Dance

First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Boys Noize, DJ Snake & Malaa, More

Shane McCauley

Boys Noize

Another Friday, another workweek behind us, and everyone knows the best way to celebrate the coming weekend is with a fistful of dance music delights. This week sees some great tunes from German ace Boys Noize, French friend DJ Snake and Malaa, shadow groove slayer Zhu and more.

Boys Noize, “Nude” feat. Tommy Cash

Good news from Berlin’s techno bvnker. Scene legend Boys Noize has announced his fifth studio album, blessing dance floors with a heavy yet funky dose of warehouse energy. “Nude” is a bipolar banger that flits between airy house euphoria and slamming, sweaty bass thumps. Estonian madman Tommy Cash sings dreamily over the top, repeating the phrase, “I wish we all were nude,” à la Prince in “Controversy.” It’s one of two dual singles released Friday, representing the dual nature of the forthcoming album, +/- (pronounced “Polarity”).

“The album dives into the polar tension between the musical styles and worlds I find myself in,” Boys Noize is quoted in a press release. “When you combine opposites, something transcendent can take place, something greater than the two parts. And with music, it becomes a magic that can create new worlds.”

The artist’s previously released single “Girl Crush,” “Buchla 100,” “Ride or Die,” “IU” and “All I Want” are also scheduled to appear on the album, set for release Sept. 24. “Nude” gets a wild music video, directed by Sus Boy. Strip down and check it out for yourself. -- KAT BEIN

Alewya, “Spirit_X”

Whatever rave Alewya is at is where you want to be. The London-based singer captured the industry’s attention last summer with a feature on UK rapper Little Simz’s “Where’s My Lighter,” but her debut single “Sweating” placed her on the club world’s radar with its primal, percussion-driven energy and dance-floor-dwelling music video. After sharing songs “The Code” and “Jagna” Alewya is back in the rave -- sonically and physically -- on “Spirit_X.” Co-produced by Kid

Drama and Breakage, it’s a drum & bass track that doesn’t need to be rip-roaring to bring the drama; its mellow headiness is almost sinister and made more hypnotic by Alewya’s raw-edged vocals, which skip, sprint and snakewind alongside the brisk production.

“I know that the rave can be utilized as ritual and ceremony to transform, uplift and energize a person,” Alewya says of the track. “I love giving visceral experiences. I love drum and bass for that specific reason. ‘Spirit_X’ encompasses all of the above in my way.” -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

DJ Snake & Malaa, “Ring the Alarm”

Crank up your speakers, your woofers and your tweeters. The Pardon My French crew is making some big noise. DJ Snake and Malaa are set to “Ring The Alarm,” dropping a pulse-raising club slammer that’s as weird and quirky as it is frightening. The explosive jam is a high-octane bass ride built around the hook of Florida rap duo Dead Prez’ “Radio Freq.” Wonky synths and pounding drums clinch the funky hook, and if you like what you hear, you can catch the duo as they cross the United States on a summer mini-tour that touches down in Chicago, Denver, San Bernardino, Washington D.C. and Oakland. --K. BEIN

Leaving Laurel, “Winter in the Woods”

Anjunadeep has today shared “Winter in the Woods” from Leaving Laurel as the lead single of the duo’s forthcoming debut album. (The song previously appeared on the label’s Anjunadeep 12 compilation.) The announcement, typically one of excitement, this time is bittersweet: Pierce Fulton, one-half of the group with Gordon Huntley, died this past April. The self-titled LP, which was completed prior to Fulton’s death, is dedicated to his memory.

Leaving Laurel was named for Los Angeles’ sunny Laurel Canyon neighborhood where Fulton and Huntley lived as roommates, but the inspiration for “Winter in the Woods” takes listeners to the Connecticut and Vermont woods where the pair also spent time. Across seven minutes, the song itself mimics an act of nature. There’s a purity and crispness to it, like snow. It slowly defrosts amid soft piano keys and pattering, then bursts into bloom with blocky percussion and swirling synth melodies. It’s a stunning yet solemn first glimpse of Leaving Laurel, which is scheduled for release on August 20. -- K.R.

Zhu, “Monster” feat. John the Blind

Step into Dreamland with Zhu’s latest summer tune. “Monster” is dark but sweet, a smooth groovin’ bit of melodic house with a kickin’ syncopated rhythm. Singer-songwriter John The Blind adds a touch of twisted romance, singing about the intimacy that comes when someone accepts you’re deepest and darkest self. Honestly though, it just jams.
“I wanted to create a summer anthem for the kids who are finally able to go out,” Zhu is quoted in a press release. The vibe continues off wax as he takes his signature showmanship to the stage on the Dreamland tour, with sets planned in Vegas, L.A., NYC, Miami and more. -- K. BEIN

Claude VonStroke and Walker & Royce, “Enthusiasm”

The category is: collaboration. After linking up last month with Justin Jay on their leftfield Oh EP, Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke has teamed up with another label friend, duo Walker & Royce, on new two-tracker Enthusiasm. The title track is built for festivals, with increasingly looming waves of sound powerful enough to rip through large crowds, one after another in quick succession, and a bliss-seeking vocal that effectively puts a voice to every punter’s serotonin levels at their peak. Synth melodies squiggle, squelch, chirp and strobe in the spaces between, making for a tech house track that in its fully-leaned-into weirdness is distinctly and belovedly Dirtybird. -- K.R.