Chocolate Puma & Tommie Sunshine
Take The Ride
Tommie Sunshine again illustrates he’s a veteran with a strong sense of history who’s equally concerned with remaining jacked into dance music’s future, and his latest collab with Chocolate Puma encapsulates everything unhinged dancefloor mayhem should be. ‘Take the Ride’ is mainstage EDM drenched to the bone with ketamine, propelled by the dull throb a 3am minimal head-fuck record, and drawing a straight line to the subversive fidget house he resonated so strongly with a decade ago. Sunshine himself provides its beatnik monologue, and its straight-up bassline stomp quickly twists and contorts into all sorts of sonic insanity.
'2 Miles Away'
Rodriguez Jr. goes for synthy peaktime exhilaration on his new 'Chain Reaction EP', and its B-side in particularly is a brooding monster that’s essentially a moody trance record, its gritty melodies simmering in and out of the frame before he allows for release after the break. It’s executed with the same musicality that allows Rodriguez to stand out from the pack.
Sudbeat boss Hernan Cattaneo beckons Guy J over for the label’s 100th release, a hypnotic progressive record seasoned with Latin percussion, in the style the South American imprint has cultivated so well over years (never mind the producer hails from Israel in this instance). The deep bassline that kicks in around the two-minute mark establishes ‘Algorithm’ even more so in Sudbeat territory, though it’s garnished with the same sumptuous sonic detail Guy J is renowned for.
With label boss Sander van Doorn himself steering away from EDM populism towards something a little more interesting, his Doorn imprint is doing the same thing. After the critically rare EDM/techno crossover success ‘The Snake 2016’ over the summer, ‘Blip’ accomplishes essentially the same thing, with its sped-up vocal sample leading straight into a rough-as-nails hook. Like this month’s Money Shot, it’s mainstage house channeling glitchy fidget vibes.
Armin Van Buuren
'Blue Fear (Paolo Mojo Remix)'
Mojo comes out of hiding to join the massive cast of producers lining up to remix Armin’s back catalogue on his 'Club Embrace' album, and he’s an appropriate choice to revisit the trance giant’s breakthrough ‘97 record that dropped long before he’d perfected his Jesus pose. However, its focus on functional drive means some of the original’s haunting resonance is sacrificed.
Lost & Found
‘Carolina’ is one of the bigger progressive club records to feature on the debut One Day of Independence album from Israeli producer Khen, illustrating he’s brave enough to indulge in some particularly decadent melodic flourishes (and accomplished enough in the studio to pull it off). He gets such a brash harmony to work by deftly laying it over deliciously deep basslines and tribal percussion, and it’ll deliver an explosive impact if deployed at the right time.
Above & Beyond recently used ‘Love Spreadin’ to close their “deep” opening set at their Group Therapy 250 party in Amsterdam, shifting the evening into trancier territory. It’s a simple idea executed beautifully, tapping right into the tingling euphoria of a ‘90s-era prog bomb with a modern sheen. Beginning on a simple drum-break (and a none too subtle cowbell), Josep builds the tension with a looped vocal grab that gradually widens into the record’s refrain of “spreading love all over the world” as it heads straight to the build-up without passing go.
Simon Patterson Feat. Dave Wright
'Vapour Trails (Extended Mix)'
Patterson does an accomplished job of giving a lighter touch to his latest record, and while it drops into a classic vocal breakdown several minutes in, it’s mercifully free of trance saccharine and even better, it’s preceded by one of the best tech-infused drops we’ve heard from Patterson since his breakthrough ‘Smack’ a decade ago. Some tough tech to go with your euphoria.