Recommended Dose: August's Best Dance Tracks
The dance music that moves us in these waning days of summer often does so in minuscule ways. Maybe it has something to do with the merciless mercury levels, but a good portion of our Recommended Dose mix for August doesn't require the flailing of arms and legs. Your brain, however, should be mightily entertained.
The tracklisting includes new music from underground star Joy Orbison, space disco from Japan, ambient beats from Paris, electro from England and a meditative warehouse juggernaut from Belgium.
If you want to keep up with what we're digging throughout the month, you can follow us on Twitter at @Sami_Yenigun and @raspberryjones. (Otis Hart is on paternity leave for the next few mixes, but you can still follow him @spotieotis.)
Not much is revealed about Nautil around his debut on the Seattle-based Further label — no name, no age, no shoe size. All we're told of is that he is a Parisian music student specializing in the deep, analog side of the warehouse-rave life. Yet like the finest nameless, faceless tracks one first encounters on the 3 a.m. Eternal rounds, "Canopée" sounds as warm and familiar as a recurring dream of "home." And as far away. This is music indebted to the dub-techno of (going on) three generations of Berliners, low-end specialists with an industrial framework and a way of making echoes of the most garish sounds espouse beauty.
Appears In The Mix: 00:00 - 06:25
"Canopée" is out now on Further Records.
The first few bars of STFN reveal a great deal about what Moire's latest track is all about. The drum's got a hefty thud, it's a bit noisy and its topped with claps that ring out like they're in a big room. Also in this big room: deities that bellow vowels from the corners, a possessed Windows PC, barking hell hounds and a low end growl from some demon down below. Light does break through the doom and gloom, in the form of strung out pads glowing late in the track. It's a hazy bright spot, offering a brief bit of warmth from Moire's otherwise sinister imagination.
Appears In The Mix: 06:26 - 11:06
Gel will be available October 9 on R&S.
Gonno, "Green Days"
Sunao Gonno is a veteran DJ/producer deeply rooted in Japan's electronic music tradition, specifically that post-Yellow Magic Orchestra wing where rhythm, ambient melody and experimentation combine to form a sort of Zen psychedelia, all dancing together. His brand-new album, Remember The Life Is Beautiful, is a masterwork celebration of this natural, wonderful energy, and "Green Days" is the epic closing track. Playful keyboards, xylophones, guitars and acidic TR-303 revolve around a pounding natural snare drum, swirling upwards in full flight, piling wistful melodies atop one another. You really have to be in a dark place to not be smiling by the end of this one.
Appears In The Mix: 11:07 - 15:29
Remember The Life Is Beautiful is out now on Endless Flight.
Joy Orbison, "A213"
Joy Orbison's been at the head of the U.K. garage and house revival for years now, releasing tracks that sound as though they'll swing off their hinges next to straightforward dance floor bombs. In the past few years, his work with fellow U.K. producer Boddika has leaned heavy; peak-time fodder underlined with thick subs. His contribution to the Rush Hour compilation Musik For Autobahns 2, "A213," is a bit lighter on its feet. Its soft, syncopated kicks frame plucky synths that warble out with panned delay. Thin shakers and a little wood block dress the groove, while swelling chords create brief moments of drama.
Appears In The Mix: 15:30 - 19:51
Musik For Autobahns 2 is out soon on Rush Hour.
Shanti Celeste, "Strung Up"
Though she was born in Chile, Shanti Celeste's musical story revolves around the sounds of Bristol, her adopted hometown and one of Britain's undisputed beat-wise epicenters. Yet while the city's current focus seems to be (back) on house music, "Strung Up" is a slice of atmospheric electro, at once coolly calm and wholly insistent. An old-school 808-style beat sets a wonderfully blank rhythm canvas, which is then colored by at least four different keyboard memories rolling in and out of focus — some local, some hinting at the 313 area code, and some just chilling. This one's for the experimental lover in you.
Appears In The Mix: 19:52 - 25:05
"Strung Up" is out soon on Future Times.
Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia, "War Chant"
"War Chant" is warehouse artillery, through and through. This 14 minute long cannon was originally released by Dutch group Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia on cassette back in 1989. All these years later, it's getting a vinyl reissue on Sacred Summits, sounding as deadly as anything cooked up today. Anchored by a gruff bass drum and scratchy, delayed hat sound, the vocal that's whispered between percussion gives the track a demented energy. With only minimal ornamentation, (a metallic sweep here, arpeggiated synth there,) these warriors have made something brutally simple and effective.
Appears In The Mix: 25:06 - 37:06
1989 is available now on Sacred Summits.
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