A roundup of hot new electro, house, trap, and drum & bass dance tracks for the week
Bassjackers - Like That - [Smash the House]
The violins in the intro are just a hint of the gorgeous instrumentation. The seductive, yet subtle beat gradually comes in as the lyrics starts with the most eloquent lines about ephemeral romantic love. Not. This is the Bassjackers and you pretty know what it's going to sound like big room beats with grinding electro. The extended build leads to the sampled vocal phrase "Drop It Like That," a cartoon voice and then a massively huge drop that will make ragers jump up and down. No, its not anything revolutionary that you haven't heard before but its done quite well and will work on any big room floor or festival. Massive support at Tomorrowland doesn't come as a surprise though this being their first solo release of 2014 is.
Motez - Own Up - [Sweat It Out]
Househeads are already big on the Motez train. The Aussie producer blends classic garage and disco house beats together with a touch of modern electro for a vibe which is current and retro at the same time. "Own Up" starts out like a Timbaland-inspired '90s R&B pop record before the transition into full on two-step. As the song builds, it gradually goes into a more traditional house groove while keeping all the other elements in the mix. On first listen, it feels familiar yet fresh and different as well. The remix package is exceptional with all of the mixes keeping the vibe of the original and adding the flavor of the remixers (Mo Di, Ben Pearce, AC Slater, Silversix, and Treasure Fingers). While you're exploring his sound cloud, check out his Promise Me EP with the speed-garage inflected "Bodyrock" and the groovy piano house (and Ashanti-sampling) title track.
Dillon Francis & Sultan & Ned Shepard ft Chain Gang of 1974 - When We Were Young - [Columbia]
What do you get when you mix indie pop, moombah, and progressive house together? "When We Were Young" is the result of an inspired collaboration of Dillon Francis, Sultan & Ned Shepard, and Chain Gang of 1974. Inspired because the guys all come from different worlds and have distinct and unique sounds, but by working together each adds their voice, which perfectly blends with the others. The topline vocal is all Chain Gang and sounds like it was created around the time he was doing "Sleepwalking," which isn't a bad thing. You can hear the pretty progressive sound which Sultan & Shepard brings as it's punctuated by the harder, almost staccato broken beats from Dillon Francis. The elements combine into something that is greater than sum of its parts and it comes as no surprise that the major label Columbia records has picked it up from Mad Decent for distribution.
Netsky ft Beth Ditto - Running Low [Ultra]
When I first heard Sigma and Paloma Faith's "Changin" collab, "Running Low"; came to mind. Pairing the powerful singer of The Gossip Beth Ditto with drum and bass producer Netsky is a brilliant idea. The extreme range of her vocals match the peaks and valleys of the track - soft, emotional, and soulful for the slower parts contrasting with her powerful wailing when the beats explode. It's easy to image Beth nailing the vocals for any kind of aggressive electronic music - be it trap, chainsaw, or dubstep. The remixes are quite diverse with Todd Edwards modernizing his classic garage sound, Fred V & Grafix embracing old school jump-up drum and bass, and Wookie going totally leftfield with a deep and techy, electro-progressive dub.
Vato Gonzalez & Lady Bee ft Murda - We Be Like - [Dirty House]
Vato takes a break from the Riddim series (see Monkey Riddim here) for a collab with MC turned DJ/Producer Lady Bee. "We Be Like" starts off as a pretty aggressive trap record and transitions into DVBBS-styled big room electro, then proceeds to shift vibes back and forth pretty effortlessly between those sounds. Tying the sounds together is the rap by Murda, whose flow alternates between tight staccato and smoothed-out. For DJs, this is a perfect track to use to segue between trap and electro tracks while keeping the floor solid. While Murda does sound great on the track, imagine how cool it would be if Lady Bee sang lines from her classic "Shut Up & Let It Go" on top of the instrumental during her live sets.