While it will likely still be a long while before we return to dark clubs, as big deal fall festival lineups are starting to drop, the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is indeed getting brighter.
And until dance music returns to its spiritual home on the dancefloor, we shall continue enjoying it through our preferred set of speakers. This week delivers another batch of new music to get acquainted with on your runs and in your living rooms. Let’s dig in.
Wavedash, “Satin Cash”
Porter Robinson and Madeon are gushing about about Wavedash’s debut LP, World Famous Tour, on Twitter, and we understand why. The 12-track experience sees the Texas harsh-step band move toward a bold, bright future. Spoken words snippets, brain-popping textures, emotional melodies and hiccuping rhythms swirl together in an exciting mash-up of styles and tastes. It’s multifaceted and futuristic, while still paying homage to the greats of the past – and yes, there are still some seriously heavy bangers.
“The electronic dance music scene has shifted quite a bit over the last five years, and this album is partially our response to that,” the trio tells Billboard Dance. “All of our idols made albums, and there’s something undeniable about the lasting effect a larger, cohesive body of work can have on your life. We hope that World Famous Tour will be one of those records, through the ups and downs – because it certainly has been for us.” From the hyper-bounce pop of single “Dummo Loop” to face-crushing sound design of “Ultracover” and the space romantics of piano-driven “Left Behind,” it is a project worth diving into face first. We particularly love the cut-and-past sample funk of “Satin Cash,” a song that reveals itself in rainbow layers of sound. Enjoy the sonic adventure. — KAT BEIN
Masters At Work, “Mattel”
Trends in dance come and go, but house music is always in fashion. The hopefully imminent return of club nights and festivals post-Covid signals a refresh, and thus the time feels serendipitous for some of house’s biggest living legends to officially reunite. Last week, Masters At Work — the duo of Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, and the duo behind classics like “To Be in Love” and “The Ha Dance” — relaunched their MAW Records label, and today they’ve shared their first new track in two decades, “Mattel,” with more material reportedly in the pipeline.
Named after their favorite drum machine from back in the day, “Mattel” revolves around percussion as crisp and clean as a freshly starched shirt, complemented by loopy, acid-dredged synth stabs and a bouncing bassline. At eight minutes long, it’s groovy and sturdy yet hard-edged and brisk, and bound to work up a sweat. “We thought it was the right time to reintroduce our MAW Records catalog to a new audience, and come through with new music as Masters At Work, so we got back in the studio,” the duo told Resident Advisor of their return. “The dance music universe revolves in circles, and here we are.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
It was just a month ago that Deadmau5 announced the launch of Hau5trap, the house-oriented imprint of his longstanding Mau5trap label. Now the second Hau5trap release — and the first by the ‘Head ‘Mau5 In Charge — is here. “Nextra” is a six-minute progressive slow burn built from plucky synths, punchy builds and complex percussion that will altogether send you to the dancing-in-the-dark, eyes-closed after hours of your mind. “I’ve been dabbling with this track on and off for a while,” Deadmau5 says in a statement. “When I started to put together Hau5trap I had this one in mind for its release. Its flow sits well for something in the house vein.” — KATIE BAIN
Little Snake feat. Flying Lotus, “Fallen Angels”
“Fallen Angels,” the new Flying Lotus-featuring single from Canadian producer Little Snake, sounds like what I imagine you hear as your life flashes before your eyes, frozen in a moment that in reality lasts mere seconds but feels like forever. An ethereally eerie collage of ornate textures that evokes images of angels, robots and twisted metal, “Fallen Angels” draws you in with its quiet and peculiar beauty. Gradually, it envelops you in its time warp, thrashing, bending, glitching and dissolving at breakneck speed; upon its abrupt departure, you’ve been dropped back into the material world like a ladleful of softly scrambled eggs. “Fallen Angels” is the latest single from Little Snake’s debut album, A Fragmented Love Story, Written By The Infinite Helix Architect, out May 7 on FlyLo’s label, Brainfeeder. — K.R.
Rema, “Woman” (Sofi Tukker Remix)
Sofi Tukker turns “slinky” into a verb with their remix of 2020’s “Woman” by Nigerian vocalist Rema. The duo takes the scintillating percussion and sinewy hook of the original and brings it to the club, upping the BPM and adding a heavy dose future house bounce. The song comes from the compilation Dance (RED) Save Lives Vol. III, curated by Aluna in partnership with leading Nigerian record label Mavin Records. Focusing on remixes of tracks by African artists, the compilation includes edits by all stars including Uniiqu3, Tokimonsta, Felix Da Housecat and Virgil Abloh.
“This is one of our favorite remixes that we’ve done in a long time and we’ve been playing it in our livestreams a lot,” the duo say in a statement. “It’s the ultimate joy to have made something we love, discover new artists in the process, and be contributing to reducing the impact of COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa all in one. We’re grateful to be involved in this project and excited to hear all the other remixes.” All proceeds from the album support (RED)’s efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Funds raised will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $10,000. — K. Bain
Tommy Cash feat. $uicideboy$ and Diplo, “Zuccenberg”
When was the last time you heard something so weird and original that you actually stopped what you were doing to check what the heck it was? Estonian producer and conceptual artist Tommy Cash is that weirdo, and we are super stopping to pay attention. His work is largely rapping over bizarro beats built from haunting synths and 808s. It’s a bit unsettling, but in the best way — and his latest single “Zuccenberg” taps NoLa hip-hop duo $uicideboy$ and Diplo to bring Cash’s strange style to hyphier heights.
“This song is made in rage and frustration by the energy that has been boiling,” Cash is quoted in a press release. “You can hear in it all the canceled tours, shows, and the waiting! Postponing! Things shaded by the dumb-ass virus. All my friends whose clubs got closed, jobs taken away. It has all in it. It represents all that boxed in energy, but at the same time it welcomes the future. And shout to Diplo and $uicideboy$, guys were amazing to work with.”
“Zuccenberg” is the first single from Cash’s forthcoming EP Moneysutra, which sees full release April 9. He’s also the guy behind those Margiela bread “loaf-ers,” having collaborated with the famed fashion house on a three-and-a-half minute long song called “Mute” that’s totally silent. He also made the longest shoes in the world with Adidas in March? So, yeah. He’s wonderfully weird. — K. Bein