A roundup of great electro, deep house, glitch and progressive tracks.
HIIO & Lucas Blanco - Good Enough - [MUSICAL FREEDOM]
Have you ever wondered what your parents were raving to before you were born? Chances are they might have been twirling their glowsticks to "Up to No Good" by the Porn Kings in 1996. The mashup of Whodini and Josh Wink ranks up there with Darude's "Sandstorm" as one of the biggest (and most requested) raver anthems of all time. While a 2014 update comes as no surprise, HIIO and Lucas Blanco don't really add much to the equation. Since the big room banger will have you jumping up and down on the dance floor, maybe "Good Enough" is the apt title describing the concept and execution.
Anthelix - Kora - [THE BEARDED MAN]
When an artist named after the outer part of the ear releases a song title inspired by a West African stringed instrument, something magical is expected. "Kora" completely delivers. The chilled-out, vibey track mixes trop house beats with classic deep house grooves. The lush instrumentation is brilliantly contrasted with hollow percussive noises- similar to what Martin Garrix used for "Animals." It is completely unexpected and totally brilliant. Mixing world music and house brings a fresh vibe to the dance floor and makes 19 year-old French producer Anthelix one to watch.
Seven Davis Jr - Get Serious
Imagine if glitch producer Switch decided to dirty up a house track for Prince's next album. That's what "Get Serious" sounds like. The funky grooves have a raw '70s feel that is almost a bit out of sync with the relentless kick drum, giving an organic and underproduced feel. The vocal effects that border on distortion add a robotic yet fresh layer to the soulful vocals. Though the disparate elements sound strange when described in writing, the song is quite unique and more than worth the free download, because it is unlike anything else you have on your mp3 player.
Mario Piu & Maskmada - "Minotaur" - [FAHRENHEIT]
Taking a page from the Le Youth playbook, Italian producers Mario Piu and Maskmada build a deep house track around a classic vocal sample. To think they could transform "Staying Alive" from a kitschy disco staple into an underground house track kind of boggles the mind - yet it works, and rather brilliantly. The title doesn't make sense until you realize the line "I'm going nowhere" is an allusion to the inescapable maze where the mythological minotaur was banished. A visual essay of man challenging varied force of natures, the video climaxes with cross-cultural celebratory dancing and a true escape from gravity.
Hard Rock Sofa & Skidka - "Arms Around Me" - [AXTONE]
Clubbers will instantly recognize this track from the massive play it received all summer long. I first heard about it during WMC; when chatting with BBC Radio DJ Danny Howard, I asked him where he thought the EDM sound would be going next. One thing he mentioned was more hybrids of different genres, citing “Arms Around Me." Listening to the track by the Russian production duo, it’s easy to see why. Mixing disco funk beats and samples (courtesy of KC & The Sunshine Band "Wrap Your Arms Around Me") over big room festival electro, it sounds completely fresh yet familiar – like two great flavors coming together for a new sensation. (How did I just devolve into a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial?). The track is packed with energy that will hype any club set and has enough of a singalong hook that could cross it over to mainstream radio as well. In case you missed it the first time around, watch for this to explode in the UK for this holiday season and work its way back around the world again with help from a hot new Chocolate Puma remix.