Wednesday, November 28, 2007

D-D-Duke Dumont

Duke Dumont did it to me. He remixed Debbie Debb's "When I hear music" before I did. From a very early point, I've always wanted to remix this song, before anyone caught on, but Duke Dumont already killed it. It's not very likely that I would have ever remixed that song, either. Geographic location? This guy is from London, and has gained many voices of respect from various respectable voices, notabaly Tiga. Indeed, he's signed under Turbo Recordings and will drop his first E.P. in June of 2008. You can find a medley/preview of the EP at his myspace. Check out his remix of the super classic Debbie Debbie joint, "When I Hear Music."

Duke Dumont - When I Hear Music

Secondly, reap the benefits of his crazy remix of Missy Elliot's - We Run This. This one is a killer. I first heard it on Casper C’s Party Up! (Length of a Neu Rave) Mix more than a year ago, and I'm still very keen on it, especially the lead synth that kicks in at 1:44. J'm bien ça.

Missy Elliott - We Run This (Duke Dumont Remix) - Missy Elliott

And lastly, I've included a classic. Here, I mean classic as representative of its class. It's true -- before Lil' Jon, before Lil Scrappy, or Ludacris , there was Three Six Mafia. It is quintessential South. Get your Robitussin and pills out; it's that time.

Three Six Mafia - Sippin' on Some Syrup

Viens Chez Disco, C'est Plus Jolie

Today is a gorgeous day and I'm not working--so I'm writing instead. Maybe I should be outside enjoying the weather. On November 30, this Friday night, I will be attending the Gemini Disco party from 10pm to 5am at the Mezzanine in San Francisco. The night will include several DJs and Escort, an 18-piece disco band from Brooklyn.

Turbo Crystal - French Girl (Escort Remix)

In preparation for Friday night, I am listening to one of my favorite DJs, Todd Terje of Norway. His unique "edits" typically are modern enough to take to any of today's dance floors, and yet he doesn't fool with the tracks so much that they are a complete reworking, nor are they too heavy. We are still left with the disco-feel that we started with and it's generally excellent.

Chic - I Want your Love (Todd Terje edit)

Bee Gees - You Should be Dancing (Todd Terje edit)

I'll also be exercising to this fantastic music video of Vanessa's 1982 single "Upside Down."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

She Advances Through Life Sans GPS

"Once, somebody asked Robert Schumann to explain the meaning of a certain piece he had just played on the piano.
What Robert Schuman did was sit back down at the piano and play the piece of music again."
--David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress

In the music world today there tends to be a dichotomy separating band and remixer. The two feed off one another, compliment each other and each have their advantages and drawbacks. So what of the relatively recent phenomenon where bands do some remixing of their own? I think I first noticed it when Bloc Pary remixed the dance floor favorite "Needy Girl" back in '05 and since then it's become a regularly sight to behold. Take for instance Hot Chip's remix of a Gorillaz tune, "Kids With Guns" just released on the cleverly titled album D-Sides. I haven't heard the original, but I'm told it's nothing to write home about. So, when bands fool with others songs and it isn't a cover at what point does it become their own and at what point does it remain the original artist's? If Hot Chip added their own vocals, say, in addition to (Gorillaz singer) Damon Albarn's, would it be a collaboration? If all the instruments are stripped from a song and the remixer saves just the vocals, how can we consider that the same song by the same band? No one ever established any rules to the Remixing genre.

Gorillaz - Kids With Guns (Hot Chip)

Kissy Sell Out first caught my attention with his remix of Girls in Hats' "The Loose Cannons." I just found another of his remixes, "Merrymaking at my Place" by Calvin Harris. We're familiar with this track through Mr. Oizo's rendition, but his was too flat and, in my opinion, boring, as can be the case with some of Oizo's stuff. Kissy Sell Out lets the song unfold, build and it would be a sweet song to hear on the dance floor come New Year's eve: complete with piano, shakin-tambourines and an awesome Baroque synth riff.

Calvin Harris - Merrymaking at My Place (Kissy Sell Out remix)

The Deadmau5 remix is almost as good as Kissy Sell Out's, but after hearing the first you might want to wait awhile before you hear this next one. The "Merrymaking" in the chorus can get a little infectious and you'll be hearing it all day long in your head.

Calvin Harris - Merrymaking at My Place (Deadmau5 remix)

As if we haven't posted enough remixes, here's a remix of a French rap group called Soprano. Besides the fact that it's a great remix, it's an apt song, because--though we haven't mentioned it on here--I think it's safe to say at least the majority of the contributers of this blog are francophiles.

Soprano - A La Bien (Coffee's Pour Les Mecs En Bas Des Blocs Remix)

Hailing from Marseille Soprano is part of a quartet rap group called Psy 4 de la Rime. Inspired by the show The Sopranos, psychoanalysis and psychology are a recurring theme in Soprano's and Psy 4's lyrics. Soprano's solo album--entitled "Puisqu'il faut vivre," or "Since one must live"--came out this year. I looked up the lyrics for the above song, and I really enjoy the first few lines, which strike me as almost Rimbaudian.

"Ma jeunesse passe des nuits a se tuer à PES, à grater des fesses sur msn ou myspace
Elle casse sa tirelire pour enrichir Konami, elle consume plus d'herbe que les vaches de Kamini
Elle balade son stress sur des TN ou en Converse, elle avance dans la vie sans avoir de GPS
Elle pert son calme quand Sarko ouvre la bouche, comme pour sauver le monde Bush enfile sa cape rouge"

Here is my (probably poor) translation:

My youth spends nights killing herself with PES (maybe Pro Evolution Soccer?)
scratching asses on MSN or Myspace (?)
she breaks open her piggybank to enrich Konami
she consumes more grass than the cows of Kamini
she loses her stress on TN (?) or on Converse
she advances through life without GPS
she loses her nerve when Sarko(zy) opens his mouth
as to save the world Bush covered with his red cape

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dreaming in mp3 Format

A few of weeks ago I had a dream that I received a call on my cell phone. I looked down at the caller id and saw "DatA"--the not-so-well known musician of Paris. I answered the phone and because I don't know what DatA looks or sounds like, I vaguely imagined on the other end of the phone was a woman shrouded in a black light, whose voice sounded vocodered. The rest of the dream I forget, but what bothered me--and persisted to bother me weeks after as I am only writing this down now--is how DatA, an obscure DJ that I only know about from mp3 blogs and songs like

DatA - Aerius Light

which I'm not even totally crazy about, made it into my dream. But I suppose that is how dreams work. Obscure pieces of our lives (and in this case obscure on two levels) somehow sink into our consciousness and surface as a telephone conversation.

I think the fun thing about surfing mp3 blogs and dedicating yourself to finding these exact obscure DJs, musicians and remixers is that, unlike major groups which everyone is aware of because of MTV and constant radio plays, you begin to feel some kind of unique connection once you find those lesser-known DJs that you like. As you see a certain name pop up more than once, and you happen to like what they put out, you begin to connect with them in a way you can't with other signed groups. You start scouring the net for remixes they might have done in the past or ones to come. Especially with remixes, which don't have release dates in the way that albums do, musicians can exceed your expectations or disappoint you on a month-to-month (or even week-to-week, depending on how prolific they are) basis. If one of these names is attached to songs which you consistently enjoy, you suddenly find that they are a piece of you, or perhaps they belong to you in a special way--in that way that Madonna could never be wholly yours, someone like DatA can.

Alan Braxe is one of those persons for me. Breakbot is another (surprise! both parisians). Like Braxe, Breakbot usually takes an electro-synth, repeats it and is able to set it to a funky bass rhythm. What normally lies at the heart of Breakbot remixes is this base line, but he also does some famous work with agreeable keyboard sounds. For example, notice the disco-feel that he gives to Justice's piece

Justice - Let There Be Light (Breakbot remix)

and additionally, DatA's

DatA - Aerius Light (Breakbot's rework)

My favorite remixes of his so far is this one that I just found while searching his name. It's a song by a London-based group called Arrow!!! I just can't get enough the bass in this one.

Arrow!!! - D.O.E.S. (Breakbot remix)

Lastly, one of Breakbot's original tracks Happy Rabbit, starts off with a tambourine and real live drums! which I might say is unprecedented for parisien DJs these days. Happy Rabbit is an apt title, something about this tracks makes me feel happy, especially in contrast with the typically heavier, ominous feel of Justice or Daft Punk.

Breakbot - Happy Rabbit

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let me hear that hand clap, girl let me know where you at

If you are my myspace friend, and you happen to go check to see who's online, there's a big chance my profile will say I'm online. "What do you for so long on myspace?" is a question that is commonly shot at me. And in this blog, I have an answer.

Myspace is a force that has gained a lot of gravity and presence as being an endless archive of music is that is being made: now. The lineage of new cuts, edits, or exclusive remixes many times starts at In this way, myspace has expedited the story of the song, from production, to mp3, to your I-Pod. As well, music is becoming decentralized from non-music-interested corporations to the many people that really appreciate it. Then, perhaps you can say music is more personal and personable, non-mediated. This, too, has its drawbacks, but let's talk about something else.

Treasure Fingers is one of these artists I came across by browsing mutual friends and artists located on myspace. Treasure Fingers hails from Atlanta, and I can't help but think of the motley assortment of characters found in an Atlanta club, dancing to the sounds influenced by Miami Bass to arrive at Crunk. It's safe to say that Treasure Fingers has been influenced by this melting-pot of music in Atlanta. Treasure Fingers also often uses the hand-clap as an effect in his songs -- I have many times argued this is so widely loved by dancers because it's a sound dancers can actually make, while dancing! You can never have enough. Here are two songs I have come to love.

Snowden - Anti-Anti (Treasure Fingers Remix)

Fergie - Glamarous (Treasure Fingers Remix)

Additionally, I have attached a link to his first mix, 40 Minutes In The Champagne Room. I've listened to many mixes, and this mix stands tall above many other mixes that are simply mediocre, or even terrible. It's a great cohesive piece with over 40 tracks. The mixing is excellent, no song is obscure, everything is easily accessible, and most importantly, this mix is danceable all the way through. Again, it's a great mix I think anyone can enjoi. Tracklisting included below. Add Treasure Fingers on myspace, listen to his new killer remix of Tortoise, and drop him a line. I promise, he's one to watch. OKKK?

40 Minutes In The Champagne Room

01. treasure fingers - champagne room intro
02. The glamour - get into it
03. does it offend you, yeah? - we are rockstars
04. snowden - anti anti (treasure fingers remix)
05. dragonette - i get around (midnight juggernauts remix)
06. digitalism - pogo (punks jump up remix)
07. mstrkrft - street justice
08. LA riots feat. jadis - if i could
09. architecture in helsinki - it’s 5! (33hz & ming remix)
10. cassius - cassius 1999 (remix)
11. busta rhymes - touch it (kid fresh remix)
12. anthony rother - freaks
13. M.I.A. - bucky done gun
14. lovely chords - my disko is broken
15. gucci mane - freaky girl
16. math head - do damage (passions remix)
17. miami horror - don’t be with her
18. fergie - glamorous (treasure fingers remix)
19. mark ronson feat. lily allen - oh my god (chris lake remix)
20. cassius - feeling for you
21. cousin cole - thuggish ruggish love
22. the black ghosts - any way you choose to give it (boy 8-bit remix)
23. D.I.M. - airbus (mstrkrft remix)
24. roy davis jr - rock shock (thomas bangalter remix)
25. treasure fingers - cross the dancefloor
26. squarepusher - my red hot car
27. mr oizo - patrick122
28. klaxons - gravity’s rainbow (soulwax remix)
29. snowden - black eyes (le castle vania remix)
30. the discoboys - for you (patrick alavi remix)
31. the cribs - mens needs
32. krazy fiesta feat cassie - me and you
33. rockwell - somebody’s watching me
34. simian mobile disco - hotdog
35. czr - chicago southside (paul johnson remix)
36. naive new beaters - bang bang (yuksek remix)
37. digitalism - digitalism in cairo
38. fiasco - happy hour (the scar remix)
39. justice - genesis
40. da shop boyz - party like a rockstar
41. ocelot - this is our time (treasure fingers remix)
42. tepr - minuit jacuzzi (data remix)

Sugar in my Pocket

Feist's doesn't strike me as the kind of voice you'd hear on the dance floor (despite such titles as "1, 2, 3 4" and the catchy hook in "My Moon My Man"); nonetheless, the remixers can't seem to keep their hands off her. I didn't care much for the Boys Noize remix of M^4, but I can accept this remix by Van She--who also did great remixes of Dragonette and Riot in Belgium tunes--as danceable:

On the other hand, I'll accept any and all remix of Seal--especially if it involves Thin White Duke, who is credited to helping out on the previously mentioned "Hung Up" (as Stuart Price).

And though this one isn't a dance tune, I can't help posting it anyway, as I've been obsessed with it over the past two (2) days.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Demain j'arrète

Tuesday morning I turn on the radio and hear something about Russians and their thoughts on Stalin. Among opinions voiced one woman says, "People say he killed half of Russia, but still Stalin had a unique personality."

Wednesday at the bowling alley they are playing various music videos. Toward the end of the evening they play "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart. The guitar reminds me of something familiar... oh yes, doesn't it sound like "Hung Up"? I'm almost positive Madonna was either inspired or sampled that bass line.

Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Madonna - Hung Up

I feel like I'm on to something. But then I do some research on Thursday and read on wikipedia that Madonna asked Abba if she could sample a song of theirs--apparently only the second time Abba has ever let an artist sample one of their songs.

Abba - Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)

Friday night after a long evening of work I come home and shake off my clothing. I've promised myself that I'll write tonight. But what to write? I listen to a couple of new songs. A remix of Codebreakers by this DJ I've never heard of. It's rather nice. Starts out sound a little like Scissor Sisters' "Comfortably Numb."

Codebreaker - Riviera on the Moon (Will Eastman blisspop remix)

There's a Les Petits Pilous remix of "Bonafide Lovin'" that's quite fancy. It seems like it's a dub though, and though I enjoy this remix, it makes me miss the original with the singing.
Chromeo - Bonafide Lovin (Les Petits Pilous remix)

Chromeo - Bonafide Lovin

What does Pilou(s) mean, I wonder? I look it up in my French translation-dictionary and find no answers, but it does tell me that pimbêche means "n. stuck-up woman, stuck-up girl adj. stuck-up."

In fact, I'm afraid to like Chromeo--namely because I heard way too much of "Needy Girl" when it was popular. And I've really avoided buying the new album because my apprehension, but every song I've heard off is brilliant. "Bonafide Lovin" has been remixed, by my count, about eight times by everyone from The Teenagers to Riot in Belgium.

Then I go to the kitchen to make some tea. Out the window I notice a bright rectangular light that seems to not have been there before. I don't have great memory, but I could have sworn that light was never there. I look closely and within the rectangle I see the faint outline of a handrail for a staircase. Someone must have left the door open to their apartment's roof access--however you call those. For some reason I find this very intriguing, that a door exists that I can see and study but never enter or exit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

You know you need it, It's good for you

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pic:The Cobra Snake

Only post-moderns, and no one earlier in history, can use the term "post-modern." Even in explaining its arrival, the fact that we often use it today, and preparing for its cautious use, I'm not exempt from sounding contrived. I'm hoping to escape contrivance by being cautious. And it is with all caution that I say I had a very post-modern moment involving (the idea of) Daft Punk.

I was browsing the Daft Punk myspace. Scrolling down the column of comments, or lurking , I came upon a comment about the above stated Daft Punk. The commenter was a larger woman, (I lurked her profile too), and her plump nature gave a pristine character to their exchange I will in short explain. The coupling of Daft Punk and this individual also produced an off-kilter feeling to how Daft Punk, as an idea, was shaped in my mind. Here was this Mexican woman somewhere in Orange County who received a phone call from a revered French-touch producer, who in all other forms outside this conversation, as a human speaking on the phone, remained as Daft Punk, an idea of "music." The girl commenting was an Apple Store employee, and she was reassuring them that their order for a laptop would soon arrive. In the comment, she noted that she enjoyed her conversation, a compliment I thought must have crossed the phone lines at least once during that phone conversation. What's more, what's significant, is that this anonymous woman here in the states was able to command the conversation so that at one point, it was revealed to her that she was speaking to one-half of Daft Punk, and further, that as an anonymous and chance person, she still knew and recognized Daft Punk, an international superstar, as the term goes. In that tiny comment, Daft Punk, which to me was an idea the length of three repeatedly played cds, became Human. Human in the sense that, yes, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter actually exist, for one, as customers, beyond Daft Punk, but also that their existence is perpetually veiled and concealed by the always convincing and brilliant imagination they summon as the much loved duo, Daft Punk.

Scott Grooves - Mothership Reconnection (Daft Punk Remix)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Strange is a Four Letter Word

Once upon a time you had to buy the DFA Seasonal mixes online and they would ship them to your door. In 2005, I bought the Holiday mix because, then, I yearned to be at the forefront of the DFA craze. Apparently--not that it's any surprise--I've fallen behind, and I just learned that you can download these quarterly mixes on the DFA website. Perhaps it's a new phenomenon, but in any case I decided to check out the most recent mix, the "T&T Halloween mix" recorded live at Studio B in New York City during a Ghostly International and DFA joint-bash. As one might guess, the set, mixed by DFA's Timothy Sweeney and Timothy Goldsworthy, attempts to capture the typical minimal horror film sound, beginning wonderfully with an original remix of the theme from the Exorcist. The effect is furthered with Baby Oliver's "Shot Caller": as the song builds and eventually explodes, a demonic voice insists, "I call the shots."

However, the creepiness theme seems to clash with the dance theme, though since I wasn't there I can't say if it was a dance party or--if it was--if anyone was dancing. The beat seems a little slow throughout, but that doesn't take away from the quality of the beat matching and terrific transitions. The highlights here include a Simian Mobile Disco remix of the Klaxons song "Magick." The cut up vocals, repeated, seemed as though they were plucked straight from some kind of b-list thriller. And the build up, as is oft the case with SMD songs, is great.

Tim & Tim Halloween Mix live at Studio B

Not all the songs are enjoyable however. "Good Life" by Inner City just takes me back to the bad techno of the 90s. So, if you don't feel like listening to the whole mix (though I recommend it for next year's Halloween party, and there are some songs I can't find online such as the Juan Maclean finale), I've posted my favorite tracks.

Klaxons- Magick (Simian Mobile Disco remix)

Holy Ghost!- Hold On

Ever since we started this blog, I've been making a chore--nay, my (happy) responsibility--to increase the amount of song searching and listening per day. Well, I've come across some bombs, but today I found a great remix of SMD's old favorite "Hustler." Remixes these days tend to come out quite fast, often before the original is even released. But Hustler has been around for a year now, if not more, so it's had time to sit and get old. This keeps a few of the elements, but does a general overhaul including sinking vocalists Char Johnson's boyish voice to a sexy growl. Unfortunately, I can't find an mp3 of the track yet, but here's a link to the Pitchfork site that also reviews it.

Simian Mobile Disco- Hustler (A-trak remix)

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Just came across this track, and it's magic. Truly hope this isn't my subjective superstition; this song has been on repeat now for two days, and the vocal riff at 3:42 is as good as when first hearing it. Excellent dance track too. Somehow it manages to escape the early italian disco graveyard of similitude that's hard to escape, well, if you're stuck there. I'm sure everyone would want me to be agreeable and mention the producer of the this track, Giorgio Moroder. No suprises here. French artist Vitalic has called "Tryouts for the human race" his favorite track ever -- I can't blame him.

Sparks - Tryouts for the Human Race (1979)

**Note: I had the 12'' version up before; I changed it to this shorter version that I've had, the one I like better.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bag Raiders -- First EP

Since the birth of what many have called the "neu-rave" genre, Australia has, like France, no doubt, been doing it big. We have already seen waves with acts Cut Copy, The Presets, Van She, and Justice favorite, Midnight Juggernauts. One act that has this universality is Sydney based duo, Bag Raiders. Christopher Brave & Jack Sabbath have recently released this first EP through Bang Gang 12 Inches. No strings attached, the "Bag Raiders EP" kills, and rarely do two songs like Fun Punch and Punch Reprise carry as much resonance, at least in the sense of what is considered essential in this variety of music today. Simply stated, it delivers and you can secure your copy at the right records stores, Beatport, iTunes or DjDownload. Enjoi!

Bag Raiders - Fun Punch

Bag Raiders - Punch Reprise

Some people hate blends, or "mash-ups," and those same people get drunk, dance to them, and ultimately enjoi them. Opinions vary widely. I will hold my neutrality here. I can see how this blend could be noted as rape to a very well crafted song, Punch Reprise. On the other hand, Soulja Boy - Crank Dat is very, very (very) addictive. Don't believe me -- just read the charts. So, either this is a cheap shot at something great, or this blend truly kills. I myself don't know. In any case, we can all still super-soak that hoe; and why not?

Soulja boy - Crank Dat - Bag Raiders blend by Luminfire