I like it when remixes aren’t just speeded up versions of songs. This ‘re-version’ of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ has a really cool twist to it, and it comes as a free download along with these other edits over on Sam Sure & Giacomo’s Facebook:
- Lianne La Havas ‘The Intro’
- Lana del Rey ‘Video Games’
- John Martyn – ‘Go Down Easy’
- Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Tell Me a Tale’
- Friendly Fires vs. Marvin Gaye – ‘Gotta Give it up’
- Valentia – ‘Can’t Stop Now’
Their music draws comparisons to the likes of The Streets, Rizzle Kicks and Jamie T, and will be leading into the new year with the release of the understated debut, ‘Dark Inside’; deconstructed beats and heavy atmospherics lay the bed for an introspective and brooding vocal.
So everyone’s doing their lists for 2011. They’re fun to read but a nightmare to compile, so I thought I’d shake it up a bit with my list by using some really rather pointless categories.
2011’s Most Painfully Cool
Woodkid – This is one of those ‘hidden loves’ I have who I don’t really blog about because I want to enjoy for myself. Kinda selfish it sounds but it’s only because if I do blog about them I just won’t stop… Friendly Fires being an example. Anyway, anything Woodkid touches turns to gold.
2011’s Best Second Album
Friendly Fires – Pala. Second albums are so hard to get right but Friendly Fires had no trouble coming back with a piece of genius.
2011’s Best Album To Fall In Love To
Patrick Wolf – Lupercalia. Patrick Wolf has one of the most devoted set of followers for any musician that I know in the UK. I have a few records of his, but this is by far the standout album that he’s produced to date. Just because the story behind it is so simple- he fell in love. And the songs that feature are a pure joy to listen to.
2011’s Most Underrated Album
Alex Clare – Lateness Of The Hour. Produced by Diplo and mixing some really heart-stopping beats with a raw voice and big lyrics, it’s just stunning from start to finish. I really hope it picks up in 2012 because this record is just too good to not be heard.
2011’s Most Bittersweet Album
Amy Winehouse – Lionness. You may know that I am a huge fan of the late Winehouse. So when this was released last month I was stunned at how some of the songs which had already been released sounded so different when arranged the way Winehouse actually wanted. It’s a beautiful record, but I really hope her estate releases more.
2011’s Most Addictive Track
M83 – Midnight City. This track makes you feel like a kid running around in the dark pretending to be a space hero or something. It’s amazing.
2011’s Biggest Pisstake
Ed Sheeran – ‘+’. I know people love this kid to bits, but I physically wanted to snap his album in half when I brought it. It was without doubt one of the wettest, most boring pieces of music I’ve had to make myself listen to. Which is a shame because I was really excited about the talent. And they definitely went overboard with the ginger- an orange album and having that Harry Potter kid play him in a music video gets a bit sickly after a while.
2011’s Most Anticipated Debut
Penguin Prison – Penguin Prison. This chap’s been causing a stir on the blogs for a couple of years now and his debut album came out a few months back. Most of the songs have already been out, but there’s something about hearing them in full set that makes the ears very satisfied.
2011’s Most Welcome Return
Man Like Me. One of my favourite bands by a mile, purely because of the genius behind their sillyness, Man Like Me released some new material this year that got me a bit excited.
2011’s Most Interesting Lyric To Come Out Of A Rap
Childish Gambino – Freaks & Geeks: “An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything”.
The first 30 seconds of this track are so painfully vibey and cool. This is the new video from my favourite band of recent years, Friendly Fires. Don’t leave, don’t leave, don’t leeeeeaaaave…
RizLab today announced its third project of 2011 with Ghostpoet and The D.O.T., the new band formed by Rob Harvey and Mike Skinner.
This is very exciting- as you may know, I might just be one of The Streets/ Mike Skinner’s biggest fans, and this sounds awesome.
Over the course of the last year, Ghostpoet has quietly and quickly become recognised as one of the most exciting new artists in the UK. His laconic flow, razor-sharp lyrical observations and a raw yet melodic approach to beat-making led to a Mercury nomination for his debut album (‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’) on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings and an army of fans, including Mike Skinner.
Mike Skinner’s admiration for Ghostpoet’s work had brought them into the studio together to work on some demos. Following RizLab’s approach, Ghostpoet and The D.O.T. went back into the studio and created the track ‘Trouble’ – a synth-heavy, up-tempo beat from Mike that features Ghostpoet’s trademark lethargic rhymes and Rob Harvey’s distinctive vocals on the chorus.
With the track complete, the next step is the video. Ghostpoet has already created spectacular videos for ‘Liiines’ and ‘Survive It’, while Mike Skinner has long been known for his self-directed videos. Given both their history, RizLab is expecting something truly off the wall.
Click here to watch the first in a series of trailers from Ghostpoet and The D.O.T.; the first being an 80s-style science film shot in Mike’s studio. Learn about the track, the collaboration and the project, and stay tuned for further details over the next few weeks.
Additionally, further details of Friendly Fires’ RizLab project have been revealed including full details of the collaborations between Friendly Fires and SBTRKT, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and LONE, plus the release of a video of the artists at work in the studio and in discussion about the project. Find out more here.
Last week RizLab announced that Friendly Fires will be the next artists to work with RizLab; curating a one-off exploration of “The Past, Present and Future of Dance Music” at RizLab on the opening day of Bestival. As an introduction to their project, Friendly Fires have created an exclusive mix for RizLab as a preview to their appearance at Bestival.
Friendly Fires commented: “The mix is a 30 minute journey that includes tracks that represent our collective love of dance music and our formative influences. The tracks we’ve included pinpoint moments that made us think differently about music, that sounded like absolutely nothing else we’d heard before, while others are classic moments in a scene we’ll always hold dear to our hearts.”
The Friendly Fires RizLab mix can be heard exclusively here. To support the mix the band recorded a short film in which they provide insight into the broad range of dance artists and tracks that they love.
Ed Macfarlane (lead singer) references artists such as deep house originator Kerri Chandler who was an early influence. Chris Clark’s work on Warp Records is mentioned; his manipulation of live drum samples an example of how diverse and complex dance music can be. Blawan’s recent release “Getting Me Down” is a record that Ed’s been listening to – a dirty, raw, bass influenced house track that includes a beautifully crafted Brandy sample. Andrew Weatherall’s remix of the My Bloody Valentine track “Soon” is included as an example of how a traditional band line-up can work perfectly with dance music.
Jack Savidge (drummer) identifies “Flash”, a 1995 release from Green Velvet, as an example of how dance music can be inspired by the classic soul and pop records of the 60s and 70s. Jack’s frame of reference is exceptionally broad, including artists such as US based electronic duo Blaqk Audio and Germany’s Superpitcher. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is mentioned as one of Jack’s favorite contemporary dance acts, as he loves his ability to incorporate jungle and speed garage with elements of the past to create something very modern.
Edd Gibson (lead guitar) discusses the moment when he began to appreciate that dance music didn’t need to be full on 4/4 – that it can have depth and sophistication. He references LFO’s bass-heavy techno track “Freeze” as an example of how much emotion can be conveyed with the most minimal of instrumentation and production. SBTRKT is also praised for his ability to blend high-spirited club beats and deeply soulful vocals. Edd also picks out Mike Slott as an artist he’s keeping his eye on – a musician whose roots in Jazz and Classical music have merged with his love of Hip Hop and Electronic music to create a unique, textual sound.
To see Friendly Fires talking about their RizLab project go to www.rizlab.co.uk/projects.
Moshi Moshi founder Stephen Bass is one of the creative curators for RizLab. He’s a renowned talent spotter and was one of the first people in the industry to spot Friendly Fires’ unique ability to anthemic songwriting with dance floor fillers.
Stephen commented: “I’ve known Friendly Fires for a while so, when we first started doing RizLab, they were the first band that I went to speak to. As soon as we started talking about what we could do they were immediately attracted to the idea of exploring their love of dance music in a live environment.”
Friendly Fires commented: “Our goal was to have a line-up that acted as a timeline to show where electronic music started and where it is now. The idea was to create a bill of legendary yet varied names from the genre to create something perfect for Bestival. As a band we’re always been keen to show off our genuine love and passion for dance music. It’s great to have this opportunity to select our own line-up as it’s not something we’d normally have the opportunity to do.”
The line-up will include:
PRESENT: Friendly Fires sets and collaborations
FUTURE: SBTRKT, LONE and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
That’s OK, you can buy the best album of the year so far here. They’ve kept the bar high with their second album, it’s most definitely worth buying and listening to. Eargasm. Actually, their track Hawaiian Air was on loop in my head when the dentist raped my gums last week, and it totally made me feel better. Have you brought it? Let me know what you think if you want!
Right, I’ll say this now and I’ll keep saying it- this is THE band to watch live. I honestly can’t compare their gigs to anyone else’s out there. The music is awesome, the lights are insane and the crowd is gorgeous to look at.
Playing a mix of tunes from their first album along with some stuff from their new one (Pala– which sounded just as good as the original tracks), I shuffled my feet as much as I could while carrying a massive bag on my shoulders from work.
Please go see Friendly Fires, your life will be so much better. And try to dance like the singer cos it’s just so painfully cool. The only down sides were the fact that they came on too early (8:30) and that it was on a Monday- this is the kind of gig you’d want to get crazy with on a weekend.
No pictures in the world could show you how amazing tonight was but I’ve tried in my own pathetic little way in Flickr here.
Sun drenched, idyllic, blissful sound coming from Friendly Fires‘ forthcoming album, Pala. This must be the best album of the year I reckon. It’s sounding amazing so far. Check out the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix here.