In 2010, Matthew Handley and Andrew Stanley came together over their love for multi-cultural music and sounds, combined it with their disc jockey prowess, and delivered us perhaps one of the most iconic debut tracks of all time: "We No Speak Americano." It was an instantaneous smash hit, selling over 5 million copies and topping the charts worldwide.
"We No Speak Americano" with DCUP under their label, Sweat It Out, was unlike anything we'd heard in the disco-funk dance world. It sampled the 1956 Italian classic, "Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano" by Renato Carosone and, like all good tracks, made it into its own unique experience. It was the song that won them a 2010 ARIA for "Best Dance Release", and certified them as exciting beat-makers and collaborators who had loads to offer.
A once-in-a-lifetime duo, Yolanda Be Cool went on to release albums like Ladies + Mentalmen and Je Suis Music, which re-introduced listeners to electro swing mixed with house that made you genuinely want to dance. The pairing stole the hearts (and ears) of fans and new listeners alike by combining all of your favorite parts of EDM- tribal tech, minimalism, house, disco- and blending them seamlessly together.
They're industry risk takers, who were so inspired by Chris Lake's style that they tapped into their craft to create the hit "Segunda" for him. You may see them touring performing B2B sets alongside fellow Australian native FISHER, where attendees rave about the high energy setting and consistent flow of jam-worthy beats. Never slowing down, Yolanda Be Cool continued to take it a step further with their new record label, SWEATRZ.
After releasing their single "Hip Trumpets" under SWEATRZ, Yolanda Be Cool is gearing up for another massive year. The song is everything you love about Yolanda Be Cool and more. It's a sign of their growth and confidence as producers and DJ's, an indication that this pair is not going anywhere. Listen to "Hip Trumpets" here:
We spoke to them on their live sets, the new label, and much more below! Check it out.
PD: You both came together over your love of Brazilian music. Can you talk a bit about that story?
We've always just loved quirky music and baile funk is a perfect example of this. Matt lived in Brazil for a year and came back broke and Andy had lots of good DJ gigs and hooked Matt up and then we just started playing together....so you could say Matt's broke-ness from a year in Brazil brought us together :)
PD: How did that love inspire your big track, “We No Speak Americano?”
Well.....Americano is obviously in Italian, which is a Latin language, as is Portuguese so there's that but i think more to the point... we saw the opportunity to take such an iconic original sample from the 1950's in Italy and flip it in a way that would make sense for modern dancefloors. When we sent it to our Italian DJ friends, they thought it was funny and told us how their grandma used to play the song to them in the kitchen when they were kids.
PD: You’re under a new label, Sweatrz Records, and you’ve released your new track “Hip Trumpets” with KVISION! Has being under a new label changed anything about your production process or the music you’re making?
Well....we started SWEATRZ with our buddy Paluma to have an outlet for the more raw underground side of house music. We still have Sweat It Out and Club Sweat and have music coming on both and we also love working with other labels like Black Book and Club Bad. We basically just jump in the studio and make whatever's inspiring us....and then we think of the label to send it to after based on what labels we think would dig it.
PD: You created “Segunda” for Chris Lake. What was the collaboration process like between you all?
Well..we played with Chris in Seattle last year at the Black Book party and we loved how eclectic his set was and set the goal of making a song that was true to our sound, but would go off in his sets. When we finished Segunda we sent it straight to him and he loved it. We worked on the breakdown a bit more off the back of his feedback and then he gave it the greenlight and we were stoked.
PD: More recently, you’ve been performing B2B’s with FISHER. What can fans expect from those sets?
Well, we've always jumped around with our DJ sets because we love so much music but artists and producers and labels we're loving right now go from the more minimal tech stuff like Rendher and Kidoo to more house-y 90s kinds stuff like Jansons and Sally C to the more tribally tech stuff from people like Andruss, Harvy Valencia and Marco Lys with labels like Solid Grooves, PIV, Black Book and Hot Creations always providing the goods of course along with SWEATRZ, Club Sweat and Sweat It Out.
PD: What are your favorite songs to perform live?
Well, we love playing and testing out the stuff we've been working on in the studio. We have a collab with Paluma right now that's coming out on SWEATRZ soon and it goes off so we've been loving playing that. It's called "Get Into It" and rocks. Also loving Mele's new single Jozi to the D.
PD: What’s next for you this year?
We have a bunch of shows in Aus and the US and stopping by Amsterdam for ADE which is always exciting. Then we have heaps of new music coming on the labels including the single we mentioned with Paluma which we're really pumped on.
SEE THEM LIVE:
Sat, Dec 2 - Confessions Nightclub - MacKay
Sat, Dec 9 - Pointers - Auckland, NZ
Sat, Dec 23 - Nice Club (BOYANA) - Canggu, Bali
Tues, Dec 26 - Northies - Cronulla, NSW
Sun, Dec 31 - Harbour Party @ Luna Park - Sydney, NSW
Mon, Jan 1 2024 - Summa House - Brisbane, QLD
Mon Jan, 1 2024 - Beach Hotel - Byron Bay, NSW
It should be no surprise. Shane MacGowan, erstwhile songwriter and singer for the Pogues, had over the years downed oceans of whiskey and porter and ingested enough recreational drugs to get the whole bloody EU bolloxed.
Although news of his death was long expected, it was still a shock to learn that MacGowan died today. And even more so because it came not four months on the heels of the majestic Sinead O'Connor's death. The cause of Shane's death wasn’t specified, but decades of abuse surely played a part. One is reminded of the famous description of Bob Dylan in the 1960s: “He wasn’t burning the candle at both ends. He was using a blowtorch on the middle.”
Dylan’s famous motorcycle accident in 1966 afforded him the chance to step away from his incendiary habits. MacGowan never found – or didn’t take advantage of – such an opportunity. The tales of wretched excess are legendary and play all-too-neatly into the “drunken Irish poet” cliché epitomized by Brendan Behan and, latterly, by Mister MacGowan. Genius is often used as an excuse for addiction and the damage to oneself and to others that follows in its wake. MacGowan’s descent was a long, slow, and painful one to observe.
Born in Kent, England on Christmas Day, 1957, MacGowan’s parents were Irish. He spent a portion of his boyhood in Tipperary. Back in England as a young man, he was one of many inspired by the punk movement to start a band. One thing led to another and the eventual result was the Pogues. (As their fans know, Pogue Mahone, the band’s original name, is Irish for “kiss my arse.”)
Much ink will be spilled recounting epic tales of the Pogues and MacGowan's atrocious habits and even worse behavior. Such as quotes from Neil McCormick of The Telegraph, who describes Shane's songs as "succinct narratives of the Irish diaspora in Britain and America that drew on the poetry and culture of his homeland. His songs were peppered with finely observed details, and had, at their heart, a bittersweet romantic longing for a shattered community clinging to its historical identity, and a beautiful empathy for outsiders and the downtrodden." And the best description of that snicker, "he laughed frequently, emitting a sound halfway between white noise and an industrial accident."
I could go onnn, but let’s focus instead on the reasons we loved – and worried about – Our Shane in the first place.
MacGowan and company officiated at the shotgun wedding of Irish Trad and Punk Rock. He brought a cold eye and a gift for the vivid detail to his lyrics, evoking the listeners’ sympathy for the rebels, runaways, and misfits who live on the rough margins of cities. “The Old Main Drag” is about a rent boy’s decline and fall:
In the cold winter nights the old town it was chill
But there were boys in the cafes who'd give you cheap pills
If you didn't have the money you'd cajole or you'd beg
There was always lots of Tuinol on the old main drag
One evening as I was lying down by Leicester Square
I was picked up by the coppers and kicked in the balls
Between the metal doors at Vine Street, I was beaten and mauled
And they ruined my good looks for the old main drag...
The Pogues - The Old Main Dragwww.youtube.com
“A Rainy Night in Soho” offers a far more tender remembrance:
I'm not singing for the future
I'm not dreaming of the past
I'm not talking of the first times
I never think about the last
Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
Still, there's a light I hold before me
You're the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams
The Pogues - A Rainy Night In Sohowww.youtube.com
Years of hard living exacted a toll on MacGowan. His notoriously rotten teeth were (finally!) replaced in 2015. A fall that same year resulted in a hip injury that put him into a wheelchair. In December 2022 he was hospitalized with viral encephalitis. He’d been released from another hospital stay shortly before his death. He’s survived by his wife, the journalist Victoria Clarke, his sister, Siobhan, and his father, Maurice MacGowan.
We at Popdust adore Shane. He was one raucous lad. And this one’s for...the Mighty Kevin.
A vibe shift is coming. Just look at the latest issue of Vogue.
We all have a hill that we’ll gladly die on. My roommate routinely goes on tirades about how no movie should run longer than 90 minutes (sorry, Scorcese). A lot of people on the internet are currently committed to the "hill" (read: conspiracy theory) that Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet are a PR stunt engineered by Kris.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it over and over for the rest of my life: mine is that the Kim and Kanye Vogue cover of September 2014 caused a major vibe shift.
This, to me, is the first cultural domino to fall and we’re still living in its aftermath. It’s the hill I hope they bury me on. So let me explain.
Traditionally, the September issue of Vogue is a huge deal. It’s an extra thick, extra coveted issue because it’s usually the highest circulation month and advertisers literally fight — and bribe — for their spots. So do models, celebrities, and brands. Therefore, the unveiling of the September cover is always earth-shattering. In 2014, Vogue took a giant gamble: plastering Kim and Kanye on the cover to celebrate their wedding.
These days, a Kim K cover would be a no-brainer — she was just GQ’s Man of the Year, for instance, and posed on the cover with a bag of Cheetos — and a Kanye cover would be unfathomable — he’s in Wyoming somewhere, canceled. But in 2014, Kanye was a certified rap royalty and Kim Kardashian was only known for her reality show and penchant for bandage dresses.
Almost a decade ago now (do you feel old yet?), the cultural landscape was completely different. Rap music, for example, had been popular for years but was only just moving from a fringe genre to a celebrated part of the mainstream. So, although Kanye was a household name, he was a surprising choice for the cover. His foray into fashion, Yeezy, was still getting its sea legs and not yet the giant it would become. And as for Kim? She was pretty much a joke.
But this Vogue cover changed it all. People were outraged— saying Vogue had lost the plot and that it was going downhill — but Anna Wintour stuck to her guns. She took a risk, made a bet that KimYe would be fashion’s next hottest couple, and, against all odds, she was right.
After that cover, fashion changed. So did culture itself. Slowly but surely, we entered the streetwear and hypebeast epoch. Ruled by sneakers and sweatsuits, this era embraced a hip-hop-inspired take on fashion that contrasted with late-2000s business-casual attire and the millennial hipster chic of the early 2010s. Supreme was the hottest brand on the market. Sweatpants were acceptable club attire. And, meanwhile, KimYe was proving Anna Wintour right one Yeezy ensemble at a time.
Anna’s gamble also foreshadowed how enmeshed fashion and celebrity culture would become. These days, front rows of fashion shows are packed with actors, singers, and internet personalities instead of editors and industry vets. Budding industry darlings partner with brands like Loewe, Schiaparelli, and Jacquemus and make names for themselves as “fashion girls”. Even Kylie Jenner just launched a fashion line — perhaps she'll grace the cover of Vogue next.
But now, Anna has taken yet another risk.
Just days ago, out of nowhere, Vogue Magazine posted a very surprising pair on social media: Amazon billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos and his latest wife Lauren Sanchez.
The write-up was even weirder. From comparing Bezos to Iron Man (he wishes) to revealing that Lauren once outbid Kim Kardashian on a dress for $200,000… this Vogue spread felt like a paid advertisement for Jeff Bezos’s mid-life crisis. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when hot girls have post-divorce revenge eras — like Em Rata or even Jeremy Allen White — but Jeff Bezos? We can not give him the validation.
And I’m not alone in thinking this. Vogue readers were fuming. Just check the comment section or the TikTok video essays. In the court of public opinion, billionaire Bezos is not winning. Some readers asked how much Bezos was shelling out for this profile, while others pointed out that Mackenzie Scott, his ex-wife who has committed to donating her fortune, would have been a better feature.
But I can’t help but wonder: what does Anna Wintour know? Could another vibe shift be imminent? Now that we’re used to seeing celebrities leverage fashion in service of their fashion brand, will we be seeing tech moguls and billionaires do the same? Next thing you know, Elon Musk will be the face of Balenciaga and all the tech kingpins will stop trying to go to space and instead try to score invites to the Met Gala and Vogue World.
If that’s where all this is headed, it’s looking pretty bleak. Not to undermine Anna’s judgment, but with this scenario, I hope she’s wrong.