Saturday, 1 September 2012
OXFORDSHIRE GUARDIAN MUSIC COLUMN, 1/9/12
It's been a time of return to form for a handful of old-school artists over the past month.
One of the more difficult-to-classify tunes on my radio show has been the offering from Nicole & Natalie, better known as Nina Sky - not that you'd realise this was the same duo that brought you the happy R&B/ dance sound of 'Move Your Body' a few years ago. 'Never Kissed You' makes use of a striking, semi-industrial instrumental sample that will sound familiar to many given that it's cropped up on literally hundreds of tracks over the years. It turns out to be 'UFO' by the New York post-punk girl band ESG, which in hip-hop, is probably best known for its appearance on Junior Mafia's 'In The Realms Of Junior Mafia'. The Nina Sky tune is an uncharacteristically dark tale of sleazy characters who spend far too much time hanging out in late-night club spots.
On a much more uplifting vibe is the re-pairing of the Californian blue-eyed soul singer Robin Thicke with super-producer Pharrell Williams of Neptunes fame. The result is 'Another Life', a happy soul steppers' tune that fits right in with the likes of Next and Donell Jones. It's a afar cry from Thicke's better-known crooning falsetto easy-listening style ... thankfully.
On the house music front, one of the most revered producer names of the late 80s, New Yorker Todd Terry, has shown he's still got it with the release of 'Go B*tch' (his choice of title, not mine,) created alongside J Paul Getto. It's a hard-hitting slice of bass-heavy house of the type that earned him his nickname of Todd The God many years ago.
Finally, a package of remixes of a nostalgia-laden disco tune has appeared in the form of Gwen McCrae's 'Keep The Fire Burning', which has been reworked by DJ Don Welch, the result sitting nicely alongside other contemporary disco house such as Joey Negro and the Sunburst Band.
For sounds such as this, and other interesting stuff you don't hear often enough on the radio, be sure to catch my show, 'The Sound Of Now', on OX105FM every Saturday from 6 to 8pm.