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.
It’s been a while since we heard from New Your Bedroom Pop turned Indie-Electro jetsetter Penguin Prison, we figure he’s holed up in the studio somewhere working on his next album. If you find yourself desperate for some new PP then have no fear. Our favourite denizen of Belfast Figure Of 8 is here with one of his slick DancePop reMixes of ‘Fair Warning’.
It;s becoming more and more apparent, especially in the last couple of years, that the gulf between the producer as a guy with some music software and a few ideas and the producer as a guy with musical training, or at least latent ability and understanding of music theory, is getting wider and wider. Figure Of 8 firmly falls into the latter category with a string of reMixes that show off his talent like he’s taunting the less gifted. The track centres around some sweet piano and and the kind of early ‘90’s House synth bass that we’re fast associating with Figure Of 8 that give the track a classic Dance tune feel which kinda’ softens Chris Glover’s impassioned vocals and gives them more of a smooth flow. All-in-all another on of Figure Of 8’s almost timeless productions, a classic Dance sound with a classic Pop feel.
According to their bio for the Stripes & Stars festival (one of the scarce few peices of information about them online), acoustic duo Sullivan & Gold “is more a collective than a band aiming at making music that they enjoy”, aside from the fact that I’m not entirely sure two people can really be a collective (pretension alert!), this hilarious lack of grammar makes it sound like these two guys are dedicated to making music they hate. Never mind, here’s something to cheer them up. Figure Of 8 has reMixed their track ‘Jigsaws’.
The the deal was that the Smalltown America label got Sullivan & Gold in the studio to record some music that they didn’t enjoy, along with Our Krypton Son, to be released as a vinyl EP backed with reMixes from Figure Of 8 and Dollface, and the whole thing would be completed in 24 hours. It’s quite a cool concept and a great opportunity to hear what talented musicians can come up with on the fly. Figure Of 8’s reMix was completed in around 8 hours and you can tell he had a lot of fun with it. Taking the acoustic folk and making something deeply synthetic, Figure Of 8 yet with tons of soul. The machine beats and robo-bass juxtaposing nicely with a real human quality to the sparkly synth work.
First up is ‘Bittersweet’ featuring the soulful vocals of fellow Irishman Jonny Nutt. If you add this to ‘No One Cries For Me’ you can defiantly see a Figure Of 8 ‘sound’ evolving. There something about his tunes that don’t try to impress, and also doesn’t pigeonhole itself into any electronic genre. It’s music that does it’s own thing, it’s got a bit of a laidback vibe to it. SynthPop that is so slickly produced to seems to just slip from the speakers into the room. ‘Bittersweet’, like ‘No One Cries’ is deeply emotional too, but in a particularly genuine way. Oh, did I mention the rockin’ guitar solo? ‘Blind Mice’ is more of a dark SynthWave track, but still retaining that Figure Of 8 warmness to it. A Vangelis-esque sweeping soundtrack peice that manages to merge retro synth music with that Irish SynthPop rich production.
Y’know, I thought I’d already posted this, I’ve been digging it for ages, even played it out. Here we have MiGHty mOUse reMix of the awesome Figure Of 8 single ‘No One Cries For Me’.
The whole reMix package for the single is fantastic with the likes of Worship and Bright Light Bright Light rubbing shoulders with MiGHty mOUse bouncy Disco workout. Filled with layer upon layer of twisting, funky synths that roll along to some lilting guitar and some trademark MM synth squelching and shimmering strings. The track is also featured on MiGHty mOUse must-have ‘Disco Circus 3’ compilation.
♫ Figure of 8 (Feat. Sophie Galpin) – No One Cries For Me (MiGHty mOUse reMix)
Belfast’s purveyor of all things Pop and House enlisted the help of Bright Light Bright Light and Our Krypton Son and the sublime vocals of Sophie Galpin to create a deep , soulful slice of ElectroPop that will stay with you all day after just one listen. The track has a Balearic, sunrise feel to it, but without all the associated cheese, there’s also a strong streak of late ‘80’s dance, such as The Beloved, DNA in ‘No One Cries For Me’. The more I listen to it, the more I feel like this is a classic dance track, and one you will definitely be hearing a lot more of. An intensely emotional track, both vocally and musically you can’t help but be haunted by the memory of it.