Tronicbox takes us back to the 1980s

Recently I stumbled across a YouTube channel that has taken remixing to a whole new level.

TRONICBOX picks all your favourite tunes from the present day, or very recent past, and reworks them into nostalgic Eighties hits, and quite frankly, they’re superb.

My first encounter with TRONICBOX, who hails from Canada and describes himself — or herself, who knows? — as “a musician, gamer, and software developer from Saskatchewan Canada”, was when a version of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know popped up on one of my many online feeds. Take a listen.

Instantly it threw me back to my youth. Everything about it made me smile, from the hilarious cover shot to the production itself, replete with punchy disco drum sounds, the most kitsch electric piano you can imagine and the type of pulsing electro bassline every Eighties kid bounced to back in the day. Add to that wailing guitar solos you might hear in a Rocky training montage, and what you’ve got is a pretty perfect work of art.

The original — a duet with Kimbra — was, of course, a massive hit in its own right, and the genius of this remix wasn’t lost on Kimbra herself when she posted this to her Facebook page.

 

When I heard TRONICBOX’s equally magnificent rejig of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, I had to share this stuff with the world. This time, it’s not just the tune that will give you happy little goosebumps, but the video as well. Having been a fitness instructor in my deep, dark past, I could relate even more. It’s also a lot rockier, which I like. This is Europe meets early Bon Jovi with a bit of Journey tossed in for good measure. Impossibly good.

The remixes keep coming, which is good news. Katy Perry has been morphed into a Jane Fonda for her remix, while her hit Firework is transformed into a disco funk number Chaka Khan would have been proud to perform in her heyday.

Whoever TRONICBOX is, I hope he/she sees this. Please say hi, and keep us posted on what’s coming next because so far, I’m blown away by your skills. Thank you, from the bottom of my nostalgic heart. This stuff is just too good to be true.

Here’s a cheesy version of Justin Bieber’s Baby to sign off. The sax solo is magnificent! And that pic!! 🤣

A million reasons why Lady Gaga is my hero

So what did you think of Lady Gaga’s half-time show at Superbowl LI? Personally, I thought it was magnificent.

Predictably I got some smart-arse comments on the post, a couple of laughs, but that’s OK. After all, we all have different tastes, and one of the many things Gaga encourages us to celebrate is our diversity. So laugh it up. I couldn’t care less.

Here’s what I posted.

“Anyone that thinks Lady Gaga’s half-time show wasn’t political has either got their head stuck up their arse, or simply doesn’t understand her genius.”

I wasn’t looking for likes or laughs, to be honest. My sentiment was largely in response to a tweet a old colleague of mine had shared on Twitter — presumably in its support — which suggested Gaga had no message in 2017, and that Beyonce’s less subtle effort of 2016 was braver and more meaningful.

I took issue with this. To me, Gaga’s performance packed with political rhetoric, and was flawless in its execution. Here’s why.

The opening
Atop the NRG Stadium, and backed by 300 drones that lit up and hovered miraculously to create the United States’ flag, Gaga sang excerpts from two of America’s most patriotic songs, starting with God Bless America before rolling seamlessly into This Land Is Your Land. She then quoted from the The Pledge Of Allegiance before theatrically diving into the packed arena. What’s so cool about that? Well, it’s no secret that America is more divided than ever right now. What brings Americans together more than anything? Usually patriotic tunes and the star-spangled banner, and a reminder that despite what some people might say, there is a lot to celebrate about the country. It just needs to be focused on a little more.

The first songs
After belting out a small segment of Poker Face — pausing after the first-line reference to Texas as a nod of respect to the Houston location — Gaga moved into her anthem for those on the peripheral, Born This Way. If that wasn’t a middle finger to all the bigots, racists, homophobes and so on that have crawled out of their holes to celebrate the more extreme messages being bandied about by Donald Trump and others, I don’t know what is.

“No matter gay, straight, or bi / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby/ I was born to survive,” she roared.

“No matter black, white or beige / Chola or orient made / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to be brave.”

Magnificent.

From middle to end
After Telephone, which didn’t feature an appearance from Beyonce as some had predicted, Gaga went into positivity mode with Just Dance. “We’re here to make you feel good,” she said after that one. “You wanna feel good with us?”

Looks like the pundits who said she’d been warned off politics were also brilliantly mis-informed.

Million Reasons was the penultimate number, a song all about searching out the best in everything and of course featuring the line “If you say something that you might even mean, it’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe.” Fake news, anyone? Just superb.

Now I can’t be sure that Gaga’s chosen closer, Bad Romance, was in any way a reference to Trump and his wife Melania’s relationship — I like to think it maybe was — but by this point she was decked out in gridiron shoulder-pads, ready to do battle with any shit the world can throw at her, or any of her little monsters — the term she uses lovingly for her millions of fans.

I’m lucky enough to have seen Lady Gaga live, and I maintain it was one of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed. If you were to look at my musical tastes generally, she is not someone you’d expect me to pay money to see, but it’s her ability to bring social issues to the forefront without aggression or animosity that I admire most.

I remember that night in Sydney, before playing Gypsy, she delivered an impassioned speech to the many LGBTQ members of the audience, showering them with love and the belief that they matter. It was as touching a moment as I’ve ever seen at a musical performance, and trust me, grown adults were crying by the time she finished, and I wasn’t far off it myself. She then massively uplifted us all with the joy of the song Gypsy, which celebrates a world in union. That was the one big track I felt she could have also thrown in at the Superbowl.

But I’m being picky now. My love for Gaga has only grown more as a result of her half-time heroics, and I’m more than happy to put my paws up and scream it from the rooftop of any stadium you want to place me on. Gaga rules, end of story.

Goldfrapp’s return couldn’t be Anymore welcome

It’s been close to four years since we heard anything new from Goldfrapp, but they’re back in 2017 with a hot new single, Anymore, and plans to release their first new album since 2013.

That album’s name is Silver Eye, and if you’re keen as a bean to get your hands on it, you can pre-order it via this link. If Anymore is anything to go by, it’ll be equally as awesome as all previous six albums the duo has released. As the new song repeats in its catchy chorus, “I can’t wait anymore”.

About a month ago, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, who make up the duo, posted a pic to a new Instagram account with nothing more than the hashtag #goldfrapp7, alluding to the seventh album, which has since been confirmed. It was thought that pic was a reference to the album artwork, given it followed six previous posts featuring the artwork of their previous six albums.

#goldfrapp7

A post shared by Goldfrapp (@goldfrappmusic) on

There had been rumours the new record might be more organic than the electronically-laden sounds of previous records, based on comments made by Goldfrapp a while back, and also because of what had been produced for the band’s 2013 album Tales Of Us, which is heavy on strings and acoustic guitars. Having said that, so to was the 2000 debut album Felt Machine, but with more trip-hop tendencies that were so de rigueur of the time.

But Anymore appears to put that theory well and truly to bed. While it’s not as rich and heavy on synths as the likes of Ooh La La or Strict Machine, it is a bouncy little electro number that evokes memories of Train from the 2003 album Black Cherry. It’s got a catchy chorus, Goldfrapp’s signature breathy vocals, and the hypnotic beats that are so characteristic of the London pair’s biggest hits.

Expect to hear this one a lot in the coming months as the countdown to the album release ticks down. The first live airing of these new tunes — the album listing is beliw — will be at the end of March when Goldfrapp plays a pre-release show at the London Roundhouse. If you’re lucky enough to be there, it should be a pretty fun night.

Silver Eye Track List

Anymore
Systemagic
Tigerman
Become The One
Faux Suede Drifter
Zodiac Black
Beast That Never Was
Everything Is Never Enough
Moon in Your Mouth
Ocean

White Sea comes in with a cracking newbie

Never A Woman - White Sea

Never A Woman – White Sea

White Sea, the solo project of M83’s wonderful Morgan Kibby, has emerged from a short hiatus with a cracking new track, Never A Woman.

It’s part of a second album that will arrive sometime in 2016, more than a year since Kibby released her debut album, In Cold Blood. That record certainly held true to the vibe of Anthony Gonzalez and his epic electro-pop aesthetic, and this release makes it clear little has changed in terms of how Kibby wants to express herself.

She also put out another track from the forthcoming album a few weeks ago called Stay Young, Get Stoned — an order we can all happily follow.

Kibby’s voice will be familiar to any M83 fan, and delightful it is, too. The late rush of falsetto and killer harmonies that soar above the driving bassline and synth-laden groove of Never A Woman are right up there with up tempo classics like Teen Angst or Graveyard Girl. It’s absolutely impossible not to move some part of your anatomy as it spills from your speakers.

Go for a swim in this White Sea. Trust me — you’ll feel more refreshed and happy than if you don’t.

Daft Punk: Unchained … but when??

No doubt about it, I’m intrigued. The last frame of this trailer for Daft Punk: Unchained is enough for me to know I have to see this BBC Worldwide documentary.

The blurb reads thus:

“Daft Punk: Unchained, directed by Hervé Martin Delpierre, is the first independent film which explores an exceptional pop culture phenomenon of the past twenty years: Daft Punk. Between fiction and reality, magic and secrets, theatricality and humility, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have created a unique artistic universe. Throughout their career they have remained determined to control every link in the chain of their creative work. The film highlights key moments of their story, from their first school band in Paris to their historic concert at Coachella festival in 2006 and their spectacular triumph at the 2014 Grammy Awards for the album Random Access Memories. In an era of globalisation and the expansion of social media, they have refused to show their own faces and they orchestrate every detail of their appearances as robots. The documentary includes archives of radio interviews with Daft Punk, rare footage and exclusive interviews with their friends and close collaborators from Pharrell Williams to Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Kanye West, Michel Gondry, Paul Williams, Peter Lindbergh, Leiji Matsumoto and Pete Tong.”

The problem is, these guys are so secretive, it appears to be impossible to shed any light on when this thing will be released. It says 2015, and there is some media dating back to June on its making, but despite a lengthy search, no date. But, like everything they do, no doubt it will hit us like a thunderbolt when it is played out in full.

CHVRCHES let another new track out

Scottish electro poppers CHVRCHES have released another new track into the public domain from the forthcoming album Every Open Eye. Check it out.

The track is called Never Ending Circles and is the second tune from the new album after Leave A Trace popped up last month.

The album is due for release on 25 September.