Friday, June 26th, 2009

Donae’o – Party Hard

Yes, we should really have got on this a few months ago, but the album was only out the other week, and, as you’ll doubtless see below, he’s still not done a proper video for it…


Martin Kavka: There are some claims to party hard, but not much actual hard partying.

Erick Bieritz: Does funky house ever party hard in the sense that, say, Andrew W.K. would? “Party Moderately” or “Party Reasonably” would have been more fitting for such a mild-mannered, mid-tempo track.

Martin Skidmore: I know almost nothing about him, but this is a medium pace, funky, dancey track with rapping that is more dancehall than grime. The rapping is pretty good on the refrain, working rather like Sean Paul, though it’s less impressive on the rest, but the music bubbles along very nicely indeed all the way. Very enjoyable.

Chuck Eddy: Too much space then too much non-space then too much space again. Tries too hard to sound American sometimes. Not sure if he’s taking about ravens or ravers. Could use more high reggae notes and less obscured grumbling. Best part: zoom zoom za zoom zoom. Daylight come and he wanna go home.

Rodney J. Greene: There are so many differing versions of this floating around that I’m not sure by which I should judge. All have grime refugee Donae’o, in an indecisive vocal stuck between scat, toast, and bellow, voicing Suges’ tribal-percussion ‘n’ bleary-Model 500-synth banger “We Belong to the Night.” Beyond that, there’s a lot of variance. One version has lame “roof is on fire” chants, some have three extra minutes of bassy beat, dotted with creepy intonations of the Suges track’s title. The best version solves the problem of Donae’o’s aimlessness by handing the prissily nonchalant Princess Nyah half of his vocal duties.

W.B. Swygart: “I don’t play-ay-ay, bro” – but you do, though, don’t you? And that’s the best thing: the playing, the messing, the mucking about. Donae’o lopes around the basement, patting random acquaintances on the head, hoiking himself onto tables for impromptu chanting sessions that no-one really asked for, whipping out a notebook with “DONAE’O’s HOOKS ***TOP SECRET***” scribbled on the front and seeing which of them stick. It’s a lovely, bumping, shuffling stream of consciousness, and the lack of a properly definitive version makes it all the more ingratiating.

Alex Macpherson: Former grime MC Donae’o’s decision to hitch himself to the UK funky wagon came somewhat out of leftfield (though not, perhaps so surprising for those familiar with his early 2-step work), but has paid off spectacularly. “Party Hard” is ubiquitous on the scene, not least because it’s brilliantly malleable: check the remix with Princess Nyah, on which she and her girls moan about the rain outside before they get to down Tia Maria and champagne, and the ferocious bashment of the Heatwave Refix. Though it initially seems too basic to be an anthem, propelled by just a bare-bones rhythm, the occasional disorientating wash of minor-key synths and some perfectly-judged bass injections, it’s this looseness which makes it work so well on the dancefloor. Donae’o’s lyrics sound more like the freestyle exhortations of a live MC than crafted verses, but even better are his infernally infectious scatting vocals: “Zoom-zoom-z-zoom-zoom-zoom!”, “Lord have mercy!” and of course “Donaaae-oo! Donaeee-oo!”. They’re the kind of hook which move into your head like tidy, well-behaved temporary tenants, but within the week have invited all their mates around, trashed the kitchen, thrown a week-long party and show no sign of vacating it, ever.

Michaelangelo Matos: Like so many anthems, this shrivels a little outside of its proper context, which I’ll take to be London.

8 Responses to “Donae’o – Party Hard”

  1. Does funky house ever party hard in the sense that, say, Andrew W.K. would?

    No. THANK FUCK. That would be vile.

  2. Don’t really understand why this is the “anthem” and “Go Hard” isn’t, when “Go Hard” clearly parties (and goes) harder. (Btw, just out of curiosity, does this Donae’o fellow have any songs without the word “hard” in the title?)

  3. “Party Hard” came way first, “Go Hard”‘s beat doesn’t sync into funky sets as well (and it’s not as malleable), dance sets tend to favour loosely structured tracks rather than songs, and I assume “Go Hard” was named after “Party Hard”; Donae’o has an entire (terrific) album of songs with different titles.

    Also, Donae’o had already made two of last year’s biggest UK funky anthems, “African Warrior” and “Devil In A Blue Dress” (which imo are even better than “Party Hard”).

  4. The YouTube links are much appreciated, partly because they confirm my suspicion from the Tinchy Stryder entry that lex and I are looking for verrrrrry different stuff from these types of things. I can’t get over how annoying (insufferable, even) his vocals are here, and if I’d gotten blurbs in it would have gotten a 3, probably.

    I am a little surprised at the Andrew WK bashing though, I would have thought something like “We Want Fun” would work for most people here…

  5. Scott Seward on ILM:

    i like this. i like the rhythm of it. not the kind of thing i ever listen to, but it’s very appealing to me for some reason. i even like the phone call in the middle of the song.

  6. anybody has a link to the party hard version with the roof chant

  7. yes do post a link with the roof version

  8. where can u find party hard lyrics cos its doin my sweed in i hate that song