After hearing The Plastician‘s remix of ‘Salt Air’ I couldn’t help but eagerly anticipate Chew Lips‘ debut album, ‘Unicorn’. However, the rest of the LP and the synth-by-numbers approach to production felt like a La Roux b-sides collection.
Featuring vocals that are somewhere between Florence & The Machine and Karen O, the album fails to make any sort of significant impact. The production is another gripe of mine: ripping off everyone from Devo to the Eurythmics and The Legendary Pink Dots, this album would have sounded dated and unoriginal 30 years ago, let alone now.
And that’s precisely the problem with this current wave of quirky female singers all trying to exist in the realms of Annie Lennox and Kate Bush: they have none of the flair or originality. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that La Roux, Little Boots, Goldielocks and anyone else of their ilk, are singing pretty good songs but with lazy production because they know that it doesn’t really matter, as long as they get an “edgy” or “trendy” producer like Skream or The Plastician to add credibility with a remix that becomes way more popular than the original. Is that good? Is it good that the person who wrote the song couldn’t even record the best version? No. No, it is not.
Having said that, their upcoming single ‘Solo’ (out on Kitsuné very soon) and their debut, ‘Salt Air’ do offer something in the way of promise (What better than a ballad about drink-driving to get the party started?!), but even then Tigs can’t break out of Karen O-lite. And I know, I know they’re deliberately trying to sound unoriginal so their sound doesn’t date – hang on, how is that better? “Well, we knew it was a waste of time trying to produce anything original so we just smashed a Florence CD into the head of our keyboard player until his ears bled, flicked the Casio to stale and kicked back and watched Hollyoaks.” Great. That doesn’t make me depressed at all.
Ultimately, underneath all the knowing, ironic references and kitsch eighties productions they’re no different to Girls Aloud – formulaic, saccharine, derivative and completely uninteresting. And would you look at them? That’s what Andy Warhol would have looked like had he been a T4 presenter.
AC Slater has recorded a mixtape for Annie Nightingale’s Radio 1 show. The mix contains mainly new tracks and remixes by Mr. Slater as well as a couple of old favourites from the Trouble & Bass crew. Judging by the tracklisting and the amount of new stuff, at the very least we can expect a new Trouble & Bass compilation in the near future.
The mix also features a couple of new faces in the form of P-Money and Ladybox, who I’m sure will be bringing out their own releases very soon. I’m a little late of the mark with this one so you won’t be able to stream it from BBC iPlayer anymore, but below is the download link for the mp3.
1. Udachi – “P-Funk Skank” [Party Like Us Records]
2. AC Slater – “Take You” feat Ninjasonik [Trouble & Bass]
3. Tonka – “Jack Track” (Black Noise VIP) [Southern Fried]
4. Kill the Noise – “Jokes on You” [Slow Roast]
5. Acid Girls – “Numbers Song” (Jokers of the Scene Remix) [iheartcomix]
6. Drop the Lime – “Thwomp Stomp” [Trouble & Bass]
7. Ladybox – “Hit My Ride” (AC Slater Remix) [Party Like Us Records]
8. Heavyfeet – “I Spy” (AC Slater Remix) [Stamp! Music]
9. AC Slater – “Calm Down Part 2″ [Trouble & Bass]
10. P-Money – “Left the Room”
11. DJ Zinc – “Killa Sound” feat No Lay (Skream Remix) [Bingo]
12. AC Slater & Mumdance feat Badness & 77Klash – “Transatlantic Riddim” [Trouble & Bass]
13. Drop the Lime – “Set Me Free” (AC Slater Remix) [Trouble & Bass]
14. MJ Cole – “Sincere” (Mumdance & High Rankin Remix)
15. Starkey – “OK Luv” feat Badness [Planet Mu]
16. Jinder – “Youth Blood” (12th Planet Remix) [Trouble & Bass]
Download: AC Slater – Annie Nightingale Mix (08/01/10)
Raffertie will be releasing a new 12″ January 18th on Planet Mu. The single will be a two track jobby comprising the tracks ’7th Dimension’ and ‘String Theory’. As much as I love Raffertie I was pretty surprised to see it released on Planet Mu. I know they try to be as diverse as possible but I never thought I’d see a bassline/midget house release on there.
Anyway, that aside, it turns out the release is more promising than I’ve made it sound: ‘String Theory’ will appeal to those fond of Warp and Planet Mu releases, with lots of techy synths and bleeps hither and thither. It’s probably not what you’d describe as club fodder, but ’7th Dimension’ certainly makes up for that and it still makes for a fun listen.
And for anyone who suspected Raffertie had taken wobbly basslines to the Nth degree, then listen to this and reconsider. I was starting to worry about the path his music was taking, but this release marks (hopefully) the beginning of releases with a bit more experimentation and variation to them – a welcome advancement in the world of bassline.
So to tide you over until this release comes out, here’s a track he released on Planet Mu a couple of months ago on ‘The Mu School’ compilation, available on Boomkat:
Download: Raffertie – Wobble Horror!