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Recommended Dose: Our Favorite Dance Tracks From March

Vancouver-based producer Jayda Guy, a.k.a. Jayda G.
Courtesy of the artist
Vancouver-based producer Jayda Guy, a.k.a. Jayda G.

Welcome to the April Fools' edition of the Dose – no pranks, just serious bizness. O.K., maybe not so serious – maybe Team Dose just takes it seriously, because we care. And even as one side of the dance-music spectrum is experiencing a bursting of a bubble – retirements, bankruptcies, key events attracting smaller crowds — another one continues reinventing itself and its norms.

This month's Dose is stocked with the diversity of community, and signs of its constant expansion: new and not-so-new heroes in ascendance, sounds that innovate and fabricate, ancient records rediscovered and remixed, and new tracks not yet pressed, smuggled on the wires from the Pacific Northwest, and from the Aegean coast, big tunes and tunes just big enough.

And we're expanding, too. We hope you enjoyed our first Guest Dose courtesy of Berlin's Daniel Haaksman, and there are more on the way. In the meantime, you can follow our day-by-day listening on Twitter @Sami_Yenigun (Sami) @raspberryjones (Piotr) and @spotieotis (Otis).

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Hear The Tracks

Jayda G, "Sound Of Fuca"

Jayda Guy is a Vancouver-based producer and DJ, who, based on her online mixes and short discography, knows the way around great mid-1980s soul and boogie records — specifically, their then-futuristic textures (the early-digital quiet-storms and precisely programmed beats) and melancholy melodies (pulling you in with a sexy pensiveness). Yet the music on Jayda's first solo EP, Jayadaisms (on Freakout Cult, the label she runs with Sex Tags Mania mainstay, DJ Fett Burger), uses that emotionally diverse vibe as a springboard into a song-oriented house sound that has nothing to do with sonic nostalgia. "Sound of Fuca," the lead track, is a wonderfully contemplative instrumental built on what sounds like tweaked versions of a noir-ish guitar, an electric organ, a looped Linn drum fill, yet also ready to dance and dust the gloom. (Fuca is named after the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a Pacific Ocean body of water where Guy, an environmental toxicologist by day, studies killer whales.) The track, and much of the rest of the EP, is one variation on what happens to contemporary R&B when the music is infected not just by soul and hip-hop, but by house as well.

Timecode: 00:00- 05:05

Jaydaisms is available now on Freakout Cult.

RCNG, "Stand"

RCNG, <em>RCNG</em>

When it comes to music from the devastatingly opulent South of France, the first — and likely only — thing that comes to mind are The Rolling Stones' legendary Exile On Main Street recording sessions in Villa Nellcote on the Côte d'Azur. But over the past few years, electronic music communities have popped up along the coastline, including the Radio Los Santos label in Montpellier. The fledgling house collective (it doesn't even have a Discogs page) has popped up on mixes for Rinse and NTS, thanks to ace productions by resident DJs Realitycheck and Night Drugs. Their footprint is bound to increase with RCNG, a collaborative EP of French house tracks imbued with subtlety and restraint. "Stand" begins with a gorgeous arpeggio and the smallest taste of steel drums before a handful of interlocking drum machines take it skyward. The duo mix up the tempo midway through with some smooth synth pads that lend the song an emotional tint. It all adds up to a small, but potent dose of Mediterranean magic.

Timecode: 05:06 - 10:07

RCNG is available now on Bandcamp.

Call Super, "Nervous Sex Traffic"

As London keeps on giving, and its heroes continue to make great disparate dance tracks rooted in the city's multi-generational traditions, it is sometimes the language that fails us. How for instance to describe the music of Call Super (a.k.a. JR Seaton) beyond "experimental house," which, while technically true, is restrictive as hell, failing to catch both the darkness of his minimalist analog gear-head banger tendencies, and the meticulous, melodious gorgeousness of his deeper dance-floor work? Call Super's huge debut for the Amsterdam-based smarties at Dekmantel definitively skews towards the latter, its cross-migrating drum machines and keyboard asides percolating and bouncing wistfully, while the big fat chords ground it in something major. Expect to hear this one for months to come – then you try to describe it.

Timecode: 10:08 - 17:01

"Nervous Sex Traffic" is available April 18 on Dekmantel.

Lena Platonos, "Witches (Red Axes Remix)"

Dark Entries, the San Francisco industrial/goth electronic reissue label run by Josh Cheon of Bay Area disco impresarios Honey Soundsystem, has been on a staggering roll of great releases in 2016. (The Bill Converse and Sad Lovers and Giants albums, for starters.) "Witches" comes from the remixes they commissioned the Tel Aviv-based electro-house duo Red Axes to do around Gallop, a 1985 synth-based album by the Greek pianist and composer Lena Platonos, which became a touchstone for experimental beat music in the Mediterranean. Whereas the original of "Witches" is a wispy bit of melodic ambiance, the Red Axes version is tougher than leather, cutting up Lena's voice, and letting the sequencers ride or die, while the relentless kick takes it to an industrial techno dancefloor. If this remix has a model, it's Carl Craig's mid-aughts rework of Throbbing Gristle's "Hot On the Heels of Love" – both possess the quality of "drop it, and get the hell out of the way." Which is highly recommended.

Timecode: 17:02 - 23:50

Red Axes Remixes is available now on Dark Entries.

Lindstrøm, "Closing Shot"

Have we canonized Hans-Peter Lindstrøm yet, or are there people still on the fence? Because if not, "Closing Shot," the Norwegian space-disco don's new eight-minute epic, is a good reason to revisit the subject. After a few years with projects that too often felt forcefully leftfield or hyperglycemic in their love of hooks, "Shot" is a return to the balance that gained the producer his rep in the first place, one of those compositions/tracks/songs where the slightly weird and the wonderfully accessible blend with perfection, as good for a club as for the right Bar Mitzvah. Any number of moments here encapsulate Lindstrøm's gifts of coating beats that sound like they come off Reagan-era 12" disco dubs (808 pre-set versions) with synthy sequencers, melodies and basslines, then add the well-heeled logic of dancefloor dynamics. "Shot" keeps rising and rising and rising, pierces the tide via a three-note break that sounds like it's straight from some 1970s funk horn chart, then reapplies itself. And the bizarro closing duet between a reedy keyboard and some hand-claps is a campfire disco masterpiece in its own right.

Timecode: 23:51 - 32:16

"Closing Shot" is available now on Feedelity.

Sami Yenigun is the Executive Producer of NPR's All Things Considered and the Consider This podcast. Yenigun works with hosts, editors, and producers to plan and execute the editorial vision of NPR's flagship afternoon newsmagazine and evening podcast. He comes to this role after serving as a Supervising Editor on All Things Considered, where he helped launch Consider This and oversaw the growth of the newsmagazine on new platforms.
Piotr Orlov