Busted! I was trying to rhyme with “Dance Dance Revolution”! Even though going out dancing isn’t something we can really do these days, today, we are going to evoke that feeling. So put on your dancing outfit and whip out your dancing shoes – we’re headed for some dancing!
First up is a track called “Body On Fire” by Denmark based artist, Dillistone featuring NOEP.
This is an inviting tune that will warm us right up. The toasty arpeggiators and laid back dance groove gets you swaying (which is a great way to start up on a dance floor – especially if you plan on dancing like a crazy person later in the evening and don’t want to wake up the next day feeling like you were hugged by an industrial bread mixer). In case you forgot how to sway, here’s a cheat sheet:
This move is timeless and is great way to break the ice and not give away your best moves too early.
Back to the track at hand, “Body On Fire” – the hook doesn’t get old for me, even though it plays dozens of times in this 2 minute and 39 second piece. The repetition actually helps me get deeper into a trancey/dancey state where the world melts away. This happy repetition isn’t easy to accomplish, but it works here, likely because of the intimate delivery of the topline (“set my – my body on fire”), gated reverbs, and the chord progression. This chord progression, (VI VII I or IV V vi – depending how you slice it, my fellow music theory lovers) is one of the more addictive chord progressions out there and lays a foundation for a plethora of dance, pop, and classical music hooks.
Now we move on to a remix of Becky Hill’s “Heaven On My Mind” by Ibiza based producer HOSH.
If I hadn’t heard the original (which at the time of my first listen to this remix, I hadn’t), I wouldn’t know it was a remix at all. These are my favorite types of remixes. HOSH has made a completely new hook from the original track by taking the prechorus and turning parts of it into the main vocal melody. Then, he took one word from the original chorus and made that the new hook (“Heaven!”). Heaven indeed! These sounds are heavenly and the vocal chopping is stunning.
I also love Becky Hill’s voice – it reminds me in some way of Katy Perry and makes me feel nostalgic and happy. Yeah? Let’s dance! If you want to keep swaying, that’s ok too. I’ll be doing this:
Now that we’ve done that, it’s time for a sultry, stanky-face* inducing track, “Type Like That” by Pawl and Discrete in Sweden.
Whew! This is definitely a hip-swaying groove – I think it’s because of the syncopated Latin driven rhythm (made up by the interaction between the 4-on-the-floor kick, off beat 8th note high hats, and bass hitting on 1, and-of-2, and 3). I also think the verses spread out in ambience (check out the delays and verb on the vocals and synth), growing into a really spacious pre-chorus, and then vacuuming into an excitingly tight chorus. Well played, guys. Well played.
And lastly we have a wonderful cool down track from two French artists, Maestrali and Reine-Claude titled “Jeune” (which translates to something like “young”).
There’s so much to love about this track. Firstly, it’s the perfect cool-down for our dance sesh today. It has a warm/cool vibe to me, the sound of this track feels watery – like I’m submerged in a cool, green lake. Second(arily?), as a person who can understand some French, the phrasing used in this track is refreshing: words are broken up over measures and accent unexpected syllables to highlight the rhythmic feel.
I also adore the sound design in here. What the heck is that scloopy plucky synth that comes in during the prechorus?!? It scloops in, across the stereo field. It’s close, dry, and is one more reason for stank-face with the subdivisions it’s accenting. And around 2:54, there’s this plucky guitar arpeggio that we can hear clearly as it fades out with a gradual filter sweep (rather than a volume fade out).
Filter fades are classy in my book (and volume fades are often overused and it’s really tricky to get that fade to feel just right and not a ploy because we didn’t quite know how to end the piece…). But there’s none of that here! Everything in this track sounds intentional.
And so it’s now time for my fadeout (filtered!) as we come to the end of this minimix. Hope you got your dance on and enjoyed it! Thank you again for spending this time with me.
*Wondering what a good stanky-face is? It’s a face you make when something is so groovy you almost can’t believe it, so your face looks like something smells bad. Like this (thank you for the demo, Andy Grammar):