Friday, 6 November 2009

New Hadouken! Single...

Hadouken! havn't sold out, but it's not far off.

That may sound harsh to other listeners, and I'm not even sure it's a justified comment to make myself, but the new single "M.A.D." (Mutually Assured Destruction, for the less geeky readers) feels, I dunno, cheaper than anything on the last album, "Music for an accelerated Culture"

Hadouken! Lead singer, James Smith, is on record pre-single release saying that the new work by the band would be, less game influenced, and that their lyrics would not be based around social commentary, as per their previous works.

And in some respects, he's right. Don't get me wrong, I like the new single. It features the same bassy hooks as the last album, and a lot of the same synthesised sound that harkens back to midi influenced game soundtracks, so as far as their actual sound goes, it hasn't changed to much. It's evolved slightly, changed and tweaked, but hasn't undergone a massive overhaul. It's what I expected from James Smith really, as an accomplished producer himself, he's talented and knkows how things should sound. It won't offend the bands retro-game-playing-doom-fan-indie-boy-listeners, shall we say. And like the last album, it's rave danceable. I'd play M.A.D. in a club. I'd probably get 'hella props' for doing it too.

But I think this is where the single starts to loose it's integrity. One of the main factors for me, when I started listening to Hadouken! in the first place, aside from the infinitely cool midi-electro influence, was the lyrics.

Liquid Lives was a commentary on the UK's binge drinking fanaticism, Spend Your lives was a epitaph for the countries credit culture. That Boy That Girl was a scathing review on UK indie culture. Every single meant something. Even songs like "Crank It Up" and "Get Smashed Gate Crashed" had an underpinning of critical analysis of youth culture.

The album was a successful, intelligent yet foot-loose, rave record. Landing amazingly on both sides of the fence. It encouraged you to get absolutely fucked, and yet put a thumb on the underlying issues at the same time.

Enter Shikari's records do the same thing. So much so that the two bands are linked in my mind, along with "Does it offend you, Yeah?"... So much so that when Enter Shikari released their new album, I immediately thought "oooh, Hadouken!'s new album must be on the way too" and I was totally psyched. And totally right. However, Enter Shikari's new album dealt with social issues MORE. To the point where they even sound tongue in cheek and even piss-takey. And of course, they are. Chatting on a forum with Rou Reynolds, he said "You have to have a sense of humour", And it works as a medium. And an album.

M.A.D's lyrics however, are much less analytical. In-fact, there are less lyrics. Take any single from "Music for an accelerated Culture" and the songs are busting with lyrical content. M.A.D. however, follows a much simpler, club orientated lyrical format. It even sounds a little... dare I say, Chavvy (Chav Savvy, of course). I'm not being naive, I know that Hadouken! have grime influence, but the new records less grime, and more R'n'B.

Hadouken! are obviously building an LP meant to be played be played loud, in clubs, and at concerts. Which isn't a bad thing. It's a great thing. I love my loud bassy incomprehensibly foot moving music as much as the next guy. Probably more than the next guy. But it wasn't what I expected from Hadouken! Personally the remixes are where I expect to hear the club thumpers. There are already 2 amazing remixes of M.A.D. to prove the point as well. Be sure to check them out too.

I'm not disappointed with the the new single, I just expected... more.

But, don't take my word for it, It is an amazing track still, and in it's own right. And all the previews around the internet of the rest of the album look promising too. Listen to it and make up your own mind. You might disagree with me, you might think I'm full of shit. I make no apologies for this review and the way I feel, I'm still gonna buy the album. I just don't think it will compare with "Music for an accelerated Culture"

But hey, that's why they call it a "difficult second album" right?

Check it out for yourself.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Electro, House, And Big Bass Beats!

Right, So I'm a bit of a musical butterfly. By this I mean I'm really eclectically tasted, not that I'm some kinda freak playing musical chairs while flying or something, I just like a lot of music. I flutter between genres every now and then listening to different things as the mood takes me.

But a couple of genres have held my interest as of late. Electro, Dance, House and Techno. Even drum and bass to some extent, although I wouldn't consider myself a massive fan. If I get into a conversation with someone about D'n'B I have to talk about the Professionals, Skream, Rusko and Ram Records. Then slag off Pendulum a bit (even though I quite like them) and hope I pass off as someone who knows what I'm talking about. I fear I fail quite a bit though.

Together though, these 5 genres seem to be forming a cornerstone of modern music. Indeed, like Prodigy captured our hearts at the start of the underground rave scene, all those years ago, that baton seems to have been handed down to the bands, groups, and DJ's at the forefront of these musical styles.

The styles themselves seem to intermix and crossover quite happily. To the point where it's hard really to tell one from the other. Genre middlemen pop up all over the place, like Electro-house, Techno-House, House and Bass, Hard House and so forth. To the point where the old rave scene styles fade almost from existence, except in the record collections of anyone growing up in the 90's rave scene. The last time I heard anyone mention Garage and Jungle was on the "Ali G in Da House" soundtrack. But maybe I'm just milling around with the wrong people. Genre's never die off completely. But they do evolve. And I think this is what they've done.

I write this blog in a kind of half hearted fashion though. The Electric music genres are an acquired taste. If you're listening to oasis right now, chances are you wont like it. If you're listening to Green Day.... stop reading my blog and go buy a Dropkick Murphey's CD... Learn something. If you're listening to Mastadon... well you've made your choice, I salute you for it.

Most people who listen to these genres of music, know more than I could ever write down here. Probably more than I even know. Such is the intense fandom of the people who listen to this type of music. Especially with Drum and Bass, as I kinda already said. The Modern Electric genres don't really have part time listeners, although more and more people are being exposed to them through pop and Hip-Hop.

Take Dizzee Rascal for instance. His new album, and more over the single "Bonkers" has a lot of strong bassy and electro elements in it. Kid Kudi's single "Day and Night" was only made famous after it was remixed by one of the genres most prevalent DJ groups, Crookers. In the same way that no-one paid any attention to Craig David till Artful Dodger laid his touch to "Re-Rewind"

Other than it featuring in the charts more and more, the other reason this music is rising in popularity is because... well, It's simply getting better.

15-20 years ago electronic music was created and treated very differently than it is now. It was normally tinny, simple and minimalistic. Like Depeche Mode. Or Electric Light Orchestra. Or Mr. Oizo. And even then that music wasn't created JUST on computers, it was made by using analogue synthesisers, Turntables, circuit bending, and in the case of ELO, whole orchestras.

It had a very different, and very hands on technical feel to it. Even Garage, Jungle and House of yesteryear sounds very different to the stuff being pumped out in today's world.

Nowadays, a few samples and couple of illegally downloaded programmes (Cubase, Fruity-Loops, or even to some extent the latter versions of Ejay) will see someone creating music, on their computer, on their own. It may not be great, but it will be music. And that's just at your basement level. Anyone with talent and the time to spare can become good at it, and that's what's happened. It's blown the scene wide open for new artists in the same way that garage bands lead to a huge boom of rock, metal and punk in the 70's, 80's and even the 90's.

This is the year 2009 though damnit! We're surrounded my computers, televisions, mobile phones and CCTV. We're in a world where, like rats, you're never more than 10 meters away from a piece of technology. It surrounds us. Encapsulates us. We can't escape it.

We live in a world that would give Jules Verne a wet dream, H.G. Wells heart palpitations, and George Orwell big screaming nightmares.

So why should not this ease of life and technology infused state of being we reside to ebb into realm of music. It's natural evolution. It's doing wonders for the scene, and a whole cascade of new music is unfurling before us. Getter better, stronger and more popular day by day.

To some people, it'll be a bad thing. Like I said earlier, if you like Oasis, you wont have a clue what I'm on about. If you're into Enter Shikari, Fake Blood, Dan Le Sac, or anything in anyway even slight modern or synthesised however, watch this space. This scene will erupt. And I will be posting my ten favourite modern music greats in the near future. Probably even after dinner.

(Hey even in a digital world, a man's gotta eat!)

Monday, 31 August 2009

10 German songs you might wanna check out.

In my last post I braught up a German rap song, "Bitte Wer?" and have since had good feedback about it. It got me thinking though, alot of people don't listen to music outside of their language barrier, and it's a bit of a shame really. There's a lot of music out their that's not sang in English, and alot of it is quite good.

This has begun to change recently though, and I'm not saying as a nation we've never heard of German music, things like Nena and Falco have made it accross (in return America gave Germany David Hasslehoff... I'll let you decide who made it out of that deal with a profit) and groups like Rammstein made it into the metal scene which has always been quite open.

Even more recently however Peter Fox (formerly of Seeed) seems to be breaking out on English soil, attending a number of festivals. His music's great aswell and definatly worth checking out (buy Stadtaffe or Music Monks by Seeed) as he has a style all to himself and meaningful and provogative lyrics (if you can understand them). He's a great all rounder.

But what else should you check out? Here's 10 to get you started.

1) Oomph - Augen Auf

It's hard to choose between what song is Oomph's best. They've released a number of singles, and with a new album very soon to be released, I kind of wanted to put the new single down. But this is the first song I heard by Oomph and easily one of my favourite (other than their cover of "Power of Love" which is easily better than the original, but alas, English, so kind of point defeating)

They're a strong band in their own right, but have always seemed to follow in Rammstein's wake as a less quirky Metal rather than industrial Deutsch-group.

Still, the Bands worth checking out, as is this lyrical hooky single, that will hopefully leave you wanting to explore more of the band as it did with me.

2) Samsas Traum - Alles Oder Alles

"Sasmsa's Dream" are a strange group, as their music seems to incorporate a mix of dark electronica, metal, and what's reffered to in German as "Neue Deutsche Härte" Which translates as "The New German Hardness" and as such offers a unique listening experience that you'll struggle to find in other places (Coming from a DJ, the record is a bitch to mix into anything else).

This post is also a little cheaty. Although the band is German, they currently hail from Austria where they've relocated too. (Any German-speakers out there will notice that the name of this track is more Austrian in grammer than German)

But the song's so awesome, I hbad to include it, abd Besides, they're still technically a german band. So... I win.

Anyway, here's the song, check it out.

3) Xavier Naidoo - Meine Stadt.

Naidoo is an extremely acomplished artist in his home country. He's won award after award, and worked with a large number of different musicians, including people like Kool Savas and RZA (from Wu-Tang Clan) showing that, it is really just the language barrier stopping his further success.

His style of R'n'B is more true to R'n'B's roots than most English or American attempts in recent years, and as such is whole and hearty, not cheap music about "badonkadonks" or "getting crunk" .... or should that be "Arsch" or "Wird verrückt betrunken" Hehe.

Meine Stadt itself is a song about Xavier's home town, Mannheim, and how he feels about it. Like a German Bruce Springsteen, only good. (And His charity work would make him more like a German Bono, only, not a twat).

It's an amazing song, and you should translate the lyrics as you listen to it.

4) King Kool Savas Feat. MelBeatz - Grind On.

I did think long and hard about Kool Savas, he's quite rappy for one, and if I was to include him in this list what song should I choose. But I mentioned him earlier, and he's not really popular outside of Germany and Austria so it seemed like a good idea.

A founding member of "Optik schweiz" or "Optic Army" he's worked with countless big names, like Melbeatz for instance, who is his exgirlfriend, and more besides, Azad, Xavier Naidoo, Fatman Scoop, RZA, KutMasta Kurt, Royce Da 5'9 and many more besides.

I chose this song purely on the basis that it's one of his most Hip Hop, as his more recent stuff tends to border on straight rap. If you've played Tony Hawks underground you probably heard it in the background. It's a straight up, chirpy tune about skateboarding. Like a German version of Lupe Fiasco. (only Kool Savas did it first)

5) In Extremo - Liam

Yes, this band is German, although you wouldn't think it for the first thirty odd seconds of this song.

In Extremo, are a "Medieval" metal band, and as such incorporate many instruments that you wouldn't expect, especialy for a band hailing from Berlin. Bagpipes, kilts and harps make a frequent appearance, as do gailic, High Old German, and Latin.

Despite being a complicated band, the songs are catchy. It's not unlike English theme-metal. Something like Iced Earth. Alot lighter and melodic perhaps. Anyways, here's the linky.

6) Lacrimosa - Halt Mich

This goth duo is only really half german, but still worth a mention, as the composition of the music itself is amazing, something reminiscent of the classical era, with something akin to a rock opera sang over the top.

It's great music, black eye make up is optional when listening to it.

7) Wolfsheim - Kein Zurück

Germany and darkwave music seem to hand in hand. Alot of goths and synthpop fans out their might have heard of this band, but this blog wouldn't be "Explosure" if I didn't try to widen that margin.

The band itself has been around for quite some time, since hte 80's in fact, and do follow the gothy electronica tred set by other bands, but this song in particular is beautiful.

For a band with darker hooks, it's particularly remorseful, etched with sorrow. Now, dont start sliting your wrists, it's not as bad as VNV nation's "Holding On" or anything, it's something you could listen to, to chill out. Not sit in a bathtub of warm water slowly getting redder.

(It's also one of the few song's they actualy sing in german)

8) Funf Sterne Deluxe - Die Leude

This band is pretty much the german version of "Goldie Lookin' Chain". While this song is called "The People" the lyrics are funny enough and full of clever word play, and one of the bands most famous songs is called "Ja Ja, Deine Mudder" or "Yeah yeah, your mum".

They even sound similiar, other than, you know, singing in German, not Welsh accents.

Still, very good. And Remember, 'The people want something to happen"

9) Deichkind - Remmidemmi

Deichkind, or "Gutter Children" are a strange mix of Hip Hop, electro and strong bassy hooks. Like if "Does it Offend You, Yeah?" "Enter Shikari" and "Hadouken" had all formed one band. And been born in Germany.

Sadly however, the band have announced that they wont be recording any more records, at least as Deichkind, with the death of their producer and friend early this year.

This song is less heavy on the rappy lyrics, and more about getting silly at a party. The main lyric, "Yippie yippie yeah, Yippie Yeah, Yippie Yeah, Krawall und Remmidemmi" Translates to "Riot and Rave". If the song wasn't in German, I definatly would have busted it out in a club by now. Heck, I still might.

(If this song isn't for you, try looking up one of their less dirty grindy tracks, like "Limit"

10) Die Toten Hosen - Keine Alkohol

This song is a classic german party song. Die Toten Hosen (The dead trousers, if you translate litteraly / The deadbeats if you translate it properly) are a fantastic punk band.

This song, all about how life without alcohol isn't worth living. Is a riff rousing party crazy drink fueled room wrecker. Give it a go. You will be singing along by the second chorus.

Bonus Links!

Every Country makes mistakes, I give you, the German Hanson

Peter Fox - Schwarz Zu Blau

Seeed - Ding (The original, not the Remix that got released in the UK)

Kool Savas Vs Mr Mann - Brooklyn 2 Berlin

Saturday, 29 August 2009

10 Hip Hop crossovers you should really know.

Hip hop is one of those genres that has had crossover after corssover after crossover.

From it's infamous start with things like Run DMC vs. Aerosmith, to more aquired tastes, like that of Public Enemy, its always been there (and even more recently with the likes of holywood undead). As long as there has been Hip Hop, there has been someone willing to push the envelope, and experiment by mixing it with something else.

It's what you'd expect from a genre of music that relies so heavily on turntablism and inovative producers to keep it afloat.

But nowadays with the scene so heavily dominated by the worthy talents of Mike Shinoda, what else is there to listen too? What else should you check out? Well, here's ten to get you started.

1) Ill Bill, Immortal Technique and Max Cavelera - War Is My Destiny.

Not as such a remix or mash-up, as a true crossover, I'll start my list with this one. As it was meant to be from it's conception, a crossover. Using the harsh stylings of Immortal Technique, and the famous talents of Ill Bill, to lay down a vicious sounding track, and outlaying it with the gutteral metal that is Max Cavelera's domain.

Obviously, the brazilian born Cavelera is famous for his work with Sepultura and Soulfly, rarely straying from his own style of empowering metal. While Immortal technique, is slightly less well known, but for his politicaly enfused, intelligent and angry rap style. They meet incredibly well here over this Ill Bill track, infused with emotion and raw anger.

Oh, and FYI, the video is amazing.

2) X-ecutioners - (Even) more Human that Human

I did struggle to include this on in the list, as the X-ecutioners work quite closely with Shinoda from time to time, but they are extremely accomplished artists within their own right. Currently comprised of Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, Rob Swift and Total Eclipse the group of turntablists and Grand Masta's have an intresting history.

Originaly named for and after the Marvel Comics, they had to change their names for legal reasons, but have thrived due to the groups massive collective talent.

Roc Raida, along with Vlad the Impaler, and Mike Shinoda, released an amazing album called "Rock Phenominon" full of remixes and mashups of metal, with Hip Hop and Rap music. Check it out, it's a fantastic piece of beatoligy.

This song itself throws together Slug, from Atmosphere fame, with Rob Zombie (formerly of White Zombie) in a track that is pure genious.

3) Sage Francis - Got Up This Morning

Firmly in the world of underground Hip Hop, Sage Francis is a cult icon and hero to those disenfranchised with current Rap Music. Along with Buck 65, who produced this record they form some of the last refuge for intelligent lyrical intruiging Hip Hop.

This track mixes together guitar music with a very old west feel to it, and Sage Francis' musky voice and intense lyrics to create a record that you just can't stop listening to.

4) DJ Stylewarz Feat. D-flame and Torch - Bitter Wer?

Another song I struggled to include, purely on the basis, it's german. I listen to alot of world music, but I know alot of people in England dong really bother (other than of course the obligatory Rammstein for the Metal Fans) and for people who don't speak German, Hip Hop would be a little pointless in the language, as the art form is slightly lost.

Or is it? I dont really think so, as you can still hear the rhythmic precussion of the voice, the rhymes and beat, even if you don't understand the words. Anyone who has ever listened to an instrumental or even classical music, can never use not understanding the lyrics as a reason to not listen to a song.

So I do formally challange you to listen to this song with an open mind and not like it (Other than if you think remixing Led Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" is sacriligious, although a better remix of this song has never been done)

5) Apathy - Seven Nation Army

OK, so the lyrics arn't exactly rainbow coloured or waving a peace sign. More like flipping you the bird and trying to chat up your mum, but they're still clever.

I'm aware that Apathy doesn't exactly bridge the gap between hip hop and rap, but It's my guilty hypocritical pleasure, and this song blissfully throws down with the white stripes and creates a new record, while obviously holding the original in high regard.

Again though, Mike Shinoda seems to be heavily on the trail of artists who have similiar tastes to his own, having worked with Apathy a number of times, including along side Styles of Beyond on the cover of Bloc Party's "Banquet", which, if you ask me, was better than the original.

6) Celldweller Feat. Styles of Beyond - Shape Shifter.

Ok, so I'd already mentioned Styles of Beyond, it seemed good to include them, but without venturing to any of their work with Shinoda. I had a tough choice between this song, and their own remix of "Nine Thou" both of which have been included in Need for Speed games.

I opted for this one, not because it's the better of the two, but because im a huge fan of Celldweller and Klayton, and becaus it shows a better range than 'Nine Though' as it includes not only a metal riff and guitar, but also the vocal stylings of Klayton, both screaming and singing.

Check it out.

7) Cowboy Troy - Chicken with the Train

Another one I didn't want to include, for sheer embarrisment.

But a good mix, is a healthy mix, so I thought, even if only for comedic purposes, Cowboy Troy should be included. Country music, and Hip Hop. It's called Hick-Hop.

Enough said really.

8) Saul Williams - Coded Language

I include this one with loose terms. Breaking slightly from my aim, just for intrest. Hip Hop and Emceeing have always, to a point, been included in the drum and bass movement, but this is the first time I've seen spoken word poetry included.

So while not truely Hip Hop, Saul Williams spoken word poem, mixed by DJ Krust, makes it into my list on pure merit. And lets face it, spoken word aint a million miles away from hip hop.

9) Quarashi - Stick 'Em Up

This Icelandic group are extremly unknown. And extremely worthy of a top ten in the UK. No dice however. And I really don't know why. They're great. Lyricaly genious at times, emotive and... rocky. Yeah, rocky. Amazing.

10) This one's a suprise... So give it a clicky.

Friday, 24 July 2009


Eminem is largely hailed as the man that brought Hip-Hop to the white masses. I don’t need to go into this too much, because if you’ve ever heard a record of his (and the only way you wont of done is if you’ve lived under a rock for your whole life) it’s pretty much all he raps about. Indeed, I don’t deny that he defiantly made it more popular with the masses. Maybe just rap though, as opposed to Hip-Hop (see my blog entry “Hip-Hop ain’t Dead” because I’m not one to beat a dead horse) so much so in fact, that even my old man has a couple of his CD’s in his collection. Not cool.

So if he is responsible for bringing rap to the forefront, and without just reiterating what I’ve already said in a previous article, why is my discontent for the man so high? Why do I detest him so much? Why do I find myself in weekly arguments with fans as to explain why he is so rubbish? That I’d rather listen to the cheeky girls? Ok, maybe not that far, but it is close. Let me explain.

It’s not that he’s a talentless hack, no that’s a status I reserve for very few people. Tim Westwood being the first that springs to mind. Eminem, AKA Marshal Mathers, is actually a very talented man. He has a unique style of rap that I do appreciate. He has a business acumen very few people do. He’s also a good talent scout and producer.

This is actually one of the reasons he annoys me. For such a talented man, he doesn’t half talk some shit. Turning the world against you to build an image to sell records is one thing, but Eminem takes it to a whole new level. The amount of controversy surrounding what the man says about other stars is immense. Now, as someone who writes a blog and enjoys a joke in bad taste, I’m not going to be so two-faced as to say you can’t do this. As a firm protester against censorship I’m not going to tell him to shut up. But Jesus Christ man, have some restraint. With Eminem it’s not really a joke as much as it is teaching people that hate with no aim is ok. That picking on a crippled superman is a good thing to do. Making quips is ok, but the line in the sand has to be at least understood. You also have to be able to take it back as good as you give it, but evidence has it Eminem doesn’t react kindly to someone flaming him back.

The second of many qualms I have with the rap megastar lies not with his misrepresentation of Hip-Hop either, but with flip-flop, hypocritical attitude of the man himself.

To start with, Eminem announced in 2005 after speculation that he was hanging up the mic, Quitting rap to concentrate on his family, production, and company, Shady Records. However during may of this year the world saw the release of “Relapse”. This new 20 track album hardly seems the work of someone who had ever quit the business. Further to this, “Relapse 2” has been announced, and is awaiting release.

Next there is the way, in several songs on his last few albums, he mentions how he is fed up with the world staring in on (obviously not enough to stop releasing records) him and his family. Specifically his daughter, Hailie Scott. However, his daughter features in no less than 9 songs Eminem has released. Surely the way to way to remove your family from the spotlight is to –not- mention them in your music?

There’s also the way he dictates how he doesn’t like how violent the rap scene has become. He’s on record in 2004 stating he was disgusted with it, and would quit rap if it didn’t stop. Now, other than signing 50cent (one of the most gun slinging wannabes to ever grace the scene) to his label, he has had his fair share of feuds himself. His war with House of Pain ex-front-man Everlast AKA Erik Schrody spanned many records. Genuine grievance or not, it hardly seems like the actions of someone who wants to remove violence from the rap industry.

The third and final reason I’ll list, isn’t really a complaint with the man himself, more the media and fans that follow him around. Aside from the obvious media talking about him constantly when they keep saying how bad he is and that he shouldn’t be allowed on the radio, despite giving him free publicity. No, it’s more to do with how many people claim he was the first white rapper, and how every white rapper since his debut immediately gets compared to the whining git. Plan B is not the English Eminem. He is just Plan B. King Kool Savas is not the German Eminem. Just King Kool Savas. Asher Roth is not Eminem for college kids. He’s just... well more on him later. Just because they rap and are white, doesn’t make them Eminem. Racisms gone all out of whack. And since when was being a twat the industry standard anyways?

Wow. Three major complaints in, and I’ve yet to mention that his high-pitched voice sounds like the squirrel from Rocky and Bulwinkle. Or that Peroxide hasn’t been cool since Duran Duran. Or that he does in fact, represent everything wrong with rap and trailer trash American culture. Or even that I get pissed off that people call what he writes Hip-Hop. Crap, guess I did mention it after all.

While the world awaits his new release eagerly, while listening to his now best selling chart topper “Relapse”... Actualy, I think I will join them in waiting eagerly. Only instead of an iPod, I’ll be holding an axe. Or a microwave.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Blogger review challenge. Musical Erections. Musical Migraines.

So to really get into the swing of this bloggers review thing, I thought I’d challenge myself.

I don’t profess to know everything about music, like all honest men I’ll openly admit there are things I don’t know, and probably more that I should learn. But I do know a fair bit, and I definitely know what I like.

So here’s the challenge. I’m going to turn to a music channel that I normally wouldn’t watch. Something girly I guess, like... I dunno, let’s go with flaunt. Once there, I will have to write an article on the first full song I hear. So changing over now.

Ok, Paul Van Dyke playing at the moment, so I’ll wait till that’s finished. Oooh, now adverts... great.

And Oh Christ, I remember now why Flaunt isn’t a channel I watch, because this review is going to be of Alina-When you Leave (Numa Numa). So with fingers cracked I have an awful feeling this is going to exhaust me. Either because it will take all of my restraint and tact not to lash out and rip it to pieces, or because I’m actually going to let loose.

Firstly, let’s just explain track itself. It’s a hardcore dance cover of the famous meme, “Numa Numa” (The imaginative name makes it hard to guess this, I know) . So in clubs and discos I don’t doubt this song has everyone jumping up and down to the beat and singing along. I confess that I was in a club and this came on I probably would too. Although some part of me would be screaming and clawing it’s way out. But it’s not something that can be helped. While it’s hardly a work of art, it’s fun, chirpy and cheerful. Cheap and cheerful though. Very cheap indeed.

For a start, the lyrics have been changed so badly it nearly made my ears bleed. Not even the content, although more on that later, there are so many missing syllables and beats in the verses it feels like a car that keeps stalling. It removes the flow of the record, and as such it’s completely held up by the repetitive, and predictable dance music in the background. (Which by the way, is so simple a 7 year old could do it using eJay).

The lyrics themselves were very “look at me I’ve got tits”. For example...

Hello, Salute, it's me, your babe
And I made something that's real
To show you how I feel,

Starts of in an incredibly egotistical way, and then sort of fades out into Linkin Park. What’s wrong with this song goes far deeper than the fact it was based on an already annoying song, popular purely because of internet fads, memes and pisstakes. Something record producers seem to mistake on a daily basis for being actually good. Matter of fact has it that 90% of the population hate the bloody things, but watch them for that “the Office”, Jimmy Carr, someone just fell over, kind of humour.

The rest of the song’s lyrics follow in the same vein, and don’t exactly plunge the depths of human experience.

The singer’s voice itself is... well. It’s not really a voice it’s so far auto-tuned. I know it’s dance music, so it’s expected to some extent, but in my mind there are three kinds of auto-tuning. The first tweaks bum notes. The second is reserved for electro. The third is completely over the top and used for robot voices, and comedy videos like “Auto Tune the News”.

This sliding scale of auto-tuning should denote quite happily how much any music should contain, but this video... well. It’s got more than any of them. If falls straight off of the scale. It goes beyond tuneful and straight into the realm of unsingable ‘nonsongatude’. And yes, I did make that word up.

Then of course, there is the video. No points for guessing what this dance video contains. That’s right, you score no-points. Half naked women, Neon Paint and provocative dancing. So no complaints from me.

Sorry, from my penis. My other brain was turning to ooze and pouring out of my ears.

At the end of the day however, I can’t really complain though. This is the kind of music flaunt plays, and the song was made for the dance floor, where it would have been at home. Ironically, at home, this music isn’t at home. Most people don’t watch flaunt on their own, they might leave it on in the background, but they don’t watch it.

You get what you pay for with cheesy dance music.

At least that’s what I was intending to finish on, but then the next song was Deadmau5. After that I listened to some Fake Blood. You know what? Alina is just shit.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Altight, if I’m going to write this article about Madonna, there are a couple of base points that should be made first, so no one is disappointed.

1) I absolutely detest the woman.

2) There will in no way be any compromising twist at the end of this rant.

3) I hate her

4) I hate her

5) I hate her

Before I start descending into gibberish, with dribble oozing from my mouth to puddle into the hair matted on my chin that I call a beard, I guess I should explain why. This isn’t the rambling of some jealous critic-wannabe, just the voice of someone who really dislikes the smug-cow.

I can admit openly, freely, and not under pain of interrogation that maybe, once, Madonna was a talented figure head that lead the pop-world zeitgeist. She was a trend setter. Someone who other people imitated. She was successful, both musically and in an entrepreneurial sense.

However, something changed. Either Father Time, and Mother Nature took a dislike to the queen of pop, or she just couldn’t keep up with the trends.

Madonna has gone from being the one of the most copy-paste-able music pin-ups to a wicked witch of the west, clawing at new fads and ideas to stay above water. For starters, the on stage lesbo-action with fellow pop harlot, Britney “ooh look at me” Spears, was a tragic tabloid headline ploy. Then, at the apex of the world’s attention towards Parkour and urban freeflow, Madonna jumps aboard the bandwagon, following everyone else, hiring Sebastian Belle to work with her on the video for her predictably named “Jump” and then also for the stage performances for her “Confessions” tour.

From being the world’s golden girl, to raping sub-culture for attention, in the span of one very long career.

Nowadays, she looks less like the queen of the popular genres, and more like an ageing aunty at a wedding after one too many sherries.

Madonna has come a long way from the chirpy fun era that saw a younger, more innocent version of her capture our hearts with “Like a Virgin” back in’84. Now, at age 51, Madonna’s recent singles seem like a soundtrack to her midlife crisis, and her live shows, even more so. Watching someone old enough to be your mother (or grandmother for those reading from Chatham) prance around on stage in a skin-tight cat suit or silky leotard is gut wrenching. The day she realises her age, and that very few people in the world find her attractive in this day and age, the sooner she can stop shoving her scantily hidden piss whistle in our faces.

Now, this isn’t to say her music isn’t listenable, it’s just kind of like the plastic, processed cheese you get on a burger in a pub. You can take it or leave it, but we’d all rather have the more filling and quality cheddar, or even the more worldly brie.

But, you can’t spell prima-donna, with out Madonna. And like the age old Opera stars this term was coined after, It seems Madonna just can’t let go, and will carry on chasing the dream she lived as a youthfull pop-star, until the day she dies.

Personally, I think the “zeit” has come for Madonna to give up the “geist” altogether.