A roundup of great progressive, electro, future house, tech house, glitch, trance and vocal tracks.
Armin van Buuren ft Mr Probz - Another You - [ARMADA]
A highlight of Miami this year was hearing a preview of "Another You" at a radio meet-and-greet before it was premiered at Ultra. Armin mentioned the challenge of recreating the sound of Mr Probz' precious microphone to capture his trademark vocal timbre as well as realizing his dream to work with a live orchestra during the recording. The results are every bit as magical, blending the best parts of both artists - somber, emotional yet gritty vocals with uplifting progressive pop and a bit of trance. "Another You" is so instantly lovable that it might even exceed the crossover success of "This is What It Feels Like" and "Waves" combined. If you like your beats harder, Mark Sixma's remix adds the big room beats to make it a festival banger. Take a listen to the recent Sixma/Armin collab "Phanta Rei" for an idea of what to expect.
Blitz - Gyal Go Mal - [DIM MAK]
DJ's, here is your new secret weapon. "Gyal Go Mal" is the ultimate mashup of styles - dancehall, reggaeton, electro, and trap with such an addictive sick beat that you can't stop yourself from dancing. Singer/rapper Rayna channels M.I.A. in her multilingual flow and lets you have it with even more firepower than the sampled gunshots. It's hard to believe that Dim Mak is giving this away as a free download for their New Noise series as it is one of the best and most unique tracks of the year so far.
Francis Preve - Weeble EP - [AUDIOPHILE DEEP]
For his debut artist release on Audiophile, Academik mastermind Francis Preve goes deep while keeping it light and fun. Inspired by the toy, "Weeble" has a modern tech groove with beatboxing, disco whistles, and "uh"/"yes" vocal chants bringing a fun vibe. Even with the classic hip-hop elements, it doesn't sound at all like a retread. "Ooh" is built around a gospel-vibed vocal sample, probably from a classic tribal house record that is hard to place. It is effected and layered creatively throughout the chugging track, taking on different feelings and vibes to fit the flow. Both tracks are solid in their own right yet also make great transitions tools between genres for DJs that mix future, deep, and tech house in their sets. It wouldn't be surprising to hear "Weeble" resurface in the future with a rap or vocal top line for a full on commercial release.
Sultan + Shepard ft Denny White - Don't Let Me Down (Hook N Sling Remix) - [SPINNIN]
I'm not going to lie, I am huge fan of the duo Sultan + Shepard. Just a month after releasing the uplifting Pride-ready anthem "Make Things Right" with Tegan & Sara, they unleash the follow up "Don't Let Me Down." With their signature sound blending big progressive pop melodies and banging big room beats, it's hard to imagine that the original sounds that much different than the Hook N Sling remix which is circulating. One thing for sure, vocalist Denny White is someone you will be hearing a lot from this summer. After Denny's commanding performance of "Cinematic" which closed Fedde Le Grand's set at Ultra Miami, the buzz is starting and "Don't Let Me Down" just whets our appetite even more for the powerful and emotive vocalist. Watch for "Don't Let Me Down" to follow "Make Things Right" onto radio station playlists around the world.
Cotton Claw - Noulafe - [CASCADE]
And now for something completely different. Cotton Claw is a group of four producers playing electronic music live and pretty much jamming out with random grooves. The result, a mix of broken beats, house, glitch, electro, atonal noise, and analog synths, is so whacked and out there that is unlike anything you have ever heard before. The first time you hear "Noulafe," you might think it is broken, but let it go and accept the glorious dissonance. It isn't perfect and isn't meant to be, as it is freeform creative electronic improv meant to be enjoyed by people who celebrated April 20th as a holiday. Adventurous listener should check out their Volutes album as the quartet explore other genres with the same aesthetic. Listening to "Sunset Glow," you might imagine it was Kygo deciding to experiment with 8 bit while taking LSD.