Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, trop and deep tracks.
Giraffagee ft Thea - Bring Me Your Love - [FOOL’S GOLD]
There’s a whole lot going in this song which makes it quite wonderful. “Bring Me Your Love” marks the brilliant merging of two trends: trop pop and ADHD EDM. It’s as if Giraffage was inspired by all of the recent Chainsmokers and Diplo records and decided to push it further. The blend of trop, slow jam grooves, trap, broken beats, classic soul, downtempo rhythms, and bird noises makes for a dynamic track which stands out from anything else out there right now. We don’t know who Thea is but we definitely look forward to hearing more of her outerworldly soulful voice. For club consumption, Maddeaux upped the tempo for one of the most inspired house remixes of recent memory. That the hipsters and heteros have embraced the word “realness” in their lexicon is an added bonus.
Chace & Moksi - For a Day - [ROBBINS]
If you’ve ever wanted a truly romantic song about a one night stand, take a listen to “For a Day." Chinese producer/DJ/singer/songwriter Chace is just 17 years old, yet he captures the emotion perfectly with this future house / bass house hybrid. While the effected male vocal is pretty typical, the intense editing of female vocal for the chorus will really capture you. Possibly inspired by Kiiara’s “Gold” or simply playing vocal samples from a keyboard, the way they turn the diva vocal into an almost instrumental hook is quite magical. And for a backhanded compliment, it is refreshing to see a emotionally gratifying and relevant video from the YellowClaw camp that doesn’t resort to sadistic misogynistic abuse or gratuitous violence for shock value.
Peter Brown - Just Ain't Good Enough - [BONANZA]
It’s not just that French producers created sample house but they seem to have perfected it when the disco loop craze hit in the early 2000s. Leave it to French DJ Peter Brown to give the current cover trend a sense of class and, dare I say, panache. At a moment when everyone seems to be doing covers of obvious '80s/'90s hits and changing the song title to throw you off, Mr Brown digs a bit deeper and challenges the trainspotters. “Just Ain't Good Enough” is a quality deep house track (in both the classic and modern sense) with a soulful vocal that will trigger memories yet is hard to place. The lyrics are from “Never Miss the Water” and while it isn’t a sample, the new singer sounds quite close, which is saying a lot since the original singer is the legendary Chaka Khan. Remixes by Randy Sideman and Nerve Strain change up the vibe but the real focus should be on the original mix.
Bob Sinclar & Daddy’s Groove - Burning - [SPINNIN]
Speaking of French producers doing cover records, Bob Sinclar teams up with Italian duo Daddy’s Groove for an “of the moment” update of “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” By that, we mean three lines of vocals repeated over a house beat. While there are dozens of similar tracks released on a weekly basis, “Burning” stands out for its brilliant production. The summery grooves and uplifting piano chords are so go good that you will wish they could get Thelma Houston to step in and resing the full vocal. Special kudos to the the video producer for showcasing love of all types and not just that of binary heteronormative caucasians. Two bearded bears losing control in a supermarket is something you don’t normally see in a music video.
LCAW ft Martin Kelly - Painted Sky - [ULTRA]
In this Kardashian/snapchat world where everyone is striving to look perfect at every moment, “Painted Sky” reflectively questions that impossible goal. This is that rare time where the downbeat somber production perfectly fits the lyrics. Although seemingly meandering and repetitive on first listen, when you listen closely the song, it is an allegory for the never-ending and unhappy quest for perfection. Without a doubt, the video is one of the most moving and thought-provoking videos of recent memory. I don’t want to give away the ending but it might make you reconsider the struggles in your life
Icarus - They Are Not Like You - [FFRR]
The Icarus brothers caught our attention earlier this year with their moody yet evolving track “Home.” After a summer on the road touring, they’ve transformed into a modern hybrid of Saint Etienne and Dubstar with the effervescent “They Are Not Like You.” The vocals sounds retro, almost '60s-ish, while the production style and tempo vary throughout. This isn’t exactly ADHD electro, but more of an indie pop song inspired by that aesthetic. With their previous track getting remixed by Dave Dresden, Kolsch and Lane 8, it will be interesting to see who gets to rework this one.
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