March 7th, 2008 by Julija

lounge dance // chill-out

Legendary Serge Gainsbourg’s works have been interpreted, sampled, re-recorded and used as inspiration by countless talented artists. Focusing on the dance floor enjoyment, French producer, musician and DJ, Minimatic a.k.a. Pascal Houpert remixes “Chez Les Yé-Yé’s”, celebrating his fatal love for stylish tunes and retro soul-funk. Reworking the 80′s music, Minimatic’s cover of successful A-ha’s synth-pop hit “Take On Me” is more about finesse: laid-back grooves of the beach and the sunny coast, smooth arrangements, sleazy hints and romance. [via]

Efficiently and excellently produced.
Serge Gainsbourg – Chez Les Yé-Yé’s (Minimatic Remix)
Minimatic – Take On Me (With A Martini)

DJ /Rupture

January 24th, 2005 by Paul Irish

afro-spanish pop // minimalist electro-ragga

Despite the absolute frigid temperatures this morning, my ride to work was warm because I had the sizzling island flavor of this tune to keep me moving. What at first intrigued my ears as odd spanish rap, soon matured its sonic sound as a dubbed-out dance track where you choose your level of involvement. You can let it be the backdrop for your utterly fascinating conversation of say, folksonomies; or conversely, you can crank it up, clap your hands, and make the other drivers on the road wish they had the CD, too.
A squeeky clean tropical production of deliciously organic sounds.

DJ /Rupture – Musquito (club foot remix)
Rupture (Jace Clayton)’s blog
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Madeleine Peyroux

August 20th, 2006 by Anne Cloudman

vocal jazz // standards

Romance ain’t my thing, but even I’m susceptible to the charms of a romantic comedy. Hard to say if its the beautiful people, happy endings, extravagant lifestyles or playful dialogue that pique my interest, but for sure, the well-crafted soundtracks that accompany these movies make them easier to love. I discovered Madeleine Peyroux in the credits of 2005’s Monster-in-Law, but her warm, Billie Holiday vocal style makes her a soundtrack favorite. The two songs below from her LP Careless Love glisten with All-American nostalgia and romance.

Perfect with dim lighting and drink in hand.
Madeleine Peyroux – Don’t Wait Too Long (track 7 on the Aurgasm Summer Soundtrack)
Madeleine Peyroux – Don’t Cry Baby
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Roísín Murphy

July 11th, 2005 by Paul Irish

glitch-jazz // nightclub diva

All the girls you know adore Frou Frou. You’ve dabbled deeper into Imogen Heap‘s solo work and you still remember a British duo, Moloko, and their finely tuned house tracks, “Sing It Back” and “The Time Is Now”. Well, the vocal siren from that dance-pop duo, Roísín Murphy, is now back with enough energy and spice to heat up your bedroom. Armed with the production mastery of Matthew Herbert, Roísín’s debut album, Ruby Blue, is packed with strong, soulful tracks with enveloping beats and complex time signatures. Much of the jazz-laden feeling from the Matthew Herbert Big Band‘s work is present, save Jaime Lidell‘s identifiable croon. “Sinking Feeling” emotes a 1950’s barstool seductress, teasing her audience’s eardrums and tantalizing their senses.
Finger snap, bra strap, electric zap.

Roísín Murphy – Sinking Feeling
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The Chemical Brothers

January 17th, 2005 by Paul Irish

big beat // funky electronica

This powerful duo debuted originally with the name “The Dust Brothers”, but an American group with the same name (later well-known for the Fight Club soundtrack) pressed some litigation and forced a change. Though mildly bitter, the british Chemical Brothers carried on, releasing their first album appropriately named Exit Planet Dust. Now, ten years later, the two release Push The Button, a break-rocking record exploring their trademark dance-rock-rap mix. Though “Galvanize” has gotten the first-single attention, it’s the sophisticated dance track “The Boxer” that rocks this record. Hard.
Sorry Fatboy, they’ve come a longer way, baby.

The Chemical Brothers – The Boxer (Feat. Tim Burgess)
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March 20th, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

french house // chillout

No, not another money-spinner for Apple Computers; i:cube is actually a French electronica producer who pops off misty, wondrous chillout without succumbing to the sort of washed out electronic noise that one so often finds on chillout albums. I discovered this album in Boston, of all places, back when the Virgin Megastore on Newbury was still a Tower Records (how’s that for old-school?); my friend Susan and I bought a copy each, seduced by our listening-post experiences of ‘Adore’, the title track. It’s got gently popping bubbles in the bass, and wide shimmers of strings and keys over the top. ‘Tropiq’ is darker, grimier; but I love that salt-shaker beat.
Chillout at its best: music on, mind off.

i:cube – Adore
i:cube – Tropiq
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Obi Best

November 3rd, 2008 by Michelle

electropop // indie pop

Obi Best’s debut album, Capades, is a startling and addicting collection of refined pop songs. Whether it is the more orchestral ballads or synth-driven electropop that make up Capades; the record is equally dreamy, witty and infectious. Alex Lilly’s capricious lyrics are tempered by tight musical arrangements, resulting in a playful and most importantly, fun sound. Lilly’s sweet and pellucid vocals, backed by Bram Inscore (keys), John Wood (keys) and Barbara Gruska (drums), elevate the carefully composed and surprisingly complex songs of Obi Best.

Dreamy, whimsical electropop.
Obi Best – Nothing Can Come Between Us
Obi Best – Swedish Boy
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Elizabeth & The Catapult

June 11th, 2007 by Paul Irish

singer songwriter // folk pop

While I enjoy friends that are predictable, I prefer my music to surprise me. A heavy dose of dynamic songwriting will surely snag my attention, so when E&TC’s track “Momma’s Boy” slips from folk to Jon Brion pop to vaudeville and back, I can’t help but crack a smile. With an instrumentation including cello, viola, flugelhorn, bass, violins, and trumpets along with songs like “Waiting For The Kill”, Elizabeth et al. feel like America’s extroverted answer to Psapp.

1st in line from a strong, eclectic compilation.
Elizabeth & The Catapult – Momma’s Boy
Elizabeth & The Catapult – Waiting For The Kill
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Marla Hansen

November 4th, 2007 by Julija

indie folk // acoustic

Viola player Marla Hansen appears on Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond live performances, got to play with Jay-Z and Kanye West, is a member of the string quartet Osso, and occasionally still plays classical music too. Marla likes drinking tea and writing little songs for herself and her viola. One fine day she gathered some friends together, including Sufjan, Shara Worden and Sebastian Krueger of Inlets, and eventually recorded her debut EP Wedding Day, a collection of tranquil lullabies and meditative harmonies.

Quiet songs for quiet people.
Marla Hansen – Shuffle Your Feet
Marla Hansen – Wedding Day
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Albin de la Simone

November 18th, 2013 by Julija

pop français // singer-songwriter

French pianist and composer Albin de la Simone is best known for his collaborations with Jeanne Cherhal, Vanessa Paradis and Keren Ann. Although Un Homme (2013) is his fourth solo album, de la Simone is still relatively anonymous among contemporary French chansonniers. His lyrics are clever and his melodies engaging, but what makes de la Simone stand out is his voice and remarkable subtle string and piano arrangements. “Moi Moi”, featured below, is a delightful duet with the lovely Emiliana Torrini.

Elegant songwriting with a dose of whimsy.
Albin de la Simone & Emiliana Torrini – Moi Moi
Albin de la Simone – Le Fuite
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