Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of February
Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a mix called Recommended Dose.
February's selections include a youngster from Montreal, a veteran from Chicago, warehouse techno from Paris, a visionary from England, and footwork from Michael Jackson's hometown of Gary, Indiana.
You can stream this month's mix here or through NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the tracks below.
Project Pablo, "Why, Though?"
Project Pablo's I Want To Believe is the latest release on the cassette-dealing label 1080p. Like fellow Vancouver label Mood Hut, 1080p's catalog offers laid back dance music that's light on its feet. Pablo's "Why, Though?" is right at home here, with its swinging percussion and feathery melodies. As topline synths dart atop a stocky bassline, a wide kit of clicks, cowbells and snares keep the groove spontaneous.
Appears In The Mix: 00:00 - 04:51
I Want To Believe is available digitally on 1080p's Bandcamp page.
Boo Williams, "Rocking Chairs"
Boo Williams had been involved in Chicago's house music scene since 1981, putting out dozens of releases on stalwart labels Peacefrog, Cajual, and Rush Hour. His latest 12", The Shocker is the first for fledgling London label White Jail. The B2, "Rocking Chair," is a rolling medley of chord stabs, key solos and drums. The kick hat and snare soak into sustained strings, keeping things lush within Williams' classic Chicago sound.
Appears In The Mix: 04:52 - 10:35
Boo Williams' The Shocker is available on vinyl from White Jail.
Bambounou, "Each Other"
"Each Other" is the centerpiece of Parisian producer Jeremy Guindo's latest LP, Centrum. The album's theme isn't exactly optimistic — he describes his second full-length as a soundtrack to Earth's dystopic future — and these six minutes of techno at its core is as dark and dangerous as it gets. "Each Other" is perfect for a landscape scattered with abandoned warehouses.
Appears In The Mix: 10:36 - 15:15
Centrum is out now on 50Weapons.
Pearson Sound, "Rubber Tree"
David Kennedy, the Hessle Audio boss who records as Pearson Sound, has made a career of testing the limits of what can work as dance music. His rhythms have rarely taken the path of least resistance, and that remains the case on his upcoming self-titled full-length. "Rubber Tree," the album's finale and banger of the bunch, is a skeletal assembly of drum machines clattering away in perfect lockstep.
Appears In The Mix: 15:16 - 19:10
Pearson Sound is due out March 9 on Hessle Audio.
Footwork, the high-energy house music famous for its namesake dance, has been wanting for a leading lady since its global breakthrough in 2010. Enter Jlin, a Gary, Indiana, producer who will release her debut full-length, Dark Energy, later this month. The album's first single, "Expand" (which features experimental producer Holly Herndon on vocals), is a lush twist on footwork's minimalist framework.
Appears In The Mix: 19:11 - 22:43
Dark Energy is due out March 23 on Planet Mu.
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