This week a crapload of festival lineups were announced, along with a bunch of tours. It’s that wonderful time of year, I guess. If you’re looking to see some of your favorite artists, I’d recommend doing a bit of googling, because it’s likely they are playing at a festival near you. I didn’t have the stamina/skrilla/dedication to hit any festivals last year (also I wasn’t a huge fan of most lineups), but this year is looking fucking awesome. Every festival I’ve seen has a great lineup. Related: anyone wanna buy me a ticket to Detroit for Movement fest?
1. DJ Koze — I Haven’t Been Everywhere But It’s On My List
DJ Koze has been around for a really long time and he’s still killing it. I’ve been a big fan of his releases over the past year. This is a funky, groovy little song that’ll put a smile on your face. This song is off his DJ Kicks mix (one of the best mix series in electronic music hands down, make sure to check them out, likely your favorite artist did one at one point), and I somehow missed it. Tbh I haven’t paid much attention to him lately but his songs just keep popping up and they are 🔥
2. Champion + Four Tet — Disparate
More Four Tet. Always more Four Tet, that’s my motto. In the past week he released two new songs and also announced his festival dates for the summer. If you have the means, go see him. He’s put on some of my favorite gigs and he’s an expert at reading the room. This song is sketchy as hell — there’s a lot going on here. My favorite part kicks in around the 4:00 mark where they bring in some four to the floor (that’s the bass drum hitting on every note, which is the defining feature of house music).
3. Roland Appel — Handshake
Been grooving on this song a lot. It takes a little while to get started, so be patient and you’ll be rewarded. The main bassline starts around the 1:00 mark, but the real groove starts right after the bridge. This song is so simple, a few layers wrapped around that bassline, yet it hits so hard.
4. Benga — Make Moves
Oh my gawddd Benga is back! Benga was one of the original players in dubstep back in the 2000s in the UK. He was later in Magnetic Man with Skream and Artwork, also two OG dubstep dudes. As dubstep morphed into whatever the fuck it morphed into (especially in the US), it seemed like Benga lost his way, and he announced that he was retiring from music last February. In the fall he “came clean,” as he put it, saying that he has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which he thinks were largely brought on by drugs. Not only does that sound like an awful experience to go through, but it’s super brave that he told millions of people. A lot of DJs have been coming out and talking about their drug or alcohol problems or mental disorders, taking time off to realign their life before jumping back in to the crazy world that is music production and touring.
Benga is an international treasure, so it’s great to hear that he’s back and presumably doing much better. This song hits so fucking hard and is a return to form, and he says it’s the most “me” music that he’s released since Diary of an Afro Warrior in 2008. This song is off a new album that’ll be released in the end of February. We’re stoked to have you back, Benga.
5. Dorisburg — Tundra
This just popped up on my one of the super nerdy music groups I’m in, and I fell in love immediately. It was released four years ago and I know nothing about Dorisburg, but at least I came across it eventually! This song is very pretty, in addition to being one of those tracks I can clearly see myself dancing to at the club. Maybe a bit later in the night once everyone is good and loose.
6. Fat Sushi — Escape
There seem to be a lot of sushi related artist names lately. And at least the ones I’ve heard of are all great. Conspiracy? Illuminati? Who knows. This song is deep and bassy and the perfect track to close your eyes and be taken on a journey.
7. RÜFÜS/RÜFÜS DU SOL — Say A Prayer For Me
I have no idea if I’m supposed to call them RÜFÜS or RÜFÜS DU SOL, but it doesn’t really matter because they’ve been coming out with the sexiest, sweetest house music. Somehow they walk the line of lush and poppy without tipping over to cheese-land. These guys are going to be HUGE. I haven’t heard a bad track yet. This song is on Foreign Family Collective, ODESZA’s record label (which has been digging up/releasing music from a slew of great artists), which is appropriate because my prediction is that they are going to be the next ODESZA in terms of popularity. This is off their new album Bloom, which I need to check out. Lol.
8. Lanea — You Change My Life (feat. Jimmy)
Throwing a little hip hop into the mix. This song reminds me of the poppier DJ Shadow and Nightmares on Wax stuff, even with a bit of Nujabes. Seems like a great song to get high to (although let’s be honest, that goes for most beats/hip hop music).
9. Ben Pearce — 12407
I’ve loved Ben Pearce since “What I Might Do” and “Patticakes.” While his style has changed over the years, the quality hasn’t. Both of those songs are some of my favorite dance tunes, and I was always hoping he’d put out more stuff along those lines, but it’s not gonna happen, and his music is top notch so I’m not too upset. This is the most progressive track I’ve heard from him, and it makes me wanna dance.
10. Begin — Optical Holiday pt 2
No idea where I found this but I fell in love at once. The perfect chill song to end this week’s playlist on. Not much to say about this one, except turn it up and maybe lie on your bed and stare at the ceiling.