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White Noise: Dance and Electronic Roundup September – The Past

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dance and Electronic Roundup September – The Past

I’ve been away and moving to Paris so I’ve been neglecting the blog recently, but there have been all sorts of fantastic tunes coming out over summer and I’ve put together my highlights for all you guys here in a handy little playlist. It’s so big that I thought it’d be better in two parts; these are the best tunes I've been hearing from earlier in the year.

Download the whole playlist in mp3 format here.

Julio Bashmore – Battle For Middle You

Bashmore seems to be always on-point, whether in his remixes, co-productions or solo work, and his Everybody Needs A Theme Tune EP earlier this year proved he’s a force to be reckoned with. This is the standout of the EP, with a slow-build beat and wobbling synth giving way to a shady, bassy groove. I challenge anyone not to love it.

Hackman – Close

Now we’re going back in time somewhat to some tracks I never got a chance to mention on here. First up is undoubtedly a frontrunner in my favourite tracks of the year, Hackman’s tropical take on dubstep gives way to a deep groove and a genuinely heart-wrenching vocal sample. A track that is well-crafted and guaranteed to get people dancing, all while having a sincere emotional effect on the listener is a rare and wonderful thing.

Blawan – Getting Me Down

I know this is a very late nod to such a wonderful track, and Blawan’s new release should really be the focus of attention, but I couldn’t let the year pass without sharing this with whoever hasn’t yet heard it. A simple and rich beat is fused with some of the straight-up best vocal sampling I’ve ever heard, chopped and screwed whilst holding onto one of the best hooks of the year. You’ll find yourself attempting to sing this long after it’s over.

Sully – 2 Hearts

Although not released as a single, the second cut from Sully’s new Carrier LP easily deserves a 12” to itself. Sully continues where he left off on his last single The Loot, mining the darkest corners of 2-step with creeping synths, garage sounds and a frightened sampled scream that will stay in your head long after the track is over.

Koreless – MTI

Heading back to lighter pastures with one of my favourite discoveries of the summer, Glasgow’s young bass master Koreless. The subtlety and attention to his details in his tracks makes almost every one a winner for me, and it was hard to choose this B-side over the great single 4D that the 12” comes with, but this is the winner for me. A hiss-laden ambient wash introduces the track over a beautiful sample and ubiquitous bassy bleeps. Koreless shows himself a master of the micro-edit in how the vocal sample is laced through the track, bringing his trademark smoothness to the potentially rough business of cutting up vocals so fine.

Juk Juk – Winter Turn Spring

This newcomer on Four Tet’s Text label came out of nowhere to produce one of the best tracks this August. Backmasked vocals cast a ghostly shadow over the clean and punchy beat, the softness of which is later undermined by a dark dubby snarl. All the layers comes together to create a track that is subtly and beautifully edited as well as sounding genuinely unique.

Omar S – Solely Supported

The first track from Omar S’ great recent LP, this is also one of the best. Throwback sounds are put back together in new ways, creating a simple but great track that’ll carve a sinuous groove to your ears.

Prison Garde – L’Automne

Canada is just on fire at the moment. Prison Garde gave away a free LP, Systeme Hermes, that I didn’t have time to review over the summer, but for anyone who hasn’t heard it this track should persuade you. His focus on simple and clean retro synths, married to sliding percussion and a keen sense of timing and restraint works impressively on this track, presumably instincts born from so many years at the front of Canada’s club scene.

Willy Joy – A Woman Like Me (Dillon Francis Remix)

A classic slice of the odd subgenre moombahton that’s been emerging for some time, this is a straight-up slice of dancefloor fodder, combining a crazy-forceful beat with a clean vocal sample and a really nice groove.

Lukid – Dragon Stout

(This track isn't on youtube, but the mp3 is included on the playlist downloadable above)

This is definitely where things get a little strange. Lukid’s woozy output is enough to make anyone outside the constrains of sobriety a little seasick at the least, and on his most recent Spitting Bile EP he continues to make some of the weirdest dance music out there with flare. Discordant digital synths crunch together into a stuttering beat accompanied by a rich soundfield of really bizarre sounds. This track may not be for everyone, but I’m loving it and you definitely can’t say there’s anything else out there like this.

Jam City – Barely A Trak

Although no recent Night Slugs activity means I don’t have anything new to share (I’m sure we’re all excited about L-Vis 1990s debut though, right), but I want to give a nod to Jam City’s bizarre and wonderful construction from the Waterworx EP. As the title states, there’s so little here that this is hardly a song, but its sparse components somehow manage to pull it off. The vocal line sounds suitably strange in a soundfield of loping beats and rising synthy oddness, before traffic and pedestrian noise engulfs the whole lot briefly. Has to be heard to be believed.

Jason Fine - Jack Yo Bodda (Feat AOS)

This track almost sounds like it came out ten years ago, but it’s yet further proof that our dance ancestors got it so right. A simple 4/4 underlies a great vocal sample and brilliantly woozy synthlines, creating a simple but punchy dance tune that could get anyone moving.

4UCKY – 1984 (I Want More)

I don’t really know anything about this guy, but I’ve definitely had this song on a lot over the summer. As the title indicates, it’s pure 80s throwback, with a driving beat and cheap bell sounds propelling sleazy vocals across the track. Then it all breaks down into a crunchy untreated synthline and, well, I just can’t really get enough.

Synkro & Indigo – Guidance

If that last track was moving away from dance genres, this track almost goes further. Drum and Bass is really not my thing, but Exit Records really put out a winner on this 12”. The cinematic and relaxed groove of liquid DnB can do things the straighter tracks can't achieve. Half-rooted in atmospheric ambient, a sharp beat skitters across the surface of this track and creates a dreamy, epic sound that goes down a treat. If you like this, the B-side Reflections is equally great.

Tycho – Hours

Last call here goes to my favourite ambient beatsmith on the scene, Tycho, who has a very exciting new album due out soon. Past is Prologue was the very definition of a grower, and the first track from his new album Dive sounds like exactly what the doctor ordered; more of the same unique sound, but a little pacier, a little more refined. Let it take you away.

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At 5 October 2011 at 08:59 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

fabulous as always Tom!


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