Avicii – Penguin

This sort of stuff has been gone for too long. (With bonus classical diversion!)

Tim: I am glad that dance season is fast approaching, because this sort of stuff has been gone for too long.

Tim: This bloke ditched the ‘Avicii’ name briefly when he put out Bromance last year, but right now Tim Berg’s back as he was.

Tom: Speaking of which: do you have any idea how popular that track became? 38 million views for the official video, and I still hear it being played. Absolutely astounding track.

Tim: Well, now he’s dance-ing up a vaguely well known classical tune, the sort that gets requested daily on the Classic FM Drivetime show.

Tom: Now I do love tracks like this, if only because of my younger years when I spent far too long playing Dance Dance Revolution. I still know the step-rhythms for parts of “V (for EXTREME)” and the gorgeous “Kakumei” off by heart.

But if you really want to go back into history: then you have to start in the 1970s, with Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” – which is, bizarrely, improved by the addition of Kanye West.

Tim: Why ‘Penguin’? Not a clue, but it does make for a nice picture.

Tom: Now that I can explain: the original piece is the modern classical “Perpetuum Mobile” by Penguin Cafe Orchestra, who also made the lovely “Music for a Found Harmonium” – which got turned into the execrable “Paddy’s Revenge” a few years back.

Tim: Ah – I knew the title of the track, just not the orchestra. And is it particularly execrable? I thought it was alright.

Anyway, I don’t really care what it’s called, because the tune is great. Good source material, excellent treatment of it, properly BANGING.

Tom: I was about to disagree with you, and then the track finally kicked in – at 2:20 – and I completely agree with you. After the beat drops, then yes; I like it. Like Bromance, though, I feel it does need a bit more.

Tim: Though having said I don’t care about the name, I am now tempted to mess around with it in GarageBand and stick some of this on top.

Tom: Get out.

Tim: I see. You probably wouldn’t have a problem with this, though.

Tom: …I’ll allow it.

Tim: You’re insane.

Europlop’s Sunday Mashups: Vol. 2

Thirty years of pop culture in three and a half minutes.

Tom: It’s been a few weeks, so let’s have some more mashups. First of all, here’s Miracles by Norwegian Recycling.

Tom: It’s one of those genius mashups that pulls in a dozen different sources to make a coherent whole. It doesn’t really seem to go anywhere, or do any building, but it’s just rather pleasant to listen to. It’s a run through thirty years of pop culture in three and a half minutes, and the video brings it all together nicely.

Tim: Ooh, I like that – I’ve always quite liked mashups that pile in a whole load of songs together just to see what happens, such as the United State of Pop ones, and Party Ben‘s Boulevard of Broken Songs, and this one pulls it off well.*

* There’s also Axis of Awesome’s Four Chord Song, which whilst not actually being a mashup is still fun to listen to.

Tom: There’s been some very clever autotuning on Cee-Lo Green, as well; while it still sounds like him, I’m fairly sure those aren’t exactly the notes he was originally singing…

Tim: Well, with so many songs you’re bound to need a little pitch correction on there just to keep them in the same key, surely.

Tom: No, it’s more than that: I think they’ve actually got him singing a different melody, not just a different key. I might be wrong, though.

Tim: The only thing I dislike about it is the Jason Derulo track – it’s one of his better ones, but it sounds like he forgot to write words to half the chorus, which gets me every time I hear it.

Tom: Second up, here’s a simple A+B mashup by Sam Flanagan. It’s called “Brimful of Bonkers”, and that tells you all you need to know really. Oh, but watch out for an unexpected cameo just after three minutes in.

Tom: It’s easy – there is, of course, not even any pitch correction to do – but it’s still a hell of a party tune. It could use being a bit shorter, but it’s good enough that I don’t really mind.

Tim: I thought that as well – it could easily lose the first verse/chorus, since it’s identical to the second. Anyway, you’re right, it is good, especially the cameo.

Tom: I know both the original songs off by heart, which normally would just make a mashup like this confusing – but this is just pulled together so nicely that it doesn’t matter.

Tim: Personally, I prefer it when I know the original songs – you get to think ‘Ooh, this is fun – never thought of these going together.’ And speaking of knowing the original songs, here’s a mixture of two Europlop favourites merged together by Benji of Sweden (apparently he’s the only one in the country) to form one big Bromance Killer:

Tim: Aside from the Radio Sweden jingle (which is surprisingly nonintrusive anyway), I think it’s ruddy marvellous, with him still managing to keep the big Lovekiller climax and all the energy that was originally there. Well done Mr Sweden.

Tom: Wow, that’s a belter. Bromance itself is steadily picking up more and more airplay and traction in the UK – the vocal remix with Love U Seek gets released on 25th October, which means it might well be a Big Autumn Hit.

Tim Berg – Seek Bromance

Here’s a nice Swedish dance choon for you.

Tim: Here’s a nice Swedish dance tune for you, by a new bloke called Tim Berg. Well, mostly. He did the backing music, which – as an instrumental track called Bromance – has been all over Scandinavian clubs and dance radio the past few months. It is rather good indeed on its own.

It’s also been up on YouTube for people to play around with. One such person is Axwell (off Swedish House Mafia and Axwell & Bob Sinclar’s What a Wonderful World), who took it and bunged the vocals of the otherwise largely unremarkable Love U Seek on top of it. That bootleg got very popular, and so, with a bit of rights fiddling and re-recording, has been chosen as the proper UK release, now called Seek Bromance (clever, isn’t it?).

Tom: Bromance is a lovely track, but I can’t help but feel it’s rather close to plagiarising the lead melody from the absolutely gorgeous Still Alive, from Mirror’s Edge – the second best piece of video game music ever (after the coincidentally-named Still Alive from Portal). Hell, even the synth patch used in Bromance sounds similar.

It’s still a great bit of music though. I think it’s better without the vocals, but I understand that you pretty much need them for a commercial UK release. I can see myself listening to the original of Bromance quite a lot.

Tim: Do you know, I agree with absolutely everything you just wrote, and I enjoyed the slight campness of the music descriptions. I hadn’t heard Still Alive, so thank you for introducing me to it. I’ve a feeling most people will think the same about the vocal (especially DJs), so what’ll likely happen is that Seek Bromance will only really be heard on the radio and before old-school CD-buying people skip to track 2, while the original will keep being played in the clubs. A good thing, I believe.