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 fourth installment of our new series, Feedback Friday. Our next batch of  discerning listeners / dedicated dancers / Blisspop contributors includes: Aeron Premo, Yvette Bailhache, Jonathan Sherman, Justin Barini-Rivers, and Michael Khalifeh. This week’s music includes tracks by Carpenter Brut, CamelPhat remixing Fatboy Slim, Dabuell & Jordan Lee, DJ Koze, and Factory Floor. Check it out below and send us your suggestions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Carpenter Brut - LEATHER TEETH

Aeron Premo - I was not familiar with Carpenter Brut when this track was put forth for this series, so of course this is the first I have heard from the French artist. While not all electronic music has to be dancefloor-friendly, I am not the world’s biggest metal fan and found the arrangement quite polarizing. And with that influence being so strong, I would expect to hear a guitar solo – where was it? (2/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This track took hold of me and didn’t let go. The distortion of the guitar paired with its driving arrangement really is what does it on this track for me. The power on these stadium sized drums has me air drumming the tom rolls and once the synths and vocals start pushing around its over. This track really picks the tempo up immediately and brings it right to you. I could only imagine what would be a part of the live show. Pyrotechnics and an absurd amounts of lights is my guess. (9/10)

Michael Khalifeh - Never heard of this dude, and this isn’t my style at all but I appreciate a selection that pushes past what can be classified as dance music. This is a truly epic rock fused intro that eventually blends into a cyberpunk synth anthem that sounds like some evil Com Truise. While I do think the tune got better as it went on, it also left me feeling like it never truly reached a tipping point. Again, not my thing but an interesting sound no doubt. (5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I liked that I had no idea what I was going to get after tapping the play button, that album cover is crazy. Songs like this I have to reeeaaaally force myself to listen hard so that I can try to appreciate the production work. But I couldn’t appreciate much and I’m not averse to metal, I just couldn’t connect with this one. Sidenote: For the fuck of it I hit play on the track after called “Cheerleader Effect.”  I liked it much more and it gave me a different outlook on the band. So extra point for them. (2/10)

Jonathan Sherman - I really like this track because it combines a few different genres together and is emblematic of an AC/DC or a Lynyrd Skynyrd with Drum and Bass and Nu Disco influences. I like tracks that have that classic 80s 808 beat and the combination with the electric and bass guitar patterns combined with the synth really make one want to jam up and out of their seat! (8/10)

Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now (CamelPhat Radio Edit)

Aeron Premo - This remix of Fatboy Slim’s 1999 track came across as a generic progressive house arrangement to me. While I see that it will go over well during that type of DJ set, I just wasn’t feeling it all that much. Many dance tracks have repetitive parts, but usually they build up and lift the track into the next dimension. I felt that this one just stayed in the same place the whole time. (2/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - Respect to CamelPhat for remixing a song by Fatboy Slim, as that is no easy task. I love Fatboy Slim and his catalog should be in the hall of fame (if there was one.) The style of this remix is very simple. I respect keeping the sample in for most of the track and really utilizing what people loved most about the original track. Honestly, I can’t give CamelPhat much credit though because they started with an anthem. (5/10)

Michael Khalifeh - Ah, the CamelPhat boys seem like they can do no wrong as of late, as everything they put out lands in the rotation of all the biggest DJs. This remix, however, fell short for me in the name value and excitement I had when I first saw this come up on my feed. While the tech house on this tune is a quality rhythm, I really fail to see what else they added to the original that is that unique. To me, this is more of an edit than a proper remix. (5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - Nice to see Fatboy Slim’s name floating around, but yikes, my ears were not feeling this one at first. However, when the beat dropped at the 2:30 mark I was able to get much more into it. It’s kind of fiery, definitely very danceable (especially if there’s a lot of drinks involved,) but only after the 2:30 mark can I really feel this, before that I’m just like meh.. (3/10)

Jonathan Sherman - I proposed this track because I’m still unsure of how I feel about it and wanted to get Blisspop’s opinion on their new release. I’m a huge fan of CamelPhat and of reworked tracks, but this track by Fatboy Slim was one of my first introductions to electronic music and I am still partial to the original. I appreciate when artists try to make something old new again. I feel like this track is more of a club edit than a real remix. I would love to see if they keep iterating the track in a future club mix. (6/10)

Factory Floor – Heart of Data (Soundtrack Edit)

Aeron Premo - As this track was written for a re-scoring of the classic silent film “Metropolis,” the film score influence looms strong on this track, combining it with the industrial, techno, post punk and house influences that make Factory Floor a standout act. The track coasts along like a comfortable train ride, but it isn’t until close to the four minute mark that it really hits its stride. The ominous pads that kick in at this mark add a strong finishing touch to the arrangement and give it an extra punch to finish out the track. I just wish the second part was longer. (7/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – At first I was a little on edge, but once the kick entered the track I was ready for some house. The hi hat arrangement throughout keeps me happy while I jam to these retro synths. Deeper into this song, the tom rolls and crashes come through and really push the momentum. This is a solid track that keeps it simple. It succeeds in building to a moment and really allows you to cherish it. (6/10)

Michael Khalifeh – This is a clear favorite for me out of this week’s crop. Such a steady build-up and a nice mix of dark and melodic elements in this one. It’s a pleasant listen that feels personal to the listener with enough oomph to keep engaging them throughout. (7.5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - This is my first intro to Factory Floor and with that being said, I like them a lot. Here we have very thoughtful production with so many interesting elements to be heard. I can’t help but to be pulled in when this is blaring in my headphones. However, after a few minutes of listening I was definitely in need of something more to happen, for the song to flip up a bit–and going into the 4 minute mark it did, so my interest immediately picked back up and stayed until the very end. Cool song (and name), would love to see them live.  (8.5/10)

Jonathan Sherman - Fantastic kick! This track definitely has an awesome kick, and the way the hats the bass are layered on top in accordance with the synth is awesome. The track neatly builds in tempo, and the effects clashes come in right on point. Really makes you want to dance and brings you back to a classic French House/NuDisco warehouse from the late 1980s and early 1990s. (9/10)

Dabeull & Jordan Lee – Don’t Forget It

Aeron Premo - As the wise man Yoda would say, the 80’s R&B vibe is strong with this one. The melody immediately recalls “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers (sampled by the Notorious B.I.G for “Big Poppa”) and has a smooth and sensual feel to it. I absolutely love the production, synths, vocals, and vibe of this one and can see this track being played just as the party is starting to wind down for the evening. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Dabeull and the RocheMusique label. (10/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I love disco. This track has these lovely, clean drums rolling along reminding me that I enjoy dancing. This reminds me of Gavin Turek. Love the subtle elements to the groove and is totally a jam I will be playing out. The Synths and vocals really fill out a lovely drum groove. The bass line really does it for me as it pushes around with the hi hats. I will be adding Dabeull to my list of favorites. (7/10)

Michael Khalifeh - Oh man, I love me some Roche Music. They are so consistent with their vibe and output, and I was excited to find that this is just the intro track off of an upcoming compilation. True to the label, this tune is somewhat reserved in its delivery, and sort of just sits on the wall in the background to supplement the vibe of whatever you’re doing. While this is a relaxing listen, it’s lacking that catchiness needed to truly make it into something special, which I think could have been found with some more exploration of the keyboard’s role in the song. For a song that’s called “Don’t Forget It,” it’s missing an aspect in its composition that fulfills that goal. (6/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I love 90’s R&B, so I appreciate Dabeull and Jordan Lee’s ode to it. They definitely got the sound of the genre during that era down pat. I want to like this more than I actually do. The song’s got a nice beat that I can vibe to, but I’m not like crazy over it–or the vocals. I would’ve liked for a little bit more of a 2018 twist thrown in somehow. France has been coming out with such an eclectic variety of electronic music lately, so I am hype for the full compilation from Roche Musique to drop. Unfortunately, this is just average to me. (6.5/10)

Jonathan Sherman - I really like this tune a lot. It’s got a lot of personality and kind of takes you back into the 1980s with some of the bossa nova, synth, and disco sounds of Hall and Oates, the Police, or Prince. It’s very emblematic of French House, and is a soothing and soulful track for reading a book or watching a movie or studying for an exam. I also like how consistent the vocals and instrumentals are throughout the track. (9/10)

DJ Koze – Illumination

Aeron Premo - I fell in love with DJ Koze’s remix of Lapsley’s “Operator.” He is an artist that I have wanted to check out, but never seem to have the time. I was really excited to see how this track would turn out, being that it is a collaboration with the unbelievable talent that is Roisin Murphy. While I really love Murphy’s vocals and the atmospheric production, I thought the melody was a bit on the boring side. Aside from the spoken word sample towards the end, there were no real elements that you normally add to a two/three chord arrangement to really lift the track. (6/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This reminds me of the west coast style beats you’d typically hear from an artist such as Nosaj Thing. I love the sound design on the kick. It’s got a bottom, but the top reminds you of a live kick drum. I want to use so many emojis to describe the textures that are built behind the vocals. This track is full of little secrets. Keep on listening through and you will catch different vocal takes and synth modulations at each turn. I haven’t heard vocals cut this intimately in this style of music before. Roisin’s voice isn’t hiding behind the track here; it’s in front and alone. I love the choice by the parties involved. Overall, DJ Koze put in work that I will appreciate beyond this year. (8/10)

Michael Khalifeh - Wow, I really really wanted to like this song, not because it was my own selection, but because Koze is typically so consistent and forward-thinking in his music that it’s almost shocking when he doesn’t hit. From the very start of this tune, the intro is a bit off-putting, with its repetitive ease in of the vocals sort of pushed me away rather than reeled me in. I’ve learned, however, to be patient with some of Koze’s music, and gave it the benefit of the doubt for most of the track. Once it reached its end though, I found myself sold a bit short. The vocals on this tune honestly make it worse, and it’s a shame because there are some interesting ideas in the production. When you’re constantly pushing sound boundaries like DJ Koze is, you’re not going to hit on everything. (4/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I’m always hype to see Róisín Murphy’s name on a new track, I adore her! I liked it  alright at the first listen, but it grew on me more after a couple of replays. This is not my favorite vocal performance from Róisín, but I like their harmonizing. The songs get better towards the end when the tempo picks up and I like the Debbie Harry-esque “I need a bit of light here” she threw out a couple of times. I could’ve used more of that. On the right night at the right late-night spot this would give off some serious vibes.  (8/10)

Jonathan Sherman - On this track, I’m a big fan of the lead synth and vocals. I like how they bring in the guitar and intermix it with the bass, but what fascinates me the most is how the track sounds like many different tracks in one. There appears to be multiple statements present in the same track, and that creates kind of a neat transition between both. This is definitely a different take for DJ Koze, but also a  very dynamic and interchangeable one. (7/10)

The Winners and Losers:

Dabeull & Jordan Lee – Don’t Forget It – 7.7/10

Factory Floor – Heart of Data (Soundtrack Edit) – 7.6/10

DJ Koze – Illumination – 6.6/10

Leather Teeth – Carpenter Brut – 5.2/10

Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now (CamelPhat Radio Edit) – 4.2/10