Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What I've Been Listening To This Week: 14/07/13

The heatwave that swept across the country over the last week has shown no signs of abating and since I'm getting to work outside in the sun all day, I've been listening to a range of great summer anthems. There's a little bit of a variety in here, but with a central focus on uplifting, warm electronic tracks, with a bit of bass thrown in for good measure. Stick these on and you're guaranteed a perfect soundtrack to your boozy, laidback evenings in the fading sunlight.

Miike Snow - The Garden
Despite being written by a deliberately mispelled band name and coming only on the special edition of their sophomore album, Garden is a rich and compelling piece of indie tinged electronica. Evoking a wealth of colours in your mind, its built around a warm synthetic bassline and a melody interspersed between the keys and vocals, blooming into an electronic anthem. Worth repeating to capture all the subtle details, this a big leap from the group that once produced Britney Spears and is all the better for it!

Fred V & Grafix - Major Happy
If each summer were to have an official drum & bass anthem, this stirling effort by the duo would instantly. A playful melody pops into life over a building set of whooshes, enticing you into the deep bass melody at the track's core and from there the tune explodes into life, carrying you along at a hectic pace. Filled with clever reflections on the original melody and chords, the track dives through a range of twists and turns asleading to a gorgeous finale. But aside from the considerable technical skill, this song should be applauded for quite how insanely happy it does make you feel!

Monsta - Messiah (Feed Me Remix)
For those seekinga throwback to the breakbeats and manic sounds of the 1990's, but brought right up to date in terms of production, this is as probably a good a bet as any. A track which refuses to stand still or content itself with endless repetition, it grows and twists like a DJ set condensed into a single tune. With the classic rave piano chords, high pitched squeals, occasional boings and tight, snpapy breakbeat that jumps between halfstep and full time, it's got all the ingredients of a proper rave tune, along with the lashings of synthesized strings that I adore in a breakdown!

Alpines - Ice & Arrows
Although titled for something written in the depths of winter, Alpines have managed to sculpt a beautiful, slow burning anthem that envelops you in a blanket of sound. Demonstrating the vast range and power of singer Catherine Pockson and the impressive production that her counterpart Bob Matthews builds around it, the song uses a whole spectrum of frequencies and occasional bursts of silence to add to the drama. When this tune flies it soars, particularly in the atmospheric ending that launches in style from the preceding minimalism.

Shock One - Polygon (Dirtyphonics Remix)
Dirtyphonics are a French duo unafraid of tending towards the dramatic in their music and this remix of Shock One's mighty dance floor track Polygon finds them on fine form. Written around a rare tempo change, the track begins filled with abstract cymbals and synths before accelerating into a cracking electro riff riding over pounding kick drums that is bound to get any dancefloor moving. From here it spirals upwards, regaining momentum as a full fat DnB smash and stands out both as an inventive piece of music and one that delivers massive energy throughout.

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