Sunday, December 25, 2011

let me take you dancing

As another year comes to a close, the music market settles down for a brief period of time which allows for a few new releases to gain some maximum impact before the new year kicks in. It's an old marketing trick from way back.

This year's smash hit hopeful is "Tonight In Babylon" by Loverush UK! featuring Bryan Adams. It's not scheduled for a full release until February. So, it's being given an upfront promo push in order to capitalize on the quiet space in the calendar.



Oh yes, the gravel voiced, Canadian rocker is back, back, back! And he's no stranger to the dance and trance crowd. Cast your minds back to the summer of 1999 when Bryan teamed up with Chicane for "Don't Give Up", a bonafide dance classic. I believe the technical terms is "choon".



Please pass the poppers!

I supposed Mr. Adams is looking for a bit of a resurgence. If his new, room booming dance anthem is anything to go by, perhaps his next album should feature a more synth and rhythm combo. It's something he hasn't really attempted on a full longplayer. What has he got to lose?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

singled out

After a decade of singles and five longplayers, Goldfrapp have parted with Mute, the label they called home since their debut. To mark the occasion, Alison and Will are about to release the appropriately titled, "The Singles".

Featuring a meager twelve singles and two new recordings, "The Singles" gives a cursory overview of the duo's magnificent history. However, it's beyond comprehension why overlooked gems such as "Caravan Girl", "Pilots (On A Star)", "Twist", "Fly Me Away" and "I'm Alive" have not made the cut, especially when there is plenty of room on the disc for their inclusion.

The super lush and blissed out "Yellow Halo" is the first of two new tracks to be released from "The Singles" which hearkens back to the sound of "Seventh Tree". And that's not a bad thing, mes chattons! They've even managed to lense a little vid for the tune which is accompanied by a stunning set of visuals. Let's check it out.



"Melancholy Sky", which Goldfrapp performed live on their last tour, is the second of two new songs. "The Singles" will hit the "shops" on February 6. The following is the official tracklisting.

1. Ooh La La
2. Number 1
3. Strict Machine (Single Mix)
4. Lovely Head
5. Utopia (Genetically Enriched)
6. A&E
7. Happiness (Single Version)
8. Train
9. Ride A White Horse (Single Version)
10. Rocket
11. Believer
12. Black Cherry
13. Yellow Halo
14. Melancholy Sky

Monday, December 5, 2011

simply Christmas

As the Simply Red moniker is put to rest in mothballs, Mick Hucknall appears in his solo guise for only the second time.

"Happy This Christmas" is a brand new single and the first festive release of any kind for Mr. Hucknall. It's a jaunty, jolly tune with a soaring chorus and all the hallmarks that make a great song for the season.

Since, Mr. H has some cash to splash courtesy of the Simply Red royalty treasury, he's seen to it that a suitably festive video was lensed for the song.



"Happy This Christmas" will be hit the "shops" on December 12.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

once more with feeling

In six, short years, The Feeling have manged to release three longplayers and nearly a dozen cracking singles. Their blend of ELO meets Squeeze with a touch of ABBA melancholy has been well received by fans and the casual music consumer.

Now, on the back of the release of a new version of "Rosé" for the Burberry Body marketing campaign, the epitome of the band as brand concept, The Feeling have seen fit to issue their first singles retrospective.



The tracklisting for "Singles (2006-2011)" features all eleven of the band's singles plus two favorites and the new recording of "Rosé" wrapped up in one convenient package.

1. Fill My Little World
2. Sewn
3. Never Be Lonely
4. Love It When You Call
5. Rosé
6. Strange
7. I Thought It Was Over
8. Without You
9. Turn It Up
10. Join With Us
11. Set My World On Fire
12. A Hundred Sinners (Come And Get It)
13. Leave Me Out Of It
14. Rosé (Unplugged at Abbey Road for Burberry Body)

Would've been nice to have a companion DVD in a limited edition set. Although, I love each of the singles housed within the collection, I can't help but feel there is a whiff of ye old bargain bin about the entire affair. The cover art is dreadful. Could The Feeling be down the dumper as "Smash Hits" used to say?

No matter, I still have a soft spot for the lads. And I'm a lucky ticket holder for their Christmas gig in London on December 21.

In the meantime, let's check out Dan Gillespie Sells and co. as they run through eight of their singles in eight minutes for our amusement.



Huzzah! Who doesn't love a megamix or a medley? "Singles (2006-2011)" will hit the "shops" on December 5.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

star trekkin'

After 30 years working on their respective ongoing music projects, Vince Clarke (currently, one half of Erasure) and Martin L. Gore (as a member Depeche Mode) have come together for the first time since 1981 as VCMG to release a brand new album preceded by a series of EPs.

Referenced during interviews and tentative discussions in the press, Vince and Martin, two electronic music pioneers, have finally given the green light and announced the first fruits of their labor with "EP1/Spock". The EP, due to hit the "shops" as a digital download on December 12 and followed by a 12" single a week later, will feature four tracks, the original version of "Spock" alongside three remixes.

"Spock", a techno inspired number, has been lovingly reswizzled by Edit Select (aka Tony Scott), Regis and XOQ, the alter ego of Californian producer Überzone/Q who mixed the forthcoming VCMG longplayer which is due next year.

fresh kicks

On March 26, 2012, Paul Weller will issue "Sonik Kicks", his eleventh, solo longplayer. If you add in studio albums from The Jam and The Style Council, PW has released a total of 23 albums since "In The City", The Jam's debut elpee in 1977.

The first single to be plucked from it's digital grooves is "Around The Lake". It's a driving and slightly ominous recording which features Paul's vocal swimming in reverb, a clutch of psychedelic noises and a little farfisa line dotted throughout.

Strangely enough, it feels a bit 60s over 80s for me. While maintaining some elements of The Who, The Stooges and The Faces, I can't help but think the single wouldn't sound out of place on an early album by The Cure or Siouxsie And The Banshees.



PW seems to have more fire in him at times than many artists nearly a third his age.

Incidentally, rumor has it that "Starlite", Paul's most recent single which had a touch of TSC about it, will not feature on "Sonik Kicks". Well, that would be quite 80s in itself, n'est-ce pas?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

panic on the streets of London

Must dust this thing off from time to time. It's all gone a bit mental at So Hip It Hurts HQ. A little plug, darlings. Keep an ear out for a few, brand new tracks I produced for Bright Light Bright Light and Fingersnap (aka David McAlmont and Guy Davies). That's where much of my creative energy has been flowing these days. But enough, shameless self promotion.

The mighty Duran Duran return with "Girl Panic!", the second single from their latest longplayer, "All You Need Is Now". Another return to the sound of their halcyon days when Nagel prints and eyeliner were everywhere. Actually, go to any suburban hair salon in the US and you will still find copious amount of both. Some things never change.

Anyway, the marketing and promotional campaigns behind a new Duran single would not be complete with a video from the lads. This time, like many times before, they have splashed some cash on a new clip. Shot in London, the video for "Girl Panic!" finds some role and gender reversal wrapped up in a massive, sprawling, nine minute, fashion drenched extravaganza. It's the 80s all over again, my friends.

Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford all star in the video. I will leave the surprise unspoken. If you haven't seen the clip before, you will find that it has a few twists that make it quite unique. Let's take a gander.




A little wink and a nod to George Michael ("Freedom 90") and Robert Palmer ("Addicted To Love") with that piece of celluloid. "Girl Panic!" is, without a doubt, one of the best videos of the year and a high water mark in the Duran Duran canon. It was expertly directed by Jonas Åkerlund who has lensed many clips including "Frozen" by Madonna.

Now, where is the companion album of Night Versions you're supposed to be releasing, laddies? We, the fans, demand it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

money, money, money

Penguin Prison has been out and about promoting their debut, self titled longplayer and now the fifth single has been plucked from its grooves. "Don't Fuck With My Money" sits somewhere between Prince, Hall And Oates, Duran Duran, and INXS. It captures the vibe of the MTV era without ever aping any particular artist or song.

And let's face it kittens, it's all about timing! Considering the current political climate, what would be a better time than now to lense a video for the single? And smack in the middle of Occupy Wall Street. The clip was shot at Zuccotti Park in NYC which was cleared of protesters and their tents earlier this weekg. Synchronicity and serendipity unite!



For sure, the Penguin Prison album is one of the highlights in a year that has seen a distinct return to intelligent pop which has long been dormant over the last two decades. Expect to see it in my top five elpees of the year.

Also, Penguin Prison has been responsible for some seriously good reswizzlings include tracks from Darren Hayes, Kylie Minogue, Goldfrapp, Ellie Goulding and Jamiroquai, among others. If you get a chance, check out Chris Glover and co. in a live setting near you!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

gone daddy gone

My sincerest apologies for being AWOL for a short while. It's been quite manic at So Hip It Hurts HQ. Between productions, DJ gigs and songwrting sessions, not to mention running a local business, time has slipped ever faster into the future without an update to my lovely blog. I can assure you, I plan to do my best to stay on top of things.

So, it's my pleasure to return with a beautiful, new platter from an artist many people are earmarking for big things well into 2012 and beyond.

After the monumental success of "Heaven", Emeli Sandé was always going to have a tough time following it with something even remotely epic. A career defining song, "Heaven" pushed all the right buttons without sounding like anything else out there.

Now, Ms. Sandé moves forward with "Daddy", the second single from her forthcoming longplayer, "Our Version Of Events". Seeing as her debut elpee is scheduled for release on February 6, I suspect a third single will see the light of day a few weeks ahead of it.

Thankfully, "Daddy" mines the same ground as"Heaven". There is a distinct trip hop undertow in the clattered rhythm and ominous strings combo. It's all very 90s in its inspiration while establishing a very 21st century sound. Nary a dubstep breakbeat in earshot. Huzzah! A daring move in this cookie cutter climate. One I'm pleased she has stuck with.

As for the video, Ms. Sandé has traded London for Los Angeles which hints at a more global launch for her anticipated debut. Labels aren't splashing cash in many directions these days. I suspect there is quite a lot of support for Emeli's album.



Nothing groundbreaking. She has a striking look that will burning a unique image behind the retinas. The key here is that Emeli Sandé doesn't oversing. No melismatic overstatement. She simply sings the song. Beyoncé, please take note.

One confusing note to end on, not sure why producer Shahid Khan, aka Naughty Boy, is namechecked in the artist credit with Emeli. Has he contributed something unique to the performance that I haven't discovered?

"Daddy", accompanied by a cadre of remixes, will be available from all fine "shops" on November 20.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

with or without you

"Be With You", the second single from Erasure's latest longplayer, "Tomorrow's World", will be released as a seven track CD and download on November 21.

The tracklisting for it, which happens to be my favorite song on the elpee, will feature several remixes, an exclusive non-album b-side and another of Gareth Jones' very popular extended mixes. The following are the tracks which will be included on both configurations.

1. Be With You (Radio Version)
2. Be With You (Moto Blanco Remix Radio Edit)
3. Never Let You Down
4. Be With You (Love Is Coming - Extended Remix)
5. Be With You (Moto Blanco Club Mix)
6. Be With You (Starshapes Remix)
7. Be With You (Acoustic Version)

While I was disappointed with the remixes for previous single, "When I Start To (Break It All Down)", the inclusion of a Moto Blanco remix of "Be With You" will, hopefully, put things right. Let's hope for a pass the poppers moment which we haven't gotten from Vince and Andy for quite some time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

a little night music

Tracey Thorn, everyone's favorite songstress, is about to return with a brand new single. Huzzah! Let's shed a little light on the situation.

In the summer of 2010, The xx asked Tracey Thorn and her long-time partner in EBTG Ben Watt to record a track from their debut album for a special compilation the band were commissioning. The collection was going to be covers of the album's songs by their favourite artists. Unfortunately, the project never came to fruition. However, before the collapse of the project, Tracey had sung her version of one the album most beautiful tracks, "Night Time".

Now, after being shelved for nearly a year, the track will appear on a three track EP. The appropriately titled "Night Time" will be available from all fine "shops" on October 31. It will be released in two configurations - a 12 inch single for those who love the smell of vinyl and a digital bundle for those who prefer their tunes in the shape of zeros and ones.

The tracklisting for the 12 inch single will feature "Night Time" as the lead track, natch! Tracey's EBTG partner, Ben Watt, guests on guitars and backing vocals which makes it the first time they have recorded together in over a decade. Additionally, it will include remixes of "Swimming", on of the most popular tracks from Ms. Thorn's most recent solo longplayer, "Love And Its Opposite". The track has been reswizzled by Visionquest and underground house legend, Charles Webster.

Visionquest urn in a slightly organic, beefed up version which is draped in shades of "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. Mr. Webster turns in a sparkling remix with a slightly bossa nova feel to it. The digital bundle will include a dub mix by Charles Webster as a bonus track.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

rise up

A while back, we had a little chinwag with David McAlmont, one of the UK's finest vocalists. At the time, he was touring and preparing for a return with some newly recorded material. Now, he has confirmed his emergence for the studio with the "Smokehouse" EP.

However, there is a twist. Rather than a solo album, David has returned as one half of Fingersnap, his newly formed collaborative partnership with flame haired compadre and pianist extraordinaire, Guy Davies.

Of course, Mr. McAlmont is no stranger to this configuration as he started his career as part of Thieves with Saul Freeman, then reached the dizzying heights of the singles chart with Bernard Butler, has stepped in Shirley Bassey's diamante heels with David Arnold, and most recently stretched his considerable vocal talents on an album with Michael Nyman. Eclectic? Oui. Magnifique? Absolutment.

The first fruits of David's collaboration with Guy appeared as two new studio tracks on "Live From Leicester Square", a live album (natch!) featuring a number of songs from across David's nearly twenty year career. Two covers, "Isn't It A Pity", originally recorded by George Harrison, and the Tom Waits composition, "Grapefruit Moon" were featured as bonus tracks. Guy played piano on the entire project.

Lead song on the four track "Smokehouse" EP is "I Wanna Rise", which is home to a sparkling, soulful and uplifting chorus that wouldn't sound out of place on a Brand New Heavies album. That is not a bad thing at all by my standards as I am a massive BNH fan.

The track starts out with a sforzando string line built from of an amalgam of Motown classics. A hearty laugh from Mr. McAlmont reinforces his pleasure at being able to deliver another installment of quality songs. The first verse is little jarring upon first listen but starts to bleed into shape and find its roots by the time the Guy's piano appears just prior to the rise before the chorus. As I mentioned previously, it's a glorious payoff.

The boys even found time in their hectic schedule to lense a vid for the tune.



Ah, London is a fine locale for a music video. While Mr. McAlmont shimmies, shakes and shuffles, Mr. Davies seems a bit camera shy. Show us more of yer mug, Guy.

Second cut, "Some Kind Of Masterpiece", is a subdued affair with more Motown influences and David channelling a bit of Nina Simone. It is underpinned by Guy's left hand piano and tasteful rhodes. As with "I Wanna Rise", the string arrangement are lovingly draped across the track and give it a classic 70s soul vibe.

Next up is "Mister" which seems to detail a harrowing tale of spousal abuse dressed in an uptempo, 70s rock and soul hybrid with a handclappy rhythm at its core. The lyrics are visually arresting and David's powerful vocal performance slips in shades of Billy Preston and early Michael Jackson.

"The Bishop Of New Hampshire", the final track on the EP, is an elegiac, piano driven ballad which ends with a male vocal choir. It's another lyrically powerful song which seems to have benefited from David's work with Michael Nyman. The subject matter appears to have been ripped from the headlines of our ever present 24/7 news cycle.

All in all, the "Smokehouse" EP is a welcome addition to David's considerable catalog. Working tirelessly with Guy, both on the road and in the studio, has given birth and breath to a strong collaboration in the shape of Fingersnap. I am seriously looking forward to an entire album which will, hopefully, see the light of day in the very near future.

The "Smokehouse" EP will be available from all fine "shops" on November 14. If you wanna invest in a little communication with David, check out my recent interview by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

put your hands in the air

Once upon a time, dance music had meaning. It had soul. It had melody! It had vocals! Then, in the late 90s, bedroom DJs took over the planet with a crate full of dubs and they killed it off. Now, it seems people are clamoring for substance. Something they can sing along with.

Great dance records are few and far between. However, I'm pleased to inform you that there has been a bumper crop of them floating around lately. And "Stronger" by house veteran, Erick Morillo, along with his sidekick, Eddie Thoneick, has enlisted the formidable vocal duties of Shawnee Taylor. Together, they have produced one of the most infectious and downright ass shaking club anthems of the last few years.



As a DJ, it's refreshing to be able to spin something with an uplifting vocal and a solid melody. It's a promising development. I feel like we haven't had many arms akimbo, pop house hybrids like this since the mid-90s when "Free" by Ultra Naté saturated the worldwide airwaves.

Let's hope "Stronger" is the start of a trend rather than an oasis in the musical desert. Please pass the poppers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

speaking Swedish


Roxette return with "Speak To Me", the second single from "Charm School", their first album in a decade. It has been reswizzled into something more bang up to date on the production tip.

It's also the third single in Germany where they decided to follow up "She's Got Nothing On (But The Radio)" with "Way Out" before issuing "Speak To Me", a quintessentially Roxette-esque, signature ballad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a bloody video with a twist

Darren Hayes, everyone's favorite Aussie pop troubadour, keeps delivering some seriously good singles this year in anticipation of his forthcoming, solo longplayer, "Secret Codes And Battleships".

While the UK gets "Black Out The Sun", his home country is treated to "Bloodstained Heart", a gorgeous, epic ballad. And now, DH has lensed a video for it.



A bit of a plot twist in this one. Some deep meanings, as well. After three brilliant singles, "Secret Codes And Battleships" is shaping up to be one of my fave rave elpees of the year.

"Black Out The Sun" is available in Australia from all fine "shops" right now. It's parent album is scheduled for release on October 17.

Monday, September 12, 2011

snowbound

Kate Bush has returned from the studio wilderness mere months after releasing "Director's Cut", a compilation of newly mixed and rerecorded editions of previously released songs.

“50 Words For Snow”, scheduled to hit the "shops" on November 21, will feature seven brand new tracks set against a background of falling snow. The following is the official tracklisting.

1. Snowflake
2. Lake Tahoe
3. Misty
4. Wildman
5. Snowed In At Wheeler Street
6. 50 Words For Snow
7. Among Angels

Don't call it a comeback. Don't call it a Christmas album. I can't help but wonder if she went through the trouble of recording over and hour of actual snow falling? That would be crackers!

Friday, August 26, 2011

black and blood

Darren Hayes has released some deets about the second single from his forthcoming longplayer, "Secret Codes And Battleships".

"Bloodstained Heart" is scheduled to be released in Australia on September 5.



It's a beautiful ballad that starts with a lonely, throbbing guitar and builds through a beautifully heartbreaking chorus and ends with a brutally epic arrangement which would make Jimmy Webb shed a jealous tear. Simply gorgeous.

On October 2, the rest of the world outside Oz gets a different track, "Black Out The Sun".



It's another big pop number, but it's dressed in some hip hop inspired drum programming without the melody ever being compromised. The chorus is very expressive with a smattering of Middle Eastern flavored string arrangements laid over the top.

Three singles in and Mr. Hayes' next elpee sounds quite promising, indeed. "Secret Codes And Battleships" is due to be available from all fine "shops" on October 17. Many friends who have heard the new longplayer at recent playback sessions in London and NYC have indicated that this might be his finest and fully satisfying album to date.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the session during my recent visit to London as I was deeply ensconced in various studios across the capital working on songs for other artists. I guess I'll have to wait until the album is unleashed!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

promises, promises

Swedish DJ maestros, Drop Out Orchestra, have reswizzled, "Promised Land", an often forgotten, late 80s, dance jam by The Style Council, a record which itself was a cover of a Chicago house classic by Joe Smooth.

"Promised Land" was TSC's penultimate single before being shown the door by their record label. Paul Weller went on to tremendous solos success as the godfather of Britpop a few years later. Reinvention is the mother of popular music, my friends.



Well, they've certainly done the business once again. Drop Out Orchestra have taken the original and added tasty bits including a new, funky bass line, horny horns, some whooshes and a few electronic touches. Voilà! A reswizzled revisit of a a record that really should've been a hit upon its release back in 1989.

In a flash of synchronicity, Drop Out Orchestra have just been commissioned to put their delicate touch on Paul Weller's current single, "Starlite".



The sound of PW recapturing a bit of TSC sonic glory. We knew he had it in him.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

heavenly action

Hello, my lovelies. I'm writing this blog entry from a cozy little corner at Starbucks in Maida Vale which is located in the bosom of northern London. There are many songs being written in various studios throughout the capital this week. The journey to and from each session has been accompanied by one song which makes it's debut at #2 on the UK singles chart today.

The gloriously anthemic "Heaven" from Emeli Sandé has crashed the consumer consciousness in Great Britain and filled the airwaves with gospel voices set to a funky drummer beat. Yes, we have firmly revisited the sound of the 90s, ladies and gents. And it appears Emeli's producers have listened to copious amounts of "Blue Lines", the genre defining, trip hop, debut from Bristol's finest, Massive Attack.

But first, let's have a look at the video which was just lensed for "Heaven".



The twenty year cycle of nostalgia is in full effect for the 90s. Gritty street scenes, ashen faces, wandering homeless men and lost children. For a visual and sonic comparison, let's check out "Unfinished Sympathy", the track that launched the Massive Attack phenomenon. Pay particular attention the the string lines.



Of course, the two songs don't sound the same, but Emeli definitely captured some of the vibe. Big things are tipped for her. We will keep a watchful on this rising diva.

Friday, August 12, 2011

the centre of the heart is a suburb to the brain

Erasure have just announced the details of "When I Start To (Break It All Down)", the lead single from their forthcoming, fourteenth longplayer, "Tomorrow's World". The single sleeve, like the album cover, has been designed by Tom Hingston and uses another sculpture by artist Kate MacDowell.

I must admit that I have always enjoyed the continuity of the artwork for Erasure's singles and album campaigns. Much like Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys, Vince and Andy put a lot of loving care into the visuals of their packaging.

The single will be available on CD and as a download on September 26. Additionally,
"When I Start To (Break It All Down)" will be available as a single track download a full month ahead of the extended configurations.

The full, official tracklisting for the single include the following:

1. When I Start To (Break It All Down) (Single Mix)
2. Tomorrow's World
3. When I Start To (Break It All Down) (Steve Smart & Westfunk Main Room Mix)
4. When I Start To (Break It All Down) (Kris Menace Remix)
5. When I Start To (Break It All Down) (Little Loud Remix)

"Tomorrow's World" is a cover of the theme music from the UK TV series of the same which inspired the album title.

And as if that wasn't enough good news for Erasure fans, the tracklisting for the deluxe edition of "Tomorrow's World" has been announced. The first disc will feature the album in its entirety. The second disc will feature exclusive mixes, a bonus track and demos from the album recording sessions. The tracklisting for the bonus disc will include the following tasty nuggets:

1. I Lose Myself (Extended "No Self Control" Mix)
2. Give Me Life [bonus track not available elsewhere]
3. Fill Us With Fire (Extended "Fired Up" Mix)
4. When I Start To (Break It All Down) (Frankmusik Remix)
5. Clash (demo version of "I Lose Myself")
6. Big Song (demo version of "Fill Us With Fire")
7. Major 7th (demo version of "Be With You")
8. Save Me (demo version of "You've Got To Save Me Right Now")

The mixes of "I Lose Myself" and "Fill Us With Fire" were produced by Erasure mainstay, Gareth Jones. "Tomorrow's World" is scheduled to hit the "shops" on October 3.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

collages and codes collide

Darren Hayes has revealed the gloriously colorful artwork for his forthcoming, fourth, solo longplayer "Secret Codes And Battle Ships". Is there a hidden message within its imagery?

First single, "Talk Talk Talk", is head and shoulders above much of the current pop pack. Let's hope everyone's favorite Aussie troubadour stacks the zeros and ones with more of the same shimmering goodness.

Apparently, the album isn't scheduled for release until October. However, Darren will be having exclusive playback sessions of the elpee throughout August in London, New York, Sydney and Brisbane. Such a generous chap!

never turn your back on Mother Earth

Hard on the heels of the deluxe editions of their first two elpees, "Wonderland" and "The Circus", Erasure announce the release of their forthcoming, fourteenth longplayer, "Tomorrow’s World".

The album sleeve, another artistic triumph for the duo, retools the band's logo once again. The cover design is by Tom Hingston who has done magnificent work for artists like Massive Attack, Garbage, The Chemical Brothers and Robbie Williams among many others. It also incorporates sculptures made by Kate MacDowell. It's very pastel. No? Hearts flowers and butterflies, ahoy! Thankfully, no unicorns.

The album, the band’s first in more than four years, is produced by Frankmusik (a.k.a. Vincent Frank) and mixed by Rob Orton. We're still a big fan of Frankmusik's debut longplayer, "Complete Me", from 2009. Even though his new single, "Do It In The AM" is complete shit and giant step down from his pop glory, I'm really looking forward to his contribution to Vince and Andy's electronic odes to love. The first single plucked from it will be “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”.

The standard album features nine songs, but the deluxe edition will come with a bonus disc featuring remixes, demos and a bonus track. The full, official tracklisting for "Tomorrow's World", which is scheduled to be released on October 4, features the following tracks.

1. Be With You
2. Fill Us With Fire
3. What Will I Say When You’re Gone?
4. You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now
5. A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot
6. When I Start To (Break It All Down)
7. I Lose Myself
8. Then I Go Twisting
9. Just When I Thought It Was Ending

Friday, August 5, 2011

Have we lost what it takes to advance?

Such is the question posed in "Sleeping Satellite" as covered by Kim Wilde on her latest album, "Snapshots", a collection of her fave raves. It does make you wonder about the validity of such a project. What is the motivation? Laziness? Lack of inspiration? No faith in original material? Just good fun?

Whatever the reason, at least KW has taken the opportunity to record some unexpected covers. And now, as part of an old fashioned double a-side single, Kim has decided to release "Sleeping Satellite" alongside "It's Alright".

She spent a few euros on a video, too. Amazing that she was able to squeeze out some cash from the label for two clips!



Love those retro looking, fingerless, black lace gloves!

And here's the original from Tasmin Archer which was a #1 hit in the UK way back in 1992.



The full, official tracklisting for "Snapshots" includes the following fourteen nuggets.

1. It's Alright (originally recorded by East 17)
2. In Between Days (originally recorded by The Cure)
3. About You Now (originally recorded by Sugababes)
4. Sleeping Satellite (originally recorded by Tasmin Archer)
5. To France (originally recorded by Mike Oldfield)
6. A Little Respect (originally recorded by Erasure)
7. Remember Me (originally recorded by Diana Ross)
8. Anyone Who Had A Heart (originally recorded by Cilla Black)
9. Wonderful Life (originally recorded by Black)
10. They Don't Know (originally recorded by Kirsty MacColl)
11. Beautiful Ones (originally recorded by Suede)
12. Just What I Needed (originally recorded by The Cars)
13. Ever Fallen In Love (originally recorded by The Buzzcocks)
14. Kooks (originally recorded by David Bowie)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

all talked out

Oh, we love a good mash up here at So Hip It Hurts HQ. Darren Hayes has been slogging around the globe promotion his fabulous new single, "Talk Talk Talk".

And now, everyone's favorite Aussie troubadour has chucked it in a high speed blender with the Hall And Oates "classic", "Out Of Touch", to magnificent effect. The resulting aural cocktail is called "Out Of Talk" and it is available from all fine digital retailers from today.



Good gravy! That's a nice mashie.

For the uninitiated, here are the separate parts!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

it's alright

Oh, dear. Over the last twenty years, there are two words the mere mention of which strike fear in the hearts of music lovers - "covers album". And now, thirty years into her career, everybody's favorite love blonde, Kim Wilde, has decided to fondle her favorite tunes and put them on display with her twelfth longplayer, "Snapshots".

One of the nice surprises about the first single plucked from Kim's new elpee is that it isn't an obvious choice.



Well, it doesn't blow me away but it's alright. Literally. KW has reached back into the 90s for some inspiration in the shape of "It's Alright", an anthemic choon originally recorded by East 17. It was a #3 hit in the UK singles chart way back in 1993. That's nearly twenty years ago for those that feel like counting.

If you look closely at the video, you will see Kim's brother, Rick, on keys and Nick Beggs, member of Kajagoogoo, on bass. Oh, the life of a trainspotter.

Here's the original hit by Brian Harvey and co.



Nice hats, lads.

I'm not a fan of covers albums, but I quite like her "interpretation" of the East 17 "classic". Good thing she left out the rap in the middle eight.

Of course, KW is no stranger to cover versions. Her stellar rendition of "You Keep Me Hangin' On", a hit in the 60s and 70s by The Supremes and Vanilla Fudge, respectively, was revived by Kim in the 80s. She hit #2 in the UK with it in 1986 and then topped the US singles chart with it the following year.



"Snapshots" will be available from all fine "shops" on August 21.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

tears dry on their own

At first, I was going to refrain from adding my tiny voice to the clattering din. Social media can overwhelm the senses every now and then. And in times of "news" overload, it's easy to feel like the information highway is crashing down around us all. This week was particularly difficult, but we soldier on. That is the essence of the human spirit.

With the passing of Amy Winehouse, I thought it best to find an oasis of peace. No need to contribute my thoughts. Enough would be more eloquently said across the interwebs. Then, pieces fit together throughout the day as I disengaged from my online activities. No smartphone. No computer. No internet connection. No zeros and ones. However, the music never stops at So Hip It Hurts HQ whether it's on the old victrola or deep inside the confines of my head.

Randomly but obviously, Adele came blaring out of someone's parked car on the steamy city streets. Oddly, I heard Duffy trilling outside an Indian restaurant in Greenwich Village. Some old school Ashford & Simpson turned up inside a tiny record emporium in SoHo. And images of London, my second home, started filling my headspace. Naturally, thoughts turned to the Amy Winehouse tragedy. So talented. So young. So successful. So fleeting.

At times like these, my mind doesn't turn to the burn and churn news conglomerates. I don't chatter on about how sad it is. Instead, I look inward and relive the beauty of the art. It's the optimist inside. The indelible mark of someone's talent never fades even after their physical presence has.

While people ponder her motivations, judge her movements and spin tales around someone they don't even know, it's the art that speaks most clearly to the heart and shines brightly through the media smoke.

Amy's croaky, bourbon soaked, lovelorn vocal delivery is a treasure. The modern amalgamation of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Washington. In these times of pristine, nondescript, sanitized, auto corrected, robotic vocal blanching, Amy's voice truly stood out among the pack.

Add to that a lyrical prowess and wit of someone twice her age, it's mind numbing to try to comprehend from where all that substance came from. There's a deeper story there. One we may never uncover now that Amy has floated into the ether.

Rewind to 2003. I recall seeing a raven haired beauty peering over the record rack at me. The sleeve seemed to beckon me. Who was this statuesque figure?

My trusty music guide's eyes lit up. He didn't have to utter a word. I knew he thought I would dig the sound captured within the grooves of the vinyl tucked inside the rose hued sleeve. Indeed, I was smitten with Amy's debut single, "Stronger Than Me". Unfortunately, the great British public, or at least the radio pluggers and programmers, were not yet entranced by her slurry, urgent, soulful delivery. As a result, the single limped in at #71 on the UK chart.

Pinned against a hip-hop track and a simple, jazzy guitar figure, Amy delivers a sultry tale detailing the disappointment in her love interest's lack of conviction. The other side of love - unrequited, lost and gone astray - seems to have been a recurring theme in Amy's work.

However, the sparkle of humor, even dark at times, could be heard glimmering deep inside her lyrical weave. In fact, it was one of the few times I've heard a female singer question her male love interest's sexuality by asking him if his weakness meant he's gay. Not politically correct by any means, but daringly insightful in the context of the song's message. Amy was not afraid to wear her thoughts and emotions on the very end of her sleeve.



And who would've had the audacity to release "Fuck Me Pumps" as a single, let alone write, record and feature it on their debut longplayer? Guts, determination, drive and vision all wrapped up in the unlikeliest of tattered bouffants.

Amy's debut album, "Frank", garnered quite a lot of attention, but it didn't bother the charts too much. Initially, it peaked at #13 and she was left to create the follow up. Greatness wasn't immediately expected. But with every passing month, her label couldn't contain their excitement over the developments. Little by little, the press and lucky insiders were made privy to the magic being constructed in the studio.

Many column inches have been dedicated to Lady Winehouse following her magnificent sophomore effort, "Back To Black", in all of its doo wop, 60s girl group, boozey, blusey glory. Grit and grime with a heartache chaser sung by a woman wiser than her years in some ways.

Rock n' roll was built on talent like Amy's. It was always the outsiders, the strangers and the challengers that pushed the limits of music. They pulled from the past, got inspired by the progenitors of their chosen genres, and blazed a trail into the future. Sadly, some of them burned out in a brilliant flash rather than simply fade away and tread on past glories. Amy Winehouse has entered that pantheon of performance like many before her. A bewitching force of nature like no other.

Without digging too deeply into the obvious touchstones, I'd like to share my fave rave from "Back To Black", "Tears Dry On Their Own". It's based around the chord sequence from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", hence the Ashford & Simpson writing credit. The song encapsulates the elation and subsequent fall from grace that Amy, much like many great loves, experienced and endured.



Unfortunately, these days people are more interested in tragedy than talent. Titillated by someone's misfortune rather than find inspiration in them overcoming their personal struggle. So, for a moment, think about the people Amy left behind. Her family, friends, fans and musicians. People that might find consolation in her art. Art left to shine in the light of her short, sharp legacy while we reflect. Even though we are saddened to hear of her passing, tears do, indeed, dry on their own.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

fire and ice

When I worked at EMI, I was in charge of the repertoire for all EMI owned labels of which Chrysalis was one of them. I had my eye on several key acts which had yet to have comprehensive retrospectives produced for them. Icehouse was near the top of my list.

However, I was never able to access the band's formidable catalog due to a contract restriction which didn't allow us to compile their repertoire without full consent from front man, Iva Davies. Of course, the legal department didn't allow for any negotiation on our part, so the ability to produce a singles collection for Icehouse became less of a possibility and eventually, the band took full control of their catalog away from EMI.



Now, after more than 20 years since a patchy greatest hits was made available, Icehouse, best remembered in the US for a clutch hits like "Electric Blue", co-written by John Oates, and "Crazy", will release their first, comprehensive hits collection. "White Heat: 30 Hits", scheduled to hit the "shops" on August 26, will feature all of the band's singles in chronological order across two CDs. Additionally, the set will include a DVD with all 32 of its music videos.



The following is the official tracklisting for "White Heat: 30 Hits", which has been overseen by Iva Davies, features all of Icehouse's internationally released singles.

CD1

1. Can’t Help Myself
2. We Can Get Together
3. Walls
4. Icehouse
5. Love in Motion (Original Single Mix)
6. Great Southern Land
7. Hey, Little Girl
8. Street Cafe
9. Glam
10. Taking The Town
11. Don’t Believe Anymore
12. Dusty Pages
13. No Promises
14. Baby, You’re So Strange
15. Mr. Big


CD2

1. Cross The Border
2. Crazy
3. Electric Blue
4. My Obsession
5. Man Of Colours
6. Nothing Too Serious
7. Touch The Fire
8. Jimmy Dean
9. Big Fun
10. Miss Divine
11. Anything Is Possible
12. Satellite
13. Big Wheel
14. Invisible People
15. Love In Motion


DVD

1. Can’t Help Myself
2. We Can Get Together (Australasian Version)
3. We Can Get Together (International Version)
4. Walls
5. Icehouse
6. Love In Motion (Original Single Version)
7. Great Southern Land
8. Hey, Little Girl
9. Street Cafe
10. Glam
11. Taking The Town
12. Don’t Believe Anymore
13. Dusty Pages
14. No Promises (International Version)
15. No Promises (UK Version)
16. Baby, You’re So Strange
17. Mr. Big
18. Cross The Border
19. Crazy (Australasian Version)
20. Crazy (International Version)
21. Electric Blue
22. My Obsession
23. Man Of Colours
24. Nothing Too Serious
25. Touch The Fire
26. Big Fun
27. Miss Divine
28. Anything Is Possible
29. Satellite
30. Big Wheel
31. Invisible People
32. Love In Motion
33. Sister (from "Countdown 1980")

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

all is fair in love and warning

Penguin Prison, one of my current fave raves, just released "Fair Warning", the fifth single from their forthcoming, self-titled, debut longplayer. It's an elpee crackling with top tunes. Each one a single contender in its own right.

And, as if by magic, Chris Glover and co., have lensed a video for their latest offering. Let's take a peek.



Stylish, colorful and bristling with energy, the video is exactly the visual component needed to bring Penguin Prison into a more human realm. Until now, it seems Mr. Glover has remained slightly reluctant to plaster his face and stamp his personality on the project.

"Fair Warning" is available now from all fine online retailers. A raft of remixes will be released next month. Look out for its parent album this fall.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

talk of the town

Aussie pop minstrel, Darren Hayes, has returned with "Talk Talk Talk", the first single from his forthcoming, fourth longplayer, "Secret Codes And Battleships". The song has a giant, anthemic chorus which is preceded by more understated verses that feature some nifty electronic shadings. Darren's voice has rarely sounded stronger and more confident.

It looks like Darren is pulling out all the stops with the video. It's a suitably stylish visual extravaganza rarely seen these days.



Plus, he's given his new single an old fashioned, non-album b-side in the shape of his interpretation of "Angel", an often overlooked chestnut originally released by Madonna way back in 1985.

"Talk Talk Talk" is available now from all fine online retails. Expect a bundle of reswizzlings to be hit the "shops" on July 31. The song has been reworked by 7th Heaven, Club Junkies, Fred Falke and Penguin Prison. A nice line up!

Also, Darren will deliver an old school extended version and a clever mash up which features the vocal of "Talk Talk Talk" over the instrumental of "Out Of Touch" by Hall & Oates. Looks like he's covered all the bases. Kudos to his management team for pushing all the right buttons.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

the big sky

The Human League are mere moments away from plucking "Sky", the third single from their current longplayer, "Credo". The radio edit just showed up on the interwebs. Despite a lukewarm reception to the new elpee, their first in a decade, there are at least five very strong songs among the eleven tracks.



Although I like "Sky" quite a lot, I would've opted for the more muscular sounding, "Egomaniac", which was released as a single in Germany.



"Sky", replete with a raft of requisite remixes, will be available from all fine online retailers on July 25.

Friday, June 24, 2011

adult education

In these media saturated, overpopulated web based days, it's a lot more difficult to promote "the next big thing" than it was before the interwebs crept into everyday living. That has led to a more grass roots approach to getting music being found. People share their latest fave raves via social media.

Strong word of mouth still builds a base like it did in the "golden days" of the 60s, 70s and 80s. However, when there is little to no airplay for an artist, it's up to the chain link effect to come into play between music fans. Also, live gigs still manage to get the point across best.

Last week, when I was in London on another songwriting sojourn, I went to a multi-artist gig which included some unknowns, almost knowns, nearly knowns and well knowns. It was an eclectic mix, but one artist stood out. She is CocknBullKid and her debut longplayer, "Adulthood", which I was aware of but had not heard, was purchased immediately after her acoustic performance. Such was the power of her songs and understated performance.

Anita Blay, for she is CocknBullKid, has released several singles from "Adulthood" and there is no sign of stopping. Fourth single, "Yellow", has just been unleashed and a video was lensed for it. Let's take a gander.



Well, that continues the low-fi, DIY nature of all the videos for each single plucked from her elpee. "Yellow", like much of "Adulthood", has Motown overtones while sporting a mid-90s indie feel to it and a big, gospel tinged chorus. It smart pop with heart, mind and soul.

Here are the vids for previous singles, "One Eye Closed" and "Hold On To Your Misery".





My favorite track from the album has to be "Asthma Attack". It speaks to my heart right now, particularly that my love affair with London has grown stronger over the last couple of years.



Fantastic lyrics! A brilliant pop song which deserves to be heard by a wider audience. I love the Morrissey influenced la la lines.

"Adulthood" will surely place inside my top five albums of the year. Highly recommended!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

hurricane Grace

Sweet baby cheeses! Does this woman ever take a bad photo? She is a timeless, epic figure. It's probably best Grace Jones never broke through to the mainstream. She's always been about the slightly edgy, darkened corners of our minds.

Now, nearly three years after she released "Hurricane", her first new longplayer in nineteen years, Grace is about to reissue it with a bonus disc featuring dub versions of all nine tracks from the album. The collection includes "Sunset Sunrise" which will be given away as a free mp3 download.

If you got 'em, smoke 'em. Here's Grace!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

she's on the phone

I'm a few days late on this one, but Robyn continues to write rules on how to be a proper pop star. Great song. The lyrics are direct and easily relatable. Simple yet effective video. Love the pink, high heeled trainers. Score another one for the Swedish pixie.



It seems like forever since this single was plucked from the third installment of Robyn's "Body Talk" series. How long before she delivers some new music?

taboo you

Time to get back on top of things, kittens. Much has been happening around So Hip It Hurts HQ. Apologies for the short respite from the blogosphere. I assure you it wasn't intended.

Now that I've been spending loadsatime in London, I have had the good fortune to hang out with many of my friends there. Many of them are as music obsessed as I am. This makes me endlessly happy. Of course, we turn each other on to lots of music.

So, I decided to post this lovely slice of springtime. Swedish swizzlers, Drop Out Orchestra, have taken Sade's 1985 snare drum serenade, "The Sweetest Taboo", and turned it into a blissed out, dubbed up groover. Mostly instrumental, they've added some soulful flute interludes and electronic noodling. Heady stuff, ladies and gents.



This will forever remind me of London in the spring, enjoying delicious meals with good friends, sipping a hearty glass of vino - merlot, if you must know - staring out over a lush, green park and thinking endless possibilities about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Yes, this little reworking, creatively titled "The Swedish Taboo", sets my romantic mood in motion. Kisses to you, my lovelies!

Friday, May 20, 2011

loved up and languishing

Kylie Minogue, everyone's favorite Aussie pop rocket, will finally release "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" on June 5 in the UK. The single will include the Pete Hammond remix that Kylie shared with fans during the European leg of her current tour. Additionally, it will include, "Silence", a previously unreleased song.

1. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)
2. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love) (Pete Hammond Remix)
3. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love) (Basto's Major Mayhem Edit)
4. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love) (Live from Aphrodite - Les Folies)
5. Silence

Not sure why the long wait between singles. It has been more than five months since "Better Than Today" crashed out at #32 in the UK singles chart. The project lost momentum immediately after the first single. It seems "Aphrodite" has been plagued by stop start stuttered marketing. A kiss of death these digital days. Someone is driving the car without both hands on the wheel.

And where is the deluxe edition of "Aphrodite"? Most certainly, EMI needs a boot up the arse.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

master of puppets

When Depeche Mode announced they were going to release another album featuring remixes and reworkings of tracks from across their substantial catalog, I must admit that I could barely muster up an indifferent yawn.

However, after listening to some of the selections from "Remixes 2: 81-11", it's clear there is a lot of life in the electro goth gods.

Norwegian electronic duo, Röyksopp, have turned in a gorgeously understated reswizzling of "Puppets", a track buried within DM's debut longplayer, "Speak & Spell". A youthful and nearly unrecognizable vocal from Dave Gahan is laid over a shimmering and beautiful crafted, handclappy rhythm track. Dozens of tasty synth lines keep the mix interesting throughout. This should be the sound of summer 2011.



Also, the nearly epic, Eric Prydz remix of "Never Let Me Down Again" is sure to go down a storm at your local discotheque. Based around the song's familiar guitar figure, the track is just itching to break into the full song. I'm not a fan of dubs, but this one ranks highly in my book.



That said, I'm not sure why they decided to release a new slate of remixes for their iconic track, "Personal Jesus", as the first single from the project. "Puppets" would have made a more interesting choice.



"Remixes 2: 81-11" will be released on June 6 in the usual fan friendly, wallet draining set of configurations including a single disc version, a triple CD edition and massive, six vinyl LP box set.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

same old scene

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's long awaited, often delayed, fourth longplayer, "Make A Scene", is about to hit the "shops" on Monday, April 18. Fans in the UK will have to wait until June 6 to get their hands on it.

Why the extended delay? This album has been bouncing around the release schedules for the better part of the last eighteen months. I'll believe it's actually coming out when I have a copy of it in my hot, little hands.

The tracklisting for "Make A Scene" features the following fourteen tracks.

1. Revolution
2. Bittersweet
3. Off & On
4. Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)
5. Not Giving Up on Love
6. Can’t Fight This Feeling
7. Starlight
8. Under Your Touch
9. Make A Scene
10. Magic
11. Dial My Number
12. Homewrecker
13. Synchronised
14. Cut Straight To The Heart

"Starlight", produced by Richard X, will be the next single from La Bex.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

light and love

In a surprise move, it appears Sony are going to release a FIFTH single from Hurts' debut longplayer, "Happiness". Is this 1985?

"Illuminated" is scheduled to be released as a double a-side with "Better Than Love" at the beginning of May. You might recall that "Better Than Love" was the first, official single from Theo and Adam.

Sadly, upon first release, "Better Than Love" could only manage a lacklustre placing on the UK singles chart at #50. Honestly, the mixes weren't terribly exciting. However, fresh from their blinding reswizzling of Hurts' "Wonderful Life", Freemasons are having a go at "Better Than Love" along with Death In Vegas and Burns.

Now, let's step it up a notch, lads. Issue that Paul Van Dyk remix of "Sunday" and you will have a blindingly good single on your hands. If not that, at least put together one of those deluxe editions of the album that the labels are so fond of throwing out to a disinterested public. I would actually purchase that one! Make it happen!

Monday, April 4, 2011

opera lover

Recently, on my little sojourn to the cloudy climes of London, I ran into Tracey Thorn at the local Starbucks. What are the chances? I was struck by how funny, warm and lovely she is. You'll be pleased to know she was rocking a rather fetching, purple, down parka.

During our brief, caffeinated encounter, I mentioned I planned on purchasing her next single as soon as it was made available. And as if by magic, "You Are A Lover", released as a translucent green, limited edition 10" single, has been made available to purchase today from the Strange Feeling website.

The tracklisting includes the dubby Clock Opera Remix of "You Are A Lover" on the a-side with the original mix and her gorgeous cover of Sufjan Stevens' "Sister Winter" featured on the flipside. Order your copy now, kittens!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sade collected

We're back online, mes chattons! After our brief sojourn to the UK, we've returned to find out that the ever elusive Sade will return with new material just over a year after her last studio longplayer, "Soldier Of Love".

"The Ultimate Collection", released on May 9 to coincide with her world tour, collects 29 soulful gems from across the Sade oeuvre. No word on weather the much sought after single versions will appear on the compilation. However, the double disc will feature three new recordings - "Still In Love With You", "Love Is Found" and "I Would Have Never Guessed" - plus a jacked up remix of "The Moon And The Sky" with dubious rap mogul Jay-Z. Yawn.

If they wanted some serious attention to this collection, the Ben Watt remix of "By Your Side" should have been slotted into the tracklisting at some point.

One of the tracks, "Still In Love With You", is a rather understated cover of a Thin Lizzy tune.



The following is the official tracklisting for "The Ultimate Collection".

CD 1

1. Your Love Is King
2. Smooth Operator
3. Hang On To Your Love
4. The Sweetest Taboo
5. Is It A Crime
6. Never As Good As The First Time
7. Jezebel
8. Love Is Stronger Than Pride
9. Paradise
10. Nothing Can Come Between Us
11. No Ordinary Love
12. Kiss Of Life
13. Feel No Pain
14. Bullet Proof Soul


CD 2

1. Cherish The Day
2. Pearls
3. By Your Side
4. Immigrant
5. Flow
6. King Of Sorrow
7. The Sweetest Gift
8. Solider Of Love
9. The Moon And The Sky
10. Babyfather
11. Still In Love With You
12. Love Is Found
13. I Would Never Have Guessed
14. The Moon And The Sky (Remix featuring Jay-Z)
15. By Your Side (Neptunes Remix)

Take a look at the cover art. Ms. Sade has never looked more sultry. All that time away from the studio has been kind to her.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

step back in time

Attention Kylie fans! It's time to put your hands up and smell the poppers! PWL alumnus, Pete Hammond, has crafted a frothy, SAW inspired remix of what will hopefully be the next single from Ms. Minogue's current longplayer, "Aphrodite".

"Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" has been reswizzled into a glittering, early 90s, retro jam. Get ready to dance around your handbag!



It's a beautiful marriage of Kylie's PWL past and her showgirl present. Love the colorful little clip that's been put together for it. One litte suggestion. Someone should learn how to spell. When has "come on" ever been spelled "common'"? Have I missed something? Sorry, I'm a bit of a grammar granny.

Let's hope EMI do the right thing for once. Release this now!

Monday, March 21, 2011

incredible discussion

With mere days before I jet off to London to see "The Most Incredible Thing" at Saddler's Wells, I'm getting acquainted with the score. The ballet, adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen short story of the same name, features the choreography of Javier De Frutos married to the electro symphonic stylings of Pet Shop Boys.

Check out this rather in depth interview with Les Boys as they enthusiastically discuss nearly every aspect of the ballet. Watch Neil's eyes widen as he talks about it. You can feel the passion he has for the entire project.



Always up for any opportunity to make their rabid fans froth at the mouth, PSB have collaborated with The Vinyl Factory once again for a limited edition package. "The Most Incredible Thing" will be released as an exclusive, deluxe, limited art edition. Only 500 copies will be made available worldwide which makes it an instant collector's item. Each set will be hand-numbered and signed by Neil and Chris.

The outer packaging will feature a silk cloth bound hard board slipcase. The contents will include a hardback book with seven record sleeves. Six sleeves will house heavyweight 180 gram vinyl records featuring the Pet Shop Boys’ music for the ballet as well as the original demo versions of each of the compositions. The demos will only be made available as part of this release.

The seventh sleeve contains an oversized foldout sheet music print signed by Neil and Chris. The ballet synopsis will be printed onto the record sleeves so that each has an accompanying narrative that reads like a storybook.

Be prepared to plonk down £350 for this pricey piece of PSB paraphernalia.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

seafood for thought

I'm a bit late on this one, but there's been a lot going on at So Hip It Hurts HQ this week as I prepare for my first trip to the UK this year.

The Human League, mighty masters of electronic pop, have lensed a vid for "Never Let Me Go", the second single from their forthcoming ninth longplayer, "Credo".



Surely, the video will win an award for best appearance of a mollusk in a music video.

Critics who have criticized the THL for the use of autotune in the chorus of this radio friendly gem, have missed the point. Phil Oakey and co. have always been about the sound of now without compromising their uncanny ability to fashion of cracking tune. After a few listens, I challenge you to escape the charms of this electro earworm.

the big smoke

The interwebs have certainly been sprinkled with its fair share of less than flattering reactions to George Michael's drastic reworking of New Order's "True Faith", a single which was released this week in the UK for the Comic Relief charity.

The dreamy production features a heavily affected vocal and even dares to remove some of the original lyrics. Treating GMs vocal with a vocoder effect allowed for some interesting harmonics that would not have been able to be created naturally. At least that's how George explained and defended his use of it. Let's keep in mind that he hardly needs autotune. George is quite capable of staying in pitch.

So, it's clearly an artistic statement of some sort. At least he has continued be top of mind with something related directly to his career. It's a nice change of pace from him being slumped over the steering wheel of his car. Regardless of your thoughts on the merits of the single, it's all for a good cause with all the proceeds being donated to the Comic Relief charity.

Now, just days after the release of "True Faith", George revealed the video for it. Let's have a look.



Well! I heard George likes a good smoke! Oh, such delicious irony.

I like how the clip develops into a bit of a tribute to the original, Philippe Decouflé produced video from New Order. I'm especially fond of George's new found desire to look directly at the camera. Nice to see him ditch the sunglasses. Let's hope he continues the trend.