If you were left feeling slightly underwhelmed by the rushed efforts of Bloc Party's Intimacy, feast your ears on this beautiful remix from Armand Van Helden. While I didn't have as many negative feelings as others towards Intimacy, my one gripe was the misuse of Kele's voice, which is the biggest strength of their sound. The beauty of the Bloc Party songbook is knowing that the build up of the pretty melodies eventually lead to the parts where Kele's voice comes in & culminates everything you're feeling into one big melted pile of emotional goo. This remix replaces the chimes from the original version with beats that complement Kele's moody tone perfectly. Armand's take is fuzzed-up, sexy, & will make anyone with a pulse want to get down & dirty on the dance floor.
You can't say too much about something so fiercely basic as "The Spirit," so I won't. I'll say this: in the verses, Quite Nyce and Raydar Ellis are equally adept at dropping unexpected rhymes and switching their flow all over the place. The track shines in the liberal sampling, though, including this pointed sound byte that pulls the whole thing together: "The bottom line is that the government is getting what they have ordered / they do not want your children to be educated / they do not want you to think too much..." It all revolves around that core message, and I'll say, damn, these dudes are doing their share of thinking. Listen close and take what Quite Nyce and Raydar Ellis have to say to heart.
You know Karin Dreijer Andersson as the female half of The Knife, & as perhaps the strangest & most unsettling singer today. Her solo project, Fever Ray, manages to take The Knife's darker entrypoints into the human psyche and hyper-consciously feature that aesthetic as the focal point. "When I Grow Up" looks at childhood in a way only Andersson could: through a dreary, distracted, circumnavigatory narrative that addresses about the past only in oblique ways. What impresses me is how complete her delivery really is: lyrical regression and just-off cadence all point to the stunted psyche behind the track. This remix by Lissvik takes the stance of oblivious selective memory: chipper drums, oceanic guitars and the interwoven sound of a lively playground in the background.
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Weekly Batch: March 16-20
Every Friday we bring you our weekly batch of uploads. Download all the songs that went up the week of 3/16-3/20 right here, right now.
Featured Video: N.A.S.A. - The People Tree
N.A.S.A. (North America South America) is an ongoing creative collaboration between Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon. "The People Tree" (featuring David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab and Z-Trip) is a single off their debut album, The Spirit of Apollo out now on Anti. The video was directed by Syd Garon and Johannes Gamble and features the art of Marcel Dzama.