In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my way up into the present. More »
Disco Demolition Night, which happened 40 years ago today, is the day two genres were marked for death. Disco itself was one of them, of course: Chicago radio DJ Steve Dahl, infuriated that his still-young shock-jock career was derailed when WDAI changed format from rock to disco and shitcanned him in the process, waged war … More »
Forty years ago this weekend, Chic released one of music’s great historical delineation points (and a mother of a dancefloor-filler). “Good Times” is more than just a song, even though it’d be immortal if a song was all it was: widely considered the last #1 of the disco era before the industry backlash/burnout on the … More »
Oliver Heldens‘ remix of the classic track “Le Freak” is yet another testament to his dominating style. “Le Freak” was originally released by Nile Rodgers in 1978 at the height of disco. The track’s familiarity and iconic place in the sphere of music makes it a hard beast to straddle, but Helden does just that.
Heldens doesn’t divert from the heart of the track. Instead, he gives it a shock from the AED that is his producing. The bass of Bernard Edwards, the guitar of Rodgers, the classic hook of “Ah, freak out/ Le freak, c’est chic,” and even the classic violin all remain. What Heldens adds is something new to freak out about. His deep bass synths and rearrangement are perfectly are sewn through this track. Heldens delicately adds just enough to revitalize “Le Freak,” and in doing so, he respectfully pays tribute while making it his own.
Such a delicate yet distinctive touch is a key attribute to great producers. It would be fascinating to know what Rodgers would have to say about this reboot, as Rodgers has stuck with the times and is rumored to have worked on several unreleased tracks with Avicii.
It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.
This week’s releases are true stunners. After announcing a collaboration with Lights back in July, deadmau5 has finally unveiled “Drama Free” as part of his mau5ville: Level 2 EP. Oliver Heldens throws it back four decades by remixing CHIC‘s 1978 hit “Le Freak,” adding in a pounding bass to accentuate the original’s groovy beat. Bingo Players and Bali Bandits bring the funk with “Body Rock,” and SLANDER and Spag Heddy waste no time setting “Running to You” on fire. Ray Volpe puts his own spin on Ookay‘s “In My Mind,” while Party Favor taps Naïka for the hefty “Blame.” As part of What So Not‘s Not All The Beautiful Things remix package, AC Slater‘s put his signature bass-fueled house spin on the famous “Goh.” Kill Paris has put his own laid-back twist on Alison Wonderland‘s “Easy,” and Ross From Friends thrills with a take on Thundercat‘s “Friend Zone.”
As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.
Photo credit: Pablo Murillo
It’s been 9,705 days since the last body of work from Nile Rodgers & Chic. But the 26-year wait is over, and It’s About Time is here.
The seasoned disco group have been working for years on their latest album and began teasing singles from it earlier this year. They wowed the world with the release of “Till The World Falls” in June, teaming up with Mura Masa, Vic Mensa, and Cosha for a spirited collaboration on Jools Holland’s show on BBC Two. The remainder of the summer months went by without any additional releases, but early September brought a teaser of what was to come just a few weeks later with “Sober.”
It’s About Time saw its full debut on September 28, featuring an arsenal of star-studded collaborations. Over the course of its 10 tracks, the album sees the group tap artists like Lady Gaga, Elton John, Emeli Sandé, and many more.
After Rodgers revealed that Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars would also be involved in the album, It’s About Time may leave fans wondering where their songs are. Fortunately, only a few months remain until the group’s next album, coming February 2019, where the collaborations will hopefully see the light of day. There’s also a possibility Rodgers’ work with Avicii may be released at some point in the future, as the two were reportedly working on 10 tracks before Avicii‘s death in April.
It’s About Time, disco-funk legends Chic’s first album in 26 years, has finally arrived, and it really is about damn time. This thing was originally announced way back in 2015, when Chic were enjoying the beginnings of a late-career renaissance thanks to the shine from frontman Nile Rodgers’ appearance on Daft Punk and … More »
LCD Soundsystem has partnered up with Spotify on their latest release. The two-track acoustic EP follows the usual format of a Spotify Singles release, including an acoustic in-studio version of one of the band’s tracks as well as a cover. For this session, LCD recorded a new version of “Tonite,” a single released last year on their long awaited comeback album American Dream. But of course, since electronic elements are so engrained in LCD’s style, this seemingly stripped back version of the track still includes its integral synthesized elements. Following “Tonite” is a mash up of sorts, where the band works their own 2010 track “Home” together with Chic‘s “I Want Your Love.” This time, the track takes on a groovier new personality with the homage paid to the iconic Nile Rodgers-led funk band.
Both tracks were recorded in New York City’s iconic Electric Lady Studios.