This week in dance music: A-Trak spoke out about the “the extremely hurtful & alarming” surge of antisemitism, VASSY performed at a Denver Nuggets game, Flume celebrated the 10 year anniversary of his debut album with an unreleased song from the LP, we spoke with Ghazi and Moody Jones of EMPIRE about their recent acquisition of Dirtybird, Fred again..’s Actual Life 3 debuted at No. 3 on Hot Dance/Electronic Albums and Kygo surprise-released his fourth studio LP, Thrill Of The Chase.
Beyond all that is a hot week of new releases. Ready? Let’s dig in.
Channel Tres, “6am”
Channel Tres is living the high life on his new single, “6am.” The latest preview from his forthcoming debut album, Real Cultural Sh*t, “6am” finds the Compton-raised artist on the tail end of a long night out— one filled with “private afterparties, red carpets, real Barbies,” as he begins in his nonchalant baritone. But for Channel and his crew, the party’s far from over. With its infectious energy — built upon a chunky, carbonated groove somewhere between euphoric Detroit techno and sun-kissed French Touch — “6am” is joyful defiance turned anthem through its choral refrain: “We ain’t leavin’.” The new single arrives with a Tajana Williams-directed video in which Channel and co. dance their way through the city with slick choreography and equally slick outfits.
“‘6am’ is a happy song, and I never really let myself make happy songs,” writes Channel. “For me right now, this song represents the grind, and sometimes when things get hard you just gotta dance your way through it. I wanted to create a song for people to come together and dance. Some people get off work at 6 am, some people leave the club at 6 am and this can be the soundtrack to it all.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
The Blessed Madonna, “Seratonin Moonbeams”
What was the soundtrack to those back-in-the-day parties that made you fall in love with raving and also fall in love with everyone at the rave? For The Blessed Madonna, that sound is an effervescent confection of piano stabs, bass drum kicks and a good deal of whistling, with the producer’s latest coming as an homage to the ’90s party scene that formed her. The aptly titled “Serotonin Moombeams” is the Kentucky-born, London-based producer’s first new music in five years and her first release upon signing to Warner. It features vocals from clubland favorite Uffie, who declares “serotonin got me screaming love love love now!!” — a sentiment to anyone who’s ridden that late night neurochemical thrill ride can surely relate to.
“We talked about what it was like to fall in love in the Vicks Vapo-rub, candy soaked raves of the 90s,” the producer born Marea Stamper says. “It’s about ‘cuddle puddles’ and the intense emotional, physical and spiritual connections that can form when serotonal conditions are right. Barriers that might exist in a normal dating atmosphere evaporate and strangers can become intimate and beloved figures in an instant. It’s gotten an incredible response since I tested it the first time in Brazil on tour. It was written on one of those days where I was running from the production console to the sofa to bang out lyrics with Uffie and Jin Jin. I remember being so embarrassed to suggest, ‘Bet I hit you with that bad bitch, thunder lightning, super frightening yeah!’ But when I did, they just howled and we knew we were onto something.” — KATIE BAIN
Chris Lake feat. Aatig, “In The Yuma”
A lot of producers we’ve talked to found the pandemic trying on their inspirational motivation. A lot of them get their ideas from playing live in front of hundreds or thousands of people, and it’s tough to make a “put your hands up” anthem when you’ve been stuck staring at the same four walls for months on end.
Chris Lake, on the other hand, somehow made it happen. His latest single “In The Yuma” is a beautiful bit of rhythmic meditation, where the modern tech house icon successfully channeled the energy of his Coachella 2019 performance (in the festival’s Yuma tent, get it?) and recreated that sweaty, funky get-down into a lively tune that fits on futuristic dance floors around the world.
“The pandemic was a shitty time but great things came from it,” Lake says. “It was great to be doing music whilst being live on Twitch in 2020, and one of the best memories I have from that time is making this track. When I finally got around to testing it out live (over a year later) I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I’ve been playing it ever since.” – KAT BEIN
Maya Jane Coles feat. Moxie Knox, “Freefall”
It’s been over six months since we’ve heard new music from Maya Jane Coles, but rest assured, she’s not yet finished with 2022. The producer recently shared that she has three EPs coming out before the end of the year — and today we get the first of them with Freefall. The title track is rich with Coles’ dark yet danceable enigmatic sound, as spectral synths, delicate drums and looped vocal hums swirl together atop a velvety bassline. Singer Moxie Knox highlights that dark softness with her dreamy, floating vocals, which swell and fade into the background like ghostly beings. “Freefall” is as much moody R&B for the witching hour as it is dancefloor heat, and it also comes with two bass-heavy remixes from ZeroFG and Ruff Style. — K.R.
What started as a side hustle is fast becoming a main event. Party Favor and Nitti’s Sidepiece is Grammy-nominated and ready to take the world by storm. Case in point: the duo’s latest single “Reborn.” It struts, it bumps, and it’s scientifically-formulated to set booties on fire. It’s the secret weapon groove that’s about to be unleashed on crowds across the country as Sidepiece heads out on its Kiss And Tell: Second Base headline tour. Let the high-powered house rhythm wash over you, and be “Reborn” in the waters of bass and melody. – K. Bein
Sega Bodega, “Kepko”
The best nights out are a chaotic blur, and Sega Bodega’s latest tune “Kepko” captures that spirit in full-tilt maddening glory. Manic and beautiful, the Irish-Scottish producer-singer lays a languid melody over a frenetic beat, creating the same swirling intensity you might feel at 3:00 a.m. when your body is begging for sleep but your soul is spinning out on club vibes. The video is right there with it, filmed by the artist and his friend Lydia Ourahmane during a night on the town.
“Lydia’s camera is haunted,” Bodega says. “Everything we filmed went back into the laptop all destroyed and glitching like this. A gift.” Like any good night out, the clip features lots of friendly cameos. See if you can spot Caroline Polachek, Uffie, Virgen Maria and a few others. – K. Bein
VASSY, Bingo Players & Disco Fries, “Pieces”
Only those impervious to the effects of soundwaves will not feel uplifted by “Pieces,” a bright-as-the-sun collab from Dutch producer Bingo Players, U.S. producer Disco Fries and Aussie fav VASSY, whose voice soars to the heavens, and brings you along for the ride, with on this one. The anthem is about how finding the right person to love can build you up “piece by piece,” but we say that given the way this one makes us feel, it’s as much a self-empowerment anthem as well. The track is out now via SPINNIN. — K. Bain
Chace, Belated Suffocation
What would it sound like if Justin Bieber made a deep house album? It’s a crucial question answered by proxy via Belated Suffocation, the debut album from Chinese producer Chace. Having made history in 2017 as the first Chinese artist to play the mainstage at Tomorrowland, the album finds the now 23-year-old producer even more fully formed, with it delivering 11 tracks on which Chace delivers pillow talk lyrics in a voice with the R&B shimmer of Changes-era Bieiber over moody, sexy productions reminiscent of Zhu and Bob Moses. The LP is out via Astralwerks and Fabled Records, the imprint launched by Live Nation’s Asian electronic dance music division earlier this year. — K.B.