Friday, February 6th, 2015

Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo – Rhymes

Daft Punk — sacred cows getting slaughtered.


Thomas Inskeep: What is this? According to my reading it’s a prime example of the next-hot-UK-dance-genre, bassline, but what I mainly hear is a, well, bass line along with a bunch of chopped-up vocal samples from Daft Punk’s “Technologic” via Busta Rhymes’s “Touch It” (ergo its title, get it?). It’s all under two-and-a-half minutes long and is oddly, compellingly listenable, complete with a filthily suggestive video. I may not understand it. 

Mark Sinker: The hook itself isn’t much more than a semitone rise to the phrase “turn it” and an accented drop onto the word “babe”, plus the artful relooping of six or seven two-or-three word phrases to unequal lengths so that rise and drop fall at different places in successive bars, as an asymmetric two-note pedal point for the various bass blorps and hisses to work against. And the quasi-asymmetry feels pleasantly unpredictable, though it’s actually pretty straightforward when you take care to count and think it out. In longer sets, the voicing is sometimes varispeeded to code male rather than female — depending I guess on the mood of the place and the DJ. Once you’ve heard it being woven into these longer sets (and in and out of all Hannah W’s two dozen other devices and voice-fragments), it’s maybe a bit less exciting just to find yourself looping this single song yourself, the same every time despite its intricate structure.

Anthony Easton: Daft Punk’s anthem for the remix generation is reclaimed by a pounding bassline and an idea that an old idea becoming refurbed can be sexy, like chrome on an old hitch. 

Micha Cavaseno: For all the people who missed when Swizz Beats turned the same Daft Punk bit into something people actually danced to, and who just got out of the drug coma and are unaware that Electro-Clash is over. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to Miss Kittin’s “Frank Sinatra” and enjoy life a bit more than these two.

Will Adams: This just in: crappy bootleg remixes of Daft Punk now eligible for major label representation. Aspiring bedroom producers, your time has come.

Edward Okulicz: Points for shooting the sacred cow of Daft Punk and dancing on its corpse, and for a few listens it has a hypnotic, exhausting quality.

Katherine St Asaph: It’s a little embarrassing saying this, because we all like to think of ourselves as having good taste, but I like a great deal of objectively awful EDM. Sometimes it’s explainable enough: brostep is scaled to fill entire fields, bad dance remixes loop compulsively forever — which happen to be the two main traits of feelings that want sublimation. But what of “Rhymes,” as astringent in feeling as its Daft Punk source material and as creatively bankrupt as a 2015 track whose source material is Daft Punk? It’s joyless, or maybe more accurately ruthless — ruthlessly obvious sample, ruthlessly efficient forward push; it works on my brain like a VHS cleaner tape. Maybe you can dance to it, but what you can do even better is focus.

Scott Mildenhall: Why does “Barbra Streisand” continue to sound vital, while this feels like a colourless variation of Trigger’s broom? Why does it feel apt to call this “lazy” when more effort may well have gone into it than many more traditional covers, and effort is obviously irrelevant? Perhaps, like Friend Within’s take – as in theft – of “Renegade Master,” it may be better enjoyed by those unfamiliar with its source.

Patrick St. Michel: Well, this reminded me how much better Daft Punk’s “Technologic” is removed from the context of an iPod ad, so that’s cool. 

Alfred Soto: What Hannah wants Chris gets.

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

8 Responses to “Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo – Rhymes”

  1. Wait, this is supposed to be… bassline????

  2. re bassline: i was puzzling abt that a bit — i’m really REALLY not an expert on fashions in brit clubbing sound but (a) bassline isn’t the coming thing, it’s been around a while (like more than a decade) and (b) anyway hannah wants herself doesn’t seem to think bassline is the right term for it (don’t have the link to hand, it’s an interview where she talks abt finding an airflight in a tiny plane in mozambique really scary)

    other points: although HW gets hired all over the world (i.e. inc. africa) for events would be coded as EDM (and brostep) in the US, i don’t think she belongs there either really — for one thing, to me there’s a VERY dry brit humour going on here in organisation of the sound, very cool, very dryly amused on the edges of the elements (younger cousin to the sour sarcasm that’s all over grime back in the day, but much less london, much less brash: it’s pretty relevant to me that she’s from birmingham, which is the UK’s most forgotten big urban sprawl and has evolved a very low-key self-deprecating humour as a coping mechanism for always being sneered at by the other cities)

    and yes, people do dance to this kind of thing, in large numbers, but in the context a short chopped-out slice can’t really get across: which is to say DJs in clubs working a crowd, improvising in real time with beats and samples that count as shout-outs — as i say, not really my area of expertise AT ALL (i didn’t even go clubbing in original rave days, let alone nu-rave). maybe kat agrees (or knows different)?

  3. I think of bassline as vworped-up 2-step from 2008 (T2, H20 ft Platnum etc) – this is isn’t skippish enough and stays firmly in the sub-Benassi House classification for me. Chart bassline kind of died in the UK in 2010s with the Guetta-isation of everything (which was a huge shame as I loved stuff like DJ Q & MC Bonez) but I think you still get regional pockets of stuff popping up every now and again? I am a rubbish Southerner so am also unqualified here really…

  4. another thing that came to mind this morning, thinking more about this, maybe also explains why i’m a bit more drawn to it than others: hannah w’s long sets remind me of where cabaret voltaire began going in the late 80s (after detroit/chicago and blue monday: after the arrival of the digital remix as a soundworld where individual songs no longer existed and everything became one endless weaveworld of ribboned elements): in lps like “the conversation” and what wd become kirk’s stuff for warp (as sweet exorcist or sandoz) — except where mallinder was still barking sinister grunted vocals now and then for the cabs, and the signature dropped-in voices that they pioneered were all still horrible industrial-culture soundbytes meant to spook you (and songs were still named for william burroughs and such: CV *never* went loved up), distorted quotes punctuating hannah want’s weaves are recent dance music things her audience recognise, and for all the cooled-out clipped similarities her general outlook is just much less EVERYTHING IS AWFUL AND SO ARE YOU. As who’s isn’t?

  5. As whose isn’t?, I mean

  6. T2 and H “Two” O were exactly the names I thought of when I read Lorenzo saying that in his early ghostwroting days he “got picked up all around the world for a few tracks, like, real, cheesy, kiddy, bassline house stuff”. (All Around The World maybe being the label?)

    That was the stuff pushed pop-wise as being “the new thing” at the time, but it didn’t get too far in that sphere I don’t think. As with most of these things I think it falls to All Around The World and Ministry Of Sound at that point, and their firepower is limited (especially the former’s, working outside the London hegemony).

    So the story I have in my head is about it filtering down from places like Niche in Sheffield to subpar mobile phone speakers in provincial towns nation(/north?)wide, in between plays of Blackout Crew and MC Smally. And I’ve just decided I’m going to call all that dissimilar stuff ‘bluetooth pop’.

  7. Yeah, if ANYTHING, I’d say what was going on here might be closer to the “Jackin” sort of sound that was bubbling for like two years, but even then I’m about as clueless as anyone as its a part of UK Dance I don’t really relate to given my being US-based and getting everything second hand.

    Which reminds me, I wonder when Mark Radford is gonna get his chart positioning (and subsequent TSJ approach)

  8. I have a once-listened-to 3CD set called ‘Wigan Pier Bounce’ somewhere in the pile that is relevant to this conv, I’ll have to dig it out and report back…