Dirty Dancing: August 2013
Welcome back Dirty Dancers! I think it’s safe to say we are into party season now. My local haunts (Newquay!) are packed to the doors with clubbers, ravers, dance fanatics and purveyors and connoisseurs of rare and enlightening herbs!
What goes up must come down however and, whatever your poison, sooner or later you are going to find yourself staring blankly at the ceiling and trying to cope with one of the worst headaches you've ever had, wondering why you just had to do that last Jagerbomb. What better way to return to the land of the living than by kicking back and enjoying some of the freshest and most exciting new music to grace our speakers this month? Ladies and gents, enjoy!
Single: Boofy and Lemzly Dale – Catch a Body/Banshee (Sector 7 Sounds)
Perhaps a little sinister to kickstart your night out, but that doesn't mean 'Catch a Body' isn't worthy of a second listen! A staccato rhythm gives little time for rest and relaxation as Boofy and Lemzly heap on the bass and the background sound effects. At home in some of the darker nightclubs, or at that underground party you’ve been planning for people who actually know about electronica, this needs a big system and lots of room to move!
Album: Blondes – Swisher (RVNG)
Blondes have a special place, if not in my heart then at least in my Dirty Dancing memory, as they were one of the first artists I reviewed and then subsequently interviewed. I was impressed back then and Swisher got me no less excited.
They have once again successfully broken the dance music mould with super-detailed, yet effortlessly cool and unconventional club music. This is the type of music we need to see more of on the scene; instead of mindlessly produced ‘anthem style’ tracks, it's refreshing to see artists working in the same genre but bringing their own style into the mix.
Single: Thomas Azier – Ghost City (Vertigo Records)
Azier returns to re-stake his claim in the electronica hall of fame in style. 'Ghost City', tinged with pop and loaded with atmosphere, is a rare treat, and if you’ve not checked out Thomas’ debut EP (released a month or two back) then his new single is a perfect introduction to an artist that deserves your undivided attention.
Reflecting much of his past work but also including perhaps some ideas of things to come, 'Ghost City' retains the beautiful vocal structures of the Hylas EP but pushes things along at possibly a little brisker a pace.
Album: Current Value – Stay on This Planet (Subsistenz)
Eardrum crushing bass and twisted electronic malfunctions of sounds that threaten significant hearing damage. Piling bass into a track is easy, arranging it so that the music still remains individual and interesting is a different feat altogether. For an extended lesson in how to do just that, get hold of Stay on this Planet and prepare for an education!
Single: Frankee – Black Heart/Wonderland (RAM Records)
OK, forget everything I said about kicking back and relaxing; I don’t care how hungover you are, get this on a powerful system and crank the volume through the roof! Drum and bass is a little tricky to get right nowadays – there’s a danger of sounding a little samey, as if you belong on a Greatest D&B hits in the World EVER album, but in this case Frankee has got it spot on.
Uplifting and yet with enough speaker-punishing power to satisfy any hardened drum and bass fan, for me this should be the party starter of the summer!
Album: Noah Pred – Third Culture (Thoughtless Music)
This is very, very cool! Somewhere between house and mainstream dance and as at home on a house party system as in an Ibiza club, Third Culture is simply packed with depth and energy. Instantly conjuring images of glow-stick wielding clubbers, of dry ice hazes at four in the morning and that peculiar feeling you get when you don’t sleep for 42 hours, if this doesn’t make you want to go out, I promise nothing will.
Single: Tiger Tsunami – Spanish Nights
You may remember we caught up with Tiger Tsunami a month or two back and it’s a genuine pleasure to feature his latest offering, 'Spanish Nights'. Uplifting - though slightly haunting - electro–pop, the melodies are intricate and the bass line is suitably subtle making this an ideal chillout track for a bit of escapism when the real world all gets a bit too much.
Single: Stealth – Scrummage/Nanite (RAM Records)
Bass is definitely the name of the game here, as Stealth buckets it on without regard for our feelings or eardrum integrity. 'Scrummage' takes the full frontal assault approach, diving straight in with the heavy rhythms, whilst b-side 'Nanite' tones things down just a fraction with a slightly more moody feel. Both tracks are well worth a listen and Stealth is definitely an artist to keep a close eye on.
Album: Yonderboi – Passive Control (Yonderboi)
Perhaps not falling strictly within the electronica genre boundaries, I’ve included Passive Control as a sonic illustration to what can be achieved when two musical worlds are blended.
Overflowing with live instrumentation, it would almost be insulting to label this album a ‘grower’, but it certainly takes a little time to get your head around. Succeed in this, however, and the results are no less than spectacular. 'I Am CGI' was an absolute standout track for me.
Single: Etienne De Crecy – We, Computers (Pixadelic)
As the name tends to suggest, 'We, Computers' does contain some electronic sounds. Deep, Moog-y bass is countered by buzzing synth that helps to cut through the atmosphere. Not one for the dancefloor (and leaning towards Euro-dance at times), casual genre listeners may well be discouraged from further indulgence, but for those willing to give it a good go, it’s an intriguing listen.
Single: Rampa feat. SYF – Where Did I Go Wrong (Defected)
I believe I’ve mentioned before that it can be hard to add a unique flair to house music. Rampa is obviously not currently suffering from this affliction as 'Where Did I Go Wrong' is effortlessly entertaining. A mellow bass line is coupled with equally easy–sounding synth and held together with smoothly added vocals.
Better played on a big system, there’s more than a passing similarity to the likes of Disclosure and similar, meaning the house crowd will definitely not be disappointed.
Album: Noir – Use Your Ears (Noir Music)
Loving this. Mix album featuring plenty of fresh material as well as a few re-workings of old favourites.
Single: Basement Freaks – Soul Intoxication (Jalapeno Records)
Upbeat, funky party sounds for the start of a great night. What else did we expect from the Freaks?!
Single: Wilkinson – Heartbeat feat. P Money and Arlissa (RAM Records)
A grimy, gritty bass fest guaranteed to turn some heads.
That’s all this month folks! Hopefully this month’s Dirty Dancing has provided you with the respite you needed to recover what’s left of your senses in preparation for the next big night, and given you some ideas for the right soundtrack to go with it! As always, all comments and fan mail can be uploaded at the DD Twitter page (@TDFDirtyDancing) and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our Dirty Talk feature later this month when I’ll be attempting to get inside the head of one of our favourite electronica artists. Take it easy!