As a DJ/blogger who usually filters through 300 tracks a week, it is sometimes easy to miss a gem during a quick preview. Unfortunately, that was the case when I first heard “Kamikaze” a few weeks ago. Released on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom label, the collaboration between Daniel LeDisko (LA Riots) and chanteuse Polina starts off a bit restrained before the dropdown to vocals and the build to big room electro. When you quickly scan through the track, it doesn’t scream for attention. However, at the suggestion of a fellow DJ, I went back and listened to it from start to finish and it really blew me away. Polina is a singer/songwriter (or what industry people call a topline writer), but with her recent releases she is becoming more and more of an artist, or how I described her- a chanteuse, in the vein of a Sia, Lana del Rey, or Sian (of Kosheen). The strength of her lyrics and performance transcend what you hear on a normal club track. La Riot also steps up his game with a surprise bit of trap after the second break which is raw and a bit disturbing, yet perfectly suited to the vocal themes and yes, the title. DJs who might have missed this when it was released earlier this month should go to Beatport and buy the download. If you are a fan of dance records with darker themes and dramatic vocal performances, like say “Summertime Sadness” or “Titanium,” this “Kamizake” would be a great addition to your mp3 player.
When a group changes singers, sometimes it throws you for a loop. Kosheen rocketed to massive success with their debut single “Hide U” in 2000. The darkly drum and bass single showcased the haunting voice of Sian Evans and was one of many highlights of their album ‘Resist.” After a few albums of explorations into rock, trip-hop, and progressive, Kosheen are back for 2012 with a new CD ‘Independence” and a new single “Holding On.” Stepping into the lead vocal role is Susie, who is no stranger to EDM fans after her work with Bitrocka, Danny Dove, and Ben Preston. “Holding On” is a dark progressive track, reminiscent of “All In My Head” and “Catch,” yet modernized with a subtle pop feel. Some of the effects midway through their track almost feel off and are a bit challenging on first listen- but as the song develops, they develop the groove. The remixes are also a bit odd- yet fitting- with Of Norway blending tech with old school house, and dubspeeka mixing minimal and progressive. Similar in feel is the video which shows a man’s struggle with relationships and sobriety shown through discordant flashbacks. If you are looking for an updated mix of “Hide U” featuring Sian Evans on vocals, check out the Jerome Robins remix of Roger Shah & Sian Kosheen that recently came out on Armada. If you dig Susie Ledge’s gorgeous voice as much we do, watch for her upcoming single “Something for Certain” with Moussa Clarke.