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CLUB DRIVEL: September 2015

It's the third edition of CLUB DRIVEL! Read the column after the jump, or you can stream the full list in the 8tracks widget above or view the entries on Resident Advisor, Spotify, or Beatport if that's your thing.

10. Famous Eno - "Jaws Riddim" [Swing Ting]

South Londoner Famous Eno continues to follow his genre blurring trajectory of grime-informed dancehall with this one-tracker out on club-turned-label Swing Ting. As you might expect from the title, "Jaws Riddim" largely does away with melody. Its focus is instead on chilling sound effects, tight percussion, and start/stop dancehall antics. Here's hoping this gets made into a proper riddim tape.

9. Vangelis Katsoulis - "Enigma (Young Marco Remix)" [Into the Light Records]

Into the Light Records launched last year with the objective of showcasing lesser known Greek electronic composers from decades past. A full length collection of works by Vangelis Katsoulis kicked things off, and a followup "Remixed" EP dropped last week. All three offerings are solid, but Young Marco steals the spotlight with his signature breezy house sound, which pairs perfectly with Katsoulis' new age-leaning original.

8. Commodo, Gantz & Kahn - "Crystal Collect" [Deep Medi Musik]

A revival of first wave dubstep with trap-informed hi hats and snares may not look all that appealing on paper in 2015, but Commodo, Gantz, and Kahn have the formula to pull it off. The dubstep of yore generally got at least a couple of things right: the sub bass and the focus on rhythmic spacing. And these are the things this trio of producers zeroed in on with great effect on "Crystal Collect." Creativity in bass music may be dwindling, so it's nice to know that a few people are still out there making it adventurous.

7. Ghost Feet - "Doom" [Dropping Gems]

The latest offering on Dropping Gems, a Portland-based cassette-centric label, is the Together Alone tape by Ghost Feet. The duo occupies a space somewhere between post-rock and West Coast beat scene stylings of the softer variety. Strong, slow-burning melodies, live instrumentation, and rich textural sound effects make up "Doom," the lone house number on this new release. Not exactly a tune that will slay the dance floor, but a solid exercise of subdued experimental house.

6. Omar Souleyman ft. Four Tet - "Bahdeni Nami" [Monkeytown Records]

After some of his early works were compiled onto a handful of reissue collections by Sublime Frequencies in recent years, Omar Souleyman, a Syrian farmer and wedding singer born in 1966, suddenly achieved an international audience. He's since begun recording new music and become a staple on the international music festival circuit. Souleyman may be a traditional dabke singer, but he's not afraid to link up with some decidedly non-traditional collaborators, as evidenced on his latest full length, Bahdeni Nami, which features Four Tet, Gilles Peterson, and Modeselektor. The album's title track may not sound anything like a Four Tet song, and that's probably because Four Tet is respectful enough not to plaster his trademark sound all over Souleyman's voice. The producer's output is clearly more subtle, as he lets the singer take center stage.

5. Roscius - "Petrol" [Muta]

Deep house has been trending for a few years now, and evidently it isn't going anywhere just yet. Producers continue to find ways of breathing new life into the aging formula, as does Roscius on "Petrol." A hazy, hushed, heavily delayed piano remains the only noticeable melodic element throughout large segments of the track. The bass line sounds less like a bass line and more like a short pitched down tom drum loop. Clean, textured percussion makes up the backbone of this drifting piece.

4. Felicity Yang - "Moon" [Habitat Tapes]

Melbourne newcomer Felicity Yang has gotten plenty of coverage on AiMT, but I never assumed she'd find an entry on the dance column. Truth be told—"Moon" is basically half a dance track. The groove washes in and out throughout the track's duration, and the rest of that duration is spent in subdued experimental territories, not unlike Yang's other work I've come across. The "Moon/Sun" cassette is out now on Habitat Tapes.

3. Tensnake - "In the End (I Want You to Cry) (Lone Remix)" [Running Back Records]

Playful dance music is nothing new to Lone, but this rework of Tensnake's "In the End" is easily the most accessible track I can recall in London producer's catalog (remix or otherwise). He whips the original into a bubbly house groove—something that the Tensnake crowd could really sink their teeth into. Approachability aside, it's still very much a Lone track. The IDM-leaning synths and jovial percussion put his signature on the track and keep it from catering too much to the general small room crowd (but also not scaring them away).

2. Percussions - "Digital Arpeggios" [Text Records]

Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) makes his second appearance on this month's column via his Percussions alias, a guise reserved for a more straightforward strain of dance music. "Digital Arpeggios" is the best offering yet from Percussions, and it's perhaps the most danceable track in Hebden's vast catalog. Structurally, there's really nothing boundary-pushing about this track. It's just an incredibly well made tech-house number by a highly capable veteran producer, who is clearly up for stepping outside his comfort zone.

1. John Roberts - "Orah" [Brunette Editions]

In case you haven't noticed yet, mellow house is.. er.. VERY well represented on Club Drivel this month, and this entry by NYC's John Roberts is no exception. "Orah" stands out among the rest of this list for its expert subtlety. It does not beg your undivided attention, and it doesn't seem to care whether or not you're actively listening at all. That's not to say it's a barebones song—there's quite a lot going on with "Orah." The vaguely Eastern motifs, scattered hand percussion, and ambient underbelly coalesce into a hazy wallpaper for home listening. Club listening—on the other hand—will pull out these elements and parade them around flamboyantly. "Orah" works wonders either way, so enjoy it however you want.

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