Dirty Dancing: July 2012

Greetings electro lovers - and welcome back to Dirty Dancing! After last month’s foray into the more bizarre aspects of abstract dance, some of you will be relieved to hear that I have a much easier-to-digest selection of tunes for you this time around.

From the heady delights of Baio's 'Sunburn' to the party starting mixes from Kraak and Smaak's Mixed Feelings, there should be more than enough here to fill the gaps between the summer parties! Enjoy!

Single: Slugabed - Mountains Come Out Of The Sky (Ninja Tune)

Many of you will be familiar with the expertly produced electronic artistry of Slugabed, but for those that aren't, the album (released last month) might be a better place to start. 'Mountains Come Out Of The Sky' is included in the album, but I have included it in this month's DD for the wealth of masterful remixes that come with it.

The original track begins with an almost classical score, shortly launching itself into a deep, steady bass line. Slugabed's tracks are always filled with such a myriad of sounds that, although many lines are looped, the listener is compelled to hear the track out to the end. Of the four remixes available with the single, the Two People version is by far my favorite - a masterful reworking of a beautiful piece of music.

Mountains Come Out of the Sky (Lapalux Saturation Remix) [FREE DL!!] by SLUGABED

EP: Baio - Sunburn (GRECO-ROMAN)

Although each of the three tracks (+ one radio edit of 'Sunburn') are examples of almost flawless electro mastery, from the very start it's clear that this is something a bit special. The lightly melancholic keyboard/synth is blended seamlessly into upbeat bass rhythms whilst, every so often, the mournful, high pitched vocals complete the picture.

This should be the last track of the night, played at a no-less-than epic beach party, when everyone is too tired and intoxicated to stand. As the sun comes up and the party go-ers lie down, it should be Baio's Sunburn that completes the moment.

GREC023 - Baio 'Sunburn EP' by Greco-Roman

Artist Of the Month!

EP: Diplo - Express Yourself (Mad Decent)

From the underground garage leanings of 'Express Yourself' (feat. Nicky Da B) to the bass-laden dubstep-esque epic of 'Set it Off' (feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex), the sheer range and depth of Diplo's musical talent ensures that each piece is as different as the next. Crammed into six tracks are examples of drum and bass, garage, house, dubstep and many more, and whilst the differences are pronounced, they never feel disjointed and the EP works very well as a whole.

In particular check out 'Butters Theme' (my personal favourite) and 'Set it Off' for out-and-out dancefloor mayhem.

Set It Off feat Lazerdisk Party Sex by diplo

Album: Lorn - Ask the Dust (Ninja Tune)

You may remember Lorn's single 'Ghostss' making it to Artist of the Month status last month and to be honest, it would be easy to award the album the same. However, in light of how sought after my Artist of the Month status is (and given the prestige we all know goes with it!), it would be wrong to make things too easy for Lorn.

Nevertheless, the album is a spectacularly put together compilation of vaguely schizophrenic synth, manic depressive computer tones and bass lines that feel like someone is swinging a sledgehammer into your chest. Certainly not to everyone's taste, but to me that is part of the appeal; and for those of us who have seen the light (or should that be dark?), Ask the Dust is a rewarding and slightly disturbing listen.

Album: Jalapeno Funk - Volume 4 (Jalapeno Records)

Jalapeno Funk Vol. 4 is the type of album I could listen to for an entire night out. A compilation of the super funky, supplying all the growing dance connoisseur needs with tracks from the likes of Kraak and Smaak, DJ Moneyshot and Parker.

This may not be a put-your-hands-up dance epic, but throw Jalapeno Funk on wherever there are three or more people gathered together, and you got yourself a party!

Album: Room E - Penguin Child (Proper Songs)

Penguin Child is a light, pleasant listen with plenty of live instruments (or at least samples of live instruments) thrown in. Subtle leanings towards a slightly more abstract corner of the dance world lend the album an air of - if not mystery - then certain muted suspense, countered by the bass line's easy aesthetic. Each track is unique and the range of moods and methods of expressing them ensures continued interest throughout.

In particular check out 'Mainline to the Core' and (my personal favourite) the title track - 'Penguin Child'.

Penguin Child by Room E

Album: Kraak and Smaak - Mixed Feelings/Unmixed Feelings (Jalapeno Records)

Fluctuating between low down funk with more than a few erotic undertones, and stand up, in-your-face dance tracks, this is definitely an album to get hold of for the summer. There has been a lot of build up to Mixed Feelings, and I am glad to be able to say the album does not disappoint. 'Lets Go Back' is without a doubt the track of the album for me, and 'No More Crying' and 'Runnin' are also worthy of particular note.

Unmixed Feelings - the remixes and re-workings of CD1 - is just as energizing and fresh, with input from Gramaphonedzie and remixes from Lovebirds and Max Sedgely.

Single: Kid Noize - EISBAER (Polysound)

If Rammstein made an experimental debut in electronic music EISBAER may well be what they would arrive at: intense, German vocals over darkly pulsing dance synth and a driving wobble of bass.

Sounding a little like a German version of Roxy Music upgraded to an electro-digital age, I would love to see the effect this would have in a crowded club (at least in the UK!). The Richelle Remix is just as strange, with its pitch-raised vocals, deepened bass arrangement and ear piercing synth.

A genuinely interesting piece of music that is as captivating for its weirdness as it is oddly compelling to dance to.


Album: Grasscut - Unearth (Ninja Tune)

I have to admit that at first I had mixed feelings about Unearth. The sound is so unique and, in places, ethereally odd that it takes a bit of listening to get your head around it.

Once this is achieved, however, the album is a real pleasure. By turns relaxing and challenging to the senses, Grasscut takes us on a journey made up of trippy synth, low down ground-vibrating bass tones and heady live instrumentals, punctuated here and there by the occasional slightly intense vocal arrangement.

A close contender for Artist of the Month, Unearth is a triumph of its genre.

That’s all for this month folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed the (only slightly) more normal selection of music compared with last months madness! Don’t forget to drop in next time and, as always, look me up on twitter (@TDFDirtydancing) for any updates on gigs, shows or releases I may not have had the space to cover on DD.

Have a great month!

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