• When A Fire Starts To Burn

Disclosure have blown up over in the UK and gotten big critical praise here in the States (well, at least from Pitchfork.) Frankly, I find the hype a bit overrated. Great beats, but I find them heavily following that late 90s/early 00s two step garage that Basement Jaxx helped popularize.

Yet Settle is a really fun album on a surface level. One of my favorite tracks comes early: “When A Fire Starts To Burn”. Great samples.

  • Easier To Hide

Kompakt is all about smoothness. Especially when you look at a guy like Kompakt frontman Michael Mayer, there’s such a precision and cleanliness to his mixes.

When I thought of that smooth sound, Maya Jane Coles debut LP really had that same feel. Really solid production and this overall murky, dark vibe consistent throughout. I was a bit surprised she went with so many guest vocalists, but they work well.

Still Maya excels best at vocal, highly rhythmic house music; the fairly straightforward “Easier To Hide” exemplifies this.

  • Kölsch - Goldfisch

Another big Kompakt artist is Kolsch; he hits big, and epic pretty much all the time on his tracks. Almost at times there’s a refreshingly 90s trance throwback vibe to some of his tracks.

Kolsch’s strength is in the details: On “Goldfisch”, an otherwise pretty straightforward pumping techno track, there’s all these odd flute sounds that pop in at off beat moments. Even the the counter beat to the bass has this unique, “pop” sound to it.

Speaking of Kompakt artists, another very underrated album from way back in 2011 is GusGus’s Arabian Horse. There’s this icy, dark strain of vocal-heavy techno that the album uses as a launching off point. In today’s bass heavy, dirty synth filled EDM, Arabian Horse feels out of place. But there’s a meticulousness and simplicity to the synth choices that really make the whole album totally enjoyable in 2013.

A highlight is the first single from the album, Over.

  • Disclosure - White Noise - HudMo Mix

Unsure that this very TNGNT/trap-esque Mohawke remix of a Disclosure hit fully works. Disclosure is a group on paper that lends itself nicely to hip hop remixes given its early 2000s 2 step garage influences. But so far, haven’t heard many that have struck gold; this gets closer than most.

  • Hudson Mohawke - Thunder Bay

This is Mohawke firing on all cylinders; those crazy horns, high hat and vocal clips all working together so well as a single unit. If you’re into trap, you owe it to yourself to check out this now two year old release.

  • Still My Baby - Araabmuzik Remix
  • Wolfgang Gartner

On the much more maximal side, Araabmuzik transitions an already over the top Wolfgang Gartner original with lots of beats and hip hop swagger. Fun, and like most Araabmuzik remixes rarely wears out its welcome.

(Source: Spotify)

  • The South
  • oOoOO

Here’s something clearly influenced by red-hot trap in a much moodier, darker direction. Cult band (and destined for constant misspells) oOoOO delivers something that really sticks in the back of your mind.

(Source: Spotify)