Dance/Electronic Albums September 2016


Summer 2016—stick a fork in it! As we inch toward the beginning of fall, September offers a wonderful selection of new releases. In fact, it seems as if Mother Nature paired them herself with the mood of the season. From micro house and breakbeat, and synth-pop to techno, we’ve curated a list of must-buy albums presented in chronological order.

Benjamin Brunn – Plastic Album (Third Ear)
Hamburg micro house pioneer Benjamin Brunn’s second album for Third Ear is a jaw-dropping performance of deep, glistening analogue magic realized with his trusted Nord modular synth and Roland 808. On each track Brunn displays a compositional style that’s as graceful as it is refined. Where his Songs from the Beehive collaboration with Move D was wonderfully heady and wildly expansive, here the Workshop/Smallville producer dials everything down to focus on tracks that are simpler yet equally enticing.
Release date: September 9

Emotional – s/t (MÏLK)
Three years into their musical union Londoners Sian Dorrer and Adam Parkinson unveil a spectacular debut album. It’s an enthralling synth-pop adventure overflowing with singular melodies and undeniable rhythms. Gleaning from a kitchen sink of electronic music genres, what distinguishes Emotional is their songwriting prowess and unpredictability. One moment they’re delivering an epic, cinematic number (“Fish Island”) and the next they’re fearlessly sampling an ‘80s mega-hit (“Transmission”). I love this album!
Release date: September 9

Crooked Man – s/t (DFA)
Sheffield dance music journeyman Richard Barratt (a.k.a. Parrot, formerly of Warp Records’ bleep techno pioneers Sweet Exorcist) delivers a thoughtful meditation on soulful house on a self-titled album that’s all killer and no filler. From the atmospheric opener “Coming Up For Air” to the gritty sleazy romp “Scum (Always Rises To The Top)” and unbridled joy of the uplifting “Happiness,” Barrett is a masterful arranger, lacing his songs with memorable melodies and quixotic grooves. The tracks featuring vocalist Pete Simpson are beyond reproach: “Fools and Fanatics” would’ve been an anthem at Sound Factory Bar circa 1992, while the slow burn of “I’ll Be Loving You” finds Simpson channeling vocal masters Robert Owens and Michael Watford with sublime results. This is one of the finest and most thoughtful house albums of 2016 for sure.
Release date: September 16

Cubicolor – Brainsugar (Anjunadeep)
One of the most consistent labels going presents an utterly gorgeous debut album from a group—Dutch producers Ariaan Olieroock and Peter Kriek and British vocalist Tim Digby-Bell—espousing the sort of downtempo electronica the imprint has built its unrivaled reputation upon. Olieroock and Kriek’s production is simultaneously urgent and effortless while Digby-Bell’s smooth voice tugs at your heartstrings at every twist and turn. Overflowing with substance and adept musicianship, Brainsugar is an album for your mind, body and soul.
Release date: September 16

dubspeeka – Population 50201 (Skeleton Recordings)
It’s always a good day whenever we receive a promo with dubspeeka’s name attached to it. Whether it’s an original production or remix, few produce techno from his vantage point. So it’s no surprise that his new full-length is charged by his ethos that’s entrenched in coloring outside the lines of techno. Having proved himself as a prime mover on the dance floor via releases on Drumcode, Last Night On Earth and other imprints, on Population 50201 he patiently brings the musical tension to a slow boil by using deep bass, urgent strings and meticulous percussion. Techno has always been infatuated with the future, but here dubspeeka shows the world that he is light years ahead of the pack.
Release date: September 19

AFFKT – Son of a Thousand Sounds (Sincopat)
Sincopat label boss delivers a potpourri of styles on his aptly titled second album. Over the course of a dozen diverse cuts, Marc Martinez Nadal mixes and matches pop, electronica and house with grace, skill and ease. His trio of bombastic collaborations with vocalist Sutja Gutierrez throws pop music on its ear, with the most infectious being the euphoric “Someone in the Sky.” “Esclafit,” a heady collaboration with Piek, rounds out an album that thumbs its nose at the provincialism that’s embedded within electronic music.
Release date: September 22

Boxed In – Melt (Nettwerk)
Oli Bayston’s resume is indeed an impressive one. He played in indie band Keith, wrote for The 2 Bears, sung for George FitzGerald and has produced a litany of artists. Working under his Boxed In moniker, he scored rave reviews for the glistening synth-pop manna he forged on his self-tiled debut issued in 2015. On his follow-up, Melt, he uses strains of house, pop and electronica as the foundation for his compelling lyrics that explore love and loss. Melt is a bolder and more focused snapshot of an artist who is uninterested in resting on his creative laurels.
Release date: September 23

System2 – From One End Of The Spectrum (Skint)
A decade and a half into a career that’s seen them issue tracks on VIVa MUSiC, 8bit, Roush and Get Physical, Mancunian duo System2—Bez Hurst and Danny Hevingham—unveil their debut long-player for Fatboy Slim’s Skint Records. While the twosome are indeed aligned with their label boss’ bombastic signature as they fearlessly wield breakbeats, boom-bap and samples with aplomb, they aren’t afraid to blaze their own trail. Nottingham singer Harleighblu, who has releases to her credit on True Thoughts, is their secret weapon—she delivers a poignant performance on the tender ballad “Always There For Me” and the beat-laden “Kick The Groove.” This is one hell of a quirky and fun release.
Release date: September 23

Dinky – Valor (Crosstown Rebels)
It’s been said that you’ve got to write about what you know. Chilean born Berlin-based DJ/producer Dinky (Alejandra Iglesias) has done exactly that on her sixth album. Inspired by her journey through a challenging pregnancy where she was confined to bed for three months, she eventually transcended the situation and poured her emotions into what became this heartfelt album. “My husband built a studio for me in the corner of our bedroom, he took care of everything and I just tried to stay as quiet as possible. Every little pain or movement I dreaded losing my son.” Valor is a triumphant sonic document about overcoming adversity and the healing power of music.
Release date: September 30

Rain Dog – There Be Monsters (Project: Mooncircle)
Following the release of his acclaimed 2014 debut, Two Words, Rain Dog (a.k.a. Samuel Evans) delivers a deeply personal follow-up that reflects a range of personal changes that have transpired in the London DJ/producer’s life. His tracks are deeply emotive and run the gamut from ambient-ethereal to downtempo. This is a heavy album in so many ways.
Release date: September 30

Wally Callerio – 10 Feet Deep (Sampled Detroit)
With a bulging discography brandishing over 250 releases, the prolific Los Angeles deep house pioneer and proprietor of Dufflebag Recordings somehow managed to curate a compilation of his favorite productions and remixes and mixed in a few exclusives. His re-rubs of “Behind The Light” featuring Supreme Beings Of Leisure’s “If You Want” and Amp Fiddler’s “Hollywood” are as funky and hypnotic as they come. Note to Wally: The drums on “You’re On My Mind” are straight up red-onk-u-lous.
Release date: September 30

Darren Ressler

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