First of all, I’m never really sure whether to pronounce them as the Def-tones or the Deft-ones. (Wiki says “Def-tones,” but then Wiki says a lot of stuff. I’m going to go with the second.)
If you had to listen to one nu-metal band, you could do a whole lot worse than Chino Moreno’s band, which has been a formative force in many lesser nu-metal bands. Needless to say, we’ll try no to hold that against them.
But what we’re really here for is the remix. And m83 do a number on this one. Somehow, through unholy electronic sorcery, m83 manage to crank up the aggression while simultaneously losing every single guitar. There’s not a single six-string chord in sight and yet, the track still sounds raw and unhinged. Moreno’s vocals deserve some of the credit here, helping to pace the tune while being set adrift from his usual rhythm section.
It all adds up to a Deftones track that I would not only listen to, but listen to repeatedly.
I don’t have three links picked out this week due to some scheduling conflicts (read: more going on than I have actual hours for). Instead, I’m posting links to three blogs I read regularly. (Again, time permitting.)
All links open in a new window. Right-click on song titles to download.
Deftones – Rocket Skates (m83 Remix).mp3 First of all, I’m never really sure whether to pronounce them as the Def-tones or the Deft-ones. (Wiki says “Def-tones,” but then Wiki says a lot of stuff. I’m going to go with the second.)
If you had to listen to one nu metal band, you could do a whole lot worse than Chino Moreno’s band, which has been a formative force in many a lesser nu metal band. Needless to say, we’ll try no to hold that against them.
But what we’re really here for is the remix. And m83 do a number on this one. Somehow, through some sort of electronic sorcery, m83 manage to crank up the aggression while simultaneously losing every single guitar. There’s not a single six-string chord in sight and yet, the track still sounds raw and unhinged. Moreno’s vocals deserve some of the credit here, helping to pace the tune while being set adrift from his usual rhythm section.
It all adds up to a Deftones track that I would not only listen to, but listen to repeatedly.
Twin Sister – Lady Daydream (Glitter Bones Remix).mp3 A gorgeous daytripper filled with the swooning harmonics of the greatest ’60s girl group to never exist, filtered through electronica (via Glitter Bones) that lies somewhere between Telepopmusik and Peepholes. It’s the audio equivalent of an early-morning mist rolling off the ocean as it gently breaks across the empty shoreline.
Plus, it features one of the most self-effacing daily affirmations ever:
Just because I’m losing you
Doesn’t make me a loser
Oh, and check out their site. Not only does it do the usual tours/releases thing, but stems for all songs are available so you can remix them yourselves. Bedroom producers: start your laptops.
Toy – The All Seeing Eye.mp3
English-Norwegian electronic duo Toy’s take on dub will no doubt be shunned by the very genre it embraces, because, for some goddamn reason, dub is taken very seriously by its fans. All thses kids with sunken cheeks and studio tans keep hanging around bringing everybody down with their “it’s 40 degrees and raining in my head… all the time” moodiness.
Who says dub has to be all detached and distended? Toy certainly doesn’t. Their track gurgles away, wandering around carefreely, past some cartoonish noises and into a whole pile of synthed-up strings. Not entirely unlike Dub Narcotic Soundsystem, who seldom took their “job” seriously while still managing to deploy every reverberating trick in the book.
Hot Chip – I Feel Better (Den Haan Remix).mp3 Den Haan, Glaswegian disco-technicians (and featured in an earlier Heavy Rotation), turn in a brilliant retro remix that recalls flourescent-covered bodies strutting their stuff on a smoke-filled dancefloor, when not slipping away to the restrooms to dice up coke rails with their corporate credit cards.
Plushgun – Mixtape (Buffetlibre Remix).mp3
With a track name like “Mixtape,” you know Plushgun is looking backwards. Between their rearview mirror and Buffetlibre’s surehanded post-production, it sounds like nothing less than the second coming of Erasure, who never really went away, actually. It’s just that no one really talks about them anymore…
[Need a track taken down? Got some time on your hands that you’d be willing to part with? Viagra/Cialis for sale at low, low prices? Contact me at: email@example.com.]
Welcome to the 50th installment of the Heavy Rotation. I don’t really have anything planned as this sort of snuck up on me, and if you really get technical (and we will), this is actually the 51st, thanks to the numbering system not really “catching on” until the third HR. This doesn’t even include the repeated number somewhere in the 30’s.
Long story short: we’re calling this 50, but we’re not making a big deal of it.
First the links, because we’re all just not using the internet enough already:
[All links open in a new window. Right-click on track names to download.]
The Antlers – Kettering.mp3
We’ll build up this time around. Kicking things off is the Antlers and their dream/nightmare pop, delivering a haunting dirge detailing the frustration and futility of losing someone to forces beyond your control. The internal scream of someone dying on the inside watching someone dying on the outside.
The Delta Mirror – Going to Town.mp3 Former L.A. indie hip hop producers find a new life on the offworld colonies, returning to earth with their troubled take on post-rock/electronica via the shoegazey plugins of m83 and Ulrich Schnauss. Certainly more menacing than the bands listed above (although m83 does go darker more often than US), Going to Town rides a mildly fucked-up beat deep into the shadows while bright synth tones alluringly drag the listener down with them.
How could something so pretty be so full of pain? And why the hell does it remind me so much of the following track that my brain nearly broke trying to put 2 and 2 together around 4 in the morning early last week?
Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them.mp3
Germany’s least expected import, Ulrich Schnauss writes love letters to My Bloody Valentine and Chapterhouse using his newfangled software and racks of electronics, rather than the tear-stained quill and paper they’re used to. Much like m83 and the recently discovered Incubator, Schnauss builds emotional moments from a collection of bits and bytes and creates cripplingly gorgeous soundscapes from files and folders.
This track sounds a fair bit like the previous one. And vice versa. Actually, more vice versa than not, what with Schnauss hitting the scene first.
m83 – Teen Angst (Death to the Throne Mix).mp3 Now the beats are starting to kick in. Death to the Throne dresses up Teen Angst for the dancefloor without pandering to the club kids, allowing blasts of m83’s white noise to break through before sending the 4/4 beat in to restore order, most memorably in the stutter-step-stagger bursts that lead into the 2nd chorus.
A loping beat meets gently weeping guitar licks before the bass kicks in with the intonation, “You leave me no choice but to plot my revenge.” As the vocals loop the song starts to strut, muscling its way into your ears and heading straight for your ass, mutating into a veritable rock fucking monster that Led Zeppelin woud have been proud to call their own.
[Need a track removed? Tired of all this shoegaze-tronica? Need some money wired to an ailing relative in Kenya? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Incubator – Cigarettes.mp3
If you were here for last week’s Heavy Rotation, we led off with a Jesus and Mary Chain-styled piece of fuzzy bliss by Rraaiillss, a.ka. Adam Anderson. Well, as it turns out, not only is he extraordinarily talented but he’s a hell of a nice guy as well, as I received an email from him thanking me for featuring his music.
After emailing back and forth a bit, he pointed me in the direction of another of his projects, Incubator. Say goodbye to the waves of carefully crafted feedback and say hello to something that sold its guitars to buy keyboards.
Feast your ears on this: a gorgeous slice of synth-y loveliness called Cigarettes, which conjures up all the best parts of Joy Division/early New Order filtered through the best stuff m83 and Ulrich Schnauss have to offer. Completely catches the feeling of that catch in your heart when you wake up next to someone you fully expected to be gone, especially the way that burst of unfiltered emotional sunlight revives a flagging psyche.
Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks.mp3
Now that your heart is racing unsteadily, let’s jump into a slice of bouncy heaven, albeit one that makes you laugh inappropriately. Foster the People would (very charmingly) like to inform you that they plan on killing you for your kick-ass (and very expensive) trainers.
As the chorus swells, you’ll be forced to sing along, alarming unsuspecting passersby with your murderous intentions and blithesome (thx Ulysses) harmonizing:
All the other kids with their pumped up kicks Better run better run Outrun my gun
And then, no fucking shit, they start whistling. It’s altogether too much. You can try and fight it but they’re still going to charm the shoes right off your bullet-riddled corpse. (Show of hands: who else felt the urge to do the Swim by eight beats in or so? Be honest.)
Parties in Belgrade – Statues.mp3
Still sticking with bouncy, it’s Parties in Belgrade, a band that usually runs a little darker, but in this instance channel all the feelgood parts of the Happy Mondays, with lead singer Carlos Anthony sounding more like Shaun Ryder than Ryder does these days.
And away they go, rambling on about erecting facetious pedestals, using words more for their flow than for deeper meaning. The slightly-tuffer-than-Happy guitars start duelling, one conjuring Hawaii and the other Pere Ubu.
Have no idea what the fook I’m on about?*
*[See next track for exactly what the fook I’m on about.]
Happy Mondays – Tokoloshe Man.mp3
A prime cut from the heyday of these baggy Madchester dance-rock merchants. One of two songs stolen from John Kongos (the other is Step On). When they could be troubled to put the smack down long enough to record, they cranked out some of the best twisted pop out there. Lead singer Shaun Ryder would then stamp his unmistakable vocals on the track, freely associating, swearing and stealing bits of others’ songs, turning each Monday’s song into a catchy, shambling wreck that charmed you with its rough-edged cheerfulness even as it shook you down for drug money.
This song is an undeniably pleasant way of dealing with a creature from the collective nightmares of South Africa, a hairy beast that is part “zombie, poltergeist and gremlin,” capable of crossing cultural boundaries just to kill:
It makes no difference if you are yellow or you’re red When the bad man says Tonight is the night when you are dead
Plus, it has some well-deployed organ.
Twisted Wires – Oh Hell.mp3
To wrap things up, we’re going dark with the perfect track to send you out into the word, all covered in sunglasses and feisty antagonism. Friends of Adam Anderson/Rraaiillss/Incubator, Twisted Wires conjures up ghosts both chronic and recent* including Sex Gang Children, the Swans, Chrome, Fields of the Nephilim, Holy Fuck, Bauhaus and maybe even a little Coil.
*[Name that reference!]
Dark dark dark. Minor chords pinned down by bass-heavy drones and near-tribal drumming. The perfect antidote to all the smiling faces currently exiting/entering various places of worship.
[Need a track taken down? Care to point out my numerous spelling errors and faulty references? Just need me to wire “some amount” of USD to a Nigerian FedEx? Contact me at: email@example.com.]
Another week, another set of fine tunes to soundtrack whatever activities you have planned for a fine 4th o’ July weekend. Whether it’s yardwork (those corpses won’t bury themselves!), a family outing (those corpses won’t bury themselves, kids!) or just hanging around the house waiting for law enforcement to arrive (What did I say about the corpses? Kids? Who remembers?), these insta-classics will warm your heart and swallow your soul. Who’s ready to testify?
Fuck Buttons – Race You to My Bedroom Nearly ten full minutes of apocalyptic electronics and fuzz, all slowly and steadily building like the little fucking psychedelic engine that could. There are lyrics, although none that can be readily deciphered. Brutal in an impeding doom sort of way.
Holy Fuck – Super Inuit
A very high-quality live capture of the Fuckster’s in concert. Powerful drumming, lots of electronics tweaking and what sounds like a flute somewhere in the mix. Add some Suicide-esque echoed vocalizing and we’re off to the fucking races. Best served loud.
SALEM – Haffa
The claustrophobic sound of drowning, occasionally punctuated by Casio-quality handclaps and drums. Dirty, gray and suffocating. Suitable for the whole family, although probably not yours. Yours either. Maybe play it through once or twice first before calling the kids in to gather round the hi-fi.
Video for “Dirt.”
Belong – Late Night
So you say you like that drowning feeling you can only get from SALEM? But the handclaps and cheap-ass Casio drumwork are too “pop-ish” and leave you feeling like you might survive the encounter? Enter Belong, who remove the rhythm section and bury the vocals even further, turning the drowning feeling from unintentional to self-inflicted, with their cover of Syd Barrett’s Late Night.
m83 – Teen Angst
The amalgamation of one man’s quest to make the perfect My Bloody Valentine song, only using sequencers and synthesizers instead of guitars and $500,000 of label-destroying funds. Staccato bursts of drums, soaring vocals and a propulsive set of keyboard washes. Highly recommended.
All files in one convenient zip. Click thru to download (link opens in new window).
[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]