Mr. White, Aeroplane

[Alleviated Music]

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2006’s “Sun Can’t Compare” was a tough act to follow for Mr. White and Larry Heard. Their previous collaboration was irresistible enough to be played constantly by DJs of all stripes, and has already acquired something of a classic status. On that track, and its flip, “You Rock Me,” Mr. White’s vocals were almost another synth line for Mr. Fingers’ typically astonishing production, with minimal lyrics serving as a reference to classic R&B. On “Aeroplane,” however, Mr. White has begun to take the foreground — the EP’s title track sees him sharing production/composition duties with Heard. A heavy bass riff backs White’s post-punk-ish vocals, yielding a combination that is as risky as it is promising. In this case, it initially sounds nothing less than thrilling

Closer consideration, however, brings reservations to light. Putting Mr. White’s songcraft front and center makes clear it’s not yet comparable to Larry Heard’s production mastery, which is present on the flip. Lyrically, “Aeroplane” evokes an overdone “I Can See For Miles” variety of rock convention, with its not exactly impressive titular metaphor. For a careful listener, the retro predictability of White’s words can drain the arresting riff and winding melody of a bit of their power. On the other hand, critiquing lyrical content in dance music does beg the question of how likely listeners are to notice if the track is heard in a club. Many won’t take issue at all, but this attempt is promising enough to make you crave something even more fully realized. In the end, the stylistic fusion Mr. White attempts here is exciting enough that “Aeroplane” remains a compelling track. For those to whom it doesn’t appeal, there are always the Heard productions on the b-side: “This House is Home” is a thoroughly satisfying acid house workout, while “You Don’t Answer (When I Call)” sounds something like Prince fronting the Cure. All in all, a fascinating record worthy of attention, for its audacity at the very least.

eric cloutier  on February 25, 2009 at 7:13 AM

i’m not sure how i feel about this one…

i’m leaning towards “i’ll stick to ‘the sun can’t compare’, (though i’m tired of hearing it)” more than “i’m goin to go buy this asap.”

the aggressiveness of it is throwing me, and not in a good way. great review though!

tibal  on February 25, 2009 at 5:23 PM

This track sounds terrible.I can’t believe Larry heard made that.This is so bad that I couldn’t make it till the end.Schocking!

eric cloutier  on February 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM

yeah, i gave it a couple more listens, and i’ve decided it sounds like someone’s first day playing with “reason.”

really, really, really bad.

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 26, 2009 at 3:26 PM

LOL at all the haters. Must not be many DJ’s who read this site. I guess it takes a world-class DJ to recognize these tracks for how good they are.

ballyhoo  on February 27, 2009 at 1:06 AM

EJ, i always hold a blogger who covers jambands and indie dance bands like erland oye and simian mobile disco in high regard. please let us know just who are these world-class DJs?

eric cloutier  on February 27, 2009 at 7:01 AM

Must not be many DJ’s who read this site. I guess it takes a world-class DJ to recognize these tracks for how good they are.

yeah. most of us are pretty fucking stupid when it comes to music, so we wouldn’t know a quality track when it slapped us in the face.

you, being world class, must tell us why we should enjoy this pile of garbage as much as you.

Will Lynch  on February 27, 2009 at 10:16 AM

i don’t finish reading statements that being with “LOL.”

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Can’t wait to see you at Odessa, Eric. We can talk about it then. Believe me, I’ll be there.

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Also, I’m not a world class DJ myself nor have I purported to ever be one. I write a music blog, but I am by no means simply a music blogger. All that matters is I’m a music fan.

But aside from writing a blog about “jam bands” and “indie dance bands” (oh lord yes you’ve figured me out, that’s all I ever covered on my blog, you sure can read), I also like to read around.

I pay attention when tracks are charted by Ellen Allien (who I would argue is world class) and has been hotly reviewed by people like Laurent Garnier and M.A.N.D.Y. here — — so, maybe you could find a different approach to how you talk about these tracks. Or are you just that spiteful and arrogant?

I can understand not liking someone’s track, but straight slagging it like you’ve done is pretty classless.

Youknowitman  on February 28, 2009 at 11:26 AM

M.A.N.D.Y. and Laurent Garnier will praise almost anything, especially Garnier.

I’m more curious why you like it, EJ. Who cares what other DJs think if you’re the one sticking up for the tracks.

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 11:38 AM

When I listen to tracks like these, I think about how I can use it in a set. I don’t always listen for something to be “perfect” per se — the ways in which I (or any remixer/DJ) can effectively add their own signature is based purely on how it can be used. Is it atmospheric? Do I need to put something with it to give it more bottom end?

The unsubtle lack of complexity in “Aeroplane” is chant-worthy (when played on a big system). It grants that kind of opportunity for a DJ with skills beyond dropping the needle and matching the beat. “Inside Your Mind (This House Is Home)” is much the same.

This is only my opinion, it’s not gold, and maybe you hear something different from what I hear. That’s perfectly fine. But to call it “garbage” is just perfectly insulting without reason.

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Also, if I may, these songs sound much richer on vinyl to me than the digital files do. Hearing it online on a computer or laptop thru headphone is an ineffective method of vetting this (or really) any track in my indie dance rock jam band loving opinion.

tibal  on February 28, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Wow! Come down man! When I like a track i say it loud, here I really
found it terrible, uninspired and tacky.I can understand you disagree but this is just a blog.People talk about tracks. It’s what it’s all about.I really liked “the sun can’t compare” I have nothing against Larry Heard or Alleviated records, it’s just I really disliked the track.Why make such a noise about it.If you like it buy it and play it.
It’s also sad that you buy and choose your music if Ellen allien or LG or whoever say it’s good.It means you’re not a free minded person.You say we are haters but finally you’ re the one being agressive and threatning people here.I suggest you take a deep long breath, then maybe, you’ll figure out there’s nothing personal when I or someone else disaprove or dislike a track.It’s all about feeling it or not.In this case I really find that track unlistenable, it doesn’t mean, I am a Larry heard hater whatsoever….keep cool!

And by the way I am a bad dj.It doesn’t make me a deaf person does it?

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 12:23 PM

I don’t take issue with anyone disliking a track. It was merely how it was presented. Seemed like a hate fest on a track that I don’t happen to agree is all that bad.

I never said that I “buy and choose” my music based merely on those people’s names, I pointed out that I pay attention to their picks because I trust their taste in music. I can still dislike it even if they love it. Happens all the time.

Nah you’re not deaf, bruvva. Look I didn’t mean to come in and crap on everyone’s comment parade. I just Googled for reviews on the track and I came across this one. Nothing to see here, everyone go back to talking about music in a way that works for you. My apologies.

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM

In addition, I was in no way threatening Eric (which is what I assume you meant), I was saying it more flippantly like “as if I would come see you spin”. Don’t misunderstand, I meant no kind of harm to anyone.

tibal  on February 28, 2009 at 12:39 PM

OK, Thx for further explanations.

I think you can understand as well that I and others have higher expectations from a man like Larry Heard who released so many cult classic tracks. over the last 25 years.

Cheers, have a nice week end…

eric cloutier  on February 28, 2009 at 1:27 PM

i’ll gladly discuss this more, if you want, but if your approach in person is going to be as confrontationally brash in person as it is on here, then i’ll more than likely walk away before you get too far.

that being said, if you want my personal opinion, this track sounds like they tried to rush a hit to the stores hoping it would garner as much praise as “the sun can’t compare.” perhaps the popularity went to their head and they figured “hey, we can shit another one out and be just as rich!” and we got this ep as a result. that’s my take on the entire thing.

we all like tracks for different reasons. i myself am guilty of playing a few tracks that most people would think are ridiculous or terrible, so you liking this while other don’t is by no means a reason to get hostile. coming on here and calling us morons for not liking it is just as unwarranted as us calling you one for enjoying it, but you cast the first stone here my man. while we’re simply giving our take on it, you’re pulling some superiority and proclaiming that we’re uneducated and simple-minded. i’d make the “opinions are like assholes” analogy, but its been done to death.

and for the part about who’s charting what, that really holds so little weight its not that big of a deal anymore. you do know that people like m.a.n.d.y., laurent garnier and ellen allien have full-time assistants that sit and filter through the piles of whitelabels and gigabytes of wav’s that they get, right? any of those “this track is great, i’d play it” one liners are written by a lackey who just sifts through the crap and forwards the good things to their respective employers. just because its “praised” by a “world class dj,” doesn’t mean they themselves give it their seal of approval, for one, and two, doesn’t mean they actually play it.

regardless, i’m not stranger to meeting someone, and we can gladly discuss music more in april when i’m down on your turf, but tough-guying it really isn’t necessary. first round is on me, and its mandatory that we do a shot of patron, and then we can debate some more shit and come away drunk and have a good night. deal?

EJ @ Loudersoft  on February 28, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I can’t consume alcohol for medical reasons but I would gladly hang out and talk music. You make an excellent point about the “rush to market” and that’s absolutely reasonable to think.

Seriously, I read back what I wrote and I’m neither tough nor confrontational in person. Quite the opposite is true.

Looking for information on a track that I’ve actually grown to really love, I found it was being called “so so so so bad”, and for a minute (even though I wasn’t in the conversation) I took it personally, as if my own taste in music was under attack.

Regarding what I said, Eric, I was being needlessly flippant rather than tough. It’s strange how much alike those two things read on the internet. “Believe me, I’ll be there” should have read more like “You think I’d come to that show?” than “Let’s duke it out, bro!”

I look forward to the show and to hanging out afterwards. I sincerely apologize if I came across like a dick.

littlewhiteearbuds  on February 28, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Well that worked itself out nicely. Stick around, EJ. We need more opinionated commenters!

eric cloutier  on February 28, 2009 at 2:50 PM

in all seriousness, this is precisely WHY i’m involved with music – i love hearing other peoples takes on the same thing, and it always breeds fantastic conversation.

and yes, i’ve been guilty of “i was being sarcastic but that doesn’t come across very well on the internet” many, many, many times before. its garnered me a bad reputation at times, and i’m not too proud of it.

anyway…yes, come to the show, and we’ll drink whatever you want and have some more conversation.

and you didn’t come across as a dick. it was more of “here’s my opinion, fuck you” than “here’s my opinion, lets make dialogue.”

no harm, no foul. :)

Joe H  on March 1, 2009 at 6:30 PM

“if you want my personal opinion, this track sounds like they tried to rush a hit to the stores hoping it would garner as much praise as “the sun can’t compare.” perhaps the popularity went to their head and they figured “hey, we can shit another one out and be just as rich!”

my thoughts exactly. eric has hit the nail on the head!

Grant  on March 2, 2009 at 4:18 AM

yee gad, this is so incredibly bland.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds February Charts  on April 4, 2009 at 5:41 PM

[…] [Deutsche Grammophon] 07. Shaun Reviews, “Patience EP” [Wolf+Lamb Music] 08. Mr. White, “Aeroplane” [Alleviated Music] 09. Paul Frick, “Steal My Heart” (Dub Version) [Kalk […]

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