Recommended Dose: September's Best Dance Tracks
A songwriter better than you or I once wrote that "days grow short when you reach September" — forgetting to add that this is why you need more bangers for the seasonally expanding night-times. Enter Recommended Dose, whose monthly offering doesn't simply span multiple continents, but numerous rhythm sources, large and small, acoustic, analog and digital.
This month, our mix features the modern sounds of London and Stockholm, the classic traditions of Brooklyn and Detroit, as well as collaborations between Italy and Mali, between old North Jersey and nü Berlin.
If you want to keep up with what we're digging throughout the month, you can follow us on Twitter at @Sami_Yenigun and @raspberryjones. (Otis Hart is on paternity leave for a bit, but you can still follow him @spotieotis.)
DJ Khalab & Baba Sissoko, "Kumu"
DJ Khalab (nee Raffaele Costantino) is an Italian beat-maker, RAI radio DJ and music festival producer with an encyclopedic knowledge of African music, which deeply informs his dance track strategy. (The word "Afrofuturism" is all over his online footprint.) Born in Mali, Baba Sissoko is a master tamani and ngoni player with a global resume (from Art Ensemble of Chicago and Buena Vista Social Club to Toumani Diabate and Rokia Traore) who now resides part-time in Italy. And "Kumu," one of a number of tracks that the pair has collaborated on, is an incredibly natural distillation of these two energy sources, with Sissoko plucking the lute and Khalab providing a deep-bass bottom and kick at 130 BPMs.
Appears In The Mix: 00:00 - 05:30
Kumu/Tata is available now on Wonderwheel Recordings.
This Other Space, "Friend Unfriend"
Of the three excellent tracks on the debut EP from the anonymous Stockholm-based producer who records under the unwieldy moniker This Other Space, "Friend Unfriend" may be the hardest to pinpoint. All share a feel of being created live on analog gear, the textures fluctuating wonderfully in the mix, raw jackin' house percussion and Italo sequencer hooks percolating throughout. What "Friend Unfriend" adds is the space of bass, a touch of acidity and a loop that has echoes of Chicago and of the distorted thumb-pianos of Congotronics. It is a track of classic elements and fully modern style.
Appears In The Mix: 05:30 - 10:30
The Tom EP is out now on Argot.
Ge-Ology, "Moon Circuitry"
Born in Baltimore, bred in New York City, the producer, DJ and visual artist Ge-Ology (nee Gerald Young) has spent the past two decades crafting beats at a wide range of tempos and energy. He's worked with some of hip-hop's finest, dicing soul samples into slow-cooked cuts for the likes of Mos Def, De La Soul and Jill Scott. But like his first few releases under the alias, his latest is a dance track, this time on Theo Parrish's esteemed Sound Signature label. It's a breakneck number, clocking in at around 130 beats per minute. Founded on a punchy techno pattern and thwacking metallics in the upper register, it is the funky lead line of "Moon Circuitry" that takes this track into orbit.
Appears In The Mix: 10:30 - 16:40
"Moon Circuitry" is out now on Sound Signature.
Cooly G, "Horrors In The Dance"
The mighty Cooly G, Merrisa Campbell, returns to Kode 9's Hyperdub imprint with five new club-ready cuts on the Armzhouse EP. On the last cut, "Horrors in the Dance," the Brixton-born producer places sound design front and center, but keeps a knocking, stepping groove underneath. The percussion sounds almost malleable, as pitchy toms run against bending synth hits, sneaking in and out of the mix. It's a hyperactive track, though never too busy — each drum fitting snugly into its own space, all tucked between sirens and synth stabs that inject a welcome dose of madness.
Appears In The Mix: 16:40 - 21:21
ArmzHouse is available now on Hyperdub.
Physical Therapy Presents Kirk The Flirt & Peter Pressure, "Never Ever Give Up"
Some more back-to-the-future action c/o of Big Apple-to-Berlin transplant Physical Therapy (born Daniel Fisher). Or, should you choose to believe it, by Kirk the Flirt and Peter Pressure, the young DJs at Englewood's Club One West, "NJ-garage devotees ... born too late for the golden age of New Jersey house." Is the percussive and slinky "Never Ever Give Up" a true modern update of the classic Zanzibar sound — or is it Physical Therapy, a veteran of NYC's GHE20 G0TH1K who's gone 4/4 and raw while in Europe, exploring his roots? With vibes this thick, who cares?
Appears In The Mix: 21:21 - 26:46
Physical Therapy Presents ... Kirk the Flirt & Peter Pressure will be out Oct. 23 on 1080p.
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