Here is a playlist of about 55 tracks comprised of 100% Ace Pop that is – mostly – from 2012. Let’s have a look at some of the songs on this Very Good Playlist Even If I Do Say So Myself. If the above widget isn’t working (or is curiously not displaying 55 tracks) then point your browser hurr.
PURPLE CRUSH – Basic Bitch
Brooklyn duo Purple Crush are a big favourite of mine. Their 2011 EP “Welcome 2 The Underground” was one of my most played last year and, if I ever decide to finish my 2011 year round-up’s, a number of songs (including this one) feature throughout that end of year songs list. You should also take a gander at their excellent homage to Madonna’s “Reductive” moment from earlier in the year and also their GREAT cover of Fischerspooner’s “Emerge.” One of the brightest emerging acts (ho ho!) in Pop.
FLORRIE – Shot You Down / To The End / Every Inch
Florrie, as featured in my fun new banner next to Queen Madonna, has released what is by far-and-away the most exciting bunch of pop songs of her career. The frantic soundscapes of “Shot You Down”, to the no-prisoners rave-up of “Every Inch”, to the monumental “To The End” – her defining moment – Florrie is a properly amazing pop star and with each release she trumps herself greatly.
MADONNA – Gang Bang / I’m Addicted / Love Spent / I Don’t Give A
How different a campaign Madonna’s “MDNA” would have been with “I’m Addicted”, the superior dance moment, as its lead single. “I’m Addicted” is the best, freshest thing Benny Benassi’s produced since “Satisfaction” and could have given Madonna the club-pop crossover hit she deserved with this album. Even the Nicki Minaj feature “I Don’t Give A” would have made for a better, more striking first single than “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, which – all things considered – failed to do what it should have for Madonna on the charts because it was the wrong single. The singles should have played out with “I’m Addicted” as the first, “I Don’t Give A” as the second, “Gang Bang” as the controversial third and “Love Spent” as the albums final single. “Love Spent” is one of the most underrated Madonna songs in a very long time; the fact that it contains two completely different choruses has seemingly been lost on its critical detractors. It’s also the most lyrically vulnerable song on the album. And the thing that I love the most about “Gang Bang” is its obvious tribute to that iconic early 2000′s German Hard Trance sound. People teetered with German techno from the 90′s but nobody has really taken direct inspiration from that truly golden era of early millennium rave and that is something Madonna needs to be commended for. The song itself is a little like Madonna doing Neils Van Gough’s stadium-rave anthem “Pulverturm“, but with a lot more vitriol and anger. It’s also the most experimental and forward-thinking thing Madonna’s done since the American Life record and is said to be the final single from the MDNA era.
VAN GO LION – Glow
Portland duo Van Go Lion are another of my big favourites from 2011. This song in particular encapsulates everything brilliant about their pop songs and their “Body Moves” EP from last year is something worth chasing up. Big things coming for them in 2012.
VAN SHE – Sarah / Coconuts / Radio Waves I & II / We Move On
“Sarah” is Van She’s big Fleetwood Mac moment from their incredible sophomore album “Idea of Happiness.” Vocally Nick hasn’t sounded better and on a production front this is their grandest moment to date. A massive review of this excellent album is on the way, I just have to get it right y’know? There’s a lot to say about an album as good as this one, and the other four tracks amongst this playlist that are lifted from the record are a great sample of what to expect when you eventually invest and Buy The Album.
PET SHOP BOYS – A Certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi”
I’m not the biggest fan of PSB’s new single “Winner” but this B-Side is where the money is at. Non-apologetic classic Pet Shop Boys pop. How Very.
GOSSIP – Move In The Right Direction
After “Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)”, this is the Gossip at their very best. A stomping pop song with Xenomania on production credits – not exactly a terrible fusion is it? And the album “A Joyful Noise” delivers exactly what it says it does on the tin.
ICONA POP – I Love It
Imagine if this had been the new Veronicas single instead of “Lolita”? Get this on Australian radio at once.
MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – Lonely Hearts Club / Teen Idle / Valley Of The Dolls / Fear & Loathing
Marina’s “Electra Heart” is one of 2012′s best records and these four songs are a great slab of the cream of the crop to be lifted from it. “Lonely Hearts Club” sounds like it’s been ripped right out of a 1980′s Molly Ringwald movie, “Teen Idle” is pretty much the most incredible thing Marina has ever penned, “Valley Of The Dolls” is eerie with its end-of-the-world talk and Illuminati undertones therefor making it one of the most interesting and captivating pop creations of the year, and then there’s “Fear & Loathing” which, funnily enough, seems to follow similar themes. A full (and completely schizophrenic – you’ll understand what I mean when it goes online), rather lengthy piece reviewing this complexly wonderful album is on the way.
LADY GAGA – Scheiße
Shoulda been a single, my god. The best moment during Gaga’s epic Born This Way Ball.
NO DOUBT – Settle Down
I am here for this song and comeback, yes I am. This is 6 minutes of bliss.
WILLAM BELLI & FRIENDS – Let’s Have A KaiKai / Love You Like A Big Schlong / Chow Down / The Vagina Song
The break-out controversial star from RuPaul’s Drag Race and literally every TV show ever created is also one of the best pop stars to come from the series. Willam’s update on the Scissor Sisters song “Let’s Have A KiKi” manages to outdo the original, her stunning tribute to Selena Gomez and Enormous Cocks is truly touching, her collaboration with Vicky Vox & Detox, a take off-of Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” that lyrically pays tribute to Chick-Fil-A Chicken, is Current, and of course “The Vagina Song” which really speaks for itself. I am a proud Willam Belli Stan and I will not Rupologise for it.
CASSIE – Queen Of Hearts
How has this not been the biggest Urban single of 2012?
LANA DEL REY – Off To The Races / Blue Jeans (Kris Menace Mix) / This Is What Makes Us Girls / Radio
I had the honour of seeing Lana live a couple of weeks ago and then the extended pleasure of meeting her afterwards (Full review with photos incoming) and I can’t get her out of my mind. “Born To Die” is obviously the album of the year and the tracks I’ve picked from the record for this playlist don’t even do the majesty of the whole record justice. If you haven’t yet, then you should. Lana is EVERYTHING.
ROGUE TRADERS – Girl In Gold
This flawless tribute to Deborah Harry is a truly lost gem from the Rogue Traders incredible final album “Night Of The Living Drums.” Second only to “In Love Again” as the bands finest creation.
SANTIGOLD – Pirate In The Water / Fame
Santi’s new album “Master of my Make-Believe” is a revelation, but these two tracks in particular are the records biggest slabs of self-assured Jamaican-tinged punk-pop. “Pirate In The Water” is the lighter pop moment but “Fame” is the lyrical clencher.
THE PRESETS – Youth In Trouble (Green Velvet Remix)
This incredible remix of an already bonza dance song from Australia’s very own is hopefully a nice example of the kind of anti-radio dance music the band started out creating. In its original form, “Youth In Trouble” is this acid-house rave explosion that is exactly the kind of rave I want to be hearing in 2012 and exactly the kind of rave Australian radio weren’t expecting from the boys. An inspired club-cut.
SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM – Really Want To See You Again
Connie & Angus bat it completely out of the park once again. Lifted from my favourite Album of 2011.
SANDRA BERNHARD – Perfection
I’m not entirely sure what this electro-infused Chicks On Speed-esque dance bomb is all about but it came on at the end of Sandra’s excellent stand-up album “Everything Bad & Beautiful” and I just had to share it.
KATHY GRIFFIN – I’ll Say It
The theme-song from Kathy’s new talk show is all kinds of fun and literally makes Carrie Underwood completely redundant. Bitch bye! There’s a MIAMI MIX (!!!!!!) on its way too which you can hear in this video of Kathy & Gloria Estefan singing it together on stage. Amazing.
The playlist also features songs by Muscles, Azealia Banks, The Saturdays, Garbage, iamamiwhoami, Justin Bieber, Queen of Hearts, Loreen, Ricki-Lee, Nicki Minaj, Kylie Minogue, RuPaul and Jessica 6. Each month (or so) I’ll attempt to create a new playlist to share with you on the blog; let me know what you think!
You may recall last year when I tallied up my end of year lists that I’d become particularly partial to a Rogue Traders track by the name of “America.” It was to be featured on their unreleased fourth album “Night Of The Living Drums”, which was an on-point introduction to the vocal stylings of the divine Ms. Mindi Jackson, however it hadn’t seen the light of day beyond five-track promos that briefly circulated last year. To this day “America” remains one of my most played tracks in iTunes and – up until today – has been virtually unheard by the masses.
Well now you can listen to it… at least a 2 minute teaser for it any way.
I wonder why this has finally been made available?
I wonder why this is only a teaser?
Any way, for those of you who need a refresher as to what this incredible Rogue Traders LP would have sounded like, here’s an album teaser…
Here is a song that is called “Titans”, and it samples the incredible Jonsi. It is a proper-amazing, banging house track that mingles with a rave aesthetic to deliver one of the strongest dance tracks in the last few months. You can also download the MP3 from this very player exclusively here on Adem With An E. With the Artists blessing.
Titans already has over 100 plays on my iTunes because it’s just a very gorgeous piece of dance floor magic.
This absolute CHOON is none other than James Ash (along with the brilliant Denzal Park), James – he of the Rogue Traders. It’s been a long time since James has been on the dance floor but Titans is proof he hasn’t lost the Midas touch when it comes to banging out a proper, scorching dance bomb. And long before the Rogue Traders, James was behind some of the finest house tracks to come out of the genre, let alone this country.
It’s a bootleg. But a very well made bootleg that offers up a pretty amazing look at what James has been working on in the studio of late. Proper epic soundscapes.
Dance music has been a little aggressive lately and whilst I’m all for a bit of dance floor madness when it comes to ‘tracks’, I’m a little sick of walking into festivals or clubs and feeling like I’m being constantly raped. Titans brings things back to a really melodic, dreamy place – but that bassline is just so TOUGH that it makes it so much more effective than all of that other shit. I want to dance my arse off to this! It makes me feel like I’m a Teenager again; going to warehouse parties, massive raves, parties at the sheds, the docks, two tribes, every picture… Dancing my life away as the sun rises to Orbital – that kind of thing. Happy places.
I’m not sure where this leaves the band but I am bloody on board with James working on other stuff because this is massive.
Last night I had the privilege of sitting with Rogue Traders co-founder James Ash and having a listen to a bunch of demos for the bands upcoming album, their fourth overall and their first since Natalie Bassinghthwaighte’s departure.
Here’s the thing; it’s really, really good. Some of these unfinished demos sound more fresh and exciting than most of the things on the charts at the moment; I’d even go as far as saying there are some moments so spectacular that they trump certain key-points found on the bands last two albums.
All the stories you’ve heard about it being a dance record are bang on. If you were at all deterred by lead single “Love Is A War”, then you’ll be pleased to know it’s probably one of the less instant moments among the new tracks. It’s also the least straight-up-dance moment as well; there are spikey club-cuts throughout, with mild nods and references to everyone from Blondie, Phil Oakey, the Sugababes (v2.0) and even Madonna. In fact, the new Rogue Traders album is a bit like Richard X meeting up with Rachel Stevens and Lene Lovich in a thumping nightclub.
“Ease Your Mind” is, as James described it to me, like the Sugababes having it off with Justice. Think of “Whatever Makes You Happy” and then essentially times it by 10. One of the more instant moments, the glam-rock meets synth-overdrive of “Would You Raise Your Hands”, was an immediate favourite and is about musical snobbery. It’s a tongue-in-cheek, arms-aloft club-pop banger that smells like a hit single.
“Skyline” – although sounding nothing like it – is the albums answer to “In Love Again”, in the sense that it’s dreamy electro-pop with EXCELLENT lyrics. There’s also “Girl In Gold”, which is Ash’s tribute to Debbie Harry from Blondie (he told me he was staring at a poster of Deb as he penned the chorus – amazing), “America”, “So Lonely” (inspired by Britney Spears) and “Ease Your Mind.” All very, very good.
And what about Mindi Jackson, the bands new vocalist? Can she fill the shoes left vacant by Natalie? More than capable, actually. It doesn’t take long to hear that Jackson’s voice is stronger and has a lot more texture than Nat’s does; the vocal arrangements on the album are more complex and a little more experimental – a definite plus. I’ve said before that Mindi’s voice reminds me of Lene Lovich; add a very young Gwen Stefani, No Doubt-era into the mix as well. I’m actually REALLY looking forward to seeing Mindi perform with the band for the first time live on stage.
So in summary, If you were at all worried about the album; don’t be. Whether your worries were spawned by the idea you felt they couldn’t go on without Natalie, or because you didn’t quite like “Love Is A War”, cast them aside. It’s okay to be wrong sometimes and in this case, you are.
This album will change peoples minds about the group. Within a few minutes of hearing it I’d almost forgotten about the bands past; it is ALL about the future from now on in.
UPDATE: Album Teaser available on TheirSpace.
Meet Mindi Jackson. She’s the new lead vocalist for the Rogue Traders.
Some of my fellow Van She fans that read this website might find Jackson’s voice a little familiar; in 2007, under the name Melinda Jackson, Michael and Nicky from Van She Tech took her track “Fall In Love” and gave it a corker of a re-swizz which ended up in my years-end best-of lists.
But now, Melinda is Mindi, and her first release with the Rogue Trader crew is the drum ‘n bass hybrid-pop stomper, “Love Is A War,” which sounds like Lene Lovich having it off in a dark alley-way with No Doubt’s back catalogue. Never a bloody bad thing.
Double hand-claps? CHECK. Amazing outfit? CHECK. Excellent hair-styling? CHECK. Non-offensive rap? CHECK. Ability to dance in very high heels and look effortlessly fabulous? CHECK. Of course, the less said about the food fight scenes the better; I have this incredible phobia of food touching my skin. Don’t ask.
I am COMPLETELY on board for this next, exciting phase of the Rogue Traders journey. I think that, perhaps the most exciting part, is the fact that Mindi looks more than comfortable in the group, whether it be in the clip or on the (usually) painstakingly boring Sunday Sunrise in an interview situation. There’s a star quality about her and yet, she’s – at the moment – not exactly a household name. The last time around, James and Co HAD a star already; but this time it’s that much different, and a whole lot more exciting.
What’s even more thrilling is the obvious appreciation both Mindi and James have for each other as artists, an appreciation that shows during that Sunrise interview – it’s effortless, there’s not a cringeworthy moment shared between the two of them, which speaks volumes I think, about the kind of guy James is, but also the kind of woman that Mindi is.
I can’t wait for the album, which is happening next year at some point. I know a few people are a bit sketchy on the track (from what I’ve read on Twitter through fellow bloggers posts, anyway) but, as per usual, there’s always something that strikes a chord with listeners on a Rogue Record. Even if you’re not necessarily keen on this first single, I can guarantee there will be something you’ll LOVE on the album. James recently told me they were working on a track that was a little bit early Sugababes. Bonza bonza bonza.
Extreme Rogue Traders/Mindi Jackson Appreciation Mania starts here.