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 month’s roundup includes everyone from the Chemical Brothers to Escort to Hot Chip, in alphabetical order after the jump.
The Chemical Brothers, “Swoon (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)” (EMI)
Reconstructing a whole new dreamy disco groove beneath a squalling guitar lick from the Brothers’ original (off Further, their best album in over a decade), Lindstrom and Prins take it even further into the mystic.
The Crystal Ark, “The Tangible Presence of the Miraculous” (DFA) (stream here)
Gavin Russom gets squelchy propulsion from the old synths he loves so much (see also his work with Delia Gonzales and as Black Meteoric Star) while inviting Fischerspooner singer Lizzy Yoder and percussionist Alberto Lopez along to make it seem something like a tense jam session.
Escort, “Cocaine Blues” (Escort)
Escort isn’t just New York’s finest 17-piece disco band because there’s no competition; they’ve never released a bad single, and before this gloss on Dillinger’s “Cocaine in My Brain,” they hadn’t released one at all in three years. Judging from a confident show the other week in New York, they’re ready for more. (Edit available via the band’s website.)
Friendly Fires and Azari & III, “Stay Here” (K7)
An honest-to-goodness house anthem with touches of broken beat (particularly on the verses) and verses that the Friendly Fires made with hot Toronto disco-house duo Azari & III, for the Fires’ Suck My Deck DJ mix. The surprise is that this is the easy highlight of a terrific mix. Available on its own all over the place, including on Little White Earbuds.
Hot Chip, “Take It In (Osborne Remix)” (Astralwerks/Parlophone)
Hot Chip’s original “Take It In” has a kind of kitchen-sink arrangement — jabbing keyboards and a bustling atmosphere — that Ypsilanti, MI, producer Osborne reshapes into a ’70s-AM-gold disco groove that’s far more of an earworm than the original track.
Italoboyz, “9/96” (Trapez Ltd.)
Here come the drums — and almost nothing but. Building off a military snare groove and gradually escalating into a machine groove, “9/96” is the latest smart mutation from the group that brought us the great John Coltrane-goes-techno “Bahia.”
Kanji Kinetic, “Thrill Seeka (Krazy Fiesta Remix)” (Sleazetone)
Bristol producer Kanji Kinetic’s original “Thrill Seeka” transforms Lil Wayne into a birdlike wraith trilling, “I feel like dying,” over ravey synths. Here, Krazy Fiesta gives it a rubberier and more modern recasting, with snares taps like weapons.
Martin Brothers, “Steal Drums” (Dirtybird)
One of the big floor fillers of the summer, this brings the methodology of hard drilling dubstep: a massive wave of low end that churns things even more than the snappy drums. Only it’s a house tune, and the bass is held back judiciously.
Mirror People, “Night Impact” (Brilliantine)
The alias of Portugal’s Rui Maia, Mirror People specializes in ’80s synth-pop that sticks and holds rather than simply going through the Casiotone motions.
Quantec, “Force Vive” (Phonobox)
The title track of an excellent EP, this is dub techno at its lushest and most skillful. “Force Vive” in particular is a kind of audio hallucinogen: beats and bass and keyboards turned fuzzy and far away, little attack and mostly decay.