Britney Spears, “Britney Jean”
Happy birthday, Britney. Are you yet a woman now, I hope? And if so, where is that woman? On her eighth disc (produced by Will.I.Am and featuring tracks written by Sia, Luciana, Katy Perry, and Diplo) Brit-Brit only feels present in body and not much in spirit. In other words, where is the real Britney in all these “personally honest” songs her press release keeps boasting about? Granted, she’s got a few hits happening, namely the ubiquitous “Work, Bitch,” along with opener “Alien” (with understated production via William Orbit) which is a pleasing, midtempo earworm that doesn’t rely on bells and whistles. Those arrive later on EDM-frosted tracks like the sleazy “Tik Tik Boom” (featuring T.I.), “Body Ache” (her love-letter to clubbing all night), and the Ibiza-nodding “Till It’s Gone.” And though “Perfume” is a champion, it has more to do with its author Sia than it does with Britney herself. Likewise, the Perry-penned “Passenger” could be the B-side to “Roar.” And whoah, skip right over the hackneyed “Chillin’ With You” (featuring sister Jamie Lynne). It’s not a terrible record, y’all. But alas – Britney comes off like tofu where she only takes on the flavor of the producers around her.
Mighty Mouse, “Stuck”
They claim to be an ‘Intergalactic, cheese eating, disco loving mouse from Saturn, Papua New Guinea’ but they’re actually Londoners who make fabulous prance tunes. Their latest is a buoyant slice of giddy club pop, featuring an unidentified (possibly sampled?) sassy vocal. Dig that bassline, too. Also check out their super skillful new collaboration with Monarchy here.
Queen, “Another One Bites The Dust” (Late Nite Tuff Guy remix)
Speaking of digging a bassline, one of the most famous got plucked by Queen’s John Deacon. Here, Aussie mixmaster LNTG (known for his languid reworks of Janet Jackson, The Turtles, and Brandy & Monica) highlights his handiwork, and lets the groove sprawl with some disco dust to keep dancing feet moving.
Kill Mr. DJ – “Wicked” (London Grammar & Chris Isaak vs. Kylie Minogue)
For some reason, Chris Isaak’s classic “Wicked Game” has been remixed a lot lately. As it was most recently covered by London Grammar, Kill Mr. DJ ingeniously has them both singing this version atop Kylie’s arousing “Slow” electro beats, that make for a heady, sensual, bedroom-minded vibe.
SOUND & VISION:
Ministry, “Same Old Madness”
Why am I posting a video from 1982? Because somehow, some way, this early Ministry track escaped my radar for the last 31 years! Yes, even before Al Jourgensen got signed and went on to release the With Sympathy album (and way before he got all gnarly industrial), he released this slice of aerobic new wave. Ride the carousel and let those wiggly synths tickle your fancy.
DJ Paul V. has been offering up his alternative/electro beats on dance floors since 1982, most notably at L.A.’s Dragstrip 66. He’s also an accomplished blogger and author of Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay.