#Review: Chromeo – Head Over Heels ūüφ


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerChromeo are an electro-funk duo from Canada, consisting of David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel. To date, the pair have released four studio albums, but Head Over Heels marks their fifth album and debut release with our pals over at Atlantic Records.

Chromeo - Head Over Heels.jpg

The first I knew of Chromeo, was their remix of Maroon 5‘s ‘Wait’ (as featured on our re:MIXTAPE playlist), so I must be forgiven for not having heard much of their back catalogue. However, taking this album at face value, it is a strong release with a stunningly contemporary take on disco and funk music.

Having worked together for the past 15 years, it’s clear to see that these guys have perfected their sound, which is a perfect amalgamation of modern, electro-pop music with synth-driven disco and bass-slapping funk.

This is certainly an album that doesn’t take itself too seriously – it’s intentionally fun and funky, with its saucy innuendos and genre-perfect production qualities, the likes of Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers would be proud of.

The album kick-starts with the tantalising¬†‘Must’ve Been’¬†(featuring¬†DRAM) – a slap bass, groovy-guitar, vocoder-infused anthem, that excellently demonstrates what’s in store throughout the rest of the record.

With the music up and a house to yourself (…or packed with friends), there really will be no holding you back!

Other memorable moments include the wonderfully repetitive¬†‘Don’t Sleep’ (featuring French Montana¬†and¬†Stefflon Don)¬†with its laid-back 80s vibes and sensational vocal harmonies, whilst¬†‘One Track Mind’¬†is an understated yet seriously catchy track consisting of beautiful talk box, vocal melodies towards the end – it’s very similar to something you might hear by¬†Charlie Puth.

Meanwhile,¬†‘Bad Decision’¬†is all about splashing the cash on a girl and has a definite¬†Prince-esque vibe to it; high-pitched vocals on top of some superb little guitar riffs and¬†‘Right Back Home To You (Interlude)’¬†is a track you can get surprisingly hooked on – think funky soul meets jazz lounge, topped with sweeping high-pitched vocals; there’s a real 70s quality to it.

Towards the end of the album, it all comes together on the two-part, ‘Bedroom Calling’. Part One is a truly anthemic mellow jam with atmospheric, reverb-driven bass notes and slow drum beats, whilst Part Two¬†(featuring The-Dream) is a much more upbeat, pop tune that is oozing with shimmering synths.

To those who say quality disco music doesn’t get made any more, I would simply reply, “Chromeo”. This is definitely not an album you can listen to without, at the very least, bobbing your head and tapping you toe, but in reality, with the music up and a house to yourself (…or packed with friends), there really will be no holding you back!

Rating


‘Head Over Heels’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/head-over-heels/1380944674


Head Over Heels on Spotify

Must’ve Been featuring DRAM (Official Video)

Juice (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed this review! What do you think of this duo’s latest record? Does it fulfil all your funk needs or leave you wanting more? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: PAULi – ‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’


   

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Having seen¬†PAULi support¬†Rae Morris at Concorde 2 recently (review here)…I have been utterly obsessed! This is an artist who delivers a live performance which is both exciting and captivating; he has crafted something truly unique!

‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’¬†is an intense blend of London’s urban music scene, with chaotic dance elements and a certain quality to his voice that is somewhat reminiscent of something¬†Prince would have done, in his more recent years.

PAULi¬†is an artist that has worked hard to produce a complete package; artistic music videos, quirky single/album artwork and a unique genre-blending sound. Unfortunately, no music video exists for this track but if you ever get the chance to see him live, there’s something in the energy of this song that is just astounding!

This is most definitely an artist to watch out for; I’m predicting big things for him!

What are your thoughts of this incredibly unique artist? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/waiting-getting-on-this-train/1180156800?i=1180157170


#EventSpeaks: Chicane @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 19/05/17


   

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On Friday 19th May 2017, Chicane came to Brighton to perform a full-band set (which is a very rare thing!) It was an absolutely incredible night, with support from Chris Hopkins, who did an hour and a half DJ set.


Chris Hopkins (DJ Set)

One of Nick’s friends,¬†Chris Hopkins¬†did a great DJ set to get the evening started, playing a range of dance anthems as well as some remixes of classic songs by Prince and others; it was non-stop tune after tune.

Highlight:

  • The dedication made to Robert Miles before playing ‘Children’ was touching and had the crowd cheering and dancing along.
  • Also playing a¬†Chicane song (not on the set list), right before he took to the stage, was a great way to get the crowd going.

Chicane

Chicane took to the stage with the recent, ambient, ascending track¬†’38 Weeks’, accompanied by his band (Karlos Edwards on drums and Simon Small on guitar and bass) and singer, Rosalee O’Connell. The set was then packed with his biggest hits from the past 20 years, in celebration of his recent album,¬†Twenty.¬†I particularly enjoyed the live performances of¬†‘Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)’, ‘Fibreglasses’,¬†‘Don’t Give Up’,¬†‘Nite On Shore’ and¬†‘Saltwater’.

The set was diverse, mixing his more upbeat, club anthems (which had the audience going wild; jumping up and down and singing along) and the more mellow, ambient tracks; at times joined by¬†either of the two singers (Rosalee O’Connell or Gavin Conder) accompanying and others with just the musicians; it all flowed perfectly.

It was great to hear these tracks live and the combination of Nick’s synth tracks and keys alongside live instrumentation was a really unique way to experience his music.

The performance¬†was about an hour and a half long and people loved every second of it (myself included); we¬†could quite happily have gone on listening, watching and dancing all night. There was genuine disappointment when it came an end but an encore¬†led to rapturous applause before closing the show with¬†‘Stoned In Love’, with Gavin Condor on vocals.

If you haven’t ever seen him play with a full band, you must! I’m already itching to catch him live again!!!

Highlights:

  • The set list was crammed full of hit after hit.
  • Nick mixed the sounds to perfection and whilst the quality sounded like the studio versions, the subtle changes to the track made them unique to that performance.
  • The bass sounds were so heavy and loud, you could feel them reverberate through your chest.
  • The guitarist was incredibly talented, particularly on the track,¬†‘Nite On Shore’ when he showed off some impressive acoustic guitar skills.
  • The superbly¬†powerful vocals of both singers were stunning to witness.
  • The drummer’s use of both drum kit and samples pads added a diverse edge to the performance.

All of these excellent photos are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go on, give him a follow ‚Äst@EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

38 Weeks
The Bridge
One Thousand Suns*
Poppiholla (Anniversary Remix)*
Saltwater (Kryder Remix)
Hiding All The Stars
Still With Me
Fibreglasses
Carry Me Home
Don’t Give Up*
Nite On Shore
Saltwater*

Encore
Stoned In Love

* These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Louis for organising this review and backstage interview (here) and also to Chicane (Nick) for putting on such an immense evening; I loved every minute of it.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Daniel Powter


   

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Having just released Delicious¬†(his first new single in around four years) and¬†featuring as the 2nd most successful single of all time, on German TV show, Die Ultimative Chart Show, we got the opportunity to do a phone interview with the legendary¬†Daniel Powter. Daniel took the time to chat about how his new single came about, what he’s been up to since he’s been away and who he’s been working with. It’s all here…


Hey Matt, how are you?

Hi, I’m very well thanks, how are you?
I’m good, thanks for taking the time out of your, I guess it’s your evening there isn’t it?

Yeah.
Well I appreciate you taking an interest.

No, honestly, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
Oh, it’s my pleasure.

So, how’s it all going?
It seems to be going well. You know, I kinda woke up this morning and people were saying, “Hey, it’s great!” Yeah, it’s going great. I’m really grateful that the song finally came out, you know?

Yeah, I was going to say, your new single, ‘Delicious’, seems to be getting a huge reception online, so how did the single come about?
Oddly enough I was writing with a guy named John Fields, who’s produced the track, and ended up spending a lot of time in Minneapolis and being inspired by a lot of the music there.¬†We just started listening to old music, you know, a lot of old Prince and a lot of old…just old funk, and I was such a big fan that the next thing I know, in the studio, here comes a couple of guys from The New Power Generation, you know¬†Prince‘s band, and Tommy Barbarella’s in the studio, just playing along and it’s like, “Oh my God!” and the song just kind of came out of nowhere.

I mean again, that’s always been my biggest goal, not to think about it too much; just to play something and just to sing and do what you do and not worry what’s trending. “Oh man, the beat’s not quite hip enough.” You know, it’s such nonsense. The further I removed myself from writing music, I realised that the only thing that made me happy was just to do what I do best and do what I know and not worry so much about what works and what trends. I don’t know. So the next thing I know, I’m in the studio with these phenomenal players and the song just kind of, you know, developed on its own.

(Laughs) You know, it’s always those songs, the songs that I struggle with, that I want people to like, you know, recognise me for, but you know what, they never do. (Laughs) It’s always the ones that write themselves in 5 minutes that everybody loves.

I don’t know, there’s something about that. There’s something about the energy of Minneapolis. There’s something about the energy of John Fields and those people that just make you shift to the left and write songs that are fun. Well, it’s not rocket science, it’s just supposed to be for fun.

That’s cool! So it was just quite¬†organic and just kind of grew.
Yeah. I mean I had a melody in my head and just whistling it but then when you get players of that magnitude it’s phenomenal because I think a lot of times when I sit down and I write something, I’ll write something but it’ll be very industrial, it’s very easy and there’s no energy to it because people are playing on the block; they’re playing on the 1, 2 and 4, they’re not playing in between. When you get guys that play in between those notes, then you can start seeing this shift, and I know that doesn’t make much sense, but the music starts to come alive; it just breathes. And that’s why, when I record on my own, it never comes out¬†very well (laughs) but if I record the song and then I write with some guys that can play and who have the ability to just kind of like mess around with it, then you have a great experience.

I understand you recently did a TV show in Germany; what was that about and how did it happen?
Right, so I’ve kind of been away and sort of doing my own thing. I’ve been writing for a lot of other people and the show in Germany, called¬†Die Ultimative Chart Show, they just reached out and said, “Listen, you know, ‘Bad Day’ was a big song here in Germany, and we’d love you to come and play.” I was like, “Oh well, OK, I guess I could do that. You know, I’ve sort of done ‘Bad Day’ about a billion times, I might as well do it a billion and one more times.” And then they actually, I really have to hand it to them, they really…we just emailed them the song and they listen to it and said, “Would you be interested in playing this song on the show as well?” and I said, “ABSOLUTELY!” So I really do have to hand it to them; they were the ones that really broke it and just kind of like said, “We wanna do both.” Now I’m really…yes, now I’m excited.¬†So I played a really edited version of it.

That’s awesome! So obviously a new single often signals a new album; is there one in the pipeline? If so, when can we expect it? Or is it just a single?
I think I’ve written so many songs in the last few years, that I haven’t thought about putting an album out but maybe? You know, I definitely put a lot of work into trying different things and doing some exploration, so maybe…I always feel like it’s really up to the people. If they want me to come back with some more music, then I’m only happy to do it, I just haven’t really thought about it.

I definitely put a lot of songs together but whether or not…I don’t know if they’re any good. (Laughs) To be honest with you, I always tell people that most of the songs I write are awful! So, we’ll see…(Laughs).

You’ve said that you were writing for other people, is there anyone that you’ve really enjoyed writing for?
No. No, I actually didn’t enjoy any of it. I just found it to be incredibly difficult identify with what a lot of the artists want, which is whatever’s on the radio. I always find that to be incredibly discouraging. I always sort of say to them, “Well why do you want to write something that’s on like that because by the time we get there, that’s not going to be there any more.”

So, I struggled with that. Did a lot of sessions for other people, but I really found, I’m not very good at it. I’m not capable of writing pop music the way that a lot of people hear pop music. I like to write songs that have a verse and a bridge and a chorus and I grew up listening to Elton John, Billy Joel and Bowie¬†and all these people, and the way they built pop and they wrote and that’s so inside of me and ingrained in me that I can’t write a song that just starts at one place and doesn’t change, other than the kick drum. I try! It’s so odd.

A lot of times people that were in the session, you know, ended up writing the song after I left for lunch. “Let’s wait for Daniel to leave.” (Laughs).

(Laughs) Where do you often end up taking the inspiration for your songs from?
You know, I think most of the stuff that I write is really about the people that I meet; it’s just the relationship and what makes you tick.

Most of what I write isn’t autobiographical. I find that there’s so much inspiration in other people. I know that sounds kind of cheesy but it’s true. There’s always a story in everybody I meet and sometimes they really pop out and I get a song from that.

I don’t get a lot material from my own feelings, you know, “How I’m doing.” But really sometimes someone will sit down with me and just share something with me, you know a stranger or a fan or something and I really draw from that.

I really like that; that’s cool.
Yeah! I think writing songs from your own perspective can be a little bit boring, you know. I find that the more people I meet, and the more people that really inspire me are just everyday, regular people.

It’s funny, the most uninspiring people I’ve met are famous people. (Laughs) It could be just a girl¬†at a coffee shop, it could be plumber working on your toilet; there’s stories in those people, if people just give them the space and time to let you know about them.

I like that, that’s really cool.
You know, there’s something there.

Lastly, I’ve often wondered, if you could collaborate with anyone (having just said that obviously celebrities can be quite boring – laughs), who would it be?
(Laughs) Obviously, most of the people that I’m still really fond of have all passed away. You know, it was interesting, I was listening to SiriusXM the other day, and they had Billy Joel on. I just thought to myself, “If I could just write one song that was just, maybe 20% as good as that, I would retire.” You know, ‘She’s Always A Woman’, all these songs one after the other…I don’t even think I could collaborate with him because he’s just so phenomenal but he’s probably right now, the person I’m listening to the most. Old school!

Sure, well thank you so, so much! Honestly, it’s been a real pleasure talking to you and good luck with the single.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you calling and I hope I get to meet you when you come to the UK.

I’d love that – are there any plans to tour here or anything?
I don’t know right now. I’ll have to see if something comes about. I just finished a show in Jakarta and I think I’m going to go back there. And over to South East Asia sometime in Spring and do a lot more shows. And then, we’ll see. Let’s just see what happens.

Thanks very much again.
It was lovely talking to you.


A massive thanks go to¬†Daniel¬†for taking the time to talk to me on the phone and to Nancy, his manager, for arranging the interview. It was an honour to speak to him and I wish him the best of luck with his new single,¬†Delicious, and upcoming shows…fingers crossed for a UK tour!


Daniel Powter‘s releases are all¬†available:


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#FeelGoodFriday: Katy Perry – ‘Birthday’


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I can’t believe this song is already 3 years old already (…well 2 when the single was released, but 3 when the album was released).

‘Birthday’ is a very much disco-inspired (nu-disco) song from¬†Katy Perry‘s third studio album,¬†Prism. It has been compared to the likes of¬†Prince and¬†Mariah Carey and is rife with double entendres around the theme of celebrating a partner’s birthday.

The suggestive lyrics add to the fun of the song but the chorus is catchy and uplifting as anything! It’s just perfect for a #FeelGoodFriday song…I just had to post it…even if it’s not current!

What do you think of Katy Perry’s music? Is this the best of her songs for a #FeelGoodFriday track? Please share your suggestions with us and repost this.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Birthday’ can be downloaded off iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/birthday/id690541132?i=690541280