Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – October 19th, 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, Connor McInerney, Katie Bowles, and Will Creason. This week’s music includes tracks by Golden Features remixing Odesza, Katerina, Madeaux, Chuggin Edits edit of The Alabama 3, and Marie Davidson. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

 


 

Odesza – “Falls” (Golden Features Remix)

 

Justin Barini-Rivers – There is nothing hotter than this track right now, not even Hansel. Golden Features is coming off his album with a huge remix of Odesza’s “Falls.” The Reece style pads and bass lines, paired with the uk-style bassline stabs, is beautiful. This song is arranged wonderfully and packs a lot of information, but there is nothing busy about this track. It’s a proper homage to Falls, giving it a nice update for a different genre. I don’t think anyone could have done a better job. (9/10)

 

Connor McInerney – God, it feels like a cliche to say this but Golden Features has this innate alchemy-like ability to turn any track into… well you get it. That’s not to say the source material doesn’t do some heavy lifting on this track, but GF’s skill in scaling back the poppier sensibilities of “Falls” into a post-dub, deep house ride into an industrial night is nothing to balk at. One commenter on SoundCloud succinctly stated that this track feels like “getting massaged by an alien” due to its modulation between sonic textures, both beautiful and creepy, and I seriously doubt anyone’s going to do a better job at describing the experience of listening to this remix. (9/10)

 

Will Creason – I missed the ODESZA train, I didn’t even see it come by. I, personally, find their popularity kind of baffling. That said, this remix from Golden Features hits in all of the right places. The drop’s gnarled bassline is cemented by an additional blast of hats making for a track that gracefully accelerates and decelerates its energy to keep things interesting from start to finish. (7/10)

 

Yvette Bailhache – I went from hating this, to liking it, to hating it again, to being ok with it, to completely hating it, to kind of but not really liking it – all in the first 2 minutes of listening. But by minute 4 my mind was made up; I don’t like this. There’s a little bit of a groove in there that I can get with and I’ve definitely heard worse before, but EDM like this just isn’t my cup of tea. (1.2/10)

 

Katie Bowles – With this remix, Golden Features took ODESZA’s building, inspirational track and upped the speed, turning it into a danceable (albeit darker) anthem. I do not dislike the original, but I’d honestly listen to this remix more. Sometimes I have trouble taking tracks like “Falls” seriously, and this remix still evokes emotion without relying as heavily on Sasha Sloane’s dramatic vocals. This one will be on my playlist for awhile. (9/10)

 

 

Katerina – “Run Roc Run”

 

Justin Barini-Rivers – The vibe of this track is hard to grasp. The sound design is driven and simple with the bassline is my favorite, but the Atari style sound comes in a close second. I enjoy her vocals a lot, but they seem only to really take form and add a rhythmic element towards the end. I do enjoy the sparse effects on the vocals in the beginning. I feel like the arrangement could have been used better to utilize these elements. I felt lost at times in the bassline and percussion; keeping it a little tighter would help keep the listener. (6/10)

 

Connor McInerney – I’m a sucker for any chip tune instrumental elements so “Run Roc Run” had me hooked immediately. The shifting between this track’s haunting, discordant backbone and its more OG, quasi-square accents, is a perfect interpolation of EDM’s analog past and increasingly weird future. KATERINA’s echoey vocal lead is occasionally out of place which gives “Run” an uneven structuring and prevents this track from achieving higher marks in my book. Still, the track has undeniably solid bones. (7/10)

 

Will Creason – I really respect that a label like Cómeme is unafraid to get weird with releases like this one and 2015’s Phantom Delia by Lena Willikens. I don’t even know how to describe this: crunched up synthwave with spoken word vocals, a snippet of a sung four note melody and ping-ponging hip-hop samples. It doesn’t fit neatly into any box; I can’t think of anything that sounds remotely like it. All of this is a big plus for me. (8/10)

 

Yvette Bailhache – Ummmmm, did I miss the “hard-core electronic selections only” memo for this week? The only thing that got me through this song was the thought of me in combat boots stomping around on a dancefloor; that literally made me lol.  The “run” vocal is interesting, but that’s really about it for me. (0.7/10)

 

Katie Bowles – After a little research, I discovered that newcomer, Katerina, is known for including slightly different, avant-garde sounds in her music. This trait is definitely apparent on “Run Rock Run,” which misses the mark a little for me. Maybe that’s just because I’m also a relative newcomer to the world of electronic music fandom? I liked the track initially, it just almost seemed like the whole thing was the beginning of another song or an intro to something that never came. I don’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t listen to it regularly. (5/10)

 

 

Madeaux – “FEEL FREE”

 

Justin Barini-Rivers – LA-based Madeaux gives us some fire on his most recent release from Fool’s Gold. What always amazes me with Madeaux is the quality of mix downs and arrangements; Madeaux never sacrifices quality. The song moves seamlessly in and out of itself, flexing when necessary yet allowing the listener to go on a journey. It’s hard to highlight a section of this track as they really come together to seal the deal. Each section builds on the next, but what’s amazing is the momentum of this track. Tension enters subtly, releasing smoothly onto the dancefloor. There is nothing more epic than this depeche mode house tune that Madeaux laid on us. Check out the rest of the EP; it’s just as dope. (10/10)

 

Connor McInerney – I might be *extremely alone* in this sentiment, but a lot of Fool’s Gold stuff has felt a bit tired as of late and “FEEL FREE” is no exception to this feeling. I get how this track might have seemed cutting edge and appealing four years ago, but it seems like Madeaux’s ticking a number of post-dub tropes on this track, down to the uninspired vocal sample and lackluster bass backbone. Overall the whole track is emblematic of an EDM zeitgeist that has come and gone. (4.5/10)

 

Will Creason – I don’t know about the vocals here, but that heavy distorted kick that comes in is undeniably hot. Where can I get a version of this that removes the Right Said Fred vocalist? (7/10)

 

Yvette Bailhache – Ok more hard-core electronic beats; I definitely missed the memo. But, surprisingly, I actually kind of like this one. I can’t put my finger on it but Dude’s vocals remind me of someone’s; the pitch is hot in a freaky kind of way and the beat makes me bounce a bit. Would really appreciate this track playing loud AF at a club somewhere. Not usually my type of music but for some reason I’m feeling this. (7/10)

 

Katie Bowles – This one is interesting! The edits on the vocals give it a bit of an ‘80’s glam feel, which I like. I was worried that I might lose interest in the track after awhile, given its >4 minute length, but was pleasantly surprised throughout, particularly when the faster beat started hitting around 2:39. I’ll listen to this again. (7/10)

 

The Alabama 3 – “Full Moon in Your Eyes” (Chuggin Edits)

 

Justin Barini-Rivers – This track starts off slow, but it’s worth the wait. The groove is so smooth it will rock you into formation. The vocal cuts and instrumental accents push the depth while the bassline just keeps on rolling. This is a lovely tune for any DJs out there. I love the vibe of the track with the live drum elements mixed in with some electronic tendencies. This style of electronic music isn’t promoted as heavily, but it still bangs. This reminds me of the 90’s electronica that was hitting the ambient and chill out rooms. (7/10)

 

Connor McInerney – Chuggin Edits’ approach to Alabama 3’s brand of Nick-Cave-inspired British root rocks reads as a G-Funk track played through the wire – sultry, smooth and grooving. “Full Moon In Your Eyes” works as a sum of its parts – traditional blues instrumentation with jawbone accents over a downtempo electronic beat seems like a match made in Hell but when played cohesively it sticks. Props to Chuggin for reworking what, by many DJs, might seem un-reworkable into something soulful and synthy. (8/10)

 

Will Creason – This one is a vibe! I really like the slow-mo sound to this edit; that open hi-hat adds a lot of energy to Alabama 3’s original version. There is a sneaky, echo-y drum fill on a loop here that is another great device to keep things popping. Nice one! (7/10)

 

Yvette Bailhache – My favorite thing about The Sopranos was the intro song, so I was sold on this immediately, especially with Chuggin Edits on the edit. He knows how to throw in just the right amount of sexy, disco-esque vibes to any type of song. The bassline on this joint is killer and Chuggin sounded like he was having fun putting this one together. (8.4/10)

 

Katie Bowles – LOL at me for saying four minutes was long in my review of the Madeaux track. At over six minutes this track is definitely a marathon but not something I can’t enjoy. I really like the overall feel of this one – I could picture it on the soundtrack to a heist movie, with its lower, mysterious vocals and full, hypnotic sound. I’ll keep listening but maybe hit the skip before it ends. (8/10)

 

Marie Davidson – “Laura”


Justin Barini-Rivers – Epic intro to this tune. The drums starting building momentum right out of the ethereal clouds of the intro. This track is the epitome of pace. The energy that it continues to exude is extraordinary. I can’t place where in the track it’s coming from, but this ball of energy doesn’t stop until the very end. The drums have a way of being right between being in-your-face and behind in the mix. This track is simple and uses every element to the max. This is a solid techno tune. (8/10)

 

Connor McInerney – The whole of Marie Davidson’s Working Class Woman is a meditation on the psychological effects of the “stresses and strains of operating within the spheres of dance music and club culture” (i.e. the pitfalls inherent to capitalism.) “Lara” as a track hits all of the right analog notes as it relates to the wider thematic goals of Woman; the track is a claustrophobic clusterfuck of sonic textures wherein Marie Davidson channels her frustrations of working within electronic music through… electronic music. It’s a track embedded with elements  that are equal parts danceable and frustrating, a quintessential example of what IDM can be as both a representation of a wider-reaching highbrow theme while simultaneously containing an unshakable groove. (9/10)

 

Will Creason – I reviewed Davidson’s excellent LP Working Class Woman last week on Blisspop, but I did not mention this track which is one of the album’s uptempo standouts. The percussion is super sharp and hard hitting, morphing in and out of 4/4 phrasing, and the track is held together by a tense acid line. An easy addition to your Blood Rave playlist. (8/10)

 

Yvette Bailhache – I’m only a week into the sounds of Marie Davidson (Thanks Will C!) but I think she’s very talented and dope. I like the intricacies of this beat, yet it still feels easy to comprehend in a crazy twisted way. I do wish Marie threw in some of her vocals because I really adore them, but this is still pretty tight. (6/10)

 

Katie Bowles – I like this one a lot. When the faster melody (would you even call it a melody?) started coming in at 0:48 – oh man! I could’ve done without the EKG sound just prior, but I essentially forgot about it as soon as that melody hit. I do wish this one included Marie’s vocals (they’re so great,) but it still holds its weight without them. (7/10)

 


 

The Winners and Losers:

 

The Alabama 3 – “Full Moon in Your Eyes” (Chuggin Edits) – 7.7/10

Marie Davidson – “Laura” – 7.6/10

Madeaux – “FEEL FREE” – 7.1/10

Odesza – “Falls” (Golden Features Remix) – 7/10

Katerina – “Run Roc Run” – 5.3/10

 



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