For lessons in groove you don’t have to look too far beyond the excellent Toronto pair Freedom Or Death. This week we were kindly sent their cover of the Nas tune, If I Ruled The World, by one half of the duo, Steve Fernandez. They had a very successful CMJ Festival and wanted to do a cover of an artist that represented New York, so they turned to their love of Hip Hop.
The original is rather stripped down affair, with a simple bassline over a sharp beat/clap, filling out with a little soul for the chorus, so it was intriguing to find out what Freedom Or Death would do with it for their cover. They did the right thing in focusing on the chorus, starting with it and repeating it like a mantra at regular points throughout.
What was an aspiring hit has now had it’s atmosphere changed to what seems like more of a lament by a regretful man, no longer stating the direction he would take us, but longing for a change, if only he ruled the world. It’s a beautiful twist on a great tune that stirs thoughts and adds flavours where none had previously existed.
We first covered Freedom Or Death a few months ago (here) but between then and now we came across an excellent remix of one of their songs, This Crowded Room, which has been turned into a dubstepping crunch of a tune by Club Seal, so this post seems like a good opportunity to also list that.
The pair are currently recording an album and hope to have it completed by Spring 2011. We look forward to keeping you posted on all developments from the Freedom Or Death camp as they continue to emerge through next year. (MB)
Are you getting hooked yet? Thought so. Well here is a little more Recommender juice to keep you pumped up and coming back for more. You adorable Recommender junkies you.
In my usual nosey manner I’ve been sifting through my favourite blogs online and located a couple of sounds that seem to be getting the chatter going. Our friends; Missing Toof, Disco Dust and You Can Call Me Pelski get the credit for tempting my nose of recent. The sound is a Hip Hop/Electro blend that’s spawned a couple of new tunes that I wanna throw your way.
Hip Hop and Electro blend surprisingly well and I’ve been more and more drawn to it of recent. With the more playful mix of rap lyrics over a twist of crunchy electro it seems to work real well. It keeps the Hip Hop more upbeat and danceable, whilst the rapping keeps the Electro lighter and both seem to lose their seriousness, which is no bad thing in a club.
The crossover sound has been flirted with for a while, ever since the lyrical assault of Uffie, or the popularity of DJ Mehdi, (who I’ve also listed below), and has often been seen in the fun(k) that Chromeo inject, so long may its evolution continue…
You will find the likes of Busy P, Flosstradamus and Danger on this Chicago rapper’s Myspace friends list, showing us his love for the gods of Electro. In truth, I don’t think his lyrics or vocal sound are as strong as others, but I think he is onto something with his overall soundscape and choice of collaborations. Laying words down over tuneful, choppy, electro riffs makes for a tidy set. Slower than the normal dance pace, but definitely crunchy, funky and dirty like all good electro is. I list below a cracking track from Danger that features Vyle. It provides the usual cinematic sound, (Danger’s tunes always seem like they’re straight out of a John Carpenter film…), with the DJ’s slow, pounding beats, while Vyle’s lyrics give a refreshing dimension.
THE AMERICAN DREAM TEAM
With the DJ Code-D fronting the mix, this is a team of guys utilising guitars, vocals and beats to full effect.
The breaks, rolling beats and fuzzy riffs make for an entertaining blend. Now releasing their own original creations, having only previously released remixes, they are a fine addition to any mp3 player. I list their tune Money VIP, which although full of Vocoder vocals and a dance tempo, is actually all about typically Hip Hop themes – As the lyric explains…”Money, Bitches, Cars, Clothes and Weed”. Need I say more?
Hear them here: THE AMERICAN DREAM TEAM – MONEY VIP
Well known to the blog world this superstar collaborator has been walking the planks for many years now. The French DJ and key friend to all things Ed Banger, DJ Mehdi has had many guises, either DJ’ing for other artists, or producing his own material. He is happy switching from dreamy Hip Hop to pacey Electro at a heartbeat and perfectly comfortable in either genre. Perhaps the master of this crossover sound, I list below a remix he’s done on the Ed Banger label that’s floated around the clubs this year, but still makes me smile every time I hear it. The tune is a commentary on the LA scene, originally by Busy P with lyrics by MURS, this mix has been suitably spiced up well by our man Mehdi. (Note – There’s also decent mixes of the same tune out there by Crookers and Mr.Oizo). As a little bonus I also attach the video for his song, Signatune, an original mix, edited by Daft Punk’s very own Thomas Bengalter. It’s a better example of the more electro end of the spectrum Mehdi encompasses.
So that’s a first – a little Hip Hop flavour for The Recommender. Be sure to look out soon for more familiar stuff returning for the next edition. I’m off to my usual hunting ground to shoot me some more meaty tunes for your listening pleasure. Click, lock…BOOM!