After applying a balm to our collective anxiety last month with the downtempo ballad “Nabi,” Peggy Gou is pulling us back onto the dancefloor with her new track “I Go.” Despite her relatively short tenure in the dance world, Gou is becoming a perennial summer banger-bringer, with hits such as 2018’s “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)” and 2019’s “Starry Night” already in her pocket. (Last summer doesn’t count, for obvious reasons.)
A ready successor, “I Go” is sparkling dancefloor fantasy rendered in pink and lilac pastels, with Gou’s vocals breezing across trance-tinted melodies, a simmering acid synthline and a searing whistling sound that evokes images of seagulls soaring along the coast and endless horizons -- images of freedom and possibility. In a statement, Gou shares that the track is a tribute to, and reimagination of, the UK rave culture and sounds she admired from afar as a teenager in Korea. “The lyrics are inspired by a note I wrote on my phone in 2019, staring at myself in the mirror of an airport toilet – I looked so exhausted but there was no way I wasn’t going to keep going!” she writes. “‘I Go’ is basically me motivating myself, finding courage and returning to a feeling of innocence. I hope people feel the same sense of positivity when they hear it.” -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Icona Pop & Vize, “Off of My Mind”
It’s officially summer, and we all need a hot baddie anthem to bang as we face these rising temps. Thankfully, Icona Pop got with German electro duo Vize on a gritty little future house bop called “Off Of My Mind.” It’s smooth, groovy and a little bit dirty, which is exactly what we’re looking for in a summer night dance floor jam.
“We are always so excited to release new music, especially in these times,” the ladies of Icona Pop are quoted in a joint statement. “We have been locked in the studio working on a new album for what feels like forever. We’re so happy to work with Vize on this and can’t wait to start playing live again and to share all of our new music.”
"It was a pleasure to work on this song together with the girls from Icona Pop,” Vize adds. “Even though we unfortunately did not have the chance to meet in person, we simply cannot wait to play this on stage. It has such a unique vibe and the vocals are so on point. We are really happy that this track finally 'sees the light.’” -- KAT BEIN
Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray, "Bade Zile"
Nero's Joseph Ray and Haitian musical collective Lakou Mizik release their third track, "Bade Zile." The collaboration began when Ray arrived in Haiti in 2015 to as a volunteer teacher at the country's sole music production and audio engineering school, the Artist's Institute. He happened upon a Lakou Mizik show at a tiny club on the beach and the seeds of this collaboration were sowed. Both joyfully buoyant and in possession of tremendous depth, "Bade Zile" is a traditional Vodou spiritual song outfitted with traditional Haitian drums and chants, and in Ray's hands, also some simmering digital production. The song comes ahead of Lakou Mizik and Ray's collaborative LP Leave The Bones, out August 6. -- KATIE BAIN
Amtrac, “Outer Station Support”
Step into the smooth grooves of deep space, and immerse yourself in the dark blue and purple hues of Amtrac’s chill yet brooding mood setter “Outer Station Support.” Clocking in at an impressive seven minutes, it ebbs and flows through rolling hills of synthesizer bliss, breathing slow through expansive string chords and bubbling soft over a steady house beat. It’s absolutely delightful, and it’s the first single from a forthcoming EP called MIDI Ceremony.
“Over this past year, I’ve been diving deep into dub techno vinyl,” the artist writes on IG. “I became obsessed with the simplicity of just using a few pieces of gear to create. This EP came to fruition by way of single takes, recorded live on an MPC2000.” Look for it on his Openers label later this year. -- K. Bein
박혜진 Park Hye Jin, “Let’s Sing Let’s Dance”
박혜진 Park Hye Jin’s music is well-suited for home listening, but not even the South-Korean-turned-Angeleno producer could have predicted home would be only venue in which people would be able to listen to her music for an entire year. On songs like Billboard Dance favorite “Like This,” Park’s music exists somewhere between deep house and hip-hop, between the club and the couch. Her new single, “Let’s Sing Let’s Dance,” while equally laidback, sounds like an invitation to venture outside. The warm piano keys drift across the song’s gentle house rhythm like fluffy clouds in blue skies; the “sunny days” of which Park speaks seem both literal and metaphorical, a cause for communal celebration. “Close your eyes, you hold my hand,” she sings in Korean at a soothing near-whisper. “You can feel it even if you can't see it.” “Let’s Sing Let’s Dance” is the lead single and opening track from 박혜진 Park Hye Jin’s debut album Before I Die, due out September 10 on Ninja Tune. -- K.R.
Swavé, Hitta & Vanilla Ace, “When in Miami”
For a panoramic view of dance music’s next wave, look to Space Yacht. Initially a weekly party, the Los Angeles-based collective spent their pandemic-induced downtime exploring a new frontier in A&R, inevitably launching their eponymous record label this past October. Since then, the label has sourced many of its artists from Space Yacht’s Twitch-based demo showcase, “Tune Reactor.” After releasing the first installment of their Tech My House compilation in January, part two is here with a new crew of up-and-comers including Arnold & Lane, Chapter & Verse, Capozzi and No Thanks & San Pacho. Tech house is promised, and it’s delivered in full across 14 tracks brimming with heavy bass, boxed grooves and sounds designed to stimulate your brainwaves at 3 a.m. Few tracks on here, however, create instant summer like “When in Miami” by Swavé, Hitta and Vanilla Ace. This L.A.-London team-up brings rhythm steeped in sunshine and soaked in sweat, with euphoric horn blasts and percussion that rolls with the hips. The whooping and hollering vocal samples add an ambiance of feeling like you’re in the middle of the dancefloor at a daytime party—subtle but endearing, and sorely missed. -- K.R.
Hey, do you like sick pop melodies mixed with out-of-left-field hooks? Do you like your electronic music to be a little bit sweet and a lotta bit spicy? Ninajirachi’s “Dracodraco” is the brain-pummeling sugar high your body craves. It starts out all cute and cuddly, then it hits you with whiplash beat textures and hardstyle thumps — and it does it all without losing sight of its pastel pink melody. “Dracodraco” is just track one of a two-track EP by the same name. Definitely do give b-side “Stoneteller” a spin. It’s a real funky bass shocker that’s not to be missed. The full dual-label release is out via Nina Las Vegas' NLV Records and is also artist’s first on RL Grime’s Sable Valley, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to come on this imprint soon. -- K. Bein
Flight Facilities, "The Ghost (Gerd Janson Dance Mix)"
Flight Facilities' latest single gets a dark, driving remix from German heavyweight Gerd Janson, who turns down the electro elements on the Australian duo's (thoroughly excellent) original and turns up the siren synth and BPM, creating an urgent, hypnotic (and seven minute!) edit for a remix package that also includes a take from London underground hero ABSOLUTE. "In 2017 we slipped an unknown track into our Boiler Room show," the gentlemen of Flight Facilities say in a joint statement. "Needless to say we were blown away by the amount of questions that came back after. 'The Ghost' was born and quickly a staple in all of our shows. Who could we trust to remix such a track you ask? None other than the greats Gerd Janson and ABSOLUTE. We’ve been fan boys of Gerd’s label and DJ sets for years so it's a huge honor to have him turn the track into disco floor filler. Absolute has been on fire of late, his mixtape earlier this year was reason enough to ask him to remix this one, it's one of the best of 2021.” Adds Janson: "It would have been a sacrilege not to remix 'The Ghost.' Flight Facilities‘ original has an almost irresistible vocoder vocal hook that seemed perfect for a dance floor rod. It just needed some kick-snare and a choir…et voila!"-- K. Bain