NPR logo

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of May

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410531777" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of May

Recommended Dose

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of May

Hear Premieres From Stellar OM Source, Hunee, John Heckle And More

Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts at full volume and highlight the best of the best in a mix called Recommended Dose.

May's offerings highlight musicians from distant parts of the globe: Japan's Keita Sano, South Africa's Nozinja, England's John Heckle, Los Angeles' Seven Davis Jr, plus two producers living in the Netherlands: French-born Stellar OM Source and Korean-German DJ Hunee.

You can keep up with our favorite discoveries throughout June by following @Sami_Yenigun and @spotieotis on Twitter.


Keita Sano.
Courtesy of the artist
Keita Sano.
Courtesy of the artist

Keita Sano, "Bouzouk"

One of the most boring things about contemporary EDM is how monorhythmic it is. I'm not talking beats per minute (although one number does seem to rule them all), but rhythms per beat. Keita Sano, an adventurous young producer from Okayama, Japan, mixes and matches a plethora of patterns on "Bouzouk," the final track on his latest EP, Sweet Bitter Love. Vibes, percussion and handclaps slowly congregate and build up steam before two riffs jump in: a simple LCD Soundsystem-style 4/4 bass line and a syncopated cross-rhythm. The conflicting elements dance around each other until Sano introduces a bonkers bouzouki sample reminiscent of that Punjabi MCs track. One of the best tracks of 2015 so far.

04Bouzouk

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410514382" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Appears In The Mix: 00:00 - 05:22

Sweet Bitter Love is out now on Spring Theory.


John Heckle.
Courtesy of the artist
John Heckle.
Courtesy of the artist

John Heckle, "Alpha Deux"

If you haven't heard of John Heckle yet, it's not for a lack of determination on his part. The Merseyside, England, producer released nine EPs last year (granted, they were anonymous) and has been DJing since he was 15 years old. His next EP, Wet Noises, is due out in early June, and "Alpha Deux" — the A-side's second song, get it? — is basically two tracks stitched together. The opening two minutes of ambient fog give way to a pounding Chicago house beat with nimble acid flourishes and judicious deployment of sirens.

02Alpha Deux

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410513346" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Appears In The Mix: 05:23 - 09:30

Wet Noises is out June 8 on Midnight Shift.


Hunee.
Courtesy of the artist
Hunee.
Courtesy of the artist

Hunee, "Hiding The Moon"

Amsterdam-based Hun Choi, better known as Hunee, will release his debut LP, Hunch Music, in June, to the delight of many left-leaning house fans. The German-born son of Korean immigrants has been a positive force in the dance underground for many years, forming alliances with the Rush Hour Recordings and Future Times stables. He made critical waves last year when he curated Sounds From The Far East, a compilation of hard-to-find Japanese dance music. "Hiding The Moon," the wildest track on Hunch Music, balances a hefty conveyor belt of a beat with shimmering vibes and live hardware squiggles. Things get nuts halfway through when Choi drops in what sounds like some unholy hybrid of cello and bear.

09Hiding The Moon

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410513582" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Appears In The Mix: 09:31 - 15:03

Hunch Music is out June 23 on Rush Hour Recordings.


Stellar OM Source.
Labadie Vantour/Courtesy of the artist
Stellar OM Source.
Labadie Vantour/Courtesy of the artist

Stellar OM Source, "Live"

The title to the latest single by Christelle Gauldi, who records as Stellar OM Source, succinctly articulates her relationship with electronic music. The French expatriate, who will release her new EP Nite-Glo in June, prefers to stumble upon her songs using such vintage hardware as the Roland TB-303 bass synth and sequencer, while avoiding digital audio programs like Ableton. The result is decidedly retro, which in these quantized times doesn't sound all that stale. The dirty 303 hook at the foundation of "Live" owes a bit to the Joey Beltram classic "Mentasm," and any excuse to revisit that track is always welcome.

Live

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410512995" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Appears In The Mix: 15:04 - 20:30

Nite-Glo is out June 9 on Rvng, Intl.


Seven Davis Jr. and Beat Spacek.
Courtesy of the artists

Beat Spacek, "I Wanna Know (Seven Davis Jr Midnight Remix)"

U.K. soul veteran Beat Spacek (a.k.a. Steve White) made some noise earlier this year when he released an album, Modern Streets, produced entirely on an iPad. The record's lead single, "I Wanna Know," gets the remix treatment by Seven Davis Jr, a L.A. funk enthusiast we've featured on this program before. 7DJ scrubs away the original's paranoiac undertones with an irrepressible kick drum/hi-hat combo in his best work since signing to Ninja Tune late last year. Seven Davis Jr's debut full-length, Universes, is due out this summer.

14I Wanna Know (Seven Davis Jr Midnight Remix)

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410514065" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    I Wanna Know (Seven Davis Jr Midnight Remix)
    Album
    Modern Streets
    Artist
    Beat Spacek
    Label
    Ninja Tune
    Released
    2015

    Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Appears In The Mix: 20:31 - 24:56

Modern Streets is out now on Ninja Tune.


Nozinja.
Chris Saunders/Courtesy of the artist
Nozinja.
Chris Saunders/Courtesy of the artist

Nozinja, "Xihukwani"

One of our favorite compilations of this decade so far is Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa, a staggeringly upbeat collection of raw synth workouts. The man behind that album is Richard Mthetwa, or Nozinja, a former mobile phone repairman from the Limpopo province who transformed a local dance trend into an international cult fixation. Mthetwa signed with the electronic music dons at Warp Records last year, and is set to release his first full-length, Nozinja Lodge, for the label June 2. "Xihukwani" brings the same ecstatic energy we heard on Shangaan Electro, at a slightly slower pace and a brighter resolution.

Xihukwani

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410511416/410513241" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Appears In The Mix: 24:57 - 28:00

Nozinja Lodge is out June 2 on Warp.

Purchase Featured Music

Modern Streets

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Modern Streets
Artist
Beat Spacek
Label
Ninja Tune
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Nozinja Lodge

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Nozinja Lodge
Artist
Nozinja
Label
Warp
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Nite-Glo

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Nite-Glo
Artist
Stellar OM Source
Label
RVNG Intl.
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?