Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – March 29, 2019

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. We’re back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This edition features our contributors: Patrick Blinkhorn,  Alex Rubenstein, Yvette Bailhache, Katie Bowles, and Marshall Stukes. This week’s music includes tracks by Apparat, Mr Oizo, Age Is A Box, Lizzo feat. Missy Elliot, and Oldchap.



Apparat – “Dawan”


Patrick Blinkhorn – I generally don’t usually like it when kicks are faded in to a track, but it works here. Apparat makes a great use of stereo sound, which gets highlighted around the two minute mark, and I love that bass guitar sound that comes in later on. There’s a lot of beautiful sounds in this track; my main complaint is that the arrangement is a bit too abstract. (6/10)


Yvette Bailhache – The intro was very peaceful and that little bit of pulsation was calming. I wasn’t expecting the vocals to come in, so that was a nice surprise along with the bassline that came in halfway through. This gives me a little 90’s nostalgia and I’m always up for that. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Apparat is back with LP5, his latest solo album after a stint with Modeselektor as the trio, Moderat. “Dawan” is the single and a bit of an outlier as far as either pop or electronic music goes. This tune sports a unique arrangement and manages to find common ground between the likes of Boards of Canada, Radiohead and James Blake. The lyrics are the low point here, but otherwise, this is a rather engaging listen. (7.5/10)


Katie Bowles – I like the stillness of this one; it sets an interesting mood. I could see it being on the soundtrack to a Lost in Translation-esque movie, something where the characters ride public transportation and stare out the window, disconnected from other people. Not something I’d listen to over and over, but I didn’t mind it this time. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – I’m a big fan of Moderat and I got excited when I saw an Apparat song come through for Feedback Friday. It didn’t disappoint. The textures are awesome. The pad sounds really carry the song throughout and it’s easy to get lost in them. I wish it were a bit longer only because I wanted to keep that feeling a bit longer. (8/10)



Mr. Oizo – “Nuque”


Patrick Blinkhorn – There is great sound design in this track. I like that Mr. Oizo took a chance to make a super “out there,” experimental track, but this is a bit too all-over-the place for what I’m in the mood to listen to tonight. (4/10)


Yvette Bailhache – Well, I can’t stop giggling at that muppet/puppet thing on the cover (wtf is that?). This song is not particularly my style of music but the French are always good at getting me open to sounds I don’t necessarily get down with. Overall, this wasn’t too harsh of a listen for me like I expected it to be. (5.7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Simply put, this goes hard. Mr. Oizo has a unique talent for crafting slippery tracks that glide and gyrate but don’t seem over polished. The kinetic energy behind his productions shines through especially bright on “Nuque.” My only gripe here is the outro feels a bit tacked on and loses all the steam that was built up. (8/10)


Katie Bowles – This is great. Not sure what the BPM is but this one sounds like a perfect running song to me – bouncy and light with a catchy beat and melody that doesn’t get overshadowed by extra production elements. My only complaint is that I think it could’ve ended a little earlier; the last 30 seconds didn’t do much for me. (8/10)


Marshall Stukes – My favorite thing about Mr. Oizo is that he can take a simple melody and make it complex with the level of detail he puts in the variations. The mixing is great, which lets you hear every percussion and variance. This track is one that you will have to listen to a few times, not only for the head bobs, but to hear every nuance that comes through. (8/10)



Age is a Box – “One By One”


Patrick Blinkhorn – The bird song in the background is a nice touch here. I love that bell lead instrumental sound. The vocals are super catchy, and they have sort of a Cut Copy / Hot Chip vibe to them, which is a bonus. Once the track gets going, the bassline and drums give it a nice groove. (8/10)


Yvette Bailhache – More peaceful intro vibes (and birds, yessss!) with a nice bassline that kicks in. Very nice. I also really dig the vocals. This song gets better (and sexier) with each listen. So feeling this! (8.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – I think we found a throwaway Bonobo beat and slapped some corny lyrics on top and called it a day here. This track falls flat for me in its lack of originality. It’s not badly produced, just a bit derivative. Even though it was a radio edit, it still felt a bit too truncated. (3/10)


Katie Bowles – So moody! I like that the intro drew me in – I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it kept me really interested until around 0:55 (when the beat dropped in). This track reminded me a bit of South African duo, Goldfish, which I liked. I definitely enjoyed it in general, but I don’t see myself listening to this one on purpose in the future (though I probably wouldn’t skip it if it came on randomly). (6/10)


Marshall Stukes – This track makes me move in my seat, but as soon as it counts to four, it’s over. The percussion layers and the bass line make this track great. I hope there is another edit out there that has the production going for a bit longer. (8/10)



Lizzo – “Tempo” (feat. Missy Elliott)


Patrick Blinkhorn – Most of this track is good but not exceptional. Missy takes this track to another level for me though, especially the section with that lead synth starting at 2:01. All in all, good stuff here. I’d listen to it again and would be pleased if this came on in the club or on the radio. (8.5/10)


Yvette Bailhache – I’m always down for some Missy in the headphones and she definitely deserves way more shine than she gets these days, so props to Lizzo. On a late night, liquored up with my girls, this track would be IT. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Lizzo, yet this is my first real exposure to her. This track drips with attitude and swag. “Tempo” will absolutely be fucking up clubs around the world. The Missy feature is a huge get and she delivers on all fronts like she never left. The combination of these two is a winner for sure. (9/10)


Katie Bowles – Lizzo can do no wrong! I’m so happy to see her getting commercial success; she’s been killing it with her releases lately and I think she’ll only keep going up. The beat on this is insanely catchy, and Lizzo’s and Missy’s vocals complement each other so well. The guitar riff at the beginning didn’t seem necessary to me, but it definitely got my attention, so I’m cool with it. Overall, I loved this track. (9/10)


Marshall Stukes – This song is an anthem! Lizzo and Missy bring it so hard, and Oak Felder never disappoints with the production. Honestly, just listen to the song. If you don’t feel the self love that is oozing out of this track, or at least hype, you might want to go see a doctor. (10/10)



Oldchap – “Midnight Dancer”


Patrick Blinkhorn – This track would be perfect in the club, the gym or for getting work done. But it’s a bit of a slow burn, so I got a bit bored listening to it considering that I was giving it my undivided attention. It’s not a bad track, but it could be a more engaging listening experience. (7/10)


Yvette Bailhache – My Oldchap collection is steadily growing – he’s definitely one of my favorite producers right now. While “Midnight Dancer” is not on the top of my list of songs that I love of his, I can appreciate his ode to disco, and it’ll definitely get you to boogie on the dance floor. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – I definitely appreciate the nods to 70’s soul and boogie going on here, this one just feels like it goes on a bit too long. There isn’t enough variety to really keep me engaged. However, this mixed into a DJ set for a couple minutes would definitely get me moving. No doubt, though, that is has got the funk. (6/10)


Katie Bowles – Meh. I don’t dislike this one, but it almost sounds like a filler song to me, something a DJ would throw in between two bangers during a set. The vocals are nice but not enough to keep me interested in the nearly six-minute song. Weirdly enough, as I was listening to this one, it occurred to me that I’d probably enjoy elements of this track if they were mixed into a heavier (maaaybe bass-step) song, so perhaps I’m just too basic to enjoy songs like this on their own? I guess I have some soul searching to do. (4/10)


Marshall Stukes – The intro to this track is pretty slow for me, but once the full production came into the forefront, I got into it. The strings and the resonant bass are pretty cool, but I wish the mix was a bit cleaner. (7/10)



The Results:


Lizzo – “Tempo” (Feat. Missy Elliot) – 8.7/10

Apparat – “Dawan” – 7.1/10

Mr Oizo – “Nuque” – 6.7/10

Age Is A Box – “One By One” – 6.7/10

Oldchap – “Midnight Dancer” – 6.2/10