CP Music For The Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of hot new electro, indiedance, house and experimental dance tracks for the week.
Royksopp & Robyn - Monument - [CHERRYTREE]
The opening track to R&R's staggering "Do It Again" EP makes a bold statement. The experimental track feels like the soundtrack to an independent film with its vignettes of singing, spacey airwaves that phase between speakers, and saxophone fugues. It feels like the sound effects reflect motion in the spatial universe which is brought into focus with the multidimensional music video by Director Max Vitali. While I may be the first to criticize persistent or crass commercial placements (see Benny Benassi "Let This Last Forever" for a particularly egregious example), "Monument" is a time when the sponsor funds a project that would never be possible without their help and elevates an artistic vision as if they are assuming the classical role of a patron of the arts. If you haven't listened to the whole 'Do It Again EP' yet, you are missing out on what is easily one of the year's best releases.
Man Without Country - Sweet Harmony - [LOST BALLOON]
Doing dance covers is commonplace in the dance music world, with some being artistic and inspired reworks and others crossing over and becoming commercially-successful pop, while most seem to be low-effort karaoke over whatever the current trendy sound is. Welsh experimental duo Man Without Country deliver the former with a sparse and mechanical, yet emotional and airy rework of the Beloved's early '90s club/MTV hit "Sweet Harmony." Oddly, the melding of ambient and industrial warmed by synths makes this new version sounds more like a '90s track than the original. It will be interesting to see if they go more in this direction for their forthcoming Maximum Entropy album.
Mako - Our Story - [ULTRA]
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if tyDi produced a song for Clean Bandit? Take a listen to "Our Story" by Mako and you've pretty much got it. Following up last year's hit "Beam," the duo of Logan Light and Alex Seaver make the the track even prettier with a softly building intro and switching genders on the vocalist. The main part of the track is the "progressive" house sound which is overly prevalent at the moment, but there is something about the almost "'70s concept album" instrumentation that makes it sound and feel really different. Remixes haven't made the rounds yet, but I can already imagine a sick drum and bass mix in the Sigma vibe really doing the song and story justice.
Indian Summer ft Ginger and the Ghost - Shiner - [SWEAT IT OUT]
It feels like the focus of electronic music is starting to move away from Europe and head down under. No, it's not all about Melbourne bounce. Indian Summer, the duo of Gabe Gleeson and Chevy Long, slow things down for a 90 BPM chilled-out thumper with electro synths and a hint of evil reverb-ed bass on the backbeat. The vocalist sounds like the offspring of Lana del Rey and Paloma Faith, and her voice is both supported and contrasted with eerie, almost haunted background notes floating and coming into focus. This might be considered edgy chillout or morning music, while there is enough of a haunting nature to give it a unique feel.
Chris Willis and Joachim Garraud - One Life - [VENEER]
With the recent releases by David Guetta, it is clear that there is a new artist album in the works. A new collaboration with Chris Willis is clearly expected but until that comes out, take a listen to a song he did with frequent Guetta collaborator Joachim Garraud. "One Life" has been floating around online since 2012 but is now getting a full release. It sounds like a mash-up (in a good way) of different Avicii tracks - the progressive stadium pop of "I Could Be the One" and the soulful, with a hint of a country tone, in Chris's vocals a la "Wake Me Up." Seeing as Chris Willis lived in Nashville for quite a while, a bit of a country mixed into his soulful vocals makes sense. Remixes by Jochen Simms, Wawa, Ido Shaom, Maxime Torres, and Rockstarz cover a wide range of styles from garage and groovy house to electro and big room banger.
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