Dance music is truly international. Born in Lithuania and living in London, producer Embody is developing a unique sound by mixing deep house with tropical grooves. Not exactly beach music, but enough of a vibe to sound different and fresh in the recent onslaught of nearly-identical ’90s hour retreads (check out his mix of Lana del Rey “Once Upon a Dream” for a good example). For the summery-sounding “Bad News,” he adds a bit more punch to the house groove- making it energetic but still chilled. The result is energetic and dazed, almost like smoking weed and drinking Red Bull at the same time. Singer Obenewa is one to watch for, she sounds incredible with a quite raw and unprocessed vocal that contrasts well with the robotic male vocal. Be sure to check out her new single “CTRL+ALT+DEL” with Walter Ego as well.
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.
With a Grammy nomination for his mix of Lana Del Rey and a massive remix of Howard Jones “Things Can Only Get Better,” 2013 has been a big year for French born, Miami-based DJ/producer Cedric Gervais. With his new single “The Look,” he aims to launch 2014 by blending two discordant EDM styles – the UK obsession of ’90s styled Nu-House and big room electro. The results work surprisingly well, with the synth-pop intro leading into a very aggressive and grinding electro beat. The melody of the synth line is repeated in drops replayed with different effects. Something about the intro, though, sounds so familiar to me – I am not sure if I am hearing a replay of Yaz’s “Don’t Go” or Eric Prydz “Pjanoo.” Or is it a replay of “Pjanoo” using the synths of “Don’t Go”? Or if it’s not “Pjanoo” is it Patrice Rushen’s “I Was Tired of Being Alone” or Double You’s “Run To Me” or Ohio Players “Love Rollercoaster?” Well, whatever it is, after this becomes the club monster that it will no doubt become, don’t be surprised if he enlists the vocal talents of an ’80s pop tart to sing a top line (how about Sheena Easton?). That would be the absolute perfect way totally mash up the decades.