Mar 10, 2010

House music and really big eskimo hoods: some recent singles

Pantha Du Prince's dreamlike house haze on his spanking new album Black Noise has got me in the mood for some four-to-the-floor action. Never mind all that cut-and-paste broken beat crap. This week, I want my beats fixed up and looking sharp. Here are some recent house singles.


Raffertie (pictured) is Planet Mu's top drawer dance guru, beloved of grungy club types as well as the glossy hacks of Mixmag magazine. Recently, he's been getting some big-time snogs from Huw Stephens, Rob Da Bank and Dame Mary Anne Hobbs. Which is nice.

7th Dimension is Raffertie's newest single, and while the title is not as classic as last year's Wobble Horror!, there is ample to restrain your thumbs from twiddling. It's a whooping high-energy flare of rave house, convulsing from snare stab attacks and swirling, persistent vocals.

The b-side, String Theory, sounds like a melancholic Way Out West experimenting with a wobble-board for a bassline. 7th Dimension is the better cut, and reminds me a little of Hospital Records' more zealous moments - without the junglism.

Floating Points

His bubbly 2-stepper J+W Beat enjoyed more than a play or three on my phone last year, so unfurl the bunting because electronic polymath* Floating Points has dropped a brand new track called People's Potential.

He's not just torn a leaf from Luke Vibert's book: he's photocopied way beyond the legal limit to produce a thumping, nagging acid work-out with wailing synths and both hush puppies planted solidly on the dance floor.

Track it down if you can, but I warn you, it's a limited edition one-sided white label. And they're harder to find than Lil Wayne's self-respect.

The XX

I've saved the best for last: a superb cacophony of remixes of one of the best indie bands of the past 12 months. There are several remixes of The XX track, Islands. And they're all fab.

Untold culled the coldness of The XX, secreted it in an igloo somewhere north of Alaska, hurled it into Heston Blumenthal's deep freezer, and fashioned a dubstep remix so startlingly chilly, your ears will ice over at the mere notion of listening to it. Pardon? Exactly. It's tribal, like Zulu, but in eskimo hoods, really big eskimo hoods.

The Blue Nile's version of Islands shimmers and ripples, simple piano and electric guitar adding a nagging theme to the sparse vocals, while Nosaj Thing interprets the track as astral ambience. Delorean flings us back to the warm world of 90s intelligent techno, and, finally, Falty DL makes it sound like Tricky's record player's broken.

Okay, I veered away from house music at the end, there, but I don't like my beats too neat: if it ain't unfixed, I'm gonna broke it. You can quote me on that. (Please don't.)

* I only call him this because he can play the piano too.

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