Welcome to the 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 (or, failing that, audio clips) so you can hear most of them for yourself. This month’s roundup includes everyone from Robert Hood and Crazy P to George FitzGerald and Sepalcure, in alphabetical order after the jump.
Martin Aquino, “The DJ, the Music & Me” (Elite)
Driving, conga fueled, filter-happy electro-house from a rising San Francisco DJ raised in the Philippines.
Crazy P, “My Love” (2020 Vision)
A Smokey Robinson line is chopped up over loping house beats and a nagging guitar lick, sounding romantic but also a little desperate.
George FitzGerald, “Don’t You” (Hotflush)
Skipping, mysterious, and oddly soulful in the best manner of labelmates like Mount Kimbie and Joy Orbison (now Joy O), FitzGerald comes into his own on this, his second 12-inch.
Kim Ann Foxman & Andy Butler, “Creature” (mr.intl)
Butler’s usual gig is masterminding Hercules and Love Affair, for which Foxman also sings. H&LA’s Blue Songs too often feels forced, but this side trip is looser than all that album’s songs (apart from “My House” and “Falling,” both also recommended).
FunkyStepz, “Fuller” (Hyperdub)
Hard, purposeful, stripped down (not minimalist) UK funky that’s more a rhythm bed for MCs than full-fledged tune; nevertheless, fetching.
Robert Hood, “The Family” (M-Plant)
Hood planted his flag with 1994’s Minimal Nation and hasn’t looked back since, though he’ll make occasional disco-driven forays. “The Family,” a new B-side, is a good example of how it works: Twilight Zone keyboard blips that distend in all sorts of ways, but subtly and without necessarily cohering into a hook. Instead, the way the keyboards thicken and rise becomes the hook — and the relentlessness of the groove, as well.
Ion Ludwig, “Timeless Thing” (Meander)
A German producer comes up with deep house with Detroit-techno frosting (in the form of occasional space-synth washes) and jazzy sprinkles (that trilling flute).
Outart, “Steinburg” (Moon Harbour)
Stripped-down house that could have come from mid-’90s Chicago, not least thanks to a half-heard vocal punctuated with a calculatedly offhanded “wha?”
Sepalcure, “Fleur” (Hotflush)
The New York duo’s second release for Hotflush is even lusher and more overgrown than its predecessor, finding the sweet spot between the cozy style of Four Tet and Pantha Du Prince, only with beats closer to the dubstep diaspora.
Subb-an ft. Beckford, “The Lovers Night” (Spectral)
House music has changed a lot over the years, but records like this one get off on pretending it didn’t. When you can craft something with this kind of suggestive charge, you get to throw the arrangement back to 1990 all you like.