there’s always more with autoKratz…

Some bands make it seem too easy.  autoKratz are one of those bands.  The London duo has been making waves and making friends in the electronic/dance circuit in the last couple of years which has resulted in a deal with the Kitsune label and a major buzz. One listen to a song like Always More and it’s really not hard to see why. Minimal electronic dance pop at its finest. Everything is clean, everything is crystal. A tried and true dance progression and the lead…the lead…the not-quite dissonant lead. I just need to say how much I love the lead. For me, it makes the song. Add in the smooth vocals by singer/guitarist David Cox and you’ve got yourself a brilliant dance-pop track.

Their debut record Animal is out 3 March here in the States. Let’s hope they come out here for some shows because rumour has it, the duo absolutely kill it live.

autoKratz on MySpace
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“Always More” by autoKratz, from the forthcoming Kitsune release, “Animal”

the kinder, gentler kelis…

“Before you,
My whole life was acapella!
Now a symphony’s
The only song to sing
Before you,
My whole life was acapella!
Now a symphony’s
The only song to sing”


When we last saw Kelis, she was involved in a highly publicised divorce from her husband, the influential New York hip-hop icon, Nas. Two middling and transparent attempts to bother the pop charts in her native US and we find our heroine come to her senses and return to the margins where she seemed to draw his musical strength from and in turn present her best work. Her best work being found on her first two records, 1999’s Kaleidoscope and 2001’s Wanderland.

2010 will bring with it the arrival of a revived Kelis. A new label (Will.I.Am Music Group/Geffen), a new lease on the single life and now a new single. A very pretty and thumping single entitled Acapella. The song, produced by techno DJ/producer extraordinaire David Guetta, finds Kelis extolling the virtues that motherhood has brought to her life. Behind the pulsating drums and the minimalist synths, Kelis sings with such joy and contentment in a way I don’t think I’ve ever heard from her before.

It’s quite possible neither this single nor anything else off her forthcoming record will reach the charts quite like Milkshake or Bossy did but it’s good to see an artist back where she belongs and doing her thing. Welcome back, Ms. Rogers.

Kelis on MySpace
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“Acapella” by Kelis. Taken from the forthcoming Will.I.Am Music/Geffen release

all that’s left for you is doubt…

Not long ago, I featured a purely ferocious band out of Manchester called Delphic and their single Counterpoint with its beautiful arpeggios, bleeps and blips. It’s great to see that they’ve been getting a lot of attention recently. They’ve scored a pretty sweet gig as openers for fellow Mancunians, Doves, on their UK tour and now comes a brand spankin new single simply called Doubt.

Doubt is Delphic’s signature pop moment to date. Booming drums, an absolutely ridiculous bassline and a bangin’ chorus. One listen and you’d think you just heard a New Order track with a more melodic Kele Okereke from Bloc Party on vocals. The promotional film accompanying the single also further demonstrates Delphic’s run of striking videos. This is a band that truly understands the importance of the entire package. Sparkling electronic pop coupled with videos that are worth watching is quite the combination.

These guys are going places…

Delphic on Facebook
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“Doubt” by Delphic. Taken from the forthcoming Polydor release, “Acolyte”

this is like a flashback…

“I’m coming round and now my vision is so clear
If I could change my state of mind then I would disappear
The love I get from you is something I can’t chance
And I could let you slip away without a second glance

Oh hai, Calvin! You’re back! Third time’s the charm, eh? Your new record Ready For The Weekend has been playing at Chez Billy for quite a spell now and I must commend you on this most solid choice of a third single. Continuing in the arena electro you’ve been on, Flashback does not deviate from that path one iota. One part kitchen-sink drama and two parts non-stop fist-pumping action and all fire. It’s hard to say which track is my personal favourite from the record but it’s safe to say that so far you’re coming up aces in what songs are being tapped for mass consumption and I do believe the masses are consuming! By the way, I better see some free tix coming my way when you come back to New York. These glowing words of praise don’t come cheap, ya know?

Your pal, Billy!

Calvin Harris on MySpace
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“Flashback” by Calvin Harris, taken from the Ultra release, “Ready For The Weekend”

there’s something in the water in manchester…

“Late at night, I’ll run through the streets and empty corridors.
I’ll find my counterpoint, inside a red room locked behind a door. Behind a door”

I mean, really. It simply is not fair. There must be more musical talent in Manchester, England than the whole US eastern seaboard. You know the names that have come out of that town from the past and the present so I won’t waste your time here. This post’s aim is to add another name to the Mancunian legend. Today I bring you Delphic! A talented quartet whose sound aims to bring back the point in trance music by bringing it back to basics. To be more specific, theirs is a sound that simply reduce the trance form down to its most basic element: a song. They take it from there with that mindset and create something very pure and very enticing to the listener.

This is quite evident here in the song featured here which is their debut single entited Counterpoint. It’s a song Paul Van Dyk could have written if he focused more on songwriting instead of his grandiose epic journeys. It really is a beautiful song to say the least. The production is right on. The arpeggios. The pristine drums… I could go on but you simply have to listen for yourself!

The band’s debut record Acolyte is due to hit stores in January via Polydor. It’s a safe bet this will be a early highlight of the year in music 2010.

Delphic on Facebook
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“Counterpoint (Live in Amsterdam 19.02.2009)” by Delphic. Original version featured on forthcoming Polydor release, “Acolyte”

can you dance? yes…you can.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? When two titans collide and a magic so organic and so perfect simply happens and you’re left to wonder what ever kept these forces apart in the first place? Don’t believe me? Grab a listen to U Can Dance, the blistering new single from two of the bigger gigolos we’ve come across in recent memory. On one side, we’ve got International Dee Jay Gigolos headman himself, DJ Hell and the incomparable ladies’ man of glam, Roxy Music icon Bryan Ferry. It’s fair to say the resumes of each artist is known to all of you so it really doesn’t bear repeating here. The single is release in January and will feature remixes from the likes of Carl Craig, Simian Mobile Disco and Tim Goldsworthy from the DFA crew. Heavyweights remixing heavyweights. It’s only right.

The song itself is a banger. A nine-minute mindbomb that dares you to be satisfied with a simple headbop. Oh no no…this one will get you out of your computer chair and into the club as you slither and sway to the groove. This track is hot.

DJ Hell on MySpace
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Bryan Ferry on MySpace
Bryan Ferry on Facebook

“U Can Dance” by DJ Hell featuring Bryan Ferry

i’m gonna buy shoes and i’m ready for the weekend!

“Counterfeit, counterfeit
That’s what you’re shouting at me
I could run but I’d sooner have this
And I make her bleed
Lick the blood stain from your finger
Say what do you see?
Remind you that whatever you get is
What you want it to be”

Well…umm…damn. If I’m Not Alone in its stadium-rave glory wasn’t enough of an enticement to get one warmed up, it’s safe to say that this, the second single from Calvin Harris and the title track to the new record will be.  Ready For The Weekend turns things down a slight notch on the bpms but definitely keeps the fun right where it should be. Possibly the poppiest of his singles to date rivalling the highs of The Girls, Ready For The Weekend finds our lovable hero employing a new wave sound even more retro than Acceptable In The 80s and with an extra kick supplied by Mary Pearce in the chorus.

Really, the best way to describe this song is simply by repeating how much fun it is! This begs to be played on the dancefloor in its original version. No need for remixes as it would be quite a kick to see a bunch of clubbers pogoing like it was 1982.  Ready For The Weekend is out the 6th of October via Ultra. Consider the change of labels a good thing since it was obvious Columbia had no idea how to market CH in the States. Shocker….

“Ready For The Weekend” by Calvin Harris, taken from the forthcoming Ultra release, “Ready For The Weekend”