Interview – Dan Croll

With his new album ‘Emerging Adulthood,’ released on 21st July, I had the privilege of having a phone interview with Dan Croll to talk about the release of the album and his most recent single Bad Boy, inspired by the common phase of wanting to be a bad boy but it ‘just never worked out.’ We talked inspirations, processes, his ‘organic, alternative angle’ of pop and how music wasn’t always his plan.

Your new album is released in 3 days, how are you feeling about it?

I think… all of the emotions. I’m very proud of it, I’m very excited about getting it out, quite nervous about it too, but yeah I think mainly just excited though.

What can we expect from your album?

I think, compared to the first album, it’s a lot more straight to the point, I think it’s a bit more immediate. The way that it was recorded was kind of like a high intensity environment so I think that comes across in the album quite a bit as well.

Your album is called ‘Emerging Adulthood,’ does that name give us a suggestion of the themes of the songs or anything like that?

Yeah, well the name came from a book that I was reading, I guess it was kind of like a research paper almost, where it was talking about people who, are now more than ever they’ve got an endless amount of opportunities, unlimited resources, and people leave college or university and now they can do whatever they want; they can talk to people on the other side of the world, they can travel, and technology is so much more accessible. I think that’s really exciting for some people, but I think other people find it quite overwhelming, I think I maybe found it a little bit overwhelming too. So I think the album is about assessing options and trying to find the right route to take and trying to find a bit of confidence.

Did you feel like that when you left university?

Yeah, I think I felt it then because music was such a new thing for me. I’ve always kind of felt a little bit on the back-foot, a little bit amateur because my close friends and then other artists and bands you know a lot of them have been doing this since like ‘oh I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since I was eight,’ whereas for me I was seventeen/ eighteen and I went straight into a music institute and then before long was out of the music institute and into the industry and so it’s very new. Also after the first album I kind of hit a few personal hurdles and so I was assessing whether I could do another album, and how I should do it, and where I should go and stuff like that so I had a lot of moments where I felt like that.

Music wasn’t always your plan then?

No music was quite a late plan for me. My main focus was sport, was rugby, and I was playing that all of my life up until about seventeen when I broke my leg and it all ended quite abruptly and couldn’t really get back into it and yeah so I was like well I do a bit of music so I guess I’ll go for that.

So what was the first song you ever wrote?

The first song I ever wrote was a song called ‘Marion’ which I think is on Youtube somewhere, but yeah that’s the first track I wrote.

Was that when you were at uni?

Ah no that was when I was about eighteen, seventeen/ eighteen.

When did you start writing this album?

I wrote it not long after we finished the first album, so maybe it was 2015 maybe, so I’ve had it for a while, I just hit a few hurdles along the way which really delayed it, and so yeah it’s quite strange to think that actually I wrote it quite a long time ago. I definitely want to do a third album a lot quicker.

What’s your song writing process?

My process I think is maybe a little bit different to others, I think a lot of people tend to write lyrics first, or a melody, stuff like that but I actually always start with the rhythm, with the drums. I find it really hard to work on songs if I don’t feel like they’ve got a strong foundation so I’ll usually spend a lot of time trying to find the right tempo, the right beat, the right drums, percussion, stuff like that, and then I’ll build it from the ground up rather than the top down.

How would you describe your music to someone who might not have heard it before?

Ummmm… pop haha. It’s quite simply pop but I think from more of a kind of organic, alternative angle than what’s in the Top 20.

What were your inspirations music wise?

My inspiration mainly came from my mum who played a lot of big song writers, I think mainly American song writers strangely, a lot of Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, and then others like ABBA and people like that, the big ones.

What are you listening to right now?

At the moment I’ve been listening to The Lemon Twigs, Bedouine umm yeah I think that’s it. I’ve been so buried up to my neck in my own music that I’m not listening to a great deal of new stuff at the moment.

So your single ‘Bad Boy’ has already been released, where did the inspiration for that come from?

Once I’d done the album I was reflecting a lot on moments leading up to now and there’s a phase that I think is quite common with a lot of people, where they kind of have this rebellious phase. I think mine and my friends were around high school where it’s a common phase of either you want to go out with a bad boy/ bad girl or you wanted to be the bad boy/ bad girl, the stereotypical American High School kind of bad boy. But it just never worked out. And the song is just about being confident in your own skin and not needing to do that.

The music video for that, and you’ve also released a couple of other videos for tracks off your new album, who comes up with the ideas for your music videos?

Most of them have been me, with a couple of exceptions, I always like to be as involved as possible with music videos but at the same time things just get so busy that you’ve got to just hand it over to someone else.

They’re all so interesting though as well, like the ones from your last album, with the green screen for ‘In/Out’

Yeah haha that was a pretty low budget video.

It was great, I like that one a lot! Do you enjoy making them?

Truthfully? Not particularly. They’re really tough things to do you know? You wanna get your message across, you wanna get everything across in the right way but there’s so many ways to do it and yeah it’s quite a stressful thing that I don’t particularly look forward to music videos that often, but usually once they’re done and they’re out I feel a lot more confident about them.

Since your first album do you think your style has changed?

I think so, I think it’s stepped away a little bit from the more acoustic to the more electronic, but I think just the process in the production has changed the most. That first album was recorded in an old school gym with just me and my mates, begged and borrowed equipment and I guess a little bit DIY, but a very fun way of doing it. But then the second album has gone the complete opposite way where it’s been just me writing it all and I play all the instruments on the album and we recorded it in a very clean, polished, professional studio in Atlanta, and so it’s been quite a different process, but I kind of like that, I wanted to go the opposite way for this one.

Did you enjoy one process more than the other?

I think equally because they’re both just very different and hopefully the next one will be different as well, I think I’m quite… I don’t know what the word… I guess impatient or I guess I kind of bore easily so I want things to continuously change as much as possible, so it’s all exciting.

Are you looking forward to touring your new album?

Yes, really excited to get back out on the road! Especially we’ve got an American tour coming up in September and then we’re looking at a European and UK tour after that, so yeah I’m really looking forward to that.

Do you have a most memorable moment from one of your gigs?

Ah they’re all pretty memorable, there’s a lot of amazing venues out there and the fans a lot of them stay, but a lot of them are new as well and yeah just all really cool.

Dan’s album is released on the 21st July (THIS FRIDAY!!) so get excited and find it on Spotify, iTunes and www.dancroll.com 

 

Student Radio Association Training Day hosted by Insanity Radio and Smoke Radio
Student Radio Association Training Day hosted by Insanity Radio and Smoke Radio

Insanity and Smoke Radio host the SRA Training Day – 12th October

The summer may be nearly over but we are very excited to share an exciting event that we’ve been organising over the long holiday! On 12th October, Insanity Radio have teamed up with Smoke Radio to bring you the Student Radio Association Training Day for London and East Anglia. Hosted at the Cavendish Campus of the University of Westminster, the day includes workshops from guest speakers who work in radio today and a chance to meet members of other student radio stations from the region. After the training day, there will also be the nominations party for the Student Radio Awards 2016 supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global.

The day runs from 9:30am until 5pm, with the nominations party later in the evening, and it’s completely free! All you need to attend is to be a paid member of Insanity Radio (or the Student Radio Association) and click ‘going’ on the Facebook event below. Please only select ‘going’ on the Facebook event if you are positive you can make it as there are limited places! If you have any questions contact Beth, Head of Training, on [email protected] and we look forward to seeing you at the training day!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1762805977308907/

ALBUM REVIEW: Netsky – '3'

Originally published on inthemeantime.me.uk

When it comes to the drum and bass scene, the first artist that usually comes to mind for me is either Sigma or Netsky. But as this title suggests, this is not a review of Sigma, today I’ve decided to review the highly anticipated third album by Netsky.

For me, I only got to know about Netsky after the start of the new year when I heard ‘Rio’ which features Digital Farm Animals. The chilled out vibes and the slower tempo, combined with the DnB made for a quaint mix which I personally liked, a lot. It was not until I discovered ‘Work It Out’ which also featured Digital Farm Animals, that I actually became a fan of his music. It was certainly a departure from my usual tropical house and cheese vibe, but I liked it.

Three Tracklist:

  1. Thunder feat. Emeli Sande
  2. Work it Out feat. Digital Farm Animals
  3. Rio feat. Digital Farm Animals
  4. Leave it Alone feat. Saint Raymond
  5. Who Knows feat. Paije
  6. Go 2
  7. High Alert feat. Sara Hartman
  8. TNT feat. Dave 1 from Chromeo
  9. Stay Up With Me feat. Arlissa
  10. Forget What You Look Like feat. Lowell
  11. Bird of Paradise
  12. Jauz X Netsky – Higher

I’ll try not to talk about every song..

To kick things off, Netsky partners up with Emeli Sande to produce ‘Thunder’. Starting with a string based instrumental introduction, it was an immediate cue for me to continue listening. In fact it became one of my favourite songs on the entire album. Emeli’s vocals were perfect for this song. I was glad to see that ‘Work it Out’ and ‘Rio’ were on this album because they were the first songs that made me a fan and so to see them on his third studio album made smile. ‘Leave it Alone’ was an interesting song which I found to be very funky in its approach. The backing vocals reminded me of ‘Higher’ by Sigma, but when the beat came in after the intro, I knew I’d like this song, and it certainly did not disappoint. But what surprised me the most was the next song. ‘Who Knows’ was certainly a surprising package. The mellow vibes along with the combination of string instruments and Paije’s vocals (which reminded me of John Newman) made for a beautiful song. ‘TNT’ was a departure from Netsky’s usual vibe. It was funky, it was something that I really got into. I think the vocals by Chromeo assisted in adding a certain degree of funkiness. No complaints though, I really like Chromeo as an artist and so to see them back is a welcome thing to see.

Whilst looking for music, I’ve been gathering lots of songs which I’ve found to be chilled in its approach, and I found a new songs to add to my list in ‘Who Knows’ and ‘Bird of Paradise’. In ‘Bird of Paradise’, the beautiful mixture of ambient noises, string instruments and piano, juxtaposed with the drum and bass beat makes for a wonderful combination.

‘Go 2’ showed promise. I could just about grasp a beat to the song. But it’s not something that I would say I enjoyed. Instead lets just say that it left me confused. Some songs that didn’t seem to hit the right chord with me were ‘Stay Up With Me’ and ‘Forget What you Look Like’. With these though, they’re not necessarily bad songs. They are in fact pretty good. They have the standard vibe that you would expect of a DnB-based album. However, I feel this is one occasion where releasing instrumental versions first followed by the release of the versions with vocals as ‘remixes’ might have made me enjoy it a lot more. I can certainly get into those songs, I just think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if it had been released as an original mix and a separate vocal remix. Something that is commonplace in the music industry, especially when it comes to EDM.

The Verdict..

The verdict from me personally is generally positive. I’ve criticised a few songs (sort of). Just like most EDM these days, there has been a shift in what can be considered ‘mainstream’. I’ve seen DnB evolve with that shift. From liquid DnB to just full on dirty DnB, you will always find something that you will enjoy. The thing I saw with Netsky was that there weren’t moments when the quality of the album peaked or troughed. Instead, it remained consistent. His style always shone through which is what we generally expect. We want more, but we want their type of more. The only gripes I had were based on my own confusion or what I would consider to be a better way to release the tracks. This certainly does not mean that it was flawless, but putting all my little gripes to one side, I will put my hands up and say that I loved this album.

TRANSVIOLET: "Seeing the World Not As It Is, But How It Could Be"

Among a wave of young artists writing songs which not only represent entertainment, but also a defiant statement that their generation is as aspirational and determined as any other previously, US electropop quartet Transviolet stand out not only for their brilliant music but also the message behind it. Sarah McTaggart (vocals), Judah McCarthy (guitar), Michael Panek (bass) and Jon Garcia (drums) were in the midst of their first headline tour of the UK when Insanity Radio caught up with them. At the Boston Music Rooms in London, we met to talk about their music, “millenials”, and their plans for the summer festival season and beyond.

Insanity Radio: How has your tour been going so far?

Sarah: Amazing! It’s our first headline run in the UK, so we didn’t know what to expect, but a lot of the kids we met on the Twenty One Pilots tour have been coming to these shows and it’s been fun.

Insanity: So far, what have you found are the main differences between touring in America and here in Europe and the UK?

Sarah: You guys have a lot of stairs.

Mike: The drives are much shorter.

Judah: Yeah, it’s easier to get from venue to venue. Also, most venues and clubs here allow younger kids in, which we’re very appreciative of as a large number of our fans are younger. We prefer having younger kids in the room ‘cause they’re crazier, louder and get the older cool kids to get into it too.

Insanity: How have you found the difference between playing as a support, as with Twenty One Pilots, and stepping up to play your own headline shows?

Sarah: I think as a support act, the people there are usually there for the headliner, which is great ‘cause you’re making new fans, but the pro of being a headliner is that the crowd are there for you and are singing your songs back to you.

Judah: When the people in the room are singing at the same volume as the music coming from the stage, that’s awesome.

Insanity: You’ve got a four-track EP out right now, what is your favourite song on it to perform live?

Sarah, Jon and Judah together: “Night Vision”.

Mike: For me, “Bloodstream”’s pretty fun.

Judah: Yeah, we’ve been opening our set with “Bloodstream” and it’s a cool dark, heavy way to start the set.

Sarah: And we’ve added a new intro to it, which is pretty awesome.

Insanity: Nice! So when you write songs, do you think about how you’re going to play them live?

 Mike: I hadn’t, but now I’m starting to.

Judah: On our record, and with all the songs we’ve written, I record as much guitar as possible so it’s impossible to play live.

Sarah: There are normally about seven layers.

Judah: I can’t recreate it, so I have to write something new to play live!

Insanity: When you’re writing songs, do you tend to start with one musical idea, or a lyric; how does your songwriting process work, in effect?

Sarah: I think it’s different every time, sometimes I’ll come in with vocals over piano chords, ask the guys what they think about it and start adding things. But sometimes it’s the opposite, one of the guys, who all produce now, will come in with a track and ask what we think about it, so then I start writing vocals over that. It’s different every time.

Insanity: The lyrics to Girls Your Age” struck me as very emotional and interesting, did that come from a personal story?

Sarah: Definitely, it’s my personal coming of age story, talking about the first time I was in love, or thought I was. It’s about being young and a bit naïve, and being in love with somebody older, and looking back trying to understand those feelings now that I’m older. It’s kind of a cliché, the younger girl falls for the older guy and she’s manipulated, but I don’t know if I was manipulated or who was manipulating whom. I couldn’t work out fully what the story was, so I wrote the song to try and figure it out myself.

Insanity: The other standout song on the EP is “New Bohemia”. It’s a very positive way of presenting young people which is rare in the media, was that a conscious decision?

Sarah: Yeah, I was looking for a way to describe our generation as I saw it, because there is a stigma about our generation that everybody’s entitled and lazy, and we have no game plan for the future, but I don’t think that’s the case – I think there are a lot of young people who are intelligent and resourceful and want to change the world for the better.

Insanity: British media right now seems to have an obsession with the term “millenials”…

Sarah: Yeah it’s the same in the States. It has a really negative connotation attached to it. I feel like we’ve been handed a timebomb, told to suck it up and stopped whining.

Insanity: What’s cool about “New Bohemia” is that it expresses that everybody is individual, in contrast to the idea of “millenials” putting a blanket term on people with real differences.

Sarah: It labels everyone in the same way, as if we’re all just sitting here chanting Drake lyrics and drinking or something. Not all millenials are the same.

Insanity: In summer you’re coming back for Reading & Leeds Festivals, have you done any big festivals in Europe before?

Jon: We just played our first festival, but we didn’t know it was going to be a festival.

Judah: Until we got there we had no idea what it was!

Sarah: When we got there it was fun. It was called “Les Nuits”.

Judah: (Struggling with French pronunciation). It was “The Nights”, anyway, in… French? Anyway, it was awesome, a great country to play in.

Insanity: Do you know much about Reading & Leeds, or the lineup?

Judah: We’ve been asking around since we got here.

Sarah: Everyone tells us to wear shoes we don’t mind getting messed up.

Judah: We’re playing quite a few festivals this summer, and I don’t want to know too much about the lineup ahead of time ‘cause at any festival we do play, there’s so many bands that we want to see but there’s no time. You show up, play your set, do promo and press and then you leave.

Jon: I know we’re playing the same day as Red Hot Chili Peppers so I’m looking forward to that.

Sarah: Isn’t Die Antwoord playing? I want to see them if there’s any way, they put on quite a show.

Judah: I know the lineup’s incredible, I remember looking through it and thinking “oh my god!”… it’s stacked.

Insanity: Are you planning on putting out any new music before then?

Sarah: Probably not… it’s not up to us, we have music finished and ready to go, we’re ready to put it out when everyone else is.

Judah: We’re sitting on a trigger just waiting for the word.

Insanity: If there were any festival or venue in the world you haven’t played yet that you could, what would you pick?

Mike: Red Rocks is what Judah would say.

Judah: Well that’s a venue, but Glastonbury is the top of my bucket list. We’re also playing Governor’s Ball in the States this year, which is a big one for me. There’s so many…

Sarah: Coachella!

Jon: Coachella would be cool ‘cause it’s so close to all our friends in California; it’s where they all go.

Mike: I know which one I want to play, it’s one in Alabama called Hangout Festival, it’s on the beach and every stage is literally right on the water.

Judah: I’d like to do a tour like Lollapalooza, I know they have one in South America now, and I think they have one in Germany as well. All the festivals!

Insanity: You’ve toured America and you’ve been over here in Europe and the UK, where else in the world would you like to head to next?

Judah: Asia, Japan…

Sarah: I’d like to do Asia because it’s so culturally different to us.

Jon: Australia as well…

Mike: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait… all the good ones!

Judah: Mike’s on tour by himself there! (jokingly) North Korea?

Insanity: So one final question: for someone unfamiliar with Transviolet, how would you sum up what your band represents?

Laura: Seeing the world not how it is, but how it could be.

Judah: Yeah, that’s good.

Mike: That’s the headline.

(Interview conducted by Michael Bird.)

Check out our gig review of Transviolet at the Boston Music Rooms. The band’s self-titled EP is out now.

GAME REVIEW: Resident Evil Zero (PC HD-Remastered)

Background

Resident Evil Zero for the PC is a HD-Remaster of Resident Evil Zero which was a horror game from the Resident Evil Franchise that was released back in January 2002. However, unlike more recent entires in the franchise such as Resident evil 5 or 6, which have more action packed content. Resident Evil Zero instead focuses on the survival horror aspect of the genre. Each encounter feels tense and with you having to ration bullets while spending much of your time in the iconic Spencer Mansion. This is due to the fact this game takes place sometime before the events of the first game which had a HD-Remaster back January 2015. As such, much of the games events play in a dramatic, ironic manner, with the idea of planning the doomed Bravo Squad in the events that would inspire a franchise. However, the game is a HD-Remaster of a previous HD-Remaster, as such graphically at times it feels dated but the updated visuals and smoothness feel impressive. The game takes what makes horror important; the loneliness, the ugliness of the monsters and the feeling of dread. Nothing is worse than going into a boss battle with nothing but the bare essentials to fight your enemy.

Story

The events of Resident Evil Zero focus as a way of explaining elements of fluff that are left unanswered in resident evil 1. Such as how did Rebecca Chambers survive despite being a rookie in the team, what caused the zombie outbreak in Spencer mansion in the first place. However, the main point of the story in the game is focused on Rebecca Chambers and a new character Billy Coen. As they attempt to survive and understand what exactly caused the zombie outbreak, which if I were to go into would be a spoiler that I believe would somewhat ruin the experience of the game. As with horror games the fear of the unknown is perhaps the greatest fear to be had. As such, even though you can swap between Rebecca and Billy with ease you are not able to play cooperativity. This I think is a good idea, as it helps build tension in the game as you have to depend on yourself and considering at several points in the game you have to use a certain character it would be a burden to make this a cooperativity game. This leads me to my discussion of the mechanics of the game.

Mechanics

The main mechanics in the game that separate Resident Evil Zero from other entires in the franchise, is that the game has a tank controller style of combat and fixed camera placements needed to aim then shoot. As such I found it best to use a controller as whenever I used the keyboard it would seem to become a burden and even harder to think, plan and play. Perhaps this is more of an issue of the games port as the game’s first release was made with the idea of controllers in mind. However, even then the game takes some time getting used to considering how different this style of gameplay to other more recent entires to the franchise. Furthermore, with the regards to the fixed camera placements, they can be both spooky and annoying as you may hear a zombie moans just beyond the camera so you can’t shoot the creature but it could also prove annoying in boss battles were you may not be able to shoot at a boss weak point due to the poor placement of a camera.

The other major mechanic to mention is the ability to swap and change characters at points in the game which allows you help co-ordinate and attack enemies. This can be useful and annoying at times. As you could for example give your weapons to Rebecca only to find out she is going to become unplayable meaning you’re going to have possibly fight a number of enemies with barley any allies. Or worse during a boss encounter Rebecca may become pre-occupied in a boss grip and the best tool you have is a knife…

The last major addition is the Wesker mode which lets you replace Billy with Alber Wesker who has a more powerful attack and is more for fan-service for those who finish the game. As such it’s a rather nice little gift but nothing that really adds to the game as a whole.

Sound Design

The sound design is an interesting subject area, as the game’s music and soundtrack builds the element of fear and dread. However, the voice acting work at times can feel rather jarring and out of place. I’m not sure if this is due to the game’s initial translation or attempt to rush the game out. Nevertheless, at times the dialogue spoken feels cheesy which if the developers of the game were aiming have succeed. If that is not the case then I am at a loss as to why there is such a difference in the ability of the characters to speak without sounding like they are reading from a script…

Conclusion

The game succeeds in being a HD-Remaster of the game, at least in the basics of the port. Have a controller. If you don’t have a controller then you will struggle; you can still play the game with some difficulty. This notwithstanding, the jarring dialogue and the dated fixed camera angels and tank controls at times feel like a limitation and less an attempt to get harken back to the good old days of horror. As such I would give this game a 7 out of 10. As there are points in this game that I felt scared for myself but much of the time I was confused by how weird the dialogue sounded or by my inability to shoot a zombie despite being with 3 feet from them.

Score

7 out of 10

 

Winter Welfare Wednesdays – Working with Age UK

The Insanity Radio Community Team have been working with Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne this term, to create an exciting campaign known as ‘Winter Welfare Wednesdays’. Its main aim was to combat loneliness in older individuals, especially during the winter months.

It involved members of the Community Team having a natter with older individuals, talking about their experiences as well as looking ahead towards future goals they would like to achieve. They also gave strong advice to individuals who are facing a lonely Christmas. These interviews were then broadcast on the Community Hour (Wednesdays, 6-7pm). You can listen back to these interviews any time on our Soundcloud and Mixcloud accounts:

www.soundcloud.com/insanity-community

www.mixcloud.com/InsanityRadioCommunity

I would like to personally thank all the team here at Insanity Radio for making this campaign an exciting and heart warming experience. I would also like to thank Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne for all their help in bringing this campaign to life. Finally, I would like to thank all the individuals we interviewed: you are all radio stars and are welcome back any time on Insanity Radio!

— Jon O’Shea – Head of Community Outreach

ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS: Chvrches – "Empty Threat"

Insanity Radio's Favourite Songs of 2015

2015 has seen the release of an incredible array of new music, and picking the very best songs of the year is a challenge. Fortunately, the Insanity Radio music team are here to bring you their favourite songs of the past 12 months! Maybe you’ll find a new favourite yourself…

Continue reading “Insanity Radio's Favourite Songs of 2015”

ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS: Fleur East – "Sax"

#Woraklsweek Day 7 – "Chemin"

 

 

It’s the 7th and final day of ‪#‎Woraklsweek‬ so let’s end with a fantastic finish. Throughout the course of this week I have posted a different song by the amazingly talented French DJ, who as of yet has not even remotely gained the appreciation he deserves. Worakls specialises in Minimalist House and constructs some truly beautiful atmospheres for us to just melt away into. I really hope these songs have given you an awesome insight into his work and have opened your eyes to the possibilities of electronic music today.

 

Our final song is “Chemin”. I won’t say too much about how Worakls put this one together, as I’m sure you’re already aware of how beautiful Worakls weaves different melodic fragments in and out of focus, creating an amazingly mellow vibe to chill you out. What makes this song particularly amazing is the different pitched percussion instruments that are use to simulate the different noises that rain can create in a city. Hearing this song while out and about is definitely the best experience it can give you as it really makes you think about how different each and every sounds can appear to you if you give it the chance. The overtones are all there in our natural world and through this change in perception – as cheesy as this is going to sound – music really can be anywhere.

 

So one final time for this week, and hopefully in the future if you stumble across more of the genius of Worakls in your travels, I give you this parting gift: “Chemin.”

 

Adam Hitchen

#Woraklsweek Day 6 – "Porto"

 

 

Day 6 of ‪#‎Woraklsweek‬. Each day I’ll post a different song by the amazingly talented French DJ, who as of yet has not even remotely gained the appreciation he deserves. Worakls specialises in Minimalist House and constructs some truly beautiful atmospheres for us to just melt away into.

 

Saturday is a day for a samba, so I thought I’d go with something with a bit of a Spanish flavour for today’s track: “Porto“.

 

The track is centred entirely around layering different acoustic guitar parts while sticking to the tried and tested house beat. The assymetrical phrasing of the melody helps to keep the track fresh (along with each new musical layer) and works over the slow, trance-like chord movement that borrows from Spanish folk songs to bring a typical flavour of Flamenco music into your dose of electronica.

 

Once again, the name of the game is subtlety and reflectiveness – and the tune is one of the best Worakls has produced. Ladies, gentlemen and people of fluid or non-specified gender, I present to you “Porto“.

 

~ Adam Hitchen

Album Review – "Lady Sings The Blues", Rebecca Ferguson

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As the weather is slowly (very slowly) getting warmer, and the days are getting longer, and balmy, lazy afternoons are once again in sight, what better way to chill out and melt into relaxation than by listening to the languid, soothing tones of Rebecca Ferguson? Her brand-new album is called Lady Sings the Blues, and is a fitting tribute to the legendary era of Swing and Jazz. The influences of Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Amy Winehouse are clear, although Rebecca’s distinctive tone manages to leave her own individual stamp on the songs.

 

The tracks themselves vary in tone within the genre: from the upbeat and joyful ‘Get Happy’ (if you deny clicking your fingers along to that one then I don’t believe you), to the melancholic yet romantic ‘Embraceable You’. My personal favourites of the album are ‘That Old Devil Called Love’ and the wonderful ‘Summertime’, both classic songs that Rebecca does sweet justice to. If you have a penchant for the old-era vintage swing blues, then this collection is the ideal soundtrack to your afternoon of lazing in an armchair or snuggling up with that special someone. The perfect accompaniment to a smooth red wine, or a glass of G&T with cucumber.

 

~ Eleanor Goodman