Welcome to the inaugral ClashMusic Dance music releases round up.
This week we’re covering 12″ releases in May, June and July including tracks from Emvee, Liondub, Rico Tubbs, Tone Float, Arcadion, iTAL tEK, Acid Casuals, Tim Susa and Tomas Hedburg.
Stay tuned for the lowdown on all the tracks you need to know about as the weeks roll into Summer and beyond.
Read on my friends…
And so the delicious bastardisation of Funky begins. ‘Sirens’ and ‘Riddim Box’ hinted at what the genre could become once the bass-obsessed boys had kicked dem dancing girls off the floor, but until now (despite the best efforts of Kode 9 et al) it doesn’t quite seem to have moved into that inevitable ‘second phase’ of any genre where the purists lose sway and anything goes.
‘Glitch Dub’ might well help to change that. Its catchiness and energy make it superficially akin to ‘Township Funk’, but when that b-line drops you know the game dun changed. Thickly sawing around the low middle ranges, it’s the obvious point of focus in a scene where deep subs and crackling highs have dominated thusfar, but there’s a heck of a lot of subtlety here too – an organ line is as moreish as oxygen, and well-crafted trad Funky strings merge in and out as well.
‘Nocturnal’ features a woozy calypso hook to keep those soca roots intact, and white noise claps maintain the hype, but again it’s the low end signature that helps this tune stand out like a jogger’s nipple.
Thanks Wireblock, you lovely, lovely bastards.
Release date – May 25th
Liondub ft Jah Dan & Sotto Bless
One of the interesting things in dubstep currently is seeing it splinter off into different ghettos of sound. File ‘Heatbroken’ under “mongy, subby dubwise styles”, a la LV’s ‘Globetrotting’ (still the benchmark for these steez). Without midrange clamour, and all the better for it, but perhaps not quite exhibiting the ephemeral, catchy edge that a classic vocal slice requires. Still, it ticks all the boxes, and the bubbling ‘Mango Drive’-esque touches are a heady undercurrent, so fans of this emerging style will be hooked nonetheless.
Noah D’s remix is a tad more obvious as it aims for dancefloor presha.
Release date – May 2009
Born 2 Bounce (Mikix The Cat Remix)
It might be the elephant in the room, but here goes: good b-more sounds like hip house. But then, hip house was bloody great, so who cares? This features nuff rave references too, with the effect that it won’t change the world through its originality, but will tear the club up. That’ll do.
Release date – June/July
Tone Float e.p.
The original mix is the one to head for here. It stands out over the deep tech of the three other tracks by virtue of taking the same melodic dirge aesthetic and dropping the tempo right back to a sunken 100 bpm. Vaguely reminiscent of some of Robert Henke’s work (which maintains some of the values of classic mid-period IDM while staying current) it performs the same trick of combining murky dub squashes with a peripatetic groove. While it’s constantly shifting, you find that there are no sudden changes, with the effect that it smoothly develops – there are a lot of ideas in this piece, but it mercifully doesn’t come across as busy or confused. Call it enervating, toe-tapping head music.
Release date – 4th May
Mr Scruff probably loves this – full of jaunty, skipping breaks that make you want to wiggle your elbows like you’re having Chicken Tonight. Torque edges it due to the low-slung square bass pressure that Tipper captures on his slower material. Fly Vision is more boogaloo; nice, but not as naughty. Friendly filth.
Release date – 25th May
Planet Mu Records
Five tracks of goodness wrapped in dub fizz, iTAL tEK has employed a heavy gait for the slow dub crush and techno flavours of title-track ‘Massive Error’ and crowned it with sub-Drexciyan electronics. ‘Snowburst’ adopts a calmer pace, and one that is quite restrained for iTAL tEK – indeed the keys are almost christ.-like (Benbecula Records) in comparison. ‘Strange Love’ is a faster dub groove with muted Bladerunner / Japanese electronics, while on the flip-side, ‘Octa’ picks up a booty beat with sweeping pads and the suggestion of dubstep-lite, leaving ‘Ghost Cloud’ to wind down with sadder tones and a quick march.
Declared their ‘clinical’ approach to music, the Acid Casuals’ ‘Gwydr Budr’ features rough edges, swelling synths, driving low key bass percussives and filtered functional house tinged with techno and acidic tones. Part Luke Slater, part Onur Özer circa Turkish and Arabic influenced LP, Kasmir, ‘Gywdr Budr’ has absorbed key minimal affectations and nudged sparsity off the menu.
Release date (digital only) – 20th April
Desire and Regress EP
Minimal techno great for a mid-set breakdown, Tim Susa presents three tracks of crunchy goodness; ‘I Wish is extremely crisp sounding with tightly bound and sparse melodies – unfortunately spread across chordal changes incredibly similar to the Knight Rider theme tune. ‘The Spiral’ is emotive in comparison, with colliding organ distension, while ‘Ute Mach’ (Waste of Time) comes canting in on the techno horse backed by wobbled dub chords and rolling beats. Stefan Tretau saves ‘I Wish’ however, by dismantling the Knight Rider blasphemy in his bonus remix.
Release date – May 2009
Take a Look
Pieces Of Eight Records
Well-suited to laidback beach sets, the ‘Take a Look’ funky minimal techno offering uses tribalesque features removed to an urban atmosphere. Hints of the rainforest are created through hollowed wood tones akin to bamboo snares and stabbed repetitions evoking frog croaks and bird tweets. It’s a slow builder, clocking in at over nine minutes, so extra marks go to the set-friendly edit of four.
Release date – 11th May