I’ve made an Electric Picnic DJ Mix every year since 2008. It’s always been a blast to make and a highlight of the site for me personally. 2016’s mix features 22 artists on the Electric Picnic lineup over 20 songs in just under 55 minutes.
It’s for bumping for your festival prep for the next week or in the car on the way down to Stradbally. Last year’s mix.
Jessy Lanza’s new single has a Shangaan Electro bounce to it. From her forthcoming second album Oh No produced with Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan in her hometown of Ontario, as the first one was, ‘It Means I Love You’ is a playful electronic track that is spacious but bangs hard due to the fast BPM.
Lanzy says Oh No addresses her own constant nervousness and is inspired by Japanese band Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Oh No is out in May.
Check out Lanza’s recent collaboration with Morgan Geist as The Galleria.
Morgan Geist (Metro Area) and Jessy Lanza (Hyperdub and Caribou collaborator on Our Love) have collaborated on The Galleria, inspired by New Jersey shopping malls, New York radio stations, “bombastic freestyle, club dubs, razor-edits and bubblegum-pop R&B”.
The project manifests itself in a fine four track EP of electronic synth pop with an ’80s feel, two originals in ‘Calling Card’ and “Mezzanine’ with a dub version of each track. They call it ” a dancefloor-friendly dub with plenty of jump-cuts for the forward-thinking nostalgic.”
What a pleasure it is to arrive at the sixth album from an artist to find them at the peak of their music-making abilities. Press play on Our Love and that sentiment is obvious. Studious Dan Snaith (Ph.D) has been on the up since he appeared as Manitoba in 2001.
The Canadian musician has emitted some of the best music of whatever year he has released, whether it was lush psychedelia, vaporous pop or more increasingly, electronica, through the last two Caribou albums Swim and Andorra, and more obviously his dance project Daphni (his seventh studio record).
Take ‘Can’t Do Without You’, the opening track, the song of the summer, and probably year. Built on a simple vocal line of the title, a lo-fi beat and four chord loop, it erupts dynamically into stereo polychromatic psychedelia. It still hasn’t got old.
While much of the rest of the album isn’t as anthemic, Snaith revels in the warm sonic palette he creates, creating sonic magic from off-kilter passages that sound like no-one else.
R&B influences are more prominent than initially suggested. ‘Silver’ gurgles its synths with a female vocal sample cut short while Snaith’s sweet wistful vocals deliver an R&B sentiment about getting over a girl but explodes in a release of high and mighty synth notes. ‘All I Ever Need’ pairs a rumbling percussive stomp, a house melody (closer ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’ is very close in tonality to it) and a similar sentiment , with that dynamic shift coming from synths that swell like strings (thanks to Owen Pallett), while Jessy Lanza represents the feminine with a real R&B vocal over shimmering synth notes. Suddenly, you can hear what Mariah Carey doing psychedelic R&B would sound like.
But it’s the lessons he’s learned in front of crowds at festivals and DJ afterparties that run through the whole of Our Love. Vocals snippets inspired by house rush through the warm organ rise and fall of the too-short ‘Julie Brightly’, while ‘Mars’ is a jilted flute loop that bursts the dance fever dream haze and maybe, features a Missy Elliott sample. The title track does a similar trick with ‘Good Life’ referencing rave synths and a garage beat.
Snaith’s psychedelic imprint and swells of emotion covers everything, through his falsetto and his preference for nostalgic-faced melodies. His lyrics add to the tenderness, chiefly concerned with a slipping, fading love, yet he offers us, and himself, solace in every other way.
On Our Love, Snaith is now fully immersed in the world of the nightclub but he wears his heart on his turntable. That doesn’t mean that there’s an dumbing down or mindlessness. There is a simplicity to a lot of the tracks that, only comes from putting in the long hours. Snaith’s love of his craft continues to shine. If anything, he’s has just better at making things sound larger with less.
Our Love is out now on City Slang.
This weekend sees the fifth year of Body & Soul’s own festival that started as an enclosed area at Electric Picnic. Every year, reports from Ballinlough Castle in Westmeath have been positive and mostly, sunny.
An excuse to get down to the festival on the Friday night, Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington’s electronic art-rock blues show with its giant mirror backdrop is one of the best shows of the year. Don’t miss.
3. John Grant – ‘Pale Green Ghosts’
A humble bear with an addictive past, John Grant has redeemed himself through his art and his searingly honest and often, funny songs.
4.Goldfrapp – ‘Ride A White Horse’
While the newest Goldfrapp album Tales Of Us is all downbeat and lush, it’s the older electro dance tracks that do the best live, like this stomper from 2005’s Supernature.
5. Max Romeo – ‘Chase The Devil’
When the sun shines and the vibe is right there’s nothing better than bouncing to a bit of nice discerning reggae. And who better than the Jamaican legend who was sampled by The Prodigy on ‘Outer Space’?
6. Gary Numan – Metal
Somehow a man singing a song about about an android who wishes to be human at a festival called Body & Soul makes some sort of perverse sense.
7. Jon Hopkins – ‘Open Eye Signal’
From last year’s Mercury Music Prize nominated album comes this dazzling eight-minute slice of organic breathing digital dance track.
8. Lasertom – ‘No Play’
Dubliner Simon Cullen’s space-disco project is a perfect 4pm stage opener on the Saturday. Time to boogie.
9. Jessy Lanza – ‘Keep Moving’
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Lanza collaborated with producer Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys on an album of ethereal R&B electro. Keep Moving is the most upbeat track from it, perfect for a Ballinlough Castle setting.
10. Mount Kimbie –’Made To Stray’
One of the best tracks of 2013, the skittering percussion-featuring ‘Made To Stray’ manages to walk a fine line between sprawling electronic epicness and headphone ambience.
Just in time for the end of the year, the 44th Nialler9 podcast features great tracks that didn’t make my top 50 albums or top 100 songs list that deserved a bit more love. 14 tracks and 70 minutes in total with me babbling in between. Enjoy.
SHABBA SHABBA RAAAAANKS. For the hook alone, this track could feature here but stick Busta on this track (like his recent highlight guest verse on Q-Tip’s ‘Thank You’) and it’s game over. It has a serious sinister horror beat to follow up on the equally great remix of Ferg’s ‘Work’. Both remixes have slayed the originals.
5. Future Brown – ‘World’s Mine’ ft. Prince Rapid, Dirty Danger, Roachee
UK grime meets LA aquatic R&B. Fatima Al Qadiri, Nguzunguzu and J-Cush of Lit City Trax’s Future Brown project has a debut album coming next year with collabs Tink, Shawnna, 3D Na’tee, Maluca, Riko Dan, Ian Isiah and Kelela.’World’s Mine’ is the latest track from it after ‘Wanna Party’.
6. Ikonika – ‘Beach Mode’ feat. Jessy Lanza
Ikonika’s remix of Chvrches this week had me going back to her recent Aeropolis album, particularly this standout track with Jessy Lanza.
7. Friends – ‘The Way’ (Blood Orange remix)
Dev Hynes and Samantha Urbani team up for a smooth ’80s-style R&B remix. Not entirely different to the new Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe which I’m finding hard to get into.
Slow building euphoria from the Kildare duo’s new EP.
9. Tinashe – ‘Vulnerable’ feat. Travi$ Scott
American R&B singer Tinashe has been building her rep over the last few years with underground-leaning mixtapes and collabs with Ryan Hemsworth and Jacques Greene. ‘Vulnerable’, from her new Black Water mixtape is sensual R&B pitched from a darker place.
10. Dornik – ‘Rebound’
He’s a member of Jessie Ware’s band but he’s also keeping things on the side for himself is this Dornik Leigh kid. He gave us the hazed ‘Something About You’ a few months back and ‘Rebound’ gives us a little more beat to bounce to. Out soon on PMR Records.
Belfast brother and sister Thom and Lucy do a fine line in harmony folk-pop on their debut single ‘Where The Wild Are’. They’ve just signed to Marathon Artists, home to Jagwar Ma and last week’s tip Jamie Isaac.