This week in dance music: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs broke down the biggest lessons he’s learned in the music industry, Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence announced he won’t be joining his brother Guy on the duo’s upcoming Australian tour and David Guetta and Bebe Rexha made moves on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Is there more? There is so much more. Let’s dig in.
Kx5, “Take Me High”
If anyone knows real rave vibes, it’s Kaskade and deadmau5. These two producer-DJs have been in the game for a collective 50 years, and they both remember the days when parties were sweatbox warehouse affairs where kids in baggy JNCOs sucked pacifiers and played with actual glowsticks. Their recent collaborative project Kx5 is decades in the making as well, and each tune has brought a special flavor of heat, but “Take Me High” might be our favorite yet. It’s got that nostalgic smoke-machine sound that brings classic rave memories to light, and it’s sure to get a dance floor going at peak hour, sending kids as high as the sky. The pair will have the chance to do just that at its newly-announced joint festival, Sun Soaked & Friend5, coming to Cancun in December. – KAT BEIN
Kelela, “Washed Away”
With “Washed Away,” Kelela returns not with a bang, but with a beam. The new single detours from the singer’s future-facing production merging R&B and club music towards ambient, on which she delivers angelic runs and impassioned vocals over a bed of equally divine synths radiating with the vastness and warmth of sun rays, gently filling all and every space. The song, while just shy of four minutes long, feels like it could flow on forever. “I love a banger,” Kelela says, “but for the first point of contact out of my hiatus, it felt more honest to lead with an ambient heart-check.”
“Washed Away” is Kelela’s first new music since she released her 2017 album Take Me Apart. She adds, “I specifically want to speak to marginalized Black folk and highlight the work we do to find renewal in a world that’s built to make us feel inadequate. This song is the soundtrack to the relief we find after going inward.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Illenium & Skylar Grey, “From the Ashes”
The dance world is not necessarily famous for its earnestness, but lllienium has always been a reliable purveyor of genuine emotion rendered in anthemic form. That track record remains in tact with the Colorado-based future bass leader’s latest, “From The Ashes,” a powerhouse tearjerker about those moments when life burns you — providing the opportunity to either succumb to the flames or become the phoenix. Illenium’s first collaboration with vocalist Skyler Grey, the song is the first track from the producer’s forthcoming fifth studio album. “This is one of those songs that I feel so lucky and grateful to be a part of,” Illenium says. “My main goal with music is to give people peace and some escape – and that’s exactly what “From the Ashes” does for me.” — KATIE BAIN
Fred Again.., “Danielle (smile on my face)”
Yo, listen. Ya hear that? It’s the latest song from everyone’s favorite Boiler Room guest. Yes, we’re talking about Fred, again.., who’s back with another feel-good groove, the first single from his forthcoming Actual Life 3 (January 1-September 9 2022) album, coming October 28 via Atlantic. The series composes fire dance tracks from voice notes he collects of friends, sounds he finds on Instagram and samples from his favorite songs by other artists. “Danielle (smile on my face)” lays a laidback melody over a frenetic beat to create a real heartstring pull effect. It’s the kind of song that just instantly feels like it should soundtrack the scene in a coming-of-age movie when the kids steal someone’s mom’s car and drive to the big city with their heads out the window. It’s centered around the vocals from 070 Shake’s “Nice To Have,” which was Fred Again..’s most listened-to track of last year. Cute! – K. Bein
LP Giobbi feat. DJ Tennis & Joseph Ashworth, “All in a Dream (Logic1000 remix)”
LP Giobbi revisits her summertime hit “All In A Dream” with a remix from Logic1000. The original track – which marked Giobbi’s signing with Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint this past July – imbued the kind of muggy dreaminess you feel when watching the sun sink into the desert, led by her drifting piano melody. In Logic1000’s hands, Giobbi’s desert dusk turns into midnight magic. The club-ready remix immediately kicks in with a buoyant house bassline and sharp percussion, with subtle yet visceral textures emerging: fuzzing acid oscillations, kaleidoscopic synth swirls and dubby ripples. While Logic1000 maintains the relative mellowness of Giobbi’s original work, she molds its dreaminess into something more shadowy and psychedelic.
“I’ve been a huge fan of [Logic1000] ever since I discovered the remix she did for Caribou – which led me to her original productions that I consumed on repeat,” said Giobbi on Twitter. “I absolutely love her take on this track.” — K.R.
Holly, Minha Vida Love
Portuguese producer Holly returns with his seven-track Minha Vida Love EP, a reflection, he says, on personal loss, professional success, healing, spirituality and that most enduring influence, love. A longtime one to watch in the bass realm, Minha Vida Love demonstrates Holly’s prowess with complex, experimental beats, while also leaning further into the ethereal than on previous work.
“I feel like in the past years I haven’t been totally honest with the way I sound, since a lot of my work ends up being with other people and I felt like my life was calling me to do a project where I’m just sharing the sounds and ideas of my mind,” Holly says. “Most of the EP was created while I was still in Portugal during the peak of the pandemic. It was a time of a lot of thinking about the world and life, so I wanted to bring all these stories and concepts into each song and let it talk for itself.” — K. Bain
Forester, “All I Need“
The breakout duo from Kygo’s Palm Tree Records continue their ascendency with their latest, “All I Need.” An uptempo yet also slinky melodic earworm with sex appeal and a stuttering beat, the song extends the Forester sound beyond a three-LP catalog that leans largely into the moody and etheric, proving this pair has the chops to bring uptempo energy while also maintaining their signature sophistication. Upcoming Forester dates include Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival along with clubs gigs including New York’s Bowery Ballroom. — K. Bain