Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – August 3rd, 2018

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. Back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This week, our group of Blisspop contributors includes: Alex Rubenstein, Will Creason, Connor McInerney, Justin Barini-Rivers, and Yvette Bailhache. This week’s music includes tracks by Charli XCX, Golden Features, Ross From Friends, Skream remixed by Alan Fitzpatrick, and Sofi Tukker remixed by Purple Disco Machine. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.



Charli XCX – “Girls Night Out”


Will Creason - This is basically a Black Eyed Peas rejected lyric on an unforgivably poorly produced, cheap sounding sample pack loop.  Surely SOPHIE has better beats than this waiting for a more competent song, right? (0/10)

Connor McInerney - I am drawn like a shark to blood when I hear that patented SOPHIE bass beat -  that discordant major-minor shift with a dark, low-bit texture feels like a retrofuturistic VR rave cave. “Girls Night Out” enlists Charli XCX to make the track feel more ‘Spring Breakers’ than ‘Blade Runner,’ but the lyrical content of the track feels stale and hashed out, frankly. Still would get four on the floor if this came on during a Saturday night out though,  regardless of whether the boys tagged along. (5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I have never really gone for commercial pop, but this got me. Charli XCX comes through with a clean pop house cut. The arrangement works and I expect to hear a ton of remixes come out of this one. Charli XCX doesn’t extend her vocal range too far so you know the vocals will have to be catchy and she delivers. I wouldn’t play this for enjoyment on loop, but once or twice won’t hurt. (6/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Okay. You got me. This isn’t quite Top 40 material, but it’s adjacent enough to warrant a guilty pleasure categorization. Charli has really been on the party song tip recently and this is the most sugary version of that venture yet. Sadly, this is probably the weakest SOPHIE production since “Bitch I’m Madonna.” Charli XCX and SOPHIE cooked up some pure magic on the Vroom Vroom EP, but this falls a bit short of that excellent collaborative project. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - Nah. For one, this song is obviously targeted towards 16-21 year old girls, so I’m out of that box entirely. I can still appreciate a good teeny pop song, but this just isn’t good. Not only does this sound extra juvenile, it’s just bad and cheesy in general. It sounds like the most minimal amount of creativity was put into this song. Cute single cover though, I’m totally feeling those boots. (1/10)



Golden Features – “Medicate”


Will Creason - This one gets off to a dicey start with a kind of uninspired vocal sample, but leading into the main section we pick up some steam. The payoff is an attention grabber, part mid-aughts electro-house, sidechained stomp, and part gnarled horror house bassline.  The cool down time is a little too long in my opinion, but this is a fine tune for a sweaty crowd that is up for it. (6/10)

Connor McInerney - In all honesty, I was ready to write this track off based on the opening, somewhat overly simple vox with which ‘Medicate’ begins – I find it trite and holistically basic. However, as the track moved into a more dissonant and atmospheric drive I really started to warm up to what Golden Features was laying down. There’s certainly a sonic through line between both the ‘verse’ and ‘chorus’ components of this track, but I wish that Golden Features would do more to reconcile the dichotomy of the two, favoring the darker elements that makes ‘Medicate’ really slap. (6.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - Golden Features’ album is finally out in all of its glory! It’s lovely to see an artist able to make music in this format. “Medicate” is a dark, more club oriented cut from the album that hits hard. Regardless of its bang, all of this song is carefully crafted and you will gain more and more each listen. (10/10)

Alex Rubenstein - The bassline is the standout feature of this track. It’s got just enough bounce and manages to straddle the dark and light perfectly. My only gripe here is the vocal sample which is, as Yvette pointed out, “slightly medicated,” if only perhaps a bit too much. This is the second time we’ve seen Golden Features here on Feedback Friday and I’d be happy to welcome them back for a third. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I liked the gentleness of the intro as though the song itself was slightly medicated. The beat goes a little harder than what I normally prefer to listen to, but the soft hook at 1:40 created a nice balance to this song. I’m also glad to it’s not too long of a track. Not bad at all. (7/10)



Ross From Friends – “Thank God I’m A Lizard”


Will Creason - I’ve really enjoyed the music from Ross From Friends’ Brainfeeder album rollout, the songs have been dense and packed with fun, with competing ideas jockeying for attention. This genre and era collision continues with “Thank God I’m A Lizard,” packed as a tech house drum pattern tinged with a slightly metallic aftertaste paired with a funhouse full of disparate saxophones, synth washes, and burbling arpeggios. The world needs more music that goes way, way out of the boundaries like this one does. (9/10)

Connor McInerney - Ross From Friends has a knack for combining vaporwave styled soundscapes with a progressive house twist, avoiding the pitfalls of a genre for which the pioneering work emerged from a chopped and screwed edit of Diana Ross’ ‘It’s Your Move.’ The entirety of his discography is a wonderful mix of uptempo EDM, peppered with zany 90s instrumental influences (including R&B and muzak) that’s just as fun as it is accessible and dance-able. ‘Thank God I’m A Lizard’ is no exception, the track bolstered by moody, swirling synths and building to a ridiculous sax solo that would make Kenny G quit his day job. Let’s party like it’s Y2K. (8.7/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – Here we have a lo-fi roller brought to us by Ross from Friends. I love the mixdowns and balance of tone in his tracks. The class of this production overall with its danceability makes it worth a listen. Hidden SFX and vocal tones bubble up while a metallic lead has us rolling. A smooth bottom end  on his synths and a nice kick to match. Just as uplifting as it is club oriented. This track will easily be spun as its vibe matches how we all want to feel. (9/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Brainfeeder is still on the vanguard of fresh, weirdo electronic tunes with recent signees like Iglooghost, Ross From Friends, and DJ Paypal. “Thank God I’m A Lizard” is my favorite tune I’ve heard from thus far from Ross From Friends and has sold me on the album whole-heartedly. The way this track builds to the saxophone solo that sounds like it is the by-product of a recorded version of synesthesia is seriously impressive and quite a rush to be honest. This one is a winner. (9/10)

Yvette Bailhache - “Thank God” this isn’t a song from that weird guy from Friends, because that’s seriously what I thought when I first saw this. It’s not him, right? Anyway, not too bad of a background song to work to. There’s a calm but energizing feel to this that kept me focused. After a couple of minutes it did start to feel a little too stagnant, but there was a nice enough flip towards the end to re-pique my interest.  (5/10)



Skream – “Poison” (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix)


Will Creason - Not naming names, but I saw some moaning online that Skream’s latest was techno. He’s been making solid tracks in this style for years now and his label, Of Unsound Mind, is dependably on point. His latest comes to us on Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave label and is backed by a remix from Fitzpatrick himself. The vocal sample is a powerhouse and the drama is ratcheted up to 10 on the remix leading to an incredible and unexpected second drop. This one feels like an anthem in the making. (9/10)

Connor McInerney - Sorry, give me a second, the bass on this track made all my teeth fall out and I have to put them back in place. My God is this a certified banger with every piece in its right place – a driving percussive backbone, an eerie building synth accent and a tight sample, all of which is flipped on its head and reinvented halfway through the track to keep it fresh. I could have done without the Merzbow-inspired harsh wave in the middle but I’m willing to look past it. (8.7/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This is a dark and ominous techno roller with some touches of acid. I love everything Skream. Alan Fitzpatrick deserves kudos for reworking the remix and I do love this remix. I will say that remixing offers an outlet to remake a song, but there are aspects you must keep. I think Alan found the perfect happy medium in that spectrum. I will say this remix offers a little bit more bite than the original which is crucial for spins. (7/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Love the heaviness of this remix brought to us courtesy of Alan Fitzpatrick. And fuuuuuuck, that switch up halfway through is just killer. The percussion is brooding and deep, the sample is haunting, and the track stays completely fresh for its 7-minute run time. This one will absolutely destroy the dancefloor. Big, big props to Alan Fitzpatrick and Skream for this tune! (9.5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I was kind of scared to hit play on this, the picture of those cigarette butts alone made me feel hungover on a very sober weekday afternoon. But once the vocals kicked in I understood what the album cover was about bringing my faux hangover to an end. Overall, it’s one of the more enjoyable techno songs I’ve listened to mainly because of the message and that heavy ass bass (I can always appreciate some heavy ass bass,) but I still have a looong way to go before one could consider me a techno-head. (3/10)



Sofi Tukker – “Batshit” (Purple Disco Machine Remix)


Will Creason - The beat and the guitar lick here are fantastic, but the vocals take me out of this tune right away. The two vocalists here are seemingly competing to see who can be more annoying and it’s the listener that ultimately loses. A note to producers out there: putting a ton of reverb on only the vocal bus won’t hide that the vocalist can’t sing.  Purple Disco Machine did the best they could do with the source material, but this is dog shit. (3/10)

Connor McInerney - One of the refrains on Sofi Tukker’s aptly-named “Batshit” is, what I assume to be, a sample saying repeatedly ‘I’m batshit crazy.’ That lyric sums up how I feel after listen to this insane track, insane in the Einsteinian definition of ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Is this track supposed to be funny? Like is there some misguided attempt at kitschy sugarcoated humor that I’m missing, saying the word ‘batshit’ over and over again but sung in a pop style to evoke comedy from the cognitive dissonance? I’m not saying this rhetorically, I demand answers from Sofi Tukker and Purple Disco Machine for unleashing this track upon Soundcloud. (2/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I love anything that samples the sounds of disco properly and this song is definitely in that category. Very smooth vocals and a lovely rhythm guitar make this have some soul. This isn’t any casual disco remake. The arrangement helps hide an repetitions and allows the vocalist the move within the track. I personally love the guitars together it really give me some happy summer vibes. (8/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Hahahahah. Why was this even made? Admittedly, I have not listened to the original, but based on the vocals here alone I definitely do not want to. This makes me feel batshit crazy for allowing myself to listen to the entire length of it. Hard pass. (1/10)

Yvette Bailhache - Admittedly I’ve only heard one song from the duo known as Sofi Tukker, a dark electronic joint called “Greed” that I liked well enough, so it was definitely the Purple Disco Machine name that made me want to hit the play button on “Batshit.” PDM is owning this song through his production making Sofi & Tucker’s additions feel more like the guest feature. But I do like the pop-style hook on top of such a fun disco track. It’s a good party song that most people won’t hate. (7.5/10)



The Winners and Losers:

Ross From Friends – Thank God I’m A Lizard – 8.1/10

Skream – Poison (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix) – 7.4/10

Golden Features – Medicate – 7.3/10

Sofi Tukker – Batshit (Purple Disco Machine Remix) – 4.3/10

Charli XCX – Girls Night Out – 3.8/10