Essential Singles Update
Fall is here, with a flurry of new singles to keep you moving. Some dance music trends to mention include the continuing growth of dubstep and electro-house, with stalwart genres such as nujazz/broken beat, house, minimal techno, and R&B still impacting global dancefloors. Edits, mash-ups, and hyper-edited, diverse releases are increasing electronic music’s scope.
Increasingly, underground dance music is influencing mainstream pop, rock, and hip-hop, and niche genres are dropping their pretenses, allowing “above-ground” elements to manifest in cutting-edge dance productions. Skream remixing Klaxons? You bet.
With that spirit of openness in mind, here are five singles to kick off your back-to-school or back-to-work grind.
Lewis McCallum “Fly Or Die” Antipodean
This nujazz/hip-hop hybrid from New Zealand-based alto-sax player Lewis McCallum blends jazz, Latin, funk, and soul with heavy sampling, turntables, and thick beats. There are shades of Waajeed, Sa-Ra, and Dilla’s dip-dap beats mixed with Mark de Clive-Lowe’s (McCallum’s mentor), freestyle jazz. The flip, “Look Around Featuring Cherie Mathieson,” is broken soul at its best.
Art Bleek “Antichambre” Rush Hour
Rush Hour presents the first minimal techno outing from French jazz-beats producer Art Bleek. “Antichambre” builds slowly with clicking rhythm before swinging into a warm, synth-blanketed house groove reminiscent of Matthew Herbert, but with a crisp production edge. Bleek also has three remixes from his album Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (Loungin’), featuring new touches from Slope and Charlie Dark (as 19 Longtime)!
Lawrence “Rabbit Tube” Mule Electronic
Peter M. Kersten (a.k.a. Lawrence) is known for his IDM-influenced techno that recalls the heyday of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series. Organic beats drift and throb with gentle synths underneath, not unlike Kompakt’s Dettinger or The Orb. Speaking of Kompakt, DJ Koze’s “Rabbit Tube Remix” features echoing rhythms and hypnotic melodies.
Angie Stone “Baby” Concord Music Group
Taken from the forthcoming The Art Of Love & War (Concord), this single will restore your faith in radio-friendly soul. Stone can hold her own with the best of today’s crop, from Keyshia Cole to Mary J. Blige. But for “Baby” she’s in classic Chaka Khan or Patti LaBelle mode. Stone belts out an “I was down for you” jilted lover ballad with personality and soul. The live bass, sampling, and excellent backing vocals make this an all-around winner.
Curv “Exclusives” Vinyl Vibes
Cologne, Germany’s nu-jazz/broken beat friendly Vinyl Vibes label has a scant six singles to it’s name–this being the latest, and Curv’s second. It kicks ass. Four tracks feature two vocal numbers with subtle soul-bossa influences (“Scrabble,” “Killer feat. Knixx”), and two smooth but wobbly broken-house cuts (“Fuse,” “Cuban Clowns”). I can easily hear the latter in DJ sets by Jimpster, M.A.N.D.Y., Daz-I-Kue, or Switch, to name a few. Depth and range on display.