Monday, February 8th, 2010

Dennis Ferrer – Hey Hey

And yet another track scores more than 7 – are we getting soft or what?…


Matt Cibula: I am not very smart about dance music. I admit this right upfront; there are a lot of tracks where people I trust and respect are all like “HOW CAN PEOPLE NOT FEEL THIS” and I feel bad because I can’t feel it, just don’t have the vocabulary. But I feel this. I feel it like Kevin G feeling Janis Ian’s Lebanese ancestry in “Mean Girls.”

Martin Skidmore: I don’t feel we get enough pure dance music to review here. The vocal sounds a bit like a much more limited Nicolette – I like it a lot as she gets fierier – over a sparse, bleepy deep house backing, building with real energy and increasingly punchy beats. It feels big and uplifting and exciting, one of my favourite house tracks in a while.

Michaelangelo Matos: The affect on this is pretty flat–the percussion, the backing vocals, even the hook itself are all fairly rote. It gets the job done in the club, I’m sure: Ferrer is well-loved by Billboard dance-chart followers, and not wrongly so. But he’s done better than this and, let’s hope, will do so again in the future.

Alex Macpherson: The instantaneous thrill of a crush mirrored in classic house crescendos and stretched over seven masterfully crafted minutes. Ferrer sets up a tight, irresistibly focused groove and sets about bombarding it with laser-gunfire beats, synths looming ominously from the shadows and ecstatic chanting. Meanwhile, Vivien Goldman abets the tension between control and frenzy with relish as her vocal spirals into wildness, the punky grit of her timbre busting through to the forefront and landing her in a place of blissfully carefree ad-lib scatting – a section of the track which could go on forever, as far as I’m concerned. The first time I heard “Hey Hey” on a dancefloor was pretty much the greatest clubbing moment of the past few months.

Edward Okulicz: All sinuous and erotic, but stomps like a mammoth.

Chuck Eddy: Better hey-heys than most hey-heys lately. Better Crystal Waters-style scat diddybops than I’ve heard in a while, even if they don’t last long. A cute sound effect break, and the story’s fairly coherent. But still, somehow, way more cautious and normal than house music should be. It’s hard for me to think of another genre that peaked so early and so decisively. If anything since has come near mid ’80s Chicago, I’ve never heard it.

Martin Kavka: Part of why I love this as much as I do is because it reminds me of dance music when divas had [normadesmond]voices[/normadesmond]; this one here takes up the tradition with ease and skill. But there are very au courant production touches here too, and no one element is over-utilized. This is dance music for all ages, and for the ages.

Frank Kogan: What I’d usually think of as one of those annoyingly sassy and cultured quirk-girl voices sounds fresh when forced into isolation in an oppressively dark and cavernous warehouse.

Alfred Soto: This updated version of Robin S’ “Show Me Love” lives and dies on its 808 bleeps and unhinged diva exclamations, which get steadily more obsessive. Minimalist and very sexy.

Mallory O’Donnell: Though sadly not a gender non-discriminative cover of Ken Laszlo’s “Hey Hey Guy,” this is a fine enough slice of forward-leaning US garage. Stuck between a moody deep house track and a surefire floor-filler the messy, wet-FX drums and chant-like vocal would make for some lovely tension building, but outside of that context there’s very little here to sway the casual dance fan. Solid, then, but hardly the track I would have picked from amongst the hundreds of dance releases this month to trickle all the way down to the Jukebox.

8 Responses to “Dennis Ferrer – Hey Hey”

  1. Is this really someone other than Shingai Shoniwa from Noisettes singing the vocal? Ferrer has said that Goldman sang on the “hey hey” chants, but I’d be surprised if a prof at NYU were moonlighting as a dance diva.

  2. I’d honestly be more surprised to discover that an indie pootler like Shoniwa had somehow found her way into house. Goldman’s Wikipedia page outlines seems to indicate a history of singing and music-making, at any rate.

    Ferrer had a good year last year – “Sinfonia Della Notte” is also excellent – but there was definitely a ton of anticipation and ubiquity around “Hey Hey”, it’s definitely a peak time track that I’ve heard out loads and that everyone appears to recognise, chant along with and so on. And I heard you SAY!!!

  3. This page at the Defected website seems to confirm that it’s Shoniwa on vox.

  4. I’d be surprised if a prof at NYU were moonlighting as a dance diva

    “But by 2010, producers were scouring crack houses, mental institutions, indie bands, and universities in a desperate if futile search for singers with marginally distinct timbres, anything to get a slight edge on the competition. ‘Oh, just anybody can be a dance diva these days,’ was the opening line of three separate dance-record reviews of three separate acts.”
    –Sholem Rabinovich, Let The Music Play: A History Of The Nightclub In North American Culture, 1919-2045, University Of Chicago Press, 2048, pp 610-611.

  5. I clearly need to listen to this again.

  6. Matos! This is an easy [9] and I’m disappointed I didn’t have a chance to blurb it.

  7. My favorite part is when it goes all “Metall Auf Metall” at the end.

  8. I’ve kind of obsessed over this track over the last two or three months, it already feels like an anthem.