Friday, April 25th, 2014

Sigma – Nobody to Love

You got that right.


Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie’s D&B bootleg of “Bound 2” isn’t actually as horrific as it felt when I turned up the volume in the car at the first sign of Fake Charlie Wilson and gagged: turned out Jerome was not in the house and someone was sleeping in his bed. Imagine how I felt. But it reminds me of the things that Kanye did right with the original – until the misguided Patriot’s giggle of the music video, the sentimentality was dialed down, a timely rejoinder to the sound of all the blood rushing out of the brain and to Kanye’s dick (via the heart, ahem). On “Nobody to Love”, there’s only schmaltz. The breaks don’t hit hard enough to even out the cheese, so the sentiment sounds empty. However, Edward and Lenzie may pull off a more classicist move, exchanging the leader of the Gap Band for Lyn Collins (via the truly iconic “Think” break, via-á-vis Squarepusher’s “Come On My Selector”). Sigma: Real hip-hop!

Anthony Easton: The cocktail piano intro — almost as sad, but not quite as exquisite as Alicia Keys almost as love lorn, but not as obsessive as John Legend — suggests potential that the endless repeating of the banal title phrase just squanders. 

Alfred Soto: Exploiting Charlie Wilson’s gravelly pathos in “Bound 2” threw Kanye West’s “Bound 2” out of whack; Kanye repaid it with glibness. For fans of the Wilson track, here’s a drums ‘n’ bass skitter beat with house keyboards. Or you can listen to Charlie Wilson’s song.

David Sheffieck: The hook for “Bound 2” is a great one, but it’s given meaning because of its context – both within the song and within Kanye’s career and life. Removed from both and plopped carelessly into a generic DnB structure, it’s pointless, repetitive and robbed of the dynamic that originally gave it such impact. Insult to injury: the video puts a white girl in a headdress doing a dance, allowing Sigma to simultaneously fuck up one of the best things Kanye did last year while perpetuating one of the worst.

Patrick St. Michel: It’s an old trick but an effective one: swipe some sounds from a big ol’ popular (or I guess viral in 2014) song and cram it into a drum ‘n’ bass song. Sigma manages to take Charlie Wilson’s voice (or approximates it well enough) and convert it from the sky-filling vocal fireworks on “Bound2” into adrenaline-pumping club fare.

Scott Mildenhall: Call it “Bound 2 (Part II) Unbound”, call it “Bound 2 Da Reload”; either way it makes for an interesting case study. The original “Bound 2” was the second single from Yeezus and made number 55 in the UK. This was before the video, and off the back of decent Radio 1 play, but little, if any, on the big commercial networks. Sigma, who peaked one place lower with their first major release shortly after (and with a similar airplay profile), create a bootleg of it, removing Kanye and adding the most rudimentary (and nowhere near Rudimental) drum and bass. This gathers pace, Radio 1 play it, Space-Age Charlie Wilson is sadly replaced by Sir Sean Singer for legal reasons, everyone else including aforementioned commercial networks play it, massive number one. Which, taking the song on its own, is as it should be.

Megan Harrington: I think that Sigma’s best intentions were to borrow all of Kanye’s inspirations and apply a heavy cosmetic varnish in the hopes of disguising them as an update of the Lightning Seeds’ “Change.” The misguided results are more like the soundtrack to a tampon commercial. 

Brad Shoup: You should laugh, or at least smile. This is how the machine works, because humans built it. But it’s also some slapped-together bullshit. This could barely be called recontextualization — it hardly has a single dimension. It’s a Spotify tribute track, an exercise in re-creation, a plastic statue from the gift shop.

Jonathan Bradley: Like Kanye West, house is from Chicago, and so adding house piano to “Bound 2” is possibly an exercise in meta-textual juxtaposition designed to draw out common ancestry or whatever. Only, that’s not a house beat. And I can’t help but suspect the primary concern is to grab a neat hook and rescue it from That Rapping Man. I guess the most benign interpretation is that some folks just want to dance, but the best part of Charlie Wilson’s original performance was how it stood in relief against West’s relationship psychodrama and sexual exploits. Alternately, if Sigma wants to go the full DHT/Cascada/Cabin Crew/etc. route, they’re going to need a bigger bosh.

Will Adams: The thing is, the original hook is just the vocal and a simple bassline underneath, making it very easy to make a bootleg remix of. Go ahead, do it. Teach yourself how to use Logic, ProTools, or whatever. Load the original hook in your new project file. You can even EQ out the bassline if you want to add a different harmony. Go ahead, make your own bootleg remix. It will undoubtedly be more creative than this.

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