Just go and throw your little hands up: Dance Yrself Clean
Hodge „Sub 100“ (Two Moons)
„Night Journeys II – Jessy Lanza Remix“ (Kulør)
Little Dragon „Frisco“ (Ninja Tune)
Rhyw „Honey Badger“ (Voam)
Gold Panda „I’ve Felt Better (Daniel Avery Remix)“ (City Slang)
James Hoff „Inverted Birds and Other Sirens“ (PAL)
Eclecticism can be the plague, artistically speaking. The line between versatility and arbitrariness is a fine one. But if one DJ and producer was lately good at bringing a different facet of his talent to the fore with every 12-inch and still raising his profile in the process, it’s Jake Martin aka Hodge. His album “Shadows In Blue”, released in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic, collaged various styles and moods as if it were the easiest exercise in club culture to dare to combine sound research, chill habitus and club escapades – and also convinced with beautiful Charged track titles such as “The World is new again” and “One last Dance”, which of course trigger wild associations at this point in time. The 2-track Ep Sub 100 is now out on his own Two Moons label. While the title track tugs at you somewhere between ragga rave and UK bass, “Where I wanna be” evokes memories of late (or rather early) ending open-air raves when the sun is pushing higher and higher and the bass isn’t quite there yet want to let go.
A few months ago we reported on the release of “Night Journeys”, now courtesy has submitted a remix by Jessy Lanza on her label Kulør, which brings the emotional depth of the original ep to the club in a springy and euphoric way dance floor leads. The remix reminds me (certainly not only me) of “Zero Zero” by Console, a track that ushered in the new decade in the clubs in 1999 in such a playfully catchy way. Sven Väth would shout: “Good mood”. Whereby Jessy Lanza doesn’t turn in the cheesyness factor quite so powerfully, so that in the end you can just happily collapse onto the sofa in the corner and not have to keep dancing no matter what.
Swedish pop band Little Dragon creates a rainbow over the dance floor. With Frisco, the first single from their forthcoming EP Opening the Door, Little Dragon remind us that dance music was once a great promise of freedom. “Frisco” is a sensitively told pop song, a seductive R’n’B track in the best 90s tradition and also a bit dirty Jersey Club.
Just had lunch with Shumi, the booker and resident DJ from the Vault. He said that the parties are all going sensationally well at the moment, probably because the vault has invested well in the pandemic period and the restart of culture and has invested in an air conditioning system that exchanges all the air in the store every eight minutes. But what I actually wanted to report: Shumi said that the younger DJs don’t bother warming up much anymore, but get down to business immediately at 11:05 p.m.
Which brings us to Rhyw (pronounced Roo), whose 4-track ep “Honey Badger” immediately rattles off properly with the title track: fast, wild, energetic, grinding techno that also likes to let its four-four notes stumble sometimes. With “Sharknado”, “Kirkhusa” and “Foamcore” the Welsh-Greek producer then cuts the air as dry as a samurai sword cuts the attacker’s throat.
Derwin Dicker aka Gold Panda is a magician of electronica sounds, where others tend to stay closer to bedroom producers with their sugary play with electronic stylistic devices and indie attitude, his productions have always been characterized by the fact that they not shyly refusing a larger listening context – even if the artist himself is rather shy and prefers to remain in the shadows.
Daniel Avery and Derwin Dicker have known each other for more than fifteen years, sometimes as information, simply because it’s nice when collaborations aren’t created on the drawing board of promotional strategies, but are based on friendships. Anyway, Avery’s remix is simply awesome. His voice is shifted to ecstatic heights, in the head an E, in the larynx helium. In addition, an uncompromisingly shaking and pushing bass right from the start. A banger, as Durwin puts it. And with that, all club lights on, closing time for this month.
The possibility of an accident at a nuclear power plant is more present than it has been in a long time since the Zaporizhia NPP became a pawn between the fronts of the Russo-Ukrainian war. 11 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster and 36 years after that of Chernobyl – the latter most recently impressively artistically reworked with the HBO series “Chernobyl”, for whose soundtrack the Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir was awarded a Golden Globe and an Oscar, among others. In contrast to Guðnadóttir, whose soundtrack did not use field recordings from the restricted area, James Hoff works for his two-piece work with GPS signals recorded in Chernobyl in 2018, which he inserts into an orchestral set-up made of wood – and weaves in brass and strings. Whereby he gave up the actually intended conceptual strands of the music due to the emotional experiences made on site. Because as impressive as the ruins of the nuclear power plant and the empty dwellings and territories abandoned by (living) people were for Hoff, what confused him most was the noticeable presence of the spirits on site. If you listen to “Inverted Birds and Other Sirens” you can feel and understand what Hoff is talking about, he manages to create an unreal atmosphere that at the same time makes you shiver with fear and triggers a melancholic state of longing for tenderness.