To infinity and beyond
These 60 minutes of new dance cuts blast from the past and into the future.
Electronic music has always held an allure of being on the cusp of sonic trends. But even acts like Richie Hawtin—who perpetually looks as if he’s just descended from the mother ship—would be lost without the music that inspired him. We’ve handpicked 16 deep-house tunes recently released from artists or labels that are fueled by classic disco, acid and Italo, building on what’s come before to take underground sounds to celestial new heights.
The xx, “VCR,” Matthew Dear remix (Young Turk) Our 21st-century mix-tape begins with an indie-rock ode to an all-but-extinct technology. Here, it’s twisted for the dance floor by Ann Arbor’s foremost techno connoisseur.
Kasper Bjørke, “Young Again” (HFN Music) Scandinavia retains its status as world leader in innovative disco with this cinematic lead single from Standing on Top of Utopia, by Copenhagen’s Bjørke.
Manolo, “Lose Myself” (Delusions of Grandeur) The alter ego of house producer Roberto Rodriguez, Manolo sheds his four-on-the-floor trappings for the chugging bass bounce of this slo-mo disco stomper.
Lindstrøm & Christabelle, “Let It Happen” (Smalltown Supersound) Oslo’s Lindstrøm pays homage to Blade Runner soundtrack composer Vangelis with this Italo-cized cover from Real Life Is No Cool.
Jan Turkenburg, “In My Spaceship,” Pilooski remix (Sister Phunk) Turkenburg enlists a pack of preteen vocalists to help him imagine interstellar trips to the zoo with Dr. Who on this folksy space jam, beefed up by Parisian edit king Pilooski.
I:Cube, “Falling” (Versatile) French electronic innovator Nicolas Chaix treats us to an airy, deep nudisco number that doesn’t convey falling so much as floating.
Tony Underground, “Connie N’ Frank” (Nang) Eighties synths meet a space-age acid bass line and a hazy rasta vocal sample on the latest 12" from Nang, experimental Gotham City disco label Tirk’s dancier little sister.
Ilya Santana, “Time to Come” (Eskimo) Belgium’s Eskimo label continues to channel the spirit of pioneering cosmic DJ Daniele Baldelli with soaring Italo from Spanish multi-instrumentalist Santana.
Fromage Disco, “Acidic Strings” (Lightspeed Recordings) This Aussie duo goes equal parts Alexander Robotnick and Prins Thomas with its debut original production.
Tensnake, “Coma Cat” (Permanent Vacation) Bouncing with tropical steel drums and an infectious boogie beat, “Coma Cat” from Hamburg, Germany’s Tensnake proves why he’s one to watch in 2010.
Nick Chacona, “The Fear,” Beg to Differ remix (Mood Music) A white label 12" promoting Chacona’s debut LP, Love in the Middle, this remix ups the tempo, giving vocalist Kathy Diamond a forum that befits Fabric as much as Studio 54.
Lusine, “Twilight,” Jeff Samuel remix (Ghostly International) Splitting his time between Seattle and Berlin, Samuel takes Lusine’s ambient downtempo techno original and gives it a slick, rainy-day house sheen.
Âme, Dixon & Schwarz, “Berlin-Karlsruhe-Express” (Innervisions) Undisputed leaders in German deep house, the Innervisions brain trust joins forces for a mellow techno workout inspired by mysterious Detroit electro band Drexciya.
Pilooski, “AAA” (Rvng Intl) The limited-edition Rvng of the Nrds series sees a triumphant tenth and final entry with a tribal edit from Pilooski. This time, he lends his dance-floor embellishments to the tropical exotica of Nora Dean’s “Angie La La (Ay Ay Ay).”
Nicolas Jaar, “Mi Mujer” (Wolf + Lamb) Another island-inflected cut, this time with a heartier house twist. Wolf + Lamb is hotly tipped as one of the leading new dance-music voices in the U.S., and we can hear why.
Gui Boratto, “Azzurra” (Kompakt) Yet again, the architect-turned-producer from São Paulo, Brazil, impresses with his New Order–inspired indie techno. Built on strummed bass and soft techno pulse, “Azzurra” will leave you with all the warmth of the sun rays soaked up through a porthole on the space station in your head.