by / January 6th, 2010 /

Dance & Electronic roundup

The record of the month is easily the Credit To The Edit Vol. 2 EP on Tirk Records. Three neat mid-tempo classics covering three decades in dance music are presented here slightly re-freshed and re-EQ’d for your listening pleasure. Manchester DJ legend Greg Wilson doesn’t go mad with the scissors here as he only subtly extends and re-arranges three records that regularly feature in his sets. My favourite is Roxy Music’s timeless ‘Love Is The Drug’. The EP also features 80’s jazz funk classic ‘Starlight‘ by Escort and the rave standard ‘Voodoo Ray‘ buy A Guy Called Gerald.

Geiom and Shortstuff deliver two takes on the UK Funky sound or ‘UKF’, the hybrid that fuses the swing of 90’s Garage with the bass of dubstep. Both tracks come across synth heavy. ‘No Hand Signals’ juggernauts along at a frantic pace, all cheesy synths, ragga vocal samples and a brief stab of funky horns. The winner for me is ‘Wardenclyffe’ on the flip, which goes for heavy, syncopated soca drums and a lush synth melody that sounds like it could have come straight from an 80’s TV detective show. (Buy it here)

Once upon a time, Liz Fraser was the undisputed queen of goths, dispersing moody hymns as singer of the Cocteau Twins. After a 20 year break Liz now returns to the fray. ‘Moses’ is a smooth lounge tune driven by mid-tempo, almost urban beats. A touch of melodica here and some blaxploitation samples there create a mildly 70’s, mildly far east atmosphere. The result sounds like Carl Douglas Disco hit ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ played on 33 in the background while Sly and Robbie jam on a groove they left off Grace Jones last album ‘Hurricane’. Confused? Well, if you liked Jones’ album, you’ll love this. Liz’ vocal antics are still batty, however.

More lounge core comes courtesy of everybody’s favourite Icelandic stadium band, Sigur Ros. ‘Gobbledigook’ with its insistent drums was the most energetic track on Sigur Ros’ album Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spelum Endalust last year. It’s been a long time coming, but the minimal techno bods at Kompakt Records have now unleashed two remixes, or rather total re-makes, that strip ‘Gobbledigook’ of its trademark drums and bat the track far into lounge territory. You get two slowly building slabs of lushness if you are so inclined. The whole exercise seems a bit pointless, as nobody really needed any of the elements of ‘Gobbledigook’ to do this 12″.

A remake that works much better in my books is the South Rakkas Crew version of Knowle West Boy, Tricky’s rather awkward last album. There is really very little left of the sludgy heavy metal guitars and so-so punk pastiches that dominated the original album. Instead, you now hear something that resembles Major Lazer on full stun. Florida’s finest Ragga crew has given Tricky a booty shaking makeover that straddles digital reggae and hip-hop in fine style. The Rakkas even re-recorded some of the vocals for extra variety and flavour.