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Monday 20 July 2015

Bad Rat Strikes Again

He hijacked the 3BM iPod last year and gave us all an insight into his musical genius mind. Now, he's back by popular demand with some seriously awesome tunes to act as the soundtrack to your summer, we give you Bad Rat...

“Sometimes the thoughts in my head…go for a stroll through my mouth. This is rarely a good thing.” – Scott Westerfield.

I have once again found myself guilty of speaking without the proper mental filtration. Unfortunately this time, rather than bragging to the dear mice that I could write a blog post for them, I spoke without thinking to a young lady, while she was talking about what music she liked (a sensitive and personal subject if there was ever one). To make matters worse, it was a young lady that I was on a date with. Error. 

So while she may not have welcomed my comments that I thought “prog house” was “wanky” and “pretentious”, perhaps she could have overlooked it, had I come up with a witty and well thought out riposte about which other genres of music were superior and more down to earth. Unfortunately, when she quite rightly challenged me to name something that I liked better, I blurted out something along the lines of “I like all music”. This is clearly a lie – I don’t like a lot of over-manufactured pop, I find German thrash metal mind numbing, and I hate Queen. Apologies for the last one… Needless to say the date took a turn for the worse from there, so in the age old traditions of dating and rejection, having mulled it over and over, here is what I wish I had said:

I find it really hard to answer the question of what genre of music I like, it’s not like being asked a favourite ice cream flavour (Cookies and cream) or a favourite Victoria Secret’s model (Alessandra Ambrosio), it’s a personal reflection of you as a person, an unwitting opening into your likes and dislikes and it can be uncomfortable to be judged on such a personal basis. I think this is why I was so thrown when the young lady in question said she was a huge ‘progressive house’ fan – honestly I didn’t know what progressive house was. To be completely frank, I wasn’t totally confident I could highlight was House was. I have since listened to a whole bunch of prog House and I can confirm that I still think its ‘wanky’, but at least I can talk about why, and they fact that I seem to prefer deep house for its more vocal element and its less nuanced musical meanderings (now who’s wanky?). 

The truth is that I like a wide variety of music. I like things that make my chest reverberate with bass and I like things that make my grandmother start dancing as she remembers them from her youth. I think limiting yourself to one musical genre is like limiting yourself to only one sexual position – sure you become great at it but think of all the things you’re missing out on. (Except the flying helicopter. Never do the flying helicopter.)

So to that end, here are a few things that have caught my attention over the last few months.

The music - Gigamesh 

Thank God. Summer is upon us and, bar the ever reliable Kygo, we didn’t have anything to play whilst dancing our faces off in fields and on beaches – enter Gigamesh with soaring synth and catchy hooks. As for genre, I would probably go for deep house but as we have ascertained, I have absolutely no idea…

Do say: “this is the kind of tune that can turn a slightly damp British summer garden party into feeling like you are partying on a yacht in the Mediterranean.”
Don’t say: “I think the lyrics are repetitive. I'm getting a sweater”

Dreaming – FROST

This is downright dirty and it knows it. This is the person who licks their lips while looking you directly in the eye across a club. Filth – and god help you, you’re really into it. This is Dub House. Probably. Ok, I have no idea if that’s a genre.
Do say: “I genuinely feel naughty. Let’s go and behave badly”
Don’t say: “Can you turn the bass down a bit? Its making my knickers feel funny”

Here – Alessia Cara

This song hates you and your friends. It hates your parties, it hates your music and it hates your hair. Its Mean Girls in a song…and its cracking.
Do say: “You can’t sit with us”
Don’t say: “This party sucks, let me play a song…” 

Thrown – Kiasmos

A wonderful meander through a soundscape that could easily be put on in the background while you let it wash over you. This is music to watch sunsets to in silence, might not get your house party started though. The genre is Ambient. Maybe Ambient House. Yeah, that sounds like a thing. 
Do Say: “shhhh, just kick back and relax”
Don’t say: “when do the lyrics kick in?”

Fast Lane – Rationale

Alright so this one is rather haunting….and then a funky beat kicks in. I have no idea what genre this is. Just give it a listen, it will grow on you, promise.
Do say: “What genre would you say this is?”
Don’t say: “Nah I don’t like the first 20 seconds, next track.”

Emily – San Fermin

Alright, I'm giving you this one on the condition that you don’t play it all the time. Seriously, I have managed to keep listenting to this one for a while and it still seems fresh and poignant. Don’t ruin that for yourself. Limit yourself. This is definitely Indie. Oh, apparently that is not a genre… Can I start making up my own genres?
Do say: “This sounds like The National in some ways, its great!”
Don’t say: “Play it again and again!”

Weathered – Jack Garratt

Who doesn’t like a defiant ode to facing down the aging process? Go on, that voice, those lyrics and that electronic fuzz in the background? It works… I have no idea what the genre is here, but apparently Annie Mac likes it. So its Annie Mac-able. Nailed it. 
Do say: “Lets open another bottle, we’re not getting any younger”
Don’t say: “I’ve got to get home to my kids”

Can we work it out – Gordi

This song doesn’t always flow in the direction that you expect to, there is the odd dead stop in the beat and a slightly odd echo in one part, but that kind of adds to the charm of what is essentially a fantastic heartfelt tune that will put a spring in your step and leave you humming it. This is Electro folk. Yeah that’s a thing I just made up, you’re welcome music industry.
Do say: “ah, I love Electro Folk” (seriously I would love that to take off
Don’t say: “what the hell is electro folk?!”

Roll wit em – Kill them with colour x Notorious BIG

Alright, a lot of people won’t like this, and that’s ok, I'm not judging you (totally judging you). In fact if you hate hip-hop you may want to stop reading, but why don’t you just try it? You remember what Mae West said, “Try everything once, except incest and folk dancing”. Like guys always plead, just try it and see if you like it…
Do say: “Alright, I liked this a lot more than I thought I was going to”
Don’t say: “Isn’t Biggie Smalls dead?”

Well done for making it through the list, as a reward here are a couple more tracks, bonus tracks if you will:
Good Times – Jamie XX

I thought everyone had heard this but it seems that HK Mouse hadn’t heard it and she should. Because its ace. Repeat, repeat, repeat…

Early R&B playlist – Various

I have never posted a playlist before but this is exceptional, no they’re not all winners but you would be hard pressed to find a better compilation to dance round your kitchen with a love interest at 3am. If they can’t dance to this line up, politely ask them to leave immediately, before returning to the task at hand. The first two songs alone should save you plenty of time in weeding out people with no soul….

Until next time, 

Bad Rat x

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