Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great techno, electro, future bass, house and indie dance tracks.
Kisch ft Leela D - Love All Day - [LOVE & OTHER]
Love & Other is quickly becoming the new Black Butter - that really cool label worth following because it drops cool, indie dance tracks. “Love All Day” is going to sound instantly familiar to trainspotters, with a bassline reminiscent of Infinity Ink from a few years. Before you go shouting reductive, it is simply an element of the track, not the major focus. The kicky synth line captures your attention as do the soulful vocals from Miss Leela D. While “Love All Day” might have a similar feel to other tracks buzzing at the moment, there is something special and possibly narcotic with the way the grooves will infect your brain. It’s no surprise that Danny Howard is so excited about this one. Be sure to check out the previous Kisch/Leela D collaboration “Closer” as well.
MAKO ft Kwesi - Wish You Back - [ULTRA]
Forgive my brief rant, but is anyone else getting tired of this relentless stream of soundalike midtempo dance-pop songs? I get it - the trop pop sound that The Chainsmokers and Diplo/DJ Snake launched is the big thing - but when you skim through a list of 100 tracks that sound pretty much exactly the same, you kind of want to, as Sia would sing, bang your head against the wall. So when I came to The Him remix of the new MAKO song “Wish You Back,” I thought, these guys are incredibly talented and gifted musicians - surely, they did something more creative to begin with. Take a listen to the acoustic version and you will hear an incredibly emotional song, stripped to the basics with the duo showing their true instrumental skills. The focus is on Kwesi, who also sang the massive BPM hit “Wanna Lose You” for Borgeous and tyDI, and his voice just shines as if he is the heir apparent to John Legend. The remix by The Him is good for what it is, but we can’t imagine how much fresher it would sound if they had done a style more influenced by their mix of Tiesto’s “Summer Nights.” With that said, we greatly look forward to the release of MAKO's debut album Hourglass which is set for early next year.
4B ft Bunji Garlin - Carnival - [MAD DECENT]
Though this was released back in August, “Carnival” is a track that’s worth going back to listen to again. While it is a full-on big room banger with New Jersey roots, the drops to hardstyle and broken beats give it a unique party vibe. The energetic ragga toast from dancehall/soca artist Bunji Garlin also makes the “Carnival” a bit more fresh. As a seeming sequel to “Peanut Butter Jelly” by Galantis, the grocery store-themed video plays on everyone’s fantasy about what might happen after closing time.
Coucheron - Puzzled
“Keep me guessing” is a great description of this funky new track from Norwegian producer Coucheron. With 2-step garage bubbling up again in the UK over the past few months, “Puzzled” takes the sound in a different more dance pop direction. It's as if Penguin Prison and Chromeo teamed up and decided to channel '80s Prince. The track on its own is quite fresh, and the vocals just add that nice bit of sweetening to take it over the top. Coucheron teaming up with fellow countrymen Lematre makes for an inspired tour, if only to prove there is more to Norway than trop house.
Giorgio Moroder ft Karen Harding - Good For Me - [CASABLANCA]
Last year’s ‘Deja Vu’ from the legendary Giorgio Moroder was one of the most brilliant albums of recent memory. Teaming up with a varied group of vocalists (from pop superstars to clubland favorites), the songs showed that Giorgio could create a masterpiece in any genre of electronic music. In quite a brilliant move, he discovered rising British singer Karen Harding and reimagined her as a true diva. On first listen, “Good For Me” sounds like the best disco song that Deborah Cox never recorded. Something about Giorgio’s touch brings out a power and dimension in Karen’s voice that we’d yet to hear. The track is a mixture of styles with elements from each of the past four decades (try to pick them out) all blended perfectly with a very 2016 feel. The lyrics are incredibly strong and meaningful, with a hint of the self-doubt that we all feel sometimes. We can only hope that “Good For Me” marks the launch of another Giorgio Moroder artist album for 2017.
Botnek & snails - ur 2 cool - [DIM MAK]
Clearly not safe for work, “ur 2 cool” is the funnest track I’ve heard in a long time. The vocal bits are pretty simple - “I don’t fuck with you” and “you’re too fucking cool” and the production is pretty straightforward - hard electro with trap breaks. The second you hear that snake noise hissing, you get what the real intention of the track is. “ur 2 cool” is the best read track ever by hetero EDM hipsters (and that is meant with a lot of love). For those of you who don’t know what reading is, it’s fundamentally the gay version of a dis or a way of creatively throwing shade. Speaking of which, someone needs to hook up Adore Delano with these guys as the results would be sickening.
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