Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Tracks of March 2016
Dancing Astronaut's Top 10 Tracks of March 2016
When looking back on the releases of March, we were stunned by the sheer diversity of artists’ output. From Kanye West covers, to creepy techno on Hotflush, it was a wonderfully expressive month from all corners of the dance music spectrum. Tack on a new Skrillex crossover joint, some alluring experimentation from Boys Noize, and new albums from Baauer and Mat Zo, and there was certainly no shortage of material to choose from when considering our top releases of the month.
With that said, we’ve selected our Top 10 tracks of March, measured by critical acclaim, perceived impact, and overall quality (as well as a hint of editorial bias).
Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Tracks of February if you missed it.
10. Ferry Corsten - Beautiful (Seven Lions Remix)
To celebrate ten years since the release of his single “Beautiful,” Ferry Corsten enlisted a few friends to remix the classic trance anthem. Seven Lions‘s remix in particular is a throwback to the classic melodic dubstep style that originally brought Jeff Montalvo to notoriety. This was the sound that got the attention of Above & Beyond back in 2011, with Montalvo’s contest-winning remix “You Got To Go” — not to mention paving the way for his signing to Casablanca and a followup remix to A&B’s “On My Way to Heaven.”
9. Baauer - Sow
Defining one’s own blueprint for success is the sort of validation towards which any artist strives. For Baauer, the release of his debut full-length album Aa is the manifestation of this end goal, kickstarting a new era in an already momentous career. Aa is the product of a long, tiresome journey for the young producer, and represents Baauer’s ascension to a level that exceeds the value of viral ubiquity; Aa represents the artists journey to completely liberated creative autonomy.
Baauer pivots to his quintessential compositional character for “Sow,” an aggressively experimental trap production that arguably manifests itself as the LP’s strongest selection.
8. Destructo - 4Real (Drezo Remix)
Gary Richards is the newest recipient of the Drezo treatment. For his remix of Destructo‘s recent collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign and ILOVEMAKONNEN, Drezo sticks to his roots to effectively integrate the often poppy elements of “4Real” into a reinterpretation that is as warehouse-compatible as any of his prior releases. Drezo begins his revision by weaving Destructo’s eerie synthesis with mechanized modulations of Ty Dolla $ign’s vocals, before lending way to a cathartic drop centered around elastic bass and relentless percussion. The end result of Drezo’s work is a production that transforms Destructo’s original mix entirely, while not adulterating its essence.
7. Recondite - Phalanx
Recondite has built an arsenal of songs minimal in nature, yet oozing in mysterious auras and subtle layers of sounds. Following his brief stint on Life & Death and his November album Placid, the German producer has returned to his techno roots with his newest EP on Hotflush, Phalanx.
The title track exemplifies the style Recondite excels at: overwhelmingly deep in nature, with a hint of drums pairing with a simplistic melody to propel it forward. A singular roar of sound ensues in the middle, providing an air of darkness and suspense to the base elements of “Phalanx.” Indeed, Recondite’s newest foray in the techno realm is a welcome return.
6. Tiësto & Oliver Heldens - The Right Song (Dillon Francis Remix)
To create his remix for Tiësto & Oliver Heldens’ “The Right Song,” Dillon Francis made some substantial changes to the original. Francis maintains the radio-friendly hook, using Natalie La Rose’s vocals used to kick off the track, but slows down the tempo significantly from house to moombahton — or “techbaton,” as he’s deemed it. Subsequently, the Los Angeles native drops the pop sensibilities of the original and adds significant grittiness to its drop. A buzzsaw bass and hard, percussive plucks provide the bones of the remix as a standard kick pattern perennially pumps throughout its course.
5. Maribou State - Rituals (Sasha Remix)
As he does so well, Sasha remixed progressive indie duo Maribou State with his signature house flare. No strangers to remixing, or being remixed, to create a futuristic, yet classic, sound, Maribou State — who delivered the first Essential Mix of 2016 — are certainly ones to watch as they redefine the boundaries of live electronic music. While the original track features a brooding chorus, Sasha lifts it with his signature drums, crafting an alluring rendition perfect for dancefloors as warmer weather approaches.
4. Boys Noize – Starchild (Feat. Poliça)
New collaboration with synthpop group Poliça, “Starchild” may well be one of the most awe-inspiring tracks in Boys Noize’s timeless catalogue. Alex Ridha reaffirms his status as an inimitably innovative artist by putting forth a piece of work that is simultaneously unrecognizable from his signature fare, but also inseparable from his artistic fundaments.
Alongside Poliça’s mellifluous instrumentation and Channy Leanagh’s sultry vocals, Ridha purveys a complex percussive arrangement and haunting, yet understated synthesis to evoke a full spectrum of emotion from his listeners. Summarily stunning, “Starchild” sets a new precedent for Boys Noize’s ability to outdo himself, and steepens anticipation for whatever is on the horizon.
3. Hundred Waters - Show Me Love (Skrillex Remix)
Skrillex and Chance the Rapper’s first product together, “Coast is Clear,” held a rapid-fire percussion arrangement that tended to the producer’s bass-driven sound, however, the pair’s new collaboration falls more into Chance’s realm of easy listening. Skrillex’s “Show Me Love” remix is built on a mind-numbing backbone rooted in hip hop and Hundred Waters’ mellifluous, acapella vocals. Atop this foundation, Chance the Rapper spits flowing verses, accompanied by singers Moses Sumney and Robin Hannibal, whose fervent duet provides a fitting conclusion to the remix. Having already accumulated over 3 million streams on YouTube, the all-star collaboration was easily one of the month’s biggest offerings.
2. Lido - The Life of Peder
Lido’s most recent release showcases a rare combination of fearlessness and musical aptitude coming together to create something truly uncommon. The artist has released “The Life of Peder” where he combines a selection of tracks from Kanye West‘s album, The Life of Pablo with his own eccentric production. Kicking off with a layered choir paying homage to Metro Boomin, the nearly 9-minute track weaves Kanye’s disparate album through an equally divergent range of sounds and moods. It runs the gamut from Lido’s signature style, filled with bursts of gargantuan synths punctuated by rabid drums, to more experimental elements such as an electro-funk section.
Posted by Lido on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
1. RÜFÜS DU SOL - Innerbloom (What So Not Remix)
What So Not soldiers on as a one-man show following the departure of Flume, giving Emoh Instead the opportunity to pivot and elevate the act to new highs. The freshly released Gemini EP left fans craving more material, which Emoh delivered by teasing a remix of “Innerbloom” by fellow Australian outfit RÜFÜS DU SOL, which has now been confirmed with the release of an official full stream. What So Not crafts a spellbinding twist on the club-ready original by stripping the beat down its most basic roots. What remains is a haunting vocal-driven remix that is condensed into a digestible format that rivals the original’s nearly 10-minute duration in its quality. The song has already proven a staple in Emoh’s sets, and will likely continue to receive acclaim as the festival season heats up.