The modern master of the remix Marc Kinchen brings us back to the early 1990s with his latest work – a disco remix of Monarchy’s funky number.
Dark tones of robotic keyboard bounce up and down in a flowing melody that continues to circle throughout the four minute plus song but does not bore. Whereas often MK lets his backing beat take full charge of the tune, mixing in just a single word or line from the song which he is remixing, on this occasion he lets the full vocals of Ra Black sound out from around the minute mark in his edit.
With the lyrics still accompanying and complimenting the rhythm rather than driving it along though, this tune is all about that electronic backing. And it’s truly tantalising producing from the Detroit electronic artist.
The Pierces – Kings 3/5
Sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce return with their powerful new record Kings, the second single to be taken from their upcoming album Creation to be released in September.
A basic backbeat made up from guitar and keyboard work supplies the foundations for a fast flowing vocal melody from the Alabama-born siblings that carries the number. The verses are smart and maintain interest by rising and falling nicely in tone and power through the powerful vocals on offer.
The chorus then offers a rising harmony which is barely original, and the repetition of this bracket becomes increasingly agitating as the song draws on. Good vocal work and songwriting without a distinctive edge.
Heart to Heart – Mentirosa 4/5
Heart to Heart have diverted from their previous punk-rock roots to take on a harsher, heavier tone in their music ahead of the release of their new album Dulce
– and it suits them well.
A plucked guitar twang opens up the number in intelligent manner, and this progresses nicely to introduce a heavier instrumental lay down and rough, fitting vocals before an anthemic if slightly predictable chorus.
The vocals really come into their own during the second verse as they begin to sound out over the strong instrumental backing. Breaks between chorus and verse are dealt with well so as to not invite on monotony too, with a cooled bridge leading on to subdued clean vocals late in the third verse to separate it from the previous offerings.
The lyrics could do with a little more depth and meaning but this is a neatly put together track that showcases some good work from the band.
Handguns – Sleep Deprived 2/5
American four-piece Handguns don’t hang around waiting to get their latest effort off to a quick start. Neat instrumental work heavy on riffs familiar to pop-punk play out over vocals shouting about the past woes of a lost relationship. Not much differentiating from genre conventions then, but the chorus is catchy and the chantable lyrics will work well on the live stage.
The tune is slowed down to acoustic pace for a few seconds late on before bursting back into that repeated chorus. It’s a number that will likely appease current fans and is capable of showcasing instrumental talent, but without a distinguishing selling point, it does leave you hoping that more unique efforts await when the band drop their upcoming album on 7 July.
Kanye West – God Level (prod. By Hudson Mohawke) 4/5
Glasgow’s own Hudson Mohawke has been living the high life lately after leaving the land of Sub Club and Rubadub Records for the planes of Hawaii to turn producer for Kanye West.
Mohawke is now a full-time member of Kanye’s G.O.O.D music label, and he’s once again the producer behind the latest track to come forward from West. The track, entitled God Level, seems to be (an albeit pretty impressive) leftover, from the rapper’s coveted Yeezus, and debuted in the latest Adidas World Cup advert, featuring Lionel Messi & co.
Trap drums cue an exotic feel from the start that let you see why the track seemed appropriate for Adidas’ Rio de Janeiro-bound advertisement, all the while applying the unique obscurity found throughout Yeezus to the backing track.
This is a back beat which is continually prominent, be it right in your face and blasting your ear drums or simply smashing away in a slightly more subdued manner, but it sets the scene perfectly for Kanye to drop some traditionally Kanye lyrics.
As you can imagine, then, much of Kanye’s input here involves shouting out ‘God Level’ throughout the track around lyrics that play on the opening line (‘Provide a new coffin/You don’t see murder like this this often’) to combine with the backing to form an exhilaratingly, almost tenacious carnivalistic atmosphere.
An exciting, heavy listen coming soon to a motivational YouTube video near you.