Dirty Dancing - January 2012
Welcome to the first instalment of Dirty Dancing! I'm Phil Hatfield, currently manning the decks in the renowned clubbers paradise that is windy Cornwall and over the coming months I’ll be exploring some of the newest, freshest and most exciting electronic music around in what I plan to be a regular column for The Music Fix.
From the super-obscure nooks and crannies of bedroom noodlings to the modern populist monster that is dubstep, I’ll do my best to cover as many genres and styles as space and time allows. The thing that excites me most about starting this feature will be discovering new music and artists that I may otherwise have overlooked, so I’ll be keeping up with as many new tracks and albums from up-and-coming talent as possible, while also keeping an ear tuned to what more established acts are up to.
Are you sitting comfortably? Well, let's begin ...
Midnight Davis - Aftershocks (Five Easy Pieces)
Midnight Davis has done well in crafting a signature sound in the form of the introspective debut EP Aftershocks. Imagine 'Endorphins' by Burial with emphasised vocals and a more distinctive bass line and you have a good idea of what this sounds like. Although this release gives a definite nod to producers of a similar nature, this is a hauntingly beautiful work in its own right, suggesting a producer capable of being deeply original and yet fitting perfectly into the minimal/ambient dubstep scene.
Artifact - Archaic Line (Deadplate)
Upbeat, spiky rhythms and deep dubstep bass tones are the order of the day here in the form of Artifact’s ‘Archaic Line’ single, due for release 16th January. The track builds nicely from a fairly minimalist start into a well thought out blend of mellow undertones and dubby, two step drum patterns, making it both an easy listen and still something that would make people sit up and take notice on a crowded dance floor. With what is hopefully more of the same in the pipeline, Artifact is definitely worth keeping a close eye on during the rest of 2012.
Freestylers - Give Me a Dub Plate
A sneak peak at what the year holds for the mighty Freestylers is here in the form of ‘Give Me a Dub Plate’, a bass heavy monster that again proves that their seemingly boundless energies are quite capable of expanding into - and excelling in - a brand new genre. 'Give Me a Dub Plate' wastes no time with soft intros but dives straight in with an almost signature Freestylers’ d&b rhythm, building swiftly to incorporate a heavy dubstep moog and vocals to match. This is a surefire hit for long-serving fans, and for those uneducated in the ways of Freestyle my personnel advice is give this a spin - and play it really really loud!
Herve - Better Than A BMX (Cheap Thrills)
An exciting preview to Herve’s forthcoming debut album Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down, this latest offering is a well rounded, upbeat dance single with a decidedly indie feel to it. Giving way after an initial minute or so of vocals to a heavier, fuller dance sound, the intensity is upped slightly resulting in a bouncy, bassy, future dance classic which is hopefully a sign of similar things to come. Check out the remixes from Sedat The Turkish Avenger, Afghan Headspin and Space Cowboy for a variety of different angles on the track.
Discotopia Vol. One - Various Artists
If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, Discotopia’s pilgrimage through the many styles of dance music may well be the album for you. Showcasing the best of Discotopia’s sound from the past two years, the album incorporates facets of jazz, garage, techno and seemingly a hundred other styles in an exciting old school/new school crossover with an overarching summer feel. Spectacularly diverse, there is definitely something here for everyone, but fans of other jazz/funk/dance producers such as Quantic or Jelly Jazz should definitely take a look, as the album represents an interesting foray further into a world of merging genres.
Essay ft. Rhian Sheehan - Morning Mountain (Glyph)
An oddly muffled start is followed by more of the same in this strange, ethereal single from Essay. Throughout it feels as if something may be about to happen, remarkably little develops. That said, it’s well put together and tuneful, and with its relaxed feel and consistently low intensity bass line, 'Morning Mountain' is a step away from making it onto a future ‘Ibiza Chillout’ mix. A solid track to recover to after a big night!
Elektropusher - Mood Gorning EP (Cheaper Thrills)
The Mood Gorning EP is what can only be described as an odyssey into the world of experimental bass music. Perhaps most effective when turned up monstrously loud, expect plenty of speaker-punishing bass synth combined with trippy, glitchy sound effects and distorted looped vocals. Pushing the boundaries in musical experimentalism, this is well worth tracking down.
Youngman - Who Knows (Digital Soundboy)
The original edit of 'Who Knows' represents a tidy example of the dance/pop crossover. Tight and tidy vocals from Youngman blend well with a deceptively deep bass line and light, trancy synth. If the world of mainstream dance isn’t your thing, the various remixes on the single take a step towards a more underground sound, introducing harder bass rhythms and increased tempo. Incorporating all of the above and a little more, the Drumsound & Bassline Smith remix is worth a listen and even has the potential to overshadow the original.
See you again soon!