James Blake has returned to the electronic music scene this week with a preview of the first track off his new album, Overgrown, to be released on April 8. Even before “Retrograde” got its first play on Zane Lowe‘s Radio 1 show yesterday, blogs were all in a tizzy about the impending track and its artist’s sophomore LP. Blake’s eponymous debut album from 2011 was a highly regarded critical success, but from a first listen to this new track it’s clear he’s returning to the roots of his earlier EPs like CMYK. As always, Blake’s vocals are both memorable and haunting and carry the giant’s weight of the beautifully minimal track. The single is out February 11th, but click past the break for a listen of the first play, including a brief chat between Zane Lowe and Blake.
An interesting thing happened in the electronic world on Friday night: A little British radio station called Radio 1 was hosting a little show called Essential Mix, and a little Swedish DJ was the guest. His two hour appearance resulted in the mix that launched a thousand tweets, and soon — on both sides of the pond — a #PrydaEssentialMix was trending, with tweets that seemed to literally gush adoration down thousands of news feeds. The love was for Eric Prydz’s Essential Mix, and I was among the guilty gushers.
Before I get into this, let me state that I wasn’t what you’d call a devout Eric Prydz fan. I tuned into the mix at the recommendation of a fellow Dancing Astronaut editor looking for nothing but new background music to make my Friday night dinner to. Fifteen minutes later I had abandoned my panini and was dancing alone in my kitchen.
The younger than young Adam Kaye and George Townsend took the decks yesterday on Radio 1 for a contribution to Annie Mac‘s ever-popular minimix segment. The two lads, also known as Bondax (and one of our artists to watch for 2013), pretty much epitomize the wave of R&B-inspired, deep house and disco sound coming out of the King’s country in the last year. The mix is about love-making and hits up smashes from Aaliyah, Craig David, Whitney Houston, Frank Ocean, Joe, Silk, Jeremih, Nelly, Pharrell mixed in with several Bondax originals. This one will put you in slow motion all weekend. Stream and tracklist below.
We first heard Goldroom‘s latest remix of Charli XCX‘s “You (Ha Ha Ha)” on last week’s Essential Selection on Radio 1, but after a week of Googling weird radio rips to relisten, we can finally get the full track. Goldroom is the pied piper of the Los Angeles nu-disco sound, but he’s never made heartbreak and disappointment feel so fun. Charli XCX’s original is already a light and airy indie pop tune, but Goldroom’s refix infuses in that celebrated deep disco bass, plenty of atmospheric synth work, and a great top line of tropical percussion to boot. This one’s getting the full release on Asylum Records on February 10th, but stream the whole song below.
As part of Radio 1‘s ongoing campaign to highlight the best of rising talent at the beginning of 2013, this week’s Essential Mix brought in UK producer Duke Dumont as Annie Mac‘s choice for a “Future Star” in dance music. Duke Dumont had an unreal year in 2012 in terms of production — putting out a string of records that basically every DJ in the scene played at some point in their sets. Tracks like “The Giver,” “Need U (100%),” “Thunder Clap,” and “No Money Blues” were all fantastic outputs and put Dumont solidly back on the map and among the elite of dance music today. His mix is true to form and as he says, is basically just a sampling of some of his favorite tracks to play in sets. We loved every minute of it. Stream below and jump back the break for a complete tracklist.
Ok so it’s not quite as impressive as Madeon‘s 95 track minimix, but we were nonetheless very pleased to discover Russ Chimes released a free download of his 29 track, five-minute minimix he crafted for Annie Mac last week. Chimes highlights his penchant for the classic — throwing in more than enough soul, lusty piano riffs, and dirty groove-based samples for the adoring vintage house fan. Dare we call this…perfect? Download below and tracklist after the break.
Last night on her Sunday show “Musical Hot Water Bottle,” Annie Mac delivered two Christmas mixes from The xx and Jessie Ware. The mixes diverge a bit outside of our usually upbeat and dominantly electronic realm, but we think they’re pretty perfect to sneakily put on the stereo while the family sits around drinking too much Bailey’s and eating too many Christmas cookies. Merry Christmas!
Every Saturday night at 1am in the UK, Pete Tong allows an artist of his choosing to take over the Radio 1 airwaves for two full hours. The Essential Mix is legendary and for many of these DJs and producers, the pressure feels immense. A stellar mix can shoot you to recognition, solidify a career, or facilitate a comeback. Although with the generous input of fans, Pete Tong does eventually crown an Essential Mix of the year himself (last year: Above & Beyond), we also put our heads together to decide on the ten mixes from 2012 that made us listen again, and again, and again.
Paul Rose, known more widely as Berlin-based producer Scuba, has been on a hot streak this year both with the release of his flooring third full length Personality album and more recent “Talk Torque” single on his own Hotflush Recordings. Today he’s back at it again with the release of another one-sided 12″ entitled “Hardbody.” As usual, Radio 1 got the premiere on this several weeks back and this tune, kicks up the drama and drives down the bass line a bit more than some of his other work. No matter what vibe Scuba goes with on his productions, there’s no doubt he’ll deliver a sonically diverse piece of music that’ll keep you guessing every time. Listen below and get yours on Beatport today.
Leeds-based producer Hot Since 82 is still quite fresh off the success of his remix of Yousef‘s “Beg” but he’s back with jaw-dropping remix of Shadow Child‘s already stellar summer release “So High.” The structure of the song remains largely intact, but Hot Since 82 slaps on a bass line that is deeper than deep and reworks and reverses the deep chord progressions into something simple yet absolutely enslaving. This remix was debuted on Pete Tong’s show on Friday and we’re just giddy with glee that it’s already seeing its official release today.