25 November 2007

Metro Area 7

Metro Area 7 is finally with us and what a treat it is! Lead track Read My Mind features vocals from Philip Owusu (of Owusu & Hannibal fame) and strings from Kelley Polar. Taking inspiration from the 80's electronic disco style, the track is an upbeat and punchy song, sounding exactly like the sum of its parts. As you would expect from Morgan & Darshan, the production is immaculate. The beats are tight, the bass bounces beautifully, Polar's string arrangements are lush and Owusu's vocal works brilliantly over the synthetic groove. Available in vocal and instrumental flavours, as well as the RMM Special Dub - it's bound to please fans both old and new.

On the flip side, Metro Area go cosmic with the track Erodyne. The synthesisers really get a good workout here, with plenty of arpeggio's flying around, warm chord progressions and a couple of spaced out solo's. It's another exquisite slice of electronic disco and a natural progressions of the Metro Area sound. Available on 12" and mp3 (the Read My Mind instrumental is an exclusive digital track) from all good stores right now. Buy it, listen to it, love it; and hope another album isn't too many years down the line! You can stream the 4 original tracks in full at Boomkat. Below you will find a cheeky little re-edit I did this afternoon, taking sections from the vocal and the dub. Enjoy!

Metro Area - Read My Mind (acidbearboy supercombo edit) - Removed by request.

23 November 2007

Happy Daymare

I'm not sure if I have mentioned rllmukfm yet, but it's a new internet radio station that a friend of mine has set up. It's not a 24 hour service, but you will find a selection of DJ's playing a variety of music most evenings throughout the week. Ben, Paul and myself all have regular shows, the details of which are on the website.

Probably my favourite show on the station is Friday's VGM (videogame music) session with Sabreman. I've always been a big fan of videogames and their soundtracks and he picks a fine selection of old chip-tunes, VGM remixes, plus some more recent stuff. His love of obscure Japanese remix/arrangement albums brought up this slice of jazz-funk goodness. A remix of the stage 6 music from the 1991 Konami shoot 'em up Xexex - yes, I'd never heard of it either! It's a mighty fine sax groove, with lovely chords and some excellent keyboard work - taken from the Perfect Selection album by Konami Kukeiha Club (check that sexy front cover!). I love finding great tracks like this in such unlikely places. Take a listen, suprise yourself!

Konami Kukeiha Club - Happy Daymare.mp3

09 November 2007

Do it again, and again, and again......

This great track was recently brought to my attention by the consistently good Another Night On Earth blog, where it's Asso incarnation was posted as the b-side to the classic Don't Stop track. The tune was familiar of course, but I'd not heard the Steely Dan original for years so I hunted it down to make a comparison. The arrangements are suprisingly similar, the original having more of a bossa-nova shuffle to it than the disco groove of Asso's remake. Otherwise, the main difference is in the solo's - and this is where my preference is decided. The original opens the solo-section with a sitar, one instrument I'm really not keen on the sound of. Following this is some nice organ noodling, which I'm all for. However, Asso replace the sitar with what sounds like an electric guitar and we get a spaced out synth lead instead of the organ. This, coupled with the disco beat really hits the spot for me, making a good song great (although still not worth the $350 the Asso 12" goes for!).

Steely Dan - Do It Again.mp3

Asso - Do It Again.mp3 (ANOE)

Whilst searching for the original, I came across a couple of other versions, the first of which is from Smash Mouth. It has some nice swinging drums and a cool organ solo but I can't say I'm keen on the guys voice, which kinda ruins it really. The other version is a medley with Michael Jackson's Billie Jean from Italian producers Clubhouse. It doesn't do anything too flashy but ends up working suprisingly well.

Smash Mouth - Do It Again.mp3

Clubhouse - Do It Again / Billie Jean.mp3

08 November 2007

The Loft

No, not The Loft, but my loft. I found some old records up there last week (not mine), most of which were bad - Phil Collins, Pointer Sisters, Miami Sound Machine etc. But this track by Eurythmics really caught my ear. It's the b-side to their Sexcrime single, taken from their soundtrack to Michael Radford's film of the George Orwell novel 1984. The beat is nice and slow and the combination of live and synthesized bass works really well, whilst still leaving plenty of room for you to find the groove between beats. The use of Annie's voice without her actually singing any lyrics is also well done. It's over all too quickly for my liking though and there is no sign of an extended mix as far as I can tell from searching Discogs.

Eurythmics - I Did It Just The Same.mp3

You can order the album from Amazon. It's dirt cheap and supposedly a very good album, I shall investigate.

05 November 2007

Spend Some Time

Once again I've suprised myself by picking out a real gem of a track from the charity shop racks with nothing but a bit of raw instinct. I'm certainly getting better at this digging game! The local British Heart Foundation shop has been good to me in the last couple of weeks. I've spent about £15 in there on old vinyl and nearly all of them have been really good. This track from Alton Edwards is probably my favourite. I love the chunky synth bassline, the crisp shuffling drums and the lovely chords. Even the cheesey little synthesized brass section makes me smile. It was released back in 1981 on Morgan Khan's Streetwave label. According to Discogs, Alton Edwards hasn't done much else, which is a shame as I'd definately like to hear more tracks like "I Just Wanna". I can't decide if I like the vocal or the instrumental best so here's both for you to enjoy.

Alton Edwards - I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You).mp3

Alton Edwards - I Just Wanna (Instrumental).mp3

Fileden links: Vocal | Instrumental

01 November 2007

Attention Music Lovers

The recent closure of the music sharing website Oink has whipped up a storm of commotion from the music industry as well as music lovers from across the world. One of the most well written pieces on the subject was recently posted by Rob over at Demonbaby.

The article features a lot of things I agree with (record companies need to change their current business model, a legal archive style website like Oink needs to be created) and some things I don’t (all music should be free). But it is an insightful read which has provoked much thought from me today.

Also, this 2003 paper was linked from one of the comments on the above. It too is a very interesting read, highlighting some of the problems within the record industry and their reluctance and/or failiure to adapt to the changes in technology threatening their business model.

The big labels are only interested in your money, not the music. This is wrong. I urge everybody to support the music they love directly - give your money to the artists who make it and the independant labels that put it out there. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day; the love of music.