Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

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

(February 2010)

Posted from a hotel in Iasi with no water and very spotty internet. :-D

The Economist recently ran an article saying "Eastern Europe" was no longer a proper term to use. So I will say, "I was very recently in Kiev, I am currently running around Romania, and I will visit other countries bordering or near the ones I have just mentioned during the months to come."

The songs here are a mix of those I am hearing in my travels, as well as other chart discoveries from all over Europe. I have also thrown in a few older tunes that have been sitting in the queue for too long. :-)

Click on the music notes to hear song samples.

Mitsoura - Lei Toi

Hungarian folk music gets kicked all over the place by breakbeats.

Kontrust - Bomba

Kontrust's "Bomba" video grabbed my attention first; it's a perfect parody of the polka videos that play regularly on Slovenian and Austrian television. Fortunately, the song is fantastic as well. It blends metal with a variety of folk instruments from around the world. The song came out last year, but is just now charting in the Netherlands.

Alphabeat - DJ

A year ago I found Alphabeat's perky pop music to be quite irritating, but this song, a single from their second album, is a disco delight, and is sure to appeal to vain DJs like myself with its "I could be dancing all night/If you'd play" refrain.

NiCE7 - Elisa (Pirupa Remix)

Spooky tribal trance tune filled with what sound like Islamic calls to prayer. Geert Wilders's worst nightmare!

Taisia Povaliy - Gry
Date unknown, but performed in 2010

This song was performed live at a Yanukovych campaign rally I witnessed in Kiev this January. I was pulling for Tymoshenko, but I couldn't help but tap my foot to this tune. Guilty feet sometimes do have rhythm!

Kate Ryan - Your Eyes

A cleaning out my closet tune; another perfect pop dance song from the titan of tasteful tru trash.

Ladyhawke - Magic

I heard this goosebump-good ode to trans-Atlantic relationships in a bar in Ukraine back in January.

666 - Diablo

Some years back I championed Lokan's terrific "Que Idea!" Here is a much earlier tune using the same hard-house template, a silly Eurodance project from 1998 featuring a devil-horned vocalist with freaky contact lenses singing the praises of the devil. Oooooo, scary. I'll be damned if this ain't catchy! ROFL!

Dalida - Flamenco (Oriental)

Dalida was a singing sensation in France (there's a statue of her in Montmarte) who met a tragic end in 1987. She has been plucked from another era and deposited into this one thanks to the skillful remixers here. Perhaps more "Oriental" than "Flamenco," with its big beats and Turkish swagger. Thank you, Cristina, for making the introduction. :-X

PapaJaM - Nemusíš sa bať (Radio Edit)

Peppy output from a Slovakian Eurodance project.

Timbaland - Morning After Dark (feat. Nelly Furtado and SoShy)

Playing everywhere in Europe right now, song demonstrates once again that Timbaland is the master of Ameritrash. I am tired of the self-referential nature of the lyrics, though ("Go, Timbo!" :-P). It's the lyrical equivalent of a dog piddling to mark its territory.

Marco V - Inconsistent Talk

A compliment of sorts to last month's Fred Worx "Softly (Rudy Rudy Dog Remix)," which also featured a terrifying spoken word bit. Here, a scary woman repeats over a rising tide of electronic horror music: "I am a star! But I do not sleep!"

Lonnie Gordon - Happenin' All Over Again (Original 12" Mix)

Bassmonkeys told me they are working on a remix of this tune, and through that bit of news I discovered the original for myself. Here are your 1990 pumping pianos, soaring strings, and diva vocals in full effect. Retro or nostalgia, depending on your age.

Tom Pulse - Cuando (Floresca El Chuño) (Extended Mix)

An Andean music group called Machu Picchu offered this tune back in 1992. Tom Pulse knows a good thing when he hears it, so he added some thumping beats and transformed it into an effective dancefloor number. The happiest song on this compendium.

Supershake - Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

A surprisingly successful updating of the classic C+C Music Factory tune.

Sofi Marinova - Ostani (Остани)

Here is the prettiest chalga tune you could ever hope to hear.

(March 2010)

These photographs were taken at Club A in Bucharest, Romania, on 20 February 2010.

I wrote these reviews today (22 March) while on an inter-city train rolling from Split to Zagreb. What did I see? Overcast skies and sprinkles of rain. Clouds parting to reveal the rocky face of some towering mountain. Rolling green fields partitioned by snaking stone walls. The last of the snow and the beginning of spring.

Click on the music notes to hear song samples.

Cheeky Horse

Some friends of friends of mine in Iasi crafted this, eh, "tongue in cheek" (forgive me) cover of the Pride of Cluj Napoca's—i.e., the Cheeky Girls'—"Touch My Bum." Since it was done as a lark, I provide the whole thing from the music note link above.

Ed Solo - Egyptian Horns

Menacing tune with plodding rock beats and throbbing bass; a perfect set-opener.

Grand Popo Football Club - Les Hommes C'est Pas Des Mecs Bien

French-language version of the lounge-trash tune known in English as "Men are Not Nice Guys," a snippet of which was recently featured in a Euro VH-1 advertisement.

Ben Bailey vs. Frank Drebin - Keep On

I have long-wanted to include this on a compendium, but things never seemed to fall into place. Here it is at last, a terrific little house tune with some nice retro sounds, all comfortably ensconced in Volume 78.

Dizzee Rascal (feat. Calvin Harris) - Dance Wiv Me

Another late arrival to the compendiums, but the web site wouldn't feel complete without it, and it is guaranteed to rock dance floors for years to come. Dizzee is one smoov operator; Calvin plays wingman.

Mylene Farmer - Sextonic

Mylene's aggressive campaign to win the title of Most Sensual Woman in the History of France seems a little silly at times, and "Sextonic" is a very silly title as well, but this danceable tune is lovely, with some vocal turns that even get a bit Cocteau Twinsy amidst the requisite moans and groans.

Nick Rowland - Galactica (Original Mix)

The vocal word sample may be a little over the top, but the music that follows it is glorious epic trance.

Anjulie - Love Songs (Bimbo Jones Remix)

A catchy bit of Eurodance; no more, no less.

Jay Ko feat. Anya - One

This December 2009 arrival emerged as one of the first hugely popular Romanian dance pop songs of 2010. It's a cute bit of fluff, neither earth-shattering nor tear-the-room apart awesome, but charming.

Groove Armada - Paper Romance (Urchins Remix)

Amazing to see that Groove Armada continues to kick it after a decade in the biz. This remix sees the chorus of the original rock 'n' rollish dance tune elevated to anthemic status.

Bijelo dugme - Hajdemo u planine (Karma Remix)

Arguably the best tune on this compendium, I heard this blasted at Zagreb's Saloon Discotheque. It's a tear-the-room apart remix of a 1970s Croatian classic. What a pleasure this would be to play loud. Mp3 can be tracked down via a bit of creative Googling.

Mini Viva - Left My Heart in Tokyo

Simon Fuller created the Idol TV shows, S-Club 7, and the Spice Girls. Amidst all that he also managed a few pop failures, including a female duo called S.O.A.P. He must have grown nostalgic for those girls, because his Mini Viva boast a similar sound and look. Oh, and remember how the last season of S-Club was called "VIVA S-Club"? There are THEMES running through this man's work! Anyway, "Left My Heart in Tokyo" has grown on me since I heard it for the first time on Slovenian Play TV a few months ago—thanks in part to my recently hearing it blasted in a Zagreb bar.

Joachim Gartaud - Are U Ready (Laidback Luke Mix)

Another fierce Laidback Luke remix that draws from the most banging lessons of dance music past. This guy never fails.

Mad-Masterz - Naeratus (Jumpstyle Mix)

Jumpy indeed, a sproingy-sproingy Estonian-language tune for your sproingiest of sproinging needs.

Jamie Matrix - Gold Rush (Original Mix)

I love trance, but I am not a big fan of the major trance labels, which seem to promote by-the-numbers versions of the stuff (reaching for pretty instead of beautiful, tastefully restrained instead of banging, etc.; I always imagine many of the featured artists say, "Well, that's good enough to be some sort of trance song" and let things go at that). Anjunabeats may be my least favorite of the group, perhaps because the label is so wildly popular, and so I am subjected to so many tunes from them. Well, here is an Anjuna-exception. Begins strongly with an unconventional rock beat and a cheery sliced-up vocal sample before a catchy bassline intrudes. Things build nicely from there. Not your father's Anjunabeats!

Sounddependence - Good Morning (Hard Cut Mix)

Another tune I have long had in my arsenal that deserves to see the light of day; a terrifying trancer featuring a woman chanting, "I don't need a promise; I need your love"—or is that "luck"? No matter. Completes my Triumvirate of Terrifying Trance Songs Featuring Creepy Women, begun on Volume 76 with Fred Worx's "Softly (Rudy Rudy Dog Remix)," and continued on 77 with Marco V's "Inconsistent Talk (Album Version)."

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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