Articles tagged with LCD Soundsystem

Top 5 from 2004 #1: NY Excuse / Another Excuse by Soulwax

November 21

My choice for the best song from 2004 to dance to might be a little bit controversial, as it’s not one of the most popular songs from that year, but it’s one you’ve doubtlessly heard on a dancefloor somewhere. Belgium’s Soulwax released Any Minute Now in 2004, and for the track “NY Excuse,” enlisted the help of Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem / Juan Maclean / guest vocalist par excellence. It’s a piece of electropop perfection, so reminiscent of the vestiges of electroclash but by 2004 somehow fresher and more fun than that whole movement ever was. Whang’s vocals are fun, ridiculous, silly, angry, all at once, and the song’s rollercoaster synths rise and rise and rise to a huge crescendo. Not only is the original fantastic, but later in 2004, what might be the definitive version of the track, “Another Excuse,” featuring the remixing assistance of the DFA, aka James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy. Behind their steady hands, the track becomes a haunted house ride, veering between dark disco alleyways, down creepy neon-lit avenues, and seemingly hitting an out of control hairpin turn every few measures. It’s one of the DFA’s best works (and that’s saying a lot) and a song that never gets old, never sounds anything less than perfect for the moment you slip it on.

Best of 2004
#1 – “NY Excuse” / “Another Excuse” – Soulwax
#2 – “Banquet” – Bloc Party
#3 – “Hounds of Love” – the Futureheads
#4 – “I Predict a Riot” – the Kaiser Chiefs
#5 – “I Disappear” – the Faint

In preparing for our upcoming party Head On: 2014 vs 2004, we’re each counting down our 5 favorite songs from our respective years. I’ll be representing 2004 so my task is a pretty fun one for blogging. I thought about how to decide which 5 songs were best. I decided to pick the 5 best songs from 2004 to dance to, rather than just my 5 favorites or something, because that would get obscure and include stuff like Shocking Pinks. Some of these songs I remember dancing to in 2004, some I was playing at dance parties and loved the way people danced.

April 26

I’ve had a long and torrid love affair with italo disco. From trying to figure out where Felix da Housecat and Metro Area got their inspirations to trying to ask Tuscan record merchants if they had anything from the 80s in broken Italian, I’ve long sought to know its once mysterious ways. 2012 finds a great deal of italo floating around, freely grabbable on the information superhighway, and great swathes of soundcloud dedicated to italo edits.

Raf’s “Self Control” was one of the first italo songs I heard, and still one of my favorites. Famously covered by Laura Branigan and turned into a top 10 single here in the US in 1984, it’s an easy in to italo disco for most casual fans. It even had one of the kitschiest videos of the italo era. Italian whiz Bottin (of Nang and Italians Do It Better fame) has gotten his dirty paws on the track and tickled the beast into a fiercer dancefloor creature, writhing through silky waves of synthesizer, propelled by skeletal snare hits. Bottin steals the best bits of the extended cut of the song while lopping off the bizarrely cheesy rap found in that version.

Bottin popped on my radar this week already, before I stumbled upon this excellent edit. His recently produced cover of LCD Soundsystem’s You Wanted a Hit, entirely in Italian and the style of italo, is one of the best things I’ve heard in ages. Go check out his soundcloud for more goodness, grab a download of this Self Control edit, and then pick up “Volevi una Hit” when it comes out on vinyl in early May.

/// Brian Blackout

April 24

You Don’t Have To Settle’s Dope Werewolf just hurled his latest mix into the world and it took my ears on one hell of a joyride. The title, How To Wreck a Nice Beat, points to Dave Tompkin’s recent book How To Wreck a Nice Beach on the history of the vocoder, and, much like that machine, which shatters human speech into tiny electronic shards and reconstitutes it for maximum robotic effect, this mix digests dance music from the ‘60s forward- witness The Trashmen’s bird-surfing “Papa-ooh-mow-mow”s getting spun into the Human Beatbox’s punctuated dry heaves and Penguin Prison’s nu-disco stomp to dizzying effect- and spits out a swirl of far-flung reference points that always manages to somehow stay cohesive. Absorbing globe-stepping sounds from Senegal (Ndiogou Seck) and Brazil (Tom Zé), as well as rolling German electro-fathers Kraftwerk and their Bronx funk son Afrika Baambaataa into a tightly rolled ball of synthetic sheen and analog pulse right in the middle of the mix, this set showcases Dope Werewolf’s skills not just as well-honed DJ, but as a full-on dance floor ethnomusicologist. Break out your pens and notebooks, kids, class is definitely in session.

Dope Werewolf will be DJing along with the rest of the YDH2S crew at Ugly Rhino’s Cinco De Mayo blowout on Saturday May 5th at the Magic Futurebox in Brooklyn. Full details are here.

– Spoolwork