Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Tracks of April 2016
Dancing Astronaut's Top 10 Tracks of April 2016
April signaled the return of many of our favorite producers. Both Galantis and RL Grime unveiled their first original material of the year. Meanwhile, the album trails for some of 2016’s biggest records started to heat up. Flume unveiled two new singles, while Gorgon City brought along some amazing new club material from their sophomore album. On top of this, April brought along some amazing remixes from the likes of Kill the Noise, Solomun, and Kaskade.
Looking back on the month, we’ve selected our Top 10 tracks, measured by critical acclaim, perceived impact, and overall quality (as well as a hint of editorial bias).
Don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Tracks of March if you missed it.
10. Flux Pavilion - I Can't Stop (Ekali Tribute)
Appreciative and inspired by the original, Vancouver producer Ekali has taken Flux Pavilion’s iconic “I Can’t Stop” and updated it for the current scene, where future sounds are now dominant. His tribute opens up somberly, with mournful piano chords replacing the mysterious synthesizers blips of the original. The iconic sample soon makes an appearance while horn blasts increase the drive to match Flux’s classic composition. The drop itself maintains the same melody, although, instead of a serrated bass leading the way, a futuristic, wavy synth propels the tribute forward.
9. Interpol - Everything is Wrong (Solomun Remix)
The latest to come from Solomun is a glorious deep house remix of Interpol’s moody alt rock song, “Everything Is Wrong.” Proving again to be a master of deconstructing then rearranging a song into something profoundly textured and moving, the Hamburg producer layers a variety of undulating, tech-influenced elements with Paul Banks’ vocals to cast an intentional haze over the soundscape.
8. Gorgon City - Blue Parrot
2016 is well under way, and with it, the buildup for the full unveiling of Gorgon City’s Kingdom project due later this year. Their newly revealed second single, “Blue Parrot,” adds to the eclectic, light-hearted theme presented in “All Four Walls,” yet airs a bit on the edgier side. Exotic percussion abounds, adding complexity to the clip sans melodic elements while hints of grungy vocal samples adorn the rhythmic layers. With weightless drums in tow, the track gives off an energy more geared towards an outdoor party than a pitch-black club.
7. Madsonik - Drift and Fall (Kill The Noise Remix)
With his newest remix of “Drift and Fall,” by Madsonik, Kill The Noise matches the seductive vocals of Lola Marsh with alluring growls of his own. Taking more of a melodic dubstep approach, KTN lets Marsh’s vocals take the forefront for the first 2 minutes before dropping into an excellently balanced mixture of heavy and harmonic. Numerous different reverbs on the synths and vocal samples fill up the back end of the drop, creating ample space for the growls to fit in without taking away from the overall feeling of the track.
6. Flume feat. Tove Lo - Say It
Flume took to April to debut yet another track from his forthcoming Skin LP, “Say It feat. Tove Lo.” The Swedish singer’s saccharine vocals and staccato delivery lead the way as Flume’s production buzzes and bubbles underneath, slowly building tension as the track moves towards the drop. Flume matches the looseness of Tove Lo’s delivery, meandering into a dreamy section that introduces drums to add more forward momentum. The track transitions back into a verse, before another drop and slinky, wobbly synthesizer solo take over. A final drop, once again matching the swaying, relaxed vocals from Lo, plays the track out.
5. RL Grime - Aurora
The 2014 release of RL Grime’s debut album Void propelled him into the dance music spotlight, earning him numerous headlining festival spots across the globe. As the trap maestro, née Henry Steinway, geared up for Coachella 2016, he shared a new original single titled “Aurora.”
The track, which is matched with GoPro visuals of a weather balloon in space, rings familiar for fans who have seen RL Grime’s recent performances. As “Aurora” opens with a reverberating intro, an indiscernible vocal sample slinks in before building to a theatrical eruption of percussion. At its core, “Aurora” serves as an extension of Void, continuing the legendary trap narrative that Steinway pioneered over a year ago.
4. Galantis - No Money
Ever since they burst onto the scene with 2013′s “Smile,” Swedish duo Galantis have been one of the most consistently stellar progressive house acts around. And if “No Money,” their first original release of 2016, is any indicator, they have no intentions of slowing down.
As vibrant and playful as anything in Galantis’ oeuvre, “No Money” finds Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw sticking to their tried and true formula of soaring, ear-worm pop vocals on top of huge sound design and subtle chord colors. The duo have an uncanny knack for making the same sound interesting time after time, and “No Money” proves that their firm command over their craft has not loosened.
3. ZHU - In the Morning (Kaskade Remix)
Zhu is a master at manipulating our curiosity — it’s interwoven into his brand with every step. Recently, Zhu shared a picture of a vinyl record with his and Kaskade‘s tags, concisely captioned ‘Soon.’ After a few days of speculation, we have Kaskade’s official rendition of “In The Morning.” The original track, premiered in February via Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, pushes Zhu’s infectiously enigmatic, hazy dawn aesthetic, laying a cooling backdrop for Kaskade’s uptempo remix. Holding close to the original’s pronounced string work and wandering vocals, Kaskade works in his percussive modifications to Zhu’s dreamy piece for the perfect blend of each producer’s distinct style.
2. Deadmau5 x ATTLAS - Bad At Titles
Deadmau5 has refused to hinder his album-writing momentum, even on his own Mau5hax bus tour where he brought along a traveling studio. While his new work thus far has all been solo, the Canadian artist recently enlisted his label protégé ATTLAS for dark progressive tune, “Bad at Titles.” Simple yet hypnotic, the track is very tightly produced, hitting the eardrums at a satisfying angle with tastes of Eastern-influenced synth melodies and a tense breakdown that screams deadmau5 in its sonic nature. Percussion plays a strong role in “Bad at Titles” as well, adding a hint of tech that boosts its sinister nature. No word on if this one will ever see a release date.
1. AlunaGeorge - I Remember (feat. Flume)
Following previous single, “I’m In Control,”AlunaGeorge premiered their newest album track, “I Remember,” on Annie Mac’s BBC1 radio show. A collaboration with Flume, the track shows a slightly more wistful side to Harley Streten’s easy-going, hip-hop infused style, which, in this case, exquisitely complements Aluna’s airy vocals without detracting from them.
Written about long-lost love, the song blends nostalgic lyrics with a more uplifting beat, finding the right balance of emotions without getting too gloomy.