It was back in March that Awesome Australian ElectroPop outfit Kids At Midnight released their long awaited début single via Alan Braxe’s Vulture Music. Since then, things in camp KaM have, at times, been a little up-in-the-air leaving Kids At Midnight essentially Jane Elizabeth Hanley’s solo project. Having weathered the storm Jane is now gearing up to come back fighting (after a brief diversion supplying the massive vocals for this little number) with some amazing new music, beginning with this reMix of LA Dreamwaver Touch Tone’s second single, Make Believe.
Jane decidedly proves she can easily handle the Kids At Midnight moniker solo as she delivers a Housed-up monster of a track. Equal parts laid back Nu-Disco and early 90’s House, the Kids At Midnight reMix offers up some superb piano hooks set against a backdrop of 909s driving basslines. All this Housey craziness actually works really well with Alex from LexiconDon’s vocal, allowing it to take on a slightly different mood than in the original, it almost feels like there is more optimism in his voice when set to such a jump-up backing. We’re hoping this is the first of many new Kids At Midnight track, soon-ish.
We knew it was only a matter of time before we started to hear some reMixes of Dreamwave Original Gangster Touch Tone awesome Make Believe. Make Believe is Touch Tone’s second single under this new moniker and both his track have been in demand for reMixers, once you’ve heard his big, anthemic, DiscoPop you’ll understand why. So, stepping up this time is a duo who have been around for a while, but recently joined the Binary fold, Chordashian.
The Brooklyn duo whip up a nice mix of beach Disco and piano House for their taken on the tune. Alex from LexiconDon’s vocals sound comfortable amidst the stuttering snares and late night House vibe. Chordashian have managed to deliver a reMix that is both extremely dancefloor friendly, but quite musically interesting too, and retaining all the the originals soul.
It was May this year that saw the evolution of Andrew Verner from RoboPop commissioner Short Circuit into slick ElectroPop act Touch Tone. His début single, Home Away From Home, was something really special that had talented producers clamouringtoremixit. Now the Touch Tone follow-up is here and sees Andrew teaming up with LexiconDon’s Alex Koons for an old school Binary jam.
Make Believe is more Housey then we would have expected, and a lot more Tropical than Home Away From Home, but those two elements, in Verner’s hands, come together to form some sort of blissful holiday ElectroPop monster. An uplifting beast with a kind of unspecific nostalgia, the 909 beat and digital bass have obvious early 90’s House references, but the warm Dreamwave sounds and Island Disco lead line blur the specifics of sound and Touch Tone delivers a smooth, comfortable slice of Pop House that become more infectious with each listen. Alex Koons lends his brand of LexiconDon heartfelt storytelling to the track, and it turns out to be the perfect match, especially in the asthenic chorus. We expect producers to be clamouring to reMix this one too.
The reMixes of Touch Tone’s anthemic Home Away From Home keep coming. There’s just something about that vocal, something about the groove of the track, that had made it one of the few track we haven’t got bored with multiple reMixes of. I can see why people want to reMix it, it’s a huge tune. Next up to the plate is our boys Leisure Council, so you know this is going to be special.
And special it definitely is. Can you say ‘Electro Boogie’? Leisure Council’s reMix is pure synthetic Funk, sprinkled with ‘80’s magic and sent through a wormhole from 1985. From he moment the beat kicks in, you are treated to the kind of post, B-Boy Electro, electronic R&B groove that was so prevalent in the mid-‘80’s. Funky, and slightly mechanized, like a breakdancing robot. Which is layered with rich, buzzing, synth pads, ringing chords and twisting lead lines. Vocoding Andrew’s vocals, subtly, just adds to the slightly otherworldly vibe and lets this space boogie soar. Leisure Council are killing it once again. Whether in Ride The Universe, or as a trio, these guys just know groove.
The change of name seems to have invigorated Touch Tone’s musical output. His début (as Touch Tone) release, Home Away From Home, took everyone by surprise, turning out to be one of the best single of the year and inspiring multiple awesome reMixes. Never one to rest, Mr. Verner has now teamed up with fellow Binary producer, crafter on one of the best Nu-Disco albums in recent years and one part of LexiconDon, Fabian, to drop the massive Soleil Rouge.
If the track needs any explaining, here it is in their own words: “an instrumental soundtrack for the dance floor of a post apocalyptic night club full of neon wearing computer geeks and cyber punks”. Have Fabian and Andrew started frequenting Goth clubs? I’m not sure if this is the usual Industrial hammering that Hollywood would have us believe all clubs will play in the dystopian future, frankly I prefer the Fabian Vs. Touch Tone take on the situation. Soleil Rouge is a huge track with a lead line that stick in your head like glue and some stratospheric soloing. Two of the best producers on the West Coast coming together for tunes like this should happen more often.
Germany’s finest, Final DJs, have joined the reMixing Touch Tone’s Home Away From Home party and the thought of that eipc vocals combined with Final DJs epic synth solos is pretty exciting indeed. Still riding high on the release of their recent Gossip Country Final DJs are on a roll right now, let’s see if they can keep it up.
Their reMix of Home Away From Home is probably the funkiest thing they have released to date, there’s very little of the SynthWave Final DJs in here. Instead what we are treated to is head on collision between Nu-Disco, Tropical and House. With a bassline, guitar lick and strings that are pure ‘70’s Disco and a beat and piano hook straight out of Chicago, the Final DJs mix up a slick, summery vibe that really plays with the vocals. They’ve pushed the rhythm of the chorus back a bar which makes the chorus seem more urgent, giving the laid back beach vibes a bit of drive. Guaranteed to get you moving, Final DJs mix has injected some much needed boogie into our Wednesday.
The world of the producer is very much like the cruellest corners of the animal kingdom. Producers stalk the plains, solitary and silent, hunting for stems. Occasionally stopping to sniff the air in the hope of catching the scent of an acapella vocal. A producer must work with stems at least once every two weeks to survive, in times of drought competition can be fierce, and when a new herd of stems is noticed many producers can fall upon it in a feeding frenzy. Actually, in the case of Touch Tone’s Home Away From Home’ we can see why, the vocal is spectacularly epic, it must be hard for a producer to resist the temptation.
On The Fruit Records main man Freak You, just couldn’t resist. And for that we are glad. He turns in this wonderful, lush, ‘90’s House mix complete with 909 drums, piano hook and and a piercing square wave lead that just screams ‘90’s Dance Pop. More than anything Freak You’s reMix is fun fun fun and conjures up the best of times dancing your ass off in the ‘90’s. Freak You;’s reMix will keep a smile on my face all day!
♫ Touch Tone – Home Away From Home (Freak You ‘DJ Tool’ reMix)
Touch Tone’s ‘Home Away From Home’ is out now on Binary.
I must be so predictable, hehe. Touch Tone dropped me an email introducing me to Brooklyn producer Starcadian who has just reMixed his new single ‘Home away From Home’, he said he thought Starcadian was right up my street, both musically and aesthetically, Sweet Raptor Jesus was he ever right.
I don’t want to to talk too much about Starcadian specifically right now, I’ve already decided he gets an article to himself later in the week, but let’s just easy you into the Starcadian groove with the aforementioned reMix.His reMix of ‘Home Away From Home’ is pretty much a melting pot of everything we think is awesome. It is, at it’s core, SynthWave, epic retro soundtrack stuff, but with more of a gritty vibe, a more (dare I say it, Brooklyn?) Lo-Fi productions style that accentuates the vintage sound and give the music warmth. It’s also got a bit more Funk than your average SynthWave with a dirty Moog tone to it. The end result is a danceable, dreamy electronic space-Disco odyssey. So, to recap; SynthWave, Lo-Fi grit, Moog Funk plus Touch Tone’s amazing, anthemic, song. I never stood a chance.
‘Home Away From Home’ is the first single from Touch Tone, the new alter ego of Andrew Verner, better known to you lot as Binary staple Short Circuit. Whether this draws a line under his Short Circuit work and represents a new era for Mr. Verner or if this is just a side project we are yet to find out, we’ll have to bug him about it, but it does showcase a big new sound.
A couple of years ago we referred to Short Circuit as RoboPop, with ‘Home Away From Home’ Touch Tone shrugs off that vibe and comes storming back with a huge, emotionally resonant ElectroPop sound. Like Josh Legg’s recent more Goldroom work Touch Tone seems to be getting back to the core of what Dreamwave was supposed to be about, not necessarily musically, but in an atmospheric sense. ‘Home Away From Home’ captures that nostalgic optimism that the original Dreamwave releases professed. It’s an insanely catchy, anthemic, ElectroPop track with a cool Indie vibe and some nice ‘90’s House elements. The passionate vocals flowing effortlessly over the smooth LA vibe, this is a track that feels so comfortable with itself, and could be the one to break Verner to a wider audience. I’m sure a Goldroom reMix could be arranged, that would be sick.
♫ Touch Tone – Home Away From Home
Touch Tone’s ‘Home Away From Home’ is released today on Binary.