Dirty Dancing: February 2013
Hi, and welcome back to Dirty Dancing! With the dubious delights of Valentine’s Day safely behind us, it's time to get back down to business and this month we're bringing you more new releases than ever before. We see the return of some well-known names such as Dobie and Detboi (both with brand new material) as well as a few new faces and sounds for your delectation. Should be more than enough here to keep you occupied!
Unfortunately, success brings its own limitations and I simply don’t have the space now to include every new release that we're sent; instead I have added some mini reviews at the bottom of the page that will hopefully inspire you to track them down!
EP: Vision - Life (Big Dada Recordings)
For those of you old enough (or electronically cultured enough I might add) to remember Mirwais (of eventual Madonna fame), the Life EP bears remarkable similarities. Bass tones hark back to the funk era and a certain uniquely intense synth effect create a feeling of unrest offset by lingering, hidden energies. The overall mood is too dark for use in all but the most specialist of nightclubs, but for the discerning connoisseur, this EP is worth tracking down.
Album: Dobie - We Will Not Harm You (Big Dada Recordings/Ninja Tune)
Ever since the guys at Ninja Tune promised me a copy of this, I've been hugely excited over the release of We Will Not Harm You. Continuing to employ the stomach-churning bass and an eclectic range of synth and live instruments, Dobie's new offering is every bit as edgy, experimental and uncategorized as his previous works.
This culturally diverse product moves from pulsating - yet serene - tracks ('The Chant for example) to delicately frenetic works such as 'She Moans', effectively keeping the listener engaged from start to finish. Good stuff!
Album: C2C - Tetra (Mercury Records)
C2C's single 'Down the Road' made it onto my top tracks of 2012 list and the supporting album is easily as impressive. As someone who has been known to dabble in the art of DJ'ing, I can appreciate the enormous talent that has gone into Tetra's production - as will anyone else with experience on the decks. It's a careful blend of expertly crafted lessons in turntablism and dance tracks, all interspersed with nuances of hip hop, jazz and God knows what else.
The delicate scratching, cuts and intelligently employed samples utilized almost to excess in 'Down the Road' are apparent throughout and ensure that each track is both unique and effortlessly engaging. A memorable listening experience incorporating the hallmarks of technical genius.
EP: Youan - Girl (Minds on Fire)
Packing plenty of punch and guaranteeing to raise pulses both at home and in the club, 'Girl' blends house and dance music to create a perfect dance floor hybrid. Energized and upbeat from the start, it’s both a tribute to the modern club scene and an evolution of the same in its own right.
The three other tracks on the EP take things slightly easier but continue in much the same style, with 'Don’t Take This Wrong' being a firm favorite for me. Reminiscent of the feeling you have when you first step into a nightclub, knowing the night is about to begin, 'Girl' pushes all the right buttons.
Album: Detboi - Sliding Floors (Cheap Thrills)
Detboi reprises his role as electro mastermind, and for an exploratory expedition into warped garage and bass culture, look no further than Sliding Floors.
Heavy-hitting bass lines punish your senses but this is by no means just a collection of ‘I can create the heaviest bass’ tracks. Interest is kept via a changing range of themes topped off with all the subtle inflections and nuances of expertly-produced electronica. The top track for me has to be 'God’s Plan' with all its biblical subtleties - but to be honest apart from that it would be hard to choose a real favourite.
Sound of the Month
Album: FaltyDL - Hardcourage (Ninja Tune)
Produced without regard for the listener’s feelings, Hardcourage is an uncompromising portrait of the melancholy. Haunting and yet strangely beautiful, it’s a deeply personal experience - a little like being invited into the mind of the producer for an intensely intimate viewing of their thoughts and fears.
Mood aside, it’s also a technically rewarding listen, drawing on and projecting a wide range of influences and spanning a variety of genres. Perhaps not an album for those intent on partying, but listening to Hardcourage alone in a quiet house will be a superbly rewarding experience.
Album: Defected in the House – Miami 2013 (Defected)
More high class house from masters of the genre. A veritable tour de force showcasing over 30 tracks spread over 3 CDs and mixed by Flashmob, Supernova and Pirupa. Need I say more? If you’re a house aficionado probably not, but for the uninitiated, this could be well worth a listen to jump start your interest in the house scene.
Album: Soosh – Color is Breathe (Error Broadcast/Outpost)
Heady and ethereal (I love that word!), Color is Breathe captivates from the outset. Difficult to categorize as a whole, the album incorporates elements of indie rock, high-end pop, chill out electronica and perhaps even a touch of heavily warped classical music to create a diverse yet rewarding listen.
The vast majority of the work is rooted in a deep nostalgia and perhaps is even a little mournful at times, but that is certainly no reason to dismiss Soosh out of hand. The elegantly crafted beat patterns and expertly placed live instruments ensure that while the listener may not be cheered up, they will certainly not be bored.
Single: The White Lamp – Make it Good (Sonar Kollektiv)
Funky, super sharp and upbeat, the up-‘til-now virtually unknown White Lamp’s 'Make it Good' is a sublime six minutes’ break in an otherwise hectic world of dance. Male vocals over a simple synth base and limited bass notes work in almost perfect harmony and while there is no mention of it yet, an album featuring more of the same would be very well received. The remixes are just as worth checking out, incorporating a little more electronic artistry and giving the vocals a backseat.
Single: Mykel – Sweet Valentine (Ntrang Music)
Crossing the borders between pop and electronica, 'Sweet Valentine' is a stunningly well-crafted work with more than a feel of distant euphoria. The staccato drum patterns blended with dreamy synth would work perfectly alone but are instead complimented by the male and female vocals. Well worth acquainting yourself with in preparation for a forthcoming EP due for release later this year, which I will definitely be tracking down.
Mix: Chicken Lips + variety of artists – He’s Not In (Defected). Groove Armada, Noir and others take on 'He’s Not In'. Interesting reworks and something a little different.
EP: Actress – Silver Cloud (Werkdiscs). Raw and slightly scary, a liberal dose of weird and wonderful electronica on a par with Lorn.
EP: Franky Rizardo – The End (Defected). Three tracks of pure euphoric house for all your clubbing needs from a master of the genre.
Album: Third Person Lurkin – Lake of Woods (Bad Taste Records). Think Darkstar and then some. From-the-abyss bass tones countered by post dub-esque synth. Genuinely engaging.
Single: Dobie - She Moans (Big Dada Recordings/Ninja Tune). Single plus two tracks not included on the album and with a remix from FaultyDL, fans will want to get hold of this.
That’s all for this month folks. Hopefully you enjoyed the extended list of artists we’ve managed to track down for you. As always feel free to post any fan mail on my twitter page @TDFDirtydancing. Apart from that, keep the parties going wherever you are, dance music is not meant to be listened to on your laptop! Take care!