Mr. Lava's Trash Music Compendium

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

(January 2011)

Images are by Snow1Wolf3 (image 1; image 2), and star KeirYela & Zdzisław the Dead Crow. I regret to say that Zdzisław does not have his own deviantART page. ;-)

2011 effectively marks the 10 Year Anniversary of "Eurotrash or Eurotreasure?" (depending on how you count it). If you're just joining me, lucky you—there's a ton of stuff for you to explore in the now-volumnious archives.

Click on the music notes to hear song samples.

Surkin - Easy Action

Crazed Frenchman engineers the wildest song not featured in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Sounds like Daft Punk might if they were still fun.

Árbol - El sábado en Ramos

Here's some tropi-trash to help wipe away the wintertime blues. "El sábado en Ramos" is a catchy electro-dance effort from an Argentinian rock group, specially imported into Europe by "Eurotrash or Eurotreasure's" competent song-runners.

The Dee feat. Sugga - Tick Tock to 2d Beat (Extended)

This reggaetonish dance tune is charting in France right now.

Loona - Vamos A La Playa (Radio Edit)

Tropi-trash from the ever-dependable Loona. Tru trashers with long memories will recall that this song was performed by Miranda back in 1999. Loona's take is a welcome revamp; it really ups the energy levels. But which of Loona's many versions will you play? Good God! This track might have set a record for most remixes on a single release—even after you discount all the "radio edit" versions! Update: by June 2011 this song was charting in a number of countries; at last the weather caught up with its sunny sentiments.

Uffie - Difficult

Another quirky tune from the hipster cutie.

Tommy Vee & Mr. V - Bang Bang (Club Mix)

Rapper tells you to "dance to the massive funky sound" before some cool sampled strings blow in. He addresses an audience "from New York to Italia," so if you live west or east of those respective places I am sorry—you are not allowed to dance to this.

Clokx - Catch Your Fall

Dance music producers are the best environmentalists because nobody recycles more than they do! The first outing from this Ron Van Den Beuken project was a 2003 cover of the Coldplay song "Clocks"; several years later he offers a similar, pretty, piano-driven pop trance track that might come under fire for borrowing elements from David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over"—until you remember that Guetta basically plucked all that stuff from Coldplay's "Clocks" also (and a few years after Van Den Bueken's earlier "Clocks" effort).

TyDi - Half Light (Max Graham Remix) feat. Tania Zygar

Tania's got a sorta sleepy voice. But about half-way through, TyDi wakes up the neighbors with a big synth hook.

RLP & Barbara Tucker - R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Club Edit)

If you wish to trash-up Aretha Franklin's "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." here's how you can do that.

Sakis Rouvas - Parafora / ΣΑΚΗΣ ΡΟΥΒΑΣ - ΠΑΡΑΦΟΡA

Here's the latest hit from the man who offered Greece's endearingly goofy 2009 Eurovision entry "This Is Our Night." Quite a pastiche of elements here, including verses that sound uncomfortably close to those in Seal's "Crazy," a drammatical chorus, and then a burst of catchy Euro-trance synth runs of the Y2K variety, this last element rescuing the whole experiment and making the song worth hunting down, actually.

Molella feat. Alessia Dandrea - Paradise (Molella & Jerma Extended Mix)

Appealing Italo dance tune that should boost any flagging spirits that require un-flagging. Jerma partnered with Alex Gaudino on the "Lil' Love" project, for those who keep track of those things.

Sunloverz - Fire (Vocal Extended Mix) feat. Rosette

Pop dance tune that uses punchy electro bursts as de facto choruses. It works.

Yer Man - Talk Dirty 2 Me

Aaron McClelland, known also as Fonzerelli (and by a number of other alias), runs a record label called Mena which has offered a few favorite tracks at "EorE?" including Wreaker/Wrecker's "Tear the Roof Off" and Yordis's "The Need." "The criteria is simple," he writes in an appeal to would-be dance music composers. "Mena want tracks with good solid hooks/key changes (not 10 min songs that use one bass line/hook throughout!!) the chorus is key people!!" Amen. This tune, from Mr. McClelland himself (behind his Yer Man alias), demonstrates this philosophy to spectacular effect. You can snag it from

September - Kärlekens tunga

September, among other artists, recently performed a bunch of Lill-Babs (classic Swedish singer) songs in that woman's honor. This is one of those efforts, appropriately danced-up for the performer. It's neat to hear September singing in her own language. This is one of a several tunes she covered at the Lill-Babs event, and while her Swedish-language re-re-interpretation of "It's My Party" is fun, "Kärlekens tunga" is the tune that I think came out best.

Illitheas - Perfect Day (Original Mix)

Pretty trance tune with a nice little hook to it.

Los Umbrellos - No tengo dineros

Danish-dum-dum reggae-trash from the golden age of Eurodance; it uses that riff from the Greek movie classic "Never On Sunday" as its hook. It's fun to make reggae fans angry by citing groups like Los Umbrellos as examples of the best representatives of that genre. "Jimmy Cliff has nothing on Ace of Base, maahhhn!!!!!" Annoying reggae fans might just be what God put me on earth to do.

(March 2011)

Crystal Hall grand opening, photographed by myself in Kiev, Ukraine back in January 2010.

Click on the music notes to hear song samples.

De Staat - Sweatshop

Sly rock/rap/industrial/funk homage to the joys/horrors of hitting the gym.

Adya & Geisha - Cherubino's Aria (from "The Marriage of Figaro")

A Mozart aria gets an industrial kick. The concept screams "novelty," but while you would expect the result to be incredibly irritating, it's actually—would you believe—kinda catchy? Goofy, on-the-cheap video only enhances the charm. I await Véronique Gens's rebuttle.

A-Lee - The One

Norwegian guy raps about a desire to become famous, earn lots of money, drive an expensive car, and nail hot chicks. So, points off for lack of originality! But the electro pop music is so infectious, it should rock Oslo's discos. I'd say "discos everywhere," but it has been my experience that unless you are a-ha, a Norwegian artist's chances of escaping Norway's borders are slight. Which means Mr. A-Lee will just have to go back to daydreaming about fame, money, cars, and chicks.

Touch of Joy - Fox on the Run

A ridiculous cover of an already ridiculous Sweet song. Tru-trash gold uncovered during my recent dig through Y2K music.

Carlos Adolfo Dominguez - Boobies (Motiv8 Alternative Club Instrumental)

This novelty hit from years past drifted back into my radar again. It was created by a guy whose other work, performed under different aliases, is associated with the tasteful Soma record label; so this must have been a "get this trash out of my system" effort. The original features comical, heavily-accented lyrics describing the experience of going to the discotheque and, of course, oggling the "boobies." But underneath that goofiness is some of the typically excellent production and melodic craftiness one expects from Motiv8. So I am plugging the instrumental here, free from the distracting dopiness of the original's vocals. But you are certainly welcome to try out the original. I'm not going to stop you. Why am I not getting out of your way? I'm just standing here—don't mind me. Oh—I'm sorry, I got in your way again. That was an accident, I swear!

Therese - Drop It Like It's Hot (Extended)

Therese started singing over a decade ago in Drömhus, became a successful dance-vocalist for hire after that, and, as this release demonstrates, occasionally puts out tunes under her own name up to the present day. The supposedly sexy lyrics in this effort are sort of terrible ("you've got the juice I want"), not to mention grammatically-awkward ("to all them other djs that doesn't know how to play"); a bit of a misfire. The music, on the other hand, is mesmerizing.

In Full Color - Not the First

Here's another classic rescued from the Eurodumdum pit of obscurity. It charted in the Netherlands back in Y2K. Features a keyboard riff that sounds right out of Alice DeeJay. Nice verse/chorus key-changes indicate that somebody with a music degree might have helped with the composing.

Seamus Haji & Romain Curtis - Just a Friend (Vocal Mix)

Anthemic piano-pumper featuring female vocals that will sound stylistically familiar to those who remember classics like Marly's "You Never Know," Lil' Love's "Little Love," or Sunfreakz/Andrea Britton's "Counting Down the Days." Every few years it seems a new song based on this template comes out, and if the hook is there that song always sounds good. I guess every generation of clubbers needs their own. I also like the lyrics in this one; they deftly capture the romantic spirit of tru trash.

R.I.O. - Like I Love You

R.I.O. produced some of the several dozen interchangeable sunshine-reggae-house tunes of the mid-to-late 2000s, whose lyrics always featured long-"i" words like "shine," "rise," "fly," "high," and "sky"; plus some variation of the word "free" (perhaps rhymed with "be" or "sea"). The gritty poverty and urban violence of the cities associated with this sound was nowhere to be found—just the unbridled optimism that we associate with the grinning natives, dressed from head to toe in white, who bring us our umbrella drinks at popular tropical tourist traps. Bob Sinclar's efforts in this Eurotrash subfield often overshadowed R.I.O.'s; Sinclar had a good ear for hooks back then and R.I.O.'s output always seemed second-tier by comparison. But nowadays Bob seems crippled by "guest vocal hubris." "Like I Love You" is a bit by-the-numbers; and the big synth hook comes by way of a song by The Hitmen, but it literally hits all the right notes. It's (consult The Music Review Writer's Book of Adjectives) EBULLIENT. It offers more optimism than a bucket of Coronas.

Rebecca & Fiona - Bullets (Club Edit)

This tune has echoes of Adrian Lux's indie-guitar/female vocal-driven "Teenage Crime" (I wonder if Mr. Lux had a production hand in this?). One website proffers that Rebecca did the vocals on the Lux tune, but the credit on that record officially went to Linnéa Martinsson; pseudonym or two different people? In any case, this tune certainly does, in mood and style, resemble "Teenage Crime," but I think it's much better. It feels fully-realized, sturdily constructed, with its little hooks delicately put into place throughout. It would sound at home grooving alongside indie talents like The Naked and the Famous, yet also completely comfortable on a dancefloor. It debuted on the Swedish charts at #34 one week in January, then sank like a rock. C'mon, you Swedes! Give your talented countrywomen another chance!

Anna Star - Major Violence (Jective Remix)

A stormy trance song with some Eurodance properties. It's marred by its muddy production (hard to understand what the singer is going on about), but if you're not fussy about the acoustics, the intense melodic elements and strong vocal performance certainly make this worth a listen. Reminds me of an angrier take on Plummet's excellent "Damaged."

Alpenzusjes - Naar Voren, Naar Achter

In the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Austria it is common to take familiar pop songs and convert them into polka-ish "apres-ski" or Carnival tunes. Here, it's Ann Lee's classic Euro-dum-dum hit "2 Times" that gets the accordion-driven treatment. A cover of the Ann Lee song performed by Love Unit also made the Euro Club chart at about the same time ("2 Times 2k11"); Ann Lee stock is trading high right now.

DJ F.R.A.N.K. - Discotex (Yah!) (ClubMix)

Strings lifted from Dutch disco tune "Why Tell Me Why" (originally performed by Anita Meyer) are coupled with spoken/shouted comedy bit of (at the time of this writing) unknown origin. Not much here, but enough to grant the former Underdog Project collaborator another fifteen minutes of fame.

Mera Zymeri - Hajde more djalo

Albanian folk/R&B tune serves-up cool, mysterious-sounding choruses.

Nero - Me & You (Dirtyphonics Remix)

The dubstep original is good, too, but I prefer the stadium roar of this ferocious drum & bass reworking. Lighters in the air!

Chase & Status - Blind Faith

I warned you about this one on the "Eurotrash or Eurotreasure?" Facebook page back in December. I told you to take cover and to secure your possessions. I went into great detail about how to construct a safe bunker (preferably in a Slovenian cave) and I advised you to release all your pets into the wilderness. If you didn't follow my advice it's too late now, because the long-awaited anthem has arrived at last. It promptly debuted atop the UK Dance Chart in January and scored a high spot on the UK singles chart as well; and a week later a rush of Chase & Status tunes littered the UK Dance Chart as everyone seemed to be discovering or re-discovering the band at once. "Blind Faith" transcends the dubstep label (one that has for too long been associated with an icy, humorless, and pretentious music scene). This is just a terrific song, an anthemic, goose-bump-giver which has the dazzling audacity to douse us with a Loleatta Holloway sample. This is dubstep's Quinceañeras.

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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