Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Prima Pt. 1- Girl Bear


Sup team, I've been away/crazy busy for the past month. I did one big trip where I flew to Rome, stayed there for 10 (!) days, then flew straight to Barcelona for Primavera Sound Festival in the amazing Parc del Forum.

The line-up was seriously unbelievable. You can see for yourself on their site. Obviously, there were clashes and it wasn't physically possible to see the 100+ acts over 3 nights/mornings (Barcelona do their festivals PROPERLY) but over the next week or two, I'll go through some of the best I saw.


Girl Talk

Girl Talk is just one guy and as the pic shows, he definitely steers clear of the DJ label. He also hates the term 'mash-up', though his work doesn't so much sit on that fence as barrel through it like a Paris Hilton-helmed Porsche. [incidentally, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA]

This is actually his biggest strength though. In light of traditional copyright's increasingly short shelf-life, we are gradually seeing fewer inhibitions in sampling. Advances in digital technology have meant that musicians can contort (and manufacture) their samples into unrecognisable shapes, but Girl Talk brings a big shiny swagger to this type of music.

He takes a sample, throws another down, whips one away, and lays a big chunk of a summer hit that fits PERFECTLY over the top. All in 15 seconds. He chews through samples like a grizzly baby ruins toys.

He has an intrinsic sense of songcraft and this is what separates him from many goons with a laptop making noise. He also puts on a great show, leaping out from behind the DJ lectern in a full suit and tie, tearing layers off as he cranks the tempo up further and further. At Prima, he finished with a cover of Scentless Apprentice [whilst sampled for his album, the actual cover isn't on it. And I have a special cover to show you later in this post]. He leapt off the stage and into the crowd, clutching his mic like it was the last connection to rock histronics left in this century and yelled into it as the crowd swept him back and forth. In an open dance enclosure.

The album is awesome, here are two of my favourite tracks. You should DEFINITELY see him live if you get a chance.

Girl Talk- Ask About Me
Girl Talk- Bounce That

Night Ripper on Amazon Marketplace [not distributed in the UK yet]
Girl Talk Myspace

Grizzly Bear

This is a band with a fairly conventional line-up, but they don't make conventional music. It has the usual components, but the way it's arranged raises goosepimples. To say the vocals are ghostly is something of a trite simile when it's more accurate to say that they sound as though they come from the transparent lungs of passing spirits. Something particularly astonishing to note from their live performance is the reliance upon a clean electric guitar for the main melody, with the vocals, drums, and occasional clarinet swooping in and out of the soundscape.

This sounds pretentious, but this music is not easy to explain. It's not immediate, and immeasurably better for it. This is music that gently seeps into your pores and leaves a trace. Here are two of their (relatively) well-known songs.

Grizzly Bear- Knife
Grizzly Bear- On A Neck, On A Spit

'Yellow House' UK Quicklink
Grizzly Bear Myspace
Ed Droste's blog


And now, the sum result of their parts. 'Knife' smashed together with a Clipse track [a good a place as any to confess my Neptunes love and shame for not having heard their helmed (ahahaha Paris) and critically-acclaimed album yet) by that scamp Girl Talk.

Grizzly Bear- Knife (Girl Talk Remix)

Enjoy, I will try to post again soon and continue the Primafest. Goddamn life getting in the way of blogging!