Electric Feels: Your Electronic Music Recap feat. SLUMBERJACK, Cassian, Jessie Ware + more
The best of electronic music in the last week, also including Set Mo and New Zealand star-in-the-making BAYNK.
The world's electronic music scene moves quickly. Every week, we're treated to a horde of different singles, remixes, albums and more from the genre's vast sub-genre umbrella and often, it's hard to keep up. Here's where we try to bring you up to speed, covering five of our favourite electronic releases from the week just gone. Follow the column's official playlist below (or HERE), or check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news.
SLUMBERJACK & Machine Age - Daggers
It's been a while between drinks for our SLUMBERJACK crew, but that just makes their return go down so much easier. They've spent much of this year away from the limelight, following up their 2017 Fracture EP with a bunch of huge tours, shows and festivals both here and abroad (they're currently making a killing over in the US, which just makes us proud as punch), spending much of their 2018 deep in the studio (or as it turns out, Borneo) working away on what's next. Now, we know exactly what this 'next thing' is; an EP titled SARAWAK that is set to drop sometime soon. The EP is previewed with a great new collaboration with Australian rising star Machine Age, which pairs SLUMBERJACK's trademark crunch with an unexpectedly great guitar melody and Machine Age's bright vocals, which both add this raw and organic touch onto SLUMBERJACK's typically quite electronic production. "It’s been a long time since we released fully original SLUMBERJACK music and the reason is that we’ve honestly been feeling pretty lacklustre in the inspiration department," says Fletcher (one-half of SLUMBERJACK) on the track. "There’s been a lot of touring in the last year, all over the globe, and it’s been unbelievably incredible, but it’s left us feeling digitally isolated and has strangled creativity. This cycle desperately needed to be broken, so we decided to travel… again. But this was different – we went somewhere that was very familiar to Morgan and extremely foreign to me [Sarawak, Borneo]. Somewhere we could spend time living fully in the present, experiencing the natural beauty of the rainforest and sampling the unique sounds of the jungles, caves and traditional instruments we came across."
Cassian - Lafayette
If you think it's been a while since you heard from SLUMBERJACK, how about Cassian? The ex-Sydney house king has only released a standalone single - Know U Well - and a handful of remixes since 2015, spending much of the time relocating to the US and working alongside names such as RÜFÜS DU SOL as a songwriter, producer and mixing engineer - which ties in nicely to the announcement that he's actually the first signing to RÜFÜS DU SOL's new record label venture, Rose Avenue. He does so with Lafayette, the first single from a "raw, analog-driven" debut LP expected on the label that is set to showcase his production versatility and skill set when it arrives soon. Lafayette, in the meantime, is a stomper, uniting Cassian's signature tech-house groove with punchy injections of synth and a thick percussive section that gives the single a bit of an extra push. It's a track that's been teased for a while - popping up in his DJ sets and in DJ sets by names like Dena Amy and his label leaders - but hearing it in its full, spiralling glory is a journey worth taking. "In April 2016, I was on tour with RÜFÜS DU SOL in the USA," says Cassian on the single. "We are all jammed into a van on our way to Knoxville from Chicago. I was sitting in the front seat when this melody just popped into my head and started going round & round & round. I quickly whipped out my laptop to transcribe it into Ableton and about 20 minutes later after laying down some simple drums & a few other sounds to accompany the main melody, I thought to myself, I need to save this NOW. I looked up and my attention was drawn to a street sign which read... Lafayette."
Jessie Ware - Overtime
Over the past few years, the UK's Jessie Ware has proved her place as one of the world's most versatile singer-songwriters, taking on a horde of different sounds and genres through her own work and collaborations with names such SBTRKT, Miguel, Disclosure, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran and a whole heap more. The general gist though is that she has a killer vocal that suits any production or genre, something her latest single Overtime only further demonstrates with a blazing success. Enlisting the iconic Bicep pairing and James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco, Overtime is a thumping return from Ware that unites her soulful vocal with a thick house production rich with bulging synth work, which is given a bit of a nostalgic edge thanks to it acidic, 90s-esque UK dance breakdowns. "Overtime is a taste of what’s to come. It’s been really fun being back in the studio and I’m so excited to share this track," she says on the single. "I worked on it with some of my favourite producers; James Ford & the guys of Bicep. It feels like I’m going back to my early days; it’s a late night song to flirt too. Whilst I carry on working on new music, I hope you really enjoy this one."
Set Mo - Stuck
In case you've been under a rock recently, the Set Mo pairing have unleashed a heap of new music over 2018, releasing a single a month as they climb the Australian house music ladder with a consistent run of great tracks. Their latest, Stuck, is a throwback to their summery house sound that saw them initially blow up, uniting this catchy, sun-soaked vocal with a synthy production and some slick bass work by the bass king Touch Sensitive for a track that is packed full of great feels. "Stuck was written last year in London. We’d forgotten just how prevalent house music is in the UK until we arrived and were pleasantly reminded of this everywhere we went, from cafes to nightclubs and the Ubers in between," says the duo on the track, which arrives in the midst of their Stamina Sessions tour - deets and tickets HERE. "So when we jumped in the studio at Tileyards (where we'd written White Dress 3 years earlier) we had no choice but to lay down a house groove. Drawing on the classic sounds of our earliest electronic inspirations, some of whom even have studios at Tileyards themselves i.e.The Prodigy and Basement Jaxx, we quickly crafted the framework of Stuck and laid down the vocals all in time for a cheeky pint at lunch."
BAYNK - Settle feat. Sinéad Harnett
New Zealand producer/songwriter BAYNK has quickly become one of our favourites, with his chiming, groove-filled productions quickly finding a place among our most-repeated (and not just us, but everywhere - last time we checked, he was the fourth most streamed artist out of NZ). Following on from his double A-side Be In Love/Years earlier this year, he's just returned with Settle, another groover of a single featuring UK vocalist Sinéad Harnett. It's another sizzling display of BAYNK's masterful pop-centric electronic sound, teasing his forthcoming new EP with a brilliantly put-together combination of Harnett's soaring vocal and his own floating vocal which does everything it can to further elevate those accessible vocals. "The first day I met BAYNK was the day we wrote Settle," says Harnett on the track. "As soon as I walked into the room I felt like he was family. I always enjoy those writing sessions the most because you feel comfortable enough to open up. The story behind the song was based on the in between before you’re with someone and after you’ve started seeing each other. That dreaded unknown and the confession that you do want it to move forward."