The Week’s Best New Dance Songs

This week in dance music: We explored the world of sports and DJing, tagging along with Kaskade at the Super Bowl, talking to Shaquille O’Neil about his electronic output, as well as to Philadelphia Phillies DJ Garrett Stubbs and to 16 NBA DJs. Also, Justice was announced as a 2024 SXSW speaker and we spoke to the creative director of Boiler Room.

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Here also, of course, are the best new dance tracks of the week.

Subtronics, TESSERACT

The bass scene continues its headbanging, rail-riding forward momentum with the release of TESSERACT, the sophomore album from Philadelphia’s Subtronics. The 16-track LP, out via the artists’ own Cyclops Recordings, is loaded with genre regulars — Excision, Grabbitz, HOL! (of “COUNTRY RIDDIM” fame) and REZZ among them — with this latter artist joining the producer born Jesse Kardon for the dark, squelchy, spatial “Black Ice.” Altogether the album has more subdued and sometimes groovy moments, some grime influence other tracks that hit like a two-by-four to the face, demonstrating Kardon’s heavy, heady, frequently psychedelic range.

“Some songs are meant for the dancefloor, some are meant for the car, and some are meant to serenade you to sleep,” he says. “I am trying as best I can to create a fascinating alternative reality with magic and a sci-fi world of energy and feeling.” Subtronics — the only electronic artist to hit Pollstar’s 2023 Top 100 North American Tours chart, at No. 75 — launches his 16-date North American tour tonight in Minneapolis, with two shows at Red Rocks also on the calendar for May.

John Summit & Hayla, “Shiver”

The winning formula this pair forged on their hit “Where You Are” — which showed up on President Obama’s favorite songs of 2023 list — extends to “Shiver,” which features Hayla’s increasingly iconic voice over a cinematic, climax-laden progressive house production from Summit. “Last year, Hayla and I had one of the biggest dance records of the year with ‘Where You Are,”’ he says, “so we knew we had to follow it up, and it was much easier said than done. It took about nine months start to finish to get this record done, but damn it was worth it. This might be my favorite record to date — definitely the most emotion I put behind a song.”

The track is out on Summit’s Experts Only label and comes ahead of his performances at Coachella 2024, where he’ll play solo and with Dom Dolla as Under Construction, along with his sold out Madison Square Garden show in July. Both Summit and Hayla have debut albums coming later this year.

Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man, “Lovers In A Past Life”

Calvin Harris and U.K. singer-songwriter Rag n Bone Man, who scored a hit together with 2019’s “Giant” — re-link for “Lovers In a Past Life.” Recorded at the end of 2023, the song finds Harris meshing a slinky guitar, kickdrum and waves of synth with the husky voice of Rag n Bone Man, who keeps the Valentine’s Day mood alive with lyrics about “slow dancing in the midnight glow.” The track follows announcements that Harris will be a 2024 resident at LIV Las Vegas and LIV Beach inside the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, and will return to Ushauïa in Ibiza for a Friday night residency this season.

Nia Archives, “Silence Is Loud”

U.K. junglist Nia Archives extends a hot streak with “Silence Is Loud,” the title track from her debut album coming this April 12. Weaving classic jungle with rave, indie and Brit-pop, the song is a propulsive and high-impact two-and-a-half minute ode to the producer’s love for her brother, without whom, the lyrics go, “the silence is loud.” The album, out via HIJINXX/Island Records and made with David Byrne and FKA Twigs collaborator Ethan P. Flynn, is meant to function as a complete work rather than a collection of tracks — with Archives pushing the genre forward by, she says, “putting interesting sounds on jungle.”

Francis Mercier & Emmanuel Jal “Hustla”

February isn’t famous for its weather, but Haitian DJ Francis Mercier transports us to the warm beaches of our mind with his latest, “Hustla.” Out on Higher Ground, the Afro-house track has an impeccably laidback vibe, with Mercier creating a steamy, breezy groove and South Sudanese-Canadian singer Emmanuel Jal adding vocals that match the production as speaks of “the heat of Port-au-Prince, to the streets of New York, rocking in the souk of Marrakesh, headed to the hills of Nairobi, on the way to the beaches of Rio.” Even if your weekend plans don’t involve much more than hanging around the house, let this one take you away.

Four Tet, “Daydream Repeat”

It’s a big week for Four Tet, who announced his very own festival — the aptly titled Four Tet & Friends — happening this May 4-5 in Brooklyn. The event will feature producers including Ben UFO, Chloé Robinson, Daphni b2b Floating Points, Salute, Avalon Emerson and multiple sets from Four Tet himself. This news comes in tandem with the producer’s latest, “Daydream Repeat,” which takes the chime sound so essential to the Four Tet oeuvre and places it amongst a propulsive, but also delicate (and even occasionally slightly gritty) six-minute production. The song is the latest single from Four Tet’s twelfth studio album Three, coming March 15.

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