I know the wildly variating themes of these mixes, week to week, is probably infuriating to some people. (That’s assuming I have regular readers at this point as infrequent as my posting is here. I keep saying I’ll do better, then I don’t.) It may seem impossible that someone can love Unnatural Helpers and The Fresh & Onlys and still have time to not only listen to, but find merit in the new New Young Pony Club album. Well welcome to me. Man cannot live in Altered Zones 24 hours a day, not this one at least, and I don’t need to have my dancepop drenched in reverb to justify listening to it. (Hey I like Delorean too, don’t get me wrong.) Bitter and defensive much, me? There is currently no running water in my apartment so I am cranky.
Anway: this week is poppy and dancey, maybe in a more 2007 kinda way than right now I dunno. It’s also got Xymox and Naked Eyes and the new Mark Ronson single that I think is pretty undeniably catchy as all get out. And new Deerhunter too which I think fits in just fine. Dig it. Cover art this week comes courtesy Philip Maramba who I’ve known since college and still lives in WV where he is Design Editor for the Charleston Daily Mail. He probably cringes at every typo in this post. Philip also is an avid listener of these mixes despite never seeming to be able to figure out how to make them play in correct running order. Dude, it’s not that hard. The picture was taken Ghent, WV and looks particularly idyllic. And yes, some people in West Virginia do read David Sedaris.
- Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours
- Deerhunter – Revival
- The Superimposers – Seeing is Believing
- Captain Sensible – Brenda Pts 1 + 2
- School of Seven Bells – Heart is Strange
- Xymox – Obsession
- Steve Mason – Am I Just a Man?
- Psychobuildings – No Man’s Land
- New Young Pony Club – Oh Cherie
- Naked Eyes – When the Lights Go Out
- Guru – Loungin’
- Holy Ghost! – Static on the Wire
- Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – Bang Bang Bang
- Ratatat – Mandy
- James Yuill – When You’re on Your Own
Because I will just never stop saying this: what you’ve got here is an actual mix, the songs segue together and much thought has been put into the running order. They are separate tracks though…so NO SHUFFLING. Liner notes after the jump.
Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours
I first heard of Breakbot from his genius, ’70s-lounging remix of Metronomy’s “A Thing for Me” which graced Summer Fridays 2.3 last summer. Real name Thibaut Berland, he’s kind of like a non-robot Daft Punk, giving everything a warm beating heart. Like all good Frenchmen, Breakbot is signed to Ed Banger and this is his debut single, one of my favorites of the year so far. Have you seen the amazing video?
Deerhunter – Revival
Though 2010 has been relatively quiet for Bradford Cox, it looks like his hot streak is still going strong given the quality of both sides of Deerhunter’s new single which you can download for free and legal if you can figure out where to click on this page. It’s from their new album, Halcyon Digest, which is out in September. This has kind of a Beck feel, no?
The Superimposers – Seeing is Believing
I raise a dubious eye when bands rerecord songs, so when I saw that the best two songs from The Superimposers’ 2005 debut were on their new album, I grumbled. The rerecorded — or remixed, I can’t exactly tell — version of their groovy, harpsichord-rocking “Seeing is Believing” does have a little more punch. And their debut is out of print, and the rest of the album it’s from, Sunshine Pops, is good too so… fair enough.
Captain Sensible – Brenda Pts 1 + 2
The beret-wearing bassist of The Damned scored two improbable (novelty) UK hits in the early ’80s — one a rap song, the other a cover of “Happy Talk” from South Pacific. Both songs appeared on his solo debut, Women and Captains First, which more importantly contains a bunch of new wave songs that don’t grate 25 years later. “Brenda Pts 1 +2” combine two songs about one girl and it gets a little “Steppin’ Out” and is seven minutes long and worth every second.
School of Seven Bells – Heart is Strange
The unmistakable vocals of sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza are at the heart of SVIIB’s music but the shoegazey dance music would still sound pretty good as instrumentals. On their second album, Disconnect from Desire, they tweak it just enough to keep it fresh while still sounding like them. It’s tougher than it sounds.
Xymox – Obsession
There’s a song on the new School of Seven Bells album — “Camarilla,” not the one above — that has this stabbing synthbass that reminded me of something but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I thought it was Front 242 but then I was at the Wierd party at Home Sweet Home the other night and they played this Xymox song and I was like “OH THAT’S IT!” Romantic goth synthpop at it’s best.
Steve Mason – Am I Just a Man?
Since dissolving the Beta Band, Steve Mason has recorded under a variety of monikers — King Biscuit Time and Black Affair — but he’s just a man on his new album. (Look what I did there.) Is this the real Steve Mason? I dunno, it sounds like the Beta Band. But a good song! Mellow, head bobby stuff that sounds good when doing the dishes.
Psychobuildings – No Man’s Land
New Brooklyn band — or maybe it’s just one dude — who makes pretty cool hodgepodge dance music. There’s a bunch of demos floating around out there, all of which are pretty good. Some of it is in the chillwave vein, but I prefer the more direct sounding ones like “No Man’s Land” which owes a whole lot to Brian Eno. “No One Receiving”?
New Young Pony Club – Oh Cherie
What’s a 2006 nu-rave era band to do in 2010 when the ice cream has melted and the dayglo hoodies are permanently shelved? Stick to their guns, for better or worse. Maybe not many people were eagerly awaiting NYPC’s new album, The Optimist, but these folks still know their way around a good groove and a hook, and this track in particular still has the magic that made me gush three years ago.
Naked Eyes – When the Lights Go Out
Yes, the same Naked Eyes who did “Always Something There to Remind Me” (and “Promises Promises” if you remember that far) but this was their best single. Thanks to both Skippy and Heather for turning me on to this one.
Guru – Loungin’
99.9% of the hip hop I still listen to come from their fertile 1991 – 1995 period that gave us so many classics. Recorded with a live band (Donald Byrd on trumpet here), Guru’s first album in the Jazzmatazz series remains one of that era’s highpoints.
Holy Ghost! – Static on the Wire
This duo are maybe the most overtly disco of DFA’s stable of artists and I’m really digging thier debut EP which this is the title track. Featuring the funky keys of Juan Maclean… I am particularly defenseless against a clavinet.
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – Bang Bang Bang
Good looking, born rich, etc etc etc… your first instinct is to hate Mark Ronson. But you know the guy is just undeniably talented. Makes you sick, right? And this new single, featuring Q-Tip and MNDR, is a real turn-it-up style banger. I love it.
Ratatat – Mandy
I don’t understand why Ratatat release albums at this point. Their sound is so specific — an electro version of Queen’s Flash Gordon soundtrack — that more than one or two songs from them at a time is enough. And “Mandy” from their latest, fourth, album will do me till 2011. Which is to say I like this one.
James Yuill – When You’re on Your Own
Good luck figuring James Yuill out. He looks like Stephen Merchant, and his first album is full of acousticy ballads that veer dangerously in MOR heart-on-sleeve troubadour territory. (Not naming names but you know the kind I’m talking about.) But the guy also loves electro Eurodisco and his new album smartly plays to those tendencies. Go see him live if you can, he’s surprisingly charming. I dig this song more every time I hear it, which is a lot as this mix has been playing on repeat while I write this post.