Love is A Bourgeois Construct
  • Love is A Bourgeois Construct
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Electric

Love Is A Bourgeois Construct - Pet Shop Boys.

The Pet Shop Boys have at long-last collaborated with über-producer Stuart Price (The Killers, Madonna, Scissor Sisters) to make “Electric”, one of the most infectious dance records since “Confessions On A Dance Floor”.

“Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” takes lyrical inspiration from David Lodge’s 1988 novel “Nice Work” and sets it to the major theme from Henry Purcell’s 1691 opera “King Arthur”. The effect is a fresh earworm for the 21st century, showing that, even 25 years after “Left To My own Devices”, PSB still have the ability to make achingly gorgeous dance music about the frailty of our small little lives.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Dance Apocalyptic
  • Dance Apocalyptic
  • Janelle Monáe
  • The Electric Lady

Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monáe.

Cyberchanteuse Janelle Monáe makes music that continues to defy classification. Her latest offering is the really excellent psychedelic-pop-funk-R&B-punk-soul album The Electric Lady, constituting the fourth and fifth installments of her acclaimed Metropolis series.

“Dance Apocalyptic” is a huge amount of fun. It’s bright as a Blade Runner neon sign, as contagious as a computer virus, as commanding of attention as HAL 9000. This is where 21st century pop is supposed to go. Janelle Monáe is the singularity. 

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Being Boiled
  • Being Boiled
  • Human League
  • Being Boiled

Being Boiled - The Human League.

The year was 1978 and the airwaves were saturated with disco. Disco sucks T-shirts started appearing on university campuses as music fans started reverting back to rock. Up to then, the synthesizer was mostly used to mimic trumpets, strings and other conventional instruments. Its future as a valid instrument seemed bleak, its enormous potential untapped.

Then, with a cry of Listen to the voice of Buddha!, Sheffield’s The Human League unleashed a completely different sonic beast on the world. Glitchy, crunchy, industrial. This stark, lo-fi rant against the silk industry is as much a product of the punk do-it-yourself ethic as The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK. At the time, guest reviewer for the NME Johnny Rotten himself called them a bunch of “trendy hippies”. Really, they were pioneers in synthesis, in the creation of sound. This was just the start of a movement that saved electronic music from novelty and dragged us all, inexorably, into the 21st century.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Collapsing New People
  • Collapsing New People
  • Fad Gadget
  • The Best Of

Collapsing New People - Fad Gadget.

Traces of the punktronic proto-industrial Fad Gadget are scattered underneath the beats of everything you’ve ever heard. As Paul Morley once said, “knowing your Fad Gadget you could hear Daft Punk coming a kilometre away.” Fad Gadget is Kraftwerk meets Kafka, and Trent Reznor owes much to Frank Tovey, the man behind the full-body shaving foam outfit.

Uncomfortable yet catchy. Sincere facetiousness. Ostensibly, the title is a nod to Einstürzende Neubauten, and Collapsing New People provides much scraping and metallic clanking, combined with a hilariously misanthropic viewpoint. What I’m saying is that your continued education in modern music needs a strong grounding in Fad Gadget.

Watch the infamous and wonderful tar-and-feather performance of Collapsing New People here.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Were You Ever A Dreamer? - Young Galaxy.

This is blissfully bouncy. Montreal’s Young Galaxy have released another dreamy track hot on the heels of their excellent new album “Falsework”. The bubbly chillwave synths and Catherine McCandless’ cool, airy vocals combine to form the perfect summer night soundtrack for driving around the city with your friends, looking for some trouble to get into.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Made with SoundCloud
All She Wants Is
  • All She Wants Is
  • Duran Duran
  • Big Thing

All She Wants Is - Duran Duran.

In 1988, Duran Duran decided to embrace the groove, with some fat bass and aggressive percussion. The band expanded their sound beyond New Wave tinklybonk for teenyboppers, and embraced the sweaty underbelly of dance music. 

This notion gave birth to “Big Thing”, ostensibly a house music record, dedicated to Andy Warhol, and a precocious nod to the club drug-fueled rave parties of the nineties, still some years off. There’s traces of Primal Scream here, and for those who care to look deeper, The Chemical Brothers. “All She Wants Is” exemplifies this dirty funk, and is still, 25 years later, my favorite thing Duran Duran ever did.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Booty Swing
  • Booty Swing
  • Parov Stelar
  • The Princess Part Two

Booty Swing - Parov Stelar.

Austria’s Parov Stelar brews an infectious fusion of retro samples and club beats. His particular brand of electroswing is demonstrated with verve on the single "Booty Swing".  

No burlesque party will ever be complete without a Parov Stelar soundtrack.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Touch - MOTHXR.

This is the first track of 2016 that really excites me. MOTHXR mine a most compelling vein of darkly sensual funktronica. Brooklyn band MOTHXR is the project of actor Penn Badgley (ex Gossip Girl) and his friends Simon Ocroft, Darren Will and Jimmy Giannopolous, and they sound like they’ve been making music together their whole lives. It’s slick and layered and groovy.

MOTHXR’s debut album Centerfold is out February 26th. Get it.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Made with SoundCloud
Looking For Someone
  • Looking For Someone
  • East India Youth
  • Total Strife Forever

Looking For Someone - East India Youth.

Total Strife Forever is the lush debut album of William Doyle’s East India Youth project. It is filled with experimentation and novelty, but never steers too far away from a pop sensibility that makes the album very listenable. Single “Looking For Someone" starts with a Beatles-esque acapella intro that rapidly descends into some fat and nasty synth bass lines and sci-fi choral effects that wouldn’t sound out of place in the soundtrack to a really great Aronofsky film. East India Youth is an act to watch.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Annie - Neon Indian.

I’ve loved Neon Indian’s chillwave, synthpop vibes since 2011′s Era Extraña album. We finally have a new track, and it’s tropical and gorgeous. There’s a reggae inflection to the rhythm here, buoyed up by some watery ambient sounds in the intro. Alan Palomo’s vocals are like a hit of ozone, recalling Friendly Fires, Slow Knights, OK Go, and somewhere underneath, somehow, vintage Lionel Richie. Slick guitars and synths round out this stellar track, set to become a staple of driving playlists everywhere.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Made with SoundCloud

I’m Ready - Geographer.

I’ve been a huge fan of San Francisco indie-rockers Geographer ever since I saw them open for Ladytron back in 2011. Needless to say, I’ve been obsessively checking for updates about Geographer’s 3rd LP, due out early this year. At last, there’s a new track to listen to, and it’s exquisite.

New single ‘I’m Ready’ is sonically intricate, but grounded in solid songwriting. Frontman Michael Deni’s soaring, crystal-clear vocals are supported by effervescent percussion and synths, and some amazing cello from Nathan Blaz. I just cannot wait to hear the rest of the record.

Geographer’s new album, 'Ghost Modern’, is out March 24 on Roll Call Records.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Made with SoundCloud
Soothe My Soul
  • Soothe My Soul
  • Depeche Mode
  • Delta Machine

Soothe My Soul - Depeche Mode.

The American leg of DM’s epic Delta Machine World Tour is currently underway. For those of you unable to catch a live Depeche Mode gig this time around, here is the most uptempo single they have released in years. “Soothe My Soul" veritably throbs with bouncy drumbeats, glam guitars and rock swagger. Even if you aren’t jumping up and down to it with the rest of a stadium crowd, groove out to it in your living room. It’s just so darn catchy, you won’t be able to resist anyway. 

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Tiff (Feat. Justin Vernon)
  • Tiff (Feat. Justin Vernon)
  • Poliça
  • Shulamith

Tiff - Poliça.

Minneapolis indie rockers Poliça mine a darkly atmospheric vein of synthpop on their new album “Shulamith”. Lead single “Tiff” featurs Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and is very good sample of its delights. “Shulamith” is a complicated, night-soaked, well-made record, a perfect foil to all the vapid pop swamping the charts. “Shulamith” is out now on disc and digital.

Contributed by @orchidhunter

Empire (Featuring Benjamin Zephaniah & Sinead O'Connor)
  • Empire (Featuring Benjamin Zephaniah & Sinead O'Connor)
  • Bomb The Bass
  • Clear

Empire (feat. Sinéad O’Connor and Benjamin Zephaniah) - Bomb The Bass.

Producer-DJ-wizard Tim Simenon recruited dub poet Zephaniah and Irish songsmith O’Connor for this undeniably groovy closer to the third Bomb The Bass album, Clear. An infusion of many different influences, from beat poetry to funk to musique concrète and found sound, Empire is a slow burn indictment of colonialism and one of my favourite tracks for after-hours grooving.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Harps - Max and the Moon.

Why is there so much amazing indie music coming out of southern California right now? New single “Harps” from Chino Hills four-piece Max and the Moon features gorgeous male-female vocal harmonies, moon-drenched synths, glittery guitars and an anthemic chorus. It’s an energetic song about idealizing someone despite their flaws, and it’s seriously good stuff.

Contributed by @orchidhunter

Made with SoundCloud

Happiness - IAMX.

How I enjoy being backed into a Chris Corner. “Happiness”, the new single from forthcoming 6th album Metanoia, is a lush and emotional synth-driven track. In typical IAMX fashion, it’s about the continued search for meaning in a world that increasingly looks like it has none.

It kind of makes me think that dystopia isn’t the future, but the present.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

Made with SoundCloud
  • Afterglow
  • Wilkinson
  • Lazers Not Included

Afterglow - Wilkinson.

“What is this?!" I hear you cry, "drum and bass?! In the 2010s??!” Well, not only did UK dubstepper Mark Wilkinson make a drum and bass record, but it is also a very good drum and bass record.  

Afterglow is the clubtastic fifth single from his debut album Lazers Not Included, and features vocals by Becky Hill. Make sure to also check out the great video for the track, which depicts a couple’s five-year relationship and all the numbers and statistics associated with it.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

  • Artifice
  • SOHN
  • Tremors

Artifice - SOHN.

BBC Radio 1 called it the “hottest record”, and it’s easy to hear why. Crisp but warm, layered but clean, precise but human, English songsmith SOHN’s debut record Tremors is amazingly accomplished. His soaring, soulful voice complements the driving percussion and seriously deep groove on single Artifice, which is just a taster of the sonic diversity on the album, from electro-blues to dubby dreampop to robo-gospel. 

SOHN is signed to the moody 4AD label, (home to Bon Iver, Future Islands, The National, tUnE-yArDs et al.) and it’s a great match. Expect to hear him on the playlists of ultra-hip boutiques and cafés soon.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.

This Boy's In Love
  • This Boy's In Love
  • The Presets
  • Apocalypso

This Boy’s In Love - The Presets.

Australian electronic duo The Presets are known for hard-hitting, slightly abrasive dance music, but once in a while, they craft an achingly beautiful piece of pop with a wonderful lift in the chorus.

This lifting chorus is perfectly captured in This Boy’s In Love, from their frantic 2008 release Apocalypso. Julian Hamilton’s pleading delivery fights with the throbbing percussion for prominence, making the track seem even more urgent. “Don’t tell the world what we’ve known, we’ve come so far, but theres still a way to go,” he sings. This song belongs on your End Of The World Party playlist.

Contributed by @orchidhunter.