It's Meano is dedicated to my love for electronic music in all it's forms.
I spend a large amount of my days searching for, listening and generally appreciating great music. I will post full reviews of great tracks that I discover that will hopefully help you to expand your musical horizons
01. Nightmode (Pedestrian Remix) - Kry Wolf [Food Music]
Kry Wolf were definitely one of the artists that first got me interested in UK Garage and bass music with their own releases on their label Sounds Of Sumo. Because of this I certainly have a soft spot for any of their new tunes when they appear and this was certainly the case with their new EP on their second label (with Shadow Child) Food Music. Along with the originals - Nightmode and U Like - there is THAT remix. Yes, it’s the masterful perfection that is the bass heavy remix from UK duo Pedestrian.
This remix is fraught with elements that will certainly intrigue any listener. For me, the noisy chords, heavily distorted bass and ride elements of the drums are the highlights for me. This is a must have remix for anyone who loves garage house or bass.
02. Alternate Virtuality - Eero Johannes [Sound Pellegrino]
On the SND.PE Vol. 1 compilation, the stand out track was Eero’s Real Virtuality. After such success, the track was rereleased on its own EP with the B-Side track ‘Alternate Virtuality’ which for me was the more interesting track!
I liken the Finnish producer’s tracks to a cross between Flume, Wave Racer and 123Mrk with a heavy dash of funk and synthwave.
The blog world was losing its mind a few days ago because of THAT track from Disclosure’s Essential Mix. That track happened to be called J.A.W.S and was soon after released on Disclosure’s own label Method. Yes J.A.W.S is an excellent track, but personally the B-Side ‘We Do’ was just a fair bit better. It might be inner-hipster coming out and saying I don’t like to follow the mainstream, but We Do is just far more creative and unique. With a 136BPM tempo, the track flits between feeling like deep house and speed garage which is really exciting to listen to.
I really have a soft spot for vocal tracks and this deep house / garage monster from British producer Otrqux is no exception. With simple yet infuriatingly catchy vocals from Ms. Juno and a breathy chord-bass sequence this house track is perfectly for clubs and in sets of multiple genres.
01. Yes I Know (Max Graef Remix) - Session Victim [Delusions of Grandeur]
This track has got without doubt some of the most creative drum programming I’ve ever heard and that really adds to the funk bassline, chords and vocal samples to make a really great track.
02. Conscious - Hostage [Four40]
I first heard this track in one of Hostage’s mixes and I really loved the attack on the main bassline. When the track was released I snapped it up quick, and although its usually a bit too rough for what I like to play out, I’ll still try.
03. Desert Night (Motez Remix) - Rüfüs [Sweat It Out!]
The Say Wat! poster boy Motez is without doubt the current face of Australian garage music so it’s no wonder this remix is so impeccable. While maintaining the original vocals of the track, Motez has changed the feel of the song with masterful vocal cuts and an awesome bassline synth.
04. Late November - Beacon [Ghostly International]
During exams especially, I’ve been satisfying my passion for ambient chill out music with artists like Cosmic Metal Mother, Seahawks, Maricopa and the like, so naturally it stumble across Beacon’s debut The Way We Separate. Late November was my favourite track on the album with a really smooth, ambient feel and the only downside with it being way too short.
05. Shockwaves - Scenic [Future Classic]
One of my favourite songs of all-time is Scenic’s cover of Air: Kelly Watch The Stars, so when I saw a new track appear on my news feed I was pretty expectant of something great, and boy was I not disappointed! Definitely a favourite at the moment, the track begins with a blissful vintage drum intro which then dives straight into a full-on tropical chill out vibe that is so reminiscent of Tame Impala, I can’t help to love it.
After much anticipation, I eagerly review UK duo Disclosure’s debut album Settle. An elegant waltz through grungey garage to soulful house and back again.
1. Intro As soon as I saw the title ‘Intro’ I was a little apprehensive as often if they can’t think of an actual title, then the track in question will be just as uninspiring. Fortunately I was relatively surprised, in the sense that Intro had an interesting avantgarde UK garage feel to it. Lots of interesting percussion samples and a deep kick-style bassline allow for a good listen, and oddly the 0:58 length feels just right. In my opinion, Intro acts more as an introduction to track number 2 ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’ which may well have been the intention. 6/10
2. When A Fire Starts To Burn Even before I saw the music video I felt like this track had a very powerful gospel-esque vibe having a very bewitching groove. Being the first non-single album track I heard, it has a very reminiscent feel to it aided also by the repeating vocal sample that has a great 'Can You Feel It' feel to it. Disclosure’s signature square-bassline drives the first few minutes of the track until a Rhodes chord joins the unison. Considering that the first two tracks are basically one, it gives a good introduction to the rest of the record. 9/10
3. Latch (ft. Sam Smith) Completely plunged into a 122BPM rhythm by a Zed Bias vocal sample you instantly know this track is going to be something special. After a single release late last year, Latch has been floating around gaining a shit ton of popularity and rightly so. Without doubt the most intricately produced track on the record, you’re almost forced to dance by Sam Smith’s energetic vocals, triple hat rhythms and the pulsing bass. My absolute favourite features of the track though is the filtered Rhodes / Hammond organ that floats around in the background whilst remaining extremely prominent, and the extra vocals added to the final chorus. 10/10
4. F For You I first heard this song as ‘Infected’ during a live performance by Disclosure and eagerly hoped it would make an appearance on the record and was happy to see it would. Somehow my anticipation may have made my first listen of the album version a little disappointing, but nonetheless a very good house track. I was a bit on the fence as to how much I liked the track until the drop at 3:05 when I was blown away. Hearing the modulated bassline relatively solo I could then fully appreciate the subtle nuances the duo put into their tracks. 7/10
5. White Noise (ft. AlunaGeorge) What can I say? White Noise is fantastic. So simple and catchy it’s literally bordering on torture having it stuck in your head. The riff is a perfect whistling tune and the bassline just adds to the immaculate production, while Aluna’s siren-like vocals seduce into dancing like an idiot. 10/10
6. Defeated No More (ft. Edward Macfarlane) A fairly vanilla introduction floats along on a slow rhythm until the first verse of Ed’s smooth vocals takes you away. Reminding me of days when I was heavily into Brit indie bands, Ed’s vocals are perfect for the indie/house amalgamation. To be honest I love the signature Disclosure sounds but something really radically different may have been a much needed touch to prevent Defeated No More from being defeated by it’s album mates. 6/10
7. Stimulation Of all the tracks on the album Stimulation is certainly the easiest for me to play, as the classic house vibes slot in perfectly with the rest of my collection. Funky bass, disco vocal cuts and shuffled hats are always a great combination, and this absolute machine of a track is no exception. Being a slight conformation to the classic house trend at the moment, it may signal a mainstream invasion of my favourite style in the near future but time will tell. 9/10
8. Voices (ft. Sasha Keable) Sasha Keable - the queen of UK house vocals - features on the eighth track of the album. I feel as if there is a Detroit-house influence on the production with the complex percussions and plucking chords, as this may be one of Disclosure’s many influences. I only fully listened to this track as I wrote this review and I didn’t really feel myself overly enjoying it, but based on it’s premise I’m sure I’ll grow to love it. 7/10
9. Second Chance God damn I hate reviewing albums that I get really excited for because there’s always a track that is really disappointing. Second Chance was a risky move that could have easily been really great but unfortunately doesn’t pay off for me. The RnB feel that they’ve given the track is contradicted by the relatively fast-rhythms and more dance-oriented instruments. As much as I hate to say it, this was my least favourite track on the album. 3/10
10. Grab Her! A very grungey garage feel to this song makes for an awesome listen that stands out as one of the the more creative songs on the record. The vocal sample fills the mini-breaks well and then rising and falling keys work perfectly with the semi-difficult rhythm. I still feel that this track was missing something that I couldn’t quite pick so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. 7/10
11. You & Me (ft. Eliza Doolittle) Though my least favourite of the singles, Disclosure took a risk deviating from the house patterns and returning to their garage roots, and to be honest it pays off! All though musically the track feels a little ‘been there done that’ the faultless vocals from Eliza bring the quality soaring. Also of note is the spectacular remix from Bicep. I absolutely love Bicep’s honest, classic sound so when I saw they remixed the track I was understandably excited, and I was not disappointed. Maintaining the original’s garagey beat and adding some vintage organs, keys and bass, Bicep bring the track to completely different level. Original: 7.5/10 Bicep Remix: 9/10
12. January (ft. Jamie Woon) The more jazzy and soulful spectrum of Disclosure’s sound, this collaboration with producer and vocalist Jamie Woon (along with track 14) use Disclosure’s signature chords and Jamie’s soulful vocals perfectly. The kind of track that could be listened in a smokey bar or - just as easily - a club January’s versatility is a advantage. 8/10
13. Confess To Me (ft. Jessie Ware) Perfect. That one word sums up this monster beautifully and does it hit hard?! The pulsey / metallic synth line is really unique and really well used, and Jessie’s vocals are immaculate as unison especially when in harmony with the male vocals in the chorus. I truly am a sucker for garage drops and the hatless rhythm at the drop is a perfect testament to this obsession. On par with Latch and White Noise, I am very close to say that Confess To Me is my favourite track on the record. 10/10
14. Help Me Lose My Mind (ft. London Grammar) Live hats are always a good indication of quality production, and this song certainly conforms to the rule. Slow rhythms are a surefire way to my heart, and the Florence-like vocals are powerful enough to be impressively present, while still maintaining a soulful, jazzy atmosphere. I really do have a soft spot for this track as it reminds me of some of Kylie Minogue’s dabbles in house music. 8.5/10
Average Score for the Complete Album: 108/140 or 7.7/10
I really had high hopes for this album as I am such a huge fan of Disclosure music both past and present, but unfortunately I was not fully satisfied. Although there were several very highly rated tracks on the record, the few mediocre additions brought the whole album down from something that could’ve been truly excellent.
On a side note, the remixes from the album have been very inconsistent also; some excellent, some not so.
White Noise Remixes: Hudson Mohawke: I really do not understand the hype with this track. Everyone on Soundcloud was trippin’ out but I really did not enjoy the remix, feeling it was very uncreative and quite amateur. Friend Within: I love Friend Within’s remix. It maintains the key parts of the original while infusing it plenty of his signature touches.
Latch Remixes: T. Williams: The teasing intro to this monster of a remix is by far the best intro I’ve heard on a track. Maintaining the majority of the original bassline. T infuses the track with plenty of garage vibes. Jamie Jones: I love Jamie’s 909 beats and cohesive production, but this remix was severely disappointing. Sounding so amateur it sounded like a shitty Youtube bootleg. Sorry Jamie.
You & Me Remixes: Baauer: The current wonderkid of the world, Baauer has well and truly brought Trap to the masses but once again, this remix is a little underwhelming. As with the HudMo remix of White Noise, hundreds of superfans spam the track with ‘Omg this is sex’ and ‘Fuck I can’t handle the bass’ comments and it seems like no one really sees how average this remix is. Bicep: Ok I talked about this one earlier, so I’ll keep it brief. BICEP + DISCLOSURE = THE BEST. Get the idea? Good. Toro y Moi: Literally the most interesting Disclosure remix I’ve heard the track varies in rhythm giving your musical tastes a real work out and some exposure to something relatively unheard of. The track also show how well vocal cuts can be performed.
01. Beam Me Up (George Fitzgerald Remix) - Close ft. Charlene Soraia & Scuba [ K7 ]
Will Saul - as his more avantgarde, electronic moniker Close - is soon to release his debut album. The first single featuring vocals from the lovely Charlene Soraia and co-produced by Hotflush boss Scuba is joined perfectly by a remix from George Fitzgerald. I rave over George Fitzgerald’s production and the catchy vocals and bassline tune are painfully catchy.
02. Babe - Evenings [ Friends Of Friends ]
I featured Evenings’ track ‘Softly We Go’ in my last chart and it came with a warning of it’s leftfield rhythm and epic-grade track length. Babe - a sister track to Softly We Go on the Yore EP - is almost a polar opposite. Whilst returning Softly We Go’s blissful atmosphere, an easy-listen beat and with short, sharp, relatively uncomplicated production make babe an easy favourite.
03. Dance To My Beat (Ardalan Remix) - Zee & Ali [ Zii Zii ]
Ardalan really knows how to produce really masterful deep / tech house. He’s been producing for years and releasing originals and remixes on labels such as Dirtybird, Anabatic, Chillin, Dub Noir, Gruuv and No Brainer. Ardalan’s remix of Zee & Ali is a bass driven house track whose produced manages to sound complicated, but never cluttered.
1. Lavender Lady (ft. Paul Rudolph) - Different Marks [Pets]
A true tribute to the late Martin Dawson spectacular production skills comes the truly inspirational album titled ‘Untitled’ from his Catz n Dogz collaboration project ‘Different Marks’. With obvious deep house influences coupled with soul and pop vibes makes for a really different, unexpected track.
2. Aether (ft. Shura) - Sorrow [Bokeh]
I’ve always loved Sorrow’s deep blend of garage, beats and soul. Aether is a deep driver that’s so mellow that you get lured in a bashed to death by the drop that mangles drum and bass, dubstep, two-step, garage and house rhythms into something quite spectacular!
3. T.R. Wilson - Medlar & Pedestrian [Moda Black]
If you’d read my complete review of the Moda Black Vol. II compilation you’d already know my love for this song. The jumpy garage rhythm, masterful sampling and basslines all make for a perfect track for me to put straight into my favourites.
4. Pizza Guy - Touch Sensitive [Future Classic]
Something a little bit lighter, Touch Sensitive’s track Pizza Guy is a slow-rhythm italo-disco influenced track with a really chunky bassline that I just love. Really subtly mixed vocals and a glittery repeating arp drive you through.
5. Static - Justin Jay [Dirtybird]
Ugh. 19 Years old and he’s producing stuff like this. Sometimes it frustrates me how naturally talented and creative some people are. Justin Jay’s first solo release (but incidently his 5th just on Dirtybird) is driven by the 118bpm rhythm and hardest, chunkiest bassline I’ve ever heard in a house track. Really, really perfect.
6. Hold On (ft. Sampha) - SBTRKT [Young Turks]
Yes, yes. I know I’m late on the band wagon but I don’t like to go with the flow so at least I got onto the anonymous British producer eventually. I’m loving most of his debut album, but at the moment I really enjoying one of his many collaborative tracks with vocalist and producer Sampha entilted ‘Hold On’. Hold On is a soulful number featuring sparkling marimba tones, soothing synths and - most notably - Sampha’s stunning smokey vocals. Every song I’ve heard him bless with his vocals, I’ve instantly loved.
7. Reverse Skydiving (Deetron Remix) - Hot Natured [Warner UK]
Deetron always manages to immaculately channel the classic house sounds. Notably in this remix for Hot Natured is the ominous bassline that sounds like it was ripped straight out of one of Goldie’s classic drum and bass sets. Although the vocals sound a little out of place, I forgive Deetron as he’s done the best he could mixing pop vocals into a really dark deep house track.
8. Softly We Go - Evenings [Friends of Friends]
Soothing ocean waves samples and a glistening synth / pad duo bring you into the 8 minute 28 second journey that is Evenings’ Softly We Go. A warning though, although very soothing in concept, this track will not be for all as the hiccupy rhythm will grate on those who haven’t experienced it before. I however am a sucker for weird and wonderful rhythms so this chill-out tune is a winner for me.
9. Time For Change (Medlar Remix) - Tomson [we_ctrl]
Perfectly produced live hats a really great light deep house chord as well as a really deep bassline make for yet another perfect Medlar track released on Manchester-based ‘we_ctrl’
10. New York (Synkro Edit) - Snow Patrol [Polydor / ?]
I absolutely love Synkro’s edit series and his recent edit for Irish band Snow Patrol is absolutely no exception. Really, really soothing with washing pads and a sampled plucky guitar, the edit of New York is also coupled with a great bassline and a reverbed tambourine in place of a snare/clap which is a really great touch.