Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great electro, indie dance, drum and bass, trop house, future bass/house, deep house, and progressive tracks.
Plastic Funk - Love & Affection - [ARMADA/DEEP]
The past few months has seen a major change in the sound of Plastik Funk - from their frolicking party anthems (“We Make the Party” and “Y I Left U”) to deeper housey grooves (“Tight” and “Here We Go”). Continuing the transition, “Love & Affection” is a summery r&b flavored house jam that Brownstone might have released in mid 90s. The uncredited vocalist has the sound of a Sam Obernik or Roisin Murphy, giving the song a unique pop feel that would fit top 40 radio just as easily as a groovy beach party.
RABBII - New Friends - [HIDDEN MOTHERS]
If you like Swedish indie electropop with a dark edge, RABBII might be your next big obsession. The duo, who broke off from Le Kid, made waves a few months ago with the hybrid ethereal gothwave of “Chameleon.” “New Friends” melds '90s eurodance and Romanian pop for a haunting track that mimics the surprisingly intense lyrics about a fellow club kid who has vanished. “New Friends don’t feel the same,” especially when you’ve found a soulmate on the dance floor. While the singer sounds similar to Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord, the vibe is more similar to Iiris or Kerli (from her first album). For clubland consumption, the Echo Clinic gives it a bouncey future house feel while ALSKR goes for a mid tempo groove with oddly place stadium house flourishes.
Thomas Gold ft M Bronx - Saints and Sinners - [ARMADA]
Singer Michael S is on a roll. Under his new name M Bronx, he follows up the brilliant “Felt This Good” (with Kap Slap) with the festival ready “Saint and Sinners.” Thomas Gold’s production is pure progressive-pop with enough drive to make the crowd scream and gorgeous drops out for everyone to sway to, though it is Michael’s singalong chorus and unifying lyrics that will bring the climax to any set. If the acapella of this song were to leak, it would get mashed up as much as “Boneless” did.
IDEM - Great Invocation - [PLAY CLUB]
Infusing club music with uplifting lyrics and spirituality balances the often heard drug references heard over the beats. Many of house music’s most beloved singers were discovered through gospel (Ann Nesby and Vernessa Mitchell come to mind). So putting a classic world prayer created by a Tibetan master of an ancient esoteric religion doesn’t seem so left field. Sung by a British children’s choir, this new version of the “Great Invocation” is reimagined over a playfully chugging house groove with a bit of a summery trop groove. While there is a bit of a novelty vibe going on, something so different is always welcome - especially when it has such a positive message.
Trentemoller - River In Me - [IN MY ROOM]
If you like to be surprised by electronic music that is eclectic, unexpected and a bit out there, If you like to be surprised by electronic music that is eclectic, unexpected, and a bit out there, Trentemoller is a producer you should definitely be following. “River In Me” is a modern dark take on new wave as if Siouxsie Sioux was being produced by Berlin. The classic sounding beats and rhythms are augmented by modern electro elements for a sound that is just as much 2016 as 1983. His remix slows it down for a darkly industrial track with a hint of middle eastern instrumentation. Trentemoller’s new album Fixion is set for release in September and after listening to River in Me all week, we already have preordered it through his Bandcamp page.
BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx - Shooter / Girls in the Yard EP - [Fool’s Gold]
There is definitely a place for parody in the worlds of hip-hop and electro music. So often the producers and artists take themselves way too seriously. However there is a big difference between people laughing with you and laughing at you. That the Atlanta based duo BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx launch their new mixtape with a tepid and derivative single isn’t horrible. Deciding to make a video which parodies a three year-old Miley Cyrus clip is kind of funny, in a non ironic way, considering how dated the references are. Though the main disconnect is to launch the mixtape with a song about a “shooter” and fetishize gunplay in the video right in the aftermath of a diabolical clubland massacre. Two other tracks on the mixtape, “9mm” and “Beemer,” also contain references to guns and while we would never be in favor of censorship, are they really trying to glamorize violence with their campy sensibility? This isn’t to say that there isn’t some value to their EP: “Run Around” is a cute topline over Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody,” “Myne” is a fresh update over 90’s british r&b girlband jams, and “Acting Up” sounds creative.
Matoma & Becky Hill - False Alarm - [BIG BEAT]
Norwegian trop house producer Matoma has had quite a run of hits with “Old Thing Back,” “Running Out,” “Wonderful Life,” and “Try Me.” If you are looking for the song that perfectly represents “trop pop,” then take a listen to “False Alarm.” Enlisting the Voice UK star Becky Hill (who brought Oliver Helden to the top of the pop chart with the massive Gecko/Overdrive), Matoma goes straight for the jugular with an infectious earworm that is undeniable. While the song is in no way groundbreaking, you can’t help but fall in love summery pop song. It might make you wonder what a dance pop song from Adele would sound like.
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