Dirty Dancing: April 2013

Greetings electro fans! After a rather more extended period of absence than we’d usually like, we have returned with more dance, trance, electro pop and house than you could shake a newly pressed vinyl EP at. Gracing your screens and ears this month are plenty of new faces such as the incredibly talented Mykel, as well as a few you may recognise from Dirty Dancings past…

EP: Sergic & Lyka – Bulletproof (Tumble Audio)

Spectacular, sweeping synth and ethereal vocals lead the listener into a lucid-dream-style opening track ('Shame') that quickly picks up the pace. Retaining its trip-like qualities through the use of plenty of creative synth effects and a pulsating bass line, 'Shame' leaves us wide open to suggestion and bad influence – both of which it provides in good measure! Moving swiftly on before we are irreversibly corrupted, 'Glod' ramps up the bass a little further in an attempt to bring us out of our trance before the title track 'Bulletproof' finishes things off in ear-damaging style.

A great listen. If everyone put as much effort into discovering music like 'Bulletproof' instead of being spoon-fed mass produced dubstep, the word would be a better, noisier pace.

EP: Mykel – Hold On (Ntrang Music)

It’s perhaps unusual for artists to successfully blend indie acoustic song writing talent with electronic influences but the Hold On EP demonstrates how it should be done. The mellow guitar chords that lead into the title track may discourage some fans who, having survived on a diet of dubstep remixes and hard house re-workings, are unaccustomed to pure musical class such as this. A subtle bass line soon puts in an appearance, however, and the following tracks are nothing if not sublime.

A firm favourite for me has to be 'Sweet Valentine', but really, the whole EP is a complete pleasure.

Single: Ed Zealous – Medicines (Fierce Panda)

Ooh, this one’s fun! A very Daft Punk-esque start quickly gets things going, kicking in with a suitably heavy bass line and bucket loads of synth and passion. I loved it from the first listen. It sits far enough away from mainstream dance to satisfy the purists and yet the structure and feel are broad enough to create a wide appeal. Funky and yet completely in-your-face, this should be played excessively loud for full effect.

Album: Letherette – Letherette (Ninja Tune)

There’s definitely a touch of vintage charm surrounding the duo that make up Letherette, and nowhere is it more apparent than in their latest self-titled offering. Suitably energetic and full of enough life to warrant a play in a crowded nightclub, there is a subtle edge to many of the tracks that remind the listener that Letherette have not simply churned out the maximum number of dance tracks that they could fit onto a CD and then called it a day, but have set out with clear goals in mind and crafted the exact sounds they had envisioned. Classy stuff from dance producers surely set to achieve wider recognition.

Album: Clockwork – B.O.A.T.S (Life and Death)

Soulful and minimalistic, B.O.A.T.S (Based On A True Story) represents more of a listening experience than musical piece. The entire album does actually tell the listener a story (wise internet searching will tell you exactly what it is) and soars from dizzying highs of bass-laden tracks such as 'Oblique' to land in the hazy depths of a post–techno wasteland.

With clear evidence not only of rare vision and intelligent planning, but also of spectacular production and execution, B.O.A.T.S should be on the curriculum for every aspiring DJ and party goer.

Sound of the Month

EPs: Thomas Azier – Hylas 001/002 (Hylas Records)

Call it electro pop if you like. Complain that electronic music is being watered down by and influx of mainstream influences (you may well be right) but whatever else you decide to do, just make sure you don’t dismiss Thomas Azier out of hand because what we have here, ladies and gents, is musical perfection. Maybe I’m going a little overboard here (I don’t expect the die-hard dance fans to agree with me on this particular point) but I challenge you to listen to the single 'Angelene' – released at the same time alongside the EPs – and not feel utterly captivated.

I won’t go on… the subject matter is sufficiently subjective that the only way is really to hear and judge for yourself, but you’ll have me to answer to if you simply ignore this.

Album: Tomorrow’s World – Tomorrow’s World (Naive)

One half of the Tomorrow’s World duo hails from Air (the other a vocalist from the New Young Pony Club) and the influences are clear here. Gently building dance with a fairly easy going feel to it: the vocals are super smooth and elegantly sexy, the backing synth mixed effortlessly with live instrumentation whilst a mellow bass line draws all together into what feels like it should be the long awaited ‘next step’ from Moon Safari.

EP: Debian Blak – Six Months From Mars (Audio Doughnuts)

Technically advanced and with a generous helping of originality, Debian Blak has succeeded in creating an engaging piece that, although struggling to define itself as belonging to a certain genre, is as aesthetically pleasing as it is curious.

Part minimalistic artwork, part garage-influenced lowdown dance experience, there’s certainly not something here for everyone, but those that are attuned to such things will find 'Six Months From Mars' a rewarding listen.

Album: Morris Cowan – Six Degrees (WIGFLEX)

Light and energetic, with plenty of hidden energy and an impressive range of both live instruments and synth work (or was that just clever use of the latter?!), Six Degrees is a refreshing foray into the realm of blending genres that seems to be rapidly growing in popularity. With many of the tracks breaching the 13 minute mark, at present the album represents a pleasant way for the connoisseur to while away an afternoon, or an impressive slice of raw material from which the discerning DJ can pluck the great many highlights. Top tracks for me include 'The Grove' and slightly easier going 'Serialiser'.

EP: Kings of Tomorrow Featuring April – Fall For You (Defected)

Smooth as-you-like and featuring effortlessly charming vocals courtesy of April Morgan, 'Fall for You' should be your very worthy house fix for this month. The b-side – 'It's Only You' – picks up the pace a little and eases us gently into the party with a slightly punchier bass line and softened vocals. Listen out for it in the early hours.

Some quickies:

Single: Mathy K and The Funky Punch – MDMK (2DIY4)

Super funky old–school style disco from a less well known producer. Turn it up loud for the perfect way to kick off a big night out (or in!)

Album: Kalabrese – Independent Dancer (Rumpelmusic)

Interesting dance/indie crossover album with a mellow twist. Painstakingly produced and heaped in talent and style.

EP: Julian Chaptal – The Look on Your Face (Defected)

High-class party music with no shortage of bass and bounce. Favourite track for me has to be the title track, but check out 'Wild Cat' for a decent slice of typical house piano synth. Wide open for remixes, keep an eye on Julian this year.

EP: Vitalic – Fade Away Remixes (PIAS)

Fans of Rave Age will want to check this out. Remixes from the likes of C2C ensure a worthwhile listen.

That’s all for this month folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed April’s electronic odyssey as much as I have - there are some absolute gems in there this time around! As always feel free to drop me a line TDFdirtydancing with any recommendations, fan mail or otherwise! Until next time, see you on the dance floor!

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