Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

Another round-up of the best, the worst, and the most intriguing trash of the past and present.

VOLUME 59
(September 2007)         


Justice - TTHHEE PPAARRTTYY
2007

Justice seem to have borrowed Brian Eno's old Roxy Music synthesizer to create "TTHHEE PPAARRTTYY." It's perhaps the most Daft Punkish of this duo's tunes, for those who enjoy having all their music compared to Daft Punk. Vocalist Uffie, who had already released her single "Pop the Glock" in 2006 under her own name, has seen her profile steadily rise since this collaboration.

Junior Senior - Hello/Hip Hop a Lula
2005/2007

Denmark's Junior Senior may have risked one-hit wonder status with "Move Your Feet," but if that were their fate it would be ill-deserved, as the opening one-two punch of "Hello/Hip Hop a Lula" from off their second album is every bit as great as that first triumph. The album has been long-delayed for reasons I do not quite understand (in an interview, "Senior" suggested that there were some differences between the group and the forces that wanted to market them). But here it is at last, and it's a must-download.

Dragonette - I Get Around
2006

Dragonette have members from Canada (a country that is located north of the United States of America and is a musical colony of Europe) and Britain. Their "I Get Around" marries slutty lyrics to sluttier keyboard sounds. Like a new wave bitch humping the leg of electro. Well done.

Freezepop - Less Talk More Rokk (Mark Saunders Remix)
2007

More Ameritrashers: An incarnation of Freezepop's "Less Talk More Rokk" has landed on the Guitar Hero 2 video game. My favorite version is the Mark Saunders remix, which seems to strike all the right poses (with tongue out, no doubt) between electro and stadium rock. Starts off clever, becomes cute, and then blows the fucking roof off the joint.

Erick E - The Beat is Rockin' (Radio Edit)
2006

Time for some proper dancefloor tracks. Erick E's "The Beat is Rockin' (Radio Edit)" is a dark, groovy number that has been making waves on European radio. All this electro-type stuff was turning me off a few years ago, but it seems some folks are finally injecting a proper dosage of trash to the proceedings, resulting in tunes with pleasingly big hooks like this one.

Crew 7 - Eye of the Tiger
2006

Tru trash fans will want to be sure they grab Crew 7's trashification of Survivor's classic "Eye of the Tiger." Less talk more rokk indeed.

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince/Jeroen van Inkel - Boom! Shake the Room
1993

There's an amazing recording of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince having a blast on Dutch radio, and you can download it for yourself from the radio station's website. Will Smith proves once again that he may be the coolest guy on the planet.

VIA GRA - Poznakomsya S Moyey Mamoy (ВИА ГРА - Познакомься с моей мамой)
2001

Russia's VIA GRA first came to my attention for having contributed the opening titles music for the movie Lilja 4-Ever. "Poznakomsya S Moyey Mamoy" has a wonderful groove to it, with a...what the hell is that thing? A zither?...some crazy stringed folk instrument that might be a zither.

Enur feat. Natasja - Calabria 2006 (Radio Edit)
2006

Alex Gaudino's "Destination Calabria" is a reworking of his own "Destination Unknown" married to Rune's "Calabria." Enur feat. Natasja figured out that if Gaudino could get such mileage out of that sample they could certainly do the same themselves. And get this: I think their reggaetonish "Calabria" is the best interpretation of all. That's because of Natasja's wonderful voice, which goes more places than Crystal Waters's did on Gaudino's take. Now I don't want to start a fight between these Calabrians, here. I'm just sayin'...

Dada feat. Sandy Rivera and Trix - Lollipop (Breese and Badhand Remix)
2007

Dada offer the obligatory sexual double entendre song of this set. It's yer club hit by the numbers tune, with perfect male and female vocal play and epic synth chords that will have you bouncing off the walls. I usually don't like the smirky/"sexy" dancefloor numbers, but this song really could not have been crafted more perfectly.

Outhere Brothers - La La La Hey Hey (OHB Airplay Edit)
1994

Some classic Eurodance, starting with the Outhere Brothers, authors of that family favorite "Fuk U in the Ass." Their chunky call and response "La La La Hey Hey" received a superior "OHB Airplay Edit" that adds goosebumpy synths to the tune's final minute. It's fascinating to hear a Eurodance tune achieve such spooky menace.

DJ Hooligan - I Want You (Loop Mix)
1995

DJ Hooligan's "I Want You (Loop Mix)" has a sort of jiggy--as in Renaissance Festival jiggy--keyboard bit that swirls round and round as the emcee repeatedly advises a group of "party people" to "kick some ass." Why the violent message, Hooligan? Can't we party without resorting to ass-kicking?

Anja Rupel - Vedno ljubila te bom
1996

Anja Rupel, who fronted the excellent 1980s Slovenian group Videosex, began releasing solo albums in the mid 1990s. Her first two efforts were filled with pumping dance/pop tunes. "Vedno ljubila te bom" is garnished with old skool techno sounds and pumping piano chords. I am not as fond of Anja's stuff as I am the Videosex tunes, largely because on her solo albums the music is seldom an equal to her incredible voice. Here the two really slug it out, resulting in a complete victory for the listener. Thanks, Nika, for giving me the opportunity to own these wonderful Rupel CDs.

Axwell - I Found U (Remode Mix)
2007

Axwell's "I Found U (Remode Mix)" is filled with pumping pianos and breaks that will be familiar to any fan of XL records circa 1991. We can only hope that it indicates the end of all that "too cool for you" electro stuff and a return to all-inclusive dancefloor lunacy.

Sub Focus - Airplane
2006

If you thought drum and bass has been dead for a decade, be sure to check out a fellow calling himself Sub Focus, whose "Airplane" demonstrates the awesomeness of the genre today. Glorious swaths of melody swirl throughout the whole piece. It's a far cry from the days when drum and bass was all just, well, drum and bass. The video is worth tracking down on YouTube as well.

 
VOLUME 60
(October 2007)         


Chab and Jd Davis - Girlz (Original Mix)
2007

A dark electro house tune that reveals just how spooky girls are. I completely agree--girls freak me out. Sounds sorta like a more soulful version of Corey Hart's 1980s classic "Sunglasses at Night."

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Another Day
2003/2004

Sophie's new album is out in Europe, which means it will probably be released in the U.S. sometime in 2012. While you wait, here is a highlight from her previous album Shoot from the Hip, which appeared on iTunes only a few months back. It's one of the sweetest songs about friendship ever warbled. One listen to her sexy growl and you will understand why she's a Euro icon.

Cleopatra Stratan - Numar Pan'La Unu (Counting Down to One)
2006

The Romanian Cleopatra is just three years old, and her singer/producer dad Pavel thought it would be cute to make a whole album of songs sung by the girl. "Numar Pan'La Unu" has enjoyed huge success in Romania this year. Cleopatra's singing voice is actually surprisingly decent. When I was three years old I was...I have no idea what I was doing when I was three years old.

Captain Jack - Only You (Radio Twist Mix)
2000

Excellent for choreographing a Slovenian acrobatic rock 'n' roll performance to, as I found out one day when assigned this very task. OK, rather while watching Slovenian TV over the internet one afternoon. It takes the 1950's pop classic and gives it that Captain Jack Eurodumdum spin. Featured, as many of Captain Jack's songs were, on some edition or another of Dance Dance Revolution. Actually, getting back to acrobatic rock 'n' roll aerobics for a moment. This stuff is insane. The couple dancing to this tune actually cranked up the tempo (as if it weren't already fast enough).

Thalia - Amor a la Mexicana (Cuca's Fiesta Edit)
1998

Here is another fine example of an endangered music species--the pumping Eurodance version of Thalia's "Amor a la Mexicana." Still gets spun on Romanian pop radio (those Romanians love their Latin sounds, in part due to their close cultural ties with Spain, a country many Romanians migrate to for work, but they also like their pumping 4/4 beats). This version is likely to disappear forever, so if you find the CD single snatch it up. On iTunes the video for this song is available under the name "European Remix." This is indeed the same version as the "Cuca's Fiesta Edit."

Andreea Banica - Rendez-Vous
2007

I snagged the aforementioned Thalia CD single in Paris. And speaking of Paris, Andreea Banica sings of having a rendez-vous with you there in her Romanian pop smash called, well, it's called "Rendez-Vous." The Romanians are just so awesome at cooking up insanely catchy pop tunes like this one.

Hellogoodbye - Here in Your Arms
2006/2007

American group featured on MTV's "The Real World: Austin" is getting play on Romanian radio these days with their Europoppy "Here in Your Arms." An American indie group that draws more inspiration from O-Zone than Pavement--who'd have thunk it?

Kate Ryan - All for You (Radio Edit)
2007

Probably the best thing to come from the divine Ms. Ryan in the last year, this Galleonesque number is pure pumping Eurodance joy. People keep bemoaning the lack of a second "Desenchantee" (the song that transformed Kate into a Euro goddess), but every few years she comes back with a solid dancefloor single, as this demonstrates.

David Guetta feat. Chris Willis - Love is Gone (Original Mix)
2007

David gets together once again with longtime vocal collaborator Chris Willis for yet another fine French electro-house production. Breaking-up has never sounded so good. The fun video is also well worth a glance.

Sunfreakz feat. Andrea Britton - Counting Down the Days (Original Extended Mix)
2006/2007

It began life as a lush instrumental house song called "Riding the Waves," found a vocalist, and turned into one of the biggest dancefloor hits of 2007. By the minute and a half mark of this extended mix you'll be smelling the ocean breeze and feeling the wind whipping through your hair. This is the very definition of great pop dance music, strategically engineered for a starring role on an Ultra mix CD.

Bob Sinclar presents Fireball - What I Want (Radio Club)
2007

The best thing associated with Bob Sinclar's oft-misspelled name, this screwy number is tearing up dancefloors in Europe from west to east. Get it today, play it loud tonight, thank me later.

Simplu - Mr. Originality
2006/2007

Final Romanian pop selection in this volume, Simplu have been kicking out great songs for at least half a decade, now. As with Bob Sinclar's recent work, a bit of Afro-pop influence creeps into this number. These guys are really excellent musicians, and they have a whole album on iTunes worth downloading. But be warned that the iTunes tracks are--or at least were--mislabeled (in October "Mr. Originality" was mislabled "The American Dreams").

Samim - Heater (Radio Edit)
2007

An accordion brings a splash of color to this otherwise almost glitchy techno track. Strangely charming. Video features a plethora of folks from around the world dancing around to the tune in what may herald the comeback of all-inclusive dance music videography (i.e., at long last a retiring of all those boring Maxim-esque "sexy" videos).

Suite 117 - Smaller (Highpass Remix)
2007

My favorite song in this volume brings back the full glory of great Italo house. Features ethereal background singers going "Wooo-oooo-ooooo." You would never hear "Wooo-oooo-ooooo" in a German dance production; it's the sort of thing only the Italians would try to pull off--and pull off successfully. Highlight is the weirdly beautiful lyric ("Cover me in the wind/I suffer from blame and pain"). Goosebumps guaranteed. Hopefully this is a harbinger of a return to the lusher melodies that defined the best of 2001-era Italo.

Play - Us Against the World
2001

This Swedish pubescent girl pop group got the backing of Disney here in the U.S. Interestingly (well, to us Eurotrashers) the song was co-written by Irish pop/R&B singer Samantha Mumba (of the excellent "Always Come Back to Your Love"). The lyrics are as banal as you'd expect from such a project, but the melody (which features a great key adjustment from verse to chorus) and the vocal production are really superb. The bridge to chorus transition sounds like something from heaven, and the multi-tracked vocal parts dive in and out of one another as if in celebration of everything great about songwriting. In other words, "better than it should have been."

Paolo Mojo - Paris (Pema's Strings Mix)
2007

Somewhat minimalish, but it comes with enough oomph to dazzle even the trashiest of trashers. All you need to know is that when that snare hits about four minutes in things are going to get very good indeed. Pinwheels in your eyes; I think these drugs work.

The compendiums:

2001 06/07
2001 08
2002 01
2002 01
2002 01/02
2002 04
2002 06
2002 09
2002 10/11
2002 12/2003 01
2003 02
2003 03/04
2003 05/06
2003 06
2003 08
2003 09
2003 10/12
2004 02/07
2004 07/09
2004 11
2004 12
2005 01/03
2005 05/09
2005 09
2005 12
2006 03
2006 06/09
2006 11/12
2007 01/03
2007 04/05
2007 06/07
2007 09/10
2008 01
2008 04/06
2008 06/07
2008 09/12
2009 02
2009 04/06
2009 08/09
2009 10/11
2010 01
2010 02/03
2010 04/07
2010 08/10
2010 11
2011 01/03
2011 04/05
2011 06
2011 09



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