Dance Download Tracks of the Week
Every week, JOE dance music writer and DJ, Craig G, tips five essential tracks. This time it’s Crookers & Savage Skulls, Spherique, Breakbot, Justice and Sasha’s Reese Project rework.
Spherique, Snowflakes Catcher. Download here.
Russian-born producer Spherique, who just signed to Hospital Records, is relatively new to the scene. So new in fact I can't give you a bio. But what I can tell you is that he takes influence from Burial, Radiohead and Khonnor, he has also gained the support of LTJ Bukem, London Elektricity, Random Movement, Loxy, June Miller, Bop and Oak amongst others.
His latest offering, Snowflakes Catcher, is a wonderful little two-step affair with atmospheric textures surrounded by dreamy melodies and some quietly beautiful effects, which add greatly to its off-centred vibe. Intoxicatingly brilliant.
Crookers & Savage Skulls, Bust 'Em Up. Download here.
Dr Gonzo, aka Crookers and Savage Skulls, demands attention from the off with Bust 'Em Up, their new release on Norman Cook’s Southern Fried Records.
Bust 'Em Up is a razor-sharp speaker-bashing, broken-beat battle weapon that really packs a punch. It's made all the more deadly by the looped vocal that encourages it's listener to literally Bust 'Em Up.
Listening to this haymaker on a big system will leave your ears feeling like Evander Holyfield's after going a few rounds with Mike Tyson – this release is set to put their competitors against the ropes.
Justice, Civilization. Download here.
Justice are back after a two-year hiatus to reclaim their crown with their electro-rock hybrid Civilization. Their Annie Mac-backed new release is signed to the über-trendy Kitsunè imprint, so expect it to be as big as the string sections contained within.
Civilization is driven by screaming guitar harmonies, explosive synths and some perfectly placed pianos and cellos, which are all tied together by the organic drums and Ali Love's stadium rocking vocal. A welcome return.
Breakbot, Fantasy (Feat. Ruckazoid). Download here.
All you've got to do is look at Beatport's top 100 at any given time to realise how much the whole dance music scene has changed in the last two years – 80's synth-funk influenced disco taking a big slice of the pie.
At the forefront of this more-than-welcome revival are bands such as Breakbot, Chromeo, Siriusmo and the hotly-tipped Mustang. Speaking of which, I got a sneak preview of their sterling remix of Golden Bug's latest track Sex Beat, which is released this week on Gomma Records. I'd strongly advise you don't sleep on this one – it's a whooper.
Right, back to the matter at hand, Breakbot, the people who gave us last year’s club smash Baby I'm Yours, have come correct again with Fantasy, yet another sexy, synth-soaked grooving disco bomb that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and evoke an urge for cold beers and sand between your toes. Expect this to fly.
Classic of the Week: Reese Project, Direct Me (Sasha Remix). Download here.
Every producer has a different theory on how best to approach their productions/remixes. I've read in-depth about various methods and the most viable theory when it comes to producing a track from scratch is to start at the main part, which in technical terms is the crescendo. This should contain the most energy, thus it would contain the most elements. It will also give a good indication as to whether or not the project is worth pursuing. If this is the case, it should be a simple case of subtraction – working your way back towards the intro and forwards to the outro.
Working on a remix is quite similar, but with one defining difference – instead of starting from scratch the remixer will start with an element of the original, which can be anything from the melody to the bass or even the kicks. Whatever they choose, it would more than likely be the most prominent part of the original.
In this particular instance, the most prominent part of the song was Rachel Kapp's powerful vocal so Sasha rightly choose this element and structurally built around it. For me, the strongest part of this song is the break, which still to this day makes my scalp tingle every time I hear it.
As with all of Sasha's early work this track is a real builder. From the start right up to the first break Sasha just keeps adding elements at a steady progression. Mid-break he really pitches it up and takes you on a trip to analogue city.
One of my favourite aspects of this remix is the way in which Sasha fully harnesses the vocal and in doing so he takes full advantage of its potential by teasing the listener with a chant-like-loop pressing you to 'come on' in between breaks. Although this track is sixteen-years old there's still a lesson to be learned from Sasha's school of thought – take note.
JOE’s Dance Downloads is compiled by veteran DJ Craig G. The Dubliner has performed sets in numerous clubs during the course of his 18-year career including The Dragon Nightclub in Dublin and The Vic Nightclub in Galway. His mixes, meanwhile, have been featured on 2fm. Craig G has been working with Rampage School of Dance for the past eight years, putting scores for their live performances. Their last collaboration enjoyed a sold-out run at The Mermaid Arts Theatre.