Another week, another collection of new dance music to power your weekend. Ready? Let’s dig in.
Carl Cox, “Sand, Moon & Stars”
If all you know about Ibiza is that a bunch of DJs play and basically live there every summer (except last summer…and this summer) then you might be surprised to know that the world-famous Balearic party island is also home to a football club, UD Ibiza. The team was recently the subject of a five-part documentary, Club Ibiza: The Sessions, for which electronic titan Carl Cox — one of Ibiza’s much-beloved former DJ residents — created the title track, “Sand, Moon & Stars.” It doesn’t take long for this track to transport you beachside at sunset with its shakers and glittering arpeggios, while expansive synth strings in the background create a visceral, almost panoramic effect — you see and feel the sand encrusting your feet, the ocean spray on your face, the deep rhythm in your stomach, and the unfettered joy of everyone around you as the giant ball in the sky dips below the horizon. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Nala, “Sun Is Hot”
“Is it me or is it getting hotter, hotter than ever before?” Nala asks on “Sun is Hot,” the B-side of her Psychic Attack EP on Dirtybird. Coming from one of her home bases (Los Angeles), where all the seasons have basically evolved into summer at varying levels of bearableness, the answer seems to be an unequivocal “yes.” But beyond the track’s smooth house groove, deeper layers emerge. The heat we feel, Nala writes in a statement published on Dirtybird’s Facebook page, isn’t just physical or external; it’s also the tension compounding within us whenever we see never-ending political battles in the news. What do you do when the fire’s too big for your hose? “Sun is Hot” captures the LA-in-late-summer mugginess with each “hot!” that Nala rasps out like a blast of steam, while high-pitched riffs and a teeter-tottering synthline verge on disorienting.
“It’s cool to be able to talk about heavy topics over dance beats,” Nala continues. “I think it sort of catches people by surprise. I’ve already started receiving messages from people asking me why I talk about such heavy topics — that I should stick to the music — but my response is always the same…As an artist, you’re unavoidably a product of your environment.” – K.R.
Griz x Ganja White Night, “Ease Your Mind”
Griz continues his heady voyage through bass-funk with “Ease Your Mind,” a collab with Belgian duo Ganja White Night. The track starts out as a primarily funky affair, with a sinewy synth melody floating through like a curl of vape smoke, before the the whole thing gets fully galactivated with glitchy flourishes and a brass section that gives the production some real backbone. A year after a quarantine began, we’re along way from those dusty fields where we used to go hard to similarly hard bass frenzies like this. Let this one serve as a shot of adrenaline to help get you through this (seemingly) final stretch of this decidedly trippy time. — KATIE BAIN
Wuki – “I’m High”
Wuki is straight-up one of the wildest producers in the game, his edits are known fire and his originals span the gamut from nose-bleed bass bashers to meandering, psychedelic moods. The Grammy-nominated master has been a favorite of festival-goers for nearly a decade, but it’s only today that we’re gifted his genre-bending debut LP.“After an entire year and a few delays, I’m soo [sic] stoked to release my debut album,” Wuki is quoted in a press release. “I want this body of work to show all the weird corners of my brain and how I love to approach music from a million angles while still maintaining my sound.”Wuki.World takes listeners through a carnival of sound, with high-profile features from Diplo, Juvenile, Shaq and more. Most of the tracks were released as singles before the big day, but there are four new tunes, including the down-low smoke-sesh brooder above. If you’re missing hookah lounges, this LP — both seductive and incredibly unique — is the one to bang. — KAT BEIN
San Holo, “It Hurts!”
San Holo is truly the king of emotional bangers, and his latest single boils relationships down to their most basic and honest components. A signature San guitar lick rings clear and true over 808 rhythms and a heartfelt mantra: “I still can’t find the right words / the only thing that I’ve learned / it’s only real when it hurts.” Way to hit us in all the feels, man. “It Hurts!” is the third single from his forthcoming 20-track sophomore LP bb u ok? The full project is due out May 21, and no, we aren’t crying, there’s just something in our eye. — K. Bein
Deorro feat. Lúa, “Si Tú No Estás Aquí”
Deorro ramps up to the release of his debut album with the LP’s second single, “Si Tú No Estás Aquí.” Featuring Mexican vocalist Lúa and translating to “if you are not here,” the track finds the Los Angeles-based producer born Erick Orrosquieta dipping into the effervescent end of the house spectrum, with the song playing like a fairly dreamy, kinda a flirty vibe-starter that — through the emotional heft of Lúa’s vocals — also carries just a little bit of heartbreak even if you don’t understand the lyrics. The song, Deorro says in a statement, “brings to life those feelings you get when you vibe with someone so hard that you think you must have met them before in this lifetime or another. I wanted this record to feel timeless, with a retro feel but with a little bit of my funk.” We’d say he nailed it. — K. Bain