Review: Télépopmusik – Breathe EP 20th Anniversary Remixes (Virgin France)


From the moment Télépopmusik’s “Breathe” bubbled to the surface in 2001, the now ubiquitous song has soothed our collective psyche for two decades now. Whether you heard it in a club, TV commercial or browsing in a store, the juxtaposition of co-writer Angela McCluskey’s breathy, Billie Holiday-esque delivery and the dreamy track crafted by French producers 2square and Antipop is now a timeless arrangement.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of “Breathe” comes a remix package featuring seven versions of the now-classic song. Mounika’s mix slows the proceedings down to a head nod, stripping the song down to the floorboards with acoustic piano, airy drums and McCluskey’s incomparable voice. Digitalism reimagines “Breathe” through the lens of French Touch, complete with filtered disco loops. The Kid Francescoli remix traipses around the outskirts of Italo- and indie-pop, while Juicy Cola ices the track with shovels of chill vibes. The collection is rounded out by an epic, percolating take by Krystal Klear and Speaking Mind ushering the song into the realm of electro-charged broken beat.

The anniversary remixes are enjoyable, but none equal the majesty of the original version. It’s understandable, because you can’t duplicate lightning in a bottle. Arriving near the start of the new millennium, “Breathe” continues to age well. It will no doubt continue to delight for decades more to come.

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Review: Robert Armani – Full Effect (Van Recordings)


Less has always been more for prolific Chicago DJ/producer Robert Armani (real name: Robert Woods).

From rocking the decks as a teenage DJ to forging dance floor classics in the ‘90s such as “Ambulance” and “Circus Bells” for Dance Mania, his musical approach — a high-octane concoction of pounding overload of house, acid and techno — has never pulled any punches.

Eschewing lengthy intros, buildups and breakdowns in his productions and DJ sets, the God of blazing 303s, 808s and 909s has more often than not leveraged the power of a knockout combination as opposed to lengthy sparring.

Armani’s latest effort, “Full Effect” — which features three top interpretations by Van Recordings label boss Van Czar — is stylistically smoother than the seminal cuts he’s earned his rep for. “Full Effect” is a spirited — albeit brief — 2:17 groove-laden romp fueled by fast-paced keyboard hooks, deep bass and clacking drums.

While this outing is a departure from the more visceral Jackfests he’s known for, Robert Armani is still plenty rough around the edges.

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‘Distant Dancefloors’ Is Compelling But Dances Around Key Issues Affecting DJs


This week Pioneer DJ released Distant Dancefloors: Covid-19 And The Electronic Music Industry, a 32-minute documentary featuring reflections about the pandemic from a handful of DJs based globally — Blond:ish, Eats Everything, Honey Dijon, Luciano and Rebūke — interspersed will nicely edited file footage of nightclubs and travel.

In the report, DJs recall events leading up to the beginning of the pandemic. They offer thoughts on live streams and what clubs and festivals might look like once the pandemic is contained.

Luciano, who went public in 2018 about entering rehab to kick his 22-year battle with substance abuse, shared interesting insights about being off the road since March.

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Review: DJ Rap feat. Deanna – Supernova

DJ Rap Feat Deanna Supernova Propa Talent

DJ Rap returns with the “Supernova” – the latest release on her Propa Talent imprint, – which is a delicious slice of rolling drum ‘n’ bass action.

“Supernova” features the sublime voice of Deanna, whose slick vocals sit nicely on atop Rap’s anthemic d’n’b. The emphasis is on precise drums and hefty waves of bass that collide to create an energetic smash that’s ready-made for skanking on the dance floor.

The track flies along with soaring vocals and works in perfect tandem with the soundscape beneath that’s well-crafted for home listening and raving.

The highlight of “Supernova” is the massive drop toward the end when Deanna’s vocals fade in and out before a wave of rhythm erupts to end the track brilliantly. It’s the icing on the top of the cake on a track that is guaranteed to be a firm favorite in DJ sets for the rest of the year and into the next.

DJ Rap has been in the game for the past 30 years and has forged a number of key releases in 2019, a year that has seen her play renowned festivals such as Outlook and Boomtown. “Supernova” sets the stage for momentum that will no doubt continue into the new year.

Until then, releasing vital, forward-thinking tracks of the calibre of “Supernova” will continue to affirm her matchless legacy in jungle and drum ‘n’ bass circles.