This week in dance music, we took a tour of the Brazilian scene with one of the country’s hottest exports, Vintage Culture; Porter Robinson, Alison Wonderland and REZZ topped the lineup for New Orleans’ Buku Music + Art Project 2022; Above & Beyond topped themselves by playing from the apex of a granite monolith in Colombia; we got the rundown from the new SoCal festival Desert Air; Madonna entered Hot/Dance Electronic Songs via the Sickick edit of her 90s hit “Frozen”; we got a behind-the-scenes tour of EDC Las Vegas 2022; and we selected our 20 favorite dance albums of 2021. (Watch for our best songs of the year list coming next week.)
Beyond that, there was some quality music to check out as the holidays got closer. Let’s dig in.
Confidence Man, “Holiday” (Erol Alkan Rework)
“Holiday,” the first single from the Australian quartet’s forthcoming album Tilt, gets a rework from English DJ/producer Erol Alkan. On the edit, Alkan trades the choral vibes of the original for breathy synths that ultimately maintain the song’s punch and energy, while balancing a mood of celestial lushness with a lot of percussion. Confidence Man’s Tilt is out Apr. 1 on Heavenly Recordings.
Gordo, “Eenie Weenie”
Carnage returns under his house alias GORDO, following up his excellent deep house 2021 cut “Taraka” with a tech house single that’s a little more tongue-in-cheek. “Eenie Weenie” samples Gillette’s 1995 joke jam “Short D–k Man,” placing a woozy synth line under sizzling percussion and a wall of bass over vocal samples from the ’90s crossover club cut. The producer says the track has “been in the works for years. It’s one of those tracks that has lingered around on for a while now and I’m beyond proud of what the final result came out to be.” Watch for additional Gordo releases in 2022.
Ela Minus, “N19 5NF”
“N19 5NF” is named for the London zip code of a hospital where Ela Minus gained consciousness after being in the ICU for two days. She says of the experience, “It’s where I believe my life before this album ended and a new life began.” This previously released track, from the producer/vocalist’s 2020 album acts of rebellion, gets a visual component in the form of a spare, often spooky and deeply evocative music video directed by rising Mexican filmmaker Losmose. (Warning: the clip contains scenes some may find disturbing, particularly around the 1:56 mark.)
While Minus hasn’t said exactly why she was in the hospital, she does note that the video draws from real life events: “This video is important because of my own story and the empowerment it can give to others through my way of telling it.” Beyond that, we’re left to draw our own conclusions while enjoying the darkly shimmering production.
Johnny Klimet & Tom Tykwer, “My Dream Ended Here” (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
While Matrix fans eagerly await the fourth installment of the classic franchise to arrive next week, Berlin-based producer Marcel Dettmann is sating the appetite for fresh red and blue pills with his edit of the soundtrack’s “My Dream Ended Here.” The remix stretches the piece into a dreamily hypnotic six-minute mind-melt of low key percussion and enough celestial choir to make you wonder what reality you’re actually inhabiting. Dettmann, along with fellow electronic producers Alesandro Adriani, Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann and System 01, also contributed original work to The Matrix Resurrections soundtrack, which is out now ahead of the movie’s wide release on Dec. 22.