Normally, I would wait until the video drops to write up a UK pop band, but this song has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. Little Mix, the girl group that won the UK X Factor season 8, preview their second album ‘Salute’ with the insanely catchy and hooky “Move.” The old school disco vibe of the track is a poppier translation of the Robin Thicke/Daft Punk meme and makes a perfectly-polished pop confection. Some may scoff at the traditional values expressed in the lyrics like the girl playing hard to get and waiting for the boy to ask them out, but asking the guy to put on a bit of show and dance to catch a girl’s eye isn’t necessarily unfair, especially considering all the preparation it takes for girls before they go to the club (makeup, hair, outfit, etc.). The original tempo of 120 BPM can be sped up to be mixed into house sets, which I did when I first got the radio edit and had to play it immediately. A week later, a full set of pop remixes arrived featuring Alias and Mike Rizzo that will satiate any commercial dance floor. For a bit of edge, DJs should check out the electro-bass hybrid mix by Deekly and Eighty Six for something that will take their dance floor by surprise and make them really “Move.” I just wish it was a bit longer. Here’s hoping the US record label rush releases this and get the girls a reality show. Hey, it worked for The Saturdays.
Chess for girls… Now that Ellie has a pop hit here in the states, the hipsters are already talking smack about her. I overheard one of them referring to “Figure 8” as “dubstep for girls,” a la the infamous Saturday Night Live sketch commercial for “Chess for Girls.” Needless to say, I completely disagree. Yes, the song is quite similar in structure and tone to Alex Clare’s crossover/advertising jingle “Too Close,” but that same critique will be thrown at any artist who utilizes dubstep rhythms with emotional storytelling (though both songs do share the same coproducer, Mike Spencer.) “Figure 8” is quite darker than her current single “Anything Could Happen,” with moodier and sparser verse production and harder dubstep chorus beats acting as a background for Ellie’s story of heartbreak. It’s easy to see why Ellie Goulding was embraced as a true songwriting talent in the UK in the same way that they embraced Adele. The two remixes couldn’t be more different. Drop Lamond’s take is hard to describe – an interesting and odd fusion of breakbeat and brokenbeat, with an electro groove throughout. The stop-and-stutter feel would make for a nice change in vibe for any ballsy DJ willing to take a risk at a WTF moment. If you like their mix, you should also check out their single “Kerosene.” For mainstream dance floors, The Alias continues their streak of hands-in-the-air Hi-NRG mixes (Girls Aloud, Little Mix, Kelly Clarkson) with another galloping floorfiller. I find it quite impressive that the label is commissioning commercial remixes like this (and the Almighty remix of “Anything Could Happen”) in addition to the edgier, “credible” mixes. It just shows that a strong song can translate for any audience.
Everyone loves a fun pop song about girl power. Little Mix (formerly Rhythmix), who won the 8th UK season of The X Factor, were formed as a mash-up of solo singer and group members who just gelled perfectly together. This same kind of mash-up is embodied by their second single – the combination of syncopated hand claps, marching band drums beats, jump rope cadence, and dubstep wubwubs comprise the perfect backbeat of rhythms for their energetic vocal performance of the empowering lyrics. DJs should go directly to the incredibly strong Alias remix, which elevates the energy with a modern fusion of hands-in-the-air Hi-NRG and electro. The emphasis on the “hey hey” vocal chant is perfect for crowd singalongs, and the remix is one of the rare examples of a commercial pop song that can fit big rooms clubs while maintaining full vocals.