A roundup of great deep house, progressive, deep, electro and drum & bass for the weekend.
Cazzette ft Terri B - "Blind Heart" - [ICONS]
The recent renaissance of soulful vocalists collaborating with EDM producers continues to yield some incredibly music. Swedish duo Cazzette continue their exploration of deeper house, first heard on their last track "Sleepless," by adding a touch of soul and a dramatic breakdown reminiscent of Moby's gospel flavored 'Play' album. Singer/DJ Terri B brings a touch of '90s flavor, similar in vibe to her cover of Inner City's "Big Fun" with DONS, yet keeping it completely modern and complimenting the production perfectly. "Blind Heart" feels a bit more commercial and accessible, with catchy hooks and a sound that fits club sets just as well as radio playlists.
The Avener - "Fade Out Lines" - [CASABLANCA/REPUBLIC]
If you are a fan of the recent Robin Schulz and Lily Wook tracks, "Fade Out Lines" is probably already on your radar. The debut single from German producer The Avener is basically a remix of "The Fade Out Line" by Phoebe Killdeer and The Short Straws. The original song has a sparse and vintage '60s vibe which is augmented by somber and dark house beats. This isn't a big room floorfiller by any stretch, more of a mellow chill-out record for the afterparty (or radio listening). Each remix adds a unique flavor while keeping the deep vibe in place - trap-house (Chopstick and Jon Hon), soundtrack (Synapson), a touch of rock (Alle Farben), and Latin-flavored horns (Marcapasos). The haunting quality of "Fade Out Lines" makes it stand out from all the other soundalike records popping up at the moment.
High Contrast and Clare Maguire - "Who's Loving You" - [VIRGIN/EMI]
With all these '90s flashback genres, it was just a matter of time until drum and bass came back to the forefront. Welsh DJ/producer Lincoln Barrett, better known as High Contrast, has been a drum and bass icon for more than ten years, and teaming up with the gothic pop vocalist Clare Maguire ("The Shield and the Sword") might just bring him a crossover pop hit. "Who's Loving You" is classic jungle rave music complete with the slow intro and the breakbeat just slamming you in the face like a release on Suburban Base Records. Part 1 is the straight ahead pop-oriented version with a recognizable female vocal, while Part 2 goes all the way to aggressive drum and bass with the vocals effected and distorted beyond recognition. The remixes go house, with Deetron going deep and Copy Paste Soul amping the bassline. If "Changing" by Sigma and Paloma Faith was on the top of your summer playlists, "Who's Loving You" will keep you warm through the cold winter months.
Le Youth - "Real" - [EPIC]
Listening to a Le Youth track forces you to put on your trainspotter hat to try and track down the sample. Though his last single "Feel Your Love" was completely original, Los Angeles-based producer Wes James is best known for the way he creatively manipulates vocals to sound like something different - how he turned Cassie's "Me & U" into "Cool" and TLC's "No Scrubs" into "Dance With Me." For "Real," it sounds like he grabbed the majority of vocals from Brandy's "I Wanna Be Down" and added a spoken passage that sounds like a yoga aphorism. The result is quite brilliant and completely unique with the classic R&B house track bookended with the sound of cassette tape player closing and opening at the start and finish.
Oliver Heldens, Mr Belt & Wezol - "Pikachu" - [SPINNIN]
Gecko, Koala, Pikachu - it makes sense, doesn't it. Coming off two massive tracks that became pop hits, 19-year-old producer Oliver Heldens teams with fellow Dutchmen Mr Belt & Wezol for an even more playful take on their trademark future house sound. Exactly what you would expect from the title, they sample noises from the Pokémon character for a lighthearted and fun track. It is one of those tracks where a simple idea is executed brilliantly for a track that resonates with people worldwide. I can imagine if other producers followed suit - maybe Martin Garrix channeling Jigglypuff or Skrillex collaborating with Mewtwo.