It must be a strange when you can make tracks similar in sound to what you were making twenty years ago and have them be completely current-sounding.? On the fourth single from their masterpiece album ‘Electric,’ The Pet Shop Boys sing about “Thursday” as the start of the weekend in the way that only they can.? It has all the classic synth sounds you would expect, yet sounds modern (like, say, a Disclosure track). The addition of a rap by Example is brilliant on many levels – not only does his sound match the PSB aesthetic, but the meaningful verse elevates the song to a higher level rather than just the normal rapper of the moment bragging about bling and bitches, as seems to be the status quo.?? A plethora of remixes from credible (Eddie Amador, Tensnake) to commercial (Aidan Bega, JRMX, & Jon M) make the song fit just about any DJ’s setlist.
On my first listen to “Hooligans,” his sickeningly aggressive raver track with Don Diablo, Example’s personality and flow instantly made me a fan. Through a succession of both energetic and somber singles, as well as collaborations with producers as varied as Skream, Laidback Luke, Calvin Harris, and Flux Pavillion, and his recent appearance as a featured rapper on a Pet Shop Boys album, he has morphed from a party boy MC to an intelligent and emotionally succinct singer with the ability to play both roles and everything in between.? With his new single “All the Wrong Places,” he uses the contrast of old school rave and hardstyle to showcase his rather strong vocal performance.? It’s an interesting way to stage a political statement, especially since a large portion of the listeners might not get the message.? Forthcoming remixes by Starkillers, Quinitino, and Jack Beats are sure to be massive, as will be his new album which is said to be inspired The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, and Faithless.? Now, that’s a ’90s-inspired project I cannot wait to hear.
And the ’90s revival continues. Brit rock band Blur was no stranger to clubland with remixes by Pet Shop Boys and Carl Cox being commissioned.? A few years back, it seemed like every time you blinked your eye there was another bootleg of “Song #2.”? German trance/progressive house duo Inpetto is no stranger to commercial hooks (they are 2/3 of the group Fragma, who created “Toca’s Miracle”), so using the catchy singalong chorus of Blur’s “Girls and Boys” was a no-brainer.?? Repeated over an energetic stadium house track, the few lines become a new song ready to dominate dance floors all over again. Many kudos to the Duderstadt brothers for their humorous take on the original artwork.? It takes guts (and a good sense of humor) to rock a long blonde wig and a full beard.