United is the B-side to the awesome Queen Of Hearts’ new single, Secret. Released at the weekend, the wonderful lead track is backed up by this slab of timeless SynthPop that was put together by our friend, and electronic music legend, Mark Reeder. With Reeder’s pedigree you know what you’re getting, the wealth of over three decades working with electronic music, which when added to Queen Of Hearts’ freshness always makes for something special.
Mark Reeder’s got a pretty good lock on classic SynthPop, and with United, we have a little Depeche Mode, a little Alphaville, all wrapped up with a little Berlin Techno. The perfect counterpoint to Queen Of Hearts melancholic, but intensely human vocals. It’s a track that sits very much on the German end of the SynthPop spectrum, even bordering on Modern SynthPop at times and kept elevated by both Mark’s waves of euphoric synths and the Queen’s passionate delivery. The single is out now. Get involved.
Y’know, we were just wondering the other day when we’d next be treated to a taste of Queen Of Hearts’ forthcoming new album, and here we are. Once again Devil’s Gun takes up the production reins on Secret, due out next month, and the two of them deliver exactly what we’ve been waiting for. I guess this one song will have to tide us over until the LP drops.
Secret is amongst the Poppiest of Queen Of Hearts’ work, and that probably quite an odd thing to say about a Pop artist but a bulk of the Queen’s tunes (like all the best Pop music) has had a certain melancholy to it, whereas Secret is pure summertime vibes. Devil’s Gun turn things up to 11 with big beats, chainsaw synths and a nice use of The Art Of Noise style sampling, but it really is Queen Of Hearts who steals the show here, bringing a pitch perfect Pop chorus that dominates the tune and’ll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Album now please.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Secret (Radio Edit) (Produced By Devil’s Gun)
Queen Of Hearts’ Secret is released 9th September.
We’ve gotta’ admit, we do have a soft spot for Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, but then, doesn’t everybody? It;s just one of those songs. So the idea of Isaak’s Californian croon being replaced by Queen Of Hearts’ husky voice is a pretty exciting one, made doubly so by the presence of electronic music legend Mark Reeder on production duties.
It strikes us as probably being quite a hard song to get right electronically, being all hazy acoustic guitar and stuff, but these guys pull it off with style. Reeder takes the best route and goes deep and subtle with the soundtrack, burbling synth bass and atmospheric tones phase in and out over a beat with a machine soul. But it’s Queen Of Hearts vocal here that is the real star, I don’t think there’s many vocalists who could have does this song as much justice as she does. Her smokey, passionate, lament is almost too perfect for this song. Chris who?
This 13th February marks the one year anniversary of the release of electronic rumors Volume 1. The compilation, spawned from a blog, that spawned a record label.
Released in association with Ninthwave Records, ER Vol. 1, collected 15 of the best ElectroPop, Nu-Disco and Dreamwave artists around onto one big CD and digital release.
To mark Volume 1′s birthday, we’re giving away a free EP. Four artists who appeared on ER Vol. 1, reMixing four other tracks from the album. All exclusive and specially recorded for this EP, and our gift to everyone who has supported us and the artists we’ve worked with in the last twelve months
Some of the finest talent from electronic rumors Volume 1 have kindly contributed to this free reMix EP with the worlds of ElectroPop, Dreamwave and Nu-Disco all represented. Lending their amazing songs to the EP are the queen of DiscoPop Ronika, ElectroPop siren Queen Of Hearts, 80s SynthPopper Kid Kasio and Indie-Electro dreamers Echoes. Turning their skills to reworking these fine tunes are Electro future stars Substatic, the cream of New York ElectroPop She’s The Queen, Dreamwave O.G.s LexiconDon and Electro experimentalist beaumont.
Much like Hannibal from the A-Team, we love it when a plan comes together. Or, more specifically, we love it when two artists we love come together. Chad Valley’s album is easily one of the long playing highlights of the year, read our review here, so to have him reMixing our reigning ElectroPop monarch Queen Of Hearts is something pretty special indeed. This comes with high expectations.
And those expectations are lived up to. Hugo Manuel’s lush post-Chillwave electronics transform a rousing call-to-arms into a peaceful, moody opus. Loaded with expressive synth melodies and dreamy pads. The Queens vocals, once rousing and empowering, become gentle and beautiful vocal caress delicately painted across Chad Valley’s audio canvas. The true use of a reMix is to deliver a totally different take on a track, and this reMix delivers that perfectly. An excellent companion piece to the original.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Warrior (Chad Valley Radio Mix)
Queen Of Hearts’ Warrioris released on 2nd December.
Queen Of Hearts is back with a brand new single, and that usually means we’ll be having a good weekend, and if we don’t at least we’ll have something to play on repeat. One again teaming up with Australian über producer Diamond Cut, the new track, Warrior, is quite a departure for both of them, DC especially, but it’s an experimentation that really works and makes for a nice hit of majesty in Queen Of hearts catalogue.
So, on Warrior, Diamond Cut brings the tribal and Queen Of hearts brings the drama. the result is a powerful, climactic five minutes. Introduced by a sparse piano line that rings, hunting, in the distance as the first signs of hammering percussion and a passionate vocal delivery from The Queen, who’s voice glides across the track like a siren’s call amidst the relentless arpeggios and militaristic pounding drums. The addition of edgy stings just heightens the cinematic feel of the track. We weren’t expecting something in this vein from The Queen’s next single, but it’s a pleasant surprise and merely extends her sonic pallet. We’ll be keeping en eye on that chunky guitar though (yes, we heard it DC!). Queen Of Hearts is off to the states for a handful of shows this week; you guys aren’t going to know what hit you!
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Warrior (Produced By Diamond Cut)
Queen Of Hearts’ Warrior is released on 2nd December.
Fist off, they aren’t as good as the original, no where near. The original is a big rave anthem with the ability to give goosebumps, so far, the released reMixes are not. With that out the way though they are pretty good in their own right. If we heard any of these in a club they would get us dancing no problem, especially the Electropusher reMix, which is a stomping, dirty, minimal Electro-House track. Electropusher drops some grinding synths and plays the vocal like an instrument to hypnotic effect. Danny Westcott & Tom Bull takes us back a couple of years to the Fidget heyday with this warping, yet soulful, take on the track. Etc!Etc!, on the other hand, rocks the track with a jump up beat and a deep Dubby vibe. There are a bunch of other reMixes on the single, but the label powers-that-be obviously don’t think they are good enough to be released in their full form, only 50 second samples have been made available. Which no-one likes. So fuck that. Still, it’s worth your while to investigate this single, the original version is amazing, and the reMixes will mostly get you moving.
We’ve got to admit, we have no idea who Ben Howard is. Yesterday PopJustice referred to him as a “full-time borelord” and a very brief investigation of the original version of this tune on YouTube we quickly came to the same assessment. Talented songwriter he may be, but he seems to have ordered a helping of tediously dull performer with that. No matter, it’s just the songwriting talent we’re interested in right now as our reigning ElectroPop monarch Queen Of Hearts (looking very animé in her new promo pics) takes the song into new toe-tapping directions.
Neon collaborator John Myers steps up for production duties once again, which was quite surprising as on our initial listen we had thought it might have been the Sound Of Arrow’s Stefan Storm behind the mixing desk, the track has some TSoA qualities to it. I think it’s the Into The Clouds breakdown that caught our in in that regard. The Queen throws herself into her performance and allows her vocals flowing effortlessly from sultry to ethereal and back again while they dance around the Balearic soundtrack. This one is Queen Of Hearts’ sunrise anthem.
♫ Only Love (Ben Howard cover) (Extended Version)
Queen Of Heart’s ‘Neon’/’Tears In The Rain’ single is out right now. Also out now is ‘electronic rumors Volume 1’ on which Queen Of Hearts features.
According to San City Records this is the official video for Kissy Sell Out’s Queen Of Hearts featuring You’re Not The One. There’s so much wrong with that.
1. The video is only 2m30s, with is shorter even than the radio rip we posted a while back. 2. Queen Of Hearts isn’t in it, which is a shame as she is infinitely easier on the eye than Mr. Sell Out as well as having an enigmatic video presence. 3. Mr. Sell Out is chatting over most of it, which makes it feel like self-congratulatory ego stroking rather than promoting a new tune, you barely get to hear the new record in the clip.
We hope that San City are a little optimistic when they say ‘official video’, and they pull their fingers out and make something proper, otherwise the words “dropped the ball” might be in order. It’s a really cool tune that deserves better promotion than this mess. The only reason we’re featuring it at all is because we highly recommend the track itself.
Despite the video saying ‘out now’, You’re Not The One is released 3rd September as the first of a series of EPs featuring Kissy collaborating with a host of fresh and established talent.
Believe it or not, Casio have made some classic synths in their time. Both the CZ ranges (I had a 101 myself) and the VL-Tones (particularly the VL-1) were pretty uncool when released but over the years have achieved cult status. Samplers to, like most people my introduction to sampling was the circuit benders favourite the SK-1 and there was a time when the FZ-1 was in a race with the Akais to become industry standard.
Casio are returning to the world of synth with the forthcoming release of their new XW range, lead by the XW-P1. The synth was launched last week in London along with Casio’s search for the UK’s best synthesist. Submit your best work to the Casio UK Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning an XW-P1 and a slot performing as part of the G-Shock Sessions at the Relentless Boardmasters Festival 2012 in Newquay, Cornwall. Also, you can strut around telling your friends you are the UKs best synth player and have a peice of paper to prove it!
Check the competition video featuring out good friends Queen Of Hearts and Bright Light Bright Light.