Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of July
Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix. And we're particularly excited about what we heard during July — it was tough to narrow this list down to six songs.
You can stream this month's mix here or through NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.
KMFH, 'Our Love'
Few producers crunch a clap quite like Kyle Hall, especially when he's producing under his KMFH moniker. Last year's Boat Party was an exercise in distortion, grain and grit baked deep into stripped down percussion tracks. "Our Love" is a track that, until recently, was only available on an extremely limited basis, and uses a similar sound palette. But here the drums are backed by a beefy bass line that winds its way in and out of low pass filtering, topped by a funk-infused sample that brings the whole thing to euphoric heights.
Rx Timecode: 20:36 – 23:19
Daze, 'Lips ('94 Original DAT Dub)'
This gorgeous track is a straight throwback to the early '90s heyday of rave music. The combination of emotional synthwork, lo-fi breakbeats and deteriorated vocals feels so authentic to that era, "Lips" could be mistaken for an uncovered relic from a pirate radio station. Daze, the young Australian producer behind the mirage, is basically synthesizing memories for those of us too young to have experienced classic hardcore ourselves. The potency is irresistible.
Rx Timecode: 05:45 – 10:38
Laura Jones, 'Bright Lights' (Cassy Remix)
Cassy Britton is a resident DJ at Panorama Bar in Berlin, one of the most respected dance music clubs in the world. When she's not busy performing, she's a top-notch producer and remixer. Her latest remix is a reimagining of Laura Jones' "Bright Lights," and it takes the svelte deep-house vibe of the original and adds some cavernous warehouse reverb. This one's designed specifically for the club setting, but there's enough nuance for it thrive in your earbuds, too.
Rx Timecode: 14:43 – 20:35
Jack J, 'Something (On My Mind)'
For smoked-out house music, the tunes wafting from the Mood Hut in Vancouver are some of the dankest right now. Jack J's "Something (On My Mind)" coasts on the back of a warbling, four bar chord progression. But throughout the ten minute track, sax samples and guitar plucks dress this riff in surprises, with crispy hats that keep it all upbeat. Smooth stuff that's fit to loosen any vibe.
Rx Timecode: 23:20 – 32:37
Tessela, 'Rough 2'
British producer Ed Russell rose to fame last year on the success of his breakbeat single "Hackney Parrot," an instant classic that gradually took over radio shows and dance floors and topped many year-end lists. "Rough 2" is his first Tessela single post-hype, and it doesn't disappoint. Russell employs a monster jungle break on the song's defining hook, a lop-sided two-second loop that we can't get out of our heads. The rest of the song isn't too shabby, either.
Rx Timecode: 10:39 – 14:42
"Huh," from London's Randomer, is the 50th release from L.I.E.S., a New York born record label that's put out experimental dance and noise music at a prolific rate since 2010. It begins with ominous calls bouncing off the walls of a cave, before dropping into a broken beat that could have come from an '80s electro tune. Stuttering synths and plenty of reverb pack this one full of drama, pinned down by a scuzzy kick and filmy hats that sound right at home on this imprint.
Rx Timecode: 00:00 – 05:44