BRAND NEW: The Knocks – “Learn To Fly”

The Knocks

I know it’s only Tuesday, but it’s never too early to start putting together your weekend party mix, right?

New York duo The Knocks, who have remixed artists like Katy Perry and Marina & the Diamonds, and toured with artists like Big Boi and Chromeo, are steadily on the rise. “Learn To Fly” just missed out on being included on their Magic EP, but the band have decided to give it away anyway. Can you resist the dance hooks?

Have a listen, and download it. You really should.

Photo via The Knocks’ Facebook Page.

BRAND NEW: letthemusicplay – “Waves (RAC Mix)”

letthemusicplay

I don’t know who letthemusicplay are. I think there are very few people who do.

The folks at RAC certainly don’t – or just aren’t telling us – going off the intriguing information they gave us via Facebook.

This one is a little strange because the artist is trying really hard to be anonymous. It’s “rumored” that the members are some of the biggest names in electronic music.

But at the end of the day, does it really matter? If letthemusicplay were awful then I’d be more than happy to criticise their anonymity as a gimmick to attract buzz, but they’re actually pretty good. Chances are, they’ll eventually gain enough attention simply through the quality of their music. You can check out the original cut of “Waves” here, and what I’m fairly sure is their only other track, “Space”, here.

And to top it off, this is an RAC mix we’re talking about! They’ve done so many brilliant mixes over the past few years. They can even make the Old Spice Guy sound like he belongs in a club for crying out loud.

Take a listen below. This catchy dance number is worth your time.

And yeah, that sounds like Dougy from The Temper Trap to me too.

BRAND NEW: Rihanna – “We Found Love (Star Slinger Refix)”

Rihanna - We Found Love

Almost surprisingly, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for this Rihanna tune. It probably has something to do with Calvin Harris being on board, because as far as musicians that can hit a beat go, he’s well and truly up there.

So I jumped at the chance to check out a remix of the track, by none other than Star Slinger – the UK producer who’s been making waves since mid-2010 – and who it’s taken me far too long to notice. This glitchy reinterpretation (not a remix, but a “refix” according to his SoundCloud page) singles out Rihanna’s chorus while putting a much more dominating beat behind it – one of those exciting beats that encourages dancing, but still has that dangerous edge that could throw you.

Check it out and grab a download below!

Also worth checking out is his Childish Gambino remix!

BRAND NEW: Holy Ghost! – “Some Children” [ft. Michael McDonald]

Holy Ghost! are an electro duo out of Brooklyn, New York. Hipster central, I know, but don’t judge it just yet, because this is some unpretentiously fun dance music, with a real groove behind it. And it’s not the kind of dance music you’d hear in some kind of normal pop nightclub either. You know that moment when you walk in and think “I’ve heard this before – a million times before. I don’t even know this song, but I’ve heard it because it sounds THE SAME AS EVERYTHING ELSE” – you know that moment? Well this isn’t like that moment at all.

The strong bass line helps carry the song’s momentum, and the choir in the background that eventually comes in really lifts it onto a new level. If the song wasn’t so groovy, the keyboard riff would sound cliched, like it was from some dodgy old-school hip-hop track. Fortunately, that’s not how it comes across at all, and it just kind of all works. Somehow.

Stream or grab a free download of “Some Children” over at Pitchfork! (Who are incidentally just celebrating their 15th birthday – happy birthday P4k!)

TOUR: All Our Friends At Night 2011

Once again, All Our Friends At Night is returning to Canberra, bringing with it a small selection of Parklife artists! Which is very exciting, especially after the recent announcement that there will be no Parklife 2011 sideshows.

Check out the line up below. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty amazing night!

MSTRKRFT
Example
Wolfgang Gartner
Nero

Plus local acts:
Offtapia
Peking Duk
Cheese

8PM FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2011
UC REFECTORY, University of Canberra

Tickets on sale 9AM MONDAY 22 AUGUST 2011
18+ event
Tickets available from http://www.moshtix.com.au/​event.aspx?id=49336&ref=mo​shtix&skin
1st release: $69.95 (BF inc) 2nd release: $79.95 (BF inc)

LIVE: Grafton Primary, live at The UC Refectory, Canberra (11-02-11)

Last Friday I got a chance to see Australian dance act Grafton Primary at the University of Canberra’s Refectory.

We arrived at about 9 o’clock, hoping to get in early and nab a good spot. To my dismay, it wasn’t necessary for two reasons. Firstly, various DJ’s had been booked to play until Grafton came on – their set time started around 11:30. Secondly, there were no more than 30 odd people in attendance, and with a venue the size of the Refectory, the crowd seemed even smaller and scattered around the room.

Luckily, my friend convinced the organisers to give us a pass out, and we left for the pub. Returning two hours later, we only missed the first song or two of Grafton’s set, and the crowd hadn’t grown too much, but I can say this – the band were cool enough to put on a show for us anyway. I always imagined that for some it could be hard to play to such varying crowd sizes, and it could be hard to get excited about playing in what looks like an empty room, but Grafton Primary did it, and they did it fairly well.

Being unfamiliar with most of the set material, I will say some of the songs sounded very samey – but that happens to me when I see some artists live with no prior knowledge. Sometimes it all kind of blends in. Though they did “All Stars” as an “encore”, which was nice to be able to sing along to something I knew.

The three of them put in a solid effort (although I was disappointed I didn’t see the keytar from the “Relativity” clip), and for such a small show, I was pleased they got an excited response from a few listeners up the front in the crowd. It’s always good to see people showing their appreciation and enthusiasm for a band, and Grafton certainly seemed to enjoy the people who sang along and got into it all. Time will tell whether their sound evolves into something more, or if they sit on what they have now. At any rate, it’s good fun, and their dance-floor electro style no doubt hits it’s target market right on the head. I have an underlying feeling that if it isn’t happening already, that the Australian public will soon become tired of a band like Grafton – not because Grafton are bad, they’re not, but because there seem to be a flood of bands like this around doing this thing already. Nothing reaches out and grabs me as a listener and demands my attention, or says “look at me – I do this exceptionally well”.

It was a fun gig, and Grafton play music which has a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, to get the exposure they probably want, they either need to move out more creatively, or somehow refine their style to reach that upper echelon of dance and pop music.

It’ll be interesting to see where they go, but they’re clearly a band determined to stick around – which is always a promising sign.

REVIEW: Friendly Fires – "Jump In The Pool"

Friendly Fires released their successful debut self-titled album in September of 2008, and re-released it in August of 2009 containing an extra 3 songs, remixes, and a live DVD. "Jump In The Pool" is the second single from the album.

Opening with light, floating synths, drums enter in a manner akin to something you would expect to hear in a tribal ritual on some far-flung exotic corner of the earth (albeit one possibly stereotyped by Hollywood, the only type I know having experienced none first-hand). It all sounds very tropical, the throbbing base emphasising certain lyrical points in the verses.

The song takes flight during the particularly powerful chorus, lifting up alongside the poignant lyrical imagery that’s crafted in an atmospherically supportive way. The synths and drumming strongly evoke energetic feelings, and combined with the water-based lyrical themes that seem to centre around the journey into adulthood, form a song that is both melodically and rhythmically fun, and lyrically interesting enough to satisfy those who want to sing along.

Friendly Fires have really nailed a dance song here with a twist in it. It’s infectious, and the drum fills between sections really build up the suspense and draw attention to the strong nature of the chorus. I can find very little to fault this song to be honest. When I downloaded it on a whim (I’d liked "Kiss Of Life" and thought this could be good) I was pretty much blown away.

Grab a free download from Spinner here.

Score: 10/10