Sorry for the lack of posting the last week. I’ve been writhing in cold sweats and breathing through a congested nose.
If you haven’t heard of Gotye you’re missing out big time! This guy has crept his way into my subconscious mind over the years, through his eptness at exploring a multitude of moods and rhythms through his experimental music.
“Out Here in the Cold” first caught my ears’ attention, not just because of the way this Melbourne musician, Wally DeBacker, skips easily between a mood of wintery melancholic isolation and fearful tragedy – But also because the man knows how to mix his vocals, just as much a he knows how to mix his samples and instrumentation. So he’s one up on obvious popular “mixers” like Moby.
Since then the upbeat 50’s danceanthem “Learnalilgivinanlovin” and the soulful “Heart’s a Mess” have really put Gotye on the radio-map.
A remix of a bunch of his best songs have been released on a new album called Mixed Blood. If nothing else this shows just how well respected Gotye is in the music community.
There are some outstanding variations of his songs by artists including Karnivool, Inga Liljestrom, Infusion, Velure and Joe Hardy.
Some songs have heavy dance beats woven through. Others, which I tend to favour more, offer reperformed or cover versions of the songs. Liljestrom’s noiresque take on “Coming Back” pays off handsomely. And amidst the three remixes and covers of “Heart’s a Mess” (easily the most well received song Gotye has written) my favourite is the stripped back soundscape take by Joe Hardy.
But what I’m most excited to hear is the final track on the album covered by another group who seem to be sneaking up on me with their lush melodies, Fourth Floor Collapse. They cover “Worn Out Blues,” which Gotye failed to do justice to when he gave it only 38 seconds of playtime to close his album. That had always bugged me because it is probably the saddest and most beautifully written piece of music on the album and we only get what feels like a sample.
Fourth Floor Collapse have kindly extended the song to 3 minutes and have written in a bit more. I noticed in the album credits it says “All songs written by Gotye except “Worn Out” written by Gotye and Fourth Floor Collapse.” The best covers are ones where artists take someone else’s song and make it sound like one of their own. FFC have succeeded not only in doing this but in taking “Worn Out Blues” to the next level.
Meanwhile, I’m one of the few who haven’t jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon and I wasn’t all that excited about the release of Rowling’s latest installment last Saturday. However I am a little envious of those who are a part of what seems to be a rare thing in the modern age – people anticipating a book’s release. Doesn’t happen too often and it’s nice to see people amped about the release of a book for once, rather than the latest generation of ipod. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that materialistic junk too but good novels seem few and far between and the ones that are written well and tell a unique story deserve to be read by many.
So I’ve started reading “The Philosopher’s Stone” and plan to continue right to the end before the next Potter film comes out.