Friday, January 20, 2006

Dancing in Harlem

The last couple years have seen some amazing genre-bending dance music come and go; so much so that the vast majority is overlooked. This is part of the reason for my last couple posts; the shit that gets all the attention - all the hype - can unfortunately drown out the sounds of the underground.

Some of the tracks I'm going to post are very difficult to track down digitally, never mind on vinyl, which is part of the attraction -- chances are you haven't heard most of these songs here in North America. Ironically - hypocritically? - if they had been played to hell around here when they were released, I wouldn't be hitting them up now (as Tareh so rightly pointed out in one of the comments this week).

Ajello produces some hot genre-mixed Italo electro on Mantra Vibes out of (yeah) Italy. He is hit-and-miss, but when he's on, it's magic. These tracks were released throughout 2005; the David Gilmour Girls Remix was posted on AYF? a while ago.

Ajello - Harlem USA
Ajello - Harlem USA (David Gilmour Girls Remix) (repost)
In Flagranti (Feat. G Rizo) - Bang Bang (Ajello Remix)

This is cheating; I'm going way back now. Drinking Electricity had their start in the early '80s, releasing a series of singles and an album; most of their catalogue was critically dismissed, and with good reason. However, when it worked - like Ajello - the results were worth it. Glass Candy vibes all around, and check out that "Loco-Motion" hook in "Good Times."

Drinking Electricity - Good Times (Dance Mix)
Drinking Electricity - Breakout (Long Version)

The first album by Grand National was generally forgettable, except for - in my opinion - "Playing In the Distance." There is a new album slated for release within the next few months on Sunday Best. This remix, by The Glimmer Twins, stays true to the original, but strengthens the kick, adds hand-claps, and draws the whole thing out to an epic 8 minutes.

Grand National - Playing In The Distance (Glimmers Remix)

As a label, France's Kitsune has a pretty good track record -- so when they drop a new name, it's worth a listen. I can't remember where I found this one (NYC or Seattle in early '04), but it was a white label and I had no concept of who was behind it -- so I was surprised when it turned out to be really good (The Things being a project of Joshua Harvey, about whom I know very little). When all my records were ripped off, this was one of the gems I shed a tear over.

The Things - I Don't Care
The Things - Stupid

Bonus track:

Spector - Elektrify (Removed by request)


OK, so that's all the dance music I'm sourcing for a little while. There are a few rock bands to focus on over the next week -- my inbox has been buzzing lately with some good stuff. Thanks to everyone who emails me, particularly the ones who send good music.


The Paper Cranes
debut EP will be released on February 23rd, with shows in Victoria and Vancouver, and a trip to Toronto to follow. More news on that (including dates) when everything is official.


Linking out to The Underground Express, as well as Comp Book, who posts cultural links actually worth reading.