Our final monthly Recommended Dose mix of 2015 includes Afrobeat from Amsterdam, techno by a retired ballerina, disco by a soft-rock progeny, remixes by two American club masters, and vibey electro in the vein of Hieroglyphic Being.
We'll be back in December with a megamix of our favorite tunes of the year. In the meantime, you can keep up with what we're hearing by following us on Twitter at @spotieotis, @raspberryjones and @Sami_Yenigun.
Philou Louzolo, "Afrofuturism Dance"
A spectacularly banging Afrobeat re-edit from a young Amsterdam-based producer with pan-African roots who's on a mission to remind the clubbing hot steppers that, as his bio reads, "all good music is ultimately African music." The nature of Louzolo's contribution to the excellent World Series 001 EP from Bristol's Banoffee Pies Records could not be simpler: a house kick underneath some expert slicing of circular percussion, an organ solo, a chicken-scratch guitar and the free-veering saxophone of one hot band (Afrika 70?), as well as some vocal asides (Fela?). This collision of old elements and new construction techniques is close to perfect.
Appears In The Mix: 00:00 - 04:49
World Series 001: Africa x Turkey is out now on Banoffee Pies.
Hubie Davison, "Sanctified"
The month's catchiest tune comes via Irish producer Hubie Davison, a Goldsmiths-educated musician with a gift for songcraft that may or may not have been passed down from his father, Chris de Burgh of "Lady In Red" infamy. On "Sanctified," Davison stitches together snippets of The Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified" and Moodymann's "Ol' Dirty Vinyl" for an inexhaustible disco edit that's bound to be played at parties large and small over the next year. The track feels both "in-the-box" — i.e. produced using software program like Ableton — and bursting with analog life, making it a natural fit for sets of all sorts. It's hard to go wrong with source material like Kenny Dixon Jr. and classic Motown, but it's also hard to get it this right.
Appears In The Mix: 04:50 - 10:35
Sanctified is available on vinyl only on December 11 on ReGraded.
John Heckle, "Sun Of U"
Not all nine-minute electro cuts effectively use their extended playing times, but on "Sun Of U" John Heckle's made every last second count. It marks Heckle's return to Mathematics, a record label imbued with the idiosyncratic genius of its owner: Rx Dose favorite Jamal Moss (a.k.a. Hieroglyphic Being). Listening to "Sun Of U" is like trying to eat cotton candy underwater — sweet but impossible to nail down. Psychedelic sitar synths give way to bird chirps that warble in and out of panning delay. The drums hold a steady, uptempo electro swing, balancing groove and bug-out in perfect measure. It's all topped off with Moss's spoken-word vocal, which nods to love, nature, longing, and embrace, adding a layer of warmth to an already welcoming sound.
Appears In The Mix: 10:36 - 18:35
Trema is out soon on Mathematics.
Malory Butler moved to New York City to dance, not DJ. The Florida-born ballerina had hoped to establish a career in the fine arts, but a back injury forced her to channel her creativity in less physicality ways. She traded in the bright lights of the concert hall for the darkened booths of clubs like New York's Bossa Nova Civic Club and Elvis Guesthouse, where Butler has emerged as one of the city's more promising techno DJs and producers. Her debut EP, Malory, is an elastic take on basement beats, full of raw rhythms and rich low-end, that doesn't sacrifice sonic space. "Boohbah" stands out thanks to a slinky bass motif that Butler brings in high and abruptly sinks, like the "Game Over" sound effect in a vintage video game. Only this time, it's for the win.
Appears In The Mix: 18:36 - 22:17
Malory is out now on GODMODE.
Radio Slave, "Don't Stop, No Sleep (Robert Hood Remix)"
When giants collide, the thunder can sometimes shake the universe. Released in 2014, Matt "Radio Slave" Edwards's "Don't Stop, No Sleep" served as a great example of British techno's renewed surge towards a kind of muscular minimalism, as it looked to do a lot with little more than a thick driving bottom, a hi-hat and some detached vocals. The song was a hit. Now, the only parts of that track retained by Robert Hood, an architect of Detroit's legendary Underground Resistance and one of the founding fathers of minimal techno, are a snippet of the vocal (re-contextualized, of course), and the concept; then he takes this remix back to the Motor City laboratory for a tronik treatment. The result is a taut piece of classic techno, as perfect for libidinal club desires as for the alleys of one's mind.
Appears In The Mix: 22:18 - 28:11
NONPLUS 033 is out now on Nonplus.
Seven Davis Jr, "Sunday Morning (Kaytronik Ruff Kut Mix)"
7DJr ends his triumphant year on a major high: an anthemic remix of the instant-classic from his Universes album, by one of American house music's Dons. "Sunday Morning" is a different kind of gospel house, the type that borrows from the carnal spirituality of Prince's classic late '80s period, and comes out reborn on the other side. Baltimore's Karizma (born Kris Klayton), a one-time member of the legendary Basement Boys production team, is beyond familiar with the dots Davis is drawing upon, since he's been connecting them for almost 20 years. And so a healthy bass-heavy jack, a few well-chosen lyrical snippets ("I bet you never had a love like this before") and a flanging bass synth, are all the tools he needs to take this to church. Just as quite a few DJs are likely to, for a good long while — and rightfully so.
Appears In The Mix: 28:12 - 33:30
Kaytronik / Yoruba Soul Mixes is out now on Ninja Tune.