London’s Ben Macklin, who is part of the duo Cassette Club, is going to make waves with his latest single. A tropical piece with an irresistible nudisco shimmer, “Dare” is the kind of music that transcends house and aims straight for the sugary goodness that’s not just easy to consume, but impossible not to love. Featuring an enchanting vocal by relative newcomer Emma Brammer, Macklin’s newest single writes a love letter to balearic, new wave-y, 80′s synthpop with a pen dipped in bass and dripping with sweet, sweet airiness; the effect is a starry eyed self-awareness that makes the track more than a novelty. Instead, Macklin is giving us an earnest expression of love for a very specific era of dance music that often gets overlooked in favor of whatever the newest hard hitting bass drop is. It’s a devout love of a simpler moment in dance music. And it’s the love that makes this track so beautiful.
You can pick up “Dare” on all major music platforms now.
London’s Riva Starr has been having a busy 2014. So it only makes sense that he would remix the equally as busy – and exceptionally talented – indie act London Grammar. Taking the ethereal, cinematic “If You Wait” and using Hannah Reid’s powerful vocals as his backbone, the remix offers up a UK garage sound that blends itself so beautifully into the spiritual, divine coffeehouse electronica that London Grammar has made a niche with. What truly stands out here is Riva Starr’s use of ambience to his advantage to create something more than a run-of-the-mill deep house banger: he takes moody piano, spacious reverb, and even an escalated orchestral part and infuses it with a space time continuum – the bass and the treble in the 4/4 time signature – which builds itself up into a work that we as the ravers, the lovers, the star-kissed dreamers can truly lose our heads in.
Listen to this hypnotic masterpiece below and check out London Grammar when they hit up the 9:30 Club on November 7.
Poolside, the LA based group whose musical focus is centered on the idea of “daytime disco,” are reaching out with an undeniably graceful and poppy remix of the first track from the forthcoming album by indie group Fool’s Gold.
Building from their usual style as remix artists, Poolside’s remix of “I’m In Love” contains a complex arrangement centered on sunny side up guitar licks, slamming bongoes and funked out drum kits, and a tender mantra sung from the lips of Luke Top. On first listen, one gathers memories of the first time they heard Talking Head’s “This Must Be the Place” or Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” as Poolside aims straight for the throwback vibe inspired by tribal beats, bone rippling basslines, and breezy, melodic bliss which eventually culminates into a tonic for the soul. This edit is merriment and rapture incarnate.
Grab it for free download via Poolside’s SoundCloud and be sure to support Fool’s Gold’s independent release “Flying Lessons” when it’s released.
The LA based SNBRN has been on a roll this summer. With stellar remixes of artists like Mark Morrison, Ace of Base, and 50 Cent, he has made a name for himself by combining an undying love of throwback anthems with a knack for very deep, very 90s inspired dance grooves which has made him a producer that’s quick on the rise (and a darling of the dance music blogosphere). His newest remix, a string-laden, piano riddled rendition of songstress Indiana’s “Heart On Fire” doesn’t disappoint.
SNBRN’s latest maintains the summery keenness of his style, but this track adds a more theatrical – and almost vulnerable – approach that hasn’t been seen by him as of yet. As a consequence, his take on “Heart On Fire” is a heightened, and powerfully perceptive, nugget of house music with a huge heart and an unrelenting, gripping emotive through line designed to make us feel something more than the pulsing beat of his past remixes. What seals the deal here is the choice of strings and piano in correlation with Indiana’s heartfelt – and heart aching – vocals. With these simple ingredients, SNBRN allows our vulnerability to turn into determined, warm embrace of what could possibly be; it gives us the sparkle that causes us to feel the music instead of simply dancing to it under some false pretense.
With support by BBC Radio One and Ministry of Sound, be expecting to hear this track more often in the coming months.
Check out the SNBRN remix below and download it for free via his SoundCloud.
2014 has been a big year for talented producers under the age of 21. Danish born Dooqu, at just 17 years old, is one of the latest members of this Under 21 club and, from the looks of his first EP, he appears to be one of the most interesting.
His first EP, “Breathe,” which was released by indie label Heroic Recordings, is such a rich debut, which infuses so many well-picked elements of house music, that Dooqu comes off as less of a producer and more of an incredibly precise curator: choosing the rights bits and pieces for his latest exhibit. And this particular exhibit has all of the pop, the flair, and educated precision necessary to make it worth the price of admission.
The first cut, “Breathe It In,” at its core is fundamentally an indulgent piece of melodic house pop which borrows heavily from the breezier, yacht rockier side of house music that has become increasingly popular amongst dance blogs and music enthusiasts in the past year. But where this single differs is the direction of the melody: it does rely heavily on an airiness reminiscent of the slew of Ibiza-inspired house anthems we’ve heard this summer, but he mixes in doses of funk in the form of chic guitar licks, an uplifting vocal that is sensationally harmonic and soulful, and a finger snapping energy that is unreasonably addicting. This being the opening track of his EP is no mistake: “Breathe It In” actually is a breath of fresh air that gives you and idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
Track number two, “At the Crossroads,” is a fantastic bait and switch. Starting out as a smooth, sensitive number perfect for lounging by the pool and nursing a hangover, it soon careens into a chaotic piece of hip jive that spearheads right into a deep house sensibility thereby transitioning it into a Frankensteinian mash-up of epic proportions. By keeping the energy light, however, this specific track’s flavor is more in line with an indie dance aesthetic than the unadulterated deep house edit you’re led into believing it’s going to be. As a result, we’re left with a well-layered, complex production with fascinatingly swell builds and an edgy touch that engages with a more carefree – and subsequently – pure spirit.
The last track on his debut, “Falling Stars,” picks up with an easy going vitality and an animated tenacity that is dead set on leaving an impression. Simply put: it succeeds. It’s the proper climax that we deserve and operates on level where the sole intent is to provide a cleansing wave of catharsis. The backbone is an aria of sorts composed of floating horns, fluttering piano stabs, and an overall cheery atmosphere that acts like a constant; it’s always aiming incredibly high and takes you with it the same way wings took Icarus to the sun except, in this instance, there’s nothing horrific in the end. It’s all good vibes.
Dooqu’s “Breathe” is available now on iTunes and Beatport.