Feedback Friday Week 2 Image

Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday

Here at Blisspop, we aim to show our audience who’s making their mark upon electronic music culture today. We sort through the good and the bad, bringing you the latest sounds. This brings us to the third installment of our new series, Feedback Friday. Our next batch of  armchair journalists / auditory sleuths / Blisspop contributors includes: William Creason, Yvette Bailhache, Patrick Blinkhorn, Justin Barini-Rivers, and Alex Rubenstein. This week’s music includes tracks by WATEVA, Kero Kero Bonito, Claptone, Krywald & Farrer, and Special Request remixed by Gerd Janson & Shan. Check it out below and send us your suggestions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

WATEVA – “My Love 2 U (feat. Emily J)”

Alex Rubenstein - So, I have never heard of WATEVA, nor am I familiar with Emily J, but what is immediately apparent is that this could be any mainstream producer/singer combination these days. This could easily be the newest EDM crossover hit from Diplo or Major Lazer. The song is catchy enough and I find Emily J’s vocals to be pleasant, but at no point during the roughly 3 minute track is there a WOW!! Factor. This will definitely be played at every day party from Miami to Ibiza, so I gotta give credit to WATEVA for the utter ubiquity of this track, just nothing special here. (5/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - I’m not into this song at all. I could see this working on a Friday night at one of those bottle-service clubs with dress codes and high cover charges — you know, the type of clubs you go to on your eighteenth birthday when you don’t know any better. But I’m no longer eighteen years old, my taste in music has changed dramatically since then, and I can now see this for what it is: pop-oriented EDM with little-to-no redeeming qualities. (1/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - L.A. based duo, WATEVA, toes the line between future and deep house with this roller. This gem caught my eye once it was released on Berlin based label, Selected. It has deep house energy with a hint of the aggressive drops that come with the future house genre. Emili Jürgens provides some lovely pop tinged vocals on the breaks and with that powerful bassline, it will be heard at a club near you. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - My first thought was that the name WATEVA is pretty tight, so I was curious from the jump. The intro beat is ok and I was pleasantly surprised when Emily J came in because I was not expecting pop vocals against that track; that’s cool. I also like her melodies (her “no no nooo” is sweet and easy on the ears). I think her vocals stand out more than the track though; I’m not too keen on the beat. But I appreciate that the song wasn’t too long. (7/10)

William Creason - This tune bumps!  The melody comprised of rolling toms is a nice surprising element.  The track is otherwise well constructed and uses sharp, contemporary drum sounds.  In a just world, this would be on the radio instead of the Chainsmokers. (7/10)

Kero Kero Bonito – “Only Acting”

Alex Rubenstein - Ok, so apparently this is the first KKB song to feature actual instrumentation instead of the primarily computerized work of producers Gus Lobban, aka Kane West and Jamie Bulled. That said, it still feels like a classic KKB track with its wonderfully cute and upbeat vocals until about halfway through when that sweetness devolves into a chaotic whirlwind of garbled electronics and digitally shredded screams. The song returns to form, but not without revisiting the earlier noise element making you think that you really should have invested that extra $15 to get the other Sony Walkman touting Anti-Skip Technology. This is the lead single from their brand new EP, TOTEP. The other 3 tracks are available to stream on platforms like Spotify and YouTube. This is a fun experiment from Kero Kero Bonito and can hopefully win them some well-deserved new fans. (8/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - From the subtle vocal modulation to the crazy sections around the 2 min mark and then again at the end, this song has enough melodic and harmonic catchiness to draw you in and the right amount of experimental sounds to make this either a worthwhile or frightening experience for the listener. I’m giving this track very high marks for creative songwriting. (9/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers -    I dig the vibe immediately. Her voice just sits comfortably on a drum machine and lovely guitar cuts.  A quality production, I love what they went for with the slow build in the main section. Once the live drums kick in this song  it brings me pure joy. I personally don’t listen to much music like this until it is shared with me. I did enjoy this song and will be digging more through Kero Kero Bonito. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - As much as I wanted to connect with this one, I just couldn’t all the way. A little, but not really. I’ve always thought Sarah Midori Perry was a pretty dope artist and the band as a whole is cool, but aside from Sarah’s fabulous purple hair, this was not that great to me. The song got a little more enjoyable/tolerable around the 1:48 mark, but once 3 minutes struck I just couldn’t really bare the song or the video any longer. (4/10)

William Creason - This one isn’t doing it for me at all, sad to say.  The vocal melody seems like they’re trying too hard while the vocal tone seems like they’re not trying hard enough.  The bridge sounds like Sleigh Bells, which is a huge minus in my book.  The best moments are the guitar solo and the end when there is a fog of delay effects on everything.  One additional point allotted because bonito flakes are an underrated condiment. (2/10)

Claptone – “In The Night”

Alex Rubenstein - The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this song is “Diet Chromeo.” This feels like a track that was left on the cutting room floor when White Women was being recorded back in 2013. It’s admittedly a fun track, but Claptone does not seem to be giving it his all here. Also, aren’t we as a people, collectively, over the whole artist with a mask shtick? I mean, it’s 2018 people. I can’t see myself spinning this one again, but I do think Claptone has potential. (3/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - The vocals here are a bit more pop-oriented than what I’m into, especially when they are pitched-down at certain moments. The guitars and bassline are a bit busier than what I wanted to hear as well. I don’t listen to a lot of Claptone’s music (though I was a fan of his remix of Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” back in 2015), but this track felt very “meh” to me — well-produced, but “meh.” (5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This track doesn’t give me much of the stripped down minimal house vibes that I expected from Claptone. I am into the rhythm guitar and bassline that feel as though they touch some disco feels in me. Overall it’s a solid tune, but it feels like a lot of the disco style pop music coming out these days. I can dig his development as an artist and I’m curious if this track will fit into his later releases. (5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - At first listen I liked this song, great production and I liked that I could hear some of those signature Claptone basslines deep in there. Ben Duffy has a really smooth voice and I like the way he plays around with it. But it’s not an on-repeat song for me. I think the hook’s melody is a little lackluster and almost too catchy or, dare I say, commercial. There’s nothing wrong with commercial, Billboard actually premiered this video, so commercial works, I know that. But I was still a little surprised by the sound. Hope to find a few gems once the full album drops.  (7/10)

William Creason - Hearing this one trips up one of my deep personal biases, I just don’t like lyric oriented club tracks. For me a song like this is a bit of a lose-lose situation because the vocals carry so much weight, the backing track doesn’t have much going on but also the tempo of a club track doesn’t allow for vocals to land, to be able to breathe.  Ultimately, to my ears, it seems like a bunch of words laid over a song where nothing happens.  Sorry, it’s just not my vibe! (3/10)

The Players Association – “Goin’ To The Disco (Krywald & Farrer Edit)”

Alex Rubenstein - This track encapsulates that feeling you get when it’s late into the night or even early into the morning and the entire dancefloor is one living, breathing organism. Everyone is dancing, hands up in the air, hugging their friends, and loving life when this gets played. K&F provide a wonderful disco edit with PERSIE005 by still keeping the original, slightly dusty groove, but upgrading it for our modern times. Big fan of this tune! (8.5/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - It’s times like these that I wish I collected vinyl. Krywald & Farrer’s Persie Edits 005 is out and boy is it a scorcher. For the A-Side, Krywald & Farrer re-touched The Players Association’s “Goin’ To The Disco” and they knocked it out of the park. The strings; the vocals; the bassline; the drums — as they say, gorgeous! This track is everything I could hope for in a disco edit. Unfortunately they sold out all their 500-count vinyl white label copies in 22 minutes, leaving people like me who don’t even collect vinyl (yet!) a chance to grab a copy. (10/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I love anything that samples disco or anything that resembles the sampling techniques used by those great artists who pioneered french touch. I was taken by the strings immediately and the beauty of the disco style clap. Before I can get enough of the vocals it drops out the bass line. What a lovely edit. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - Oooh this is a great disco banger. I love a good re-work/re-edit of an old hard to find gem from back in the day — and this one goes so hard in the beat. My only problem is that the sound quality is bad and re-works are supposed to sound much better than the original, so I have to take two points off for that. (8/10)

William Creason - A very nice, feel-good disco edit.  Whereas many disco edits rely on one loop and a thick kick drum and call it a day, this edit weaves through different sampled parts and doesn’t rely on additional instrumentation or effects.  I love a good filter in a disco edit and it feels like the filter is engaged through almost all if not the entire track.  Quality stuff! (6/10)

Special Request – “Brainstorm (Gerd Janson & Shan House Mix)”

Alex Rubenstein - UNTZ! UNTZ! UNTZ! UNTZ! There is no denying that this is a house mix and honestly I prefer the original track to this imagining. The piano isn’t enough to push this mix to where it needs to be although it does sit atop a relatively inviting bass line. Easy to dance to, but again not blowing me away. (6/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - There are a lot of good individual elements in here, but on the whole, the track didn’t click with me. Take the delayed piano line: it’s a really good individual element, but it wasn’t enough to save this track for me. The crash cymbals were a bit much for me too. Besides all of that, I wasn’t in love with the bassline and the track’s tempo was a bit too quick for me. (6/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - When I first heard this remix it caught me off guard because the original track is a serious club monster with a big bassline and epic drums to match. The drums groove while the song takes its time to build on you. The vocals are sparse, but you get enough to break through the hypnotic house vibes. Creatively speaking, they pulled off a gem. They dismantled this club track and brought so many house vibes out in turn really making it their own. (6/10)

Yvette Bailhache - There’s something that’s so classic-house but still 2018-house about this song. I love that. This is a fun song, the kind that could be played at a party and even the non-house heads would dance to it. That’s always what’s up. (8/10)

William Creason - Houndstooth delivers a dream team up with Paul Woolford remixed by edit extraordinaires Gerd Janson & Shan.  The song strips most of Special Request’s pirate radio transmission sonic texture away (save for some great spinbacks), honing in on Paul Woolford’s excellent piano riff.  Janson & Shan deliver a feverish peak time banger with this mix, one of four set for release today. (8/10)

The Winners And Losers:

The Players Association – “Goin’ To The Disco (Krywald & Farrer Edit)” – (7.9/10)

Special Request – “Brainstorm (Gerd Janson & Shan House Mix)” – (6.8/10)

Kero Kero Bonito – “Only Acting” – (6/10)

WATEVA – “My Love 2 U (feat. Emily J)” – (5.4/10)

Claptone – “In The Night” – (4.6/10)