Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Tracks of May 2016
Dancing Astronaut's Top 10 Tracks of May 2016
May 2016 will go down as the venerated month that unearthed such reputable albums as Flume’s Skin, James Blake’s The Colour In Anything, and Boys Noize’s Mayday. In fact, with the quality of these three releases alone, it’s going to be difficult for any month the rest of this year to top it.
Outside of these, May also brought along stellar originals from the likes of Eric Prydz (as Cirez D), Netsky, and Throttle, as well as a particularly engrossing cover from Nero.
Don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Tracks of April if you missed it.
10. RY X - Only (Kaskade & Lipless Remix)
Kaskade took a liking to “Only” it seems, recognizing the versatility of RY X’s voice and deciding to create his own interpretation of it. He recruited enigmatic newcomer Lipless to join him in this venture, creating a mellow clip fit for a Redux set. The collaborators do not detract from the original’s sentimentality, but rather have boosted it with subtle rhythms and sound layers that highlight the elements from the original composition that made it special in the first place.
9. Opiuo – Jelly Feat. Texture Like Sun (Original Mix)
“Jelly” features impassioned vocals from Texture Like Sun alongside formidably funky guitar and sax. Without a doubt, playing with the Opiuo band has had an influence on his style, which in “Jelly” comes across as an authentic live flow and overall feeling propagated by the instruments and vocals.
It wouldn’t be a true Opiuo track without his signature bass design, which manages to defy all logic with regards to power and loudness while having a placement in the mix that doesn’t overshadow the other elements. This is no small feat, and is one of the reasons Opiuo has been in such demand all over the world lately.
8. Delta Heavy - White Flag
Delta Heavy have dropped their latest heavy-handed release on the legendary RAM Records. The British duo return to proper form on “White Flag,” meshing their familiar bass-laden style with 2016 future accents that do well to bridge the gap between the past and the present. Led by a soaring vocal and their signature synthwork, it’s clear that the duo haven’t surrendered much when it comes to the integrity of their production pedigree.
7. James Blake - Waves Know Shores
James Blake‘s music has an unmistakably sobering quality to it. Having first broken into the scene with a handful of EPs, followed by his self titled release, it was the British musician’s second studio album Overgrown that effectively cemented his dewy, chilling sound.
Boxed in by this melancholy atmosphere is no sustainable place to be and perhaps that is why Blake’s third album, The Colour In Anything, finds itself extending a timid hand outside. Still just as haunting (and yes, it’s nowhere near what would be called uplifting music), it’s as if Blake opened the window — just a crack — and allowed a bit of light to stream in. One of the standout selections is “Waves Know Shores.” Blake’s gospel-inspired vocals and chords fit for play inside a church give off a collective hallowed feel.
6. Netsky - TNT (Feat. Chromeo)
Netsky continues building buzz for his new album, III, by releasing his collaboration with funk lords Chromeo, titled “TNT.” This song, recorded months before Prince‘s death, was inspired by the classic Prince sound, specifically his 1979 hit “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” which set the stage for the early electro-funk era in the 1980s.
Anyone who has listened to even two minutes of Chromeo would be able to hear that their funky, retro style of dance music sound has been inspired by the likes of Prince since the beginning. The upbeat, feel-good drum & bass of Netsky meshes perfectly with the retro stylings and falsetto vocals from Chromeo, creating a dangerously catchy hybrid track that could very well be the start of a new sub genre.
5. Throttle - Money Maker
Whether you’re a long-time Throttle fan or a newcomer to his sound, you’re sure to love “Money Maker.” The Australian’s latest experimentation with flipping dated vocals into fresh, electronic-inspired productions looks to be a massive success, with his newest production, now released on Spinnin’ Records, leading the way. Following a Beatport number one hit with “September” and a joint tune with none other than future house pioneer Oliver Heldens, “Money Maker” leaves a distinct mark while keeping in harmony with Throttle’s recent direction. This one is quickly climbing the charts, and has already seen support from countless headlining artists. “Money Maker” is a certified hit.
4. Prince - Electric Intercourse (Nero Cover)
Nero’s version of Prince’s unreleased composition “Electric Intercourse” is a shining example of their classic retro-future sound and, of course, features graceful, heartfelt vocals from Alana Watson that pull it all together. Recorded the year after their groundbreaking album, Welcome Reality, was released, fans can only hope there are other Nero tracks like this out there that may eventually see the light of day. They say this track is only a “demo,” but it is arguably polished enough to be an official release. Regardless, long-time Nero fans are sure to be pleased.
3. Boys Noize feat. Benga - Dynamite
Alex Ridha has always strived to create a body of work that is timeless, ageless, and strictly raw. Mayday, Ridha’s first full-length Boys Noize album since 2012′s Out of the Black, elevates these values to a new echelon.
“Dynamite,” Boys Noize’s collaboration with prodigal producer Benga, begins with a deceptive dormancy. The melancholic foreground and wistful vocals provide only a temporary relief from Ridha’s madness before erupting into what is perhaps the most virulent burst of the album.
2. Cirez D - In the Reds
Eric Prydz has given fans new cause for excitement, finally unveiling the two highly-anticipated tracks off of his forthcoming Cirez D EP in full. The double A-side, released on Mouseville Records, features “Into the Reds” and “Century of the Mouse.”
The first, “In the Reds” — arguably the more potent of the two — is darkly textural, with relentless kicks and claps building into a pounding techno drop. The track was notably played out during Prydz’s EPIC 4.0 tour, and has since received support from genre heavyweights like Chris Liebing and John Digweed.
1. Flume - Helix
Flume’s sophomore album Skin could have easily filled at least half the slots on this list. In an effort to make space for the rest of the amazing productions from the last month, we’ve narrowed our choice down to one track.
Mixed in between chart-topping hits on Skin such as “Never Be Like You,” and moments of rawness a la “Pika,” are the jarring and often unfamiliar sounds of Flume’s experimental work. “Helix” is the perfect example of this phenomenon. The track has been manipulated, distorted, and stretched so much that its soundscapes are barely even discernible any longer. In many ways, the sound can viewed as a metaphor for the entire album, which reads quite like a tale of man versus the machine.
Honorable mentions from Skin: “Tiny Cities” and “Lose It.”