tremble clef

Monday, May 28, 2007

Chungking, "Itch And Scratch" (2007)

These are just some of the thoughts that come uncontrollably to mind when listening to "Itch And Scratch," one of two tracks Richard X produced for Chungking:

1. What is Goldfrapp going to do for their next album? It's become clearer and clearer how Supernature has become one of the most "inspiring" records of recent years; although many of the bands who have been thus inspired have failed to take off, it still places a heavy and somewhat unfair burden on Ms. Alison and partner as they work on their follow-up. But those the breaks.

2. Eh, what's that, Chungking? You acknowledge that "there have been lots of comparisons" of you to Goldfrapp, but "what they do is very different to what [you're] doing"?

3. Reporter man, care to press the band on that point? No? You'd rather make a joke about the band's name sounding like "slang for vomiting," a fact that must surprise the 31,442,300 people who live there? Okay.

4. But seriously: yes, comparisons can be annoying and lazy, blah blah blah, bands do their own things, etc. But consider how Chungking sounded quite different on their first album (We Travel Fast, later repackaged as The Hungry Years) -- indeed, I mostly knew them through their various appearances on chillout compilations -- but have since gone on to essentially disown that early work (from the "biography" section of their website: "You may know Chungking -- Brighton-based, born and bred -- from their rather splendid and critically well-received album 'The Hungry Years' a couple of years back. But forget everything you thought you already knew"). In that light, it's a little hard not to feel like there is some bandwagon-jumping going on here.

5. Sure, "Itch And Scratch" is tremendously enjoyable. A beat like the one from Rachel Stevens's "Waiting Game," paired with subtle handclaps; a new wavy synth line pogoing all over the place during the chorus; Jessie Banks pitch-shifting like it's going out of fashion.

6. "It's the Itchy and Scratchy SHOOOOW!!!"

7. Having sat out the whole of last year, Richard X must be feeling a bit restless, so returning with a song by this title seems apt.

8. You have to wonder, though, if he feels a little like his productions increasingly have no natural home. I'm not saying that working with Chungking is slumming it, but, let's face it, it seems unlikely that the band will take the song to the top of the pops. Even less likely than Rachel Stevens or Annie, that is. Hmm. I hereby retract my point.

9. The other Richard X production, "Slow It Down," is an album filler, I'm afraid. It's effectively a rewriting of Chungking's own "Voodoo" (still their best song), which in turn was a bit of a tribute to Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby."

10. I say these things because I care.


  • I lkie the new "In" "Rotation" section.

    By Blogger daavid, at 6:00 AM  

  • Thanks. Keep mousing over them. Now they have titles and links. Maybe someday there will be mini-reviews or ratings, which will then become a feature, and allow me to shut down the main blog, bwah bwah bwah!

    By Blogger Brittle, at 6:35 PM  

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