This week, the delightfully unwieldy dance scene once again delivers a delightfully unwieldy collection of new music that emphasizes how wide and eclectic the genre really is.
On one side of the spectrum we’ve got new deep house sounds from underground legend Lee Burridge, who delivers four fresh tracks on his Leee EP. A few steps further along, we see the work on We Are Friends Vol. 10, the new compilation LP from Mau5trap stars including Tommy Trash, Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner. All the way down on the other end, we’ve got pop-oriented house from Imanbek, Rita Ora, David Guetta and Gunna, with a bunch of bass, house and techno landing in between.
Do any of these new releases sound like each other? Not really! Is it all dance music? Yes! Are you ready to hear it? Let’s go.
Moore Kismet, “Rumor”
It’s never easy growing up. Teenagers are little balls of flesh and exploding chemicals forced to sit in school chairs and memorize algebraic equations they’ll soon forget. Meanwhile, the wounds we suffer during those years, physically and emotionally, go on to create the scaffolding of the humans we become. How we shape ourselves around the hurt is an on-going process that takes a lifetime to emerge, but if we’re kind to ourselves, we find space for beauty in the pain.
That’s what Moore Kismet and WYN carved with their complex, texture-rich single “Rumor,” the first single from the producer’s forthcoming debut LP. Kismet is young, to be sure, but the quickly-rising star crafts deeply-stirring character with crackling vinyl noise, deep-water melodies and a half-time rhythm that weighs on the body like quicksand. WYN sings gentle words full of vulnerability, bringing new dimension to a tender subject.
“The story behind ‘Rumor’ is one I’ve been very afraid to share for a while now because, typically, people don’t respond well to situations like it,” Moore Kismet tell Billboard. “I started writing it after I was inadvertently forced to come out to my dad at age 14, after he found out that I was performing at a gay pride festival in L.A. and I didn’t invite him to come watch me, as he lived in the area. The way that conversation — along with other negative interactions throughout my life as an open queer individual — inspired the lyrics and production and arrangement behind the song. Madeleine (WYN) and I really just wanted to speak our respective truths and craft something that other people in marginalized spaces can relate to and hold dear to their hearts. We loved writing this song, and we hope everyone who listens to it will love it, too.” — KAT BEIN
Rita Ora x Imanbek feat. David Guetta & Gunna, “Big”
I mean, what a crew. The unlikely foursome of pop chanteuse Rita Ora, Kazakh producer Imanbek, EDM chairman David Guetta and hip-hop cool kid Gunna meet on the dancefloor of our minds with the appropriately titled “Big.” The lead track from Ora and Imanbek’s four track collaborative EP, Bang, the song certainly has shades of Imanbek’s massive “Roses” edit, (Imanbek himself calls this signature style “Imanbek house: It’s positive, light and minimal”) with its bouncy bass serving as a foundation for Ora to lay such rapidfire lyrics as “Need the head like medulla oblongata.” The production works. Her voice works. Gunna’s feature works. The swelling chorus works. “Big” is EDM synergy at it finest, and we kinda wish it were long that two minutes and 37 seconds. — KATIE BAIN
Surf Mesa feat. Madison Beer, “Carried Away”
After Surf Mesa’s dreamy smash “ily” spent an impressive 17 weeks at No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Songs (the track was unseated just this week by Travis Scott and HVME’s “Goosebumps”) everyone had the same question: What’s he going to do next? The answer arrives today with “Carried Away” a collab with Madison Beer that extends that soft, lo-fi quality of the 20-year-old producer’s big hit and evolves his sound with an excellent melody and real depth. The artist born Powell Aguirre spent a chunk of time in November in a writing camp organized by his label to help him fully form the Surf Mesa sound. Clearly, it worked. – K. Bain
Rinzen, “’90s Child”
After debuting last month on Lane 8’s This Never Happens label with “Some Good Here,” Rinzen today returns to a more familiar home base, Mau5trap, with new track “‘90s Child” on the label’s We Are Friends, Vol. 10 compilation. The past Billboard Dance Emerging Artist (and former Billboard Dance contributor) excels at building worlds within his music, and “90s Child” is an instant portal to walking the dim, deserted streets of a futuristic city in the rain at 3 a.m., neon signs and street lights flickering as if in ominous harmony. The crisp, melodic atmosphere incites shivers as it swirls, stutters and rumbles around the listener, getting delectably darker with the addition of a serene, yet eerie, vocal. At under four and a half minutes run-time, “‘90s Child” far from overstays its welcome — if anything, I wanted to splash around in the puddles of its universe for just a while longer. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Shygirl, “Tasty” (Boys Noize Remix)
Ain’t nothing shy about this warehouse heat. London-based singer, DJ and Nuxxe label head Shygirl knows how to whip your body into shape, and this week, she grabs a stomping assist from a legendary acid techno titan. Her recent single “Tasty” — originally produced by fellow UK music maker Oscar Scheller — was already a ’90s electro house-inspired brick house. Featured on her Alias EP, its shuffling drums and chest-pumping synth stabs shake the dance floor while, in the original music video, she struts and poses like a rainbow princess around an English estate. The Boys Noize remix keeps true to its club-heavy spirit, injecting some Berlin sweat and darkness. He doubled down on a six-and-a-half minute Extended Dub remix, too, in case you need more of that thump in your trunk. It is Friday, after all. — K. Bein
Kučka, “No Good for Me”
Kučka is tired of being tired on her latest single, “No Good For Me.” “Why fight it?” the singer asks of a relationship that’s devolved into something entirely one-sided. She’s calm yet assertive, as if she has better use for her time and energy than continuing to put off the inevitable: “We could try a million ways, never gonna change things.” The backing instrumental is deceivingly sweet and shimmery with melancholic undertones, its measured moodiness allowing the oh-so-cathartic chorus to take center stage.
“It’s a song about letting go of people who don’t vibe you up,” Kučka says in a press release. “Writing ‘No Good For Me’ was about capturing the energy of psyching yourself up to deal with that conflict.” The single arrives alongside the announcement of the Australian producer’s forthcoming debut album, Wrestling, out April 30 on LuckyMe. — K.R.