Posts from 29th June 2000

Jun 00

The Top Three Songs I Want To Listen To This Very Second. Now.

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1. Wookie – “Battle” (MP3, forthcoming single)
Underground soulful 2-step ex-Soul II Soul man UK Garage. Would be big except for the fact that I’ve not heard it on the radio yet. Perhaps the Dreem Team are playing it? Large sections of the track repeat the most repetitive two-note melody EVER and then the singer breaks into a more chart-friendly melodic vocal section leading into that staple of crossovers: the singalong chorus. Every day is like a battle but we’ll overcome / When we get back in the saddle faith will bring us home. Hardly the most profound of lyrics but when the track sounds this nice who cares? Tim might be interested to take a listen.

2. Craig David – “Seven Days” (MP3, forthcoming single)
“I work with a stylist. I can trust him to go out and buy stuff for me. It’s not like when your mum buys you clothes.” Poor lad. Despite a Select magazine interview’s best efforts to trip him up along the way he still follows up “Fill Me In” with style. This isn’t as immediate as his solo debut but it’s equally as strong in a very different way. Rather than the 2-step beats he’s become associated with this has a very straight R&B beat, with hardly any groove. It’s a technique I like; it reminds me of Otis Redding tracks the way it has a totally straight beat and the soul coming from the vocals rather than a more obvious groove.

3. Black Star – “Re-Definition” (MP3)
One two three / Mos Def and Talib Kweli / We came to rock it on to the tip top / Best alliance in hip hop. The claims are arguable but this is still a good track, if let down by those weak Rawkus production techniques. Mos Def and Talib Kweli are undoubtedly two of the hottest rappers in the underground at the moment and they work well together on this one, as they do on the other Black Star material I’ve heard. The one reason I often feel like listening to this particular track is that for some reason I really enjoy this lyric: “Re-Definition”, turning your play into a tragedy!

Here comes Greg to stop the lethargic NYLPM from slipping into a coma and look what happens while I’m writing my entry!

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Anyway, here goes…

Napster: The Computing Equivalent Of Unsafe Sex – and so the backlash continues. A band named the Tabloids (nope, me neither) have launched a site named with the intention of spearheading guerilla tactics against your favourite music download tool.


spiritualized – “ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space” (elvis mix)

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Have you heard this, josh? if not, you should coax tom into making you a copy.

For me, it’s quite revelatory: if i was jason pierce, i’d be majorly pissed off at the writers of “can’t help falling in love” for nixing the elvis mix from the record. as it is, “ladies and gentlemen…” is a nice song and a great opener, one that sets the mood of the album; as it was, “ladies and gentlemen…” was the emotional centerpiece of the album, a true heart-wringer. at the climax of the song, one can hear what sounds like elvis, floating in space as it were, singing the refrain to “can’t help falling in love” over and over. when the choir joins in and the juxtaposition of the two major themes of the album — an unhealthy addiction to both drugs and love — is fully realized, if you have a soul, shivers will run down your spine. truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring.

And here i was worried that the mighty nylpm might go a day without an update. perish the thought.

SPIRITUALIZED – “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”, “Come Together”

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Both songs are in waltz time (3/4, or at least 6/8, but close enough) – but it took me until this week to realize it (typical). Any odd time signature is a funny thing – for whatever reason, we’re so accustomed to 4/4 and similarly even times that the odd ones seem off-kilter, sometimes clumsy (though some, like Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” (from the album of odd-meter experiments, Time Out) in 5/4 time, are eminently swinging; some like Herbie Hancock’s “Hidden Shadows” (from the otherworldly Sextant) use something ungodly like 19/8 and turn the clumsiness into deep, deep funk). I think waltz time is different, though, because it’s still less than four beats per measure – rather than being tempted to hear it as 4 plus some leftover beats, our natural expectations are thwarted, and we have to start counting all over again before we’ve “finished” (1-2-3-1-2-3…).

This is used to great effect in these two Spiritualized songs. In the first, the relatively straightforward 3/4 at the beginning is obscured by the round format, and the patented J. Spaceman kitchen-sink production. Thus the off-balance 3 is stretched out, fitting the song – everything’s off-balance, just sort of drifting about, trying to come into synch with everything else. In the second, the rhythm is more obvious, insistent even, from the bassline and the snare hits especially. The 3 becomes a buffeting 3, where we’re brought through 1, 2, 3, then when off-balance, thrown back into 1 again, violently. Just like Pierce’s production (drums low in the mix, earthly anchors left behind), the meters here help toss the ballast, sending the songs heavenward and beyond.

The Swingle Sisters

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 492 views

cf. Stereolab thirty years ago.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 1,015 views

cf. Stereolab with a Brummie accent.