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Amira Jazeera "Crush"

Amira Jazeera has released her latest single, "Crush". The single is her latest track to feature production from Papi Beatz and is accompanied by a Gio Sandz remix.

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Dance

Time: 
21:00
Band name: 
The Robyn Party
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/adventuresbk
Venue name: 
The Echoplex
Band email: 
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Adeline achieves remix bliss on revamped "Adi Oasis"

Death to the remix album. Long live the remix album. 

I mean, sure, an entire album of remixes can be nothing more than a cash grab or career holding pattern or or third-party opportunism. But at their best remix albums can add fascinating new facets to an existing artistic expression as filtered through others' musical imaginations and predilections. Plus it ain't exactly 2002 anymore so no one's selling millions of CDs anymore, remixes or otherwise, I'm lookin' at you Linkin Park! (RIP Chester B.)



Anyway you can bet French literary theorist Roland Barthes woulda loved how remix albums subvert the very notion that a given work of art has a singular point-of-view or a single decipherable meaning, instead existing in "a space of many dimensions" with each "original" artwork "made out of a tissue of citations." (I'm quoting directly from "The Death of the Author" here, obviously!) Or, to put it another way, the art of the remix "resist[s] the ways that genres normatively operate as straight lines of descent from musical forebears, instead engaging in a queer kind of reproduction, a joyful excess of proliferating versions" which is exactly how Lil Nas X would put it no doubt.



What's more, remixes subvert the strict dividing line between "originals" and "covers" because they're some of both and not entirely either and that's pretty dang "queer" too in the non-pejorative sense.



And if this all sounds a bit highbrow, don't worry, it's not really because "remix culture" is totally commonplace these days (no French literary theory required!) whether applying filters to photos, rearranging music into playlists, throwing memes into everyday conversation, making chroeographed Billie Eilish response videos, or taking the latest viral challenge on TikTok (yeah don't even pretend you didn't nearly bite the bullet from tripping on nugmeg back in 2020) and thus "remixing" has become smaller and more scaled down as it's become a common feature of our mundane daily lives.



And when it comes to this "scaling down" maybe that's why remix EPs seem to be all the rage these days, pretty much overtaking the full-on remix album, with three recent examples being Adeline’s Adi Oasis (Remixes) and Beau’s Forever (and more) and Lapeche's Spirit Bunnies (Remixes) each comprised of 3 or 4 remixed songs. And with this in mind could it be a mere coincidence that the EP format itself, much like the remix, occupies a vaguely defined middle ground, half-way between stand-alone singles (A-side plus B-side) vs. long-paying full-on-artistic-statements album? (well OK it could be mere coincidence, but I prefer conspiracy theories!)



Anyway, speaking of going outside the constraints of black-and-white either/or categories, Adeline a.k.a. Adeline Michèle is a French-Caribbean bass-playing record-producing multi-instrumentalist-and-vocalist wunderkind who moved to NYC from Paris when she was only 18 to make it as a musician and then did just that—first by playing in the house band for NBC's Meredith Vieira Show which led to her touring with CeeLo Green, later taking on bass and vocal duties for nü-disco party starters Escort and then releasing of her debut solo LP plus two EPs, the first of which being INTÉRIMES—"it's title a mashup of the French words "intérim" (the time in between) and "rime" (French for rhyme)...with each track captur[ing] a specific mood as a days turns into night"—an EP which already received its own remix treatment and truly who's better qualifitied to be releasing remix EPs left-and-right because Adeline is fascinatingly betwixt-and-between in so many ways—seemingly covering all the bases and all the stages in her musical journey at once.




And wouldn't you know it a song called “Stages” is the first track on the original unremixed version of Adi Oasis and it's a groovy, deceptively laid back sounding song about getting your groove back during not at all laid back times. And it gets the remix treatment not once but twice on the four-track Adi Oasis (Remixes) and how fitting for a song that's all about transformation with its lyrics touching on the transcendence of playing music live on stage, and the stage shen went through (along with many others) of not being able to play live on stage but retreating to the studio instead with a music video that features Adeline overcoming these conditions, doing push-ups on the Brooklyn pavement and pull-ups on corner lampposts all while decked out in a leopard-print catsuit.




And then there's the (not so) little matter of overcoming systemic bias in the music industry that "Stages" also deals with ultimately arriving at a final thereapuetic stage of self-reliance (just gonna do me / don’t need nobody [...] to tell me / how to lay my bass down) but not without transcending this state of isolation with the support of allies like guest vocalist KAMAUU (treat her like your Muva or she’ll have to beat / your ass like she’s your Daddy) who returns the favor for Adeline's production work and vocal feature on his 2020 mega-hit “Mango" and damn, so many levels! (and speaking of levels don't ask me what happened with the crazy block of random characters above, but I'm just gonna roll with it because they don't seem to be erasable and this is a pretty crazy blog entry anyway...)




Both the remixers of “Stages” wisely keep the emphasis on Adeline’s Bootsy-worthy bass part but otherwise they go in two opposite directions. First, the British four-piece Yakul strips away just about everything but the bass and vocals which are baked into a musical brownie of gooey, woozy keyboards and a shuffling beat that only amplifies the Zen self-contained contentment of a line like “just gonna do me, don’t need nobody” as a spacey exploration into inner space. Meanwhile the remix by Natasha Diggs is the extroverted version, jacking up the tempo considerably with a thumping house beat that gives a boost to the self-empowerment theme not to mention being a gift to aerobics instructors everywhere.



This leaves two more remixes on the EP—one being the lead-off track, a remix of "Maintain" by Australian-Germanic DJ/producer Jafunk who plays up the blunted out housebound escapism depicted in the lyrics (gotta meditate / gotta wash my face / gotta get out this place / gotta smoke a J / can't go out anyway) with Adeline’s rubbery bass pushed up in the mix alongside a new four-on-the-floor beat and syncopated guitar vamping and a keyboard solo with a phat funky Moog sound that should get your funky fatty shaking. And then finally there’s the penultimate track, a remix by Soul Clap that puts an electro-house-acid-jazz-cocktail-hour spin on the Barry White-worthy “Mystic Lover” complete with newly introduced horn charts and flute solo.



But whatever your feelings may be on remixes and/or EPs in the end these are all just useful delivery mechanisms for a bunch of nice, smooth tunes so my final piece of advice to you, dear reader, is that you "butter" check out these three EPs because they'll get you "churnt up" for sure [end scene, curtain and bow]. (Jason Lee)

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Bow before MOTHERMARY's debut LP "I Am Your God"

Repping NYC at SXSW this coming Wednesday...

I’m not sure which benign deity brought the twin-sister dark electronica duo known as MOTHERMARY into our plane of existence (Lilith? Kali? Ishtar? Cher? Dolly?) but we owe them a debt of gratitude because not since the heyday of Prince and Madonna have there been two such solid proponents for eroticizing religious dogma which is great for Christianity in particular with its central conceit of “original sin” where being tempted to enjoy a piece of deciduous by a sexy wifey made from your own rib is grounds for the eternal damnation of humankind not to mention eternal shame at our own nakedness. 

And then it doesn’t help matters when a few millennia later these same humans somehow managed to murder God’s only son in a particularly gruesome fashion and all this is without doubt deeply guilt-inducing and deeply unsexy. Or is it?

MOTHERMARY offer strong evidence to the contrary on their debut full-length I Am Your God released in late January and they know what they’re talking about because Elyse Winn and Larena Winn were raised in a devout Mormon household in Missoula, Montana (where a deep love for music was self-reportedly instilled alongside the Mormonism) and both attended BYU before moving to Salt Lake City and eventually NYC (first Elyse and later Larena) and recording their debut single “Catch Fire” which caught the attention of their friend Alex Frankel who’s also one-half of synthpop duo Holy Ghost! (how appropriate!) who passed it along to Megan Louise at Italians Do It Better which is basically the go-to label for cooly restrained yet highly and sublimely dramatic electro music—kind of like Italo-disco on steroids and tranquilizers at the same time—a perfect fit for the duo and their own melding of kewl and hawt, sinful and angelic.

And speaking of hotness “Catch Fire” is smoking hot—all swelling organs and throbbing bass and pulsating rhythms accompanied by Johnny Jewel-style synth-tom fills (RIP Chromatics and the fabled Dear Tommy LP) with lyrics from the POV of the sneaky snake in the Garden of Eden (see the truth when / it’s in the nude / taste the fruit / put the blame on me) and geez if Tipper Gore ever heard this song she’d likely have an aneurysm on the spot nevermind if she saw the music video we’re talking heart attack (brief synopsis: Bible study group/faith healing ceremony transforms into a polymorphously perverse strip club complete with crucifix tossing and leather-studded-slow-motion gyrating by Elyse and Larena).

But it’s not all “hotness for hotness’s sake” as MOTHERMARY point out I Am Your God “isn’t about a god complex, it is an invitation to ponder what you worship. It’s about women reclaiming their holiness and inviting you to acknowledge your own…it is a mirror to religion both reflecting the bad and salvaging the good” with the very name MOTHERMARY being “the ultimate symbol of religi[ous] hypocrisy & the insane expectations placed on women…These two extremes. Have children to procreate, but don’t be sexual beings.” The Madonna/Whore complex is an impossible needle to thread for sure but on the album’s most recent single and music video (title track “I Am Your God”) the Winn twins come pretty darn close with a song that floats by on ethereal clouds of airy heavenly electronic oscillations, but it's equally voluptuous and lusty (and a bit creepy with that pitch-shifted vocal) with the repeated line “I can come again” straddling the same line between holy and horny.

I guess guilt is complicated that way when you think about it—it’s an age-old tool for subjugation (especially used against women natch) but keeping people form what they want and need only builds desire upon desire and before long they’re developing some pretty elaborate fantasies and fetishes to redirect some of that energy not to mention making cool art and beautiful music to express their frustrations and longing not to mention how it makes being bad feel so good so guilt is a volatile thing to say the least. 

But enough of this music blogger’s theological thoughts! In closing it should be mentioned that some of I Am Your God was created together with compatriot/co-producer Chris McLaughlin with whom Elyse Winn likewise collaborates on the Cigar Cigarette project fronted by Chris where she takes on the role of co-composer, art director and music video director, and by the way MOTHERMARY direct or at least co-direct all their own music videos which makes sense given their backgrounds in art and theater alongside music plus “sacrilegious spectacle” of course and if the “Pray” video below doesn’t deliberately riff on Garbage’s glorious video for “Queer” I’ll eat my hat!



And so let’s pray all these beneficent forces keep working together and spawning more (un)holy ravishing music because the world really needs it and I’d even be willing to try and guilt them into it. (Jason Lee)





Say She She "c'est très chic" on first single

When I first heard “Forget Me Not” on a radio show a couple weeks ago I immediately thought to myself “Wow, I never knew the Salsoul Orchestra cut a slinky, stripped-down, clavinet-led four minutes of funk with vocals by erotic thespian Andrea True and/or select members of Sister Sledge and/or select members of Silver Convention, with Johnny Pacheco from the Fania All Stars supplying some nice flutter tonguing on the flute (not a bad skill for any guy—or gal—to have ammirite ladies?) plus a groovy solo toward the end and really who doesn’t like a nice groovy flute solo and if you don’t like a nice groovy flute solo then I don’t want to know you until you seek therapy.” This is what I thought to myself.

So there where I thought I’d made quite the old school “deep cut” discovery it turns out, better yet, I’d discovered (random stumbled upon) an entirely new school of lush groovy funkitude that’s centered right here in the borough of Brooklyn NYC, with a significant assist by Loveland, Ohio-based Colemine Records, because “Forget Me Not” is the debut single by the Brooklyn-based-female-fronted-seven-piece-deep-friend-soul-combo-platter called Say She She—a group whose officially ensorsed alternate spelling is “C’est Chi-Chi” given that any perceived similarities between SSS and the disco era’s most legendary band or with the classic LP C’est Chic are probably not unwelcome, nor unfounded, as “Forget Me Not” amply checks off the elegant coquette box of that album’s “I Want Your Love” and next I’m eagerly awaiting SSS’s take on the “Le Freak” aesthetic.

Which isn’t to say that Say She She are mimics, more like the curators of a rich array of influences taken apart and reassembled. Along these lines “Forget Me Not” is what I’m guessing the “parallel universe ‘80s” would’ve sounded like if Jimmy Carter had been re-elected president and if a bunch of drunken meatheads hadn’t burned a pile of disco records on a baseball field and if the nation’s youth hadn’t been persuaded by Music Television to adopt synthesizers, parachute pants, and asymmetrical haircuts en masse. 

But enough about alternative realities who the heck are Say She She exactly in real life? The tripartite vocal front is made up of one-time Londonite Piya Malik (79.5, El Michels Affair) whose great uncle was a prominent Bollywood music producer and who met Sabrina Mileo Cunningham (Denny Love) because the two were living in the same Lower East Side apartment building and heard each other singing through the walls and then once they joined up with Nya Parker Gazelle the vocal chemistry was complete. 

On the instrumental side of things Say She She is comprised of the wah-wah stylings of electric guitarist Matty McDermott (Black Acid, Coyote, Nymph), the funky strutting keys of Mike Sarason (Combo Lulo), the finger-slapping phat bass tones of Preet Patel (The Frigtnrs, RIP Dan Klein), and the in-the-pocket drive of drummers Andy Bauer (Twin Shadow among many other projects) and Ben Borchers (The Shacks), and last but certainly not least the groovy flute of the multi-talented Mike Sarason (see above).

So if you’re feelin’ the vibe be sure to keep an eye peeled for Say She She’s next moves. And don’t be surprised if one of their next songs is in Hindi or if they come out with a debut album this summer full of more raw analogue slabs of sonically transmitted smooth funkitude which even though I'm trying is not quite as good a tongue-twister as the title of this piece. (Jason Lee

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