This week in dance music, we got a tour of the Kosovan electronic scene from Regard, who’s been lording over Hot Dance/Electronic Songs with his hits “You,” Secrets” and “Ride It.” That said, this week also found Puerto Rican star Farruko unseating Regard from the No. 1 spot on that chart, with his anthemic, trumpet-laden earworm “Pepas” ascending to the apex. Meanwhile, the venerable Skrillex/Justin Bieber bromance continued with a new single, “Don’t Go,” featuring Don Toliver.
Beyond that, the week also saw a flurry of new high-caliber electronic music, from house to bass to trance and beyond. Let’s dig in.
Disclosure, Never Enough EP
A year on from their Grammy-nominated third album Energy, Disclosure have shared a new EP, Never Enough, which they teased to us by releasing one track a day for the last five days. Though the U.K. duo have worked with many high-profile collaborators over the years — Lorde, Kehlani, Common and Khalid among them — when in album mode, more casual EPs such as Never Enough find Disclosure at their best: on their own and in the club.
Singles “In My Arms” and “Seduction” recall the Lawrence brothers’ pre-“Latch” sound while also pushing it forward: on the former, they sweep you up in their signature liquid chords, before launching you off a waterfall into a dark, yet euphoric, percussive jam. On the latter, their ear for vocals shines on a steamy house track that gives you a sparkling house groove and an aching R&B-style breakdown. “Happening,” another showcase of chopped vocals, is a more heads-down and slightly melancholic track for the 4 a.m. crowd, while “Never Enough” speeds up and spaces out. Final track “Another Level,” feels like a palate cleanser, stripped back, crisp and brooding.
In a statement, Guy Lawrence shared that they were fueled by the idea of helping to “revitalize” the dance music and club culture scene then mired in uncertainty by the pandemic. As events started opening up again this past spring, that vision felt within reach. “So we asked each other… what would we want to hear in those moments?” Guy writes. “What does that first moment back in a club sound like? What does walking into Shangri-la, Glasto at 2 a.m. feel like again? What does a headline show at Reading look like after all the difficulties 2020 brought on our whole industry? With all these questions unanswered & with the possibility that any of these events may actually be allowed to take place, we set to work on creating something that might fit one of those magical moments some of us have been longing to participate in again.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Above & Beyond feat. Justine Suissa, “Almost Home”
Above & Beyond is coming out of quarantine with a bang, teaming up with long-time collaborator Justine Suissa on an upbeat club tune that would make New Order proud. “Almost Home” hits euphoric and funky from the get go, swirling a thumping beat and majestic airs around a super catchy synth line that instantly makes you just feel kinda good.
“This is a track that we originally wrote with Justine some years ago,” Above & Beyond says in a joint press statement. “Like many musicians during the lockdown, we buried ourselves in the studio and had plenty of time to pick through old ideas. ‘Almost Home,’ with its ’80s production influences, caught our ear. We sent it across to Justine again, and she rewrote the second verse to reflect her feelings on it today—we won’t tell you what it’s about though, we’ll leave that for you to decide. This track started in quite a different form, so we’ve also done a Club Mix to bring it a bit more up-to-date. It’s quite emotional to think that we’ll be able to play this one live for you all very soon.”
Indeed, “Almost Home” lands two weeks before A&B hit the stage at The Drumsheds in London for the 450th edition of the beloved Group Therapy event series. The September 4 show marks the group’s first headline show in more than a year, and more than 10,000 fans are expected to attend. Look out for the trio on its Anjunafamily Reunion Tour across the U.S. later this year, too. — KAT BEIN
Seattle-based producer Kumarion has been making moves as big as his productions. The up-and-coming DnB/bass artist’s sinewy hard/soft 2020 single “Want It” got rinsed by a no-scrubs crew of producers, including CloZee, Martin Garrix and RL Grime during the truncated 2020 festival season, amassing an impressive three million-plus streams in the process. He’s also delivered releases via labels including Monstercat and RL Grimes’ Sable Valley, and has gotten additional support from tastemakers including Brownies & Lemonade.
This week, the producer born Omar Kadmiri delivers his latest, “Bad.” Out via Philadelphia trap label Jadū Dala, the song marries a buzzsaw hook with straight-up swagger, with hip-hop leaning percussion layered over a deliciously ominous wobble that altogether builds (and of course, inevitably drops) into a legit headbanger — and one of the best bass releases we’ve heard this year. — KATIE BAIN
Lotic, “Come Unto Me”
Experimental artist Lotic has announced her forthcoming second album Water, and with the news comes the LP’s lead single “Come Unto Me.” Led by funereal horns, the song unfurls into a haunting yet ethereal sonic ecosystem, one recreated to stunning effect by Lotic’s aquatic-themed visual. Pounding drums anchor Lotic’s siren-like voice, with skittering, squeaking and searing sounds darting about like tiny, iridescent fish. “Come Unto Me” swells with passion, yearning and mourning all at once. In a statement, Lotic says the video was inspired by the atrocities of the slave trade: “1.8 million Africans died on the Middle Passage; their bodies were thrown into the Atlantic. Had their cells been able to adapt to this new ecosystem, and thrive and multiply, perhaps a glorious new culture and history would have been possible.” — K.R.
Nasaya & Maro, “Nada A Ver”
Leave your work, the traffic and your worries behind and step into a lush tropical world of cool wonder. Representing the French-governed Indian Ocean island of Réunion, Nasaya blends palm tree melodies and cool breeze atmospheres into an intoxicating brand of sound — even more so when he teams with Portuguese vocalist and producer Maro, who just signed to Quincy Jones’ management roster.
Together, Nasaya and Maro made a four-song EP, Pirilampo, that’s out today on Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective, and it’s the kind of project worth stopping for. “This EP is such a special project to me,” Nasaya says in a press release. “Writing this with Maro was the most fun I had making music in a long time because we went in directions that we wouldn’t on our own. I love how it’s its own weird little world, and I can’t wait to share more of the music we made.”
“This EP is the first of many projects as Maro x Nasaya,” Maro says. “I love it to pieces, and I’m honestly just very excited for this release and all the music we’re still going to write together.” The whole collection is exquisite, preceded by lead singles “Tempo” and “I See It Coming.” We find third track “Nada A Ver” particularly romantic, but really, give the full EP a spin. — K. Bein
Alesso & Marshmello Feat. James Bay, “Chasing Stars”
Both Marshmello and Alesso are longstanding experts in colliding electronic and pop music, and together — along with singer and guitarist James Bay — they’ve made something as big and bright as you’d expect from these two crossover stars working in tandem. “Chasing Stars” is equal parts indie ballad and EDM, with Bay delivering plaintive lyrics about a love lost while the producers tag team a huge, buoyant chorus for a predictably undeniable pop-EDM jam. Make sure to check the corresponding video, which finds Bay playing the clerk at a VHS rental store, except that most of the VHS’ are just videos of the lost love he’s singing about. There’s even a nod to Inception at the end, while ‘Mello and Alesso make appearances in the form of cardboard cutouts. Endearing, all around. — K. Bain