This Week in Dance Music: We were on the ground for Swedish house mafia and headlining The Weeknd at Coachella, Apple debuted its high-tech spatial audio with a very spatial indeed mix of Jeff Mills, NorCal’s Northern Nights festival announced it will be the first US festival to feature multiple on-site cannabis dispensaries Calvin Harris announced this summer we’re all going to be playing, shaking and bouncing once again, David Guetta made it clear that he would never stop putting numbers on the board, Aloe Blacc sang “Wake Me Up” in three languages on the fourth anniversary of Avicii’s death, Kaskade and Deadmau5 hit the top of the charts DanceMix Show Airplay with their song “Escape,” and Galantis graced us with their remix of the 1991 Roxette classic “Fading Like a Fleur.”
Is there more? There are many more! Let’s find out the best new dance music of the week.
Hot Chip, “Down”
Who wants classic Hot Chip funk? The English synth-pop band just can’t be missed, and their latest single is a jangling, sweat-dripping jammer that’ll have everyone from your quiet uncle to your over-excited seven-year-old cousin doing their best moves. Even more enticing? It is the lead single from their upcoming confirmed eighth studio album titled Freakout / Liberation. The song falls between the band’s performance at Coachella, where they essentially set the Mojave stage on fire during their set last Saturday with new music, old classics and a cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.
“We were going through a time when it was very easy to feel like people were losing control of their lives in different ways,” Hot Chip co-founder Joe Goddard said. “There’s a darkness that runs through a lot of these tracks.” Get ready to freak out and smash it to the ground when the album drops on August 19th. – KAT BEIN
Kerri Chandler feat. Sunchilde, “Never Thought (lead vocal mix) [Printworks]”
Before the DJs/producers play their biggest hits in the club, they do them first in the studio, a small, quiet and often solitary space – a stark contrast to the dance floors on which the songs come to life. What if producers produced in the field? That’s exactly what house legend Kerri Chandler did with her next album. Spaces and places, his first album in 14 years. Each of the 24 tracks on the LP was written, recorded and performed on the dance floors of various clubs over a period of four years. First single “Never Thought [Printworks]”, named after the London print shop-turned-nightclub, is exactly the kind of house music we’ve come to know and love from Chandler: radiant and soulful, with tight percussion that hits the ears like stains of sweat and a groove driven piano that could go on forever.
“I wanted to express the love of what could be possible by capturing my productions in the venue, from the heart of each space, directly onto the dance floor,” Chandler said. Spaces and places will be released in October on Chandler’s Kaoz Theory label. — KRISTAL RODRIGUEZ
Alesso Feat. Zara Larsson, “Words”
Still livening up to his Katy Perry collab “When I’m Gone” (currently in its 16th week on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs), Alesso is back with another pop star with a dance/pop track. This time, the producer works with fellow Swede Zara Larsson, who sings everything she can’t say to her lover (mostly those three most special words: “I love you”) over sultry choruses and a chorus lively. (“Words” co-writers Karen Poole (known for her work with Kylie Minogue) and recent UK award-winning singer Becky Hill add some extra star power to the mix.) Alesso’s hot streak — which also includes her recent contribution to the soundtrack of The Batman – continues with the producer’s opening slot on 16 North American dates of the Bad Bunny tour. — KATIE BATH
Flux Pavilion, “Lore”
In January 2021, Flux Pavilion released their second studio album.wave, which found the producer far from the blistering bass that made him a longtime name on the electronic scene. Now English born artist Josh Steele is once again making a 180 return to his signature sound. Released via Flux’s Circus Records, “Lore” is a fantasy-flavored cinematic epic with lyrics about “the four fundamental waveforms of the universe” that we can certainly imagine as the frenzied opening track of a show. Live stream. Hitting as hard as you want, “Lore” is an epic reminder of why Flux Pavilion will always be a bass king, no matter where his other artistic adventures take him.
“I remember when I started like Flow Pavillion, and it felt like you had to make a choice. Either you write a punchy track or a beautiful moving track. You can’t do both,” Steele says. “And that’s where my driving force behind Flow really comes from. And I realized I could do both. You can make a record that hits hard and sounds huge, but is also very listenable and has emotional and beautiful elements in it. And I think that’s the thing that I felt like I didn’t hear, I felt like it went into one or the other’s camp, and what I did in the first place that got me excited about the music was to mix the two together. And now I’m starting to do it again. — K.Bath
Duck sauce, “Put the sauce on it”
Two years ago, Duck Sauce’s comeback celebration – with a Coachella 2020 booking – was cut short following the global lockdown. A handful of new tracks later, the duo of A-Trak and Armand Van Helden finally graced the famous festival last weekend with a set that put the “fun” in the “funky”. They opened with a new song, “Put the Sauce on It”, which they officially released earlier this week as part of their EP of the same name, which also includes past Billboard First Spin favorite “Ask Me”.) Perhaps a close relative of Duck Sauce’s 2014 song “Calamari (Put the Sauce on It)”, this version has a bolder club energy, with an emphasis on the jacking of hats and tightly coiled constructions that feel more geared towards packed festival crowds than a casual pool party. No matter where he plays, his sassy and vibrant vocal energy will put a silly smile on your face. — KR
Giolì & Assia, “Fire, hell and holy water”
The Italian duo’s first single from their upcoming album brings maximum vibes, with a stomping beat and another hangdrum giving “Fire, Hell & Holy Water” a vibe as heavy and mystical as its name. The song follows Giolì & Assia’s scorching 2021 single with Pabllo Vittar “Quedate” and proves that the duo – singers, multi-instrumentalists and label owners – are ready for stardom. — K.Bath
Daniel Johns feat. Moxie Raia, “I Feel Electric”
You know those days when you just feel a tickle in your stomach? When something big is about to fall, because your skin is on fire? It’s the kind of vibe that Daniel Johns and Moxie Raia want you to tap into with the sultry, cheeky little synth groove they call “I Feel Electric.” It has the kind of beat you can really dance to, the kind of beat that will have you walking slowly through the streets with your chin up.
If you feel it, we have good news: “I Feel Electric” is just one of 13 tracks from the artist’s new album. FutureNever, which features cameos from Peking Duk, What So Not and more. If Johns’ voice sounds familiar, you might know him as the former lead singer of ’90s alternative rockers Silverchair. Yes, you read that right. Mad! – K.Bein
Gentlemen’s Club, “Policia”
Picking up where Disclosure’s “My High” left off, British trio Gentlemens Club deliver a thumping, cheerfully woozy and bass-laden UK garage heat that marks the band’s first single of the year and released on their own. ClubFriendly imprint. Having amassed 450,000 views on their quarantine live streams, the band are ones to watch when they return to the festival stage this season. — K.Bath