Roundup, December #1
From French touch funk to future forward bass, we roundup our favourite releases of the week. In no particular order:
Grimes – Player of Games
Following previously heard tracks Shinigami Eyes and 100 Percent Tragedy, the new single from Canadian alt-pop star Grimes appears to be the first official single off her forthcoming Claire De Lune project, titled Book 1. Featuring Grime’s signature helium light vocals, Player Of Games surges into a kicking tech-house beat and a chorus filled with progressive trance synths. Similar to the new music Grimes has shared over Discord this past year and following the freshly released collaboration with Chris Lake, Player Of Games suggests a shift into a more club oriented sound for Grimes, informed by house, techno and trance. Watch the lyric video below.
Purple Disco Machine – ‘Rise feat. Tasita D’Mour
On the infectiously groovy Exotica earlier this year, there were hints of Tino Piontek, aka Purple Disco Machine, branching away from his usual disco-funk sound toward evocative mid-tempo synthpop. It’s a direction we wanted more of, but on new single Rise featuring Tasita D’Mour, Piontek finds himself back to where he is most comfortable; right under the mirror ball. Led by a laser sharp 80’s keyboard hook, Rise bubbles into grooving funk-house full of Piontek’s signature handclaps and a few string accents to add to the drama. But it’s Tasita D’Mour’s classic and soulful vocal take here that really makes Rise ascend. She sounds massive, powerful and channels the spirit of disco-house divas like Robin S and Diana Ross to belt out one of Piontek’s most memorable choruses. Stream it here, and watch the music video below.
Hodge & Simo Cell – Drums From The West
Last year, DJ Mag referred to Hodge as “an increasingly potent presence at the forefront of UK club music,” while nearly two months ago French rising star Simo Cell, when speaking on how DJs would set trends on the dancefloor, was quoted as saying “it’s harder to feel what’s hot,” since the pandemic. Finding each other is fate then, and together they’ve formulated their own thoughts on what’s “hot” right now. They’re not far off; the biggest trend of the moment is nostalgia and Drums From The West, released on Livity Sound, is full of it. An icy grime-bass track full of peak era dubstep motifs, Drums From The West both structurally and aesthetically borrows from the not-so distant past but in our present moment of absolute chaos, it sounds entirely fresh. And “hot,” it’s definitely hot.
Darius – OASIS (PRELUDE)
French house producer Darius’s new EP is incredibly stylish. Pre-faced by the disco-funk single Feels Right featuring Dune, the music on Oasis follows suit with five more tracks of chilled out, groove inflected funk tracks. Opening track Equilibrium with Wayne Snow trips along with smooth bass licks and a laid back, wonky synth phrase against Snow’s soulful R&B vocals. The R&B influence continues on tracks like the buttery Can’t Let Go with Flwr Chyld and Rise with Benny Sings, while Faded with Amaria is a low-key chillhouse track that oozes with ease against a mellow kick track. Listen below.
It’s been a year for Guernsey producer and songwriter Mura Masa. After contributing to Lady Gaga’s bonkers Dawn of Chromatica with Shygirl, Masa scored his fourth Grammy nomination last month for his remix of PVA track Talks. 2gether is his first solo single of the year released on Polydor Records, and possibly the first taste of his anticipated third album. 2gether opens with wistful vocals from Gretel Hänlyn and a softly strummed guitar, recalling 2000’s emo pop. A unique snare sound that Masa has dubbed the ‘Demon Snare’ leads into a signature Masa breakdown, as 2gether detaches into a wonky future-bass formulation featuring slippery, rubbery synths, as Hänlyn’s vocals bubble and stick amidst Masa’s bouncing electro soundscape.