Wednesday, August 14, 2013

a brown apple

V V Brown, she of "Shark In The Water" fame, is finally resurfacing after she scrapped her sophomore longplayer, "Lollipops & Politics", earlier this year. In it's place with be "Samson & Delilah", an independently released album after she ditched her major label deal.

"The Apple", the second single from the forthcoming elpee, is a dark and brooding affair. Clearly, V V wanted to explore a direction that didn't require her to rent a rapper or live on the frothy foam of pop's fickle finger.

And the video is quite a departure, as well. It's the second part in a series of five clips, all of which will be unveiled throughout the campaign of "Samson & Delilah".

Ooh! She's gone all cryptic and arty. Visually and sonically, it appears she's channeling Grace Jones. Very interesting. Let's see where she goes with this.

"The Apple" will be available from all fine digital retailers on August 25. "Samson And Delilah" will hit the "shops" on September 8.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

basement boys

The might Basement Jaxx return with "What A Difference Your Love Makes", the funky follow up to "Back To The Wild". I suspect ver Jaxx were inspired by Earth Wind And Fire on this one. Featured singer, Sam Brooks, sounds a bit like Philip Bailey in his lower register.

Score another floor filler for the boys!

you keep me hanging on

Swarthy singer Sam Sparro drops a new tune from his forthcoming EP, "Quantum Physical, Volume 1".

"Hang On 2 Your Love" is not a Sade cover. It's a hip swiveling new tune which shimmies and wiggles with Sam's typically soulful vocal shining over the top of a handclap happy track that sports a deep house bass and some plinky keyboard lines reminiscent of club classic "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" by Crystal Waters.

It's Sam's first new release after last year's amazing longplayer, "Return To Paradise". Not sure why Durand Bernarr is considered a featured singer on the track. Clearly, Sam is singing. Perhaps, Mr. Bernarr is providing backing vocals. Or, upon second listen, it could be that he is singing the chorus.

This one is aimed straight at the dancefloor! Werq it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Donna Summer is giving you the finger

Sweet Nefertiti! This is guaranteed to make you shimmy your posterior. Canadian funk outfit lend their synth swagger to "Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)" by Donna Summer.

Originally released in 1982, the single reached #10 on the US singles chart and hit #18 in the UK. It was produced by sonic mastermind, Quincy Jones, after the incredible success of Michael Jackson's album, "Off The Wall".

The single is one of several post 70's gems released by the Queen Of Disco which showed that, with the right material, Donna could still bring the goods to the dancefloor. It also happens to be one of my favorites of hers.

I love the original version. It always makes me wanna run around the room and smash stuff! And I quite like this newly reswizzled slice of Summer. After a year since her untimely passing, I suspect Verve, the label that commissioned this funky affair, is getting ready to release a remix project. Watch this space!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

city song

The mighty Texas return with the second single from their eighth longplayer, "The Conversation". "Detroit City" is another slice of pop underpinned by chunky rhythms and electronics.

The song barrels along at a sprightly pace while Sharleen Spiteri warbles her gorgeous tones over the top of it. The band even manage to keep some of their twanky charm within the track. Definitely a highlight from their current album.

Texas recently lensed a video for it in - wait for it - Detroit! Hat tip to the obvious. Let's watch Sharleen as she spins her fins around the Motor City with joy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

back together with Annie

Annie is back, Back, BACK! The Norwegian songstress has returned with a bubbly, 90s rave inspired EP bristling with pop brilliance! "A&R EP" has been masterfully produced by Richard X who has worked with Annie in the past, and has also twiddled knobs for such pop luminaries as Pet Shop Boys and Saint Etienne. In fact, the A&R in the title of the EP refer to Annie and Richard. Simples!

The artwork for the sleeve is all bright and brash which reflects a clubbing era from once a upon a time and long ago. The EP has the look, feel and sound of E fueled evenings (and mornings!) of yesteryear. Actually, it also reminds me of the single sleeve for "How To Be A Millionaire" by ABC which preceded the rave scene by half a decade.

The lead track, "Back Together", features Annie cooing over a ramped up pop banger filled with 909s and Italo piano which wouldn't have sounded out of place in the summer of 1992. To these ears, it sounds like a cross between Saint Etienne and Cathy Dennis. And the video is a treat for anyone that remembers "The Chart Show".

The rest of Annie's EP is just as jubilant as the opener. If this EP was part of an album and this was the early 90s, four of the singles would be massive hits.

"Hold On" is gorgeous with a rhythmic nod to "Break 4 Love" by Raze, lots of tinkly bits and lovely steel drum sounds. A song titled after the act who played the hero in the movie, "The Karate Kid", could have been a cheesetastic embarrassment, but "Ralph Macchio" is a glorious ode to a childhood crush resplendent with swishing hit hats and plonky keyboard bleeps. "Invisible" moves into darker territory with its rave bits, acid squiggles and machine gun handclaps. Think the love child of Baby D and Altern 8 as a reference point. The EP closes with "Mixed Emotions" another slice of 90s retro activity with a killer chorus. It throws a few rave shapes and seems to hint at shades of Electribe 101.

All in all, it's a tremendously strong EP. It's a welcome return considering she dipped her toe back in the pop landscape with the ill-advised "Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts" last April.

Eek! No comment.