe. She was the first person to ask for it, and it has been on the playlist ever since. It smells like suncream, and feels like dancing in the sand.

And this last track comes from the largely flawless Ed Banger stable. It has a super funky slappy bassline, and the chorus makes me want to invent a new dance move. If only I was capable.

Hope you enjoy the tunes, and if you are in Belfast tonight you should make your way to the club for some good time booty shaking with the FAUX DJs.

Jonny.

Friday Bangers #36

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OK, this post will be short and sweet as I am rushing out the door to catch a flight, but what it lacks in words it makes up for in tunes. The new SBTRKT track is unstoppable, Edwin Van Cleef has doused Metronomy in magic, and Lemaitre have shown that the shoes Justice left to fill aren’t that big at all.

Throwback Thursday #7: Torgas Valley Reds

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Unless you’re from Northern Ireland, and belong to a particular generation and point in time, there is a strong chance you have never heard of Torgas Valley Reds. This is a tragedy, and one that befalls more great bands than you can possibly imagine. As a brief history lesson, Torgas Valley Reds were a band based in Belfast that existed in the early 2000s. They emerged from the ashes of a reasonably successful indie outfit called Backwater, and in their time they won the hearts of many people via wonderful indie pop tunes infused with soul and verve, and brilliant live shows.

Just as they were about to release their debut album, they broke up. This meant that the record got buried, and for a long time no one got to hear it. For fans of the band, this was a bit of a nightmare. Knowing that those timeless songs were captured somewhere, but unable to heard, was tortuous. The ‘lost’ Torgas Valley Reds stayed buried from 2004 until 2012, when Howl records made it available to buy via (Bandcamp). If you don’t own it yet, you should go and buy it right now.

In case you need any more convincing, and because these songs aren’t already on YouTube, I’ve decided to pick out my three favourite tracks from the album and publish them.

First off is ‘Torgas Valley Blue’, which is their total anthem, and one of the best songs you’ve never heard.

Next up is ‘Actualities’, which is completely in French. Many bonus points.

And finally is ‘Me & My Buddies Would Vote For You’, which would be great if it acted as a call for more good people in Northern Ireland to get involved in politics.

Glory days.

Jonny.