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 pairing works so well, it makes sense to do it again.? LA Riots did the sickening aggressive electro mix of “Waiting Alone” by Shiny Toy Guns, which energized the classic 4AD/Nettwerk sound of the original for big room dance floors.? Returning the favor, Shiny Toy Guns contributes the topline for “Before You,” the forthcoming single by LA Riots.? A seeming mesh of disparate elements (pretty keyboards, harsh electro, trap breakdown, glitchy noise) meld together to form a compelling track for Carah Faye’s hauntingly beautiful vocals.? Talking about pairs working well together, bag designer Lexdray features “Before You” in their advertisement for their Ibiza Pack (a luxury DJ bag) and hosts LA Riots’ latest mixed set as the “Welcome to Los Angeles” edition of their City Series. As you are enjoying the banging hour-long set which spans various EDM genres, pay close attention to the last track, starting about 55:30, for the full version of “Before You.”