Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday

Here at Blisspop, we aim to show our audience who’s making their mark upon electronic music culture today. We sort through the good and the bad, bringing you the latest sounds. Back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This week, our group of Blisspop contributors includes: Aeron Premo, Jonathan Sherman, Connor McInerney, and Will Creason. This week’s music includes tracks by Disclosure, Silk City, Sharda, New Electronic Frontier, and American Pleasure Club. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


 

Disclosure – “Ultimatum” (Feat. Fatoumata Diawara)

 

Aeron Premo – Of the many acts that hit the mainstream during the EDM heyday, Disclosure, in my opinion, were one of the few to still honor the traditions of classic house music. With “Ultimatum,” they show no signs of abandoning those traditions. The jazzy piano lines, rhythmic vocals by Fatoumata Diawara, subtle buildups and funky bassline all have the earmarks of a classic house track brought to life in the modern day. I think this one will be getting a lot of play this summer, from me and from others — it has the perfect vibe for the season! (8/10)

Will Creason – The most welcome sound in the first minute of this song is the bowling filter moving over Disclosure’s trademark synths, a sound that promises this track will be better than the unwelcome diversion that was Caracal.  My problem, besides the questionable turn into a fashionable appropriation of pan-African chanting, is that the track is overly smooth and doesn’t have much heft, there isn’t a maximum payoff in sight here (unless you like getting paid in Starbucks smooth jazz). A welcome return back to the club, but we aren’t all the way back to the Disclosure sound I’m assuming their fans want to hear.  (5/10)

Connor McInerney – There’s a certain syncopated beat that accommodates every Disclosure song that I would love to rag on if it weren’t so infectious. For a group that frequently opts for a maximalist, turn-down-for-what-unless-the-club-burns-down approach, a cooler, more minimalist approach (coupled with Diawara’s Wassoulou vox and some cool, very classic keyboard riffs) certainly demonstrates Disclosure’s desire to grow and explore a more mellow, sonically diverse space. (7.5/10)

Jonathan Sherman – Disclosure’s latest release not only presents a variety of tribal, African, and deep house vibes as Disclosure makes their critical comeback, but also shows how the genre is moving into the soulful house domain, which marks a critical movement in the progress of House Music. Can’t wait to see Disclosure back live again and look forward to more great hits to come! (8.5/10)

 

Sharda – “Chin Up”

 

Aeron Premo – On first listen, I am sensing a mix of 2000s era UK garage and house. I do love the piano line on this track as it gives off that classic house vibe. I also found the looping of the Whitney Houston vocal sample to be well done and creative. The drilling noises that come in around 1:25 are very distracting, but thankfully they don’t last too long. I found this track a little too hard for my liking, but there are some good qualities and it will certainly find an audience among those who prefer this style of house. (5.5/10)

Will Creason – “Chin Up” comes from the debut EP from Sharda and the debut release on Murlo’s Coil Records.  Everything about this release is on point, from the glossy rave indebted production to the superb neo-Tokyo album art.  This track teams with ideas, diving effortlessly from hook to hook, an Italo piano bleeds into a 90s hardcore diva wail into a bubbling Midlands bassline.  This is the neon rave world we’d be lucky to live in.  (10/10)

Connor McInerney – “Chin Up” is one of those tracks I thought I had figured out at first, but Sharda’s introduction of quasi-hardstyle repetitive percussion at the 1:26 mark, paired with a strobe-like vocal sample repetition kept me on my toes. The track’s primary synth lead leaves a bit to be desired, but Sharda’s ability to introduce occasionally zany but never dull dissonance keeps “Chin Up” interesting – here’s hoping he continues to lean on similar experimentation in the future. (6/10)

Jonathan Sherman –The writer who submitted this track said he had “been listening to this track for a few weeks now and couldn’t get enough.” And that’s exactly how I feel when I hear this track. The chord progressions, innovative vocal sampling, and dynamic snare drum lines on this track are so much fun, just makes you want to get up and dance all the time. Look forward to hearing more from Sharda. (9/10)

 

Silk City – “Only Can Get Better”

 

 

Aeron Premo – I have always been and will continue to be a fan of Mark Ronson’s production work, especially his work with Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran’s recent output and his collective albums. With his and Diplo’s new project, the production continues to be of top quality, the melody is strong and the track has a “let’s get the party started” vibe. But I do have to ask — why did they have to downpitch Daniel Merriweather’s vocals? He has an amazing voice as is. That trend needs to go away just like the millennial whoop does. I don’t want to dismiss this project, though — I am curious to hear more. (6/10)

Will Creason – Even with the top tier producers attached to this project, the first few bars feel like both a relief and a breath a fresh air.  Daniel Merriweather’s vocals are exceptional, the type of big, bold vocals that propel the 90s deep house cuts that get copied in contemporary electronic music but never equalled.  This comes close to catching that elusive vibe.  Bonus points for naming your act after a legendary late-night diner. (9/10)

Connor McInerney – It’s ironic that a track titled “Only Can Get Better” just gets worse from its inception. Normally one should ignore any aesthetic component that accompanies a single release, but it’s fitting the video for “Better” is a collage of neon signs, cityscapes, and traffic. It’s representative of a track that, much likes its video, continues to expand outwards while never arriving at a clear destination, lost it a sickly smorgasbord of overconsumption and misdirection. (4/10)

Jonathan Sherman – One of the best deep house tracks with disco influence that I’ve heard and a really cool new twist for Diplo. Harkening his inner Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson adds some bright minor and seventh chords to Diplo’s House influences to make for a really dynamic late night track that works on the main stage and the underground stage. (9/10)

 

New Electronic Frontier – “Downhill”

 

 

Aeron Premo – I love the buildups on this deep house meets trance track. The synths have a nice trance feel, but are just a tad bit too loud, which contrast with the semi-subtle buildups, and they also drown out the beats. The spoken word samples remind me of the work of the English group Public Service Broadcasting, who I love, and are probably what make this track. A good start, but not quite there yet. (6/10)

Will Creason – This is some deep digging from our BP staff, New Electronic Frontier has only 7 Soundcloud followers and less than 100 plays as I take my first listen.  My initial reaction, based on these stats, is this should have a lot more listens.  The production quality is quite good hear, all of the elements are appropriately balanced and the track sounds full and engaging.  Perhaps there isn’t a lot going on in total, but it’s undeniably solid and would definitely find appreciation with the right listeners.  (6/10)

Connor McInerney – What “Downhill” lacks in instrumental depth it certainly makes up for in execution – the pacing is great, its vocal sample is mood-setting and eerie, and the whole track has a classic, original Blade Runner vibe that’s tight all around. Sure New Electronic Frontier hasn’t done anything boundary-pushing, but he knows how to shut up and play the hits. (7/10)

Jonathan Sherman – This is one of the most dynamic I’ve ever heard with a really cool tech house instrumental that feeds into an epic progressive house drop. Really cool how the two dynamic house genres intertwine with this track, and very much look forward to seeing more from the New Electronic Frontier. (9.5/10)

 

American Pleasure Club – “Smoking Rock With My Angel In Milwaukee”


Aeron Premo – I’ve quickly tired of the downpitched vocals trend. I also had difficulty deciphering the regular vocal line and thought that the melody was repetitive and plodding. I will say that the production style definitely captures what I imagine smoking rock with your angel in Milwaukee would be like. (2/10)

Will Creason – Now that’s a track title, we’ve all been there.  The sound of this track feels like emo ghost house, which on paper seems really lousy but feels appropriate and fully genuine here.  This isn’t something that I’d listen to in my free time, but you could do a lot worse if you’re sixteen and you want to make your parents anxious.  (6/10)

Connor McInerney – American Pleasure Club’s Sam Ray has a knack for creating music evocative of multiple experiences at once, instrumentals that represent a shared suburban milieu. “Smoking Rock” is one of those tracks, a song that implores the listener to both miss and disdain the “sweet heat of a dead and dying summer” all beneath unsettling vocal samples and a shuffling barebones beat. It’s inherently bittersweet, viscerally happy-sad, the type of music that longs for the comfort of toxic things left behind. (8.5/10)

Jonathan Sherman – A really cool combination of rock, trap, and future bass, this track has such a beautiful melody and the lyrics really give it so much dynamism. I like the clash in syncopation between the kick and high hats, and the it’s cool high quality the vocals remain on beat despite how drastic and imposing some of the instrumentals can be. A great work of future bass melodic progressive with hard rock and drum and bass-influenced rhythm, look forward to hearing more from American Pleasure Club. (8.5/10)

 


 

The Winners and Losers:

Sharda – “Chin Up” – 7.6/10

Disclosure – “Ultimatum” (Feat. Fatoumata Diawara – 7.25/10

New Electronic Frontier – “Downhill” – 7.1/10

Silk City – “Only Can Get Better” – 7/10

American Pleasure Club – “Smoking Rock With My Angel In Milwaukee” – 6.25/10

 

 

 

 



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