Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – September 28th, 2018

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: Justin Barini-Rivers, Yvette Bailhache, Patrick Blinkhorn, Connor McInerney, and Alex Rubenstein. This week’s music includes tracks by Loan, T.U.R.F., Nick AM, Objekt, and BROCKHAMPTON. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


 

LOAN – “STRANGE PATHS”

Patrick Blinkhorn – This one’s a slow burner, but once it gets going, it heats up!! It starts off with some cool audio artifacts and samples and I particularly love the beat later on in the track plus that resonant bass lead. Great work! (9/10)

Connor McInerney – Getting some serious lowercase / field recordings vibes as a backbone to this track – reminds me a bit of Steve Roden’s Forms of Paper in the sense that there’s a real tactile element that underscores the entirety of “STRANGE PATHS.” I can seriously vibe with “STRANGE PATHS” build into a visceral cacophony of industrial and found sound – that coupled with the sinister whispers peppered in make this release a certified IDM banger. (7.9/10)

Alex Rubenstein –This track is kind of an odd duck. It has elements of almost everything I like in my electronic music, from strange glitches to quaking bass to aggressive breakbeats, yet there is something about how it’s all tied together that leaves something to be desired. The atmosphere here is dark and moody and certainly has a vibe, but overall it just takes too long to get going and once it finally does around two minutes in, it feels more like a collection of sketches and ideas than a full-fledged track. I can’t see myself loving this in a club setting either. I know there are lots of people who will be all about this, I am just not that person.(4/10)

Yvette Bailhache – I somehow keep ending up on the Feedback Friday’s with the spooky ass music but fortunately this one has a little bit more of a beat(ish) that I can grab on to. But I don’t really know how to review this. Once again I feel lost and doomed and those whispers don’t help whatsoever. Halloween’s coming so I guess the timing of this is right. (2/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – A lovely mixture of experimental, industrial, and electronic vibes to be found here. The mix and an arrangement make this all feel underground. Cinematic comes to mind, but that would be selling it short. This track is a journey. It continues to build steam throughout, but the drums really are what take me through until the end of the track. This is all I want with Halloween coming. More dark music that pushes the boundaries. (7/10)

 

T.U.R.F. – “Exploited”

 

Patrick Blinkhorn – Man, that’s a smooth bassline groove — very sexy! Strong production in this track too. Love that vocal sample too and the way it is introduced is very tasteful. The piano hits are on point — I don’t even mind that they are block chords, perhaps because they’re unusual harmonies (I normally find block chords cliché in this type of music.) I also love that woodwind-sounding riser in here! This is the second track I’ve listened to tonight for Feedback Friday, but I think we may have a winner — Yvette, you sure know how to pick ‘em! (9.8/10)

Connor McInerney – I really dig the disco-inspired groove informing “T.U.R.F.” – the samples are executed in a way that makes it impossible not to do, at the bare minimum, a slight shuffle. That being said, while it’s a great vibe all around I feel the nostalgia-induced novelty isn’t enough to hold up the entire track. Like I said, it’s still a vibe, but I’m left wanting a bit more. (6.5/10)

Alex Rubenstein – T.U.R.F. have brought us a big roller of a house tune with this cut off their Reggie Fox EP, expertly blending in disco elements and an understated sample that make you just want to throw your hands up in the air and move your feet. This would fit in really nicely in any house DJ set whether it’s 2pm at a major festival or 2am in a dank basement in D.C. This duo is new to me but are definitely on my radar now.(7.5/10)

Yvette Bailhache – I’ve been quietly vibing to the sounds of T.U.R.F. for a few months now and these two dudes from the Netherland’s just get what disco and house should sound like in 2018. That ‘OK” sample is everything and gives me a tad bit of 90’s hip- house nostalglia and I love the buildup of the horns, it’s like a train’s coming at you from a distance or something. I can always count on Exploited for some new hotness so props to them as well and “Reggie Fox” will for sure stay in the rotation the remainder of the year. (9/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This is a big slice of smooth house. There is something about the clap that is just floating in the pocket. It’s got that disco feel that’s perfectly loose and tight. The whole track has that groove. It’s infectious. By subtly introducing vocals or the filters moving around this track has every trick in the book to push the vibe just a little longer. This track is a party that never ends. Disco vibes all around with the class of a black tie affair. (8/10)

 

Googoosh – “Talagh” (Nick AM Remix)

 

Patrick Blinkhorn – I love the synth line coming in around 0:17. Good bassline progression, I like the vocal sample … the strings are on-point too, which I find a lot of people struggle with in electronic music. Don’t really like the resonant synth that lingers around the 2:30 section, but it’s not a deal breaker. One thing that I really wasn’t into was that deep sub sound late in the track … it’s not working for me, but I won’t take too many points off because it showed up so late. (7/10)

Connor McInerney – Nick AM wins the sampling Olympics with this vintage cut – cutting up “Iran’s Madonna,” Googoosh, into a downtempo track incorporating elements of breakbeat and electro-house, while at the same time crafting a track that reads as the soundtrack to an action film that even I’d watch is a feat unto itself. Pair that with an understated (but definitely intentional) effort to keep alive the subgenre of a pre-Khomeini musical era helps keep an obscured musical tradition alive while transitioning it into a contemporary context. Bravo.  (9.0/10)

Alex Rubenstein –Maybe it’s because I’m immature, but I always love when a song is 4 minutes and 20 seconds long. The art of the remix is something special and you can tell Nick AM takes the duty seriously here on his take on “Talagh.” The reverence for the original material is quite evident and the end result provides a very fresh take on pre-revolutionary Iranian music. That being said, while I can appreciate what is being done here, I feel a bit burnt out on the middle-eastern and electronic fusion game. The sounds are fresh, no doubt; overall it’s just not really for me these days. (5.5/10)

Yvette Bailhache – I was instantly intrigued and pleased with this one. Googoosh’s voice is as stunning as she is and after doing a little googling on Googoosh, I learned that she’s an OG legend in the Iranian music game which upped my respect even more. DJ AM behind the remix gives this an even more solid disco’y vibe with some added bass all while keeping the Middle Eastern flavor intact. Nice one. (7.8/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – New York based Nick AM brings us a beautiful and carefully designed remix. If you have been following his music, you know his remixes are always superb. The vocal lines from Googoosh are hypnotizing. The guitar lines are just rolling through. They are catchy, but just building up the vibe. This track is full of ear candy drum fills and arrangement flourishes. I will play this every chance I get. It’s the kind of song DJ’s come to the booth and ask you what it is. Pure vibes on vibes on vibes with this tune. Turn up the volume and find your happy place. (10/10)

 

Objekt – “Secret Snake”

 

Patrick Blinkhorn – Love that deep bass with the resonant synth line on top of it — spectacular sound design! The burping noise around the 1 min mark is a nice subtle touch. Yeah, the more I listen through this track, the more I’m impressed by the sound design. There are very peculiar and impressive synths scattered throughout as well. I wasn’t expecting those burp/guttural sounds to make a second appearance, but they had a strong showing midway through the track. Yeah, I spoke to soon on that T.U.R.F. track — Objekt, you take the cake this FF! (9.9/10)

Connor McInerney – Yeah, this ain’t it chief. I’m all here for sourcing out interesting sonic textures and applying them en-masse for a disorienting digital effect, but Objekt loses the forest through the trees on this one – each layer seems increasingly shoehorned in throughout the first three minutes of “Secret Snake,” with Objekt only hitting his stride with the incorporation of a spooky, Stranger Things-esque lead at the 3:38 mark. Other than that, this isn’t really my bag. (4.3/10)

Alex Rubenstein – Flatland is easily one of my favorite techno releases of the last decade so getting the news that Objekt is back with another full-length on PAN (again, another of my favorite labels) was quite titillating. The attention to detail and total disregard for what a techno record should or needs to be is part of the allure for me. This track make me feel like I’m getting an inside look into the journey that deadly bacteria takes to infect someone. The micro flourishes here are what really stand out to me and I am now fully hyped for November 9th when the next Objekt album, Cocoon Crush, is set to release.(8.5/10)

Yvette Bailhache – The dial up sound before the 2:30 mark made me laugh but other than that I was pretty creeped out on this one. This song makes me feel like things are crawling all over me and that’s not fun. However, I liked how things got a little brighter after 3:38 and that was able to keep me interested until the end.  (4/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – The electronic motifs and fills are always a favorite of mine regardless of genre. The drums being partially electronic and live makes for a nice sonic texture. Overall, I enjoy the sound design and vibe. The drum arrangement speaks especially to me. The tempo is also in a range where the drums take on a tropical almost underground club style feel. I enjoy the fact that this isn’t a regular type of arrangement. It may wear on some, but the sounds continue to evolve throughout offering a solid listening experience. (6/10)

 

BROCKHAMPTON – “J’ouvert”

 

Patrick Blinkhorn – Not what I normally listen to, but I’d listen to this again! Really cool production and sounds in here. Good vocals / flow too. Well done! (7.8/10)

Connor McInerney – I’ve been a BROCKHAMPTON stan for a minute and while I have my own hot takes on the rest of iridescence, America’s boyband really went in on “J’OUVERT” and, to use the parlance of our times, this track goes dumb hard. This is in large part due to rapper Joba employing a serious scorched earth, hardcore rap-inspired verse that constitutes the most satisfyingly aggressive parts of this track. That tied with a minimalist production style, utilizing industrial soundscapes against a growling bass backbone, embodies why BROCKHAMPTON produce some of the coolest and most innovative contemporary hip-hop today. (8.7/10)

Alex Rubenstein –I’m admittedly late to the party on BROCKHAMPTON – I listened to Saturation 3 and thought it was good, but nothing that groundbreaking. I’ve already given iridescence more plays than anything else by them and “J’ouvert” is undeniably a standout from this actually excellent LP. This beat fucking bangs; the lyrical performances go hard af; you can feel every word in your bones. This is the only track this week I played back multiple times purely for my own enjoyment. If this is what boybands in America look like now then count me the fuck in. (10/10)

Yvette Bailhache – I’ve been seeing the BROCKHAMPTON name floating around but I’ve never given them a listen until today. Def not what I expected. J’ouvert means open and I’m not so sure I’m open to this. It’s just feels a little too teen-angst for me, but dude who comes in at the 2 minute mark has a chill flow that I can semi vibe to. Actually, the beat is kind of tight and I like the video but overall this just isn’t for me. Sounds like a bonus track from Kanye’s Yeezus album which I wasn’t too keen on. (5.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – I have seen this track all over my social media and this is my first experience with BROCKHAMPTON. The production fits the vibe right now. Lost of clipping and distortion leading to the elements moving around in the mix when the 808 hits. As an engineer, I can respect that BROCKHAMPTON is finding a happy medium and not losing volume from the vocals. I like the arrangement and story the beat is doing. There is an air horn that I honestly would have been way better off without experiencing, but other than that this is some solid work. I see this doing very well. Rap these days is all vibe and sound and this track hit it perfectly. (8.7/10)

 


The Winners and Losers:

BROCKHAMPTON – “J’ouvert” – 8.1/10

T.U.R.F. – “Exploited” – 8.1/10

Googoosh – “Talagh” (Nick AM Remix) – 7.9/10

Objekt – “Secret Snake” – 6.5/10

LOAN – “STRANGE PATHS” – 6/10

 

 

 

 

 



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