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Play Something With Words!

April 22, 2010

When I used to DJ parties with my friends in college, one command one of us would get from partygoers on several occasions was to “play something with words.” What can I say, my friend Nick loved instrumental deep techno and who was I to tell him to change his act? Since we played for free, we played what we liked. It’s professional courtesy.

I can understand the need to hear vocals in dance music. When I’ve attended electronic festivals, I was surprised to hear a lot of the DJs just playing songs without words. Their beats were often off-kilter and amazing but I found myself wanting to sing along with something. Fatboy Slim understood this when I went to see him DJ at Chicago’s The Metro in 2004. Not only did he play tons of hits that the crowd could get into, he got the audience into little singalongs by writing lyrics on his records sleeves with a marker and holding them up to the crowd. So it feels right that he found the record label that published the music in today’s post.

The Black Ghosts are the apparitions of dead bands: one guy was the singer from Simian and the other guy was a DJ and producer in The Wiseguys. They make dance rock but they use horror/goth motifs in their record artwork and press material. Theo Keating’s beats can be jacked-up and banging, weird and sexy, or somewhere in between. I find Simon Lord’s singing voice fun to match. My one criticism is the actual lyrics, which are from your basic “sex-crazed single sensitive guy” well, so take that into consideration.

All in all though, this is pretty good stuff. The track below is catchy enough to go in a dance or workout mix, but it’s just weird enough to stand out from your typical jams. And to you party crowds, yes, it has words.

The Black Ghosts – “I Want Nothing” from the Southern Fried Records album The Black Ghosts (2008)

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