A roundup of great drum & bass, trop, electro, house, progressive, chill and vocal dance tracks.
Steve Smith - “My Favorite Shoes”
Lead singer of Dirty Vegas Steve Smith previews his forthcoming Union EP with the hauntingly beautiful synth-pop song “My Favorite Shoes.” The intro sounds instantly familiar, as if he is channeling Electronic’s classic “Disappointed.” This ends up being merely a reference as the track is more like a reinterpretation of the best elements of New Order's sound from the '80s and '90s. Yes, that is a compliment. Hearing a guy sing about “My Favorite Shoes” might seem off, but when you consider the large population of male sneaker heads - it actually makes sense. The song is about a wonderful night out and a sense of free love with the wonderful line “walk with me and I’ll dance for you” making a great refrain over the strong guitar and world music percussion. While the original version is a bit on the chill side, a remix could easily pep up the energy for any dance floor. For now, enjoy this first taste of Steve Smith’s forthcoming ‘Union EP’ (which he previewed on Facebook live here
) as you relax with the one you love.
LA Riots ft Great Good Fine OK - “Real Love” - [SPINNIN]
Keeping with the synth-pop vibe, “Real Love” is the glorious collaboration of the finest talent from both sides of the US - groundbreaking LA producer duo LA Riots and NYC-based electronic duo Great Good Fine OK. The track is quite a departure from the harder electro and drum & bass that LA Riots was doing last year. The move to deeper and groovier music, with a bit of a Chromeo twist, works quite well with the blue-eyed soul vocals of GGFO. There is something quite memorable about the song as I found myself singing along to the chorus after the first time I heard it. Speaking of memorable, a tour with these two groups together would be insane. The sick DJ sets that LA Riots are known for would be the perfect match for the memorable stage antics of the GGFO singer Jon Sandler.
Dirty Audio & Max Styler - “Rollercoaster” - [MONSTERCAT]
Rarely is a track so perfectly titled. Rollercoaster is all about the teasing builds that climax to a beat change. It feels as if you are on an actual rollercoaster and you are climbing to the top of a loop, but rather than dropping straight down, it takes a sharp left by surprise. Listening to the electro / trap hybrid, you can’t really tell what is coming next and that’s quite wonderful in our current predictable EDM world. For the DJs who want to throw their crowd for a loop, “Rollercoaster” is a full-throttle bumpy ride ride.
Two Friends ft MAX - “Pacific Coast Highway”
Following up the massive hits “Overdose” and “Forever,” Two Friends release the surprisingly poppy “Pacific Coast Highway.” Imagine MAKO collaborating with Max Martin and you will get an idea of how hooky this song really is. That they were able to get the singer MAX to sound better than he did on 3Lau’s ‘More” and Flux Pavillion’s “Savage” is just a testament to their superior production skills. As the duo tours the US over the next few weeks with Matoma, be sure to listen up for more of their new song from their forthcoming EP, especially the harmonica-heavy “Mona Lisa Eyes.”
Winston Surfshirt - Be About You - [SWEAT IT OUT]
Time to go a little leftfield. The Australian dance scene has been dominated by Melbourne bounce for quite a while, so much so that we were thankful to hear artists like Throttle and Dave Winnel breaking through. Digging a little deeper, we’ve found an artist so unique and fresh that they’re bound to capture your attention. Winston Surfshirt sounds like a comedy act but it is a six-piece live band that formed around the enigmatic singer/rapper/producer. Their sound is a fresh mix of downtempo beats, soul, surf music, trop, chilled pop, hip-hop and seductive vocals. It sounds like nothing else out there. Take a listen to “Be About You,” and experience the fresh new sounds from down under.
Notaker - Shimmer- [MONSTERCAT]
Who says there is no such thing as artist development? From “Infinite” to “Gems” to “Shimmer,” you can hear a clear progression of Notaker’s sound. That’s not to say the two earlier tracks weren’t great, just that the progressive and electro elements sounded familiar and somewhat similar to tracks that have been around for a while. With “Shimmer,” Notaker has created a song that tells a story without words. Yes, there are elements similar to those in his previous tracks, but they are much more cohesive and fit in a flow that feels more like a movie production rather than a club track. Keep your eyes on Notaker, there’s a reason why Dancing Astronaut named him as one of top artists to watch in 2017.