The Happyoblivion New Music Reviews

The first few months of 2014 have already brought some wonderful new indie pop releases.  Here are a few of my favorites!  Let’s go through some album reviews:

Alpaca Sports - Sealed with a Kiss Alpaca Sports just released their debut album, Sealed With a Kiss.  Hailing from Göteborg, Sweden, their brand of sunny indie pop with boy-girl vocals is pitch perfect.  Previously released tracks on the album include “I was running,” “Just for fun,” “She’ll come back for Indian summer,” “As long as I have you,” “Telephone,” and “ He doesn’t even like you.”  Watercolor album art by the famed Tokyo artist Ray Kimura is simply superb.  (And she has great taste in music, having done work for and enjoyed the music of various bands such as the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Wallflower, and Band a Part).  Tracks that are new to this album include the standout “Just like Johnny Marr” (my personal favorite track) and “Will you ever come back home?”  Rounding out the album are solid tunes “The Old Oak Tree” and “You and Me”.  They are playing at the Birmingham Popfest April 25, 2014 (in the UK) and the Copenhagen Popfest May 16, 2014 (in Denmark). From beginning to end, the entire album is indie-pop perfection.

http://alpacasports.bandcamp.com/album/sealed-with-a-kiss

Alpaca Sports - Bella's Mixtape Alpaca Sports also released a remix album, called Bella’s Mixtape.  This bonus album is not a rehashing of songs with electronic dance beats; instead, it is wonderful collaboration of Alpaca Sports with some of the best indie bands .  In fact, the selection of this coterie of musicians is quite inspired.  The cover of “Just for Fun” is the first work from Swedish stalwarths Red Sleeping Beauty in almost a decade and half.  Idaho’s The Very Most takes this same song and turns it into a string-based dream sequence which is appropriately entitled  “Mandolin Magic Remix.”   The Pale Spectre’s remix of Telephone is just solid, while my favorite remix is Band à Part’s remix of “She’ll come back for Indian summer” into a danceable happy love-fest.  Tiny Fireflies, Invisible Twin, Cristina Quesada, When Nalda Became Punk,  and One Day Diary also get into the act with cheerful re-renditions of Alpaca Sport’s already enjoyable songs.  This is a overall a great accompaniment to their full length debut album and not one to be missed as well.

http://alpacasports.bandcamp.com/album/bellas-mixtape

When Nalda Became Punk - Indiepop or whatever When Nalda Became Punk just released their debut LP last year, and here they are with another wonderful set of tracks from their new EP Indiepop or Whatever!  This Spanish band is back with their cheerful brand of upbeat indie pop.  4 songs in total, with the feature track being a tribute to the television show “Homeland.”  This track, “Song for Carrie Mathison,” has an entertaining video to go along with it.  Title track “Indiepop or Whatever” continues the Muffs-influenced sound, while “Daylight Savings Time” is an enjoyable boy-girl lyrical drumbeat driven pop creation.  Finally “A Secret Plan” breaks out the synthesizers to accompany Elena’s wondrous singing.  Overall, a nice EP to tide us over until their next full length album.

http://whennaldabecamepunk.blogspot.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p1_um9c41g

A Novel Resort A Novel Resort is the solo project of M, the drummer from Northern Portrait, the Danish band which has been featured heavily on the Happyoblivion Show.  He has sung, played, and recorded everything by himself and plans to release a full length album sometime in the future.  So far, there are two tracks from him.  “Everything We Ever Hoped For” is a yearning pop ballad that washes over you gradually.  There are no singable refrains, but more of an overall hopefulness and stretching forward that pulls you along.  “Turning To Ashes” pulls in a bit more of a new wave sound, combining a Psychedelic Furs sound with a little bit of Joy Division, though not quite pushing the boundaries, but rather comfortably settling into this sound.   Overall, good stuff, and hopefully we will see a full length album from A Novel Resort sooner rather than later.

https://soundcloud.com/a-novel-resort

Temples Temples are from the UK, and their debut album is called Sun Structures.  Classified as playing psychedelic rock, they bring the 60’s rollicking guitar song and energetic vocals to the forefront.  This band formed in 2012 and already has generated quite a bit of buzz, with Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher hailing their ascendency as one of the best new British bands.  This 60’s sound carries through their entire album with jangling guitars flying around and just a general sense of looseness within structure.  Their first single “Sun Structures,” and other tracks “Keep In the Dark,” and “Mesmerize” are excellent, but the supremely outstanding standout singable and danceable track by far is “Shelter Song.”  This, my friends, is a fun band.  They have already opened for Suede, are playing at SXSW this week, and are scheduled to play Coachella next month.  Looks like another band destined to hit the big time quite soon, so hop on board this ride while you still can!

https://soundcloud.com/heavenlyrecordings/sets/sun-structures-1

The New Mendicants The New Mendicants are made up of Joe Pernice, Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub, and Mike Belitsky from the Sadies.   Their debut LP is called Into the Lime, and the band’s sound is most influenced by the aforementioned Teenage Fanclub with a more mellow and melancholy touch, and the vocals more at the forefront rather than the guitar and bass.  However, this album is quite the pleasant surprise.  Favorite tracks include the upbeat “Cruel Annette” and “Shouting Match.”  The strengths of the band are in the vocals though, and these are featured most strongly in the melodic harmonizations of “High on the Skyline” and “Sarasota.”  Basically, come and get your Teenage Fanclub fix right here; you won’t be disappointed.

http://www.thenewmendicants.com/

Thanks so much for listening and reading!  More information and playlists can be found at mildmanneredDJ.blogspot.com

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Kartell

kartell1Although he shares his name with a plastic furniture company popular in the 60′s, don’t let that fool you! Kartell is a young funkbeat mastermind from France who has been blowing my mind with his infectious songs. His music makes me feel like I should be dancing like this:

And apparently I’m not the only one, Kartell loves to perform live and connect with the crowd, providing sweet beats which induce dancing for hours, perhaps even all night. Kartell released his first album Riviera in 2012 followed by Sapphire in 2013. On top of making people fall in love one by one, he is also managing his own record label Roche Music as well as his own blog showcasing up and coming artists (tumblr.com/kartell), check out his tunes and experience his magic for yourself (Pantera should be the first song you dive into.)

https://soundcloud.com/kartell

By: Dj Jem

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The Avalanches

avalanches-since-i-left-you-reissueThe Avalanches are an Australian electronic group who have grown largely popular since their debut album Since I Left You which was released in 2000, a wonderful gift to the world if I do say so myself. The album is a psychedelic compilation of samples from around 3,500 records, the album will make you want to put on patterned pants and smoke a j in your ’68 Camaro. The Avalanches are experts at stitching together vinyl samples to create dreamy tunes that have a nostalgic vibe to them. Believe it or not, the group members got the bulk of their musical supplies (recording gear, vinyls, etc.) at thrift shops, now that my friends is brilliant (take note musicians, this is so the way to go.) The anticipation for new releases has been high since the uproar following the Since I Left You album, the people got a taste of the cake and they want another slice! The Avalanches have slowly dropped mixtapes through out the years, each one clearly showcasing the ridiculous talent these guys have for patching samples together.

Check out their YouTube channel to listen to their mixtapes/singles/wildly creative videos

http://www.youtube.com/user/AvalanchesOfficial?feature=watch

By: Dj Jem

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Rocknrolla Soundsystem

 

rocknrollaThe first time I heard one of RocknRolla Soundsystem’s songs was while I was cleaning my bathroom and had a random YouTube playlist blasting, I stopped mid-scrub and scurried over to my computer to find out the makers of this sweet music. After stalking their soundcloud and listening to every song they had ever released, I was blown away. What RS does with music is truly a thing of beauty, they take an already great song and spruce it up to an extra stunning tune. They jack up the bass, magnify the beat, and add their own spin. Kind of like taking an ordinary chocolate cupcake, great on its own, and adding fancy frosting flowers followed by those edible metallic sprinkles on top, making a gourmet piece of art. That’s what they do, take music and make it gourmet.

They were nice enough to answer a few questions for me, and here’s what they had to say….

Where are you guys based out of?
We have a bit of a strange setup. We used to be all Groningen based which is a city in the north of Holland some 200 kilometers from Amsterdam. We have been working together for years, are good friends and all but as time passed by some of us left Groningen for work matters. One of us is now living in Amsterdam, two others are still in Groningen and i myself am living in Moscow for a couple of months now.

How did you guys decide to collab?
The initial idea to start it was quite simple. We were around the clubscene every weekend playing loud beats, but actually while being at home we listened to everything but dance music. While having beer in a fairly relaxed alternative joint downtown we dropped the idea of: Why not start a collective in where we can play everything that we want, no format, no style, just music we dig. Reggae, Funk, Hip Hop that sort of stuff. Having said that we also do quite some psychedelic stuff and southern rock.

Do you guys have a musical backgrounds/how and when did you get into mixing?

The foundation of RocknRolla Soundsystem is Sebastian Davidson (Deep House DJ producer, label owner of Nightbird Music) and Enthousiaste Gasten (Raymond van Felius & Martijn Bosch Techno DJ’s producers and label owners of Stiletto Music). We still run this, for Sebastian it is his full time job. We used to go to his parties back in the days as Martijn and I had been long time friends, we grew up together. Sebastian his background is more house oriented. Martjin and me, we are techno guys. Not this modern stuff but the real genuine techno sounds from Detroit. We usually would play on our parties ourselves and with also producing records we build a name for ourselves. Sebastian is now playing international gigs mostly as we tend to do more Dutch stuff. By the way, My first Russian gig is now planned for which I am pretty psyched!

How do you choose which songs you want to add your own spin to?
It is a very careful process. Not every track is suitable for a good edit. Sometimes you hear a banging track which simply doesn’t work out any way you try it. I am mostly equipped with the edits. I love seventies stuff, retro stuff in general. I send a lot of songs to Joris Vos who is actually the fourth RocknRolla. The guy has ears and knows how to make it work in the studio. We just discuss on every track and whenever I am in Holland we sit down to produce them. Tracks which are very full and rich on instrumentation tend to be less suitable. There is simply not much more to add. We are always looking for that open space in a song to add more groove to it. Not completely cut it up, add mayhem to it and remix it to something completely new. We always try to respect the original. Our aim is just to spice things up a little. We sit, listen to the track a couple of times. smoke a couple of joints like dutch people do and then try to create something nice. Something we would play ourselves at least…

Furthermore we have started to work on a new mix album. We are now selecting tracks. Our previous album had 45 tracks on it so it takes some time to select them, arrange them and put them together in a logical order for a mix. Next up we’ll be hosting festival stages in Holland at Leuk Festival on the first of September and we have been asked to do our own events which are supposed to take place once every 3 months at Simplon Stage in Groningen. – Raymond van Felius, RocknRolla Soundsystem

By: Dj Jem

https://soundcloud.com/rocknrolla-soundsystem/marvin-gaye-inner-city-blues

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The Happyoblivion Best Albums (LPs or EPs) of 2013

Completing our best of list for 2013, here are the 10 best albums overall–that means no filler, and all great stuff for the whole album.  Tune in to the Happyoblivion show every Saturday 12-3pm for the very best in indie pop music!                 

Beach Vacation - Maritime  10) Beach Vacation: Maritime [EP]. What a nice surprise this was, a band named Beach Vacation sneaking in with summery sounds from Oak Harbor, Washington.  Their 4-song EP release was superb and does  a great job of conjuring up a wonderful flowing sound that is perfect for any sort of vacation near the ocean.  The band proclaims to be influenced by Craft Spells and the Radio Dept. and it definitely shows in their sound, though they sound most like Wild Nothing on the poppier side of things.  “Escape” is a wonderfully jangly tune with lots of hummable riffs and melodies, while the standout track “Washington Weather” is just a wonderfully perfect carefree gem.  http://beachvacation.bandcamp.com/album/maritime-ep

Club 8 - Above the City 9) Club 8: Above the City [LP].  At first glance of the CD in my hands, austere cover art underneath the jewel case reflecting the lights above.  I had fallen in love many years ago with their album “The Friend I Once Had,” which had many repeated spins in my CD player back then.  Club 8 had morphed and changed some from that first love, but I still had high hopes with each new release.  So, with trepidation, I placed this CD into the player, and listened…  At first, I was not sure if I was again enamored.  But then I listened again, and again, and again.  And there it was, that self-same spark that had been there with our first love, and still burning warmly through the Swedish winters.  Best played with the lights dimmed and cool breeze in the air, “Above the City” is another wonderfully layered album from Club 8.  Yes, it takes a gradual crescendo through the first half of the album to get to the standout tracks “A Small Piece of Heaven” and “I’m Not Gonna Grow Old,” but you are rewarded for your patience, as you should be on a fully imagined cohesive album.    https://soundcloud.com/labrador-records/sets/club-8-above-the-city-1

Tullycraft8) Tullycraft: Lost In Light Rotation [LP].  Unabashedly twee and back as good as ever, Tullycraft is one of my favorite bands and they definitely do not disappoint with their latest LP release.  From beginning to end, it is everything we’ve come to expect from Tullycraft, so no surprises, but no one else does it as well as Tullycraft in being themselves.  Highlights include their title track “Lost in Light Rotation,” “Westchester Turnabouts,” and “Agincourt,” but really, every single tune on the album is a singable, danceable (in the hop-around head-bobbing way), short (2-3 minute) gem of pure indie pop goodness!  https://soundcloud.com/fortuna-pop/tullycraft-lost-in-light

the fin. 7) The fin. Glowing Red On The Shore [EP]. This 4 piece band from Kobe, Japan, don’t sound at all like they are from Japan.  Instead they channel that electronic new wave sound with layered vocals that would fit alongside Joy Division and New Order, though ultimately more positive-leaning and hopeful in mood and lyrics.  Maybe mixed in with some Pains of Being Pure at Heart would round out their sound.  This EP release features songs that I have played on repeat many times over and never tired of, such as “Circle on the Snows,” “Float Away,” and ‘Misty Forest,” are my favorites, but they are all so excellent.  The information on this new band is rather limited, but check them out!  http://70.xmbs.jp/fin/?in=ok

When Nalda Became Punk6) When Nalda Became Punk – A Farewell to Youth [LP].  A very cute band from Spain, initially started by Elena Sestelo as just “Nalda” in 2006 and really gathering momentum when Roberto Cibeira joined the band and they recorded tracks for this debut LP “A Farewell to Youth.”  My favorites are “When It’ll Come,” and “Summer, You And Me.”  Unabashedly true indie pop with melodic guitars, happy synthesizers, cheerful drums, and the wonderful vocals from Elena with maybe just a hint of edginess (ala the Muffs), When Nalda Became Punk’s album is a high-energy party with no let down at all.  http://www.shelflife.com/catalogue/LIFE097.html

The Very Most 5) The Very Most—Just a Pup [EP].  Everyone’s favorite indie pop band from Idaho is at it again!  This prolific band led by Jeremy Jensen has been pumping out all kinds of great songs, and this most recent EP includes the special collaborative gem between the Very Most and singer Liz Hunt from the School.  Not only is it two of my favorite bands coming together as one, but to heap up the goodness even more, they decide to cover one of the most singable songs of all time, Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual.”  This Welsh-Idahoan combination is just too superb to miss.  Could we just have Liz Hunt sing every song known to mankind?  And the rest of the EP is just as wonderful, covering the breadth and strength of this band in just 4 songs.  “We Don’t Have Any Cuts to Waste” is one of my other favorite tracks and lyrically twisting and linear at the same time, while driving things along with a catchy hooks and melodies—this is the Very Most at it’s very best! http://theverymost.bandcamp.com/album/just-a-pup

Camera Obscura 4) Camera Obscura: Desire Lines [LP].  As I’ve mentioned on my show, I’ve been accused of blindly liking anything that Camera Obscura produces.  Well, we all have our favorite things in life, and yes, Camera Obscura appeals to me in just the right way.  Another one of those albums that gets better with each listen, “Desire Lines” meets all expectations of upbeat indie pop songs with the yearning vocals of Tracyanne Campbell along with the more melancholy and contemplative tunes for just the right balance.  I won’t tell you my favorite tracks, because it changes all the time since they are all so good.  Our Glaswegian friends have indeed done it again. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/desire-lines/id632666540?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Slow Beach 3) Slow Beach – Lover, Lover [EP]. This 6-song EP release is from a new Japanese indie-pop group that comprises Dai Ogasawara, the founder Ano(t)raks (who brought you such great Japanese bands as Post Modern Team and the Paellas) and producer Kai Takahashi, Yuriko Ohno (keyboard), and Keito Taguchi (bass).  I highlighted this group in November and they have not disappointed at all. The title track “Lover,Lover” is an awesome catchy song by Slow Beach.  Various parts catch snippets from the 60s evoke images of early Beach Boys. They are not really slow, but there is a nice relaxed feeling to their songs, and definitely the beach tropical feel that they are trying to evoke.  “Lover, Lover” is a singable, hummable delight! http://anotraks.bandcamp.com/album/lover-lover

Lost Tapes 2) Lost tapes—War in the Netherlands [EP].  Lost Tapes are a Spanish duo that plays perfect indie-pop with those always desirable jangly guitars.   Pau Rocao (of La Habitación Roja) and RJ Sinclair (lead singer of Tokyo Sex Destruction) have gotten together to produce this 4-song EP.  The title track, “War in the Netherlands” is the standout and has a Teenage Fanclub feel to it, while “Come With Me” slides over to a Jesus & Mary Chain vibe.  Hoping we hear more from them!  http://www.eardrumspop.com/2013/05/14/epop035-lost-tapes/

Silver Screen 1) Silver Screen – When You and I Were Very Young [LP]. This is my favorite album of 2013! Silver Screen is a project of Cris Miller from Los Angeles.  He has collaborated with Sunny Summer Day (Indonesia) and Some Gorgeous Accident (Philippines) in the past couple years.  This album from Plastilina Records (based in Peru) is just perfect indie pop at its best!  This is the sweet sun-soaked soundtrack to your cheerful summer day cruising around the island.  Jangly guitars, handclaps, layered vocals, it’s all the pinnacle of indie pop perfection.  The first track that had me singing and tapping along was “Really No Wonder,” and other highlights include “Mercy” and “A Little More Each Day.”  You might have missed this treasure of indie pop goodness released in April 2013, but give it a listen and you won’t be disappointed!

https://plastilinarecords.bandcamp.com/album/when-you-and-i-were-very-young

Thanks so much for listening and reading!  More information and playlists can be found at mildmanneredDJ.blogspot.com

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The Happyoblivion Best Singles or Random Tracks of 2013

Here we go into more detail on the Happyoblivion Best of 2013 lists. First up, these are 2013’s top 10 singles or random tracks (songs that came from albums that were good, but not stellar enough to be a top 10 album of 2013). I will post up the 10 best overall albums of 2013 (aka the consistently best LPs and EPs from beginning to end, with no filler or weak songs) next week!

10) Summer heart—Beat Of Your Heart [single]. On the show I played Summer Heart’s 2012 release “I Wanna Go,” when I meant to play ‘Beat of Your Heart,” which was released in 2013. In any case, I can safely say that many people, including me, dug both tracks with equal fervor. This the moniker of David Alexander, who hails from Sweden, and evokes that relaxed feeling that is indicative of many synthesizer-based summer tunes. http://summerheart.bandcamp.com/album/beat-of-your-heart-single

9) Gypsy and the cat—Bloom [LP—The Late Blue]. This Australian band surprisingly snuck up on me with their LP release, “The Late Blue.” I might have prejudged the name and album cover and thought I was getting some folk music. But what amazement when my ears picked up just wonderful pop tunes coming from the speakers. Shame on me for not knowing about this band earlier, who has had success in their home country. They’ve harnessed a little bit of new wave feel to progressive pop rock and have been compared favorably to MGMT. The gem of the album is the track “Bloom,” a definite hum-along tune. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3d2a5xpCgw

8) Washed out – All I Know [LP—Paracosm] This is the sophomore album from Washed Out, the artistic nom de plume for Ernest Greene. Pretty much following in the tracks of the first album “Within And Without,” we hear more of the chillwave sound. “All I Know,” along with “It All Feels Right” and “Falling Back” are highlights of this solid album. Washed Out has achieved significant commercial success in the U.S., so you’ll likely hear these tunes alongside your favorite Toro Y Moi songs at the hip clothing stores in the mall. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFGdSLVwTVE

7) The yearning – Still In Love [LP—Still In Love] Reminiscent of bands such as the School (both are on the Elefant label), the Yearning hit that sweet 60s pop sound. Maddie Dobie is the lead singer with the wondrous voice, and was only 15 at the inception of the band in 2012. This was one of Tracyanne Campbell’s (of Camera Obscura) favorite tracks of the year as well. The title track from their LP release is quite the pleasant gem! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8hceokDpUE

6) Obedient wives club—Murder Kill Baby [EP-- Murder Kill Baby] Out of Singapore, this is another female-fronted band with that wonderful 60s sweet pop sound that Phil Spector would love. Instantly sing-along-able songs of heartfelt longing, the title track of the EP hits all the right notes. Oh, and the band’s name is ironically adopted from a real-life organization that tells wives to be submissive to their husbands; happily, this band is here to espouse just the opposite, and the world is much better for it. https://soundcloud.com/obedientwivesclub/murder-kill-baby

5) Paradise—Stars Shine Bright [single] Hailing from London, Paradise continues to create buzz with their cheerful, danceable tracks. Tony Harewood and Joseph Marshall comprise the duo, and the echoey chillwave vibrance infuses the tune. It’s the cheerfully layers of guitar haze on top of swaying synthesizer in the perfect delicate balance that carries us all upwards and puts a smile on our faces. https://soundcloud.com/paradiselovesyou/stars-shine-bright

4) Wild Nothing—Ride [Empty Estate EP]. Jack Tatum continues to bring us excellent tracks as the one man band that is Wild Nothing. Though not as consistently excellent as his two full length albums, this EP is still not bad. However, the EP does seem to wander a bit more, and it suffers from comparison to the stellar LPs. Clearly for me, the standout track on this EP is “Ride,” a pleasurable track that definitely has been played many times over this past year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2JzYPlfCk

3) Alpaca sports – telephone [single]. Pure indie pop goodness! “Let’s go somewhere, let’s go somewhere alone” is part of the lyrics and really this is just pure wonderful indie-pop at its cheeriest. Happy melodies and vocals are all part and parcel of the great twee music from Swedish band Alpaca Sports, who are on a roll and set to release a full length album in 2014. There is stiff competition, but they might very well be my favorite Swedish pop band, and that is certainly saying a lot. https://soundcloud.com/alpaca-sports/alpaca-sports-lets-go

2) Northern portrait—The Young And Hopefuls [Various Artists - A Sunday Matinée CD] What I said two months ago still stands true, and every bit of music from this Danish indie pop band is like a delicious morsel that I want to savor but can’t help but gobble up so quickly it is gone before I realize. This track can be found off of the Matinee Records compilation release “A Sunday Matinée,” which has many other great tunes on it from bands such as Strawberry Whiplash, Bart & Friends, and the Math & Physics Club. This track from Northern Portrait is a superb teaser after their excellent debut LP “Criminal Art Lovers.” Northern Portrait are like a less melancholy and more upbeat version of the vaunted Smiths/Morrisey sound that many enjoy. Their lyrics are also quite insightful, though sometimes the melodious sound and delicious hooks are deceptively cheerful enough to cause you to sing along without realizing it. At the end of the song, singer Stefan Larsen croons, “We have no social ambitions; as we don’t care about the rest.” https://soundcloud.com/matinee-recordings/northern-portrait-the-young

1) Teen runnings – Sightseeing [single]. Tokyo’s own Teen Runnings, formerly known as Friends, is back with a killer track that is one of my favorites for 2014. The guitar hooks and somewhat tropical sound combined with hopeful yet eerily ominous lyrics create the subversive contrast of happy and melancholy that speaks to creative indie types such as you and me: “See the towns, see their darker sides. There’s no paradise that you hope to be.” With a clearer, more focused sound on this song, they really hit it on all cylinders, delivering a singable, hummable, head bobbing song that is simply indie pop perfection. https://soundcloud.com/teen-runnings/sightseeing-demo

For more information and fun, just head over to mildmanneredDJ.blogspot.com

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SOUL MUSIC

What is soul music? To me it’s the feeling you get when you listen to it. It gives you an inner emotion that’s hard to explain but here goes… let me try. Hard rock or dance music for example can make you feel energized, the blues may make you feel sad at times, jazz – relaxed and may provoke deeper thoughts but Soul just makes you feel good – plain & simple. Soul songs are mostly about love and or positive emotions. There are of course exceptions to this but generally speaking it’s uplifting music. On my radio show, I have often said that it’s what’s missing in the soul that makes it unique. It’s the timing of the singer, or a missing beat that the listener then has to fill in with his or her own raw emotion. That’s soul.

 

Soul music can be broke down into different sub-genre’s i.e. classic soul, old school, R&B, neo-soul and more and all should evoke the same type of feeling. So if you can’t fell it in your bones, it’s not soul.

Some of the all time great classic soul singers include Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and the list goes on and on.

Old School music is essenially 70’s & 80’s with artists such as Rick James, The Commodores, Michael Jackson and so on.

Contemporary R&B really started in the early 90’s with a new type of sound. It was more studio/program based with no real instruments but again it retained the same feel. Mary J Blidge, Dru Hill and 112 where just some of the top artists of that time.

Then came neo-soul in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. This sub genre infused jazz and re-introduced live musicions and deeper lyrics back into the music. Artists such as Erykah Badu, Maxwell, Angie Stone and D’Angelo were some of the first to help create this new type of sound.

 

But if we focus on the “feeling” of soul, this can be found in some rock, reggae, jazz, house or dare I say most genre’s. I have even felt soul in some country songs!!! Yep I said it. It’s just the emotion that’s all. If the song speaks to you from within then it’s soulful.

 

 

 

Is “Soul Music ” black music? Well my collection of album artwork would surely support that plus the fact that I must have DJ’d a hundred parties where I am the only white in the room. All I know is I have always been welcomed into the black community to do my thing and I always get treated like family. Think about that for a second… a pasty white boy from England rolling up at an event with all black people to provide the entertainment? You think a young black man would be welcomed at an “all white” back road bar to perform? Hmmmmmm

 

Anyway, I’ll leave you with that thought to ponder over until the next time I write.

 

 

Bennie James signing out,

 

The Bennie James Show – 9-noon Tuesdays on KTUH 90.3fm Honolulu

 

 

 

 

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NERVO @ The Rupublik 2013

The Republik has been doing a good job of getting big headliners to play at their venue recently, with Jillionaire, Odd Future, and now Nervo being some big names. People packed into the club hours before Nervo was set to go on, and the DJ before the Australian duo was doing a good job hyping up the crowd, possibly too good of a job. Nervo’s set was scheduled for 12p.m-1:45p.m. but people had been dancing since 9p.m. Another issue was the clubs failure to advertise properly. Plenty of people came, but many left unhappy. The bouncers at the door refused anyone who didn’t have a preordered ticket, despite the fact that they advertised a 50$ entry fee on their website. Despite the mob of angry bystanders and a packed crowd, Nervo did their best to hype up the crowd, playing some of their more popular music to start out the night.
The best point in the set seemed to come when they started playing lots of big room house, which people went crazy for. Unfortunately the amount of people in the club turned it into a bit of a sauna. Nervo acknowledged this fact twice by asking the crowd “are you sweaty enough yet?!”. The overall show was a huge success and the Australian DJ’s sounded happy and promised to return for another show. There was also talk of Steve Aoki coming to Hawaii as well but we’ll have more details as more facts arise.
To check out Nervo’s music and tour dates click here http://www.nervomusic.com/

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Discover a New Artist

 

 

MOORS – “Asphyxiated”

 

It seems like rappers may have it the hardest in the music industry. When you think about it, EDM has a very open circle that is always letting in new artists, but there are thousands of rappers out there who get little or no media attention because a select few hold the top spots. If the top spots are beginning to bore you, and you’re looking for something new, I highly recommend a dude called MOORS. I was just browsing through noisey, not really looking for anything, but the song has a commanding tone about it. Almost like he’s telling you a story, the song “asphyxiated” is a powerful song. He also has a voice that is easy to listen to, yet interesting all the same. I highly recommend this song, as well as all of the other music he has been putting out recently. It’s a bit mellow, so don’t expect to get hype off of his music, but if you listen to the words it might have an effect on you that you wouldn’t expect.

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Track Review: Major Lazer ft. Laidback Luke & Ms. Dynamite – “Sweat”

Laidback Luke and major combine efforts on a song only this match made in heaven could procure. The song (as well as the video) catch your attention within the first five seconds, and the hook keeps you around. Styled in a nightclub fashion, the video shows off beautiful body artwork that glows in the dark. The song has a definite Major Lazer feel, but laidback Luke brings more of a housey vibe into the mix. The song is heavy in tropical drums (the song actually says “bang the bass drum” throughout so it seems appropriate) and shakers. The synth is very edm esque, but it seems to give off more of a tropical vibe overall. One thing that stands out to me the most is the sheer amount of work that Diplo (One of Major Lazers producers) has his name on. The song is a serious hit, I recommend adding it to your playlist ASAP.

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