This week in dance music: We caught ODESZA’s comeback show in their hometown of Seattle, Beatport announced a new CFO, Beyoncé dropped three very excellent “Break My Soul” remixes and hit No. 1 on Dance Mix/Show Airplay with that same track, we spoke to Kevin Aviance on the drag icon’s appearance on renaissanceEmpress Of and Jim-E Stack released a very good video for their very excellent single “Turn The Table,” Domino Records launched a new electronic imprint, the legend Claude VonStroke answered 20 questions and Calvin Harris released his long-awaited album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2.
That’s a lot! But is there more? There’s so much more! Let’s dig in.
Baauer, “Let Me Love U”
There’s no play button we press harder and faster than a new hit from Baauer, and the hitmaker’s latest showcases the groovier, disco-ier side of his production prowess. “Let Me Love U” is full of summer funk and romantic sentiments. The chipmunk vocal sample is enough to have us dance in the streets, which is exactly what folks are up in the official music video. Directed by Leia Jospé, the clip is described by Baauer in a Tweet as “a love letter to New York City <3 aka the #1 city in the world.” We see the music man wandering the Big Apple with a big boom mic in hand, capturing close-ups of real NYC characters up to their best and worst behavior. It's hilarious, and it makes you feel good — almost as good as the track's infectious hook. – kat bein
Kaytranada & Anderson .Paak, “Twin Flame”
In 2016, Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak collaborated on the confidence-swelling song “Glowed Up” for the former’s debut album, 99.9%. Since then, both have been pretty busy, from making more LPs and winning Grammys to collaborating with Bruno Mars, HER, Lucky Daye and Kendrick Lamar between them. Six years later, they’ve reunited on a new single “Twin Flame,” which according to Kaytra has been in the vaults for at least two years. “Twin Flame” shows both parties at their peak: Kaytra samples a deep cut from disco greats Sister Sledge and gives it an irresistibly cool lean and punch with his signature swinging drums, along with some chopped vocal croons and heavenly synth textures. Meanwhile, .Paak raps on the beat like he’s gliding down Hollywood Blvd in a luxury whip, soulful and smooth as hell. “Twin Flame” is best enjoyed in music-video form, complete with statement fits and both artists’ rock star presence. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
bklava, Anywhere With You
Since appearing on Billboard‘s Top 10 Dance Artists to Watch list earlier this year, multi-hyphenate Bklava has been making the rounds on some of dance music’s most iconic and buzziest labels, from FFRR and Defected sub-level D4 D4NCE to Elkka’s femme culture. Her latest release from ella, on Danny Howard’s Nothing Else Matters label, is Anywhere With You, a double-single packed with catchy vocals and the sounds of UK club culture. On the title track, Bklava delivers sugary, love-lorn vocals with anthemic force over a house rhythm pumped with high-speed percussion and pure adrenaline. The B-side, “Hide,” sounds and feels like the polar opposite. It’s slower, darker, broodier UK garage with groaning bass, sharp block hits and a rumble looming ominously in the background while Bklava cries out: “Baby, it’s too late… You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” These two songs, with their totally different moods, prove that this rising artist is only getting better with each release. — K.R.
DJ E-Clyps feat. Tasha LaRae, “Celebrate”
DJ E-Clyps returns with a supremely breezy summer jam that fully evokes its titular celebratory vibe. A spirited pop/dance hyprid with just a hint of R&B, “Celebrate” features the Indiana-based producer on vocals that reflect on the many reasons to celebrate on this fine day — COVID didn’t take you away, BBQs are happening, the sun is out, etc. “Celebrate” follows E-Clyps recently released “Love Quake” — out via Green Velvet’s Cajual Records — and has already gotten rinsed from heroes like MK, Louie Vega, and Blessed Madonna, which is reason indeed to celebrate. — katie bain
Brijean, “Take A Trip”
Let’s take a trip to outer space, where the cocktail lounges are decorated with fuzzy couches and everyone still dresses like a retro-futurist from the 1960s. If we can’t escape gravity’s pull enough to escape Earth’s orbit, the next best thing is a jam session to Brijean’s latest single “Take a Trip.” This is smooth disco drip served on ice, and it’s just one of nine tracks on the delightful music duo’s (the LA-based Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart) latest EP Angelo, out now on Ghostly International. – K. Bein
Who says the golden age of trap is over? The ever consistent NGHTMRE scores again with the large AF “Trials,” a collaboration with Baltimore rapper/producer/director IDK that’s steeped in high hat and hits hard with style and grandeur. The track is the third single from NGHTMRE’s forthcoming LP DRMVRSE!, set for release on September 9. “The instrumental for ‘Trials’ is something I actually wrote a while ago,” the producer says. “It took a long time to find someone I felt could match the energy of the record. Once I listened to IDK’s music for the first time, I knew he would be amazing on it. He’s not only an impressive lyricist, but an incredible singer/vocalist as well. He really nailed the vibe perfectly on this one!” — K.Bain
DJ Tennis & Ashee feat. Lady Donli, “On My Own Now”
CircoLoco Records, the imprint from the techno party brand currently enthralling the masses this summer over in Ibiza, strikes again with this slinky heater from the legendary DJ Tennis and producer Ashee. Together the duo create an increasingly urgent production over which Nigerian vocalist Lady Donli drops a smooth, fast flow about, she says, “finally being able to move on from a failed relationship and embracing solitude.” You’ll indeed be nodding to yourself with your eyes closed to this pure late night vibes deep house jam. While the release features a more compact 3:48 minute edit, it’s this six minute extended version that we’re feeling most — because more of a good thing is never a bad thing. — K.Bain