Dirty Dancing - August 2012
Greetings electro pilgrims! Rumour has it that summer is almost over, but with events like the mighty Creamfields on the horizon, we can only hope that the weather holds long enough for us to get involved in some of the best electronic music Britain has to offer.
If, like me, your meagre budget does not stretch to a summer of festivals, fear not, as we have an eclectic selection of the best new releases right here at your fingertips. Enjoy!
Single: MajorLook - Bass Generation (London Records)
Party need starting? Look no further. A bouncy, bass filled banger guaranteed to get anyone with a pulse up and moving. Sounding a little like an early Freestylers offering with slightly urban leanings, a live keyboard track is put to good use over warm, heavy bass synth and drum machine chaos.
Of the six remixes that are included with the single, check out the Jubei Dub Mix for an easier, reggae-roots-style take on the original. Part of the bass generation? This should be in your collection.
Artist of the Month!
Single: Machines Don't Care - Beat Dun Drop (Columbia/Deconstruction)
Steel drum-esque backing, lively upbeat female vocals and something that sounds like a didgeridoo player wired in to the mains are used to devastating effect in this future club epic. Added to this are remixes by the likes of Wideboys, MajorLook (see above!) and CSY & Stripes (eclectic DJs reviewed in June's DD).
Bursting with musical talent and vision, it’s a single that plays like an EP, and with MDC set to play some of the summer's biggest festivals, I think we already know we'll be going absolutely mental to this during the year.
Album: Norken & Deer - Micro Don Juan (Hydrogen Dukebox)
Deep, minimalist tones and softly spoken vocals combine into vaguely nostalgic ambience to form Micro Don Juan. Sounding more like a carefully put together film soundtrack than a dance album, the craftsmanship and emotion that has clearly been involved here is instantly evident, as is the effortless passion for music which is apparent throughout.
An album that perhaps most comes into its own when played at home on a solitary evening, with a glass of something strong - and plenty of time to reflect.
Norken + Deer - Microcosm by Deer
EP: Hot City - Buggin' Out EP (Moshi Moshi)
From a basic, simple drum-line start, 'Buggin' Out' quickly gains momentum with the addition of plodding bass synth and skippy, catchy vocal distortions, kept in line by frantic hi-hats. Although fairly basic in construction, its simplicity is part of the appeal and makes 'Buggin Out' stand well out from the crowd.
'Hand Clap' and 'You and Me 4 Eva' are no different, with the former following in the footsteps of 'Buggin Out''s lively minimalism (but incorporating vocals from Jon-E), and 'You and Me 4 Eva' adopting a slightly intensified drum line which should see it do well on the scene.
Single: Footprintz - Dangers of the Mouth (Visionquest)
Dance/pop crossover tracks are a risky business, and it's always nice to see one pulled off with style and finesse (as opposed to trying to mash dubstep into a Britney Spears track...). Melancholy, plaintive vocals are matched effortlessly by an easy bass line with acoustic guitar backing. Siren-like synth lends the whole affair a slightly epic feel, as though we are witness to the final climatic scene in a vast and sweeping story. Moving and heartfelt, the album of the same name is out at the end of August, and I am getting in line now.
Single: DJ Theo B – Planet Krypton/You’re My Light (Perfect Pitch Records – All you potential producers out there, these guys are worth checking out)
For a sure fire way to get people moving, look no further than Theo B. 'Planet Krypton' is a heady, hard dance anthem utilising hyperactive drum lines mixed with old-skool techno synth and a distinct sci-fi edge.
Dropping the BPM’s only slightly, 'You’re My Light' is a slightly more toned down affair, with mellowed piano tones and softer vocals over a light, upbeat rhythm, guaranteed to please the dance/trance crossover crowd. With two pretty exciting tracks already out, and showing a lot of promise in both Hard dance and dance music (yes, they ARE different genres…), Theo B seems to be one to look out for in the near future.
Single: The Gaslamp Killer – Flange Face (Brainfeeder)
An exciting taste of things to come from The Gaslamp Killer. Preceding the forthcoming album Breakthrough (out mid-September), 'Flange Face' is a melody of madness as schizophrenic violins attempt to make sense of pulsing, vaguely mechanical sounding scrapes, crashes and psycho-synth.
Think DJ Food producing a horror movie soundtrack and you’ll be somewhere near. Dance music that sets your teeth on edge from a master of dark electronic energy.
Single: Jesse Boykins III and MeLo-X – Black Orpheus (Ninja Tune)
Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of rap/spoken lyrics in electronic music (there’s a whole other genre for that sort of thing let’s not forget). 'Black Orpheus', however, is one of those rare exceptions. Deep, pleasurably haunting rhythms intermingle with equally bassy synth to form a perfect backdrop for MeLo X to add his lyrics to.
Intense, talented electronic poetry which should serve as an appetiser for Jesse and MeLo’s album Zulu Guru (out mid – October).
Jesse Boykins III & MeLo-X - 'Black Orpheus' (produced by Afta-1) by Ninja Tune
Album: Greeen Linez – Things That Fade (Diskotopia)
If you’re looking for a way to round off the summer in style, Things That Fade is the way forward. Pianos and various wooden instruments abound in this slightly melancholy ode to the tropics. 'Palm Coast Freeway' instantly conjures up images of open topped cars and easy Ibiza sunsets, whilst tracks such as 'City Cell' and 'Forgotten Shores' have an almost spiritual feel to them. Although we seem to have lost our summer behind the clouds, you can still find a bit of it hidden here.
That's all for this month folks. Hopefully you're out there making the most of the summer, but if you get stuck I'll be re-tweeting news of any interesting gigs I stumble across, so don't forget to check up if you have a free minute @TDFDirtyDancing. Take it easy!