Must-Buy Dance/Electronic Music Albums for June 2016



Hello June! Now that winter is in our rear view mirror and festival season upon us, you can feel the excitement of summer in the air. Fellow music lovers out there can rejoice knowing that June sees the release of an array of quality dance/electronic music albums and compilations. We listened to hours of promos and came up with a list of June’s must-buy releases. Here are our recommended picks for the best music of the month.

JR From Dallas – World House Experience (Gourmand Music Recordings)

On his second album for the Gourmand imprint, JR From Dallas is joined by labelmates like DJ Lulu & DJ Gas, HateLate and Nouskynousk. On tracks full of subtly swinging but powerfully propulsive beats and carefully curated samples, JR explores a myriad of subtle shadings under the house umbrella, from hazy, atmospheric textures to bone-rattling basslines. The end result is a sound that mixes house traditions with a forward-looking feel that’s endlessly funky.

Release date: June 6
Essential track: “Funk Experience”

Easy Kid – Lenai (Depart)

The Madrid-based duo of Guillermo Marraco and Pablo Sainz, better known as Easy Kid, unleashes an album that puts heady textures right up alongside bold, propulsive beats. Deep house, garage and pop sensibilities end up on a collision course throughout Lenai, but the results of that collision turn out to be something singularly intoxicating; simultaneously moody and celebratory-sounding.

Release date: June 6
Essential track: “Lenai”

Kasper Bjørke – Fountain of Youth (hfn)

Danish electronic auteur Kasper Bjørke has recently strayed from groove-based tracks towards a more song-oriented format, but on his new mini-LP, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction, and he embraces his dance roots anew. The Danish dancemaster puts his own idiosyncratic stamp on cuts bearing elements of everything from post disco and Italo to Berlin-informed techno and vocal house. Urdur of Iceland’s GusGus turns up to add some vocals.

Release date: June 10
Essential track: “Cloud 9” (feat. Urdu)

Kraak & Smaak – Juicyfruit (Jalapeno Records)

Don’t get confused, these Dutch dance masters are a trio, not a duo as their moniker might suggest. But they’re joined by so many memorable guest vocalists on this electro-funk-filled outing that the point almost becomes moot anyway. Mayer Hawthorne, Eric Biddines of Golden Rules, Berenice van Leer and Cleopold are just a few of the friends who add their voices to Kraak & Smaak’s propulsive mix of ’80-influenced R&B, electro and disco.

Release date: June 10
Essential track: “Toxic Love Affair”

Acumen – My Girls (Time Has Changed)

French DJ/producer Acumen’s latest, the product of six months spent cloistered in his studio, makes use of some special guests’ talents, including Dave Seamann, Lopazz, and Betoko. But this album on Acumen’s own imprint (past releases have appeared on Get Physical and other labels) presents a singular vision informed by a deeply nuanced knowledge of house. Expect an album that shifts seamlessly from dark, moody moments to explosions of electronic ecstasy.

Release date: June 13
Essential track: “My Girls” (feat. Lopazz)

Floorplan – Victorious (M-Plant)

Robert Hood is one of the men who made Motor City minimal techno what it is, with Underground Resistance, on his own, and in a myriad of other projects. His occasional output under the Floorplan banner was always an outlet for his interest in house, but the latest Floorplan release marks a significant new development, as Hood is joined by his daughter Lyric. Together they blend house, disco and more into something singularly propulsive. Call it a family affair.

Release date: June 17
Essential track: “Music”

Todd Terry – House Masters (Defected)

NYC house music legend Todd Terry lends his golden mixing touch to Defected’s long-running compilation series. While most collections of this ilk feature exclusive new tracks (he does include newer productions here), Terry has stuffed the massive 35-track, 3-disc affair with an array of his own classics including “Keep On Jumpin’,” “Bango (To The Batmobile),” “Sume Sigh Sey” and his epic remix of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing.”

Release date: June 17
Essential track: “Samba” (Tee’s Freeze Mix)

Aria Rostami & Daniel Blomquist – Wandering Eye (Glacial Movements)

It’s no coincidence that the label releasing this San Francisco-based ambient duo’s album is called Glacial Movements. That name is also a perfect description of the sounds they make together. Some of the material here was recorded in an empty planetarium and some in a basement, but the album’s song titles come from a paper about the Antarctic Plateau being the best site from which to observe the stars, which ought to give you some idea of the perspective at play here.

Release date: June 20
Essential track: “Dome F 77.19° S 39.42° E 3810m”

Alex Menzies – Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams (Kathexis)

This limited-edition record is the soundtrack to a BBC documentary about modern technology’s forebears—centuries-old automatons. Creating an amalgam of organic and mechanical elements, Alex Menzies (a.k.a. Alex Smoke) uses not only samples of machines and gears in operation but the bells, chimes and other sound sources that were actually found in some automatons. Sprinkle in some choir and string sounds, and you’ve got an era-spanning piece that explores what machine music might have sounded like if time stood still.

Release date: June 24
Essential track: “07 6C”

Ólafur Arnolds – Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales)

Iceland’s Olafur Arnolds is an eclectic sort, who’s used to traversing all kinds of terrain, from techno to ambient, classical and more. So he seems like a natural to craft a well curated mix for the long-running Late Night Tales series. While it turned out to be tougher than he expected, he hit upon the right approach. “I decided to approach the mix in a similar way as I would one of my scores,” he says. “This is the soundtrack of my life. I included songs from many of my friends and collaborators and tried to deliver a mix that represents who I am as an artist and where my influences are coming from – both personally and musically.” That mix includes everybody from Julianna Barwick to James Blake and beyond.

Release date: June 24
Essential track: Julianna Barwick – “Forever”

Additional writing by Jim Allen

Darren Ressler

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