It isn’t very surprising that Tom Krell’s voice sounds great when set to a house beat, especially when its as infectious as what Montreal’s Jacques Greene has prepared for him. Above you can listen to the radio edit of the How To Dress Well-assisted “On Your Side,” premiered earlier today by BBC Radio 1 jockey and modern-day superhero Zane Lowe. The “One Your Side” EP will include a longer version of the titular track and should be out digitally on June 3rd.
Last night, for the very first time, Disco legend and arguably the father of modern dance music, Giorgio Moroder, performed at the Output club in Brooklyn for the Red Bull Music Academy. Best known for his work with Donna Summer, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Daft Punk and scores for Scarface and Flashdance, Moroder drew hundreds out to BK for this landmark performance…and we were one of the lucky few who got to witness it first hand!
Francois K, renowned DJ in his own right, began the epic night with a speech: “Good Evening everybody, great set by T. Williams! Welcome to Deep Space. I would really like to thank Output for accommodating this landmark, historical show where, obviously, a lot more people wanted to come. So here’s one thing, I’ve got you here..and you’re not waiting for me to start playing…I know what you are here for… (Cheers from the crowd) But since I’ve got you guys as a captive audience…I figured I might as well play stuff that I really like! Instead of the generic electronic post-millennial crap, that goes in one ear and out the other…so we are going to introduce a legendary show with something you are really going to remember..so in that spirit we are going to get it happening, and here it is for you!”
Before immediately diving into Daft Punk’s new “Give Life Back to Music” (and yes, people were actually dancing like that ^). Francois K went on to entertain the eagerly awaiting crowd with other dope tracks like the Skreamix of Duke Dumont’s “Need U 100%,” “Beat The Street” by Sharon Redd, and “Atlantic” By Luca Bacchetti.
Finally, the moment of truth came and the crowd erupted as a little old man entered the booth. Stepping up to the mic, after the applause, we hear the awesome and memorable vocoded voice of Giorgio Moroder booming over the speakers. Hard to tell exactly what he was saying (as we’ve experienced before with DP and Pharell’s “Rub A Mexican Monkey”) but if I were to guess it was “Good evening ladies and gentleman…I am Giorgio Moroder. I am so happy to be here with yoooouuuuuuu. Let’s have a nice eveninggg. This is my friennnnnd and musical directorrrrrr, Chris. Ok, Chris, lets do ittttttt!”
Then, jumping into live riffs and synths played via a modified DJ set up of pioneer decks, what appeared to be a 16 key piano for live synths, a launchpad and the vocoder. His intro soon gave way to his classic collaboration with Munich Machine “In Love With Love,” with Moroder singing live, soon followed by “Lost Angeles.”
The next hour was an amazing disco whirlwind of epic proportions. Several artists and indsutry tastemakers like Benni Benassi, Danny Tenaglia, Chris Liebing, Drop The Lime, Sean Glass, Alex English, Star Eyes and others were in attendance to pay homage to the disco great. I could have easily been in a classic 70′s disco dancing until dawn, all that was missing were mustaches, platform boots and sequins. Moroder continued to drop some of his most famous tracks (with the assistance of Chris) including “From Here To Eternity,” His newest track “Racer,” “I Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “On The Radio” and “I Feel Love” with Donna Summer, “Jump The Gun” with The Three Degrees, “Beat the Clock” with Sparks, “I Wanna Rock You,” and ”Chase.”
And he couldn’t have ended the night more perfectly. Cutting the music, he re-told his biography in the his signature accent, now made immortal by Daft Punk in “Giorgio by Moroder” before cutting to the hard synths that made that track my favorite of Random Access Memories. An insane, historic night that will not soon be forgotten in my book!
In a 24-hour period over the weekend, Seven Lions headlined the Avalon Hollywood, played EDC New York, and flew down to Orlando for his third show in a row. Following his run of phenomenal performances, he released his jaw-dropping Minnesota collaboration, “Fevers,” with the Mimi Page on vocal duty. The newest addition to Seven Lions‘ outstanding music catalog serves as a testament to his authenticity as a visionary artist striving for originality. In “Fevers,” he seamlessly merges Mimi Page‘s haunting vocals with powerful melodies and his signature bass-heavy sound for an emotional masterpiece unlike any other. Listen/download below (lyrics after the jump).
Lyrics: Your fevers keep me warm Your shivers cool me down The deepest love that I’ve Truly ever known As we lay and ache here I’ll breathe every breath for you I will, yeah As we fade away here I’ll breathe every breath for you I will, yeah You cool the fires in my aching soul
Brand new Classixx off their latest release “Hanging Gardens”. They’re opening for Holy Ghost this Friday at Doug Fir and it’s a live band, not a DJ set!! Also music tonight from Expensive Looks, Lane 8, Pale and of course, more Classixx off their new album.
Classixx – Holding On (lifelike mix) Cornershop – Non-Stop Radio feat. Celeste – Urban Turban Expensive Looks – I Can’t Resist Mr Littlejeans – Oh Sailor (Strange Talk remix)
Lane 8 – Without You Royksopp & Susanne Sundfør – Running to the Sea London Grammar – Metal & Dust Pale – Two Wrongs Flight Facilities – Crave You (Original Mix)
J.Viewz – This City Means no Love (Radio Edit) – Rivers and homes Groove Armada – History – Black Light Teddybears Sthlm – Move Over – Rock ‘n’ Roll Highschool Snakehips- on & on Tanlines – Yes Way – Mixed Emotions Hanni El Khatib – Penny (Classixx Remix)
Classixx – All You’re Waiting For – Hanging Gardens Tokyo Denmark Sweden – When it Break (Jordan F Remix) Little Boots – Motorway – Nocturnes Young Galaxy – New Summer – Ultramarine Teen Daze – Spin Around, Go Ahead – Four More Years
On Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, Matt Berninger said that “if she knows you’re paper, she’ll know she has to burn you.” His lyrics are filled with sentiments that can’t be ascribed to Berninger himself, yet, in light of how The National has progressed over the last decade, this line feels distinctly personal. It neatly expresses the deep insecurity that comes with showing someone what kind of person you are. Throughout their early output, The National seemingly struggled to play the exact music that they wanted to play, caught up in a balance of expectations, aspirations, and creative tendencies. The National sounds like an entirely different band because in many ways it was. Berninger wanted to be like Stephen Malkmus and the angst and anger of youth pervaded the sound. When Alligator was released in 2005, bringing with it critical praise and a devoted fan base, no one could have predicted that that album would now be looked at as a classic embodiment of the band’s unpolished roots. It was hard to know exactly what was coming. Boxer was restrained and powerful in a way that made it seem as though this was the music the band had been hoping to make all along. High Violet continued that trend. Looking back, the Cherry Tree EPwas the first indication of what was to come – a full-throated embrace of emotive melodies, morose lyricism, and pouring wine on fans.
Trouble Will Find Me may draw on some of the creativity of their early work, but it is firmly rooted in the sound that the band has so assuredly developed over the last two albums. The members have said that this album is more complex and aggressive, suggesting a noticeable departure from High Violet. But this characterization may say more about the members’ relationships to their music than it does about the album itself. For most fans, Trouble Will Find Me will not sound like a departure at all. The songs are still filled with swaying masses of melody, being drawn in and out of precise drumming and subtly crafted guitar lines by Matt Berninger’s impossibly deep growl. There is a blend of anthemic numbers and gorgeous slow burners. Wry, ingenious lyrics abound. But the members of The National still find vast differences because they have formed a nuanced understanding of what they are trying to do. For them, playing “I Should Live in Salt” in 7/8 or putting Sufjan Stevens’ drum machines on “I Need My Girl” is a drastic change in chemistry. Like a mom knowing her child is stoned when no one else does, Trouble Will Find Me may feel more aggressive for The National because they have become increasingly in tune with and dedicated to their craft. In this way, Trouble Will Find Me is not a surprising listen; it is an excellent album from a band that only gets better with age.
The album as a whole feels familiar but it is filled with unique moments that inevitably change character over time. “I Should Live In Salt” doesn’t immediately feel like an opener, but the dramatic pauses caused by the time signature and the ethereal voices in the chorus slowly start to congeal into a sturdy entry point for the album. “Demons” underlies its approachable melody with convoluted guitar and piano work and Berninger’s depressive lyrics (“When I walk into a room I do not light it up”) are ultimately smile-inducing (“Fuck”). This focus on subtlety contributed to some of the more gorgeous songs on the album. Effortlessly simple, “Slipped” follows one of Berninger’s many alter egos as her nostalgia and feelings of inadequacy unfold alongside the pulsating piano line. There is a quiet moment after the first chorus that sets up a real heartbreaker: “I don’t need any help to be breakable, believe me.” If you’re searching for pockets of emotional resonance, as most fans of The National are, that line is a good place to start. Similarly, “This Is The Last Time” offers swirly moments of escapism, with the addition of a catchy melody and a hypnotic final minute.
Other tunes don’t have the immediacy of a “Mr. November,” but, after a week to absorb them, it is easy to imagine Matt kicking some lucky kid in the head during the breakdowns. “Don’t Swallow the Cap” (maybe a reference to Tennessee Williams’ unfortunate demise) slowly builds into an anthemic ending, combining lush string arrangements with eery distortion and Bryan Davendorf’s cyclical drum work. It’s an odd melding of styles – Davendorf drums like he’s in Can; the Dessner brothers play delicate, sly melodies; Matt sings with an intimate intensity – but it works, and I’m not sure it ever won’t. “Sea of Love,” “Graceless,” and “Humiliation” follow in a similar pattern, but each has its own dimensions. On “Humiliation” Matt sings “all the L.A women fall asleep while swimmin/ I got paid to fish ‘em out, then one day I lost the job/ and I cried a little/ I got fried a little/ and she laid her eyes on mine and said ‘babe, you’re better off’” The bouncy absurdity of the lyrics play perfectly into the energy of the song, and it may be the most overtly hilarious image Berninger has created since dancing on a table with a cock in one’s hand. It shows how much The National’s songs can hinge on the atmosphere created by the lyrics. On moments of “Heavenfaced” and “Hard to Find” the vocals venture too close to an aging-arena-rock-star aesthetic and the songs lose some of the unfiltered character that makes them feel authentic.
But when Berninger strikes the right tone – and he usually does – his lyrics rank among the most clever being written today. Bryce Dessner mentioned that Matt spends a lot of time reading John Cheever. Cheever, a writer that builds deep emotional intensity from a seemingly mundane course of events, is in many ways a perfect point of comparison for Berninger’s writing. The way central characters search desperately for significance but often end up where they began (“Demons”); the unsatisfying nature of love (“Sea of Love”); the feeling of pointlessness that so often accompanies being human (“Slipped”). All these Cheever themes show up in the lyrics of Trouble Will Find Me; Cheever with his gin and suburban dysfunction and Berninger with his wine and apocalyptic imagery. The difference is that where Cheever was generally unsatisfied with his work and spent a lot of his time drinking himself to near suicide, Matt feels privileged to be able to wallow in his own sadness. He mentioned in an interview that when he thinks of a fun record he thinks of all that “dark, grim stuff.” For him, “Sorrow” was a playful jaunt. It is this embrace of emotion, in all its complexities, that has made The National the band that it is.
Alligator is in many ways The National’s most exciting album. Its spastic, feverish tracks showed a knack for spirited songwriting that few albums have been able to match since. Some may hope to find that band on Trouble Will Find Me. They’ll be disappointed. But what they’ll find instead is a collection of remarkable songs by a group of musicians that compliment one another as well as any group over the last decade. The National are a product of their past experiences, and all the better for it. [A-]
Every sentient being in the cosmos has been ripping fistfuls of hair, feathers, fur, scales, tentacles, and metal protuberances from his or her or its body in anticipation of the new Daft Punk album Random Access Memories. After teasing us with snippets of guitar licks and hagiographic videos from their luminary collaborators, the robots have finally landed on Earth to present their stunning magnum opus, a tribute to the very un-punk 1970s: disco and L.A. soft rock, in particular, and lavish studio craftsmanship, in general. Daft Punk’s newfound analog love is sure to confound a portion of their fans. Before their detractors reach apoplexy, I’d like to gently remind them of the beating Discovery took upon its release. After all, Daft Punk’s singular purpose has always been to deliver unadulterated pleasure with every synthesized note and high-hat tap, however fashionable or passé the genre.
The French duo’s fourth studio release marks the culmination of an unprecedented about-face in critical and popular opinion. Daft Punk’s nadir, the 2005 LP Human After All, didn’t lack for good songs, but its hurried execution (it was recorded in six weeks) begat a monotonous and half-baked album. Consequently scorned, when it wasn’t ignored outright, Human After All was redeemed when seven of its ten songs were put in context next to beloved Homework and Discovery tracks during Daft Punk’s legendary 2006-07 live shows. As a comeback, that tour and its stellar sonic document Alive 2007, was practically messianic. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo became unstoppable heroes to writhing festival crowds and the artists now at the forefront of EDM.
Random Access Memories was meticulously constructed over the course of two-and-a-half years, at first in tandem with their work on the score for Tron: Legacy (which makes a cameo appearance on the bombastic closing track “Contact”). As Bangalter and de Homem-Christo handpicked their influences and collaborators for the record, the Venn diagram overlapped on two: Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers. Moroder casts a long shadow over Random Access Memories, without supplying a note of music, particularly on its slower tracks (“The Game of Love” and “Beyond”), which recall his 80s soundtrack work. “Giorgio by Moroder” is both a tribute to, and a gift from, the robots’ forebear, who delivers the song’s spoken-word genesis of disco. Rodgers’ unmistakable guitar technique is perhaps Random Access Memories’ greatest coup. Though he’s only featured on a handful of these songs, Rodgers’ fretwork provides the wide-ranging album with a sense of continuity.
Much has been said and written about the intense planning and studio work that went into Random Access Memories, particularly on the fascinating series of collaborator videos the duo released in the run up to the album. For example, you don’t have to know that “Within” functions as a bridge between the A minor key of the songs that precede it and the B-flat minor of those that follow to appreciate Chilly Gonzales’ lovely piano work, but that behind-the-scenes peek only heightens your appreciation for craft, which in a way is the defining characteristic of the album. Even Moroder seems pleasantly baffled by Bangalter and de Homem-Christo’s insane attention to detail and era-specific fidelity on his video, which is saying something. And yet there’s no hint of fussiness on the record: Random Access Memories sounds phenomenal; despite its robotic and futuristic trappings, every second of the album’s 75 minutes radiates with warmth, vitality, and humanity.
Random Access Memories’ most imposing barrier to entry is also its center of gravity, the showstopper “Touch.” A grand suite of prog, Salsoul disco, and Broadway balladry, “Touch” features Paul Williams, a singer-songwriter worthy of admiration even if he were only responsible for “The Rainbow Connection” (talk about joy at its purest and most unfashionable). Williams, now in his 70s, croons about the album’s central themes – human nature, memory, connectedness, identity, and of course, the unstoppable need for pleasure – while the track abruptly shifts from beeping and groaning abstraction, to hoarse solo performance, to piano-and-horn driven dance, until it busts open for a children’s choir and a string section to recapitulate the song’s splendid melody over and over again. Williams’s devastating vocal performance provides “Touch” with a fittingly dramatic finale. The song serves as a litmus test for the listener’s response to the album that surrounds it. Fall for “Touch,” and the robots already have you deep in their sequins-lined tuxedo pockets.
So much of Random Access Memories recaptures the immediate delight of Daft Punk’s first two albums that the early backlash seems all the more perplexing. “Give Life Back to Music” is as much a credo as it is the album’s crashing and funky opening track. The easy mid-tempo groove of “Instant Crush” surrenders to a rapid and memorable chorus. (When taken up in pitch by the vocoder, Julian Casablancas’ usually detached vocal is made surprisingly sweet.) “Fragments of Time” (featuring veteran Daft Punk collaborator Todd Edwards) highlights the duo’s reverence for the Angelino rock of Fleetwood Mac without straying too far from their signature sound. Not so with “Doin’ It Right,” a Tomboy-era Panda Bear song through and through that happens to fit perfectly on a Daft Punk album. (This, of course, is not a complaint.) Pharrell Williams sings on two album standouts: “Lose Yourself to Dance,” a playful vocal tussle between him and the robots, and lead single “Get Lucky,” the epitome of the Random Access Memories’ marvelous craftwork and retro reverence.
Random Access Memories is Daft Punk’s back-to-basics record, not despite its excesses, but because of them. Restraint, a quick turnaround, and guitar-driven “authenticity” resulted in Human After All, the duo’s worst album. It took exuberance, painstaking detail, and wide-eyed nostalgia for Daft Punk to create Random Access Memories, their best. [A]
Our very good friends Charles I& Tre have joined forces for a debut collaboration titled, Satellites. A project that has been months in the making, Satellites is a true balance of talent between the two producers — a release characterized by finesse and a shared love of good ol’ fashioned Techno. While the guys originally planned to shop this baby around to some labels, they kindly decided to give it away to the masses for free today. In addition to 3 brand new originals, the Satellites EP also features 3 remixes from a trio of other GDD™ brethren — Casino Gold, Craig Williams, and Damaged Goods. Download all 6 tracks below.
The music of Lisbon-born and London-based songstress Carmen Souza is hard to categorize, but easy to love. In her recent studio-album Kachupada (2013), Carmen embodies the influences of traditional Cape Verdean sounds, American jazz, Latin, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more. Carmen’s remarkably soulful voice is the center of it all, as she easily swings through exotic beats and mellow jazz tones with a feeling of saudade. Her version of Charlie Parker’s bebop classic “Donna Lee” sounds festive, danceable and extraordinary original.