The Proxy and Beetroots Wreck The Reality of Music

There is a range of musical taste in which things tend to stay within the reaches of what we tend to consider “normal.” This range typically spans a great deal of territory, beginning on the leftmost side at “soft” and “gentle”– an ambiance typified by artists like Sigur Ros and The Album Leaf–and progresses to the right, all the while becoming louder and heavier, until it culminates at a point where many people (generally those above a certain cutoff age) see fit to classify it simply as “noise.”

Now this scale is one that composers and producers try with all their might to fit in to, largely due to the fact that each point on the scale has its own respective crowd (or if you will, “scene”) which it corresponds to, and that making music to please a certain “scene” is a surefire way to pull a hit out of the hat. As such, this electronic world with which we associate ourselves is full of remixes and collaborations who’s authors’ styles balance each other nicely, and cause the final result to rest neatly within the scale of acceptance.

The Bloody Beetroots

Let’s say the scale is a pretty boring one, and goes from 1 to 10. That puts a few of the most eminent acts at the moment (to name a very small number of them) at:

  • Kid Sister: 5
  • Rusko: 8
  • Dj Mehdi: 5
  • Boys Noize: 9
  • Miike Snow: 3
  • Royksopp: 4
  • MSTRKRFT: 8
  • Soulwax: 7
  • Simian Mobile Disco: 7
  • The Bloody Beetroots: 9
  • Tiga: 6

Now, when these guys decide to remix each other or work together, they usually tend to be pretty complimentary styles. Let’s take a look:

Simian Mobile Disco & Kid Sister – Pro Nails
Heavier electronic combined with milder, peppier hip hop
Result: 6

Boys Noize and Tiga – Move My Body
Tiga track with a solid beat, given the Boys Noize treating yields a pretty heavy mix.
Result: 9

Rusko & Kid Sister – Pro Nails
Kid Sister earns some wild dubstep bass.
Result: A grimy 7

Miike Snow & DJ Mehdi – Burial
Mehdi’s househop links up with a mellow pop tune.
Result:4

I suppose you probably get the idea by now. The results are usually within reason; That is, two differing styles and melded together to yield a new tune that falls somewhere else within reason on the scale. I must however, encourage a large amount of weight to be placed on the word “usually”, for due to an event not dissimilar to what I expect the apocalypse to feel like, the laws of reason and logic by which I had previously lived my life were beaten (and in particular, kicked) into nonexistence.

the proxy

What happened you ask? I suppose you could say curiosity got the best of the cat; That is, the disco world finally grew tired of the predictable results of combining two different points on the scale, and decided to see what would happen not only when two very similar parts were combined, but pushing insanity even further, to see what would happen when two artists, both of whom are nearly bursting off the top end of the scale already, combine their power. The result:

The Proxy (nearly a perfect ten himself) & The Bloody Beetroots

The Proxy & The Bloody Beetroots

Never before in my life have I encountered the kind of anger and abrasive noise. Naturally, the track entitled “Who Are You” (though I would have deemed it more appropriate to call it “What Are You”) cannot be contained within the boundaries of our precious scale, but seeing as the track is so deafening so as to pose the potential risk of opening a rift in the space time continuum, to analyze just how far off the end it travels would be reckless foolishness.

Get your ear plugs ready.

Proxy – Who are You (The Bloody Beetroots Remix)

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SMASH YOUR STEREO | Who Are You (The Bloody Beetroots Remix) – Proxy from WeHeartHouse on Vimeo.

It’s Not Always About the Music

Seeing as music is generally considered a purely auditory art form, it’s rather perplexing to see how very different the paths that artists take to a hit tune frequently are. One would think that an aspiring artist would be limited to a simple, “The better the song, the bigger the hit” formula, but it seems that with the advent of technology, this relationship has been stretched to its breaking point.

make the girl dance

Take a look back to the eighties; Michael Jackson (rest in peace, old friend), decided that simply playing music on the radio limited the potential that the art form had to provoke emotion, and thus, proceeded to pioneer the world of music videos by incorporating dance, and even story into his tracks. His approach was naturally a sensation, and thus, the concept of including visual creativity and dance as part of a whole “musical experience” caught on and has since continued to evolve (although the direction in which it is evolving is debatable) over the years. Throughout the nineties, for example, pop artists among the likes of Britney Spears, and her countless boy band counterparts used (or perhaps abused) the concept of dance and showmanship to a point where their stage strut was debatably more responsible for their success than the actual music itself. In fact, after discovering for the first time that many of these artists chose to dance at the expense of actually singing their own songs in a live setting, I began to doubt whether the exploitation of miscellaneous art surrounding the music industry could be any further exploited; Soulja Boy’s rise to fame in early 2007, however, served as proof that it could. Seeing as there is almost no feasible way that such a poor quality track could have made it to the top of the charts unassisted, it must be assumed that it was (virtually exclusively) the dance that went along with it that allowed it such success.

I suppose all I’m really trying to convey is that today’s industry relies on many more factors than simply the quality of an artist’s music, and though it’s generally true that an artist without musical talent is unlikely to encounter much success, one cannot deny the fact that the creativity involved with the image that the artist surrounds himself with can certainly influence the ease with which he rises to fame.

The reason I’ve brought all this to attention is that the aforementioned “image” aspect of music seems to have grown to envelope the world of dance music much more completely than it has the rest, and said world has thusly been transformed into one that refuses to believe that a DJ could do his job without having decked himself out in designer headphones and fluorescent American Apparel gear. Though this might seem a display of ignorance to those dedicated to purely the auditory world of music, I personally am intrigued by the competition this battle for style provides for. After all, who’s to say that artists like The Bloody Beetroots, with their symbolic masks and notoriously aggressive music videos, or Soulwax, with their night long Radio Soulwax parties, would even exist without their desire to stand out in such powerfully different and creative ways?

Make the Girl Dance

make the girl dance

Much in the same way as the aforementioned artists, French production team Make the Girl Dance have thrust their careers and reputations to an almost unreachable level with their recent single, “Baby Baby Baby,” the video for which is an astounding tribute to the culture of our beloved world of disco. Make the Girl Dance have managed to capture, in its entirety, a visual representation of the image of bold confidence, lack of boundaries, and general disapproval for rules, and regulations within music that drive the sweet emotion of the moment that disco was invented to stand for, and oh, does it look good…

Did I mention that this entire video was shot candid, live, and without permits on the streets of Paris?

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Make the Girl Dance – Baby Baby Baby

It Took a Month, But It Was Worth the Wait

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the way our generally insatiable electro community rang in the new year at the start of this month.  Seeing as a good chunk of the people that spend their daytime hours reading this blog are fanatically energetic partygoers who run around in colorful clothes screaming things like, “All I do is party, ha ha ha ha!” I expected that the opportunity to define the sound of 2009 would have had nearly every worthwhile producer scrambling to outcompete everyone else’s tracks, in what would–erm… should–have been a sonic battle of epic proportions.  Unfortunately, I was (for the most part) let down.

technique

That is until about two days ago, when, for some strange and completely unknown reason, the electronic anthems that should have been blasting at our new years parties started pouring into my inbox. I can only assume that the worlds most respected and admired producers were suffering from the effects of the same musical drought that I myself (and I would expect most of you would include yourselves as well) had been struggling through, and were therefor compelled to tap into their reserves and quench this unexpected and entirely unnecessary audio thirst, because after listening to a third consecutive sweaty, peak hour banger, I found myself struggling to convince myself that I was, indeed, at home at my computer, and not losing my mind on a hotly animated dance floor. (And no, Daft Punk was not playing at my house.)

Chewy Chocolate Cookies & JFK

jfk

Considering everything the guy touches turns to gold, I feel it’s quite unnecessary to have to comment on the quality and originality of JFK’s work, but may I say that when combined with the blurry confusion of Chewy Chocolate Cookies, it only gets crazier. In fact, placing this track first may have been a mistake, seeing as it’s a gamble as to whether you’ll be capable of reading any further once this smeared mess of sound has been rubbed all over your face.

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Alexander Technique – Nightlovers (JFK & Chewie Chocolate Cookies Remix)

SPA and Steve Aoki

steve aoki

Now is definitely an opportune time to make yourself aware of Dim Mak’s newly signed artist, SPA, seeing as your failure to acknowledge their increasingly loud presence in this tightly knit community could result in a flat out slap to the face; You’ll be owned harder than the meathead in DJ Mehdi’s Signatune video. If you ever cared to know what the soundtrack to Steve Aoki’s life sounds like, here’s your chance to find out.

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SPA – Pets Dance (Steve Aoki Remix)

The Bloody Beetroots

You heard Cornelius. You thought it was a sick track. But you had no idea there was a music video coming, and you were certainly not prepared. The fact that the whole thing was filmed using the generic handicam seems to suggest that The Bloody Beetroots have keenly embraced Justice’s now notorious cinematography, however, the style with which it was put together is able to truly capture the sense of complete chaoss and loss of control far more vividly than either A Cross the Universe or Soulwax’s Part of the Weekend Never Dies even came close to delivering, and it’s only three minutes long!

This needs no further explanation. Watch the video, and trust me when I say you won’t regret it.


CORNELIUS from borntofilm on Vimeo

Back On Track, and Ready For the Nite

Deepest apologies for having nearly disappeared for almost a week; I’m finally on the mend after a bit of an illness, which, when combined with far too many hours of work, has proven overwhelming. On the positive side of things, however, my lack of updates has allowed me to build up a substantial collection of goodies that have been kept in their cages and away from trouble for far too long. Naturally, approach these tracks with caution; They do like to pounce, and could leave you feeling very confused and unprepared come Monday morning.

Nite Cells

In all honesty, this first act, a couple of Hollywood producers working under the name Nite Cells, had me a bit confused at first: For a reason that I have not yet come to understand, they call themselves minimalists, yet the first 15 seconds of any of the tracks they have up for preview on their Myspace will not only beg to differ, but they’ll leave you wondering why Boys Noize hasn’t decided to hop in the same boat and call himself a minimalist as well. Nite Cell’s latest track, which happens to be a remix of the Division Kent tune “L’Heure Bleue” (a track that was covered a few weeks back), is on par with some of the heaviest, grimiest pieces of electro I’ve heard, and building on that, it seems as though the boys might well have uncovered a well guarded technique that is (at least in my opinion) sure to give Justice‘s formerly exclusive twangy, slap bass synth a run for its money. I’ve got a strange feeling that Nite Cell’s could be in for heavy dose of success quite soon.

(Speaking of Justice, is it just me, or does anyone else see the ironic resemblance between these Hollywood kids, and their Parisian peers?)

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MP3: Division Kent – L’heure Bleue (Nite Cells Roquefort remix)

Soulwax, MGMT, and other Exciciting News

It’s been a while since I’ve made any sort of comment on the swelling sea of fists that is mainstream electro, but experience has recently allowed me to realize that mainstream music is (in most cases) mainstream, for a particularly solid reason: It’s damn good. And this, my friends, is precisely the reason that the Belgian phenomenon known as Soulwax is causing such a commotion with their shows as of late. The humble group have borrowed from the likes of MGMT and created a very nicely rounded remix (of which we’re lucky enough to have a decent quality pre-release recording) that has more than enough power push all your buttons at once. Soulwax provides their familiar mystical, progressive-electro touch, which is then fused with a magically curious MGMT nostalgia, and after hearing the result for the first time, I’d go so far as to say you might find yourself torn between whether you’d rather be getting down and dirty with all the hot bodies around you, or simply pondering the concepts of existential thought. Either way, make sure your seatbelt is fastened before (and I must stress before) you choose to download this track, because you’re in for a (pardon the cliche) wild ride.

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MP3: MGMT – Kids (Soulwax Nite remix bootleg)

While on the subject of Soulwax, it’s worth mentioning that the boys have recently completed a full length film entitled “Part of the Weekend Never Dies” (which should make sense to those of you who have indulged yourselves with the renowned “Nite Versions”) with hopes that they might be able to “capture a scene through Soulwax, not the other way round.” (Which I’ve taken to mean that they might be documenting a tour as seen through their own eyes?) Assuming you’re as excited as I am, you can check out a preview, as well as enter a drawing to receive one of ten free copies of the film at DazelDigital.

And on that note, I feel I should close for the time being; Late nights are proving difficult for my recovering mind to handle. Keep in touch, as I should have the second half of this post up soon. Hopefully someone out there is sweating double time to make up for my absence. 🙂