This week in dance music: Former Bassnectar collaborator Mimi Page launched an initiative promoting the culture of consent in dance music, Spotify launched its Spotify Live feature, which will debut tonight with the release party of the Swedish House Mafia album, Create Music Group acquired a majority stake in influential YouTube network The Nations, Madonna and Sickick’s “Frozen” remix hit the top 10 dance/electronic songs, Flume released a video for “Sirens” and Swedish House Mafia – 15 years into their career, have finally released their debut album.
More new music? We have that too. Let’s dig.
Jamie xx, “Let’s Do It Again”
The title of Jamie xx’s latest track isn’t merely figurative, with “Let’s Do It Again” marking the producer’s first release in two long years. With the melodic house anthem, the British favorite bounces onto the dance floors with serious dynamism, delivering three minutes and 45 seconds of pure elevation that wittily recalls Caribou’s latest pandemic hit “You Can Do It”. (“I started doing this track last year, just when I felt like we could all get back to doing the things we love,” says Jamie xx.) ‘Let’s Do It Again’ is certainly a sentiment many of us can relate to as we also return to clubs and festivals following the pandemic forced exodus – with many set to bump into Jamie xx this Sunday (April 17) when he performed at Coachella, a set during which he promised to unveil more new music. — KATIE BATH
With recent releases from Ewan McVicar, Navos and J. Worra, Higher Ground – Diplo’s imprint for all house music sounds – remains a gold mine for newcomers to dance music. Up next: Southern California-born VNSSA, who brings raw, hard-drums and disorienting textures to his two-track solo debut for the label, Music4TheMasses. (She previously appeared on Walker & Royce’s track “Rave Grave” in 2019 and remixed Jaded’s “Bounce” in 2020.) As the name suggests, the title track is made to be enjoyed by large crowds and a larger sound system.
“The idea behind these tracks,” explains VNSSA, “was that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I didn’t hear in clubs. I wanted to do something different and unexpected that still worked on the dance floor…” Transcendent vocals guiding you through your journey, soaring acid synth lead, piercing whoops and general rave euphoria are all ingredients for a damn good time for rush hour at an all-nighter in LA — or midday in the desert as she takes to the Sahara stage at Coachella this weekend and into the future. KRISTAL RODRIGUEZ
The feat of the crystal method. King Green, “Let’s Trip Out”
The king of Vegas raves is back and brings a burst of energy big enough to set the sky on fire. The trip is the seventh album from The Crystal Method, and its eight tracks contain metric tons of booming bass, ravey synths, stomping beats and rock ‘n’ roll attitude. He comes hot off the heels of an electrifying performance representing his home state of Nevada on NBC. American song contest. This set saw The Crystal Method joined by a full band, to bring a new dimension to an already outstanding track – and while you should definitely give this a spin, we’re highlighting the album’s title track as it has that gritty rave sound we crave. – KAT BEIN
Little Serpent feat. Flying Lotus, “Finding Love is Seeking the End” (Ivy Lab Remix)
In its original form, Little Snake’s “To Find Love is to Seek the End” is an acid-soaked dream. The song featuring Flying Lotus, from his 2021 debut album on Brainfeeder, A fragmented love story, written by architect Infinite Helix, is dreamy and free-floating in a way where up is down, down is up, and the pretty flowers suddenly grow into thorny, menacing monsters. This new remix from Ivy Lab is just as cerebral, but more grounded and moody with tight, deep drums and sultry cymbals driving the track to its intoxicating conclusion.
“Ivy Lab has remained one of the most sacred bands in electronic music for me for several years,” says Little Snake. “Everything they do is done with such meticulous care and style. When I asked them to remix something from my album without stems, files or really anything to offer, I didn’t expect them to bite. But I’m more than flattered they took it and did what they do best. — KR
Manila Killa feat. Fknsyd, “Take Me Higher”
“Drums and bass return” is a promise often uttered by d’n’b heads wearing baseball caps and dancing skank, since the frenetic genre was eclipsed by explosive EDM and dubstep in the mid -weather. In truth, the drums and bass have always been there, but it really feels like a change has happened. Take Manila Killa’s latest banger for example: the producer is best known for his dreamlike synthscapes and chill-touch house, but on “Take Me Higher” he reaches energetic new heights.
“‘Take Me Higher’ is a song about harnessing the raw energy felt during live performances,” says Manila Killa. “It was actually after looking at Instagram stories of a Brownies & Lemonade party where they brought in drum and bass bands like Netsky and Dimension that I started digging deeper into the genre. There’s something so seductive about the genre that I wanted to explore in my own music, and it was the day before my New Year’s Festival performance that I started this song. It’s grown into something bigger than just a show edit, and the recruitment of Fknsyd just took the song to the next level.
This rowdy version follows the intoxicating textures of “Dark Places” featuring Kwesi, marking the second single from his upcoming debut album, Dusk. All things considered, this feels like the dawn of a new chapter for the project. – K.Bein
Rising producer DJ_Dave delivers her first single of the year with “Castles”, a propulsive and gently hypnotic synth-pop opus reminiscent of Robyn and Icona Pop. Written, produced and sung entirely by Dave – who specializes in Algorave live coding during his performances – the 80s-influenced song will feature on Dave’s upcoming EP, due out this summer. (Its summer season also includes a set at Electric Forest in Michigan in June.) After opening for stars like Dillon Francis, SG Lewis, Boyz Noise, Remi Wolf, Tokimonsta and Pussy Riot and recently calling it the “most exciting thing as I’ve ‘seen in the industry’ by his management team, Dave is definitely one to watch, and ‘Castles’ ably demonstrates why. – K.Bath