Best Dance Tracks Of the Week From Baauer, Boys Noize & More


Boys Noize & Kelsey Lu, “Ride or Die” feat. Chilly Gonzales

When you think of Boys Noize, you probably think about pounding techno, acid disco, electro-hop and mind-melting modular synths. With “Ride or Die,” the German DJ and producer proves his prowess with emotional melodies. The Kelsey Lu collab builds off a melancholy harpsichord melody, originally recorded by pianist Chilly Gonzales on a spinet. The producer wanted to build a “big music contrast” around the recording, and the juxtaposition of the classical with the mechanical made him think of Lu, who he once saw shred on a cello patched through guitar pedals. Lu accepted the invitation, and when they got in the studio, Boys Noize says he felt “a rare, special energy.”

“Like joining contrasting sounds to make something totally new, certain collaborations can bring inspiration beyond what anyone expected,” he’s quoted in a press release. “These moments are my absolute favorite moments when doing anything creative, but especially in music.”

“There was just freedom of exploration,” Lu continues. “I’m a very visual person when it comes to songwriting, and nature is always a part of that visualization. There was a momentum of tension, and I wanted to soar through that. The desert kept reappearing. Its heat, its vast expanse of space, and its dangers. Sort of like a fleeting romance. It could go so many ways, often disastrous, but whichever way it goes, trust in yourself and the many sides we hold because, in the end, you are a powerful bitch.”

The music video, directed by Art Camp, plays on this theme of multitudinous destiny with an animated adventure. “Ride or Die” is the first in a double single release, paired with the dark, club-forward “IU” feat. Corbin. Much like life, it’s whirlwind of sound worth the whiplash. — KAT BEIN

Baauer & Omega Sapien, “Ddokbokki”

Buckle up for the latest Baauer output, “Ddokbokki,” which takes all the looming bass of his excellent 2020 LP Planet’s Mad and trades it for layers (and layers) of hand-drum driven polyrhythms that are altogether no less potent than the bigger, harder sounds on the album. South Korean rapper Omega Sapien delivers rhymes about being a bit too feisty over this cacophony, finishing off a punchy track that will be a full-on sweat-fest when clubs reopen. — KATIE BAIN

Sidepiece, “Temptation”

After last week being recognized at the Grammys for their smash record “On My Mind” (the Diplo collab was nominated for best dance recording) Sidepiece is back with its follow-up — and hopefully a future award contender — “Tempation.” On this new single, the duo has traveled back more than five decades (to 1966) for its core inspiration: The Temptations’ “I’m Losing You.” Whereas “On My Mind” was a mood of smoky seduction and bedroom eyes, “Losing You” takes on a sense of urgency, its pleading titular lyrics repeated over and over into a whirling, ever-increasing sound vortex and imploding with a no-nonsense bassline and fat synth stabs that hammer down like the dawning sense of finality. It’s the kind of booming tech house that makes a breakup worth cheering. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Hi-Lo, “Athena” (Oliver Heldens Radio Edit)

Double your Heldens, double your fun with Oliver Heldens’ edit of his own track “Athena” released in January under his Hi-Lo alias. This side project has been a place for the typically funky and future house-oriented Dutch producer to work on the harder, darker, techno end of the spectrum. While this edit certainly has that prerequisite kickdrum, there’s a lot more going on on top of it, with the waves of synth and extended “ahhhhhhhaaaahhh” vocal giving a grand, cinematic (and fairly progressive house) feel. The track leads a compilation of “Athena” edits that also includes reworks by Ramon Tapia, Alex Stein and remix contest winners Demon Noise and Tomas Otero. The package is out now via Sian’s Octopus Recordings. — K. Bain

Juuku & Manila Killa, “Just Lost”

We’re all a little lost in 2021, and that’s okay. It’s part of life to lose the thread, especially in the throws of a global pandemic. Music is especially good for those moments, too, and Juuku’s “Just Lost” with Manila Killa is exactly the sort of dreamy melody we want to drift in and out of, although the punchy synth breakdown is the part that gives us life.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to work with [Manila Killa],” Juuku tells Billboard. “When I wrote the idea for ‘Just Lost,’ I felt like the song would be an absolutely perfect pairing with him on it, and he definitely brought it to another level. This song represents one’s journey in life, constantly trying to find our way every time we lose it.”

Next time you feel yourself disconnecting with reality, put this one on in your headphones and follow your heart wherever it leads – which is hopefully to a dance floor, hopefully very soon. — K. Bein

Tunnelvisions, “Acid Neverland”

A lot of us haven’t seen much of the outdoors in the last year, but it’s time to pack our mini-backpacks (don’t forget water) because Tunnelvisions is taking us on a trip. The Dutch duo and former Billboard emerging artists today released their new EP, End of Time, and true to form, it’s filled with technicolor melodies and hypnotic sonics, a constant play between organic percussion and metallic synths. Our pick of the bunch is opener “Acid Neverland,” a fever dream of a track made driving by member Coloray’s unrelenting vocals which breach the subconscious. With its serene pads and deep drums, “Acid Neverland” is luminous yet ominous, perfect for those desert-raving twilight hours when it’s both dark and light outside, moon and sun in the sky and stars in your eyes. — K.R.

Source: News | Billboard

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