Category Archives: Treat

Russian Hip-hop Medly

Because I can’t seem to find much information for many of these Russian hip-hop artists (and R&B artists), I’ve decided to simply make a nice sampling of their videos. Enjoy.

Mix’a-M

Макс Лоренс

Амира

Бьянка

Баста

T9

 

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Eurovision 2012 – Baku, Azerbaijan

I can’t believe it’s already that time of year, and I can’t believe it’s come and gone! – Eurovision 2012, hosted in last year’s winning country, Azerbaijan. The contest’s 2012 motto: “Light Your Fire”, adapted from the country’s nickname: Land of Fire. As usual the abundance of Europop was awesome! I was incredibly sad to see Poland not participating this year, but many that did were incredible. I thought Finland’s entry by Pernilla Karlsson, “När jag blundar”, was a great song. It was a beautiful performance, and I liked it’s quiet power.

Russia’s entry this year was very amusing. Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of eight elderly grandmothers from the village of Buranovo, Udmurtia, halfway between the Volga and the Urals in Russia. Their disco-esque song, “Party for Everybody”, was actually damn catchy, and this performance was adorable! Best part? The group had entered the contest before in 2010!

I really enjoyed Germany’s entry this year as well. Roman Lob’s “Standing Still” is mellow, catchy, and just a great song! It may be my favourite song from this year, at least I know I’m going to hunt for more music from Roman Lob in the future (it doesn’t hurt that he’s super cute!)  The song came in 8th place in the final round.

But this year’s winner was Loreen, with the song “Euphoria”. This song was incredible. A perfect example of euro-dance/club music. The slow build up, the powerful chorus – it’s just simply epic. There is no doubt this was the year’s winner. Last year Sweden placed third with the song “Popular” (one of my favourite entries from 2011). I can’t wait for more of Loreen’s music! And I can’t wait for next year’s Eurovision!

You can watch the contest online and see all the magic yourselves: Eurovision

 

 

 

 


Polski hip-hop

I have several piano students who are first generation Polish-Americans, and their parents love me just that much more because I am Polish too. =P I was telling one of the dads of these kids about my love of all things Polish and he ended up giving me 4 CDs with hundreds of Polish artists on them, many of which I have not been able to find on my own. He also showed me the magic of Polska Stacja  – an online Polish radio. I have spent countless hours (especially in the music library at school!) listening to the Tylko Polskie Przeboje  station!

Several of the artists on these mixed CDs only have a few tracks, and I would love to have their entire albums, but I haven’t been terribly successful in finding all of them. The ones that I do recognize from Tylko Polski Przeboje I have usually been able to find the singles. I’m obviously a complete Polskaphile and I beyond love the sound of the language! Polish has some pretty amazing phonemes. On one of the CDs is a lot of Polish hip-hop/rap and can I just say that I love it?

I have tried to find information on these artists been I have been completely unsuccessful! All I can find are sites in Polish (which may be awesome but I don’t know bo mówić trochę polski!) But check out my favourtie tracks so far! Kaczy featuring Mezo: “Kocham” You know this is my jam!

I was able to at least find a Wikipedia article for Doniu – although it was entirely in Polish. But here is Doniu and Liber featuring Kombi – “Nasze Rendez-vous”. This ones even got an official video! =P

And you know I love the piano in this one by Stok – “Tylko Ty Kochanie”


Masterworks Reworked

After watching that Flying Steps performance again, I was reminded of just how much I love classical-fusion and the reworking of the classics into an almost futuristic experience. When looking for a collection of this kind of music, I was amazed at how many people I find straight sippin’ on the hater-aid; vehement rants about the depravity of doing anything to classical music. This always upsets me, and throughout my career I have experienced the divide greatly as a teacher and student of classical music. While I am very traditional in my teaching methods – always having my kids use classical music, I also have many students who also work on songs from video games, animes, or even Lady Gaga! But back to this album! I happened to come across this album and it seemed splendidly serendipitous! “Nessun Dorma” is one of my favourite arias and this remix of it I think is just absolutely brilliant! There is some great Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikowsky on it too!

Here’s a great description:

“10 master composers, 11 modern producers, 12 masterworks, reworked for a new generation. A one-of-a-kind release featuring sophisticated, inspired remixes from original classical recordings.

The variety and range of Masterworks Reworked are what separate this compilation from others. The original tracks, ranging from vast orchestral symphonies to subtle piano pieces were performed by various European ensembles and taken from the archives of the Capriccio classical label.

Rithma, The Tao of Groove, Jazzelicious, Morgan Page and others mold and reshape these masterpieces to their own vision. From Down-Tempo to House, Nu-Jazz to Electro-Funk and many stops in between, these inspired tracks take the melting pot that is today’s music to yet another new and exciting direction…”

Check out the track listing: Masterworks Reworked


Flying Steps

I am still completely blown away by my first Eurovision experience; not only were the competing songs amazing, but so were many of the acts used to fill the time while the votes were being counted. Flying Steps filled that space during the second semi-finals and it was something completely different. They were formed in 1993 by Kadir Memis and Vartan Bassal, and the group has 9 members. They have taken first place in at least 10 major break dancing competitions between 1994 and 2008. They are widely considered one of the most successful urban dance groups in the world.

Their performance during this year’s Eurovision was nothing shy of fantastic. Their choreography was to all classical music, starting with one of my absolute favourite preludes from Das Wohltemperierte Clavier, Buch I: the prelude in C minor – accompanied by solo harpsichord. They continued to dance to some incredible remixes of Bach, including excerpts from the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.  I love classical music, and it has been such a huge part of my life, but one thing I hate about being in classical music academia is the narrow mindedness. I have always thought that classical music lends itself so well to modern expression that I think one of my all time favourite genres or styles of music is what I call “classical-fusion” – a perfect example being this remixed Bach (many more artists of this genre will surely be posted soon!).

Flying Steps‘ website.


Jenny Berggren

Remember Ace of Base? If you grew up in the 90s you do. “Beautiful Life”, “Cruel Summer”, “Don’t Turn Around”? These songs are amazing. Ace of Base must have been one of Sweden’s biggest exports of the decade. While looking for new Danish music, I happened upon Jenny Berggren’s – of Ace of Base fame – solo career. I haven’t actually heard her album yet, but I stumbled across this single: “Let Your Heart Be Mine” which was almost Denmark’s entry to this year’s Eurovision! Now the song is great by itself, but I found a video of the Calboy Club Remix, and… just wow! I hunted the Internet for almost an hour trying to find this song, and success! So check it out!

Check out the Ultimate Ace of Base site –  you can download many Calboy remixes of great Ace of Base tracks! Who could ask for more?!


Un Petit Plaisir

The only way you cannot know ABBA is if you’ve been living under a rock for the last 50 years. ABBA has sold 375 million records worldwide, making them the 4th best-selling artist of all time.  I could go on for days about their brilliance, but will save it for another more in-depth post about the royal family of foreign pop…But what you must know is that nearly all of their music videos are the same. Don’t get me wrong, I adore them, and will watch ABBA Gold: the Videos from start to finish, but footage is entirely taken and directly inserted to dozens of their videos. If you don’t believe me, Youtube any two or three ABBA videos, and you’ll see what I mean.

Now when I talk about comedy, I don’t think a duo has ever existed as good as French and Saunders. Not only is the writing simply genius and beyond hilarious, but their parodies are so spot on, you’d think you were watching the real deal, and the breadth of their topics of parody is really astonishing. One aspect of their comedy that I always find to be unparalleled is their parody of film and music videos, so I present for your enjoyment this little treat: ABBA: Knowing Me, Knowing You – and the classic French & Saunders: C’est La Vie.