Pase Rock - Get Money Kids
If forced in to honesty, I would have to say that, as a rapper, Pase Rock is a really great DJ. No offense to him, but I'm sure he would be the first to admit he won't ever be making any "Top 10 Spitters" lists. His party rocking skills can't be denied, though, and they more than make up for any linguistic dexterity he might lack when he gets on the mic. Adding to a list of shout-a-long crowd pleasers that he already has under his belt like "Lindsay Lohan's Revenge" and "So Fucking Disco," this brand new track (just dropped yesterday to friends and internet audio vultures) is a definite summertime heater with a horny horn beat from your favorite DJ/producer's favorite DJ/producer, Eli Escobar, that could probably make me sound like a great rapper. It looks like this will be seeing a physical release along with "So Fucking Disco" later in the summer, and Pase and Eli have promised a slew of high-profile remixes to round out the package. Note to Central Booking: Back To School Hands Up featuring Pase Rock and DJ Eli has a really strong ring to it. Just a thought.
Wild Beasts - Brace Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants
It's no surprise that Wild Beasts' debut album Limbo, Panto is being released by Domino Records considering they vaguely sound like what you might expect to come out of a spirited game of musical Twister involving their high-profile label mates in Franz Ferdinand and Animal Collective. An extremely British sounding band who wed the Scottish school of awkward white funk to a fondness for psychedelically loose flights of melodic fancy and inscrutable lyrical content voiced by one of the most divisive vocalists I've encountered since Antony Hegarty began to make tastemaker waves, Wild Beasts are probably one of the more singular listening experiences you will hear coming from a fairly mainstream indie label like Domino this year. Far more challenging than their recent single "The Devil's Crayon," this older track is definitely the "hate it or love it" kind of music that most artists dream of making. I'm grabbing a seat in the "love it" section before it gets too crowded.
John Legend feat. Andre 3000 - Green Light
This one should probably be subtitled "Mr. Legend Goes For That Crossover Money," and that's really not a good thing. Awkwardly soldered to a wan beat that sounds more bad New Romantic than the vibe music sexiness it seeks to approximate, Legend's silky, smooth bedroom vocals sound incredibly out of place exhorting a nameless club rat to shake a little faster and come a little closer like an oily bottle-service lothario. So, how did this get in to the "Tracks Of The Week?" Two words: Three Stacks. Once again, as he has done since he incongruously appeared on Unk's "Walk It Out" remix two years ago, the kooky half of Outkast comes in from the Hollywood wilderness to completely slay a track, proving that in the quality over quantity stakes he, not Lil Wayne, is the current king of the feature and in so doing, turns this piece of epic pop failure in to a must listen for anyone with even a slight interest in hip hop. Raise your hand if you're ready for a new Outkast album.
Small Faces - The Autumn Stone
This week's "Old Song That No One Ever Downloads" spot goes to this quietly haunting ballad from the Small Faces. An English pastoral sounding far more like the then new breed of English hippie folk (Fairport Convention, Pentangle, etc.) than the psychedelic, neo-music hall dandies of their preceding album, Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, this posthumously released title track to the classic Small Faces compilation points to the quieter moments the Steve Marriott-less band would soon occasionally find with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood in the Faces and would form the template for bassist Ronnie Lane's solo ventures with Slim Chance. This is a must listen for anyone who likes John Barleycorn Must Die-era Traffic or Wild Wood-era Paul Weller. Just be thankful I didn't post the Gene version (which I do have on CD single and a horrible mid-90s Small Faces tribute album. I like this song that much.).
It has been my long held belief that contemporary club remixes of classic tunes are rarely worth listening to for anything beyond an "Oh my" novelty factor. For every DJ Technics take on "Mr. Postman" there are a thousand Neptunes remixes of "Sympathy For The Devil," and with the proliferation of easily used production software and bloggers who think Girl Talk is the best DJ in America, the glut just gets worse every day. With that being said, though, when you come across a gem like this there are few things more smile-inducing in the remix world. Released as part of Yaz/Yazoo's reintroduction to the world coinciding with their reunion tour this summer (Lakewood Theater, July 22), Hercules & Love Affair work their magic on the 80s standard and, not unlike Frankie Knuckles did for their recent "Blind" single, take it straight to the Madchester-era floor of the Hacienda with an abundance of big house pianos and Alison Moyet re-imagined as a Chicago-style diva. This is what you refer to as "dance floor manna" and will no doubt be saving more than a few DJs waning sets in the coming months. Surefire floor filler for sure.