Clubhopping Top 10: Essential Dance Tracks for September


Welcome to our Clubhopping Top 10, a monthly list of dance tracks that have caught us by the ears and feet (not necessarily in that order), with embeds so you can hear them for yourself. This roundup includes everyone from !!! to FaltyDL to Lone, in alphabetical order after the jump.

!!! — “Wannagain Wannagain” (Warp)

Crashing drums and distorted guitars and post-punk saxophones are all present and accounted for, as usual. The groove leans toward rock, but disco synths and a grinding breakdown make “Wannagain Wannagain” irresistible to move to.

Âme — “Rrose Sélavy” (Innervisions)

Last year, Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann (a.k.a. Âme), along with Dixon and Henrik Schwarz, put out The Grandfather Paradox, an ear-opening collection of minimalist electronic music dating back decades. This wispy nightcrawler — deep house for a cabin in the woods — climaxes with sharp shards of sound that could have come from that collection.

American Men — “Claude Speed (Ikonika & Optimum Remix)” (LuckyMe)

Everyone is getting a dubstep remix these days. This one comes from a scrappy synth group from Glasgow, so the provenance makes sense. Flipping between a cheesy Casio woodwind line and something a little more traditionally synth-twinkly, this showcases Ikonika’s already well established gift for making 8-bit sound swing.

FaltyDL, “My Friends Will Always Say . . .” (Planet Mu)

Chalky two-step garage with some floating vocal atmosphere that gives it a shot of real soul — a beautiful left turn from the New York producer, yet totally accessible.

Dale Howard — “Until the End” (Static)

Beautiful, floating deep house from a British producer. This is the kind of track that signals that a DJ is about to get serious.

Juju & Jordash — “Tattoo’s Island” (Philpot)

This builds to a frenzy not by growing faster but by flitting into chaos — yet the swarming synths and guitars (and police whistles!) are so dense they give some psychedelic rock flavor to an already disorienting krautrock-flavored techno track.

Lone — “Pineapple Crush” (Magic Wire)

You want a throwback? Will Nottingham’s Matt Cutler ever give you a throwback — all the way to 1992, when the scissoring synth blare, oddly bouncy hi-hats, and James Brown whoo! ruled the raves.

Spoek Mathambo — “Gwababa (DJ Mpula Remix)” (BBE)

“Township tech,” this 24-year-old South African MC-producer calls his music, and the jump of township jive and the hard glitchy timbres of techno work nicely together — especially with Mathambo’s homeboy DJ Mpula leaning on the snare cracks.

Pezzner — “Chiuso Per Ferie” (Freerange)

The kind of guitar-led, bare-knuckle groove that can hypnotize simply by being so exact, this had us immediately — we could swear that split-second vocal snippet of someone audibly breathing in is Michael Jackson — but really gets going when, after a breakdown, the track revs back in as something more electro than straight-up house.

Solomun — “Talk to the Hand” (Leena)

Here come the drums — all kinds of them, from clipped techno to a billowing full kit, until, midway through, a juicy trad-house piano comes in. So that’s why it’s called “Talk to the Hand.” This German minimalist is aiming for the runway, and doing it well.