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TENsongs21NOV2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week | Beyonce, Charli XCX, KUČKA + More

TENsongs21NOV

This week seemed like a pretty slow week for new music but looking back on it now we must have spent too much of our time watching drug busts outside the window and contemplating the percentage of croissant to donut in a cronut. Anyway, apologies. We’re more than aware now that this week was infact great for new music and are making up for our fleeting attention spans with this list of 10 songs that would have been great in any week. Not just because we thought this week was a dud.

Hudson Mohawke- Chimes (Feat. Future, Pusha T, Travi$ Scott and French Montana)

Hudson Mohawke’s Chimes was already a hard-ass, thumper of a track but he’s just piled four cherries on top, adding four of the best rappers right now to the mix. The instrumental remains the same but the rap verses add a certain personality to the track. If we have to pick someone who took the crown here we’re going to have to give it to Pusha T. He sounds dark, brooding and successfully fights Mohawke’s abrasive horns.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/hudsonmohawke/chimes-rmx[/soundcloud]

SZA- Sobrierty

SZA’s Z is still one of the most effortless records of the year and she continues that vibe with this cut, Sobriety. Vocally, she absolutely slays on this one over a beat constructed by a dream-team of Chris Calor, Cody, Thundercat and Sounwave. It’s funny that so many people have had a hand in this track because they haven’t left any fingerprintrints. It sounds minimal, clean and spacious. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/topdawgent/sza-sobriety-prod-by-chris-calor-cody-thundercat-lovedragon-and-sounwave[/soundcloud] 

Selah Sue – Together (ft. Childish Gambino)

Belgian, known for its delicious waffles and rich chocolate, has another delicacy on offer, in the form of sweet-talking Selah Sue. Her voice, like the two aforementioned foods, runs smoothly and steamily alongside a skittering, electronic-infused, hip-hop beat. Childish Gambino’s appearance is a welcome addition, giving the track, which ever so subtly verges into pop territory, that extra crunch. All we can say is, yum.

Made in Heights – Panther

Kelsey Bulkin’s got a voice that just won’t quit. Soft and dreamy, with the counter-ability of grabbing all your attention, her vocals float divinely above a soundscape of anxious synths, subdued keys and saccharine synths (those strings!). A lullaby of sorts, Panther lives up to its name. Stealthy, dark and mysterious, this big cat of the jungle grabs you right by the throat.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/madeinheights/panther[/soundcloud]

Beyonce- 7/11

7/11 is the new Beyonce track from the forthcoming Platinum Edition of her hugely successful, BEYONCE album. It seems like Beyonce just keeps giving more and more. 7/11 is probably the hardest we’ve ever heard her go with a crunching beat and some trail-blazing verses. Beyonce rarely takes the time to sing, rather rapping her way through the whole thing. The video is something else too. For someone with the amount of money she has, she’s made a video that looks like a home video. Where my home videos look like a poorly shot documentary on whales, Beyonce’s looks top notch. Of course.

Beyonce- Ring Off

We’re just going to put two Beyonce songs in because, Beyonce. This one sees her put more fuel on the fire in terms of the rumour that her and Jay-Z are done with the lyrics “you took that ring off”. We’re not sure what that’s all about but the song itself is an island-inspired gem. Along with the original songs on BEYONCE, Ring Off is probably the most effortless. Can we have another album for Christmas please Beyonce?

Charli XCX- Gold Coins

We’re currently smashing our piggy banks open and filling the bath with dollar coins so we can listen to this track the way its meant to be heard. With all the success Charli XCX has had this year, it’s refreshing to hear a song so unconcerned with what’s in vogue at the moment. Gold Coins is brash, punk and surprisingly sounds like a hit.

KUČKA– Divinity

It’s always good to hear an Aussie girl doing well on the world wide web, so we we’re thrilled to see KUČKA’s Divinity premiered on The Fader this week. We’ve loved KUCKA ever since we were captivated by her show at BIGSOUND and drunkenly tracked her down in the street to tell her so. Divinity sounds like Grimes with a sprinkle of Alunageorge and plenty of after-dark charm. It’s a swirling combustion of lucid synths and vocal hums, sounding like nothing coming out of this country right now.

 [soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/midnightfeature/kucka-divinity[/soundcloud]

MNEK- The Rhythm

In our humble opinion, British youngster has been criminally underappreciated this year. Surely 2015 is set to be his time, particularly with this #banger, The Rhythm on his side. The Rhythm was made to pulsate off club walls with jungle inspired rhythms and a throbbing bass. Meanwhile his soaring voice adds an anthemic quality to the whole thing. Right now, I’m literally all about that bass.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mnek-1/the-rhythm[/soundcloud]

Dugong Jr- Fish Tears

Riddle me this, how do you see fish tears when they’re already in water? Well, Dugong Jr has apparently seen them and they look exactly as this sounds. If that’s true, they’re crystalline droplets, that trickle and plop, occasionally falling onto squeaky beds. Take of that what you will. Really, all you need to know is that Dugong Jr is one of the best Australian producers right now.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/flirtini/dugong-jr-fish-tears?in=flirtini/sets/heartbreaks-promises-vol-2[/soundcloud]

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Two New Beyoncé Songs Leaked In A Kind-of Surprise Move

 

10488145_10154783165825601_8798528467022420302_nTwo new Beyoncé songs have surfaced today from the Platinum Edition of her surprise, self-titled album, BEYONCE. These two new songs, aren’t in fact a surprise. A few weeks ago it was revealed that she would re-release the album with new songs including 7/11 and Ring Off. This Friday afternoon, we have said songs, and while it wasn’t completely a surprise it’s nice to get a gift like this on a Friday afternoon. 7/11 is a beaty-heavy, hip-hop jam while Ring Off is an island-inspired mid-tempo where we really get to hear dem vocals.

The Platinum Edition will also feature remixes with Kanye West, Pharrell and Nicki Minaj.

Listen to Ring Off and 7/11 here.

 

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Halloween costumes for the music enthusiast

The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st. 

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Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?

Pro: Blondes have more fun.

Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won’t be partaking in any of the fun.

mileyMiley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous ‘outfit’ that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum’s vitamins onto cat’s eye glasses for good measure. Don’t use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, ‘cos that shit’s expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley’s most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more lickable likeable.

Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?

Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won’t be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.

beyoncejayz_halloween

Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin’ friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you’re at it.

Pro: You’ll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.

Con:  No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.

elliphantMo

If you’re up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.

Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.

Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a ‘pro’).

fkatwigs_halloween

There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment.  Completely nail the ‘baby hair’ style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.

Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.

Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig’s current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.

hey_qt_halloween

If you don’t know QT, it’s high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this “sparkling future pop sensation” is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she’s the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both ’90s fashion and millennial ideologies.

Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the ’90s.

Con: You’ll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume’s significance.

SBTRKT_Halloween

Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we’ve designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.

Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.

Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.

lilyallen_halloween

London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year’s Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus’s penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby’s bottle for the night.

Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.

Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.

kanye_halloween

When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you’re only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.

Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.

Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.

arianagrande-halloweenMirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.

Pro: You’ll fit in with all the other ‘sexy cat’ costumes on October 31.

Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.

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The continuing influence of The xx’s debut 5 years on

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2009- a year in which Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors ruled the internet and The Black Eyed Peas and Kings of Leon ruled the charts. It’s always hard to revisit these memories. Boom Boom Pow in your head is never a kind gift and Sex On Fire only reminds us of the time when we ‘almost’ had the next U2. Five years later, The Black Eyed Peas are seemingly over and Kings of Leon are no longer on their rock n’ roll pedestal.

Fortunately there is fonder memories of that year. There’s one release from 2009 that has spread a subtle yet lasting web over the music world. The xx’s self-titled debut. While the band had an auror of hype surrounding them thanks to the blogosphere and NME, the album only reached number 16 on the British charts upon its release. Chart success never felt like the goal for the band, but it seemed like an inevitable byproduct of the minimalist, melodic music that quickly spread its influence by providing the soundtrack to shows like 90210 and Misfits.

While not so much an immediate chart success, it was a critical darling. Pitchfork called it “nuanced, quiet and surprising” while The Guardian said it “will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms”, further labelling it the best album of 2009. It took a while, but the “many friends” eventually gravitated towards the record. In 2010 it won the prestigious Mercury Prize over records by La Roux, Florence and the Machine and The Horrors.

Following the win, album sales rose by 448% in the UK to take them to a new chart height of number three. When their less critically-lauded second album, Coexist was released in 2012 it shot to number one, much off the merit of the first album, one would presume.

However, the legacy of the xx’s debut five years on is detached from sales. Rather it’s left a prominent impact on the face of music today with many artists making music that is a little more minimalist, has more space and breathes more vocally. Their debut was a record that relied solely on delectable melodies, coated in subtle emotion. When Romy and Oliver flip between telling each other “sometimes I still need you” on Heart Skips A Beat it’s not forced. It’s a statement of sincerity born in the darkness of the early morning when the club music mutes and the lights begin to blur.

The record always sat in the pocket of electronic music but further than that it was difficult to define. Looking on five years later, it shares many qualities with the recent outburst of future RnB. The vocals are placed on top of beats that are given adequate space to breathe. Guitars and synths are left to provide the emotional lacing for the music. In many ways the record championed an RnB revival far before critics and the public alike were talking about its emergence.

It’s a testament to the band’s ability to hold back and Jamie xx’s nuanced beatmaking that even pop remakes of the tracks were unable to make them sound more commercially appealing. Rihanna’s use of Intro fell far short of the xx’s stormy album opener and Shakira’s latin-flavoured version of Islands proved the songs always grew better in darkness than in sunlight.

Below are five artists that have taken a little something from the xx’s debut whether it was intentional or not.

London Grammar

Fellow British-band, London Grammar’s lead-vocalist, Hannah Reid, undoubtedly has more of a booming voice than Romy but there are definite instrumental comparisons between the two. While London Grammar’s brooding debut errs more to alternative-pop that electronic music, the delicate guitar plucks and use of space hark back to the xx’s discovery that melody could be crafted out of little to nothing. Place crescendoing beats and more immediate piano-work on top of the xx’s minimalist soundscape and you’ve got London Grammar’s Wasting My Years.

Reid recently told Gigwise, “I think we’re in a kind of post-xx era where a lot of people are quite influenced by that atmospheric pop vibe.” It’s a pertinent comment that very much reflects the state of alternative pop right now.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/londongrammar/london-grammar-wasting-my[/soundcloud]

Drake

Jamie xx held production duties on tracks from Drake’s Take Care record so it makes sense that he would be directly influenced by the xx. The title-track with Rihanna takes Jamie’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’ll Take Care of U,  with Drake singing and rapping over it. It’s arguably one of the first times Drake truly embraced his singing voice, delicately cooing over the track in a similar way to the xx’s Oliver. While Jamie didn’t have a hand over Drake’s latest effort, Nothing Was The Same, the influences still remain. Own It is hauntingly minimalist and also sees the rapper sing while From Time, has him add Jhene Aiko to the mix with the two flipping back and forth vocally a la Romy and Oliver.

FKA Twigs

Could it be that the most innovative artist of 2014 is in fact influenced by the biggest innovators of 2009? It doesn’t seem Twigs’ notable xx influence is something she is conscious of, but it’s hard to imagine her debut existing without the xx breaking down some walls before it. LP1 is impossibly sparse with Twigs rarely having to raise her voice to convey her point. She said in an interview recently that she didn’t like the RnB genre-label and she’s right, she’s not an RnB artist. But neither were the xx, explicitly. By making music that is so minimal, both artists carefully traverse a line of many genres including RnB, electronica, pop and hip-hop. You can’t really sit comfortably inside a genre and be innovative, can you?

Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware is a product of a time in music when Sampha was toning down SBTRKT’s dance music and RnB and electronica were beginning to combine, partly thanks to the xx’s debut. While she has a huge, booming voice, we never truly heard it on her debut Devotion, which was part of its sophisticated charm. The title-track is perhaps the best indicator of the xx’s influence of the record. Subtle jabs of guitar lay beneath Ware’s breathy vocal. Synths sit underneath simply for substance with not much else used to convey the smokey, lovelorn atmosphere. Tell me that description doesn’t also work to describe the xx’s Infinity.

In fact, only weeks ago Ware released a cut, Share It All, from her upcoming album, Tough Love, written with Romy.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/jessiewareshareit-all[/soundcloud]

Beyonce

Beyonce’s latest self-titled effort is very much a thoughtful and educated take on the current wave of future RnB. As we’ve discussed above, the xx have had a part in formulating that genre and the minimalist nature of it. Much of the appeal of Beyonce’s latest album is the way she creates delectable melodies from very little at all. On Superpower with Frank Ocean her only real-backing is vocal harmonies Ghost/Haunted is born from a thumping bass and haunting synths. It’s a far cry from the brass-laden, pop/RnB of her previous albums. As Spin said, Haunted is “Janelle Monaé’s delivery meeting the xx’s reverb-y stare”.

In an example of how meta the world is becoming, the xx covered Beyonce’s Frank Ocean-penned I Miss You which is the first track of hers to show obvious similarities to the xx. I Miss You dims the lights, clears the clutter and sees Beyonce in the most gentle vocal display of her career. When the xx covered it, they barely had to do a thing to bring it into their lane.

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The best Beyonce remixes and covers of 2014

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Every year is the year of Beyonce, but 2014 seems to have been a notably spectacular year for her. Apart from being caught up in a heated elevator argument, she’s gone about her business in the best way possible- drawing press by just being Beyonce. Just being Beyonce includes releasing remixes with Kanye and Nicki Minaj, going on a joint tour with her husband Mr. Carter and dispelling break-up rumours with said husband in the most graceful way possible. Oh and there was also that smoking Grammy performance. Next month, she’ll turn 32 and while she’s well away from her 20s there are certainly no signs of her reign ending.

“You can say what you what I’m the shit”, she sings on a remix of Flawless and she really does have a point. She certainly is the shit, but there are also some remixes and covers of Beyonce this year that also are, kind of, the shit. From twerk remixes to M.I.A led re-works, here are 10 of the best Beyonce covers and remixes of tracks from Beyonce’s surprise fifth album, Beyonce.

No Angel- Tei Shi Cover

No Angel, thanks to its writer Caroline Polachek, was always the most alternative sounding of Beyonce and so it makes sense for Tei Shi to take it on. The Brooklyn artist curls her soft vocals around the already breezy tune giving a slightly more gentle skew than Beyonce.

[soundcloud width=”750” height=”200”]https://soundcloud.com/tei-shi/no-angel-beyonce[/soundcloud]

Flawless- Beyonce and Nicki Minaj Remix

Beyonce herself is involved in this remix and it sees her add Nicki Minaj to the mix. “I woke up like this” has become one of the biggest catch phrases of the year and this remix adds even more sass and ferocity than the original. Beyonce sings “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator”, referring to that Solange/Jay Z incident while also sampling Outkast’s SpottieOttieDopaliscious. As for Nicki, she’s “curvalicious, pussy-served delicious”.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sitebeyoncedown/beyonce-flawless-remix-feat-nicki-minaj[/soundcloud]

Mine- Ryan Hemsworth Twist N Shout Remix

Keeping the Drake hook intact and chopping up the rest, Hemsworth makes a tribal, bass-heavy masterpiece out of Mine. He alters the Beyonce’s pitch ever so slightly so that she’s on her way to chipmunk but not there yet (thank goodness). Hemsworth knows that Bey’s the queen and treats her suitably by making Mine that bit more heavy-hitting. He knows what’s up. Bow down.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/dope-music-blog/beyonce-mine-ryan-hemsworth[/soundcloud]

Drunk In Love- Angel Haze Cover

Angel Haze did a Beyonce around the same time Beyonce did a Beyonce by leaking her whole album at once. The only difference is Beyonce attached a price tag and it worked out a little better for her. It didn’t stop Haze taking on a cover of Drunk In Love which eclipses a lot of the stuff on her debut album. She adds a few of her own raps, shows of her smokey vocal prowess and slurs a few lines just so we know she’s doing it properly- drunk.

Drunk In Love- The Weeknd Remix

At one point it felt as if we were never going to hear the end of Drunk In Love remixes. At that point, The Weeknd dropped one laying down his smooth vocals with some very questionable lines. “I’ll call you back if that head right”, is one of them, “I won’t love you unless that pussy got some superpowers” is another. I’m sure the feminist in Beyonce would be thrilled.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”415″]https://soundcloud.com/theweekndxo/drunk-in-love-the-weeknd-remix[/soundcloud]

Flawless- M.I.A Baddygirl 2 Remix

Apparently M.I.A waited to get a response from Beyonce’s ‘people’ before just dropping this without permission because she’s an independent woman. We’re glad she did because this popping, gun-shot bass-driven take on Flawless captures the exact confidence of the original in a totally different way. It even samples Diva at the end giving us two Beyonce moments for the price of one.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/miauk/baddygirl-2-mia-party-squad-beyonce-flawless-remix[/soundcloud]

XO- HAIM Cover

LA sisters HAIM are basically just like three Beyonce’s, so it makes sense that their cover of XO is a sizzler. Este takes lead vocals and delivers a warm, sunset-inspired version of the track. It stays pretty true to the original, injecting just a slight alternative-flair. A collaboration between Beyonce and HAIM would break the girl-power scale, wherever that may be.

No Angel- Nire Remix

Nire is a beatmaker from New York who, earlier this year, released a collection of remixes with everyone from Ellie Goulding to M.I.A given a makeover. No Angel was one of the tracks she took on, giving it a club-ready aesthetic with deep beats and ambient synths. She keeps the vocal melody intact with just a few tweaks needed to make this special.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nire/no-angel-nire-bootleg?in=nire/sets/plurallure-1[/embed]

Partition- Dave Aude Remix

When you name a track ‘the Twerk Remix’ you better deliver and deliver, Dave Aude does on his remix of Partition. He’s added horns and cascading beats making sure there’s plenty of room to pop a booty or two. Partition was the sexiest song on Beyonce and Aude loses none of that steam by ramping the tempo up a bit.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/daveaude/beyonce-partition-dave-aude[/soundcloud]

Drunk In Love- James Blake Remix

James Blake’s unreleased remix of Drunk In Love is probably the most chopped and sliced one yet. His trademark skittering beats and mournful vocal coos are joined by a pitch-altered Beyonce sample to create an ambient, otherworldly take on the track. It’s certainly not going to please avid fans of the original but it’s a masterful reinterpretation of a track that’s become iconic in a year.

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Digging for Mixtapes – 7 Playlists From My Past

diggingformixtapesArchaeological Report

Location: CD stack in my childhood bedroom

The site of my childhood bedroom, located about 5km North of the Brisbane City, contains relics of a time between the dates of ‘95 & ‘10. On the weekend dating 21/22 June, armed with CD cleaner and my trusty box of Telfast, I decided to excavate this site in the hopes of discovering long-lost musical artefacts.

Amongst the red herrings consisting of blank CDs, photo CDs, a Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego game, the Big Brother CD single & Peter Combes’ Christmas Carols, there were some fruitful discoveries which can tell us a lot about my musical past.

Unfortunately, with the approximate lifespan of CDs ranging 10-15 years, some results came back inconclusive. A report of my successful findings can be found below (dated in chronological order):

Item #1

Approximate Date: 1999/2000 AD

I almost ejected the CD upon hearing the first song, thinking it was one of my parents’ Spanish-themed dinner party CDs. Turned out to be the next best thing – Enrique Iglesias. Ranging from soppy pop songs to tracks about weed and ‘jacking off’, this playlist is just as confused as the fashion at the turn of the Millennium.

1. Enrique Iglesias & Whitney HoustonCould I Have This Kiss Forever 

2. AfromanBecause I Got High

I’m not sure I even knew what ‘getting high’ exactly was in 1999.

3. Destiny’s ChildBootylicious

4. Westlife – Uptown Girl

5. JoanneSo Damn Fine

6. Jessica SimpsonI Think I’m In Love With You

7. M2MMirror Mirror

8. M2MDon’t say you love me

9. Mandy MooreI Wanna Be With You

10. Jessica SimpsonIrresistible

11. Nikki Webster – Strawberry Kisses

12. The OffspringPretty Fly For A White Guy

13. Lou BegaMambo No . 5  (Don’t try and tell me you weren’t disappointed that your name wasn’t mentioned in this song.)

14. Aaron Carter – Crush On You

Nick Carter features in this video with some pretty sound brotherly advice.

Item #2

Approximate Date: 2002 AD

Hip Hop and dirty pop reign supreme in this playlist. i.e. I was pretty hardcore at the tender age of 12.

1. Ashanti ft. Ja RuleHappy

2. Britney Spears – Slave 4 U

Britney did Good Girl Gone Bad way before RiRi.

3. Destiny’s ChildNasty Girl

4. Alicia KeysGirlfriend

5. Kelis – Good Stuff

6. ModjoChillin’

7. Missy Elliott – Work It

Nothing better than Missy discussing elephants and the shaving of her ‘cho cha’.

8. J LoJenny From The Block

9. S Club 7 – S Club Party

There really ain’t no party like an S Club party anymore.

10. Wu-tang clanGravel Pit

11. Craig DavidWhat’s Your Flava?

12. Britney SpearsBoys

13. Bob Marley vs Funkstar De LuxeSun Is Shining

14. Tenacious DTribute

Item #3

Approximate Date: 2004 AD

Not sure what I was trying to achieve with this CD – so many highs and lows! I call it my Bipolar Playlist.

1. Sean Paul + Blu CantrellBreathe

Anyone able to detect what he is saying deserves a medal.

2. OutKast feat. Sleepy Brown The Way You Move

3. SpiderbaitCalypso

Some of you may remember this ditty from 10 Thing I Hate About You. 

4. Britney Spears – Everytime

:'(

5. Enrique Iglesias feat. Kelis – Not In Love

6. Blink 182Miss you

Another :'(

7. OutKastMs Jackson

8. BeyonceNaughty Girl

9. Christina Aguilera ft. Lil KimCan’t hold us down

10. KelisTrick me

11. Obie TriceGot some teeth

12. Missy ElliottGossip Folks

13. JoJo – Leave (Get Out)

Item #4

Approximate Date: 2005 AD

1. Ashlee SimpsonBoyfriend

2. Pharrell feat. Gwen StefaniCan I have it like that

3. StupidiscoJunior Jack

4. Mylo vs Miami Sound Machine – Doctor Pressure

5. Franz FerdinandDo you want to

6. Planet FunkChase The Sun

The CD broke soon after that 🙁 First world noughtie problems.

 

Item #5

Approximate Date: 2005 AD

Ashlee Simpson on the same playlist as Kanye West and 50 Cent?

irefretnothing

 

 

 

 

 

1. Kanye West – Diamonds Are Forever

2. Ashlee SimpsonL.O.V.E

3. NERDRockstar (Jason Nevins Remix) 

4. Ciara feat. Missy Elliott1, 2 Step

5. Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx – Gold Digger

6. 50 Cent feat. OliviaCandy Shop

7. Missy Elliott feat. Ciara and Fatman ScoopLose Control

8. Usher – Caught Up

 

Item #6

Approximate Date: 2005 AD

It seems things turned a little techno when I was 15, coincidentally coinciding with my new-found penchant for Smirnoff Double Blacks.

1. Max graham vs Yes – Owner of a lonely heart

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/gretshu/ministry-of-sound-owner-of-a-lonely-heart-max-graham-vs-yes[/soundcloud]

2. Sander LeinenbergThe Fruit

3. Freestylers – Push Up

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/mdilelion-happy-people2/freestylers-push-up[/soundcloud]

4. Narcotic ThrustWhen The Dawn Breaks (Original Dub Mix)

5. Cabin Crew – Star to fall

6. Live Element Something About You (Club Mix)

7. MyloIn my arms

8. Studio B – I See Girls (Tom Nevillle Remix)

Dear God, I still know all the lyrics.

Item #7

Approximate Date: 2006 AD

Part of the ’bring a burned CD to every party you attend and take over the sound system’ era. These findings are comparable to the current ‘plug in your own iPhone and take over the sound system’ era we live in today. It seems some things never change.

1. SupermodeTell me why  (Pretty sure this bad boy was my Myspace song)

2. Nelly FurtadoManeater

3. David Guetta vs The EggLove don’t let me go

4. Pussycat DollsButtons

5. Justin TimberlakeSexyBack

6. QueshCandy Girl

7. FergieLondon Bridge (Oh Snap)

8. Studio BC’mon get it on

9. LL Cool J feat. Jennifer LopezControl Myself

10. Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous Girl

11. Pussycat DollsBeep

12. The SimilouAll this love

13. Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind

This one must have been a mistake…right? RIGHT? 

Have you uncovered a nostalgia-ridden playlist lately? Let us know in the comments or tweet me: @bianca_interns.

pharrell@

Why you need to be friends with Pharrell

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

Turning 41 just last week, Pharrell Williams is a multi-Grammy award-winning, Oscar-nominated, TIME’s most influential people, chart topping superstar producer, singer and songwriter and the most popular guy in school music. Showing no signs of slowing down, this mega-producer is hot property and if it is not already hideously obvious, here a few reasons why we all need to get chummy with Pharrell.

He has seen Daft Punk without their helmets.

Actually, let us rephrase that. He has seen Daft Punk, period. Which is more than most of us will be able to say in our lifetime. Plus he has bragging rights to some of the French duo’s best new hits, “Lose Yourself to Dance” and that relatively minor sensation, ‘Get Lucky’.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

His fashion sense is out of this world.

With his own signature Vivienne Westwood hat, Pharrell’s style evolution has been fearless and effortlessly trendsetting (and adorably goofy) over the years. He is also the co-founder of two clothing brands, and has his own Louis Vuitton jewellery line.

You can’t say the guy hasn’t got game, wearing this to the Oscars.

Picture 2 - Pharrell

He is 41 years old, and we are totally cool with that.

This Benjamin Button of the music world truly gets better with age. No really, this guy is immortal. He doesn’t look a day past 25.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

If he had a party, everyone would come.

Pharrell has worked with literally everyone in the industry, whether it is singing for Daft Punk or Robin Thicke, or producing for Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Kelis, Britney, Lupe Fiasco, Justin Timberlake, Usher or Frank Ocean.

Coachella 2014 saw Pharrell bring the largest posse on stage, both weekends. Gwen Stefani, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Diplo, Tyler the Creator, Usher, Busta Rhymes, Rapper T.I, Pusher T and Jay-Z! Heck, even Lorde and Haim were up there dancing at one point with Beyoncé cheering fiercely on the sidelines.

As it seems his peers, just like his fans, genuinely admire and adore him.

He probably owned most of your high school iTunes library.

Recognise any of these babies? Pharrell produced, wrote, co-wrote or featured in all of them.… and they were fricken’ awesome.

I’m a slave 4 U (Britney Spears), Rockstar (N.E.R.D), Work it out (Beyoncé), Senorita (Justin Timberlake), Hot in Herre (Nelly), Milkshake (Kelis), Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani), Drop it like it’s hot (Snoop Dog)…..the list goes on.

His second solo album, ‘Girl’ was released this year. His first in eight years!

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

“Women are a phenomenal force in my life and in my career” and “the cornerstone of existence”,  Pharrell spoke in media conference earlier this year. He went on to envisage a future world in which “75% of it is run by women … and I want to be on the right side of it.”

So the general consensus is that Pharrell has a perfectly healthy, un-creepy appreciation for girls.

Whether it’s the charming jungle beat of ‘Lost Queen’, the cheeky disco groove of ‘Hunter’ or the punchy opener ‘Marilyn Monroe’, this album definitely offers up a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone. He has even enlisted friends (more friends!!), Miley Cyrus, Kelly Osbourne, Hollywood’s hottest composer Hans Zimmer, Justin Timberlake, Timberland and vocals from Daft Punk to lend a hand, just because he can – marking an exciting step forward for the producer in 2014.

And I dare you not to dance to this.

Then there’s this…

Oprah. Pharrell crying. It’s all too much.

What a guy.

 Oh, and this…

Picture 5 - Pharrell.jpg

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

Top 10 Disses in Pop Music

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

The art of the diss song is one that was mastered by hip-hop decades ago. Biggie vs. Tupac, Kanye vs. 50 Cent and more recently Azealia Banks vs. everything and the kitchen sink. It seems, however, pop music is beginning to develop some sting to its candy-laden melodies.

Last week, Lily Allen released the title track from her forthcoming album, Sheezus. In it, she name-drops Beyonce, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry before proclaiming “give me the crown bitch, I wanna be Sheezus”. Lily’s no stranger to controversy but taking on Queen B is something very few have survived unscathed.

In celebration of pop’s left turn into darkness, we’ve compiled the 10 best disses in pop music. We were tempted to include Taylor Swift’s entire back catalogue but we got far too confused by her tangled web of celebrity boyfriends.

Taylor Swift- We Are Never Getting Back Together

“And you would hide away and find your peace of mind

With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine”

A record cooler than Taytay’s? Impossible. The Queen of over-sharing took a hit at former boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal on her 2012 record, Red. The chanting chorus will be forever lodged in his head along with her growing string of other celeb lovers who never took her records as a precautionary warning to not enter into the relationship.

John Mayer- Paper Doll

“You’re like twenty-two girls in one

And none of them know what they’re runnin’ from

Was it just too far to fall?

For a little paper doll”

Warning: Never date a musician who’s as prone to whinging as yourself. Mayer shot back at Swift after their break-up in this polite, alt-country track. It could well be the most beige diss song in pop’s short history of dissing, but it’s a brave move nonetheless. A move that will most likely end in an entire record written about Mayer by the country bumpkin who dabbles in dub-step.

Justin Bieber- All Bad

“Ooh, you know females

And how they like to run their mouths”

Receiving a Bieber diss is very similar to having a dachshund nibbling at your heels: annoying but largely ineffective. The Biebs nibbled at former girlfriend, (or present, now? Someone hand me an NW) Selena Gomez, following their well-publicised break-up and his descent into DUIs and Usher-dissing. Despite this, he’s not all bad.

Mariah Carey- Obsessed

“Finally found a girl that you couldn’t impress

Last man on the earth still couldn’t get this

You’re delusional, you’re delusional”

Mariah was all like, why you so obsessed with me to Eminem in 2009 following a long-feud over whether or not they dated. Mariah goes for it on Obsessed, accusing him of narcotics use (shock) before calling herself ‘the real MC’. Em responded in the same year on The Warning rapping “Shut the f-ck up before I put up all the phone calls you made to my house when you were “Wild N’ Out”. Wisely, Mariah then denied the song was ever about him.

Gwen Stefani- Hollaback Girl

“So Im ready to attack, gonna lead the pack

Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out

Thats right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up”

How could a song with so much time dedicated to bananas be a diss? Previous to Hollaback Girl, Courtney Love said in an interview “I’m not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She’s the cheerleader, and I’m out in the smoker shed.” Gwen responded with a number one single, surely making her the winner of this feud. I’m also willing to bet that Love has been caught spelling BANANAS at one point.

Foo Fighters- I’ll Stick Around

“I had no hand

in your ever desperate plan

it returns and when it lands

words are due”

Courtney Love and Dave Grohl made up this year, in the name in Nirvana, but it has been a very rocky path since the death of Love’s former partner, Kurt Cobain for the pair. Being the gentleman that he is, Grohl doesn’t explicitly call out Love, instead he subtly labels her a controlling bitch- not in those words, exactly.

Chris Brown- Deuces

“You ain’t nothin but a vulture

Always hopin for the worst

Waiting for me to fuck up”

Writing a diss song about a woman you’ve physically abused is never a good idea, but such is the nature of Brown. When Rihanna broke-up with the singer following the incident on the eve of the 2009 Grammy’s, Brown wrote this colourful diss. Last year, he retracted his opinions singing on a guest spot in Tyga’s Fuck For The Road, “I know I make mistakes, I know I f–ked up, but my heart beats for you, baby.” I guess all is forgiven then.

Justin Timberlake- Cry Me A River

“You should’ve picked honesty

Then you may not have blown it”

JT and his pop queen, Britney Spears, seemed like the perfect couple in matching double denim but it seemed it was not to be. Following the split, Timberlake fired out this perfectly constructed RnB moment that just about defines the turn of the millennium, while Britney turned to Kevin Federline. While Cry Me A River was a stroke of genius, Britney coined the phrase ‘it’s Britney bitch’. I’d call it a tie.

Frankee- F U R B

“You questioned did I care

Maybe I would have if you woulda gone down there

Now it’s over

But I do admit i’m glad I didn’t catch your crabs”

Remember Eamon? If not, it’s likely you’ll remember this fiery retort to his 2004 single, Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back). Frankee claimed that Eamon and her were in a relationship when the song was released, giving reason for her diss. However, as it turns out Frankee had never dated Eamon, not that either of them cared. Frankee earned herself a number one single in Australia and the UK while Eamon was unfazed as he said he stood to earn thousands of dollars worth of royalties from the song. Respectable #popmusic.

Lana Del Rey- So Legit

“Stefani, you suck, I know you’re selling twenty million.

Wish they could have seen you when we booed you off in Williamsburg.”

Meow. It turns out the sultry Video Games singer has a bitchy side. This diss wasn’t even meant to surface, though. It’s a leaked track, meaning that Del Rey likes to strike at her opponents behind their back. It’s likely that her Twitter account would have gone into meltdown following the leak given the sheer force of Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters. So much Summertime Sadness 🙁

 

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