The Beyoncé PR machine is running on overload. $15 million Pepsi endorsement deal, rumored H&M campaign, Destiny’s Child reunion, new HBO documentary, the inaugural concert, and of course, the Superbowl Halftime show! Her team deserves a gold medal for pulling out all the stops this time. She literally CANNOT fail can’t she. Since there’s little we know yet about the lead single, let’s focus some attention on the one that started her solo career, the horn-blazing, Rich-Harrison-produced “Crazy In Love”. Did you know Beyoncé features a bootleg dubstep remix on the trailer of her forthcoming HBO documentary “Life Is But A Dream”, one that only has about 6,000 views on Youtube prior to this? A Google moment and it turns out this remix is made back in 2010 by a guy called Sebastian Nahi, aka FeelX, who now goes by the name VÄRT. It’s actually quite impressive for an unofficial remix, it’s very “now”, with dark undertones, slightly sinister pitched-down vocal samples and of course, some big ol’ silly wobble-wobble bass.
One question remains unanswered: Does Queen B look up fan made remixes in her spare time when Blue Ivy’s asleep?
Apparently, pop provocateur M.I.A. has been in the studio with the legendary William Orbit, and a song from their session sneaked its way upon the Internet last night. Entitled “Baby”, it’s an unexpected, but not entirely surprising pairing, as Maya has worked with pop-friendly producers like Richard X and Timbaland before. Hear the icy, minimal track below, before it’s taken down!
UPDATE: M.I.A. has stated on her Twitter that this is an unfinished demo for Madonna and is not for her new LP.
STREAM: M.I.A. – Baby
In more baffling Orbit-related news, the pop maestro also uploaded a new track on his Soundcloud yesterday, the synth-laden “All Fired Up” (not a Saturdays cover, sadly), featuring none other than Tina Barrett – well, she of “S Club 7” fame! It’s a bit on the cheesy side, while I do like the fizzy electro production, her vocals left a lot to be desired. A quick search revealed the track actually floated about on Youtube since 2008, so will it be on Tina’s forthcoming solo album? Will she be the one to threaten an S Club 7 reunion? The plot thickens.
STREAM: Tina Barrett – All Fired Up (Produced by William Orbit)
Also, he uploaded an instrumental version of the forgotten Nadine Coyle album track “Unbroken”. His instrumentals are always worth a listen for their intricate, pristine production, but really I’m just waiting for an instrumental of All Saints’ “Black Coffee” to be put up. I need that in my life.
In other news, the Madonna reject that Orbit gave away to Chris Brown, “Don’t Wake Me Up”, shot up to #2 last week on the UK Top 40. Blimey.
Reworking and sampling ’00s r&b hits into abstract electronic loops is the trend du jour in the postdubstep world nowadays. British bedroom producer Memotone is the latest to join the bandwagon, by recontextualizing Aaliyah‘s Timbaland-produced stone cold classic “Try Again” into a beat-heavy, cowbell-adorned number, while still retaining some of the hip-hop flavor. And it’s surprisingly replayable. The chipmunk pitch shifts are expected, but the drumwork here is really impressive. It couldn’t be released at a better time, as today would have been her 33rd birthday. Sometimes I do wonder how different the R&B scene would be if she were still around…
Can’t get enough of Ms. Lana Del Rey? Well, if you happen to live in the UK, Christmas might just come early, as the self-proclaimed “gangster Nancy Sinatra” has released brand new album track “Off To The Races” as the iTunes Free Single Of The Week. And if you don’t, no worries, I’ve got it right here for your sampling. The heavily hip-hop-influenced song is possibly her most bonkers so far, or as I’d like to call it, her own “Gwen Stefani moment”. Hate her or love her, she can make buzz like no other. The album really can’t come soon enough.
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Off To The Races
And just in case you haven’t watched the epic video for her marvelous new single “Born To Die” yet…
It has been an exceptional week for new music videos. So many good ones! Here’s all my picks in one post, so if there’s any you haven’t seen, you’d better catch up!
DUFFY – WELL WELL WELL
The warbling pint-sized Welsh lady is back! This video is such a fun watch. Duffy seems to be having a blast and enjoying herself. The song is very catchy, but I can’t fully endorse it yet. I’m afraid the novelty will wear off soon, and I keep expecting the C+C Music Factory man to jump in and scream “Everybody Dance Now”. “Well Well Well” is the lead single off her upcoming sophomore effort “Endlessly”, which I assume will have a fair share of moody ballads, too.
HURTS – STAY
The men went to Iceland to shoot the video, and the trip definitely paid off. I haven’t seen that location since Bjork’s “Who Is It”. Even though the execution could have been better, the video is close to what I imagined, and there’s plenty of pensive zoom-in shots to match the overblown melodrama. I admit I have mixed feelings toward the duo, as I start to wonder whether Hurts is just the new Lighthouse Family of this decade… And is it just me or Theo sounds like David Gray at times? Anyway, there’s a Italoconnection remix of “Better Than Love” that was only released in Italy, and it’s 5 minutes of italo disco perfection that has to be heard. Sally Shapiro fans will like this.