Wednesday 12 August 2020

Back To It

Thought I'd be a little late on this one but I think I'm going to pull it out of the bag. It's been a... strange week so far, between going back to work proper (on a limited basis) and the 3-4 days of intense heat back to back it's all been slightly surreal. It doesn't help I am one who intensely dislikes heat because I find it incredibly uncomfortable, but that's where the comfort songs come in. It's times like this I turn back to Eurobeat; It is pretty hard to be super mad or ornery when you've got the 160bpm lovechild of disco courtesy of Japan and Italy in your ears. And over the past few months I've been carefully slipping my toe back into the world of it because I decided I needed more, and yet I'm still constantly surprised with how shall we say unique the album art looks. Tracks after:

This is probably the best one of the bunch, I quite like it actually

Like so many other genres and songs I like it has become a bit of a meme in recent times but like I always say in these cases, I don't mind how people discover electronic music, if they like what they hear (ironically or no) then that's all good. And really I can understand that when it comes to Eurobeat, it's absolutely full to bursting with cliché lyrics (that often don't make sense as they're written by non-native speakers), some incredibly forced rhymes and sickly sweet synths. And yet despite it all, I can't help but like it, it does what it sets out to do well and doesn't pretend to be any deeper than that. We're not going to dive into the deep end yet, I thought I'd start off with a much more conventional one; I reckon you could turn Turn The Beat Around into a house track with a couple of small tweaks, or at least make a solid cover using the base elements. I will say get ready to hear extremely similar synths throughout the next few selections, it's a recurring staple of the genre.

Something I do like about Eurobeat is that unlike say your Euphoric Trance or similar, there are actually plenty of male vocalists in the genre too, my favourite of which being Christian Codenotti's work under the Ace alias, where you can definitely hear the Italo influence. This compilation doesn't show that off too well unfortunately and has a 70/30 split of vocals, but that Italo influence is definitely still there; Time After Time is an impassioned song about someone who seemingly can't make their mind up about someone, the choruses ending with "I don't need you in my life" while the verses are all loved-up which strikes me as very Disco-like in concept. Additionally, like Disco, the pop structure is also very evident here. Which is fine, but I would very much like a bit more of those post-chorus instrumentals. There are some pretty cool breaks in the last quarter though which do scratch that itch a bit though.

And finally one track from the sequel compilation. Vol. 4 in comparison to 3 is much more guilty of the sin of cheese but I have been absolutely relishing in it. I've been rotating through 4-5 tracks from Volume 4 that are intensely catchy, what's doing it right now is the machine gun rhythm of the chorus on Too Smart To Get My Heart. It's just an absolute blast to listen to, catch me in the shower vogue-ing and singing along to the few lyrics I can concretely make out. It's a fantastic injection of energy if you're having a pretty slow morning. I'm very aware by this point this is a very selfish post and that these eurobeat jaunts are potentially more alienating than when I go on about Ambient for pages at a time, but I hope this has brought a little levity to you wherever you are, even if it's just to have a giggle at the Eurobeat in all it's kitschy glory.

And with that, I'll be back soon with something a little more palatable. But as I mentioned above I hope that if you are reading this that you are well. And as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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