Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, bass and vocal dance tracks.
Sander Kleinenberg ft S.T.R.Y.D.E.R - Midnight Lovers - [ARMADA]
I will admit that I am a bit biased as I’ve been a fan of Sander for almost 20 years. I remember buying the different parts of his landmark ‘4 Seasons’ EP and then going back to discover his earlier work. Over the years, he’s gone from progressive to electro to deep to funky but has always managed to keep a sense of humor and self in his works. Whether its a playful disco house romp with Gwen McCrae, a street friendly rap with Dev, or his recent pop crossover “Feel Like Home,” Kleinenberg’s productions are always pristine. For “Midnight Lovers,” he teams with S.T.R.Y.D.E.R. (wonder what the abbreviation stands for) for his most pop production to date. The chorus on its own could be layered over a track and be one of the fiercest dubs of the season. The playful verses make for a surefire radio hit. Here’s hoping some deeper and harder club mixes are on the way for club consumption.
Jerome Price ft Karen Harding - Nobody - [SELECTED]
Whether it is house, disco, or drum & bass, singer Karen Harding can nail any track. Last heard on the brilliant “Good for Me” with the legendary Giorgio Moroder, Miss Harding is back with the future house jam “Nobody.” Produced by British heartthrob Jerome Price, the bass-driven track playfully mixes classic sounds with modern production tricks. The way Karen alters her vocal timbre to express emotion throughout the song is truly magical. Listening back to her songs from the past two years, it’s hard to recall any other singer so perfectly on point with every release.
Jack Wins ft Francci Richard - I Used to Love You - [WARNER BROS/MIXMASH]
This is one of those I told you so moments. British producer Jack Wins released a dubby track with an allusion to a Donna Summer classic at the end of last year. Keeping his trademark handbag house sound in the forefront, he threw in a curveball with a bit of the Ten Walls “Walking with Elephants” samples. The new vocal versions, perfectly timed for Miami party week, amp up the energy by adding a full verse and a more fleshed out chorus. This just might be the vocal house track that you hear at every pool party on Collins Avenue next week. While on the Jack Wins tip, if you like his deeper tracks, then “25 Hours” is probably already on your playlists.
Jaded - In the Morning - [BLACK BUTTER/RCA]
Following up a buzzy novelty record like “4000 Hz” is no easy feat. The playful international trio known as Jaded come prepared for war, throwing every possible hook at us. The horns of Kungs’ “This Girl” - check. The wobbly bass effects of Bodyrox “Yeah Yeah” - check. Disaffected vocals with post-modern feminist leanings - check. A sound similar to but not identical to their debut hit - check. “In the Morning” is quite brilliant, and while it may not reach the massive viral success of “4000 Hz,” it is a fun track that many of you will enjoy. Only question is why do I feel so sexually attracted to the seductive owl in the artwork?
Valiant Kings & Sonny Vice - Call It What You Want
Madonna once called Lady Gaga reductive in an interview. The same adjective could be used to describe the majority of tracks released each week by DJs on Soundcloud and Beatport. It’s not necessarily an insult, as everyone seems to jump on the prevailing sound which becomes a trend. The truly creative producer is one who can twist it or rework it to add something fresh in the mix. “Call It What You Want” is a mashup of sounds you’ve heard before over the past few months - a little bit of “Bambino,” a hint of Tujamo, some influences of classic Swedish House Mafia, and many other things that feel wonderfully familiar. What makes it brilliant is the way all the different sounds are combined into something cohesive and fresh sounding. The title and ironic artwork shows that the guys are in on the playful, joking nature of the track and are putting it out there for everyone to a joy. As a free download on Soundcloud, I would call it well worth checking out.
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