10 Essential Dance/Electronic Albums For August 2014


We’re halfway through the summer of 2014 and things are indeed heating up this month. While many artists are saving their releases until the fall, August features plenty of new music on all fronts, ranging from concept albums like Amp Live’s Headphone Concerto and Basement Jaxx’s party-starter Junto through a spate of compendiums touching on techno, house and everything in-between. Here’s our picks of the month listed in no particular order.

Amp Live – Headphone Concerto (Plug Research)
Taking a cue from the format of a classical concerto, Amp Live divides his captivating full-length into three movements. But don’t let the highfalutin concept put you off because the results are nothing short of spectacular. Featuring cameos from Dom from Big Gigantic, Eric Rachmany from Rebelution, Prof (Rhymesayers) and others, AL uses beats and breaks to flip the script on the genre on gargantuan tracks like “Flight In G Minor (Feat. Dirty Cello)” and the bass-driven “Last Wall” feat. The Grouch & Eligh. Some of the smoothest synth work you’ll hear this month can be heard on the comedown track “No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 3: Muziki,” a song that’s no doubt destined to be featured on an upcoming Late Night Tales compilation.
Essential track: “No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 3: Muziki”
Release date: August 5

Museum of Love – S/T (DFA)
With LCD Soundsystem now in his rear-view mirror, drummer/DJ/bon vivant Pat Mahoney has unveiled Museum of Love’s self-titled full-length created in tandem with longtime DFA affiliate and artist Dennis McNany. Probably the most immediate call to mind is Mahoney’s robust voice. On “Deep South” his croon meets at the intersection of Brian Ferry and David Byrne. Overall, the album is funky and quirky — everything we’d expect from an incredible union like this one.
Essential track: “The Large Glass”
Release date: August 19

Tokyo Prose – Presence (Samurai Music Group)
After sculpting a stream of singles, Sam Reed delivers an album which brings drum ‘n’ bass back to where it should be. Over the course of 13 tracks, Reed builds an utterly beautiful soundscape on “Wont Let Me Go” feat. Lenzman & Fox and “Small Gains” out of delicate, minimal piano, vocal snippets and clicky breakbeats. While “Common Ground” feat. Synkro is equally lush, Reed turns up the tempo on “Sunsets” feat. LSB & DRS. To borrow a line from the master, this album is timeless.
Essential track: “Covet”
Release date: August 4

Basement Jaxx – Junto (Atlantic Jaxx/PIAS America)
With much of the world currently at each other’s throats, it’s reassuring that Basement Jaxx named their seventh album Junto (English translation: together) “to do something that felt more at one with the world.” On joyous, rousing numbers like “Power to the People” and “We Are Not Alone” the Jaxx attempt to uplift everyone’s spirit, while floor burners like “Unicorn” harken back to early classics they forged on Atlantic Jaxx back in the day.
Essential track: “Sneakin’ Toronto”
Release date: August 25

Marco Bailey – 25 Years: The Reworks (MB Elektronics)
In the dance-music game for 25 years as a DJ and remixer/producer, Belgian techno mainstay Marco Bailey takes a much deserved victory lap with this 20-track compendium featuring his tracks remixed by the likes of Umek, Pig & Dan, Gary Beck and Nic Fancuili. Featuring hard-hitting tracks such as “Muzika,” “Dark Roast” and “Muzika,” this one’s only for the headstrong.
Essential track: Marco Bailey’s “Purple Haze” (Joseph Capriati Mix)
Release date: August 11

Various Artists – Blakkat: For Every Moment Of Triumph Volume 4 (Adjunct)
After topping charts as an original member of UK pop-dance act M:People, Mark Bell (a.k.a Blakkat) continues to enjoy a second act in dance music. Working with a litany of luminaries, including King Britt, Josh Wink, Yousef, Marshall Jefferson and DJ Sneak, Bell has been a sought-after remixer/vocalist/producer in recent years. On this fourth edition of the FEMOT series Bell expertly peppers in exclusive tracks from Noah Pred and Tom Ellis amid floor movers from Reverse Commuter & Dilo, Mikael Stavostrand and Sebastian Bouchet. A triumph indeed.
Essential track:
Release date: August 4

Various Artists – fabric 77: Marcel Dettmann (Fabric)
Known for his residency at Berlin’s famed Berghain club and his spate of remixes and productions over the years, German techno stalwart Marcel Dettmann champions music that speaks to the mind, body and soul. On fabric 77, the venerable mixer presents a sprawling 19-track mix featuring sublime selections from fellow MDR artists Answer Code Request and Norman Nodge, to newcomers he’s recruited for his label, such as Wincent Kunth. Not to be missed is the master’s rousing re-rub of Paperclip Peole’s Country Boy Goes Dub.”
Essential track: Marcel Dettmann – “Lightworks” (Ø [Phase] Remix)
Release date: August 18

Various Artists – Total 14 (Kompakt)
After taking an absence in 2013, Kompakt’s Total series returns in rather fine form. Opening with the effervescent shimmer of Dauwd’s “Lydia,” the compilation is rounded out by Gui Boratto feat. Coma And Hell’s sublimely majestic vocal powerhouse “Take Control,” Terranova feat. Cath Coffey’s “Headache” and Blond:ish’s slinky “Wunderkammer.” There’s 25 tracks here and not a bad apple in the bunch.
Essential track: Maceo Plex – “Conjure Superstar”
Release date: August 18

Various Artists – Deep Love 10 (Dirt Crew Recordings)
Rather than taking a victory lap and celebrating ten years of great music which includes recent albums by Tigerskin and Detroit Swindle, Dirt Crew take a different approach by looking to the future on Deep Love 10. Featuring contributions by Edit Murphy, Fion, Death On The Balcony, Kito Jempere, Matt Masters, Hidden Spheres, Ponty Mython, Zoe Zoe, Schmutz and Tigerskin and Yosa, the compilation uses the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the imprint’s next roster of stars.
Essential track: Yosa – “Love Me”
Release date: August 25

Various Artists – Goldie: Masterpiece (Ministry of Sound)
One of the early progenitors of drum ‘n’ bass presents a career-spanning, three-disc retrospective presenting an overview of his earliest influences through a glimpse at a handful of tracks he’s released on his Metalheadz imprint. The Alpha Track features soulful sounds by Smokey Robinson, Terry Callier and Radiohead; Journeyman Track sports classics by Nookie, A Guy Called Gerald and Krust; and Headzville packs tunes by dBridge, Doc Scott and Rufige Kru.
Essential track: [re:jazz] – “Inner City Life”
Release date: August 18

Darren Ressler

Add a Comment