Tag: The Gap Band You Dropped A Bomb On Me

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 12-15 months or so, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts on the Brampton, ON-born, Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist, singer/songwriter and indie pop artist Maya Killtron. And as you may recall, Killtron first came to attention both nationally and Stateside with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result of the attention she received, Killtron wound up making the rounds across the North American festival circuit with stops Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. And adding to a growing profile, her collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love Taps “Back For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for visuals that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed “Back For More” — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Bad Decisions,” which I wrote about while in Amsterdam, The Netherlands earlier this year, was a written as a review of some of Killton’s best and worst decisions when it came to affairs of the heart paired with a sound that nodded at 80s synth funk and early 80s disco in a fashion reminiscent of JOVM mainstay act Escort; in fact, that shouldn’t be surprising as Killtron explained in an email to me,  “With ‘Bad Decisions,’ as well as my first single ‘Never Dance Alone,’ I wanted to pay tribute to; but not copy my heroes — Teena Marie, Prince, and The Gap Band.”

“Whiplash,” the third and latest single off Killtron’s Never Dance Alone EP is influenced by a childhood memory of a young Killtron listening to Michael Jackson‘s “PYT‘ for the very first time. “It was my driveway one July and my dad let me take our little radio outside while I washed the car, ” the Brampton-born, Toronto, ON-based pop artist explains. “‘PYT’ jumped out of the speakers and pretty much changed my ears forever. I never listened to the music the same way again.” Sonically, Killtron describes the song as having touches of elastic funk, roller rink dance, New Jack Swing and candy-coated pop paired with modern electronic production — and while that may be true, the song reminds me of Morris Day and The Time‘s “Jungle Love,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” Cherelle‘s “Saturday Love,” Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” and others as it features a sinuous bass line and a stomping groove; however, Killton’s latest single is at a much faster BPM than the sources that inspired it. Of course, much like the preceding singles, “Whiplash” is a love song — this time focusing on the sort of swooning love that comes about suddenly and feels so right, even if it’s just for the moment.

 

 

 

Comprised of long-time friends and collaborators, the Sydney, Australia-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist production duo Intergalactix have a long-held reputation behind the scenes producing material for a number of renowned artists including Jason Mraz, Heart, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kelis, Allen Stone, Ariana Grande, The Fugees‘ Pras MichelCool & Dre, fellow countrymen Jimmy Barnes and PNAU, as well as  Cash Money Records.

Last year, the production duo began to establish themselves as artists  with the release of their debut EP I.W.S.O.M, which featured the single “Tuesday.” Building upon an already growing national profile, the duo toured extensively to support the EP — and it included a set at Firefly Music Festival. (Interestingly, the festival may have had one of the biggest and most star-studded lineups of this past year’s festival season as Intergalactix played a bill that included Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Morrissey, and several others.)

Thursday marks the release of the Australian-born, Los Angeles-based duo’s sophomore EP S.T.S. – R.N.D.  and the EP’s latest single “Right Next Door” featuring Capital Cities‘ Spencer Ludwig will further cement Intergalactix’s reputation for sleek, retro-futuristic synth pop that channels The Gap Band‘s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and “Outstanding,Rick James and The TemptationsStanding On The TopThe WhispersAnd The Beat Goes On” and “Rock Steady,” and Cameo‘s “Word Up,”as well as more contemporary fare including Dam-Funk, Rene Lopez‘s most recent return to all things funk, Boulevards, ISHI, and a growing list of others.

Growing up listening to a ton of synth funk back in the 80s, it isn’t surprising that a number of contemporary artists have revived that sound — both eras specialize in slick production based around sinuous bass lines, shimmering arpeggio synths, four-on-the-floor drumming (or drum programming), anthemic hooks paired with an incredible sense of memorable melody and sensual vocals. You can’t help but recognize how sexy the song is — but it’s also a certified club banger, that should make you get up out of your seat and to the dance floor.

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Over the course of this site’s five year history, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, who is among a group of incredibly talented and shamefully under-appreciated artists I’ve covered and have gotten to know in some fashion. And throughout those five years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre. E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul), Lopez’s 2011 release, saw the New York-based artist meshing salsa, boogaloo, old school hip-hop, merengue and electronica to create a sound that was a loving homage to Latino New York and to old school New York I grew up in, but with an inventive, modern re-interpretation. It’s an amiably swaggering, upbeat party album with sounds that grab you by the hand and pulls you towards the dance floor.

Paint the Moon Gold, his last and most recent full-length released in 2014 was comprised of stripped down compositions consisting of live instrumentation only — vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, horns, flute, etc. — while drawing deeply from salsa, and 70s Brazilian music. In some way, that material brought Lopez back to the music that his father played as a member of Tipica 73 — and is just as danceable; but importantly, the material on that album seemed to come from a deeply personal place, as lyrically and thematically,  the material expresses the thoughts, sentiments, regrets, compromises and desires of a worldly, experienced man, who has looked back at his life with a sense of amazement and disbelief and the recognition life is at times remarkably painful, remarkably strange and incredibly, profoundly wonderful — sometimes simultaneously.

Lopez’s most recent recorded effort, Love Has No Mercy was released at the end of last year, and from his previous efforts it would seem to be the most dramatic change of sonic direction in his career as the material is comprised of slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap BandRick JamesChic and others. However, as Lopez had told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa and merengue and disco were routinely played, and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of the aforementioned Prince. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of months, you may recall that I wrote about Lopez’s then-recently released single “Heavy, Baby Heavy,” a single that not only continues Lopez’s long-held fascination and love of all things funk, but was also the first released single in his Jam of the Month series. (Presumably, the Single of the Month series is meant to build up buzz for a new recorded effort, which he and his backing band have been working on for quite some time.) The third single of the Single of the Month series, “Trouble Lovin’ Lady” consists of squiggling and trembling synths, a brass section that punctuates the song’s chorus, a sinuous and funky bass line, propulsive drums in a song that channels Rick James’  “Ghetto Life,” “Give It To Me,” and “Superfreak,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and others — but with a sexy horn solo at the song’s bridge; in fact, the song sounds as though it could have easily been released in 1982. Simply put it’s a funky, party-friendly song that drive you to the dance floor — right now.