Did You Say Heartbreak?

Music lover and queer hero Stefan Alok Shanker tells us about the music the cool kids aren’t even listening to yet.

“I thought I was different, but it turns out lonely people are all the same”

This time, Did You Say Party is dedicated to those bad romances, to conflicting emotions, to hearts on a collision course with others, or even themselves. To those stories where you know things aren’t going to end happily.

Goodie! A feel-good mix! How do I get in on this action?
It’s easy, just go HERE , download it, unzip it, listen to it, and tell me what you think! If you liked it, feel free to send it to other people and tell them about it, I’ll give you a concilatory hug.

“I had no regrets until I met you. Now my regrets could kill me.”

It all kicks off with Summer Camp’s blissfully yearning ode to the love that won’t be returned, Ghost Train, followed by Primary1 and that Nina Persson (from the Cardigans) harmonising about growing up and being stuck in a constricting relationship over a clattering, propulsive pop song in The Blues.

Then there are those times you fall for someone that everyone else says is a creep, as Lovefoxx (from CSS) does in the gorgeous and surprisingly tender Kavinsky slow-jam Nightcall, or you fall for someone who won’t tell you what they want and keeps leading you on, as Shyvonne is in CfCf’s bouncy remix of Kingdom’s brilliant 90’s house referencing Mindreader.

Unless of course you are that creep, unsure of where you want to go with things, like Holy Ghost! in their effortlessly cool disco single, Say My Name. Or, indeed, the boys of Miike Snow who would rather continue their desctruction and search for a cure or ask for forgiveness rather than live carefully, on the housey club-banger by Crookers, Remedy. And if you do find yourself there, take a leaf out of the character in Caribou’s Odessa and get out, preferrebly over a liquid, hazy dance track with hushed vocals which is as experimental as it is wonderfully accessible.

Ali Love and Kelis are only out for one thing, covering it up with references to ‘love’ and ‘milkshake’, but it’s clear, sex is the drug they’re peddling. Ali Love in an RnB tinged, classic disco thumper Love Harder, and Tobi1Kenobi rubs Kelis against the thrilling guitar-synth crunch of Ratatat’s Seventeen Years in 17 Years of Milkshakes. It’s clear That Ali Love longs to surrender to a woman he can never satisfy, and Kelis is happiest when home-wrecking other people’s relationships, well I guess everyone needs a hobby, right?

And if you’re not sure how you feel, wrap it up in distortion. The robot protagonist in Crystal Castle’s Not In Love repeats the title as if she’s trying to reassure herself, until a glimmering synth wash comes in and expands until it fills up the song. You could even spend Four Months in the Shade with the Radio Dept., where shoegaze meets a unstoppable pushing synth pulse which lurches the whole thing forward. Javelin flip the script with a remix of In Heat by the usually noisy and messy HEALTH, turning it into a upbeat, 80s style groove but keeping the ambiguity intact.

Of course, if you can’t love, then you can at least dance. James Yuill’s remix of Let The Beat Control You ramps up the pace on the original to create neon-tinged dancefloor killer, and Crysteena by Mille is what the child of Danger, Kavinsky, and Daft Punk would sound like raised on a diet of computer games. But nowhere is this idea encapsulated more perfectly than on Robyn’s soon-to-be-classic Dancing On My Own a sad unrequited love song, with a throbbing synth line and Robyn doing some of her best emoting since The Girl and the Robot.

But what is love? Bomb The Bass enlist Kelly Polar on their answer, a cosmic electro creation-myth, Start: blinding light gives way to unending darkness, co-produced by Gui Borrato it’s a spacious and subtle reflection. Nonetheless, the most nuanced and conflicted face of love is in The Kiss by Pallers, gentle, balearic and totally irrestible, it slowly opens up: we love because we don’t have a choice, and we spend our life trying to make sense of it. After all; if it wasn’t a kiss then I don’t know what it was.

Full Tracklist
Summer Camp – Ghost Train
Primary1 – The Blues (ft. Nina Persson)
Kavinsky – NightCall (ft. Lovefoxx)
Holy Ghost! – Say My Name
Ali Love – Love Harder (Extended Version)
Tobi1Kenobi – 17Years of Milkshakes (Kelis vs Ratatat)
Tilly And the Wall – Let The Beat Control You (James Yuill Remix)
Kingdom – Mindreader (ft. Shyvonne, Cfcf Remix)
Crookers – Remedy (ft. Miike Snow)
Caribou – Odessa
Bomb the Bass – Start (ft. Kelly Polar)
HEALTH – In Heat (Javelin Remix)
Crystal Castles – Not In Love
The Radio Dept. – Four Months In The Shade
Mille – Crysteena
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
Pallers – The Kiss

So… where does that leave us?

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