Dirty Dancing: September 2013

Hello again dance fanatics! If, like me, you’re feeling a little depressed to witness what seems to be the end of summer, then you could do a lot worse than join us for this month's eclectic journey into the world of modern electronica. In the spirit of keeping things fresh I’ve added plenty of new faces this time, which hopefully should keep your minds firmly on the dance floor - and away from the fact that we now appear to be descending into autumn.

Prepare yourselves for all the dance, techno and dubstep you can handle! Turn up the bass, and enjoy…

EP: Digitalism – Lift (Kitsune)

A clubland classic in the making if ever I heard one! Crank this up on something powerful; add some lasers and dry ice and you’ve got yourself a night to remember. 'Lift' gets things started, diving straight in with the heavy bass and synth and leaving little room for everything else. 'Dudalism' makes a token attempt at calming things down a little with some jazzy synth work before the aptly named 'Electric Fist' takes the volume back up to 10 with plenty of put-your-hands-up moments. We live for those!

Album: Dreadzone – Escapades (Dubwiser Records)

Already a big fan of Dreadzone, my opinion may be a little biased here. With a definite modern dance feel, Escapades is a step further away from the tribal roots of Biological Radio, having more in common with later works such as the sublime Second Light. Beautifully produced and with masterful attention to detail, the tracks range from the deep and serene to inspiring and energy filled such as 'Fire in the Dark'.

Fans of the group will certainly not be disappointed, as Escapades represents a different yet exciting new chapter in Dreadzone’s story.

Artist of the Month

EP: Djedjotronic – Abyssal Zone (Gesaffelstein / ZONE Records)

With plenty of hidden energy, and bass lines set to cause mild hearing damage, Abyssal Zone is one of those ‘secret’ EPs you come across one day and wonder why you haven’t heard it before.

Sitting somewhere between techno, deep house and an end-of-the-world soundtrack, it’s a little hard to classify but immensely satisfying to listen to. It’s sometimes hard to be creative with just a few sounds, but Djedjotronic has found ways of utilising each effect to its maximum potential and created a pretty rewarding experience.

EP: Various Artists – The Flavours EP vol. 6 (Playaz Recording)

No, you may not have heard of many artists featured here, and yes, some of it is quite weird. That doesn’t stop The Flavours EP from being something you should be adding to your late–night playlist.

Drum and bass epics such as 'Reckless' and 'She’s Heaven' frequently rear their heads, whilst dubstep/jungle hybrids such as 'Lift it Up' also put in an appearance for those of you with heavier tastes. Or perhaps you could just skip straight to 'Magic Medicine', have a few shots and go absolutely mental… Just saying!

EP: GotSome – Bassline EP (Defected)

Nothing conjures up memories of a good night out like a decent bit of house music, and whilst the rest of us may be winding down from a summer of hard partying, for Gotsome and the guys at Defected, the party appears to still be in full swing.

Whether you’re after an orgy of nostalgia, or a vodka and Red Bull fuelled all-nighter somewhere big and noisy, the Bassline EP is gonna help you on your way.

EP: Sergic – Jedi EP: Remixes (Tumble Audio)

One for the Star Wars fans (or is it Star Trek? Always get those mixed up…), Jedi begins with plenty of science fiction-esque sound effects, replacing traditional synth patterns with the sort of noises you might hear if you happened to be orbiting something large a very, very long way away whilst listening to something that has a similar tempo to dubstep.

A fairly dark feel is offset by the film references, and I’m sure true fans will pick out many more noises and dialogue samples than I could ever hope to.

Single: Sub Focus – Turn it Around feat. Kele (Mercury)

Sub Focus teams up with Kele (from Bloc Party) for this one, and, to be honest, I was a little disappointed. Of course you would expect – and hope – that a collaboration between two artists would feature aspects and influences from both, but here we seem to be getting 99% Bloc Party with a fairly tame bass line thrown in.

That might be acceptable from lesser producers, but this is the man who gave us TimeWarp, ruined our hearing with Rock It and ensured entire nightclubs had goosebumps with Let the Story Begin! Hopefully the album – released later this year – will be a different story.

Album: The Gym Records – Muscle Tuff Compilation (The GYM)

I don’t know how many gym freaks out there read this column, but if you fit the bill you might want to get hold of Muscle Tuff. Gym Records got hold of nine artists and asked them to each produce their idea of a workout track. The result is an eclectic and, at times, energising mix that is as good for dancing to late at night as it is for loading up a barbell and blasting out that last set (Yeah. Can you tell I went to the gym once?)

Single: Vin Sol – Space Relations (Tenth Circle)

Deep and mellow, 'Space Relations' builds from unpretentious house–style beginnings and yet produces a sound that easily fills the room. B-side 'Loose Pulse' is a little more drum and bassy but no less effective and with the same warm feel. Well worth looking up and Vin Sol is definitely one to keep eye on over the coming months.

Single: Hegenaar and Albrecht feat Sarah McLeod – Love is Hell (Bedtime Records)

Really, really like this. Beginning as electro pop and ending up lost somewhere in the dance spectrum, there’s a great deal of energy and intensity provided by the female vocals and the synth work is guaranteed to get people moving. There are 4 remixes provided with the single, with Continuum’s version being a favourite of mine. A fiercely independent, vibrant in-your-face gem of a track.

EP: D-R-U-N-K and Distrakt – High Speed EP (Green Fetish Records)

Acidic, pulsating techno with a driving tempo and stacks of bass, the High Speed EP is exactly that and takes no prisoners along the way. Playing any part of this in a regular nightclub will have people fleeing, screaming from all exits. If mass panic and possibly hearing damage is your thing, you could do a lot worse than track down a slightly more underground club and suggest the High Speed EP is given a run.

Quick fixes:

EP: Copyright – Cross My Heart (Defected)

Light, bouncy and uplifting, a much needed boost for flagging party spirits. Soulful vocals and a catchy synth arrangement allow for excellent dance potential!

Single: Wilkinson – Afterglow (RAM)

Smooth, sexy D&B made for big systems and late nights. Heavy and triumphant by turns.

Single: H.O.S.H – H.O.S.H presents Forever Young Part 3(Maouris)

Beautiful in its simplicity and surprisingly engaging, expect the unexpected with plenty of lively synth work and feeling.

Single: Kraak and Smaak – Good for the City (Jalapeno)

More from the well-known funk masters and one of my favourite Kraak and Smaak tracks to date.

That’s all for this month folks. All comments and requests can be delivered to me via the Dirty Dancing Twitter page and as always keep an eye out for our partner feature Dirty Talk where we’ll be getting down and dirty with some of our featured artists to find out what makes them tick. Until next time, don’t stay in!

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