Essential Albums for July 2015


Beginning July 10 music-buying fans will need to remember that new releases will be available globally on Fridays. Why? Good question. Setting a universal day to release music is an effort by the music industry to allow fans worldwide to get new music on the same day. It’s also supposed to reduce piracy. Will it work? Who knows. While a few countries like Japan will preserve their traditional release date, all you’ll need to remember is that Friday in 45 countries are the new Tuesday when it comes to buying new jams. (In case you were wondering, #NewMusicTuesday will be replaced by #NewMusicFriday on Twitter.)

And speaking of new music, summer begins with blazing hot full-lengths from established electronic music icons to emerging artists. Here’s our picks for the month listed in no particular order. Is it hot enough for you yet?

The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes (Virgin EMI)
Having sold 12 million albums and six million singles worldwide, The Chemical Brothers — Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons — return five years after 2010’s Further with a spectacular album featuring Ali Love (“EML Ritual”), Cate Le Bon (“Born In The Echoes”) and Beck (“Wide Open”).  The Brothers hand over the mic once again to A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip — he previously fronted “Galvanize” on 2005’s Push The Button — on “Go,” a glorious hip-swaying party track with a nasty bassline and Latin freestyle swagger. A fine return in every measurable way, Born In The Echoes is easily a frontrunner for album of the year.

Release date: July 17


Lane 8 – Rise (Anjunadeep)

Emerging DJ/producer Daniel Goldstein hits all of the right notes on his rousing, deeply emotional debut album, Rise. The tender ballad “Loving You” featuring Lulu James could be one of the best opening songs I’ve heard in some time. The combination of Goldstein’s deep bass house grooves and James’ sultry, soulful vocals sets a standard that’s equalled on each subsequent track. “Diamonds” featuring Solomon Grey is another gem cut from the same stone. “Cosi” finds Goldstein traipsing off into a stoney, synthy haze that’s complemented with a tad of glitch to keep things interesting. “Undercover,” a collaboration featuring Matthew Dear on vocals, is the icing on the cake of a tasty and sweet first album.

Release date: July 17


Matrixxman – Homesick (Ghostly)
After releasing a series of brilliant singles and EPs, prolific Bay Area producer Charles Duff spreads his artistic wings and flies high on Homesick. A devout futurist, Duff weaves together a post-everything album comprising 12 sonically dense tracks that transcend everything we thought we knew about techno. On opening track “Necronomicon” he cajoles his machines and takes them to a place where few have gone before. On “Red Light District” and “Network Failure” Duff gets down and dirty on these raw, rugged adventures that acts as the yin to the ambient yang of “Dejected.”

Release date: July 10


Ratatat – Magnifique (XL)

Brooklyn duo Ratatat figured out a long time ago how to marry rock and electronic music. As they’d say in their hometown, it was no big whoop. Instead of using a singer, guitarist Mike Stroud’s axe continues to serve as the band’s voice, fueled by Evan Mast’s electronic beats, synths, samples and bass. While Ratatat’s notorious underground bootleg “Party & Bullshit” married a crafty Notorious B.I.G. sample with a riff as wide as the Great Wall of China, albums LP3 and LP4 found them honing their songwriting skills and exploring delicate baroque style chord progressions and beyond. Magnifique finds Ratatat evolving even further. With its gently plucked slide steel guitar, tinkling piano and Stroud’s trademark nasal, often doubled lead guitar, “Cream On Chrome” finds them thinking in grand terms a la Phil Spector. A delight on many levels, Magnifique is a career-defining moment for Ratatat.

Release date: July 17

ratatat magnifique

Little Boots – Working Girl (On Repeat/Dim Mak)
On her third album electro-pop DJ/producer/songwriter Victoria Hesketh makes an artistic statement about independence and all the glory and heartache that comes with the post-major label chapter in her life. Issued on Hesketh’s On Repeat imprint through Dim Mak and featuring the Ariel Rechtshaid-produced “Better In The Morning” and collaborations with Chris Carmouche (Outkast, Janelle Monae), Com Truise, Jeppe Laursen (Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”) and Simian Mobile Disco’s Jas Shaw, Working Girl is rife with slinky grooves, taut basslines and honest songwriting. Hesketh isn’t afraid to show her vulnerability (“Help Too”) or conversely drop a mantra reminding everyone who’s the boss. On “Get Things Done” you know she means business when she sings, Go out, stay late / Make no mistake / We know how to get things done.

Release date: July 10


V/A – FABRICLIVE 82: Ed Rush & Optical (Fabric)
Hell yeah! The venerable UK drum ‘n’ bass legends responsible for too many big tunes and remixes to list unite for a proper 39-track session featuring nothing but raw, bass-drenched tracks. No EDM bullshit. No eye on the pop chart. Here the Virus Recordings honchos give it to us as hard as d’n’b was intended. Unreleased tracks like Signs’ “Clockout” and “Acid Test,” Optical & BTK’s “Inside Out” and De:tune’s “Purge” rock and roll alongside classics like the duo’s 1999 effort “Watermelon” and 2009’s “Chubrub” 2009, Konflict’s 2005 opus “Messiah” and Audio’s “Collision” from 2010. Fuck the crossover, watered down bullshit drum ‘n’ bass that’s been polluting the scene for too long. FABRICLIVE 82 is a much-needed reality check.

Release date: July 24


FP-Oner – 5 (Mule Musiq)
With the term deep bandied about to the point of being almost meaningless (sorry Duke Dumont, you’re not deep house), it’s comforting to see a seasoned artist like New York City’s Fred Peterkin (a.k.a. Black Jazz Consortium, The Incredible Adventures of Captain P, Anomaly, Fred P Reshape, FP197) cut through the malaise and offer up a provocative body of work that truly embodies the sound worthy of that emotive adjective. 5 is a triumphant album of elegant, atmospheric deep-house soundscapes. It draws from the energy of bygone parties and labels that existed long before New York City gentrified and became five boroughs of luxury condos and a shopping mall of chain stores. Knowing that you can’t kill an idea, Peterkin magically crafts a delightful experience. It’s a mandatory listening for anyone who calls themselves a connoisseur of deep house.

Release date: out now

FP-Oner 5

V/A – DJ Sneak presents Magnetic Cuts v.1 (Magnetic Recordings)
The first of three label compilations dropping this summer delving into DJ Sneak’s hot-as-fuck Magnetic Recordings features floor rockers from a range of talent including Bebadim, Tripmastaz, Ramon Tapia and Arturo Garces. Sneak is in full effect with his collaborations with DJ Dan (“Super Juice”) and Monoman (his remix of “Watch Your Back”) as well as his “El Sonido Bestial.” If you need one more reason to check out this compendium, know that the set is rounded out by Sneak’s late ’90s smash “U Can’t Hide From Your Bud.”

Release date: July 27

DJ Sneak presents Magnetic Cuts v.1

Marcel Lune – Sounds From The Desert Gully (Studio Rockers)
Rising Bristol-based producer never met a musical genre he didn’t like, which is a great thing for those of us who like to take a walk on the wild side. Casting a wide musical net encompassing house, hip-hop, glitch, two-step and a cavalcade of assorted styles in between, Lune presents 12 tracks that eschew classification. Possessing a musical ethos that harkens back to a time when artists freely mixed and mashed styles, Lune’s hyperkinetic offerings roam freely where many fear to tread.

Release date: July 31


Silkie – Fractals (Anarchostar)
With a pair of City Limits albums to his credit, London grime/dubstep producer Silkie (a.k.a Soloman Rose) truly outdoes himself on his third full-length release. Issued on Distal’s Anarchostar imprint, the “second chapter in space opera of the Anarchostar” features free-folowing, synth- and piano-driven cuts that are expansive and heady. The hazy funk of “Arcada” and the soulful R&B of “Majik” are perhaps the album’s finest moments. It’s also notable that the visual portion of the album was realized by Argentinian artist Freshcore. A fresh album anyway you slice it.

Release date: July 14


Darren Ressler

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