Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great drum and bass, electro, house, deep, chill, and vocal tracks.
Sigma ft Ella Henderson - Glitterball [3BEAT]
Sigma and DJ Fresh are both leading the drum and bass pop movement. They’ve both been releasing incredibly strong songs which meld hiNRG jump up d&b beats with accessible radio friendly lyrics sung by interesting and quirky r&b/pop singers (Labrinth, Ella Henderson, Ella Eyre, Ellie Goulding, Little Nikki.) For “Glitterball,” Ella Henderson channels her inner Petite Meller with gorgeous singalong “oooh” chants and the classic dance sentiment “so in love with you.” Along with “Higher” and the chart topping “Changing” and “Nobody to Love,” Sigma’s debut album ‘Life’ is set for release later this year and have a greatest hits feel similar to the highly anticipated DJ Fresh album.
Jess Glynne - Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself [BLACK BUTTER/ATLANTIC]
Tinie Tempah, Route 94, Clean Bandit - it doesn’t matter who Jess Glynne collaborates with, her dynamic and expressive voice shines as the main focus. Following up her epic solo hit “Hold My Hand” (which is set to explode here in the US,) comes the inspirational and uplifting “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself.” With a similar vibe, layering orchestral melodies and pop dance beats with gospel-esque background vocals, the slow-to-fast song builds with the intensity of her powerful yet angelic voice. Here’s hoping that full on remixes are on the way for club consumption. Her forthcoming ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ album is set for a September release and a highlight will be her torch song “Saddest Vanilla” reimagined as a duet with Emeli Sande.
Sander Van Doorn - Oh Amazing Bass [DOORN]
Like Tiesto, Sander Van Doorn is at heart a true comedian. He is quick with a joke and his sense of humor shows in his productions. The title “Oh Amazing Bass” is a double joke, a play on “Amazing Grace” and the fact that the track doesn’t feature a big bassline like big festival anthems do. It is built on a repetitive lo-fi retro screechy synth line, similar to “French Kiss.” Actually, that comparison holds with the dropout being the orgasmic bit of ecstasy before a more energetic and melodic rework of the synth part comes in. The track is much more subtle than his recent bangers yet more catchy and memorable. Hmm, maybe he could get Annie to sing a top line in Russian?
Krono ft VanJess - Redlight - [THE BEARDED MAN]
Like Sander van Doorn, the people behind The Bearded Man have the most incredible sense of humor. Press releases are normally the most boring fluff you could imagine and as yawn inducing as income tax preparation. When a release from The Bearded Man comes, the release is some random story which may or may not have anything do with the track but it sets a tone. “Redlight” is what you would imagine from the title - slow jam sex music. Seductive lyrics sung over a grinding beat, meant as the soundtrack for an evening of love making. That is simply the only way to describe it. If you crave a sexy house music, seek out the Ferreck Dawn and Pretty Pink mixes on Beatport. That this track is an Armada release really brings home the point that they are not JUST a trance label. For those seeking a chilled vibes summer soundtrack, check out the new Krono album ‘Metamorphose’ with the additional tracks “Sometimes” and “Sweet Goodbye.”
Tritonal - Gamma Gamma - [ENHANCED]
If you want to get scientific, gamma rays are high frequency and high energy photons emitted during nuclear explosions. So “Gamma Gamma” makes a brilliant title for a summer festival jam. Complete with a tribal chant, hard electro drop, a hint of progressive and the expected “go go”/“are you ready” vocal samples, “Gamma Gamma” delivers a perfect big room monster. Expect to hear this from every festival DJ all summer long, which isn’t a bad thing.
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