Keeping on. Work method on previous posts. Sorry for the delay and few reviews, I’ll try to review a ton during the weekend and hopefully finish before the voting deadline.
Astronault Cult – Fake It And Don’t Make It
Very well-constructed EDM track with plenty of ups and downs. This one actually impressed me, I can’t figure out why this one isn’t covered with comments, downloads etc. There’s a lot going on all the time and it never stays long because something equally good is just around the corner. I envy the people who go out and dance to this stuff. Dance music was way dumber when I was a teenager. Great work.
(skipping Amorphous Prism to save it for last)
Rapstallion – The Adventures of Pippi Longstrump
Not bad and decently varied but I don’t think this is as exciting as some of the other tracks. It does have quite a few interesting moments though and a very clear retro feel (at some points I felt I was about to get Rickrolled). The less-excitingness might be because it’s not a dance track – as far as I can tell – so it depends solely on the beauty of the track. Well it sure is pretty, but I was underwhelmed – though this is hard for me to say because, again, there are some very interesting sections. I do feel the guy responsible for this can certainly pull off greater stuff though. Maybe I just wasn’t touched by the 80’s influence, this much I’ll concede to subjectivism.
ART of RUIN – 4am
Not bad. Really nice vibes at a the two main sections, but I think they go on for too long without any changes. The intro could be much better but the break 2:20 is decent. Too much reliance on “sounds” instead of actual musical substance though.
Blingley – Salsa Trance
I don’t know where the “salsa” came from but the rapid succession of notes and sounds works really well and everything build around it is really well placed. I really like how the vocal sample is first introduced by a section that lasts only for a couple of seconds, but is really well placed and works perfectly. The main sonic synth never gets boring because it’s always well complemented by other elements; which provides the track’s structure: first the synth alone with the rhythm section, then the goofy bass synth kicks in, then the voice, and then the vocals manipulation is just great. Great job.
Terry Seares – Ragamuffin
Fun track, I was excited to listen to some “riddim” which I hadn’t listened to for a few years. Compared to the actual riddims, of course this one seems quite a bit progressive. Here’s an example of a classic: Mr Vegas’s Nike Air (Playground Riddim). Different Jamaican rappers would use the same riddim and compete on who did it best, it was quite an interesting scene in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.
Anyhow, this track shares a little bit of the style of these Jamaican riddims, which means 80’s and 90’s electronic, but is way more interesting to listen to by itself, without any rapping over it. I was glad with all the changes and general structure of the track. The retro feel adds to the interest. Good work.
Sol Romero – Why Did You Leave Mt#5
This is interesting, the first straight-up synth pop of the contest up until now. If I know the /mu/sician community, might be the only one as well. Heck, even finding female singing is hard enough already. So how do I judge this? Lady Gaga meant quite a revolution in the standards of the genre in recent years – I can’t take Robyn as seriously as Pitchfork does though. I’m pleased to say this has a higher than average quality in the music background – of course I would expect electronic /mu/sicians to come up with greater quality than mainstream electronic bullshit anyday. Pop is to be judged mainly by its catchyness though, and by how much of a hit-material it is. I’m not quite sure this is that much of a potential hit and unfortunately I find the hooks a bit annoying. What I’m most unsatisfied with is the lyrics though. Even though pop lyrics are usually awful, Lady Gaga’s lyrics on The Fame Monster were quite fitting and clever, while the lyrics in this track aren’t as good. It is well done though, and musically superior to fellow pop acts, so… great work.
All of this must be weighted with the fact that my knowledge of contemporary pop is very limited, so that’s why I’ve written above with full disclosure of my very few standards. Bruno Mars has nice lyrics also, I guess. Katy Perry not so much? Fuck if I know, that’s all I can say. Good luck getting rich and all.
Dreadbot – Manta Rayz (work in progress)
This seems like it would work well in a… club, party, rave? Nice ups and down etc. I don’t think this is one of the best tracks of the sort in the contest, but it is well done and has enough elements and changes to make it moody enough to be interesting for a couple listenings, but maybe not more than that.
Amorphous Prism (StD) – They’re Mobilizing
Powerful, cool and refreshingly experimental, a unique musical experience. You have this insane, powerful music that would be very intense and interesting by itself, intensified by a very puzzling interaction with some kind of television news vocal sample. The objective of conveying a feeling of excitation, confusion and being in the moment is perfectly, masterfully delivered. Think of this as “Street Fighting Man”, but from the inside of the fighting man, at the moment of fighting. Rudie failing. God not saving the queen. The TV party tonight breaking into a fight, turning into a revolution. I fucking love this track, I can’t see how I wouldn’t vote for it after listening to all the stuff, there can’t be 10 tracks more awesome than this.
And the beats are so insane, can you imagine a party of people dancing to this craziness? How wild would that be?