Stream NPR Music's Favorite Dance Tracks From January 2017 : All Songs Considered We needed salvation, and these songs delivered.

Recommended Dose: Our Favorite Dance Tracks Of January

Stream New Music From Theo Parrish, Isolée, Jlin And More

Recommended Dose: January Mix

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From left, Vancouver-based producer Flørist, British duo Payfone, and Gary, Indiana's finest, Jlin. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

From left, Vancouver-based producer Flørist, British duo Payfone, and Gary, Indiana's finest, Jlin.

Courtesy of the artists

It may seem like a trivial thought, but one of the purposes of art is to make sense of the times that we live in — usually, though not always, by reflecting them back at the audience, as though through a prism. But great art — and music most definitely applies as a great art — can add a layer of meaning regardless of circumstance.

So, even though none of this month's tracks were recorded in the past three months, their richness adds a depth, a salve, to the new world that was set in motion. Some do it with their melodies or beats; some do it with lyrics that paint circumstances (which, by accident or design, mirror ours); and some do it with their souls, that ineffable quality that can be recognized but not described.

We keep searching for all of them, all month long. So follow us on Twitter at @Sami_Yenigun (Sami), @raspberryjones (Piotr) and @spotieotis (Otis) to see which one's we can find — and to tell us about the ones we missed.

Hear The Tracks

Moiré (feat. DRS), "Bootleg" (Ghostly)

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From 'No Future'

While the grimness is familiar, a deceptively straight-ahead churner with a classic UK dance MC on top is not what we've come to expect from the London-based experimentalist whose highest profile work (on Actress' Werk Discs) has been techno more in theory than in action. Generally, Moiré's excellent new album, No Future, sticks to that script. But "Bootleg" meets the dance floor more than halfway. Its big, wide, bassy kick and open synth chords part the crackling atmosphere; as DRS, who made his name rapping with LTJ Bukem and other late-'90s drum'n'bass stalwarts, strings together looping couplets about "fallen angels."

Moire (feat. DRS), "Bootleg"

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Jlin, "Nyakinyua Rise" (Planet Mu)

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From 'Dark Lotus'

Few artists excite us about this year's direction, but current footwork champion Jerilynn Patton is one of them, and, hopefully her first single of 2017 is clear evidence. Why? It's certainly not the melodies – there are none on "Nyakinyua Rise," only voices and layers upon layers of interweaving percussion lines in a deep, funky clamor. About halfway through, one of those voices — not a person, but a button on an MPC — takes the lead, with JLin latticing the drums into a kind of call-and-response. The effect is stunning; so much so that describing this music within the framework of a genre does it no justice.

Jlin, “Nyakinyua Rise”

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Payfone, "We Are Chains" (Golf Channel)

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From 'Justified / We Are Chains'

Sometimes the world is so rough that dancing seems antithetical to it. In those times, in these times, a batch of strong lyrics, sung strong, can play a part in one's own revival. That's the case with this long-overdue slice of political dance from East London's Phil Passera and Chieka Ononye, joined by vocalist Louis Howard Jones. A post-"What's Going On?" lyrical conceit about the "land of the brave," married to an unhurried kick drum-and-synth funk, it is incredible listening to Jones' litanies of social issues – "lost generation / come of age" – without flitting one eye Twitter-ward. Yet it's on the chorus — where Jones hollowly, slackly repeats the phrase, "undeniably free" — that the true, necessary discharge comes.

Payfone, "We Are Chains"

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Isolée, "Pisco" (Maeve)

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From 'Mangroove'

God bless Rajko Mueller. Earlier in his career, around the time of Isolée's huge 2000 hit, "Beau Mot Plage," the Frankfurt producer's class, popularity and edge-cutting was beyond question. But, as people decry conservative dancefloors and "tech-house" plods on as a catchall for some of the planet's most boring sounds, Mueller's notions of what makes a great track have not changed all that much. "Pisco," one of a pair of barnstormers on his new EP for Maeve, boldly rides a strong-willed sequencer plus waves of rhythmic and tonal crosscurrents as clearly as any classic microhouse, a genre Isolée once helped foster. It's a 4am highlight...

Isolée, "Pisco"

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Fatima Yamaha, "Araya" (Dekmantel)

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From 'Araya'

...and this is its companion, the first work that Dutch producer Bas Bron has released as Fatima Yamaha since an unlikely revival, two years ago, of his 2004 track "What's A Girl To Do?" "Araya" does not play around. Or, maybe, play around is all it does. A kick, some handclaps and a sequencer make a great bed for a trio of interweaving synth-lines that culminate in a funky keyboard and drum machine improv that pushes the whole melodic mass towards a massive hands-in-the-air moment. It all sounds like a big fat hit!

Fatima Yamaha, "Araya"

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Alton Miller (feat. Maurissa Rose), "Bring Me Down (SS Translation)" (Sound Signature)

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From 'Bring Me Down'

Theo Parrish, the main man of Sound Signature, remixes Motor City great Alton Miller's new single with Maurissa Rose, creating a marvelous distillation of jazz and soul and house and gospel, all under a heavy, Tony Allen-inspired groove. What begins with a stripped down echo of Parrish's "Falling Up" soon coalesces into a rotating assembly of keyboard instruments — synths, pianos, Rhodes — playing against cross-section of broken beats, before welcoming Rose's vocal of self-empowerment (the chorus goes "you'll never ever bring me down"). It's a hymn against surrendering.

Alton Miller (feat. Maurissa Rose), "Bring Me Down SS Translation"

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Flørist presents V. Rosso, "Windows on the World" (World Building)

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From 'Windows On The World EP'

If you were to look out those windows right now, what would you see? By the sound effects that charmingly adorn the young Vancouver producer's first EP for PPU's new deep-house imprint, FLØrist definitely sees nature. It's a gorgeous little tune to usher in the dawn, the ambient melody underpinning it full of melancholy, but the jumpy bassline and keyboard figures that top it speak to a hopefulness that we could all use right about now.

FlØrist, "Windows On The World"

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