Here’s another slice of enigmatic, emotional, Dance from Belfast’s creative don Figure Of 8. His latest groove is a reMix of Lana Del Ray’s cover of the classic Blue Velvet, and, atmospherically, owes as much to the David Lynch film of the same name as it does Del Rey’s original. Prepare for some mysterious, edgy, and uncomfortably confortable sounds.
Inviting the listener into a warm, encompassing, field of sound that becomes increasingly loaded with nervous tension, Figure Of 8 commands the dancefloor with mesmerizing beats and synth bass, ensuring that no-one shy’s from the knifelike synths and haunting vocal. For a dance track, it’s brimming over with drama and mood new new secret contained within it’s intricate arrangement on every new listen.
OK, so we know Figure Of 8 has been in Game Of Thrones, so obviously he’s got some experience with battles and weapons and all kinds of ‘deeds’, but jeeez, nothing prepared us for the kind of bravery it takes to go near Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. That takes big brass balls. Many before him have tried and failed. When you play the game of covering-Joy-Division’s-most-recognisable-song-and-a-beloved-classic, you win or you die.
So don’t expect classic riffs and sing-a-long moments here. Figure Of 8 wisely stays away from trying to ape the original. Instead we are treated to more of a homage, a deep, Acid tinged House tune. Haunting and hypnotic, this one draws you into it’s strobe light groove threatening to keep you on the edge of it’s hook forever until finally breaking out with some warm pads and pinprick snyths. As the ♥ Will Tear Us Apart marches toward it’s finale, layers of sound wash over the track pushing it toward it’s euphoric high point. Figure Of 8 has this uncanny knack of making classic, almost timeless, sounding Dance music, and once again he’s delivered the goods.
Here’s a new one from our Belfastian friend Figure Of 8 (if Belfastian isn’t a word it should be. That’s out gift to the people of Belfast, they can have that for free). this morning he dropped by the electronic rumors Inbox to deliver this deceptively complex remix of his friend, Northampton based Folk singer Sophie Sparken, and her tune Trouble.
Folk song may begin to grate with their acoustic guitar endlessness, but they make perfect fodder for intricate, spacey, electronic reMixes. And Sophie’s Trouble has a particularly nice, lilting vocal that seems almost dreamlike over Figure Of 8′s Acid tinged synths and and shuffling percussion. The beauty of this reMix is that is sounds really simple, really sparse, until you peel back the layers and find it’s meticulously crafted core. Making complexity sound effortless? That’s production! Figure Of 8′s continues his quest to deliver classy, and classic sounding, Dance tracks. Timeless and easy on the ears.
Yeah, yeah. We know. reMix competitions… You all know where we stand on reMix competitions, that’s stance being that they are mostly tedious. However, how can we say no to our favourite raw ElectroPop duo MNDR reMixed by two of our favourite producers, Figure Of 8 and Box Of Wolves? We couldn’t, and are just going to have to swallow out ‘reMix competition’ pride to bring you these two jams.
And they both take a very different tact too. Belfast’s Figure Of 8 whips up a deep Housey track with a strong warehouse vibe. Loaded with pulsating synths and robotic beats, Figure Of 8’s mix dips in and out of a 90s House sound whilst spending the rest of it’s time delivering a synthetic club track that contrasts strongly, but works amazingly well, with Amanda’s vocals. Chillwaver Box Of Wolves’ take on the track is typically warm and enveloping. Hinting at a 90’s R&B groove amongst the waves of blissed-out synths, Box Of Wolves crafts something that is both dreamlike and funky. Again, it’s not the kind of track we’re used to hearing Amanda singing on, but as with Figure Of 8’s mix, it works so well. Two top entries, if one of them doesn’t win we’ll be calling “foul”!
Belfast’s finest export Figure Of 8 has been busy holed up in some dark studio somewhere working on his forthcoming album. Actually, it could be a really brightly lit studio for all we know, we’re just paining a mental picture here, he could even be recording al fresco. Anyway, in between putting the finishing touches to the new record he’s snuck in this cheeky cover version of Sonic Youth’s Dirty Boots with Irish acoustic crooner Our Krypton Son.
The cover is insanely deep, groovy and pretty unrecognisable for the original. It’s actually pretty hard to produce an electronic version of a guitar track without sounding cheesy, but Figure Of 8 pulls it off with style. I think he makes it work by not trying to substitute the guitar, rather working around a low down bass riff and shuffling beat and keeping this pretty spacey and cosmic. A nice Musical interlude from Figure Of 8.
The best thing to come out of Belfast since Sons Of Anarchy season three, and star of the hit dragon-porn show Game Of Thrones, Figure Of 8 is back with a brand new reMix. This time he’s tackling Industrial EtheriPop outfit Creatures Of Love’s new single ‘Vakkula’.
The original is a surprisingly catchy slice of machine beats and ominous tones. Shades of early 4AD output and pre-Pop-Trance Delirium dungeon music with a powerful vocal line. A vocal line which Figure Of 8 picks up and runs with it, pairing it up with a pulsating SynthPop bassline and roomy dance beats. Merging his classic dance sound with a slight Italo-Dub touch, Figure Of 8 takes just the right approach to sliding this track onto the dancefloor. The soundsystem echoes and reverb washed drums allow the track to retain it’s left-field vibe whilst giving it a kick in the kick drum. Figure Of 8 has taken the track from strobe light to mirrorball, while loosing none of the song’s character.
♫ Creatures Of Love – Vakkula (Figure Of 8 reMix)
♫ Creatures Of Love – Vakkula
Vakkula is a free EP, out today on Creatures Of Love’s Bandcamp.
We first featured Bittersweet, from prolific Irish dance producer Figure Of 8, earlier this year. Now the track has been given a full singe release, with a cracking B-Side and a whole host of ace reMixes. Dermot is one of Belfast finest exports and always delivers the best slick dance music.
Bittersweet, which features the heartfelt folky vocals of fellow Irishman Jonny Nutt rolls it own with a bit of Dub, a bit of SynthPop, a bit of Rave and a nice easy going 90s feel. Fjordland one of the single’s two B-Sides (alongside The Difference Between Finite And Infinite) is a pleasing retro rave jam and once again make me feel Orbital are a big influence on Figure Of 8, it’s got that kind of dance music feel you don’t get so much of these days, really complex interactions between elements in a densely layered track. Fjordland is a meticulously crafted slice of summery House. Amongst the reMixes of Bittersweet come a couple of tracks from two of our favourites these days. London based French ElectroPoppers The Penelopes and Germany’s finest Nu-Disco genius digitalfoxglove. The Penelopes take Bittersweet up a gear, mutating the laidback introspection into a Disco tinged SynthPop floorfiller. And if you need to chill after than, digitalfoxglove takes the track and does what he does best, blends it with his sweet poolside grooves. Bass heavy and sexy, digitalfoxglove’s reMix is a real late night jam.
♫ Figure Of 8 (Feat. Jonny Nutt) – Bittersweet
♫ Figure Of 8 -Fjordland
♫ Figure Of 8 (Feat. Jonny Nutt) – Bittersweet (The Penelopes reMix)
Right then, by now I think you all know our opinion of reMix contests. They aren’t good for anyone. But we’re not going to go on about it again, but like we said we’re only going to do round-ups of reMix competition entries from now on, because, don;t get us wrong, reMix competitions do churn out some absolutely wicked tracks. This week’s tiresome competition comes in the surprising form of legendary smoothster Barry Manilow in a transparently lame attempt to seem relevant, or something. The upside of this is it’s given some very talented producers access to that unmistakable croon.
So here’s the first batch of reMixes of Manilow’s new single, Everything’s Gonna’ Be Alright. These guys are way ahead of the pack right now. American Disco producer Blue Satellite comes out of hiding to drop an absolutely massive Nu-Disco mix of the track. Seriously, this one is huge. Loading the track with bright synths and a solid Disco groove was exactly the way to go with this track, and Blue Satellite nailed it. Waling a different path if Ireland’s Figure Of 8, who gets a little Techy, a little Electro and a little Experimental with his all-too-short, atmospheric, reMix. His pulsating synth sounds and robotic beats shine a light on a whole new dimension for the song. Greetings Program plays around with Disco and SynthWave for his reMix, injecting the track with a little Electro Boogie. This probably isn’t the last Manilow round-up we’ll do, we are hearing whispers of some huge entries incoming. But this will do for now.
♫ Barry Manilow – Everything’s Gonna’ Be Alright (Blue Satellite reMix)
I’m starting to wonder if Figure Of 8 really is just one guy, as he claims, or whether it’s actually a conglomerate of producers working round the clock. There seems to be a new Figure Of 8 reMix every week, and with no letting up on quality there can be no way just one man can keep up that schedule. Unless he is superhuman. Figure Of 8 might be superhuman?
So, this week we have this awesome deep Piano House reMix of WhoMadeWho’s ‘Never Had The Time’, a laid back, enveloping track that wraps you in it’s warm, woody, bassline and hammering melodies. Bolstered by a gently hypnotic piano riff and chimes the reMix makes great use of the quite vocals as another instrument in it’s in it’s smooth, dreamy House groove.
I’m not actually sure if Dermot McGowan sleeps. the man you know better as Figure Of 8 is like a song-writing machine. Since the release of the Belfast based producer’s acclaimed ‘No One Cries For Me’ EP he given us new material practically weekly. What’s even more unbelievable, though, is that it has all been awesome.
And he;s not breaking that run just yet. his latest reMix is a beautiful peice of work. Gráinne Holland is a fellow Belfast resident and Gaelic singer-songwriter. Gaelic has always been a language that lends itself well to music and the combination of her ethereal vocals in ‘Báta An tSíl’ and Figure Of 8’s smooth electronica is a winner. The end result has something quite ‘90’s about it, a bit of an Orbital flavour, but with Figure Of 8’s modern DancePop twist. The majestic quality of the vocals is enhanced when Dermot bring in some huge cinematic chords whist gritting things up with some distorted Acid lines. Another rad mix from Figure Of 8, who seems to have a knack of thinking outside the box, oh and not sleeping.