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City For Sale (Incl. Beat Pharmacy Mixes)

Floppy Sounds, Devon Dunaway, Sylvia Gordon

Wave Music
WM50205 | 2009-04-13  
Rob Rives back in the Floppy saddle with two guest vocalists on this bitterly energetic, funky, punky jag. Beat Pharmacy mixes on the B Side deliver on a smoother tip.

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The lyrics quoted above give you a pretty good idea of what the new Floppy Sounds single City For Sale is all about. The first Floppy Sounds single in three years sees the world a very different place and mastermind Rob Rives has made an indispensible, infectious and sobering anthem that reflects the grim realities of today’s seemingly stagnant “Big Apple” while offering a little nugget of hope amidst the gloom. Vocalist Devon Dunaway (the illegitimate son of Faye Dunaway and Isaac Hayes, conceived during the filming of Network in 1975) channels Rives bitterness and anxiety about living in a city where bread lines form blocks away from the glittering new Standard Hotel and where yuppies line up for overpriced cup cakes outside Magnolia Bakery while elderly citizens push their arthritic hands to extremes trying to get lids off dog food cans. And not only is the city a collapsing horror for all but the wealthiest, to add insult to injury, New York (well, Manhattan) has become increasingly BORING. The models and bottles aesthetic still reigns supreme and clubland is merely a shadow of its former glorious self, with culture warriors having long-ago decamped to places where one doesn't need a license in order to dance in public. And yet, among the sardonic, self-pitying lyrics is an amazing counterpoint delivered by Sylvia Gordon (of NYC party assault act Kudu) who basically urges the song's creator to shut up and go out and do something other than whine (Stop your crying queen, help bring it back!). The tune eventually has both vocalists combining to deliver a chorus that neatly encapsulates the love it and hate it feel of living in NYC (or any other cosmopolitan mecca across the globe).

As for the music, the grooves echo the back to the future (2009=1979) ethos of the lyrics and sounds like a long lost “No Wave” or “Disco-Not-Disco” gem that would have been right at home blaring on the sound system at the Mudd Club; albeit polished up for today with Rives' trademark electronic production sheen. Chunky, looping acoustic and electric guitars play off huge bass and drum grooves; while African touches like talking drums and kalimba bring a depth and warmth to the affair. A distorted tonal riff gives the song a strong, memorable melodic theme that calls to mind the classic art/funk music coming from the downtown scene three decades ago. If David Byrne were to work with Ewan Pearson, it might sound a bit like this. Or not, who knows?

The Beat Pharmacy mixes included on the B Side bring a less aggressive musical sensibility to play, and show Brendon Moeller continuing to expand his range as a producer. These mixes also play with the song's classic New York themes and bring to mind one of the city's finest musical eras, this one rooted in the drum machine funk of its legendary clubs like Danceteria and Mars. Moeller has taken this classic 80's sound and dragged it kicking and screaming into the modern age with a terrific arpeggiating baseline and funky melancholy synth chords that give these mixes a sweeter, more sympathetic vibe than Rives' spiky, heroin withdrawal original.

Some feedback:

Really like the DUB version. Will definitely try it out. Nice one. Merciiii -- Laurent Garnier

I'm so with u on this social commentary. We have to lead by example, the only way to change the way we govern ourselves as a society... I really like the Beat Pharmacy Remixes, the dub will most likely be the one I gravitate towards for all purpose use and the vocal will be good for that special time and place. -- Jay Tripwire

I really like this and will play on my radio show thanks!!! -- Liza Richardson, KCRW

The vocal and dub of Beat Pharmacy are my favourite. Original mix betwen cosmic disco synthesizers and deep house beats and voices... very good spirit and perfect production. -- Fred Berthet (Troublemakers)

The dub mix is for me!! Sumer summer summer!! -- Agoria

I love the extended vocal mix. Reminds me of Blondie and Fab 5 in the 80's. Great to hear the Floppy Sound again!!! Very refreshing. -- Onionz

This is awesome! So perfect now for all we're feelin' indeed as well as a kick in the butt from ms. her! Such a distinct voice..also diggin' Devon too... Excellent! Thanks! Adding to show today. -- Jeannie Hopper, Liquid Sound Lounge WBAI 88.8 FM

The Beat Pharmacy Dub is the one i will play the most. But the original is a pretty amazing fusion of 70s, 80s and 90s New York sound. -- Chris Fortier

Wow! I remember Francois playing this track about NYC at Deep Space a few months ago being completely blown away without knowing what it was and feeling at the same time confused and sad about its strong message and its intensity. This track is a superb emotionally powerful electronic nyc style big room techno-not-disco anthem by NYC's very own Floppy Sounds featuring beautiful vocals hitting hard about the sad reality of our beloved city NYC which has changed so much over the years. It is the perfect underground anthem and message everyone in NYC needs to hear now! It is time to wake up NYC. Full support! -- Alex From Tokyo (Tokyo Black Star, Innervisions, NYC)

Thanks for the promo i like this release, the message is deep, its the reality. All mixes are very good, nice to listen Beat pharmacy on an oldschool flava, I think the best for the clubs is the Extended Vocal Mix. 7/10 -- Kiko Navarro

I couldn't love Rob Rives version of City For Sale any more. His sound just keeps getting better and better. Great Single! -- Steve Travolta

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