Archive for June, 2011

I love Arsenal

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Mixtape, Music
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Known as one of the most popular bands in Belgium, Arsenal, the group of John Roan and Hendrik Willemyns, was featured in the hit series ‘Six Feet Under’ and praised in the United States by celeb-bloggers like Perez Hilton or Kanye West. With already many sold-out performances at the Ancienne Belgique, Arsenal knows that people expect something that will last.

When Arsenal claims to have traveled to make their third mysteriously titled album ‘LOTUK’, they are not exaggerating at all. Their first album ‘OYEBO SOUL’ drew upon the streets of Brussels for its inspiration and their second album ‘OUTSIDES’ slightly pushed those borders. For ‘LOTUK’, however, they decided they needed to push themselves further. They needed new challenges, new horizons. That is how Arsenal ended up where they did, caught up in a moment that helped define the birth of ‘LOTUK’: piss drunk in the northernmost realms of Finland, lying on their backs in the dark on a frozen lake, gazing up in wonder at the ‘Northern Lights’.

The funny thing is that they never planned to go there. They originally headed for Norway, setting up a studio in which they laid down the foundations for what became ‘LOTUK’. But Hendrik Willemyns and John Roan, finding themselves restless after a short while, decided to see what happened when they headed further north. It’s unlikely that their plans at this stage included frozen lakes and total inebriation. But the experience was not wasted on them: it resulted in what later became an instrumental album used for the soundtrack of a Belgian TV-show, ‘De Poolreizigers’.

This wasn’t the only reason that their Finnish expedition counted as more than a wild weekend in the Arctic: it is mainly the place where the seeds for ‘LOTUK’ had been successfully sown. When work recommenced for the follow-up to ‘OUTSIDES’ (which reached 30 000 sales in Belgium alone and was voted twice ‘Best Live Act’ at the ‘Rock Werchter’ festival), they knew they had to maintain this sense of adventure. So as well as blending contemporary club, rock and pop sounds with music from around the world in a way and with a sound that can only be described as Arsenal’s, they decided this time to invite a number of their heroes to collaborate with them.

How did I accomplish my musical mission trying to catch this unique Arsenal sound in another mixtape?

  1. Make a selection of the finest tracks from all 3 albums
  2. Determine average number of beats per minute (>110BPM)
  3. Put all tracks in an audibly pleasant order
  4. Practise each transition until it sounds right
  5. Record your live mix from intro till outro

The following tracks were carefully selected and mixed:

Arsenal “OYEBO SOUL”

  1. Mr. Doorman
  2. Longee
  3. Amelaka Motinga
  4. A Volta

Arsenal “OUTSIDES”

  1. Saudade (Pt.1)
  2. Saudade (Pt.2)
  3. Buy In Late
  4. Submissão
  5. Switch

Arsenal “LOTUK”

  1. Egun
  2. Selvagem
  3. Estupendo

This is the complete playlist of my I love Arsenal set:

  1. Saudade (Pt.1)
  2. Saudade (Pt.2)
  3. Mr. Doorman
  4. Egun
  5. Buy In Late
  6. Selvagem
  7. Longee
  8. Submissão
  9. Amelaka Motinga
  10. Switch
  11. Estupendo
  12. A Volta

Keep in mind that this mixtape is only a glimpse of what Arsenal is capable of. In the first place they are a live band that raises temperatures to boiling point in every club, hall or festival. So when you get the chance, try to get a ticket and see them performing live on stage in front of a delirious audience. I’m sure that you’ll have the time of your life!

Arsenal - Oyebo Soul Arsenal - Outsides Arsenal - Lotuk

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