Dirty Dancing: June 2012
Hello again! I hope you've spent the last month living it up and flying the dance flag, because now it’s time to get back down to business. New for June’s edition of Dirty Dancing is my ‘Artist of the Month’ feature. Basically if you’re a bit skint and can only afford a limited amount of music, or if you’re just plain indecisive, this should point you in the right direction!
Gracing my inbox this month are the likes of Star One, Moonbootica and the darkly bizarre Lorn. Not heard of any of them? Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy...
Album: Moonbootica - Our Disco is Louder Than Yours (Cheap Thrills)
There's more than enough here to keep even the most demanding of listeners entertained, with driving, euphoric synth and equally energised bass lines. Following in much the same vein as the single 'Iconic' (reviewed last month, try and keep up...), Our Disco is Louder Than Yours delivers an epic, party-starting experience.
Tracks of particular note include 'I'm on Vacation', which features Redman on top form and '25th Century Man' - my personal favourite.
Single: Lorn - Ghosst(s) (Ninja Tune)
Ninja Tune are perhaps known for showcasing artists from the weirder end of the dance spectrum, and Lorn is no exception. An exploration into shady, twisted noise minimalism and haunted vocals are blurred into brutal, tragic bass lines. Light synth of a softer nature occasionally lighten the overall feeling of unease, but ultimately 'Ghosst(s)' is an unsettling, malice laden masterpiece - a tide of bass carrying all before it.
Picked for its gritty, turbulent feel and incredibly dark atmosphere, in my humble opinion Lorn is the one thing you absolutely have to track down this month.
Lorn - 'Ghosst(s)' by Ninja Tune
Single: Star One Feat. Sarah Lillie - Respect (Carrot Records)
From the dark and bizarre to the upbeat and funky, we come to 'Respect' - a single worthy of some special attention. Think Gramaphonedzie's 'Why Don't You' with a garage twist, heavy on the jazz influences and with a subtle bounce on the bass line. Included with the single is 'Swag' - a slightly more conventional (but no less exciting) dance piece.
'Respect' has been well and truly worked over by some of the remix masters; go for the Star One remix if you like it heavy and loud, or the Kee & Bad Osiris version for a complely different take. Effortlessly sexy and laden with pure electronic class from start to finish.
Star One - Respect (Harry Wolfman Remix) by StarOneUK
Single: Grasscut - Pieces (Ninja Tune)
With its slightly warped vocals and stuttering synth, overlaid with something that sounds like it was once a violin, 'Pieces' provides plenty of distractions to capture the imagination throughout.
Largely upbeat, but with a definite feel of underlying nostalgia, it would be a tough track to dance to, but is ultimately completely involving and plenty intriguing enough to hold the listener's interest when many similar tracks would become a little boring.
EP: Dobie - Nothing to Fear (Big Dada)
Darkly tribal but tinged with technological bleeps and a liberal dose of bass synth and live drum lines, the Nothing to Fear EP is a brilliantly crafted, intelligently presented piece of dance artistry. Its strength lies primarily in its sheer range and variety of rhythms, and, despite the forbidding undertones, 'Nothing to Fear' is almost guaranteed to get people moving.
EP: Stefan Obermaier - Bagana (Drift Recordings)
For your house fix this month, look no further. I have a (perhaps misplaced) tendency to treat dance tracks from the continent with a measure of distrust, but in this case my misgivings are completely unfounded. Smooth, heady club tracks destined for big things, but for now, a pure joy to listen to.
Engaging without being pretentious, there’s no in-your-face-look-at-me synth hooks here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your hands up and completely lose it when this comes over the speakers.
Single: Deco Child - S+G (Ninja Tune)
I think we all know by now my feelings on ambient sounds and their place in the dance world, so it took 'S+G' some time to grow on me. Strange clicks and sighs, to name but a few noises, abound in this vaguely psychedelic journey into the abstract netherworld of Deco Child.
A smooth, introspective bass line adds significant depth, whilst spaced out vocals and tuneful synth help hold the whole thing together. Altogether a pleasant listen, but you’ll need a finely tuned ear (or a lot of time on your hands, like me...) to truly appreciate what’s really going on.
S&G by Deco Child
Single: Sebastian Ingrosso - Calling (Lose My Mind) (Mercury Records)
From the backwaters of abstract electro we take a step firmly towards mainstream dance. 'Calling' wastes no time trying to be something it’s not and launches us instead straight into an upbeat, future dance hit.
Expertly put together by people who know exactly what a packed club needs, expect big things when the echoing vocals of 'Calling' start to play.
EP: Disclosure - The Face (Greco-Roman)
Smooth, sexy bass lines back slightly warped, seductive female vocals and a vast range of random notes, noises and live drum rhythms. Haunting and epic by turns, there’s a lot to take in and the unhurried, supercool tempo makes it easy to do so.
A masterfully put together EP with plenty of hidden depth. More of the same would be happily received...
That’s all for this month folks. Hope you’ve managed to cope with the slightly higher levels of abstract music this time, and possibly even learned a bit along the way! Have a great month, and don’t forget to drop me a line if you have any thoughts/comments/etc. If you get really bored, I’m also on Twitter where I will be attempting to keep you posted on any interesting dance related happenings. Take it easy!