Islander came up in my shuffle the other day just when I needed it.
I was feeling a little overwrought, a little stressed. Islander was the antidote I needed. An aural sound-bath at just the right temperature. If you are feeling the same way I was, just put it on the headphones, close your eyes and sit still for 321 seconds. I did it twice.
The best way I can describe it is as an exploration of vampire-electro. Its hook is as catchy as it is twisted. Full marks. Anyway, if you are the type of person that wants the vampires to show up to your house party then get it on loud.
Shout out to Ben Gomori’s Turned On podcast for the tip.
I’m a big fan of this Dam Swindle EP from last year released on their own imprint, Heist Recordings. Every time I get myself behind some decks Body Control and/or All I Want are highly likely to make an appearance. No need to overthink it. It won’t be caught taking itself serious. It’s fun like that. Keep on swindling.
Fort Romeau has been releasing original, powerful house tracks for a while now. His new release Be With U is a lush, deep kind of track that can cope with a lot of listens. It will get less attention than his other work since it is more reflective than it is danceable, but I think it is a real gem.
The track itself has three phases. The synth pads and piano kick in around half-way, and then three quarters through you enter a beautiful brass section to see out the track as the drums fade out. The sparseness of it all and the lengthy, spacious builds make the pay-offs extra sweet.
Bonus tracks: here is my post on my all-time favourite Fort Romeau track, Secrets & Lies (featuring a sample from Dirty Dancing no less!)
And finally, here is another cracker, Dweller on the Threshold. Enjoy.
Well if you were wondering what an Everything But The Girl track from the 21st century sounds like then here is your answer. Nothing Left to Lose is Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt’s first new recording as Everything But The Girl since 2000, and the first release from their upcoming album Fuse. It is an intentionally modern sounding, punchy dance track. The final refrain – “Kiss me while the world decays. Kiss me while the music plays” – is more than enough to give you goosebumps.
The video is well worth a watch as well. Amazing choreography, incredible dance performances, and nifty camerawork – executed in a single take. Top marks.
Just before the end of the year the sad news emerged that Maxi Jazz, lead singer of Faithless, had died. There are plenty of great obituaries and tributes out there that are worth a read. Here is one from the Guardian.
What stands out for me about him as a performer is how he brought soul and emotion into dance music. Lyrics which make you think, or move you through their poetry, are rarely found in tracks that are at home in the nightclub. His charisma and presence give Faithless’ music a sense of awe which is very, very hard to replicate. The lyrics are not necessarily complex, but they clearly come from the heart, and delivered by Maxi, have a real sense of power.
When I started my first real job at the age of 21 I was taken out to lunch by some colleagues to welcome me to the team. Putting me on the spot, one of them asked me which song in the world I knew all of the words to. They were pretty bemused by my answer of We Come 1. Equally I could have said Insomnia (which I listened to over and over again in bed on my iPod Classic). These tracks were a huge part of my dance music awakening.
Maxi Jazz left a permanent mark on music. His work will be long remembered. RIP.
This one is pretty special. ALFOS / Sean Johnston has played it the last couple of times I’ve seen him and both times it has been one of the set highlights. After the second listen last weekend Sean very kindly ID’d it for me, and so here we are. Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem brought together in beautiful harmony. Enjoy.
If you are a regular reader you’ll know of my love affair with A Love From Outer Space. If not, you’ve got some catching up to do.
Well now you have an answer if someone asks you who your favourite Israeli trumpeter is – and his name is Sefi Zisling.
Welcome Sunset is a really nice upbeat jazz EP, but the undoubted star of the show is Obas Nenor’s Extended Dub of The Sky Sings. It is a bit more sparing on Sefi’s trumpet, but hugely atmospheric in a way that heroes it when it appears. It reminds me a lot of Simian Mobile Disco’s collaboration the Deep Throat Choir on Murmurations. Well worth a listen.