This week in dance music: Amsterdam’s first full-fledged dance event kicked off in the Dutch capital on Tuesday (watch for our full recap early next week), Claude VonStroke’s iconic label Dirtybird has been acquired by San Francisco-based EMPIRE, Oliver Tree and Robin Schulz hit the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and we went one step further with one of electronic music’s true inventors, Jean-Michel Jarre.
And bang with a Z? We have them too. Let’s dig.
Before Bonobo wraps up his North American tour this weekend, he leaves a parting gift. The new single “Defender,” released on his Outlier label in partnership with Ninja Tune, is another surprise drop after the previous “ATK” loosie. Both deliver on the producer’s rich, textural electronica, but where “ATK” was bouncy and more downright upbeat in its approach, “Defender” sees the return of its tender touch. Floating above propelling drums, the crystalline melody of the thumb piano is light as a lullaby, joined by a soft vocal scat. Even when roaring foghorn synths add heaviness, Bonobo keeps the magic alive with swirling synths and accents that twinkle like midnight stars. “Defender” might not be your first thought when it comes to club tracks, but we’d still love it any day (or night). — KRISTAL RODRIGUEZ
Fred again.., “Delilah (Get Me Out Of This)”
If you don’t know Fred Again… now, you probably never will. That said, to quote Drake, if you’re reading this, it’s too late and you’ve now been bitten by the Fred-a-mania collective. Much like the aforementioned hip-hop superstar, the pop producer-turned-electronic-dance hipster loves turning bits of voicemail, samples and IRL recordings into divine slices of melodic funk, and he names those tracks after friends and artists that he melts into the music. His latest portrait is dubbed “Delilah (get me out of this),” and he paired the video with a recording his pal caught at a festival in Los Angeles.
“So a few days ago I played a show in LA and my friend theo was filming some stuff in the crowd,” Fred tweets. “He came across this absolutely stunning moment right at the back of it all.
For me this song is about one time I had a panic attack in a club and I needed your person to pull you out of it so the moment at the end where they get up and jump away seems particularly expensive to me. There’s obviously a whole story going on for them too, you can see on their friendly faces at the end! I told them about it, I think maybe it’s best not to explain it, because different people think different things when they watch it, and that’s still great to me.
He also had some good news to share in the YouTube description box: “Okayyyy,” Fred wrote on YouTube. “So I’m so really very VERY happy to say that real life 3 will be released on October 28th!!!!!” After months of hype, we can confidently say that we are also very happy. – KAT BEIN
Gorgon City feat. Flirta D, “Sidewindah”
Gorgon City delves deeper into their British roots on new single ‘Sidewindah’. The track was a frequent fixture and asked for ID on the duo’s live dates for a hot minute, and it’s understandable why. Their dancefloor-friendly house music gets an infusion of grime courtesy of veteran MC Flirta D, whose weathered voice stutters and skids with short-circuit delirium. Add serpentine synths, hyper-fast shakers, and gigantic, gelatinous bass swings, and you’re in for a great time. In addition to the release of “Sidewindah,” Gorgon City just announced they are returning to the famed Red Rocks of Colorado next April for a Realm label showcase. —KR
Lastlings, “Get What You Want”
Getting off the couch and chasing your dreams is hard, but music can help. The Rocky the theme is played a bit, and while it’s great and all, “Get What You Want” by sibling duo Lastlings has a sultry motivational groove that can move your body, heart, and mind to your most big me with a little more electronic side.
“We spent a week writing in 2021 and this was one of the first songs to come out of the session,” said the band’s Josh Dowdle. “We had two bedrooms. A writing room for Amy with a piano, and one for me where I did the instrumental.
“It explores mental health and the relationship I have with myself,” adds Amy Dowdle. “It’s about showing myself off and not letting doubt get in the way of what I really want. “I’ve got a lot of enemies living in my head.” This song isn’t about love for another person, but about my relationship with myself. “You” refers to a darker version of myself that I’m trying to fight and overcome.”
The brother and sister band are signed to RÜFÜS DU SOL’s label, Rose Avenue, and this single marks the first piece of original material since their debut album. First contactwhich dropped in 2020. – K.Bein
Tiesto’s DJ Mix
Our main stage main man, Tiësto, takes on himself, via a flurry of edits of his own tracks. Produced exclusively for Spotify, the playlist includes edits of hits such as “The Business” and “The Motto”, and is part of a series that includes similar packages from Aluna, Yung Bae and BLOND:ISH. All of these artists released these editions in conjunction with the Amsterdam Dance Event, which ends today in the Netherlands. To celebrate, Spotify is hosting a launch party at ADE tonight, where each act will unveil their edits with an accompanying drone show.
“When I play my mix, I hope listeners can feel the energy of my live set,” says Tiësto. “Play it while you practice, while you play, in your car, anywhere – wherever you play it, it should sound like the soundtrack to the best day or night of your life! ” — KATIE BATH