Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tilt 3 Year Anniversary

All of us at Binary are extremely excited about tonight’s show at the Echoplex, celebrating our friends at TILT’s 3rd anniversary. The bill is absolutely stacked: Jamaica, French Horn Rebellion, Parallels, and Binary’s own NightWaves will all be performing. There will also be four DJ sets, including one by Short Circuit. I don’t know about you, but as I read each name on the bill my jaw dropped successively lower; this is a lineup not to be missed.

Jamaica are fresh off the release of their debut LP, on their FIRST American tour. French Horn Rebellion are putting the finishing touches on their new album, so their set is bound to include loads of unreleased goodies. Our own NightWaves have been hard at work the past few months on new material. No word on whether they’ll premier some of it tonight, but you’ll definitely want to be there in case they do. Doors open at 9, get there early because you won’t want to miss a single minute. If you aren’t in LA, or have other plans tomorrow night (though I would really recommend cancelling them), you can catch half of the lineup (FHR and NightWaves) performing together again next week at the Hype Machine/dubFrequency CMJ showcase in New York City. Sorry to all of you in the middle states…you’re kind of out of luck on this one. In the meantime, prepare yourself for tonight’s showcase of aural ecstasy by downloading this new NightWaves gem, a remix of Walter Sobcek’s ‘Je Me Souviens.’

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Walter Sobcek – Je Me Souviens (NightWaves Remix)

The first time we saw these two artist collaborate was earlier this year when Walter Sobcek released their fantastic remix of NightWaves’ ‘Sweet Carrie.’ Now the tables have turned, and between these two songs I think it’s fair to say that the Sobcek/NW combo is one to beat. The two groups seem to know how to perfectly compliment and supplement the others’ work, to breathtaking results. NightWave’s remix of the beautiful ‘Je Me Souviens’ (that’s French for “I Remember”) takes the aural experience to another, otherworldly level.

I was a NightWaves fan long before I formed a relationship with the Binary label, and the thing that has always struck me as unique about the group is the level of professionalism they render onto all the remixes they tackle. In my opinion there’s a stark difference between a re-mix, in which an artist reinterprets an original work and changes the overall mood; and a “re-fix,” in which the artist takes the original song and capitalizes on the emotions and themes already present in the piece. The “re-fixer” doesn’t reimaging the song; he enhances it, taking it to a higher plane of interpretation and production while maintaining the original’s emotional and melodic integrity. The re-fixer reinforces a piece, enriching the weaker elements instead of erasing them completely. NightWaves are masters of the “re-fix.”  Every remix they do retains the original message of the song while adding a coat of polish that takes the work from a “catchy little number” to a virtual masterpiece. We see this style manifested once again in their remix of ‘Je Me Souviens.’ They heighten the sense of nostalgia and mystique present in the original piece by cutting out the majority of the lyrics, instead highlighting the line “je me souviens” and framing it with glistening synths and delicate snares. The result is a blissful, ethereal ode to your fondest memories, when the world seemed so beautiful you wondered if you were dreaming.

Gypsy and The Cat – The Piper’s Song (Aeroplane Remix)

My last post was on the wonders of Wolf Gang and let me just mention they are even better live. We will be seeing a lot more of them in the future. Anyway David Fridmann, producing genius credited with acts like Flaming Lips and MGMT, is not only working with Wolf Gang, but he is also mixing Gypsy and The Cat’s debut album — this dude has quite the impressive resume. Gypsy and The Cat are two talented Aussies who of course… starting making music in a garage in Melbourne. Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers started crafting “alternative/electronic/soft rock with a pinch of Folk” in 2009 and their track ‘Jona Vark’ graced blogs all over the map. ‘The Piper’s Song’ is another gem and the Aeroplane remix is nothing less than we would expect — a cosmic-disco revamp of the soulful original.

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Gypsy and The Cat – The Piper’s Song (Aeroplane Remix)

Aeroplane has been pumping out oodles of pop-disco remixes and singles since 2007 and ‘We Can’t Fly,’ the single off their full album, is quite extraordinary (if you have not heard it yet we wrote about it here). Aeroplane is now flying solo, band-mate Stephen Fasano decided to follow his own musical path, but the split didn’t slow down Vito DeLuca’s groove, hence the killer remix above. I’m anticipating Aeroplane’s new originals since the break — Vito is more passionate about writing and producing music, whereas Stephen focuses more on the DJ-ing and mixing aspects. I’m sure the new stuff will be moving in a stellar direction with Vito at the helm!

In ‘The Piper’s Song’ remix Aeroplane traded a Passion Pit-esque melody (Stoney Roads hit it right on the head) for the original rainbow of guitar rifts which held the sweet soaring vocals. The tambourine and chimes start to pick up the pace immediately and the perfect early ‘80s electronic beat hits just 19 seconds in. Everything but the vocals screams to be on a John Hughes’ soundtrack. I love the way Aeroplane can balance the dreamy, tranquil vocals with get up and move your booty instrumentals.

Both versions of ‘The Piper’s Song’ are pretty damn great. Gypsy and The Cat can do no wrong (check out ‘Time to Wander) and Aeroplane is master cosmic remixer.

Cherry Chapstick – The Line + The Drop

Today we have two stellar songs from Cherry Chapstick, a three-piece band from Kingston, Ontario (or Montreal, depending on who you ask). Formed in the spring of 2009 by Julian Flavin, Evan Mullen, and Nigel Ward, they have a self described sound of “your mum running a bath at 9 in the evening as you lay in bed a nervous 6 year old child.” That’s pretty good, but how about the more pointed description from their bio – “Cherry Chapstick blends shoegaze and indie rock elements with a provocative electronic backbeat.” Whatever synthy, hi-fi, dreampop-rock words you choose to use… you get the point. Here is their latest release that made it’s way around the blog world over the course of last summer (we’re a little late).

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Cherry Chapstick – The Line

This song is just a little over three minutes of pulsing, textured synths, tambourine, and soft vocals that come together to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. There’s a bit of twangy guitars mixed into the background too that really completes the full sound on this track. Rainy day music? Yeah, but this is just as fitting for a sunny autumn afternoon. It’s mellow and relaxed, but still emotionally heavy. Not sure if someone is holding out somewhere, but it seems this could and should be remixed real well.

I’ve been a creature of the bus and metro transit lately. After a friend brought this song to my attention it’s been soundtracking my bus rides across Los Angeles quite nicely. It’s a comforting song to assist the ride down Hollywood or Sunset Blvd, taking in the lights, observing the weird and beautiful people, everyone going somewhere to do something. Everyone strangers to some degree not wanting to cross that crucial line of casual social interaction.

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Cherry Chapstick – The Drop

‘The Drop’ comes off of their Silencer EP that was released back in August 2009. It has more of a playful indie-rock sound to it, and is obviously more substantial in length. It still has that infectious throbbing synth feel, but it seems like this may have been made when they were shopping around for sounds and noises a bit more… not that they aren’t still. Maybe ‘The Drop’ is just a bit more diverse in sound.  The ‘The Line’ probably has a much better chance at pop success, but ‘The Drop’ may be more interesting as an entire song. Both really nice though.

I really like these guys as a whole and it should be pretty exciting to see where they go. Keep these doods on your radar, and stalk them on Facebook.

Wolf Gang – Lions In Cages

I have been eagerly awaiting another quality tune from Wolf Gang, and why not? From ‘The King and All of His Men’ to ‘Pieces of You’ and ‘Back to Back,’ every track so far is a gem displaying Wolf Gang’s signature high, soaring vocals. The new single ‘Lions in Cages’ is no exception. Max McElligott is a young Brit who started pumping ear tingling melodies out of his bedroom, and now he is working with Dave Fridmann – known for his work with The Flamming Lips, Weezer and MGMT. The Fridmann produced ‘Lions in Cages’ is Wolf Gang’s first single off his debut album, which will be released by Atlantic in early 2011. If Wolf Gang has another 10 ‘Forkcast’ worthy songs, then the new year can’t come soon enough!

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Wolf Gang – Lions In Cages

I hear seagulls, but I’m sure everyone hears something different right in the beginning — it’s like I’m lying on the beach letting life wash over me in those first 15 seconds. The beat starts out running fast, with chimes and whistles making for an easy transition into the heart pulling arrangement. The melody is an infectious chorus and it spreads through your body instantly. Wolf Gang makes all instruments blend into perfect harmony, which is maybe because he can actually play all of them. This single is really just a triumphant symphony.

“In the city where I’m from lions in cages just for fun”

“In the city where I’m from they shoot you down if you’re wrong”

I live in Los Angeles and as much as I have learned to love it (seriously, most of the time I’m happy to say I love LA) all I envision when I listen to this song is getting away. I want to run as far away as I can from the city and as far away as I can from everything the city represents. Cities can be nothing more than a bunch of barriers and dividing lines… can you even imagine a place where jobs and money don’t determine what you do or who you call a friend?

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Wolf Gang – Back To Back (Active Child Remix)

A reason that I do love LA is live music, and Wolf Gang is at The Viper Room on this Friday evening, making for a pretty sweet start to the weekend. I couldn’t not include the Active Child Remix of ‘Back to Back,’ plus I know you are itching for more of Wolf Gang’s tantalizing vocal stylings.

Bit Funk – 9 Iron + LBCK Remix

A fresh new Bit Funk original, courtesy of Shiny Disco Club Presents: Millenium Disco (vol. 1), was dropped into the world’s lap last week, and it’s about time we properly caught up with the Chicago producer’s recent work. The song, entitled ‘9 Iron’ delivers a solid dose of french house disco goodness with a tinge of laser-house to drop you into a futuristic sampling of what discotheques should have been like back in the ’80s (I don’t really know… I was in diapers). Slap on your snazziest satin shirt and dancing shoes… if this song doesn’t get you moving you may want to check your pulse.

Bit Funk – 9 Iron

My first, and most consistent, listening progression of this song goes something like this: first 30 seconds – “Ok, so this is gonna be a nice little house track”; next 30 seconds – “Oh snap! this has some sweaty disco grooves”; then from about 60 seconds on – “Oh shit this is glorious! Bit Funk, you strike again.” The wonderful vocals (yezzz!) come in at just under a minute, and then there’s that huge drop right after 1 minute that feels a bit like the drop on a nu-disco roller coaster. And instead of going down into a house mix that unloads you and let’s a new passenger in your car, this act of gravity takes you into a dreamy land of funktasia loaded with breathy vocals, mystical synths, floor stomps, fist pumps, and pew pew lasers. Try putting this on first thing in the morning for a little kick… way better than a quad-shot of the meanest bean.

“I’ve got to find out what you do”

Not sure who’s vocals these are (???), but they’re a nice addition in the track and it’d be neat to see more vocals in Bit Funk originals. It’s the same vocal splashed in here and there throughout the length of the song, and conjures up day dreams of the occasional acquaintance’s life activity. You know, those people that you ‘know’ on some level – whether it’s work, school, partying, family, etc etc – but you don’t really know who they are beyond the scenarios where you interact with them? What the hell do they do?  Or maybe it’s that person you walk past on the street with a look that captures your attention and you stop to wonder, “Damn, what do you DO.” In large cities, there are so many faces, you tend to just pass everyone by… but once in a while someone really keeps you hanging and that’s a special moment. OR… maybe this lyric is just the casual wondering of a golfing buddy’s plan of action on a short hole. I suppose it could be any and all of these.

Goddamnit I can’t resist dropping this ball of cheese:  “9 Iron” is a hole in one… from one of Chicago finest producers, and crafty tweeters. Recent remixes of LexiconDon and Grum, along with superb past re-workings of Talking Heads, Jump Jump Dance Dance, NightWaves, and many more combine with a wonderful original catalog to make up a rock solid resume that puts Bit Funk into a league of his own. As an added little bonus here’s his superb remix of LBCK’s ‘Start’, which was also just released in the last week. Busy dude.

LBCK – Start (Bit Funk Remix) by Bit Funk

As if his production output isn’t enough to wear you out, keep a look out for Bit Funk visiting a club near you (west coasters) in the coming months, as he should be making his way to the western states to drop some dreamy disco magic on the dance floor. Expect a plethora of neon lasers… and consider yourself warned.