This week in dance music: The BPM Festival Costa Rica was cancelled just days before it was scheduled to begin due to rising Covid rates, a development that festivals organizers say will cost them millions. Swedish House Mafia joined The Weeknd for a proper dance party in the video for the Agents Of Time remix of “Take My Breath.” The Chainsmokers announced their return in a legit funny satire video chronicling their two-year hiatus. Alesso and Katy Perry’s “When I’m Gone” hit the top 10 of Dance/Electronic Songs. The Coachella lineup dropped with a long list of dance artists on the bill. Bob Moses dropped the first single from their forthcoming album, while Bonobo spoke to Billboard about his seventh studio LP, Fragments.
New music? We’ve got that too.
Aluna, Diplo & Durante
Making the ups and downs of romance sound like a beach party, Aluna, Diplo and Italian producer Durante tag-team on “Forget About Me.” Out via Mad Decent, the song, Aluna says, “is about that moment when you’ve cleaned up the trash pile that was once your heart — you’re feeling yourself and you’ve worked out how to be alone but the past comes back to haunt you, hungry for your new self love and abundant vibes.” Thus, with her signature sinewy vocals, Aluna pleads that “you’ve got to forget me” so that she can maintain those vibes, which are definitely high on this song via marimba synths and speedy BPM. “Those are the moments you have to stay strong and really forget about your old love so that new fresh love can waltz into your life,” she adds. This May, Aluna is hosting Noir Fever, a New Orleans festival featuring an all-black lineup including Kaytranada, UNIIQU3, Kevin Saunderson and Aluna herself. — KATIE BAIN
Justin Martin feat. Claire George, “Let’s”
Justin Martin has the bullseye ability to get butts shaking on the dancefloor, but beyond the party-hard rattling basslines and left-field vocals is an equal ability to give you the feels via softer, subtler melodies. Starting his own label, What to Do, lets him offer the best of both worlds. To mark the venture’s second anniversary, Martin has released a new song “Let’s” featuring vocalist Claire George. “Let’s” evokes a wintry, cinematic melancholy with its air-swept atmospherics, aquatic chords and swelling synth strings before plummeting into abyssal sub-bass. Even in the middle of a crowded dancefloor, you might not help but feel quite solitary. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Klingande, Merk & Kremont feat. MKLA, “Planet in the Sky”
It’s a new year, hopes are high, and Klingande is here to deliver a bright yet sultry bit of dance pop perfect to bouncing toward your best self. “Planet in the Sky” finds the French producer teaming up with Italian duo Merk & Kremont to create a cool mix of lively violin and dance floor rhythms. MKLA brings an airy vocal to seal the deal on what is definitely a brooding bit of house funk, and a good way to start a new season of singles. — KAT BEIN
The Knocks feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, “Walking on Water”
The Knocks are back with the lead single from their forthcoming album, “Walking on Water.” A collaboration with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, the song indeed sounds like levitating, with buoyant (yet still fairly lo-fi) synths building into a bright chorus that’s the sonic equivalent of this song’s message about the deliciousness of new romance. The song’s bridge falls into pleasing ’70s AM radio territory, altogether creating a smooth and uplifting love note of a song. — K. Bain
Andrea Oliva, “Alley Rave”
Patrick Topping’s Trick label has been one to keep an eye on in the dance space. More than an outlet for its founder, it’s a well-curated and increasingly high-profile platform for emerging artists like Adapter and Ewan McVicar. Trick’s next release comes from Swiss vet Andrea Oliva, whose Alley Rave EP sounds like how its title reads: mad-lad tunes for letting loose in the shadows. The title track feels somewhat “Oizo gone tech house” with a high-speed vocal sample and a boiling acid bassline, while B-sides “Out and About” and “Locomotive” enter more driving melodic territory. — K.R.
Marbs, “Needed Time”
Desert Hearts co-founder Marbs delivers series heat on his new Minds on the Run EP. Out today via the Desert Hearts Black label, which covers the techno end of the crew’s house and techno output, the EP opens with the eight-minute opus “Needed Time,” on which an evocative voice purrs ASMR-worthy vocals while squiggly synths hit a thick bassline hook before an exultant but nonetheless tough rise and release. The overall effect is techno suited for the Blade Runner universe, or for nodding your head to with your eyes closed in the middle of a packed dancefloor at four in the morning. The rest of the EP hits just as hard. — K. Bain
Nervo & Midnight City, “Flames”
Light a fire in your soul and burn bright into the night with this hot fire. Nervo’s first release of 2022 is a piano house collaboration with Midnight City. Bold, energetic and catchy as heck, it’s laced with atmospheric texture and exudes plenty of roller disco attitude. Nervo’s sing-along lyrics are built to be belted at the top of your lungs, so get your best girl friends together and hit the town with all the bells and whistles. — K. Bein