This week in dance music: the valuation of the global dance music industry grew 71% over 2021, electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze passed away at age 74, Swedish House Mafia’s debut album Paradise Again hit No. 1 on Dance/Electronic albums and bass producer Riot Ten spoke with Billboard about raising an autistic son and what he’s doing to support the cause.
It’s also a big week for new releases. Let’s dig in.
Aluna and Jayda G, “Mine O’ Mine”
Nothing in this life is guaranteed. Everyone works, nothing is free, and everyone starts at the bottom. That being said, when something comes your way, you gotta make sure you get that thing. Right now, that thing is the dance floor, and Aluna has teamed with Jayda G to make sure you take full advantage. “It’s not often that two women of color come together to make music, even less so in dance or electronic music,” Jayda G says. “We got together in my home studio and it just clicked.”
“This track was pure inspiration in the moment,” Aluna offers. “Myself and Jayda started with nothing and built the production, melody and lyrics from scratch, just following our thoughts and feelings about having pulled through 2021 and looking forward to 2022. It really is more of a memento, a snapshot of the beginning of a beautiful new friendship. I just remember laughing and enjoying the realization that neither of us are the cool, calm, collected badasses that we are on stage. When we’re in the studio, we’re just a couple of goofballs that love nerding out on beats and wordplay.”
“Mine O’ Mine” is a cool, repetitive house track with lots of funk, and it’s sure to go off when both collaborators hit the stage at Aluna’s inaugural Noir Fever Festival in New Orleans come late May. – KAT BEIN
JODA, “We Find Ourselves”
Longtime friends and collaborators Darren Tate and Jono Grant (who makes up exactly one third of Above & Beyond) linked last year to work on the score for the recently released climate change documentary The Last Glacier. (It marked the first-ever film score from A&B.) From out of that project came Tate and Grant’s latest joint venture, the duo they’re calling JODA. The pair bounds out of the gates today (April 29) with their debut single “We Find Ourselves,” which was forged in London during the early days of the pandemic — when the duo entered their own creative bubble, finding solace and escape in exploring the sounds of the vintage equipment populating their respective studios. With it they made this slickly immersive track that toes the line between ’80s synth-pop and modern freshness. Fingers crossed for more to come. — KATIE BAIN
Kelly Lee Owens, LP.8
When Kelly Lee Owens’ world tour for her second album Inner Song was canceled, instead of just waiting around, she made another album. LP.8, as it’s titled, was recorded in Oslo alongside noise/experimental artist Lasse Marhaug, with the idea of “making music somewhere in between Throbbing Gristle and Enya.” Across nine tracks, Owens hits her target, pairing are-you-afraid-of-the-dark ambiance and jarring industrial sounds with her floating ethereal vocals, which cut through like a flashlight in the dark. Latest single “One” in particular is an alluring call to the void: Over the cold, minimal beat of a thick kick drum, bottomless drones and subtle oscillating synths, Owens’ vocals loop and multiply across various layers of sweet croons and whispers like a siren’s song, strobing and enveloping until they fall away, leaving you with only the kick drum lodging itself in your chest. LP.8 is out now on Smalltown Supersound. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Madeon, “Love You Back”
Even dance music stars languish in the shadow of unrequited love — except in Grammy nominee Madeon’s case, that shadow is made of blinding rainbow flashes, and he’s the one who can’t love back enough.
“‘Love You Back’ is a song about being on the other side of unrequited love,” the producer says says, “being with somebody who loves you more than you ever could. I started working on it a while ago, it was originally gonna be one of the singles for but I couldn’t figure it out at the time. I’ve played versions of it at my shows for years, and fans started developing a real connection to it. That motivated me to finally share it with everybody, this summer felt like a particularly appropriate time. I’m so happy to see it out as I’m still experiencing the rush from my two Coachella performances. It’s a happy, nostalgic song, almost like a daytime counterpoint to my last release ‘The Prince.’ I hope you get to make beautiful memories with it this summer.” – K. Bein
Jamie Jones, “My Paradise”
For many clubbers around the world, summer isn’t summer without a trip to Ibiza. Few have likely felt its absence like Jamie Jones, whose long-running Paradise events have become synonymous with the party island. As clubs kick off the summer for the first time since 2019, Jones has delivered a welcome-back anthem in the form of “My Paradise,” for Defected. (The single marks his solo debut for the label, though he collaborated with Darius Syrossian on “Rushing” in 2019.)
Using disco — a genre for which refuge from hardship is in its DNA — as a medium, Jones with one vocal loop sums up why we’ve missed dance floors so much after a long time away: “You made my lonely life a paradise.” With its elegant keys, wailing trumpets and easy groove, “My Paradise” is at once euphoric and wistful, the equivalent of a sun setting with hopes for paradise ahead.
Jones says, “I remember back in my early Ibiza seasons around 2000. There were these big anthems that used pumped up 909 hi-hats, a heavy kick drum, a looping disco groove. Producers like Armand Van Helden and Full Intention did it so well. I wanted to recreate this for the 2022 dance floor and ‘My Paradise’ is what came out.” — K.R.