Dirty Dancing : December 2012

It may be nearing Christmas, there may be stacks to do but whether you’re approaching a seasonal breakdown, a present-choosing crisis of epic proportions, or literally snowed into your own home, there’s no excuse not to update your electro knowledge with our hand selected bonanza of December releases!

I’ll admit that some of them may not be all that festive, but remember, Christmas ain't all about carols, and dance music isn’t all about Calvin Harris… Enjoy!

Album: Various -Day Zero Sound of the Mayan Spirit (Crosstown Rebels)

Good news: we seemed to make it through the Mayan apocalypse! Although perhaps not famed for their sunny outlook on life, the Mayans sufficiently inspired Crosstown Rebels and prompted them to put together a fitting soundtrack for the apocalypse that, in the end, never was.

Although I shan’t be deviating from my preferred annihilation theme music (either post-dubstep madness or Robert Miles, depending on my mood at the time), Day Zero represents an expertly crafted album which not only features a long list of artists – each with their own styles and moods, but also merges modern electronica with faint notes of tribal origins, ancient rituals and murmured prophesies.

So come out of your underground bunkers, add Day Zero to your Armageddon playlist and re-attune yourself with the ancients.

Single: Major Lazer feat. Flux Pavillion – Jah No Partial (Mad Decent)

A collaboration guaranteed to generate wild excitement throughout the UK club scene, Major Lazer delivers the goods as usual. A dubstep-esque, speaker-damaging bass fest with Afro-Caribbean vocals lending a personalized touch. At present, Flux Pavilion seem to have the midas touch with most tracks they come into contact with, and the influence is clear here.

Stand-out dubstep from two major producers and worthy of many a dancefloor riot.

Single: Kraak and Smaak – Can You Jack? (Jalapeño Records)

Continuing on from where they left off earlier in 2012, Kraak and Smaak have returned with a new round of carefully sculpted beats in the form of Kraak Beats Volume 3.

Liften from it, 'Can You Jack' has a touch of menace about it, gradually adding layers of sound from a slow, mooching start, eventually letting loose with some fairly high pitched vocal work. Although I haven’t yet had the chance to listen to Vol.3 in its entirety, taken on the basis of 'Can You Jack' and the effortless precision of Mixed Feelings, I’d say Kraak Beats would be worth adding to any last minute Christmas list.

Album: Prodigy – Fat of the Land Expanded Edition (XL Recordings)

Last month, I criticised DJ Pinch for re-releasing old material in album form (as opposed to coming up with fresh tracks), and it would be all too easy to do the same here. The original Fat of the Land may quite likely be one of the greatest electronic albums ever released, and The Prodigy have had to tread incredibly carefully here to avoid tarnishing it with a poor re-release.

That said – and perhaps unexpectedly – I loved it. Granted, the only additions to the original album are six remixes, and more than one of them leans dangerously close to lapsing into a dubstep cop-out, but when you turn the likes of 'Breathe', 'Firestarter' and 'MindFields' over to Zed’s Dead, Glitch Mob and Noisia and tell them to do a good job, the results are always going to be spectacular.

It’s genuinely refreshing to hear some Prodigy re-workings that weren’t made for YouTube, and, coupled with the original track list in its entirety, Fat of The Land Expanded Edition may even be an improvement on the original!

EP: Copyright Feat. Andre Espeut – Lifted (Defected Records)

With party season in full swing, you may want to listen out on your local dance floor for the crisp, upbeat strains of the Lifted EP to chase away the thoughts of winter. Summery, warmth-filled house which transports you straight to a hot summer’s night in Ibiza.

If swinging saxophone solos or sultry early morning house is your thing, this EP is for you. Forget the fact that you can’t feel your hands outside - all you need to do is find the strength to press play and embrace the good vibes…

EP: Rude Audio – Dirty Remixes (Rude Audio)

A collaboration EP of unusual talent and vision, Dirty Remixes follows on from Rude Audio's ‘That Dirty Echo’ which came to light almost a year ago. Ranging from the sublimely minimalistic to the inspirationally epic, each track sits on a different astral plane to its neighbour. Tracks such as 'Fin on a Hill' could almost be considered normal, whilst experimental trips such as 'Wise Blood' push the boundaries of audio in ways seldom considered.

The fact that there are just 5 tracks instead of 16 take nothing away from the piece as a whole, and simply re-enforce the time, effort and skill that have gone into creating Dirty Remixes.

Single: Featurecast – Ofelia’s World: Parker remix (Jalapeno Records)

Taken from the Run For Cover remixes album, 'Ofelia’s World' is a heavy, heady, heartfelt trip, a step closer to an electric nirvana. With hints of dance, experimental house and drum and bass, the understated bass line takes a back seat, giving the plaintive vocals and sweeping synth its head throughout.

Bouncy enough to warrant a play in some major night clubs, but with enough detail and intellect to be equally at home on your morning playlist, 'Ofelia’s World' should be in your top 10 this month.

Single: Dobie – I-Anomaly (Big Dada)

It’s official: Dobie’s new album We Will Not Harm You is to be released on the 4th Feb 2013. 'I-Anomaly', taken from the new album, is a full on, computerised, bass-filled portion of speaker punishment. Perhaps only really coming into its own on large, expensive systems, I’m seriously looking forward to hearing how this sounds on a nightclub sound system. Ruining your hearing has never felt so good!

Single: Tiga – Plush (Different Recordings)

Understated, lowdown and sexily gritty, 'Plush' could be a soundtrack to a one night stand. The throbbing bass line and repeating synth lines draw you into a world reminiscent of darkened rooms punctuated by strobe lighting, filled with aficionados of the night. Deep, intriguing electric innuendo!

That’s all for this year folks! It’s been a fairly wild ride but don’t think for a second that we are giving up on you. Dirty Dancing returns in 2013 (we always knew those pesky Mayans were just tripping off their heads!) with a whole new playlist for your delectation.

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