Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix.
You can stream this month’s mix here or through NPR Music’s SoundCloud account. If you’d rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.
The Best Dance Tracks Of September
Artist: Esnard Boisdur vs Frankie Francis & Simbad
Esnard Boisdur vs Frankie Francis & Simbad, 'Soufwans (3AM Mix)'
Title: Soufwans (3AM Mix)
Esnard Boisdur sings Gwo Ka, a Caribbean rhythm native to Guadaloupe. This mournful gem, "Soufwans" or "sufferance", originally came out in 1991 — now producers Frankie Francis and Simbad have touched up Boisdur's quivering vocal. The "3AM mix" comes brushed with queasy synths and a crisp bass kick. The splashes of reverb that wash over the ending make this a welcome fit for the early hours in a nightclub.
Rx Timecode: 00:00 — 04:09
Jungle, 'The Heat (Joy Orbison Remix)'
Title: The Heat (Joy Orbison Remix)
Album: The Heat Remixes
This is Peter O'Grady's first official remix since he salvaged Lana Del Rey's "Video Games," and it lives up to the man's enviable standard of excellence. It certainly helps that the original slays, but Joy O "brings the heat," adding some Kraftwerk-ian autobahn and sub-bass to make it feel massive and desolate at the same time. It'll more than do until O'Grady's next single.
Rx Timecode: 04:10 — 08:04
Xosar, 'The Pit'
Title: The Pit
In a profile published early last year Xosar, a.k.a. Sheela Rahman, told Resident Advisor that she likes to surround herself with objects that give off positive energies. Makes sense, then, that in photo after photo, Rahman is next to pieces of musical hardware. Her latest track, "The Pit", showcases the grittier sounds of her instruments. It's a romper smothered in distortion from start to finish. Hard to say if the energy here is positive, but its positively electric.
Rx Timecode: 08:05 — 12:25
Jordan GCZ, 'Swingonoguitaro'
Lots of contemporary producers reference classic Chicago house — and who can blame them? — but Jordan Czamanski, one-half of longstanding Amsterdam duo Juju & Jordash, out-Chicago's everyone on "Swingonoguitaro," the opening track to his new Digitalis EP. How? By combining the city's trademark 4/4 beat with its other late-20th century signature sound — post-rock. That's right: "Swingonoguitaro" sounds like Tortoise. And given that it's been 20 years since that band's debut LP, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
Rx Timecode: 12:25 — 16:43
Willie Burns, 'Everybody Everybody'
Title: Everybody Everybody
Album: I Wanna Love You
A guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Brooklyn producer William Burnett takes Black Box's 1990 hit "Everybody Everybody" and improves on it in every way imaginable, rearranging its titular chorus and organ riffs to better complement his keen sense for basslines. The rest of Burnett's I Wanna Love You EP is just as good, if just a tad less catchy.
Rx Timecode: 16:44 — 21:20
Aphex Twin, 'CIRCLONT14 [152.97][shrymoming mix]'
Title: CIRCLONT 14(shrymoming mix)
Syro is the first music we've heard from Richard D. James' Aphex Twin moniker in 13 years, and it arrives chock full of signature styles served with fresh sounds. "CIRCLONT14 [152.97][shrymoming mix]" nods to ambient and drum 'n' bass; its drum patterns are as frenetic as its vocals are soothing, but the track's linear progression make it an oddball of an earworm. Surprises that refer back only to its creator hide around every bend.
Rx Timecode: 21:21 — 28:19