Dirty Dancing: January 2013

Hello and happy New Year! Hopefully you didn’t party too hard over the festive period (and if you did I hope you are suitably recovered) because we have a lot to get through! The inbox has been literally overflowing with news of new releases from all manner of artists, from the household names to the super-obscure. So take five, remove yourself from the world of Christmas credit card debt, New Year blues and icy conditions, and immerse yourself instead in some of the freshest, hand chosen electronica …

EP: Alex Barck – Re-Set feat. Pete Joseph (Reunion)

Introspective and with many of the traits of electronic minimalism, 'Re-Set' is a dreamily beautiful piece that creates a warm feeling somewhere right inside. The bass is not particularly deep, the synth virtually uni-tone in its simplicity and all the while the softly sung vocals with just a hint of underlying tension draw us ever deeper into the benevolent world of Alex Barck.

Alex Barck - 'Re-set' original version by Alex Barck

EP: Sleepy Time Ghost – Youthman Riddim (Unit 137)

For all of you who thought dub was dead, Sleepy Time Ghost has proved you wrong with effortless class. Blending Rastafarian rhythms and feel with melancholy bass tones, Youthman Riddim gets off to a strong start with 'Rule Your Destiny' – the upbeat 'Bad Days Are Gone' following closely in the same vein.

For me the track of the EP has to be the super deep 'Youthman Dub', with sounds that are undetectable by all but the most sensitive of systems. Superbly produced and presented, Youthman Riddim is a genuine joy.

Sleepy Time Ghost feat. Lionpulse - Bad Days Are Gone [Preview] (Forthcoming - Unit 137) by Sleepy Time Ghost (S.T.G)

Single: NICKEL – ZYGZM (Police Records)

Solid, heavy and with a bass line you don’t need ears to detect, I have no idea what 'ZYGZM' means but whatever it is I like it! Building quickly from old school techno-esque beginnings, the skin-tingling bass line takes a break mid-way to allow warped, buzz-synth and distorted vocals to the forefront.

The already stand–out track has been re-worked by Jean Nippon and Remute with equally spectacular results, and the b-side ('Transition') is no less spectacular, incorporating a little more Ibiza-style euphoria.

EP: Moire – Never Sleep (WERKDISCS/Ninja Tune)

One for the insomniacs, the Never Sleep EP captures effortlessly the exact feel of around three in the morning, staring vacantly at the ceiling waiting for sleep to come. Part meditative ethereality, part waking nightmare, the room-vibrating bass lines and introspective mentality ensure that the listener is neither bored nor left undisturbed by the sheer strength of Never Sleep’s character.

Single: Fake Blood – All in the Blink (Different Recordings/PIAS)

Bassy and outgoing, 'All in the Blink' verges on high class pop taking a brief detour into retro dance. The upbeat drum lines never reach ear shattering levels of intensity but compliment the vocals and dance floor synth which carries the track. Fake Blood have done a good job of preserving their signature sound - ensuring that 'All in the Blink' stays true to the feel of their recent album - but at the same time have managed to inject a healthy dose of originality into their latest offering.

Album: Noir in The House (Defected)

Two and a half hours of fresh, classily produced house? Yes please! Suitable care and attention to detail ensures that each track is as engaging and unique as it is bass filled and entertaining so, despite the sheer volume of music, the listener is never bored. I’ll admit to thoroughly enjoying Noir in the House, despite my love/hate relationship with the genre!

Single: Kris Menace feat. UNAI – Lone Runner (Compuphonic)

We’ve not seen much of Kris Menace since his last major release Electric Horizon. The critically acclaimed producer has not, however, been resting on his laurels and returns to the house scene with this understated, underrated slice of euphoria. House music has always been a difficult genre to carve a unique niche in, but tracks like this highlight just why Kris Menace has remained at the top of his game. Possibly not a track for the home Hi/Fi, but if you are lucky enough to come across this in a club, put down your drink and get on the floor.

Artist of the Month

EP: Nick Curly – Piano in the Dark (Defected)

Sublime house/dance with a funky kick but a slightly reserved edge, Piano in the Dark is a real pleasure. However, for me it is slightly overshadowed by 'Wrong Hands' (track 2), which is as far as I am concerned, a shining example of how to produce dance music.

Almost flawless in its arrangement, the put-your-hands-up moments are toned down somewhat and thoughtfully put together, giving the track a slightly privileged feel, as if it is above pandering to the throwaway club track genre. This EP gives me goose bumps and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Pester your local DJ until he plays this!

That’s all for this month folks. I hope the selection has been to your liking, maybe you’ve even learned of a few new artists. Feel free to drop me a line @TDFDirtyDancing where I will do my best to wade through the mountains of fan mail and get back to you as soon possible! Apart from that, have a great month!

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