It’s not over for the pitched-down vocal sample yet! This technique may not make it to the end of 2011 without becoming passe, but it’s already produced interesting results, opening up some common ground between R&B and underground electronica. In this example, Finnish producer Teeth isolates a fragment of a Beyonce vocal and totally recontextualizes it.
Something similar is at work in the video. Employing another trend that’s bound to seem dated before long, 80s advertising, this clip is more focussed than your average retro-fest. Every single image is a highly-contrived shot of a glamorous woman, and they fall into two camps — some are cheap and seedy sex chatline ads, and others are wholesome mainstream commercials. The comparison is obvious enough: both use sex to sell their products. But what makes this montage strangely compelling is how these anachronistic clips (which seem so fake and corny, but are really no more so than the adverts that manipulate us today) appear distant and alien but yet intimate. A woman from the past is looking right at you and smiling. And she wants to know your name.
I’ve still only heard this a few times (it came out last summer) but it’s already firmly embedded in my brain. Every week or so it will come back to me for no apparent reason, and then I’ll be humming it all day. I think the chorus might be literally unforgettable.
I never figured myself for the instrumental hip hop type but this has really taken me by surprise. A production duo based in San Francisco and Seattle, Blue Sky Black Death have just released their fantastic Noir album. Owing as much to dance music as it does to hip hop, the tracks are full of subtly nostalgic references to 80s indie, 90s dance, R&B, shoegaze and even metal.