Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

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

(September 2008)         

Candie Hank - Le Desastre

Three words: Techno for Animaniacs.

Kylie Minogue - The One

Kylie's handlers snagged the rights to this song (originally by Laid and Emma Holmgren). It was an excellent investment; it's the best of the singles to come off of her latest album, X. Remix by original producers Freemasons is also terrific. Despite much positive buzz online, the single failed to chart as well as past efforts, in part due to some record label weirdness regarding the last minute cancellation of the physical single.

The Cube Guys - Don't Cry (Baba O'Reilly) (Radio Edit)

The Who storm the discotheque with pleasing, if predictable, results.

Max Linen - Neon Lights (Original) (Vocal Dub Mix)

Mr. Linen enlists a couple of singers from a group called Portabello to create this solid electro-rock/house anthem. Sandy Vee's remix, which dispenses with the male vocals and wanders into even darker territory, is getting even more praise, but I prefer the more varied textures offered by the original.

Ian Van Dahl - Just a Girl

Heard it on the radio recently, thought it sounded nice, and then discovered it was on a CD comp I bought back in 2006. Huh! Maybe I should purchase music at the same rate at which I consume it. At any rate, the only IvD song I have ever liked.

Blank and Jones feat Vanessa Dau - Consequences (KP Radio Edit)

Breaks tune wears out its welcome after a bit (it's so expansive and airy that it quickly goes from beautiful to merely pretty). But a future radio edit may fix that. In the meantime, do what I did and make your own.

Deep Zone Project & Balthazar - DJ, Take Me Away (Original Extended Mix)

Bulgaria's Eurovision entry was one of the few dance tunes to make it into the semis of this year's competition, and their stage show (which featured turntables spinning records that were ACTUALLY ON FIRE) was superb. Scandalously, it failed to move on to the finals. So what have we here? Breakbeats, pounding pianos, a half-time reggae breakdown, scratching, the kitchen sink, gunshots, those flaming records...

Mighty 44 feat. Anna Nordell - This Love Ain't Goin' On

Shouting boys and singing girls duke it out in this fantastic electro/rock/rap fusion thang.

DJ Kun - Escuela de calor

Happy-rap from a cheeky Spanish dude.

David Tavare - Hot Summer Night (Oh la la la)

Dave and Co. snag a bit of Eurodumdum wonders 2 Eivissa to serve as the main hook to this poppy summertime choon. Which, in a typical example of my poor timing, I roll out just in time for fall. (Strangely, this has started charting again in other parts of Europe in fall 2008. Talk about your slow burns!)

Me & My - Fly High

American iTunes has released an extensive DRM-free compilation of Me and My's Eurodance output. Their infectious "Dub I Dub" (think of it as a predecessor to Lucky Twice's "Lucky") is familiar to DDR fans everywhere, but the Danish duo enjoyed several other fine moments, including "Sleeping My Day Away" (a cover ill-received by anti-dance fans of the Danish rock group from whose catalog they borrowed it) and the soaring, trance-bolstered tune "Fly High." "Fly High" makes the pleasingly unorthodox decision to ask the girls to step aside after a couple of minutes in order to let the cool-o synths run wild for over a minute—a pretty big chunk out of a 4.5 minute radio edit. Album art for the full-length paid tribute to "Top Gun" a few months before No Angels did the same with their "There Must Be an Angel" single.

Big Ang feat. Siobhan - It's Over Now (Radio Edit)

A good thematic companion piece to the Mighty 44 song mentioned earlier, it's a cover of a 1999 R&B tune by Deborah Cox and is produced by that rarest of creatures: a female dance producer. Features a nice soul vocal from Siobhan that is sure to put that no-good cheatin' man back in his place.

Gorchitza - Time Is Right

A catchy Galleonesque house tune from a Ukrainian duo that is more than deserving of an Ultra records release stateside—particularly because I desperately need to replace my crappy bootleg mp3 with a higher quality extended version. They recently produced a full-length CD of material; hopefully it will land outside Ukraine soon.

Activ - Under My Skin

Groovy electro-pop choon from more hook-happy Romanians. What's in the water over there that leads to the creation of so many perfect pop songs?

Voltaj - MSD2

Whatever it is, Voltaj drink from that same well. Voltaj is huge in Romania, but my Western ears hadn't been as delighted by anything as much as their 2001 hit "Iarna." At long last, here is another Voltaj song that I find delectable.

Nu Electric - No Matter What (Radio Edit)

Good, atmospheric, divo-driven electro-pop tune.

Ian Pooley - Heaven (DJ Tonka Mix)

The original is a bland jazz-funk-house thing (in other words, too smart for a site as taste-challenged as this one). But Tonka transforms it into a shimmery, trashtastic dream by adding pulsating 80s keyboards and a tasty chord progression.

Nightwish - Amaranth

In 2007 Nightwish fans first asked themselves the question "Tarja or Annette?" as the former singer, with her operatic style, was replaced by the latter, who sings in a more conventional rock vocal way. Regardless of one's feelings on this deeply divisive matter, "Amaranth," the first single featuring Annette's vocals, rips the room apart. Video will convince you that nothing is more beautiful than an angel with bleeding eyes.

Play - Us Against the World (Bishop Remix)

The original tune from the Swedish tween sensation was trumpeted a while back, but this (all too short) dance remix manages to capture everything great about the original, plus it goes boom! boom! boom! The happiest song ever just got even happier!

(December 2008)         

pacsaman took the photo. He kindly permitted me to use it here. For more of his work, please visit Hey, wait guys! Where did everybody go?!?!?

Ishtar - O Julissi
The Belgian entry for this year's Eurovision competition was sung in a made-up language (the theory being that it would transcend language differences amongst the various voters of Europe). Bosomy lead singer experienced a minor wardrobe malfunction during rehearsals. Neither language transcendence nor bosoms were able to lift the song into the finals.

Benny Benassi - I Am Not Drunk (Radio Edit)
Benassi Bros. have put out a string of excellent songs over the last few years, but here is the best thing Benny has put his own name to since the Hypnotica days. "I Am Not Drunk" perfectly captures the ironic disconnect between drunkenness and insistent proclamations of sobriety.

Camille Jones - Difficult Guys (Radio Edit)
Camille looked headed for one-hit wonder status, but the "Creeps" singer has returned with a slinky homage to bad boys. Unfortunately, the tune seems to be stranded in Denmark (Camille's home country). Hopefully, this sexy and deserving single will see a wider release soon.

Aziz - Anti Geroj
"Anti Geroj" is a beguiling, gypsy-flavored Bulgarian tune featuring a male vocalist singing atop girls chanting "coo-coo-coo-coo" throughout. Judging from a video I saw for the song, the lead singer is a pretty intense performance artist. From the excellent German Balkan music compilation Balkanbeats Volume 2.

Biber - Gypsy Part One
Proof of the fabulousness of Balkanbeats Volume 2 comes from the fact that I am recommending another track from it, this one being a funky, female vocal number from Serbia.

Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov - Water
"Water," last year's Bulgarian Eurovision entry, came in 5th place in the song contest. Two percussionists hammering away on top of techno beats; ethnic female vocals; and a somewhat strange, though thankfully brief Scatman John homage evidently proved to be a successful formula. Think Dead Can Dance crossed with Safri Duo on steroids and you've pretty much got it.

Darude - In the Darkness (Tech Edit)
It seems Darude will always live in the shadow of his old hit "Sandstorm," but in fact he still knows how to cook up a mean tune, as "In the Darkness" demonstrates.

Spit - Falling (Daddy's Groove Vocal Mix)
"Falling" pulls off the rare feat of going 9+ minutes while remaining consistently engaging. A multi-minute crawl of electro and house sounds builds to a sort of "Gotta Get Thru This" bit. The expressive female vocals that follow are first-rate. There's even a surreal, note-bending electric guitar bridge seven minutes deep. Strangely addictive, with a potentially long future ahead of it pouring out of the sound systems of Romanian clubs on hot nights and Slovenian coffeehouses on snowy mornings.

Lia - I Want U
Electro pop given the Italo spin resulting in something incredibly infectious. Like the flu. A really excellent flu!

Chisky - Hand in Hand
70s Euro disco, 80s Italo, and 90s house are blended into a driving Italian stomper for the ages.

EliZe - Hot Stuff
A cover of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" was long overdue, so the Dutch rectified the situation with this electro-lite pop take. EliZe's emphatic delivery of the line "Gotsta have some love tonight!" is guaranteed to make you smile. In the video the comely singer lies in a bathtub filled with hot peppers. Considering that chili peppers are a skin irritant, I hope she survived the video shoot.

Geo da Silva - Do You Like a Truck (Extended Version)
One of those deeply dumb DJ songs that has a very bright future ahead of it at wedding receptions, where it will be played somewhere between "Macarena" and "YMCA." DJ repeatedly implores the audience to chant louder—when have you ever heard a DJ ask an audience to quiet down a little?

Fly Project - Lumea Mea (DJ Gaby Xtd Mix)
As a devoted ethnologist who spent 2.5 weeks in Iasi studying Romanian people in their native habitat, I can assure you that hard-partying Romanians get down to songs like this. And you don't even have to speak Romanian to sing along to its choruses.

SW14 - Need You Tonight (Radio Mix)
My homework suggests that Brits were behind this cheerful pop/house stomper; perhaps the name refers to the zip code in London? In any case, you've got your happy diva imploring you to put your hands all over her while synths deliver the big hook.

Agnes [Carlsson] - On and On (Anothanding-An Beh-An Version)
This particular remix of the Swedish Idol winner's "On and On," which includes a "What Time is Love/Love is Gonna Save Us"-style grumbling keyboard, circle dance-appropriate cries of "Hey!" and a 70s-tastic disco bridge where Agnes informs us that your love is amazing, is not to be missed. But since a digital version of it has not been made available anywhere, you will likely have to turn to the dark side (i.e., make one sacrifice to the file-sharing gods) to procure this track.

Shark & Sylvain feat. Lara Love - Call Me [perhaps better known incorrectly as "Waiting by the Phone"]
Every once in a while a couple of the two million folks who call themselves "Slovenian" craft a song so perfect that it puts nations with much larger populations to shame. Sylvain wrote the excellent "If I Fell...(In Love)" a few years back, but its smooth charms seemed more suitable for the coffee house than the house club. No such worries here. Upon getting together with some fellow or group called Shark and Ms. Lara Love, he got to apply his touch to something that, in a fairer world, would be tearing up dancefloors all over Europe. Great vocal performance by Ms. Love—and you gotta love the pounding pianos.

CastleRock & Dov - Everybody (Original Mix)
Speaking of pounding pianos, there are a lot of good retro house elements in "Everybody" (those pianos, a fat bassline melody, gurgling keyboard noises you used to hear all over the place in 1993 but have forgotten all about in the decade and a half since, and a motivational female vocal). Nice one, sorted!

Eric Prydz - Pjanoo (Radio Edit)
After making his name with 80s covers (e.g., "Call On Me" and "Proper Education") "Pjanoo" potentially marks a new and artier direction for the Swedish-born DJ. So much fuss about a few piano chords! But there's no denying that this song captured many a clubber's imagination in 2008. It's in the mix where the song's power is best appreciated, when those chords come crawling mysteriously out of the darkness after your head is already swimming from the banging tunes that came before it. But for your compendium, you ought best stick with the radio edit (it's sort of a one-idea song).

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

© 1997—2011 King Pigeon Productions