Clubhopping Top 10: May's Essential Dance Tracks


Welcome to the Clubhopping Top 10, a monthly list of recent 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. Oftentimes club music is (deliberately) transitory, but this month’s selection might be the cut-for-cut catchiest we’ve offered up here. It’s almost a roll call of recent names to watch/listen to, and it points to the shape of club music right now: robust, with new talent and old in a seemingly healthy tandem.

Ellen Allien — “My Tree (Ripperton Backlash Remix)” (Bpitch Control) An end-of-night special, with a keyboard twinkling in the background over a slow tom roll and Allien’s parched whisper evoking Björk.

Burial — “Street Halo” (Hyperdub) The filmy filters that make Burial’s music so lonesome-sounding can also do the job when the tempo goes up. This isn’t going to rule Ibiza or anything (unless . . .), but the way he flips the singer’s ascending, staccato “always possessed you” is pretty damn hooky.

Maya Jane Coles — “What They Say (Dyed Soundorom Remix)” (Real Tone) Low-profile (so far) Frenchman Dyed Soundorom toughens up Coles’ DJ-favorite original without losing any of its buoyancy — in fact, the spotlighting of some male-diva exhalations increases it.

Jacques Greene — “Another Girl” (All City) Blissed-out UK funky with a hook that seems as evanescent as smoke when you first encounter it — until it won’t leave your head.

Deniz Kurtel, “Music Watching Over Me” (Crosstown Rebels) The Turkish producer-to-watch of 2010 makes good on that promise in spades. This is the opening, title track of her terrific debut album: simple, kinetic, backward-leaning classicist house with rubber-band bass and a diva just untrained enough to keep things “underground.”

Kassem Mosse, “Workshop 12-3” (Workshop) It’s atypical for Mosse that the third, untitled cut from his mid-March Workshop EP is only four minutes long, rather than ten or more. But while this is constructed like a sketch, it’s mesmerizing, its filtered drum machine chomp taking on the forlorn quality of the synths, somehow.

NiCe 7, “Point” (Gruuv) Tech-house is supposed to be crisp, but so often it seems soggy instead. Not here, though, with Italian producers Nicola Daniele and Cesare Marocco (NiCe is their first names, concatenated) throwing in a conga loop to buoy the racing boom-snare and shamelessly utilize both cut-up sound-snippet flurries and dry-ice-ready hisses. Usually those don’t work at all anymore, but they do here.

SCB, “Loss” (Aus) Who says a dubstep pioneer (as Scuba, Paul Rose founded the Hotflush label as well as producing and mixing some nice work of his own) can’t play tech-house, even if the latter word is spelled Aus?

Slam — “Crowded Room” (Drumcode) Sometimes a good, hard techno track by people who really know what they’re doing — such as Glaswegian veterans Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan — comes along and just nails it.

WhoMadeWho — “Every Minute Alone (Tale of Us Remix)” (Life and Death) With Jeppe Kjellberg’s sonorous vocal turn at the center, this long, dark tunnel of a track has the force and glide of an anthem.

Blissed-out UK funky with a hook that seems as evanescent as smoke when you first encounter it—until it won’t leave your head.