This week in dance music: Afrojack signed to Universal Music Group as part of a new dance music venture, Maxim of The Prodigy spoke with us about his NFT drop and his late bandmate Keith Flint, Disco Donnie Presents bought Dallas’ Lights All Night festival, Perry Farrell launched a new dance music label, we shared sets from Qrion and more from NorCal’s Northern Nights 2022, Calvin Harris dropped the tracklist and latest single from his forthcoming album, and, of course, Beyoncé dropped Renaissance.
As one of the biggest release days of the summer so far, there’s also so much more. So let’s dig in.
More from Billboard
Tove Lo, “2 Die 4”
First, a warning that the above video is not entirely suitable for work. (Check the track over on Spotify here if that’s better suited to your current situation.) Now, let’s talk about “2 Die 4” — which is exactly that. Its lush swirl of production builds into a tough, sexy chorus that brings a modern electro-pop shimmer to a lift of Hot Butter’s 1972 classic “Popcorn” and altogether flexes as a triumph of the genre.
“No more teasing!! It’s out!,” the Swedish star wrote upon the song and video’s release. “I wanted to make something nostalgic, sexy and iconic. Thank you Oscar Gorres for bringing this idea to life. The character for this scene is Wonder Woman with big d–k energy and I just love it. Go listen on repeat.” Seriously, try not to. — KATIE BAIN
Zhu, “The Fall”
Did you catch Zhu’s headline set at Lollapalooza? Modern dance music’s reigning moody man took the stage yesterday with more than just his usual goosebump-inducing performance. Not only did he turn the festival into a fashion runway, showcasing looks from his new label Nightday, he also announced a surprise release, Musical Chairs Mixtape Vol. 1, which comes today via Astralwerks. It’s a dark, brooding collection of tunes, seven in total, featuring collaborations with Elderbook, Mr. Carmack, Channel Tres and tons more. We’re highlighting the intro track for its alluring beat and signature Zhu guitar, but there’s a visualizer for the whole darn thing which you should definitely peep. – KAT BEIN
Cerrone & Purple Disco Machine, “Summer Lovin’”
A disco pioneer meets one of the genre’s modern-day flagbearers on new single “Summer Lovin,’” an intergenerational collaboration between Cerrone and Purple Disco Machine. Built upon a sample from French artist Don Ray’s 1978 song “Got to Have Loving” — produced by Cerrone — “Summer Lovin’” sounds like what a DJ would play in a swanky nightclub in outer space, with its galactic arpeggios, cascading strings, lush drums and synths ready to soar with you into the stars. This team-up is the first taste of Cerrone’s forthcoming album Cerrone by Cerrone (out on October 14 via Because Music), which celebrates the dance legend’s 50th anniversary in music with 16 tracks revisiting his greatest works, with help from guest collaborators.
“I have had the privilege of being sampled a lot of times throughout the years, and this track means my music now crosses 5 generations, thanks to the many talented artists and producers that have been a part of my work,” Cerrone says. “I was immediately seduced by Purple Disco Machine’s work as soon as I first heard it. With this collaboration he succeeded once again in helping spread the spirit of disco.”
Adds PDM, “Cerrone is one of my all time musical heroes, so when I wrote to his label to ask to clear a sample from one of his classic productions and they replied, ‘Why don’t we do it as a collaboration?’ it was a no-brainer to say yes! I’ve now been able to spend some time with Marc (Cerrone) and he totally disproves the famous quote about ‘never meet your heroes,’ as he’s a wonderful person as well as a music legend.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
John Summit & Guz Feat. Steve Appleton, “What a Life”
Few artists are having bigger years than John Summit, and that is essentially also the message of the producer’s latest, “What a Life.” A collaboration with Guz and vocalist Steve Appleton, the song — over breezy beats flecked with achingly chill guitar — ponders “what a life, what a time to be free, what a life, what a time to be you…and me.” The song’s video digs deep on this final point with a series of clips of Summit performing and partying at various festivals, clubs and backstage situations throughout the world, demonstrating a young man playing (and drinking) his way through what looks to be an extremely exciting life moment. — K. Bain
Franc Moody, “Raining in LA”
Feeling lost? Find yourself in the absolute funk of this disco-fresh sing-along from London based duo Franc Moody. Not only does this single offer a delicious serving of roller-skate-worthy delight, it also comes paired with a hilarious and nostalgic music video that’s worth replaying as much as the melody itself. “Raining in LA” is the latest tease from the band’s forthcoming album Into the Ether, due out for full release Sept. 2. – K. Bein
RÜFÜS DU SOL, “On My Knees (Adriatique Remix)
The L.A.-based Aussie trio drop their first project since picking up the best dance/electronic recording Grammy this past March, with the Adriatique remix of their 2021 track “On My Knees.” Under the very capable hands of the Swiss duo (who are current CircoLoco residents over in Ibiza), the original expands by a full three minutes, getting a long, sexy simmer of a build before swelling and breaking like a wave, with vocalist Tyrone Lvinquist’s vocals intermittently dispersed throughout the production. It is, as the kids say, a vibe.
This edit is also the first from RÜFÜS’ forthcoming Surrender Remixes, a total rework of their fourth studio album, which will feature edits from Dom Dolla, Vintage Culture, Inellea, Solomun and more. The remix album is set for release this August 12, via the group’s own Rose Ave imprint and Reprise/Warner Records, and the group is on tour in Europe through the end of August. — K. Bain
The last time we heard from Obskür, the young Irish duo had released their newest single “In the Dark,” featuring fellow up-and-comer Bklava — a moody collab which felt suited to February’s chilly haze. Since then, it’s evident that the boys are warmed up and ready to party with their latest tune for FFRR, “Twister.” A blast of summery tech house built for open-air festivals and Ibiza superclubs, “Twister” pairs a catchy, beaming marimba melody with cutting hi-hats and a hefty bassline all culminating in a whirlwind peaktime build worthy of its name.
“We definitely had making a fun summer track in mind,” Obskür writes. “Something that would be a good listen on a day-to-day basis, whilst also being a strong hitter in a packed out festival tent… This one is definitely made for the good weather, hence the name ‘Twister.'” — K.R.
Bob Sinclair x A-Trak, “Deep Inside Of Me”
Release the beast and head into your weekend with this funkadelic house groove from two absolute legends. Parisian master Bob Sinclair synced with Canada’s forever champion A-Trak, and the result is a club-ready heater that sounds like sweat dripping from exposed limbs on the dance floor. – K. Bein
Anna Lunoe, Saturday Love EP
After announcing her new EP last month with her single “Like Me”, Anna Lunoe has finally released Saturday Love on Nina Las Vegas’ NLV Records. The five-track collection is a brilliant showcase of the Aussie artist’s many takes on house, from the sugar-rushed giddiness of “Alright” to the deeper, warpier strains of “Peach House” featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
Arriving this week with the latter song is the EP’s title track. Over Lunoe’s production — a brisk rhythm built on bouncy pads, jacking percussion and swelling synth-string ambiance — Chicago rapper Lulu Be. delivers smooth bars with a coolness that masks her feelings of fondness: “Come through boo you got the addy/ We can get rowdy,” she suggests, before later concluding, “You just my Saturday love and I lowkey don’t wanna stop it… If I closed my eyes and I made a wish, I’d hope that everything could turn out just like this.” “Saturday Love” is hip-house big enough for festival stages, yet intimate enough to make your crush blush.
“this is work i’m proud of for lots of reasons. made surrounded w ppl who bring out the best in me ~ i’m 15 years in the game this year & respectfully, this is my best effort so far,” writes Lunoe on Instagram. “i hope it reminds u how alive & rowdy u can be, and that ur best is still to come too.” — K.R.
Fred Again x Swedish House Mafia feat. Future, “Turn On The Lights Again”
After teasing the track last week, Fred Again.. today delivers his Swedish House Mafia collab, a sinewy, hypnotic heater born of a spontaneous session between the U.K. producer and the Swedes in Stockholm. Future plays heavily in the track, with Fred ripping the rapper enthusiastically directing listeners to “turn on the lights” (from Future’s track of the same name) and laying that sentiment over a simultaneously haunting/driving production honed between the two camps after passing the track back and forth over the internet. Fred Again.. launches a 16-date U.S. tour this September, while Swedish House Mafia’s much-anticipated Paradise Again run starts tonight in Miami. — K. Bain