Saturday, 22 August 2009


Here at So Culture, we love anything that has a remotely '80s disco style vibe which makes up a huge portion of the current Parisian music scene. Of course, when I say 'we', I mean 'I'. The revival of this sound has come in many different shapes and sizes, influencing a sizeable portion of today's musicians. On a broader scale, it's not hard to notice that electro has snuck it's way into the charts through the likes of Lady GaGa and Kanye West, who have taken a leaf out of this scene. For example, Kanye clearly soaked up a lot of french touch as his career progressed; videos directed by french elecro label Ed Banger's So Me, his track with Daft Punk and the electronic production heard on 808's & Heartbreak. Lady GaGa uses vintage synths more often than not and this is one of reason's I think she's become so successful; everyone's loving that sound. This post is about that sound in a more unadulterated form than from what you might hear on the charts.

Washed Out - Feel It All Around
This is one nostalgic, lo-fi heat haze of a disco dreamwave track. If this song were a day, it would be incredibly hot and humid. You'd be sleepily staring out the window in the back of a camper van as it rattles along a dusty, rural road.

Data - Aerius Light (Breakbot Remix)
Although Breakbot is not the most well-known, for me, he is a definitive character of the french touch scene. Because of this, it's no surprise that the label belonging to Busy P (otherwise known as Pedro Winter), 'Ed Banger', scouted out Breakbot and signed him. His music encompasses all of that which I associate with that retro funky electro sound; highly processed drums, old-school synths and catchy bass hooks with an all round choppy finish. This french electro remix of a french electro track is, unsurprisingly, no exception.

Delorean - Deli
Delorean craft -real- pop music. Deli captures a true holiday, summer-nights disco vibe with a guitar sound that's been missing in great pop music for the past 20 years.

Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Yuksek Edit)
I think of Yuksek in a very similar way as Breakbot, especially his choice to take on this track which has reached legendary status in the world of the electro hipster. A modest but probably more accurate decision to label this rework as an edit as opposed remix, Yuksek gives that track a little more french electro oomph than before.

Also, I feel obliged to post the new Friendly Fires track as I now have a decent version of it - it's not live and it's not a radio rip! So in all it's tropical, tribal, shimmering and euphoric glory, I give you the indie electro pioneers' latest track:

Friendly Fires - Kiss Of Life
Although this isn't too closely related to the rest of today's post, if it was any better, it could send you into an epic disco seizure. That's also pretty fun I guess. Besides, Friendly Fires said themselves one day they're gonna live in Paris.

Ahh it feels good to get a post in that isn't all over the place and has some kind of direction. I hope you enjoyed reading.

Monday, 17 August 2009

New Metronomy & More Calvin Harris

'What's that? A new Metronomy EP, fabulous!' I hear you say, and quite right too. I like it. A lot. Their new sound differs slightly from that of their previous music and you'd expect that, not only because a band's sound should develop and mature, but because they've got a new band line up with one of the old members leaving. However, this transition's a gentle one, and fans of their off-kilter electro-pop before this EP won't be disappointed either. Production on the new EP sounds smoother than their older material; the oddball synths remain yet these tracks are now laced with futuristic, more subtle notes which I could imagine going well with staring at a starry night sky. Take a listen to two of the tracks off it below and I don't doubt you'll get a similar vibe:

Metronomy - Do The Right Thing

Metronomy - Not Made For Love

And of course, unless you've been living in a cave recently, you will have heard about Calvin Harris' latest album, 'Ready For The Weekend' hitting the shelves today. As is the case with many albums, it had already leaked onto the interwebs anyway so you may have heard some/all of it already. If not, well, you're in for a treat. I wasn't such a fan of his debut LP but from what I've heard of the Scotsman's sophomore effort makes me think it's something special. Calvin Harris effortlessly blends retro and modern styles for what seems to be eclectic, eccentric, electric second album that packs a whole lot of funk:

Calvin Harris - Stars Come Out

Calvin Harris - The Rain

And today we end on a fairly amusing note with Calvin Harris performing his single 'Ready For The Weekend' using ladies in lingerie covered in paint. Hmmm.

Friday, 14 August 2009

I Wish I Had A Pizza And A Bottle Of Wine

There's no real theme to today's post. It's pretty humid out so my selection involves nothing too heavy - you wouldn't wanna break a sweat.

Mr Hudson - Supernova (Orchestral Mix)
Supernova's crooning vocals get even more of a croonover as current crowd favourite Mr Hudson recorded a version that's not so Kanye'd up with autotune and that electro-sounding production. A simple and pretty little song. People should make more classical pop music.

Girls - Lust For Life
Lust For Life is a two and a half minute anti-punk whine about, well, life. In fact, I'm sure a good few of you can relate to it, even if you're not totally mad. Girls' subtle psychedelica flows so smoothly and I cannot get the lyris out of my head. A real gem.

The XX - Intro
The introduction to The XX's debut album 2.0 is not one of those 30 second little skits about something that you normally hear but lets you accustomise yourself with the style of their music. This short-but-sweet instrumental is epic in it's most laidback, 'cool as' form.

Et voila.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Sometimes I Feel Like Throwing My Hands Up In The Air

Let's skip the introduction and get straight to the meat again:

Pixie Lott - Mama Do (Linus Loves Radio Edit)
Soul siren Pixie Lott's hit Mama Do get's a club thump to it thanks to the likes of Linus. Really quite a talented edit - seems like more of an original than a remix. Abundance of catchy vocals and all manners of jittering, burbling electronic synths (this is a good thing).

Crystal Fighters - Xtatic Truth (Xtra Loud Mix)
This one featured on Kitsune 7, which I did a post on a while ago. You'd be hard pressed in an attempt to label this band yet this makes the track that whole lot fresher - it's great to hear something new, isn't it? Featuring jingling strings, crescendoing static synths and near-dark 8-bit-esque bass.

Florence & The Machine - Raise It Up (Jamie T's Lionheart Remix)
Jamie T's take removes some of the grandeur of the original but makes it up with an enchanting little sequence that sounds a little like an antique music box repeating itself. Overall, we've got a tune that's a little more driving than the original; a fairly simple yet effective edit.

Bonus Track:

Florence & The Machine - You Got The Love
If you haven't heart this, you're missing out. Miss Florence Welch's euphoric cover of Candi Station's hit boasts her emotive vocals amongst some great percussion, harp flicks and more. Very uplifting.

And that's a wrap! See you next post.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

And All The Colours Conspire To Overwhelm The Grey

Hey guys, again I have to apologise for not posting in a long while. This time though, it's not because I've been working (although I still have work for the next week and a half) - I've been sailing up and down a river in the south of France away from all (most) forms of contact. This includes the computer, which probably did me a whole lot of good. So today is my first day back in the country and although I have little time to spare, I've found two particularly chilled songs which you may or may not have heard but I had to share:

Just Jack - The Day I Died
Just Jack's music spans a whole range of genres and so intrigues a wide audience, including you, I should hope. This track off his sophomore album is no different and is guaranteed to make you lay back in a metaphorical deckchair on a hot day with a cool drink. Sounds a little like Just Jack's been listening to Jason Mraz for a long time, which by no means is an insult - it makes for a great, easy-going summer chiller with guitar twangs, claps and cute, quirky lyrics.

The XX - Basic Space
Now, The XX are a fairly new, arty (you can tell from the name can't you?) little quartet hailing from Southwest London. They're all in their teens though you may find that hard to believe as their style sounds really quite mature. Amongst the band's influences are Rihanna, The Cure and The Chromatics, so you may be stumped as to what to expect but don't worry, it's minimalistic, effortlessly cool art rock - highly recommended for fans of The Kills, although slightly more passive in their style than Mosshart and Hince. Basic Space is an almost timid track. It's not pretentious and it doesn't try too hard. The XX's message is clear and maybe music is lacking the beautiful simplicity that this track encompasses.

'Til next time, ta.