Freemasons “Shakedown 3”

It has been five years since the last Freemasons compilation, which by the way was backed by a UK Top 20 smash they did with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, ‘Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)‘, and floor-filler remixes of Beyoncé, Solange and Kylie‘s singles. How do you top that?

FREEMASONS SHAKEDOWN 3

If you’re scanning the Shakedown 3 track list for more pop divas – you might be disappointed. The grandmasters of house are doing something richer and more connected with the house music scene with this collection.

Shakedown 3 is a three-disc opus, featuring two full-length DJ mixes and an album of brand new tunes.

The Freemasons are known for delivering dramatic house records with big vocals on blast. It’s what they’re known for and after 10 years of working together, James and Russell are not about to flip the table on their signature sound.

We’ve got in-demand dance music vocalists like Katherine Ellis and Amanda Wilson, as well as a few must-hear artists who might not be regulars on the club charts (i.e. – Emma Rohan and Joel Edwards).

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Feed Limmy Albums of 2012: #30 – #21

The basic reality about 2012 for pop music is that there hasn’t been that many really good albums this year. But before you check me for grasping at 20 or so very short straws, I’m gonna say that this Top 30 is actually the best indication of the variety of music I have really enjoyed this year.

FEEDLIMMY TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2012

Even though pop continues to dominate a good deal of my aural persuasion, the last 12 months have left me thirsty for different kind of beats, different styles and characters.

Getting my ass on Spotify and discovering new artists I normally wouldn’t have come across has been really instrumental in broadening my tastes, which was kinda a little mission of mine when I put the blog on hiatus a few months ago.

Well. Now that I’ve cleared the room of all One Direction and Calvin Harris fans. Let’s go check out my Top 30 albums of 2012, starting from #30 to #21 this week:

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Chart Feed – 27.08.12

Success comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, on local levels and global fronts. Some just seem to want a piece of it in every market.

CF

It has been a very good week for overachievers Bloc Party and Taylor Swift, as well as Birdy, Ricki-Lee, and Brandy. Also, find out where new releases from Owl City, Aiden Grimshaw and David Guetta land.

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Quick Feed: J.Lo announces Australian tour, Lana Del Rey, Elen Levon and Robbie Rivera

So what did I do with the rest of my day after I found out that J.Lo was touring Australia? Honestly, does it even matter. I mean, really. The immensity of Jenny finally coming to my block was too much for my basic being to handle.

Fire up the smoke machine and throw on your Louboutins.

JENNIFER LOPEZ DANCE AGAIN TOUR AUSTRALIA

News broke this morning while I was on air that Jennifer Lopez is bringing her Dance Again greatest hits tour to Australian shores this December. The announcement was echoed with much rejoicing in caps locked tweets from my fellow Australian Love?rs.

Seven studio albums deep in a discography glittering with hits, and the 43-year old has never done a world tour before.

Here Down Under, J.Lo has secured two #1 singles with ‘If You Had My Love’ and more recently ‘On The Floor’ (featuring Pitbull) – however, all up she has had 17 Top 30 hits in this country. Needless to say, a few of us would know the words to at least a dozen of her songs.

Australian tour dates announced so far:

Perth Arena, Perth – 6 December
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide – 9 December
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – 11 December
Allphones Arena, Sydney – 14 December
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane – 18 December

Tickets go on sale on 21 August, so start gathering up your coins.

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Wynter Gordon covers Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’

Pause the tape! The gorgeous Wynter Gordon has done a live acoustic cover of Natalie Imbruglia‘s classic ‘Torn’.

WYNTER GORDON 'TORN' LIVE ACOUSTIC COVER

The performance was captured on film for Billboard.com as part of a special interview/performance session Wynter was doing to promote her new EP Human Condition: Part 1 Doleo.

It’s been a minute since we had the New York-based singer/songwriter perform in Australia. As you would remember, when she launched her debut album With The Music I Die here last year, she went around to several radio stations doing acoustic renditions of ‘Dirty Talk’, ‘Til Death’ and Rihanna‘s ‘S&M’ which earned some rave reviews from listeners and fans alike.

Wynter is well within her element with the music all stripped back like this. She always gives moments in these settings.

Watch her acoustic cover of ‘Torn’:



While you’re in the vicinity, you might as well check out her revealing Q&A interview with Billboard – discussing her new project and why she decided to move on from pop music:



Now treat yourself to a live acoustic performance of one of Wynter‘s more raw and intensely personal new tracks – ‘Kids’:



What an absolute show stopper.

Footnotes:

Wynter Gordon‘s new EP is now out for free download – check out my review of Doleo.

Wynter Gordon “Human Condition: Pt. 1 Doleo” EP review

Nobody ever says it to my face but I’m sure among friends I am often quietly referred to as the Wynter Whisperer. My manic love, appreciation and unwavering support for the New York-born singer/songwriter has earned me the much coveted status of premier Wynter Gordon stan in Australia*.

However, I have to admit that even in my infinite faith, I wasn’t sure if Wynter’s experimental departure from dance pop would be something I can handle. I was worried that there might be some throat singing and communicating with whales a la Björk’s Medúlla. To exacerbate my reasons for concern, I had heard some dodgy live recording of Gordon performing the then-unnamed project’s lead single ‘Stimela’ months ago and I immediately furrowed my brows.

The great news about Human Condition: Pt. 1 Doleo – and, in fact, ‘Stimela’ too – is that this is the beginning of what’s possibly the most exciting anthology pop music gazers will experience this year.

The ‘Dirty Talk’ singer is wisely expanding her musical identity and fan base by setting off on an independently-released, four-part series of free download EPs titled Human Condition – all of which will explore a different emotion.

Part one – Doleo – propels her fans to a new soundscape, traversing organic musical textures and honest lyrical landmarks that complements the tone set by ‘Still Getting Younger’ and ‘Back to You’, two personal tracks on her debut LP With The Music I Die.

The word “doleo” means pain in Latin and that should really be your first hint of the kinda “well of inspiration” Gordon will be drawing from.

The project’s key track ‘Stimela’ marries atmospheric synths with crisp African percussion that resonate well with its passionate chorus, sung in Zulu. The track stems from Hugh Masekela‘s anti-apartheid song of the same name and it is absolutely bewitching to the ears right from the very first listen.

I distinctly recall downloading the track the day before I flew out to London and I literally had it on repeat for three hours straight in jaw-dropping awe of Gordon’s vocal performance and ability to immerse herself in a genre that seemed so distant from the kind she made her name with.

Watch the stunning video for ‘Stimela’, which was directed by Wynter herself:



Doleo also unveils some spectacular essences of vintage Phil Collins, Kate Bush and even a little Red Hot Chilli Peppers – again, do a double take if you were just guzzling alcopop to her stroblit hit ‘Dirty Talk’. You can definitely trace the journey Wynter has been on in these compositions, especially noting that she’s now touring with a live band and has likewise grown into a different kind of artist and performer.

There are no rose coloured glasses worn on this record. The 26-year old singer packs a fuck load of brutal honesty on tracks like ‘Kids’, a song about someone she grew up admiring who lost his way and gave up on himself. “I learned to forgive, let go of the pain. But you’re holding on, holding on to the past. You give guilt trips like no other, left your kids without a mother. You know, you used to be my hero…”

Elsewhere, there are explorations of past guilts on ‘Bad Thing’. Here Wynter re-sets the scene over a layer of distortion and 8-bit drums, “It was July when I made a commitment, I was your world and then I got distant. I put up my fences, I said my goodbyes. I left you with questions, not many answers. I did a bad thing.”

However, it’s not all wall-to-wall raw confessional downtempos. There’s the uplifting ‘Waiting’, Wynter’s doe-eyed ode to clinging on a relationship that was built on time. Frankly, this track deserves a video and one that’s possibly some kind of sequel to ‘Still Getting Younger’?

Doleo expresses the breadth of Wynter’s songwriting abilities in a way we haven’t seen before. I believe Diana [I’ve actually never called her by her real name because that would be weird, like if she were to call me by mine] had always written songs in vastly different genres, only it was closeted from the world in a bid to fashion her into pop star.

Wynter has created a separate Soundcloud account and mini-website for this side project to distance herself from her official major label pop repertoire. In fact, her official website still flogs her With The Music I Die EP and the home page doesn’t feature any links to download Doleo, which kinda makes it look rather redundant right now.

Our girl still very much has her deal with Atlantic/Warner Music Australia, but the way I see it, this is a genius way to expand her fan base and honour her creative itch without spending her major label coupons.

I suppose when the time is right, she’ll utilise their resources to put out a commercial album or single, but this side project that’s happening right here right now is completely relevant and essential in building Wynter Gordon up as a vital artist for many more years to come.

Passion, depth, authenticity and growth – these, to me, feel like the cornerstones of why Doleo and the rest of the Human Condition EPs should be on your watch list. Regardless of where you’ve stepped in from, whether it was Wynter’s early R&B demos of ‘Surveillance’ and ‘What is Love?’ or through the sparkly pop portal of With The Music I Die, this talented young woman’s evolving artistry is just perking up to wildly exciting times.

I am incredibly optimistic about this new direction – just like I would with anything that honours an artist’s creativity and carries their heart. I do believe with this newfound liberation and brazen audacity, the best is still to come with Wynter Gordon.

Listen to Wynter’s Human Condition: Pt. 1 Doleo in full here:



Footnotes:

Grab your free download of the Doleo EP. The second Human Condition EP – Furor – will be out end of August and will feature an uptempo titled ‘TKO’. Brace yourselves.

* = If you care to challenge this fact, happy to discuss.

Leak Report: Wynter Gordon ‘Still Getting Younger’ Remix EP

Call the morgue because this just killed me with extreme joy and vindication. Feed Limmy’s Song of 2011 – ‘Still Getting Younger’ – is coming for the clubs with a nifty, three-track remix EP.

This surfaced on Soundcloud this arvo, sending me falling off my chair after months of second guessing as to whether Neon Records/Warner Music was actually gonna do anything with Wynter Gordon‘s career-defining track.

The Nick Littlemore-produced dance number was an uncontested centrepiece of Wynter‘s debut album With The Music I Die and a part of me always saw it as the perfect Australian summer music festival soundtrack.

The original daydreamy, 80s nostalgia-ridden beats have been reinterpreted in a few ways on the remix EP.

Take a listen to snippets of the ‘Still Getting Younger’ remixes:



Footnotes:

Wynter Gordon‘s ‘Still Getting Younger’ remix EP will be made exclusively available on Beatport on 7 May. Who do I have to seduce at her label to see a proper music video come forth for this single?