Baa de yaaa dancing in September. The summer months may be over and with that, terrace parties and festival season gone, but, as Earth Wind and Fire pointed out, that doesn’t mean the party can’t still go on. As the days get shorter and the weather colder we all begin to return to the familiar club environment. As we do so, in a prematurely nostalgic mood I’ve listed some of my favourite releases from those summer months.
Dan Shake – Shake Edits
Two sides of reinvented disco fire from Flux resident and Leeds’ favourite Dan Shake. Both Glitter Disco and and Buy Yourself Friends serve up a thick throbbing beat underneath such masterful sampling that its no wonder Moodymann recruited him for Mahogani Music. However, it’s a vinyl-only release and pressed to a meagre number of 250, if you own a copy you are one of the lucky ones.
Merle – 2000 & We’re Still Here (Stripped & Chewed)
Merle’s aka Merwyn Saunders original release came out back in 1999 and it has since become a cult classic, receiving wide attention after the EP’s ‘Fannie Likes 2 Dance’, featured on Joy Orbison’s Essential Mix last summer. All songs demonstrate a roughness uncommon on squeaky clean contemporary dance releases and yet this does not detract from the quality at all; if anything it adds a special characteristic to the release. Perhaps the most touching part about the re-release is Saunder’s motivation to do it, commenting that it was about ‘honouring my wife,’ which is why ‘Fannie Likes 2 Dance’ is now titled ‘Mimi Likes 2 Dance’, after his partner.
Hidden Spheres – Waiting EP
It shouldn’t be any surprise really that the first release on a label called ‘Hawaii’ produced four tracks with a perfectly summer feel to them, all of them being capable of transporting the listener onto a sun-kissed beach or into a convertible speeding towards the sunset’s horizon. The blissful deep vocal samples present on all tracks provide the record’s warm, tropical feel whilst the robust percussion provides a punchy kick throughout meaning that the release would be just as at home in a club environment as well as being played whilst you’re on a sun lounger slurping on another cocktail.
Chaos In The CBD – Midnight In Peckham
A release that would be perfect even if it included only its title track, which demonstrates the duo behind Chaos In The CBD in their best form. Feeling like a thoughtful homage to the South London area in question it is a beautifully complete 7 minutes of music which could go down as one of the best singles of the year. The release’s other tunes demonstrate the same soft shuttering and flickering of the title track, all providing that midnight feel with the help of jazz and hip hop influences but none come close to the release’s finest moment.
Jack J – Thirstin (Future Times)
‘Things will be better in future times’ is the clear motto of the label which has delivered Jack J’s latest release and it is this wishful thinking which is shared by the song’s narrator when he longs for another over and over again saying ‘I wish that we could be alone.’ Jack J combines this melancholic twinge brilliantly with a playful bassline and drum arrangement that plods along and leaves you tapping your feet long after it has finished.
(Photo credits: Youtube)