Dirty Dancing: July 2013

Hello and welcome back to this month’s Dirty Dancing! After another month perusing the inbox we have selected, once again, the very best in electronic releases for your listening pleasure. Gracing your ears (and screens) this time around are offerings from the likes of Emika, a bass–epic from Hamilton and all manner of futuristic ideas from Sagat. Enjoy!

EP: Sagat – Satellite (Vlek Records)

I’m not sure if NASA fitted the Mars Rover with a top spec sound system but if they did, Satellite would undoubtedly be on the playlist. Pulsating synth and deep ambient noises instantly conjure up images of deep space, whilst mellowed bass lines vibrate through the entire EP.

If trundling across a hostile alien world millions of miles from home just isn’t your thing, you could always opt instead for a decent set of headphones and a free Sunday afternoon in the armchair of your choosing.

Album: Various Artists – 10 (AtomNation)

Providing pretty much what it says on the tin, 10 represents ten of best tracks from the AtomNation label. Expect plenty of talent and bucket loads of variety throughout. The tracks are mellow, yet capture the imagination and, though fairly chilled, contain enough innovation and experimentation to be vastly entertaining.

Top tracks for me were Applescal’s remix of 'Flower Setup' and David Douglas’ 'Follow the Sun'.

Single: Emika – Centuries (Ninja Tune)

Somewhere between dance and pop, 'Centuries' has a certain underlying intensity brought about by slightly haunting female vocals and synth tracks that sound like something out of a 1980s police drama.

B-side 'After the Fall' tones things down a little, with a much more melancholy air and simple yet delicate drum lines and live instrumentation. Thoroughly enjoyable, I liked it not so much for its dance floor compatibility but rather the individualism that is apparent throughout and the obvious care that has gone into the production.

EP: Hamilton – Schema EP (RAM Records)

We promised you bass, and here it is! Big, shiny, driving, in-your-face (yet intelligently crafted) drum and bass ready to be served up in a nightclub of your choice. The kind of music you want to put your hands up to and deserving of maximum volume on whatever system it is played on.

Hamilton has resisted the current trend for plastering dub step noises onto everything that moves and has instead focused on producing solid, varied drum lines and intelligent synth accompaniments. From the future club classic 'The Way I Feel' to the monster that is 'Overdrive', Schema is a massively entertaining ride.

Album: OMGITM and Police Records – Oh My God It’s Techno Music! (Police Records)

With more than a nod to the rave generation, OMGITM ladles on the old-school synth and provides a driving bass line to carry it all along. Sound effects come in all shapes and sizes – from looped, distorted guitar samples to growly German vocals and computer noises. There’s a huge variety of artists and many of the tracks are exclusive to the album (the remainder being a selection from the Police Records label). Possibly a little close to euro-dance for my delicate tastes, but it’s hard to deny that there’s definitely something here that makes you want to get up and party. Which can only be a good thing!

Single: Dennis Ferrer feat. Janelle Kroll – Mind Your Step (Defected)

Loving this at the moment. Classy house that instantly puts you in the party mood, with a suitably heavy bass line and catchy vocals. A solid synth hook ensures plenty of interest and compliments the female vocals. Released in the run up to so many big festivals, this has sound of summer written all over it.

EP: Killjoy – Memories EP (Tumble Audio)

Grimy, gravelly and loud, Memories may make you nod your head in time to its slightly aggressive bass line, but it leaves you feeling a little bit dirty inside. There’s plenty of variety here and the intensity is sustained throughout, making it a must for those of you who like getting down and dirty on a late night out in those low-lit clubs that your mum said you shouldn't be going to.

A stand–out piece for both innovation and for punishing speaker systems, if you’re a grime or garage DJ looking to do some damage this summer then I’d strongly recommend adding Memories to your arsenal.

Single: Cadien – A Million Little Pieces (Jalapeno Records)

If you’re making a debut single, you’ve got to do it in style. You will, of course be judged solely on this one track and it will then be used as a benchmark for all future offerings. Cadien has done an admirable job of raising the bar in dance music with this dance/breakbeat crossover track, heavy on the bass and with so much happening from one second to the next that it’s often hard to keep up. Funky and upbeat from the word go, it’s a highly enjoyable experience that should guarantee plenty of future interest.

Artist of the Month

Album: Yonderboi – Passive Control (Yonderland)

Part electro-pop phenomenon, mind altering audio-trip, think Enigma with lots of live instrumentation and less of the weird chanting. This rather loose comparison does very little in the way of describing Passive Control, and really the only way to experience it properly is to sit down with a free hour or so and give it your full, undivided attention. I loved it.

It doesn't tick a great many of the clubbing or dance scene boxes, but for shameless individualism and the sheer scope of ideas, it has few equals.

Quick Fixes:

Single: Daze – S.O.L.A.R (Brigade Mondaine) Old school synth with an upbeat feel. Effortlessly cool and catchy.

Single: Miguel Migs feat. Lisa Shaw – Heartbeat (Defected) Mellow house with a definite upbeat feel. Three remixes included for added value.

EP: Affelaye – Maybe There (Bad Taste Records) Haunting, trippy post-dubstep. Think Burial and you're part way there.

Single: Shaun Reeves – CDV (Hatchwork) Chilled out and a little melancholy but well worth checking out, particularly if you have a system able to make use of the subtle bass lines used here.

EP: Gridlok & Prolix – Membrane/Babylon (Ram Records) Stomach-churning bass epics that should be sold with health warnings!

That’s all for this month folks! As always if you like what you see and hear feel free to drop me a line @TFDirtyDancing. It’s been an absolute pleasure putting July’s column together and I hope you get as much enjoyment out of discovering some new talent as I have. Don’t forget to check out Dirty Dancing’s little brother Dirty Talk to get inside the heads of some of our favorite artists.

See you next month!

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