Archive for the ‘mixtape’ Category

Guns ‘N’ Bombs mixtape #2

Filip and Johnny, photo by Clayton Hauck

If Johnny Love (of Guns ‘N’ Bombs) took one thing from Chicago, it was the artform of the Chicago Hotmix — a blitzkrieg-style of live mixing known for its high track/mix length ratio. When I talked with him and Filip back in December for a forthcoming Alarm Magazine piece, he was unafraid to acknowledge the level of difficulty accompanying the execution of a electro house/French touch mix with that format: “A lot of the songs from that genre really aren’t made for quick mixing. When you play minimal techno you can do that because they’re not much going on; there’s a hi-hat coming in every two minutes.” Listening to the mix will help put this all in context, even if this one is a little less “Hot.” G’N’B’s nuanced and ultimately efficient mixing provides a new road map — hot off the press — of what’s going to be hot in the Justice/MSTRKRFT/electro rock scene in the next month or so. Though I don’t care for the Felix Cartel cut, even when they consult the Daft Punk handbook, this mix (especially the G’N’B’s material) seems to foreshadow a budding career.

Guns N’ Bombs – Mixtape #2


datA, “Aerius Light”
Does It Offend You, Yeah?, “We Are Rockstars”
Guns’N’Bombs, “Crossover Appeal”
MSTRKRFT, “Street Justice” (MSTRKRFT 07 remix) [mixtape EXXXCLUSIVE]
Felix Cartal, “Moss vs Tree”
Boys Noize, “Feel Good (TV = Off)” (Shinichi Osawa edit)
Yelle, “Short Dick Cuiz” (Tepr remix)
Christopher + Raphael Just, “Disco 128”
Surkin feat. Vyle, “Toxicoman”
The Futureheads, “Worry About It Later” (Al Dare Half Done refix)
The Teenagers, “Homecoming” (Guns ‘N’ Bombs 1996 XTC remix)


Fuzzy shackles

I don’t know why, but somehow Amerie begging her man to take control of her life is more offputting than the uber-subservient “Slave 4 U.” Not the first time a vocal vixen has made such a request, but it stings for the same reasons: Amerie has always come off as a strong, independent woman — for crying out loud she would only admit one thing kept her interested in her man. On “Take Control,” the new single that debuts on her slightly secret mixtape, she does more than ask to be taken care of, she wants to give up her will to/for her lover’s sake (“I would do anything to please you,” she crows, later chanting “take control of me”). Perhaps the feminism diatribe should be saved for another time. Either way, the tune’s subject matter is hardly her most compelling or enjoyable.

Cee-Lo’s production maintains his sunshiny aesthetic and blends in that of his famously Gnarly partner, Danger Mouse. Twanging guitars riffing endlessly are marched around by a boom-clap beat and buried under an infectiously overused brass section. Cee-Lo and his band of overdubs pop in to futher stuff the chorus. Amerie sounds good doing her best “not-Beyonce, but do you think I could be?,” giving her guy the key to the handcuffs and panty drawer. But of course she does! As a single, “Take Control” takes zero chances and banks on the same formula that she and her chart-topping peers have abused: horns and big beats. It’s not at all a track I’m repulsed by, and the oversaturated track could probably do well on pop radio. I never thought I’d say it, but R&B might need to slow down on spending its horn allowance. Last I checked, horns weren’t the only vivacious instruments.
Audio: Amerie, “Take Control”

The rest of the tape is enjoyable for the most part. Who else thought the “Money Maker” beat would sound sexy if Luda wasn’t stanking it up? It’s also nice to see someone in R&B trying to increase their output instead of merely milking every last penny from their album. The Amerie mixtape, Because I Love It, is available for FREE here. (Link and picture of Amerie looking faded via The Fader.)