First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Gesaffelstein, Deadmau5, Nocturnal Sunshine & More

Michael Esposito


New Music Friday is intense. Hundreds of songs drop from artists around the world, and you're supposed to somehow find the best ones. It's fun work, but it's time-consuming -- so we at Billboard Dance want to give you a hand. Each week, we sift through the streams and dig into the digital crates to present absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of fresh jams. 

This week saw the release of new David Guetta + Glowinthedark track, an emotive and excellent rock/electronic release from Nghtmre and Grabbitz, a surprise album from Chromatics and a delightful new video for Zedd and Kehlani's "Good Thing." Beyond that, this week there's a lot of big name wattage on the release radar, with drops today by Gesaffelstein, Maya Jane Coles, deadmau5 and more. Let's dig in. 

Nocturnal Sunshine feat. Gangsta Boo and Young M.A, "Pull Up"

Maya Jane Coles debuted her Nocturnal Sunshine project back in 2015, with it revealing another facet of her eclectic oeuvre. This November 1, the British/Japanese producer drops Full Circle, her second LP under the alias. The lead single is "Pull Up" which extends Coles' longstanding relationship with hip-hop -- her track "What They Say" was looped to form the foundation for Nicki Minaj's "Truffle Butter" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne --  via vocals from Gangsta Boo and Young M.A. Here, the ominous beat juxtaposes against raunchy rhymes and a chorus delivered via chant. -- KATIE BAIN

Gesaffelstein, “Orck”

And now for something completely different. The French king of darkness bought himself a new synthesizer, and he's unloading a fresh take on his horror-lined sound that'll have you dancing like an '80s new wave snot. This six-track collection, Novo Sonic System, is nothing like what you'd expect. It's downright punk rock. The opening track, “Orck,” is a blitzkrieg jammer, sounding like The Ramones and The Clash getting rowdy in a goth club. The rest of the EP plays out in a variety of surprising ways, with a few hints to the stomping techno-like sounds Gesaffelstein is known for. But honestly, this is something totally new, and we are 100 percent here for it. Never paint metal Gesa in a box. -- KAT BEIN

Ariel Zetina, “Forest Sprite”

Who or what is the face of dance music these days? Steve Mizek, founder of Chicago record labels Argot and Tasteful Nudes and a former music journalist, takes a snapshot of America’s underground scene with his new compilation, American Dance Music Vol. 2. One of the featured artists is Ariel Zetina, a fellow Chicagoan and Discwoman affiliate who showed her star power earlier this year with her excellent Organism EP. Her contribution to ADM, “Forest Sprite,” is a techno track that’s both whimsical and tribal, its airy, almost choral ambiance cut through by an oscillating acid line. Subtle shimmering sounds throughout make it feel almost magical, like a sprinkling of fairy dust.

On Argot’s website, Zetina shares that the track was made to be a sonic representation of “a landscape made for an imaginary forest sprite.” Perhaps in that world, this landscape is the secret final location of a woodland rave requiring multiple map points, and “Forest Sprite” its soundtrack, imparting a sense of wonder as you stare up into the looming pines. Back in the real world, Ariel Zetina is absolutely a face to watch for going forward. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Deadmau5, “Strobe (ov)” (Peekaboo Remix)

When deadmau5 named his remix album here's the drop!, he meant it. The iconic producer just plopped 15 electronic rinses of his where's the drop? orchestral album, featuring re-imaginings of already-popular deadmau5 hits from mau5trap favorites Spencer Brown, No Mana, Rinzen, Mr. Bill, Mad Zach and more. Today, we highlight Peekaboo's epic 8-minute take on the already odyssey-esque fan-favorite “Strobe.” It's incredibly cinematic with all those piercing strings, but this being a Peekaboo remix, it doesn't stay ethereal for long. It's not dubstep though, by any means. It's melodic in a space-age sort of way, gliding across cocky rhythms you can really chew. It's got some rock elements to it. Give it and the rest of the remix EP a big whirl. -- K. Bein

Martin Ikin, "Hooked"

The first non-Fisher release from Fisher's Catch & Release label, "Hooked" is as peak a peak-time rave anthem as one might expect from the Australian party-monger. Martin Ikin has been a mainstay in the UK scene since the early '90s, and you can feel his penchant for revelry on "Hooked," a three minute sugar high assembled from synth stabs, a huge gospel house vocal and, delightfully, a sample from Yazoo's 1982 synth anthem "Situation," (which was also recently sampled by Oliver Heldens and Riton.)

Ikin has a long history of releases on taste-making labels Repopulate Mars, Lost, Toolroom, Get Physical, Defected, Elrow, with the producer noting that Fisher signed the song "pretty much on the spot" when Ikin played it while opening for him at a recent gig in Sheffield. They then waited on Yazoo to get the greenlight. "To be honest, it took longer than expected to get the sample cleared," Ikin says in a statement, "the label was very patient, which probably helped to build the hype on this track!" Give it a listen, and you'll agree that the hype on this one is palpable.  -- K. Bain

Anamanaguchi, “Air On Line”

Porter Robinson's favorite band is back with the second single from its forthcoming LP [USA]. “Air On Line” is a 64-bit video game soundtrack pumped with 500 volts of J-pop power. If it reminds you of Robinson, that's because he actually helped produce it. It's bright melodies play in tinker toy shades and hit hard but sweet, like walking from a dark room right into a bright sunny day. It's triumphant and hopeful with a second half that can only be described as a Skittle-colored, maximalist wall of sound.

The single is paired with a self-directed music video that lives ahflway between urban underbelly and a world of fantasy. The full album is due for release Oct. 29 with a tour of North America right thereafter. Definitely mark your calendars for that one. -- K. Bein

Mad Zach, “No Past Lives”

If you like Aphex Twin and G Jones' most frenetic tunes, you're gonna need to save Mad Zach's entire No Past Lives EP to download. It's heady, moody, hyperactive, unsettling and adventurous as hell. It's wild beats pull inspiration from hip-hop, jungle, techno and dub. Even with all its frenzies beats, it makes room for dark, minimal vibes and surreal emotions. We're highlighting the opening title track for its attention-grabbing delirium. The EP is out on MethLab Recordings, a London-based label specializing in “cutting-edge exploratory aesthetics,” so you already know where you're at. Give the whole thing a hallucinatory spin. -- K. Bein  


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