(our 200th post!) Bird Call’s Covers EP Other Creatures

4 08 2011

I’ve been sitting on Bird Call‘s Covers EP, Other Creatures for a month or so now trying to figure out what I think of it. Quirky female vocalists can go both ways with me: LOVE: Kate Bush, Bjork, or Missing Persons; NOT FOND OF: Macy Gray, The Knife or JoAnna Newsom (devil’s spawn).

If you start off with Chiara Angelicola’s (Bird Calls main woman) Doo Right you may get turned off by her vocal aerobatics which lean toward Nina Hagen and Newsome territory distracting you from the music. But if you start off with any other track like her Nick Cave cover Into My Arms or the heartbreaking single Beck’s Lost Cause, you hear past the trickery into genuine emotion. She really makes you forget their covers with her original voice and take on these tracks.

With all her unique qualities, there are surprisingly straightforward moments as well. Her covers of Fleetwood Mac’s cheesytastic later hit Little Lies gleams as bright as the original, and her take on Kate Bush’s The Man With The Child In His Eyes is a loving tribute to a woman she’s obviously listened to a time or two. She uses some of Kate’s same inflections, minus some of the vulnerabilty but much more emotion than Tina Arena’s white bread version from a few years back.  She also keeps Kate’s Piano arrangement while adding the best part, a lovely hammer dulcimer accompaniment which adds a bit more warmth than Kate’s.

Take a listen and let us know who what you think and what original female voices drive you crazy or take you to heaven.

Free download link to this track included: 

Advertisements




Matt Alber’s Cover of Missing is Missing Nothing

18 07 2011

Most songs come and go in and out of your life and your ears, but some linger, some become legendary in your heart. When I moved away from St. Louis to Chicago in the 90’s leaving my friends and family, this became not only legendary, but my all time favorite song.

Everything But the Girl originally recorded Missing for their Amplified Heart CD, a transitional album away from their “Sunday Brunch” sound of the late 80’s, early 90’s to a more contemporary but still soft sound. It debuted to little fanfare but to their die hard fans like me who’d bought their 8 previous albums and loved every one. From the Smiths-like sound of the first 2, to the Swing Out Sister vibe of the middle period, to their minor hit, Driving, a VH-1/soft jazz staple I’d love every one of their eras. Now it seams they were trying to get a bit serious without trying to seem to young. It didn’t work. Until Todd Terry remixed the single for Missing.

After the remix hit the club, it hit the radio and hit the world. Going #1 in Germany and #2 in the US it would be their biggest hit and be remixed and remade many times over the years (most recently by Fedde LeGrand). EBTG went on to embrace this sound with the heavily electronic two following CDs, and Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn’s solo careers which have been primarily house and electronic respectively.

Forward 15 years and DJ Saul Ruiz meets classically trained vocalist Matt Alber. Alber, hot on the heals of hit album, Hide Nothing, due to the single End Of The World was riding high and prepping for his new CD when Ruiz walked in with an idea to cover Missing, followed by a proposed EP of other covers in the dance vein. Unlike Ben and Tracey’s version, Saul’s version is recorded as a dance track, forcing Matt to record it as such unlike EBTG’s which was remixed later. And the result is no less beautiful. Saul’s version, which takes the Todd Terry approach of less is more and sexy is best, caresses Matt’s silky vocals never overtaking. Matt’s appoach is not trying to be Tracey Thorn but to be Matt in his signature seductive manner, without ever sounding too morose for the dancefloor. That is until his otherworldly wail before and after the bridge like a ghost in the night. Nice touch.

The EP, out now (click on the graphic) contains 4 remixes. The best of which is Hector Fonseca’s soaring and epic remix and Saul’s own Peak Hour Mix. Saul told me earlier today he and Matt are working currently on doing a few more covers for a planned EP. Next on the list, Fleetwood Mac’s legendary dreams. Are they stalking my Best Of All Time playlist or what?!

P.S. You can preorder Matt’s long desired second album here for a short time www.mattalber.com/preorder.

Saul Ruiz feat. Matt Alber’s Missing (Original Mix)





Going Global: Three choice cuts

14 06 2011

Passport? Who needs one when you can take a vacay via a few choice listens and downloads!

I bring you tasty cuts from around the globe that you can add to your visited destinations, feel a bit more cultured, in-the-know and jammin’-on-the-one.

______________

The first comes from Iceland and a blast from the past: GusGus. Remember them? 90s heyday of triphop and good grooves that you could ‘believe’ in? Well, the group’s female vocalist HAFDIS HULD is still holding her own with backing tracks with TRICKY on his recent KNOWLE WEST BOY and this amazing little ditty below called ‘ACTION MAN’ from her recent solo release:

If that wasn’t enough, grab a track FREE from this adorable chanteuse of the great white North HERE.

Look for great things to come from this voice in the months ahead and check out more from her WONDERFUL WORLD here.

______________

Now, off to Denmark and the spank-tastic electro duo of MASON.

We told you about their stellar release THEY ARE AMONG US with a special interview we did with the Dutch boys a few weeks back and wouldn’t you know it, they keep on delivering with a HAWT remix of their track featuring Matt Hales – also known as Aqualung – remixed by none other than REX THE DOG.

If that wasn’t enough Pete Tong tipped it as a stand-out track and the single (out July 18) will have additional Dave Seaman, Steve Aoki, Zombie Disco Squad and The Magician (LOVE!)

The DJ team have been working with a load of folk via their label Animal Language and you can nab the remix for LITTLE ANGEL HERE.

______________

Finally, off to France for a track that I melted into courtesy of the folks behind Dailybeatz.com and a single that came out earlier this year from KEREN ANN.

The song was great enough on its own – MY NAME IS TROUBLE – but the tweaked out remix from the genius Walter Sobcek took it to another plane of consciousness. Sobcek has done some stellar remixes of PHOENIX and NIGHTWAVES but this one tears out her desperation and longing and makes it something other-worldy.

Check out that feature (written by yours truly) HERE, grab the remix, down it with some choice barbits and enjoy.

NOW, consider yourself a cross-continent globe-trotter!

— written by d_wall, a lover not a fighter for the world of music





Cocaine Blues, Escorts, and Other Obsessions for Summer

10 06 2011

Not going to get too wordy here as I’m all about the fun today! It’s fucking Friday of Midsommarfest Weekend!  Every so often a key disco track hits me hard. So hard, I have to listen to it over and over and over till I’ve built up a tiny cult to worship it with me. Today I logged onto The W’s site, Symmetry Sounds (thanks for the tip, Dane!) and by the third track in the Wet Deck playlist, I found my love. Escort’s Cocaine Blues takes me right back to the disco I don’t remember: Rufus, The Cruisaders, Odyssey.

“A chick in a car and the car won’t go, that’s how we spell Chicago!”

Live is even hotter: http://www.youtube.com/user/escortdjb#p/u/0/PIFRPCo6AYM

You can get the single legit free at their site

 

A couple others that have come before:

 

Putting the Night On Hold by Lauren Grey

Love Sensation 2006 by Lolleata Holloway

Out of Control featuring Paul Parker by Wolfram





An Open Letter To All Music Lovers …

28 05 2011

CockNBullKid - ADULTHOODPatrick Wolf - LUPERCALIA

Memorial Day Weekend is that odd time where people think of vacations but if you’re anything like me, escape is a hard thing to do when that oddity called “work” doesn’t let you get too far away from the homestead.

No bother, I offer you two album releases that can help anyone escape their day-to-day and find a little sonic vacation worth taking.

Consider each of these offering, and forward-thinking soldiers in the world of music, young “veterans” of the industry that, for whatever reason, haven’t found the right audience for global recognition. Sure, CockNBullKid has gotten amazing press from the shows at SXSW, touring with Duran Duran in the UK and finding great radio love across the pond with folks like Huw Stephens but would anyone here in the states truly know this band beyond hearing the name and thinking it sounded like a badly placed expletive in conversation? And, OK, I’ll give it to you, Patrick Wolf has been a darling of the underground music scene, even finding major label push from his ’06 release The Magic Position, but where is he on the US media radar: sadly, not a blip I tell you.

An open request to US music lovers everywhere, take in these two 2011 releases: ADULTHOOD from CockNBullKid and LUPERCALIA from Patrick Wolf and for your consideration, add them to some of your best releases of the year. Why? See below … Read the rest of this entry »