Deadboy / Small Black
My first selection takes an emotionally charged Pop song by Drake, Fireworks from his fantastic album ‘Thank Me Later’, and twists it delicately into something completely new. Deadboy’s self proclaimed slo mo house edit sees the London based (soon to be) bass heavyweight dismantle the track and extract it’s soul and emotional core. Focusing on the achingly beautiful Alicia Keys piano and adding drum clicks and the deftest touch of bass the atmosphere is delicate, sparse and eerie. Alicia Keys chipmunk’d vocals threaten to ruin the piece on first listens but after a short while you’ll fight the instinct to dismiss the effect and understand they’re pitched perfectly as they wash in and out throughout the track. Taking a lead perhaps from Burial’s production technique Deadboy takes this track to it’s inevitable emotional conclusion, without ever forcing it.
Deadboy posted the track himself on Dubstepforum.com back in June and Pitchfork have recently added it to their playlist which is, hopefully, leading up to the originally mooted limited 7″ release.
Drake ft. Alicia Keys – Fireworks (Deaboy Slo Mo House Edit)
My second selection is from one of the unwilling forefathers of the ludicrously handled sub-genre of Chillwave or GloFi if you will, please don’t. Small Black are primarily Josh Kolenik and Ryan Heyner from Long Island, who I feel instant affinity with through our shared love of the multi-million dollar Sci-Fi flop Waterworld. Unfortunately for me that’s where the affinity ends, I don’t share their ability to conjure brilliant lucid, fuzzy, synth ‘not-quite’ pop from an array of keyboards and samplers. Signed to indie behemoth Jagjaguwar this release dates back to it’s more natural climate, released in August ‘Photojournalist’ was the teaser for the, now released to reasonable acclaim, debut album ‘New Chain’. Lead by equal parts lazy and hazy but strangely anthemic vocals backed with 808 drums, summery synth melodies and a simple but effective beat this evokes everything that Chillwave ever promised to offer. Whether they’ll weather the inevitable critical backlash against the scene remains to be seen, though their side project Psychobuildings is following the natural progression from Chillwave into Darkwave as Summer gives way to Winter so maybe they’ll be OK. For now enjoy this dreamy synthy gem out of all seasonal context.
Small Black – Photojournalist