Heavy Rotation 75

June 19, 2011

[Another three tracks submitted for your approval. This week’s lineup features Psychic Dancehall, Pepepiano and Pink Playground. No unifying theme other than the initial “P”, which is nothing more than a happy coincidence I just noticed as I was typing up these very words you’re reading. (Or glossing over.)  Need a track removed? Just ask: 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

Previous Rotations here:
The Heavy Rotation Archive

Psychic Dancehall – A Love That Kills.mp3

There’s no shortage of love songs out there. Psychic Dancehall has a killer of a love song: an echo chamber threnody built on the belief that love exists and is wonderful but that this same love will rip the floor out from underneath you with alarming frequency. The music itself fades nearly away at points, leaving the vocals alone in the reverbed darkness, save for some fatalistic minor chords and an approximate organ tone that embeds itself firmly in the audio wallpaper.

Pepepiano – I Understand You.mp3

If you can name this genre, than you can own it and charge other unimaginative musos for using it when attempting to describe indescribable audio tones without resorting to lazy shorthand like “ethereal” or “the Cocteau Twins on acid.” “Electronica” doesn’t really do justice to Pepepiano’s audio collage/collisions. I Understand You progresses like a series of jump cuts, from twee-ish charming to white noise Bomb Squadding (that’s a PE ref, yo) to nu-disco electro-jacking, all in under three minutes. On second thought, it’s less like “jump cuts” and more like an MPD sufferer falling down a long flight of tuneful stairs, each one triggering a burst of white noise or tasteful sample.

(To better help you visualize this song, imagine the “floor piano scene” from Big, only instead of Chopsticks, it’s late-70s/early-80s synth vamps and instead of Robert Loggia, it’s a hyperkinetic robot made out of day-glo and refracted sunlight (which is made out of radio static and a second-hand store boombox).

Pink Playground – A Man Alone (John Barry RIP).mp3

Even if you don’t know John Barry, you know John Barry. Houston’s Pink Playground knows John Barry, offering up a well-crafted ode to the composer of the James Bond theme. Capturing the neo-noir atmosphere of Cold War spy gaming via sonic craftmanship is no easy feat, but this track is done to perfection, taking you back to a simpler time when men were men and seduced women and shot a lot of foreigners with misshapen heads and drama!tic accents. (The “!” is intentional. And a potential punchline/punchsymbol[?]. However, if it doesn’t at least make you smile with bemusement, then feel free to consider it a typo.)



  1. The Pepepiano piece instrumentation is beautiful, but the voice sounds creepy to me, for some reason. I prefer the Pink Playground piece. Yes, I recognize John Barry–he composed the filmscores for “Dances with Wolves” and the 1976 remake of “King Kong”, among other films. I didn’t know he composed the “James Bond” theme, though–and I didn’t know he had died. The Pink Playground piece is a good tribute.

    • Pepepiano is kind of all over the place, but still has a nice kicky charm to it. I guess the vocals aren’t for everybody but I listen to a lot of stuff with distorted/muted/buried vocals so it probably sounds just like everything else to me.

      Thanks for the comment, Scott. I’m happy with a (mostly) 2 out of 3 success rate.

  2. Track 2 was damn near seizure inducing (that may be a good thing?)…and where the hell has Sedate Me run off to?

    • I think Pepepiano writes “disconcertos.” I’m a fan.

  3. So I was updating my info on Facebook (because I had nothing else to do, really) and I got to the part where I had to fill in my favorite music. Of course–seeing as I go to you for all things music related–I come here to update my “music spreadsheet”.

    Long story short, I haven’t been getting your blog updates. I used to get them delivered to my inbox?? I had no idea you’d been posting lately. So, yeah. I’ll have to check that out.

    Anyway, I hate to cut myself off, but I have a bunch of new songs I have to listen to…

    • B –

      I’m glad you showed up. I was beginning to worry that my lack of updates had found you perusing other websites for music(k) and other amusements.

      I’m relieved to find that WordPress’ lack of updates on my sporadic updates is actually the source of your disappearance. And yes, I have been posting lately, although not all that frequently.

      Enjoy the music!

  4. […] proximity and it fucks around with your groove by shifting the tempo this way and that, much like Pepepiano's famous "disconcertos." And stay tuned for the sample near the end, which briefly resurrects 60s girl pop in Conerty's own […]

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