TRUE RELIGION and JUAN CARMONA, “Qué Bonita”
We’ve all been far too locked up in the pandemic, and “Qué Bonita” helps us all celebrate living life and having a great time. It’s brought to you by DJ duo True Religion (aka producer Danny Eagle and neuroscientist (!) Carlos Perez-Carracedo Lopez) and flamenco guitarist extraordinaire Juan Carmona. While perhaps relying on influences from the 90’s and 00’s – Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting For Tonight” comes immediately to mind – there are also loads of shades of 70’s disco with vocalist/co-writer Amy Gill sounding an awful lot like Pattie Brooks (“After Dark” from the “Thank God It’s Friday” soundtrack) at times. And the long 7:48 mix (below) of “Qué Bonita” is definitely music to club DJ’s ears, making frequent segues in and out of Spanish rhythms while still packing the wallop of a deep house track. “Qué Bonita” has instant appeal and a great time, as planned, will be had by all.
VARIOUS ARTISTS, Ultra 2020
Compilation albums seem to be coming a thing of the past. After all, aren’t streaming playlists essentially the same thing? I’ve long been of the mind that these compilations should be focused on similar styles of dance music to appeal to those who enjoy it. But for those who want to taste a little bit of everything in the dance music scene and still like to purchase their music, Ultra 2020 is definitely for you, and you’ll almost always find something you really enjoy. So for me the highlights here are:
- “So Blue” by British duo Sondr, likely the best of the 22 songs within, which could be a surprising floor filler thanks to the use of some of the lyrics and a pitched down melody from Eiffel 65’s “Blue” (and thankfully minus most of the ‘Da Ba Dee”‘s)
- Steve Aoki’s second high-powered collaboration with South Korea’s BTS, “Waste It On Me”
- Sofi Tukker’s playful “Swing”, for fans of songs of theirs like “Batshit”
- The slick electronic pop of “25 Miles To Vegas” by The Tribe Of Good
- The deep down and dirty “Tits On A Tricycle” by SNBRN, which reminds me of something Showtek would record
- The dreamy electropop of Dutchkid’s “Flight”
- “GOMF” (featuring BRIDGE), which has already become a hit for DVBBS in our native Canada
- “Pica” by Deorro and Henry Fong, spiced up with an Elvis Crespo vocal
- And Chet Porter’s beautifully melodic and unique mini-epic “The Longest Day Ever”, which I wrote about a while back
The rest I could take or leave. But regardless if you’re looking for an enjoyable stocking stuffer for your dance music-loving friend or family member, you can’t go with an Ultra compilation like 2020.
CADEN JESTER, SYON and WILLX BOY, “Serpiente”
At only 20 years old, L.A.’s Caden Jester already has one of the brightest pop/dance songs of the summer on release with “Vacant Love” (#20 on my personal chart). He throws us a bit of a curve by embracing Latin sounds on his new song “Serpiente”. But it’s one stylish and tight affair, particularly for dance club goers, featuring an appropriately exotic, seductive male vocal by Mexican duo Syon and a fluid rap from producer/songwriter WillX Boy. Fans of Latin music will totally dig “Serpiente” because of its authentic and diverse overall sound. There are plenty of styles and sub-genres within dance music for Caden Jester to tackle, so be prepared for what might be unexpected next! Add “Serpiente” to your Full Throttle Latin Dance playlist using the Spotify link above.
RYAN SHEPHERD x FITO BLANKO, “Por Qué”
Sometimes in dance music, some unexpectedly wonderful collaborations surface out of the blue. So with “Por Qué”, the pairing is Toronto producer Ryan Shepherd along with Panama-born, Mississauga, Canada-raised and world-renown Latin singer Fito Blanko. If “Despacito” is in your wheelhouse then you may find “Por Qué” equally if not more enjoyable! Ryan takes a well-known bar of classic 80’s house and builds a percussion-oriented synth arrangement around it, to create an idyllic musical setting for a Spanish song (the title means “Why”). Fito’s vocal is fun and dynamic, which will make “Por Qué” a must for Canadian dance clubs, DJ’s, and Latin dance music lovers everywhere. Add “Por Qué” to your Shake It Up dance music playlist using the Spotify link above.
OTTO BOTTÉ featuring ROCHEE, “Rocola De Verano”
I’m not sure what the title of “Rocola De Verano” is supposed to reference, but the debut single by Grammy-nominated Colombia-bred NYC-based producer Otto Botté just sings NYC swingin’ nightlife. It’s a jazzy, effortless slice of Latin-spiced electronica featuring charming and easy-going vocals by NYC-based singer Rochee that totally fits the groove. Otto has had a varied history of both Latin and EDM productions, even working with the likes of Robin Schulz recently, and the influences all come to fruition in “Rocola”. It’s one sophisticated party unto itself, recalling to me the slick and fun of fellow NYC-er August Darnell’s 70’s and 80’s acts Dr. Buzzard’s Original “Savannah” Band and Kid Creole & The Coconuts. “Rocola” nails that vibe – also featuring Grammy-winning trombonist Frank Cohen – and wins big time!
JOHN.k x RICKY REMEDY, “Gold”
Some great late night music always seems to come out of Florida, and you’ll know what I mean when you hear on-the-bubble singer John.k’s voice rise over a crunchy deep house beat in “Gold”. While it starts off sounding like it might be a ballad, this joint effort with noted Latin Grammy-nominated producer Ricky Remedy is a stunner, tight and powerful, and it will get you swaying on the dance floor once the big beats kick in. John.k’s vocal prowess reminds me a lot of Jon Secada (90’s smash “Just Another Day”), and there’s so much going on in Ricky’s production – without making it overly busy – that would make it sound fantastic in a live setting. “Gold” is available for you to hear at the link above.
ANGELICA RAHE, “Pa’lante” (Electric Bodega remix)
Spanish (but L.A.-based) singer Angélica Rahe’s “Pa’lante” has more than enough festive spice to share on its own, but NYC producers Electric Bodega (currently on fire with “Rest Of My Life”) have given it some next-level energy to shake up a dance floor. The song title is the colloquial abbreviation for “para adelante” (or “go ahead” in English), which in dance music terms means strut your stuff and win over your partner 🙂 Angélica’s highly engaging vocal – take that Shakira – is the core of the song but Electric Bodega keep it busy making for both great listening and then reacting on the dance floor. “Pa’lante” is fiery but goes down easy, and Spanish is not required (though it helps). Check it out at the link above.