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First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Gorgon City, Mau P & More

todayJanuary 27, 2023

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This week in dance music: we dug deep on the new app helping choreographers get paid, Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter announced a forthcoming orchestral album, Detroit’s Movement festival announced the phase one lineup for its 2023 show, we spoke with SG Lewis on the occasion of his new album, out today (Jan. 27), and we surveyed a bunch of DJ on how they manage their hard earned cash.

And, as you’ve likely already guessed, there is indeed more. Let’s dig in.

Gorgon City, “Rumblah”

Are you ready for a b-side rumbler? Gorgon City’s latest release “Rumblah” is exactly that to the U.K. duo’s 2022 vocal-chop head knocker “Sidewindah” — but that doesn’t mean it’s any less strong. Rather, it’s deeper, darker; the kind of thing you’d play to a warehouse of heads in the wee hours of the night when the rave is at its most depraved. 

“Like ‘Sidewindah,’ ‘Rumblah’ is an ode to the music that we grew up listening to; d&b, jungle, garage and grime,” Gorgon City tells Billboard. “We’ve really been enjoying going back to our roots with our recent club releases, and it’s been heavily influencing the production of our next album. We hope everyone enjoys the track. We’ve loved rumbling bass-bins with it over the last few months!” – KAT BEIN

Melle Brown feat. Loie, “Night Drift”

Since its launch in 2018, Monki’s &Friends record label has become a solid platform for highlighting emerging dance talent in the U.K. space, counting among its catalog up-and-comers such as Meg Ward, t e s t p r e s s, and Flaurese. Its next release comes from London’s Melle Brown, who debuted on &Friends last spring with “One More Chance” and followed that up with the Annie Mac-featuring “Feel About You,” one of Billboard’s top dance songs of 2022

Brown’s new single, “Night Drift,” continues her string of warm house gems. Its stomping percussion, buzzing bassline and strobing synths set the nocturnal scene before blooming into swirling, smoky dreaminess filled with Loie’s sensual vocals and twinkling piano riffs. “Night Drift” is both cozy and freeing in its search for bright lights and feeling the wind in your hair, with a vibe shift that feels like finally breaking free of traffic on your own night drive and seeing only open road ahead. As Loie sings, “Keep drivin’.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Bonobo & Jacques Green, “Fold”

The eternally consistent Bonobo returns today with a track that falls neatly into the Bonobo oeuvre. Twinkly, sophisticated and built around a breathy pitched up vocal sample and a heavy kickdrum that land at opposing ends of the soft/hard spectrum, “Fold” is a collaboration from Bonobo (real name: Simon Green) and Canadian producer Jacques Greene, (whose real name, in a shocking twist, is actually Phil.)

“Phil was in L.A. and stopped by for a coffee and studio hang,” Bonobo says. “We made the bulk of the track that day. We each played a few various versions in our DJ sets over the summer (I even dropped it in a live show once) and made some decisions on how to finish it. It’s been going down really well in my DJ sets. Excited to get it out there finally.”

“Fold” drops at an auspicious moment for Bonobo — who next weekend is up for a pair of Grammys, for best dance/electronic recording and best dance album. With seven nominations to his name, but nary a win, we’ve got to say we’re rooting for him. — KATIE BAIN

Junior Sanchez feat. Nez, “Hit It”

House veteran Junior Sanchez returns to Defected Records with a sure dancefloor hit to start the new year, “Hit It” featuring Nez, made to jack up your heart rate and break a sweat. Sanchez builds a tightly knit rhythm teeming with perky synth stabs, fast-shuffling percussion and vocal whoops, which all unravel into a blurry peaktime frenzy. Meanwhile, Nez raps with a fun, dynamic flow that matches the production’s party-starting energy beat for beat. Sanchez says “Hit It” pulls from classic New York and Chicago house as well as Detroit techno— “as if Masters at Work had a jam session with Carl Craig,” he says, “and add Chicago’s young hero Nez’s unique style of rapping … The record is a snapshot of what was, what’s now & what’s tomorrow!”

The music video for “Hit It” was directed by Jamel Rankins (a.k.a. producer Blaqwell), who combined traditional design, illustration and editing techniques with AI systems to create a visual inspired by artist Ernie Barnes’ 1976 painting The Sugar Shack, which appeared in the end credits of American television sitcom Good Times. “This imagery had a big impact on both myself and Junior growing up on the East Coast of the U.S.,” says Rankins. “With this spirit in mind, I aimed to create something visually unique, rooted in the culture, and in line with the vibe of the track — the vibe of house music.” — K.R.

Juuku feat. Gianni Taylor, “Moonlight”

The thought of moonlight streaming through a window or lighting your lovers face can conjure feelings of quiet tenderness, and Juuku’s latest single does start with a bit of sensitivity. In the end, though, it harnesses more of a “the full moon makes people go all out” kind of vibe.

“This song to me represents capturing a beautiful moment of energy at night — one of the very first moments I was introduced to electronic music live,” the mysterious Juuku, who’s shrouded in shadow in most of his PR photos, says. “The energy, the people around me, and the type of world that I was brought into, and how magical it felt during that very first time.”

Its vibrant and colorful synths sing ecstatic over a quicktime beat. “Moonlight” serves as the first single from Juuku’s forthcoming EP Lavender Dreams and Scarlett Nightmares, set to be released on Dim Mak.
“This EP … represents the two sides of the spectrum that encompass the universe I’m building,” he says. “I have synesthesia, which in my case [means] I can see colors when I listen to music, especially when I create it. It’s either in the tone of purple (lavender), or in the tone of red (scarlet). These two colors represent the two different colors that my music encompasses, and this EP is the gateway to this universe I call my own.”

What color is “Moonlight?” Listen and decide for yourself. – K. Bein

Mau P, “Gimme That Bounce”

Tech house’s young prince Mau P today drops the followup to his 2022 monster hit “Drugs From Amsterdam.” Such followups are never easy, but with this new one the Dutch producer extends both his sound and credibility, with the production indeed bouncing along at a peaktime clip, until Mau P slows down the entire operations to nearly a full halt before once again pressing go. Out via Insomniac Records and made of the same DNA as “Drugs From Amsterdam” — one of our 50 best dance tracks of 2022 — “Gimme Dat Bounce” is dark but not heavy, tech-house-ey but not paint by numbers, and generally just stylish, solid and a sign of Mau P’s likely staying power.

“When working on “Gimme That Bounce” my goal was to catch people off guard and get them locked into an instant groove,” the producer says. “With it being the follow-up to ‘Drugs From Amsterdam,’ I wanted to dive deeper into that big sound but still bring something new to the table. When I stumbled upon an old recording of myself, where I was talking about ‘that bounce,’ every piece of the puzzle fell into place.” — K. Bain

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