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Posts Tagged ‘trip hop’

hooverphonics

Belgian trip poppers Hooverphoncs led by bassist Alex Callier and guitarist Raymond Geerts (vocalist Geike Arnaert left the band in 2008) are a fascinating lot. They make pop music that could drive dance floors insane with equal proportions of curiosity and confusion. Play any track of their magnificently conceptual Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane or Blue Wonder Power Milk in a club and watch the crowd writhe in slow, uneasy motion to the sound of their own insecurities.

You can find similarities to Portishead, Morcheeba and Massive Attack, but what really separates Hooverphonic from UK’s finest trip hoppers is their complete nonchalance for the proven and tested (although one could argue that Portishead achieved that to a greater degree on Third).

After gaining unexpected international recognition with their  sparse debut A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular, they released a sophomore album, which was more organic and traditional than what was expected of them. Also, for a trip hop band – the album did really well, sparking off parodies, cellphone commercials (ughh) and sitcom theme songs. While the critics flogged their third album – The Magnificent Tree – for being too commercial, it probably yelled the loudest as their  credibility for crafting pop gems made gentle waves  on both sides of the Atlantic. From then on, each album has been markedly different from the other with the heights of experimentation reaching crazy levels on their The President of the LSD Golf Club – an electronic album that does to psychedelic music what chocolate sauce does to ice creams.

magnificent_tree

With the recent departure of their singer, it is rumoured that they searching for a new vocalist by holding auditions through their official website.

You should check out a lot of their earlier stuff (especially the Power Milk album), but I just can’t resist recommending Mad About You. This is one of those tracks trashed by die-hard fans for being too radio-friendly and well, I just don’t understand the criticism. It is a fantastic little song led by an ultra-groovy bassline that ties orchestral strings to sacchrine-sweet sounding vocals, which heavily breathe, “Give me all your true hate, and Ill translate it in your bed, into a never seen passion…that is why I am so mad about you, mad about you”.

It almost makes me want to build a time machine, go back to high school and kick myself in the head for choosing The Chemical Brothers over Sneaker Pimps.

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Hooverphonics – Mad About You

Hooverphonics – 2Wicky

Hooverphonic – Vinegar & Salt (with Scala Choir)

Hooverphonic – Eden (acoustic)

Sneaker Pimps – Post Modern Sleaze

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Sit Down and Listen

The President Of The LSD Golf Club

Hooverphonics Presents Jackie Cane

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When cleverly done, pop music can sound extremely sensual. Phoenix-based trio Mr Meeble has seemingly made a career out of creating such precious electro-pop ditties. It’s almost as though they have taken Portishead’s blueprint for trip-hop and given it a soulful and glitchy twist.

Their new album Never Trust A Chinese is a collection of meticulously crafted grooves backed by cushy vocal styling of Michael Plaster. “I Fell Through” is all kinds of awesome. Slow-paced, with wayward harmonies, pop sensibilities and minimal beats copulating together to give birth to fragile moments. Like I said, all kinds of awesome.

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If I Fell Through – Mr Meeble

And there are those just make you want to dance. A rare moment when energy and music conspire together to stir things up on the dance floor. Born in 1926 somewere near Mississippi, RL Burnside picked up the guitar after hearing John Lee Hooker beat the crap out of the blues with his “Boogie Chillin”. The rest is largely unrecorded history. Tom Shimeru is a half-Japanese American, half-Italian American rapper who goes by the alias – Lyrics Born. He really smokes Burnside’s ripper of a track “Someday Baby” on the turntable. Very, very funky.

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RL Burnside – Someday Baby (Lyrics Born remix)

Velvet Underground brought sexy to the Seventies. Not the sort that inspires you to hold hands and prance around the park, but rather one that deconstructs lust and pushes the envelope concerning all things heart-shaped and guitar-strummed.

The effect was devastating, both to listeners trained to appreciate recognizable patterns in the rock and roll genre and to other musicians who were under the misconception that they already had explored the darkest nuances of sound. In “Heroin”, they talk about junk, as the conversation sways violently between the callousness of the habit and purity of the urge. Stuff that my nightmares were once made up of.

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Acoustic version of Velvet Underground’s Heroin

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Mr Meeble’s Never Trust The Chinese

RL Burnside’s Come On In

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