BEST DANCE 12″
By Sean Keating April 06, 2022
Although vinyl pressing times are getting longer and manufacturing costs continue to skyrocket, independent labels, artists and distributors are working harder to bring you cutting-edge dance music in the most liked the genre. From veterans of the American house scene to club sounds pushing the boundaries of the Cairo underground, here are the best 12-inch dance releases on Bandcamp from February to March.
Since his first release on the prestigious DC Future Times label in late 2019, Soso Tharpa has been one of the hottest new producers in house and techno. His most recent release for 1432 R is the rawest yet. The title track opens the EP with hard, crisp drums and an agonizing pair of arpeggios, interspersed with a semi-regular robotic vocal sample and a backwards arrangement. “Ruminating On Blue” continues in a similar vein with added depth, largely due to its soft, shimmering chords and a smattering of otherworldly synths and rippling samples. Robust drum programming and a mangled bass kick kick off “Action” before a hypnotic vocal leads a tantalizing build to an ever-changing series of beats. The EP’s final moment is also its sweetest, though it remains firmly within the club sphere, like a collage of organic percussion, ripped-out ululations and majestic pads swirling over a steady kick and line of throbbing bass.
The latest release on Dance Regular, one of the labels at the forefront of Brokenbeat’s new generation, comes from Manchester’s Szajna, just in time for the first hint of spring. “Planets” begins the proceedings with loose, gritty drums and a squealing lead line before a soothing Rhodes and a heavy sub appear. Pulsating chords unveil a subtle 2-beat rhythm as Yemi Bolatiwa’s powerful vocals take center stage on “Pavement Groove” and the soft pads of “Tape Cut” wash over a complex mix of drum programming and of spliced breaks, adding a dash of jungle to the mix. “DR Juice” has all the swing and swagger of the early Brokenbeat classics, but with a slightly darker edge, before reducing the intensity for the smooth rhythm of “Feeling (ft. Crystal Alice)”. The EP ends with the bouncy drums and sunny piano-trumpet combo of “Low (ft. Rosco G)”.
Acclaimed DJ re:ni makes her solo debut on now-legendary Munich label Ilian Tape with four wicked, light-hearted productions that are as atmospheric as they are functional. “Don’t Go Dark” leans into the more spacious side of things as a heavy sub underpins cascading soundscapes with more than a hint of dub sonic sensibility before the title track kicks in. get to work with aggressively distorted drums, more powerful bass, and a deranged vocal sample. A rattling kick is joined by distorted synths, faltering beats and more intricate sample manipulation to create an unnerving, anxiety-inducing groove on “Reverse Rave” before the busy footwork-tinged styles of “Spirits” follow suit. end the EP with twisted percussion and a myriad of effects.
Hassan Abu Alam
Fasla, from Cairo Hassan Abou Alam, is the 20th album from Banoffee Pies Records, an EP filled with broken rhythms, gnarled timbres and generous dollops of bass. The first two tracks feature SHBL-LBSH’s vocals, which cut through the sparse arrangement and melted bass of “Kesibt” and rush through the rowdy halftime mayhem of “Fasla” with laid-back conviction. An ever-changing constellation of notes is accompanied by more jagged drums and a singular, growling bass tone on “Mawkif”, culminating in a flurry of machine gun hats, while what is likely to be the most appropriate for the dancefloor comes in the form of the quasi-electro stormer “Hanshoof”.
Studio A Pt. 2
Ian Pooley returns to Rekids for the second installment of his Studio A trilogy with a thrilling slab of heat on the dance floor. The heavy drums and shimmering arpeggios of the opener, “JV Organ & Matrix,” are tied together by a wriggling bassline and squirming synths. Its boisterous nature is cleverly contrasted by “Version 2” of the track, which is more restrained and spacious in nature in arrangement while accentuating the overbearing groove of the original. An irresistibly distorted bassline and hopping hats underpin soaring synths, thundering toms and choppy vocal samples on “Back Up,” which also returns in a “Beats Bass” mix. “101202” is the EP’s deepest offering, with pulsating pads and dubby delays fueled by more monstrous Pooley drums.
Lipélis x TMO
function as meaning
Rarely are we entitled to a collaboration between the two production aliases of an artist. On function as meaning Leonidas Lipelis marries the artistic approach of his more structured club tracks as Lipelis with his more left-wing and exploratory production as TMO. A hard-hitting kick kicks off the proceedings on “Diet 505,” which is quickly joined by classic rave hits, a punchy bassline, and stuttering snares and hi-hats. “QMD” continues in a similar direction, though it’s slightly more stripped down and ominous. Chirping basses and soft but imposing chords set a harmonic foundation for a laser-like riff that turns into a cascading bell melody. As the title suggests, “El Ritmo” is largely made up of percussive elements, whose galvanizing nature is decorated with a maelstrom of messy bleeps and not much else, apart from a gloriously bass sound. dirty. “The Right Moment” tones down the intensity of its predecessors while retaining their exuberant rhythms and centers some absolutely stunning and deranged synth work.
EP11 red laser discs
Manchester’s Red Laser Records return with another exhilarating journey into their “Manctalo” universe. First up is Flemming Dalum with its dark instrumental take on ’90s Belgian production duo Code Red’s anthem “In Your Dreams”, accentuating and extending the track’s sinister acid lines to great effect. BoB SwanS’ offering is a gloriously uplifting roll: Propelled by a powerful bassline, cracking claps and an assertive chord progression, “Aphelion Run Theme” moves through an ever-expanding arrangement before reaching a electrifying breakdown. “It’s The KID” dips the energy levels slightly with a mid-tempo b-boy jam as Kid Machine unleashes his vocoder skills over a killer two-note bassline, heavily overdriven drums and bursts of synths. sparkling. Label head Il Bisco’s contribution is a late-night tribute to a British wine retailer, built around a rubbery bassline, rugged rhythm and a dash of intergalactic synthesis.
The Hardbody Project
DJ Aakmael has been one of America’s most impressive house producers for over a decade now, and his latest release for Sloth Boogie is one of his strongest to date. “Hardbody” uses a masterfully chopped brass sample and is peppered with bubbling Moog leads and devastating funky percussion. Aakmael dives deeper on “Track 166,” with a nimble piano solo decorating a flipped and inverted sample, floaty hand percussion and the crispest of finger clicks. “Deepshyt” is rush-hour club fodder, with a driving, powerful bassline at the helm, melting chords adorning Aakmael’s distinct, dusty drums with the help of an accentuated vocal chorus. The Hardbody Project ends with the light bounce of “Strobe”, complete with summery orchestral instrumentation and heaps of sunshine.
what is darkness
Given how seriously South Africa has taken house music over the past few decades, it’s no surprise that Kaysoul’s latest effort on Shall Not Fade is so great. The EP begins with the soothing chords and lilting percussion of “That Blackness”, which unfolds to reveal an infectious cluster of notes, intertwined with two catchy and inspiring spoken pieces. Guest performer Gustavo Martinez flexes his musical prowess on “Africanus,” with sultry sax stabs and shaky keys, while French pianist Steve Faets lays down a playful melody and rich chords over a rolling deep house groove on “10 Ways”. “East Meets South” has a slightly grittier feel than the rest of the EP, with an overdriven bassline bouncing over a seamless combination of live and programmed drums. “Yak” closes the EP with delicate, swelling strings paired with a loosely swaying rhythm section.
I want to go home
Bjarki ushers in his own BJARKI imprint with a handful of bizarre, high-speed techno exercises. his first solo release since 2018 Oli Gumm. The title track erupts from the starting gate with a huge kick and twisted electronics that rise to a boiling point with filthy clapping and insane vocal samples. This track is quickly followed by the off-kilter rhythms, supple synths and aggressive digital organ hits of “Woo!” The galloping toms of “Electrip ppl” provide the fuel for the track’s captivating, sprawling soundscapes and frenetic arpeggios that are punctuated by a catchy tubular melody. Bjarki goes for a particularly sparse arrangement on “Toilet Rush,” but ensures the track is still bursting with energy with a relentless flying hi-hat and tuned percussion part. The EP ends with the surprisingly laid-back “untitled track” which, while not the most obvious dancefloor track, is equally haunting, with a myriad of high-pitched, processed vocals repeating “I Wanna Go Home ” on a bubbling and ethereal support. .