Hot summer dance music

Let these tunes help heat up your summer
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Photograph: Will Govus Washed Out
By Joshua P. Ferguson |
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Those slugging it out in the recording industry like to refer to a summer slump, but with cuts like these making DJs’ heavy rotation, it’s anybody’s guess what they’re referring to. From the new wave–leaning house of Benoit & Sergio to Washed Out’s Balearic chill wave, there’s no shortage of new music to fill up iPods and dance floors this season.

Jamie XX “Far Nearer,” NMBRS
When he’s not making beats for indie darlings the xx or producing albums with Gil-Scott Heron (R.I.P.), Jamie XX is churning out pristine post-dubstep, like “Far Nearer,” which twinkles island-style with steel drums, pitched-down vocal samples and a broken-beat shuffle.

Washed Out “Before,” Sub Pop
The criticism is that it’s boring. Ernest Greene’s Washed Out project has a stoner lilt, sure, but the layers of synths here massage like the steady crash of the surf, and his vocals sway to the rhythm like a sea anemone’s tentacles. It’s beachfront chillout, and it’s far from dull.

Tropics “Mouves” (FaltyDL remix), Planet Mu
Another song that conjures images of swaying palm trees and soaring sea birds. The aptly named Tropics gets a boost here from soulful bass-leaning New Yorker FaltyDL, who reins in the track’s free spirit for a dance floor still going strong at sunrise.

Mr. Brazil “I Still Love It (Only You),” LOVES
Disco Unusual Social Club’s Lono Brazil has, sadly, left us for the Big Apple. Thankfully, he’s softened the blow with this hypnotic rework for Fresh Meat’s side label, LOVES. Brazil stretches Trussel’s “I Love It,” capturing the percussive intensity of the cut’s breakdown, teasing us with the soulful boogie for a full 12 minutes.

M.A.N.D.E.A.R. “Buddies,” Get Physical
The dream-team combo you never saw coming, Matthew Dear and M.A.N.D.Y. join forces for a deep-techno anomaly slinking in straight out of left field. Keys squelch, cowbells ring and Dear chants, “Everybody is my buddy, let’s be buddies, everybody.” You can almost hear the studio chums laughing in the background.

Lucky Paul “Thought We Were Alone” (Gadi Mizrahi + Eli Gold remix), Wolf + Lamb
The members of Soul Clap refer to themselves as the Dr. Ruths of dance music. This collabo remix between Soul Clap’s Eli Goldstein and Wolf + Lamb’s Gadi Mizrahi is a case in point. Sexy—in large part thanks to vocals from Milosh—and driving, it’ll have you so enthralled with your dance partner, you won’t care if you’re alone or not.

Benoit & Sergio “Let Me Count the Ways,” Spectral Sound
Swelling with synths, awash in atmospherics and topped with Sergio’s dreamy vocals, Benoit & Sergio’s latest for Ghostly International sister label Spectral Sound has already been touted as an impending Ibiza anthem of 2011. We can’t speak for Ibiza, but we’re inclined to agree with the anthem part.

Drop the Lime “Hot As Hell,” Ultra Music
Fresh off a signing to the biggest dance-music label around, Drop the Lime upends the dance-music formula by throwing screeching harmonica, honky-tonk guitar, slap bass and a floor-shaking thump in the ring together for a rockabilly dance number that, if nothing else, is impossible to ignore.

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