Dirty Dancing: March 2012

Hello electro fans! Once again the Dirty Dancing inbox has been overflowing with new releases and exciting remixes which have kept me pretty busy selecting the best tunes to showcase here for you beautiful people.

It’s a bit of an eclectic mix this month, with tracks and albums ranging from the overseas house scene through to refined dubstep and even a little mainstream trance thrown in to balance things out!

Without further ado, let’s get started…

Album: Akira Keteshi - Industrial Avenue (Afterglo)

OK, we all know what dubstep sounds like. In fact, many of us are tired of hearing what dubstep sounds like. Much like the advent of drum and bass, dubstep has been mixed, edited and remixed into just about every genre of music going, and to tell the truth, it's getting a little old. But that's alright, because now is time for artists to begin refining their sound in order to stand out - and that's exactly what Edinburgh's Tommy Forrest aka Akira Keteshi has achieved here.

Although the super heavy, speaker-punishing drops and dubstep time signatures are still present, Industrial Avenue has plenty more to discover along the way. Expect glitchy drum synth overlaid with plenty of electric sound effects and in-your-face bass lines in what will hopefully be a wakeup call to dubstep producers worldwide.

Akira Kiteshi - Teraohm by Your Army

Single: Karin Park – Fringies (State Of The Eye Recordings)

Karin Park’s unrelentingly soulful vocals make 'Fringies' a raw, powerful piece. Building from a single reverberating drum sequence, it doesn’t take long for the unrefined, slightly gravelly synth to kick in to provide the perfect backdrop for Karin’s voice. Incorporating more than a little indie rock influence and a touch of old school disco, this is something of an epic from the start.

No less spectacular are the included remixes (by Moullinex and Funtcase respectively), with one providing a slightly softer edit and the other taking a much harder, dubstep style approach.

Album: Mighty Mouse – Disco Circus Volume 3 (Cheap Thrills)

An eclectic journey into the world of modern, funky electronica, Disco Circus vol. 3 brings together some of the coolest sounds available to create a colourful, slightly tropical experience. Enjoy plenty of live instrumentation mixed with unconventional synth and a drum line to match, with nice dollops of old-school disco influence.

Sounding perhaps like a souped-up version of something Quantic Soul or Jelly Jazz might produce, if modernised disco jazz/funk is your thing you could do a lot worse than pay a visit to this cruelty-free circus!

Album: Various - Hed Kandi's Twisted Disco (Hed Kandi)

Venturing out of the world of underground electro and into the realm of mainstream trance, one is pleasantly surprised. Although by no means as 'dark' as the packaging would have you believe, Twisted Disco is certainly a little edgier than a lot of similar albums of the same genre. Anything stamped with something as established as the Hed Kandi brand can be relied upon to deliver and TD is no exception. Plenty of fresh ideas keep the mixes interesting throughout, whilst the tracklisting (including the likes of Patrick Hagenaar and Tommy Trash) is diverse enough to attract a wide variety of clubbers.

Album: Herve - Pick Me Up, Sort Me Out, Calm Me Down (Cheap Thrills)

Another impressive work from the Cheap Thrills label, Herve's debut solo album is an impressive, genre-defying mix of electro pop and deep, dirty, dubstep -inspired dance. One moment bathing the listener in serene violin tones or light-hearted female vocals, the next bulldozing tortured electronic noises out by the bucket load, the real genius here lies in the ability to bring these sounds together and marry them together in album form.

Although each track is vastly different to the one before and after, Herve's signature sound runs through each and adds the continuity which helps to bring the album together. We liked the 'Better Than A BMX' single back in January and the albums fulfills all that initial promise.

Single: Jean Claude Ades – We Are All Dancing (Swings)

Bassy and euphoric - and possibly with a slight nod to Roxy Music’s ‘Dance Away’ - 'We Are All Dancing' is a welcome addition to the 2012 house scene. Although the bass line and backing synth are fairly simple in arrangement and delivery, they are instantly memorable and effortlessly enhance the already slightly intense vocals.

Single: Etienne De Crecy - Am I Wrong (Pixadelic)

An upbeat, classic house anthem lifted from the vaults from an old hand in the music production game. As such, 'Am I Wrong' is a must for any fan of the genre. Plenty of flowing synth and vocals overlay a light bass rhythm to create a deceptively euphoric piece.

The new remixes included with the single are by no means lacking in talent or ideas, although in particular the Felix Cartal take is well worth a listen - incorporating a much heavier bass line and slightly more clear cut synth.

Jagga feat. Devlin - Keep On The Light (TMS)

Although softened at the start by Jagga’s sublime vocals, there is plenty of underlying depth to 'Keep On The Light', while the grumbling bass line and pulsing synth is not out to take prisoners. Present throughout is the deep, grimy sound reminiscent of much of Devlin’s earlier work and once again his effortlessly professional vocal style does not disappoint.

Sounding a little like a concoction of early Freestylers tracks, 'Keep On The Light' draws inspiration from a variety of genres to produce a heavy, well thought out club anthem - and whilst grimy, urban style tracks such as this aren't always my thing, I'd be more than happy to hear plenty more from Jagga.

Single: The Busy Twist - Floor Excitement EP (Outpost)

‘It’s all about good vibes’ as we are told by Jah Mirikle shortly before we are launched full speed into the best South African 2-step house has to offer. And he’s not wrong. Bridging the gap between African and British music and including elements from both, 'Floor Excitement' is an uplifting, funky journey into Afro/London’s raw house heart. Bongos, power synth and strong tribal influences are all present plus much more.

A fantastic listen, impossible not to dance to and effortlessly cool, the talent involved in production and the scale of effort and inspiration is immense for such a compact work.

Single: Slugabed - SEX (Ninja Tune)

As the name rather un-subtly suggests, 'SEX' is a heady journey into the world of forbidden pleasure. Expect low down, dirty symphonies backed up by ponderous moogy nods and the occasional climatic burst of high pitched electronica. 'SEX' leads straight into 'Molecules' - an equally extravagant arrangement with the same fascinating results.

The remixes do the track more than justice and do a good job of keeping some of the finer elements of the original intact. A guilty, intensely satisfying piece of electronic erotica!

Single: YPPAH - Film Burn (Ninja Tune)

Tuneful and chilled, 'Film Burn' echoes with innocent-sounding vocals and live instruments lightly mixed with slight, high synth and shadowy bass to create an ethereal listening experience. Although probably not one for the dance floor - or even for playing in public for that matter - it’s an introspective, personal experience best savored in the quiet of a bedroom or living room with the lights down. Oh, and its pronounced ‘Yippa’ (I knew you were wondering)…

That’s all this time folks. Thanks for dropping in and taking the time to read up on what’s big this month. As always, would love to hear from you; please feel free to comment below. Apart from that, we’re nearly in party season so I suggest you use the coming weeks to loosen up and get some practice in!


Phil @TDFDirtyDancing

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