Thursday, December 03, 2009

In da box and playlist: october-december


These are the dance tunes that currently rock my world:

> Instramental - Leave It All Behind [Apple Pips]

Bristolian dubstep and new wave drum'n'bass producer goes disco, and the result is amazing! The tune is quite simple, but very nicely done - smooth, deep bases, a pitched-up vocal sample and a strong melodic hook is all we sometimes need.

> Brendon Moeller - Juice EP [Mule]

I've been keeping my eye on him for quite a long time - last couple of years he has had numerous remarkable releases. The new EP on Japanese Mule Electronic is pure bliss - even if I'm not a big fun of everything which now comes out labeled as deep house, however this kind of deep house easily fits in my cup of tea. All three tracks are great.

> Markus Nikolai - Kiss Your Mind [Perlon]

A funky, quite raw (Chicago) house track with catchy, teasing vocals. The beat sounds to be made on proper hardware.

> AGF/Delay - Connection (Heartthrob remix) [Bpitch Control]

From the four provided remixes, Heartthrob's treat might be the best (although Kiki's version is great, too, especially if you are looking for a lighter disco sound). It's one of the rare cases when collaboration among different producers actually gives some additional qualities which probably couldn't be achieved if they worked on their own. Heartthrob has given it some dancefloor-friendly boost, still leaving space for subtle details from the original Delay's production. Also, the lyrics are quite sophisticated - which is not so common for electronic dance music in general as we know.

> Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Pussy Shepherd [Musique Risquée]

Although Guillaume Coutu Dumont has been one of my favorite producers for quite a while, recently I hadn't heard much good stuff from him, I mean nothing outstanding. However, the new EP on Musique Risquée - a home for fine dance music from Canada - is very solid. He has always been keen on using funky gospel vocals, and this times they are present in all three cuts. Actually Safety Meetings is a proper song with a vocal that sounds as Marvin Gaye would be produced by a deep house producer. The title track ain't bad either - a deep and thoughtful house track backed with tight percussion and a funky, driving bassline.

> Keny Leaven - Odyssey (doP remix) [Elenore]

I don't know anything about the original artist and this new label, but doP's funky, bluesy shuffle beat remix sounds refreshing. Grab a mic, and rock along.

> Michel Cleis feat. Toto La Momposina - La Mezcla (Paul Kalkbrenner remix) [Strictly Rhythm]

The original version is fine, but somehow I wasn't very enthusiastic about it - perhaps just too many latino-tech tracks were around that time. Nevertheless, Berlin's techno playboy P. Kalkbrenner has taken it to a new level and rendered into a hypnotic, spacey peak-hour groover. Huge tune, an anthem!

> Sven Tasnadi & Juno 6 - Tranquillo [Liebe Detail Spezial]

Jazzy chords, flutes and atmospheric strings plus a wicked live drums brake... make a soul resonate.

> Martyn - Elden St (Sebo K Watergate Edit) [Watergate]

Elden St was likely my favorite track from Martyn's Great Lengths LP which came out earlier this year. Sebo K keeps the same mood, just slows it down and gives it some dubtechno pulse. This track was included in Sebo K's Watergate 04 mix.

> DJ Jus-Ed pres. Nina Kraviz - Voices [Underground Quality]

I just cannot resist this beautifully haunting piece of deep house. Nina Kravitz is a talented and very good-looking DJ and producer (and obviously a singer, too) from Moscow, whereas remixes are provided by Jus-Ed and his mates from the U.S. Eastern Coast who dig that raw, uncompromised deep house sound. Anyway, the original still stands out. From the remixes, Levon Vincent's rework might be my favorite - it is as sick as usually. (By the way, Resident Advisor has a new, interesting feature about Nina, read it here).


> Lawrence - Until Then, Goodbye [Mule]

No doubt a masterpiece of modern deep electronic dance music. Seems as the best work from Lawrence to this date. No wonder it's less about drums, more about melodies, interesting harmonies, strings, bells, tones - as we know Lawrence is closely associated with the Dial sound. The overall mood is dreamy, sometimes wandering, hypnotic. Technically, upbeat tracks are followed by slower beats or even ambient pieces, but I must say that attempts to describe this album are destined to fail - take a seat, have a listen and enjoy the journey!

> Mathias Kaden - Studio 10 [Vakant]

Kaden's first album is not very typical for him laidback excursion into a realm where deep house meets jazz but still having all those neat microsamples and percussion he is known for. In fact, most of the tracks feature some guest musicians or vocalists, and all together it actually sounds as a proper album, not a collection of unrelated tracks. Impressive and beautiful!

> Luciano - Tribute To The Sun [Cadenza]

It's already been a while, since this LP was released, but it certainly deserves to be mentioned. As typically for Luciano, tracks are very detailed, loaded with myriads of various percussions, however this time most of the tracks avoid being just functional DJ tools but strive towards more a song-like structure. The album features some prominent guest vocalists (Keren Ann, Martina Topley-Bird, Ali Boulo Santo), and the majority of tracks apparently haven't been designed with the dancefloor needs in mind. As the album title suggests, it would be a joyous fiesta celebrating the Sun, unless those freaky samples on the last tracks - it seems as if Luciano got afraid to make the album sound too sunny and therefore decided to drop some darker psychedelia at the end, or perhaps it is meant as the antagonism between the light and the dark. Anyways, the result is a profound, experimental record - a highly original oevre of the contemporary world music.


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