One of my favorite under the radar tracks from 2011 was the Rapture‘s “How Deep Is Your Love“*, which has been on heavy rotation in my dance & run mixes of late. If you are not familiar with the song, you will hear from the opening beats how it is perfectly orchestrated for both the dance floor and/or any sort of repetitive movement. With three decided tempo/mood shifts, the song feels like a self-contained record on to itself concluding with a soul-stirring vocal performance by Luke Jenner and a Mars Volta-esque explosion at song’s end. But, this is a textbook Rapture song composed of Electro-Clash riffs, Acid House rhythms, Drum and Bass beats, and a steady dose of deep old-school Soul/R&B bass. (If the preceding terms don’t register, don’t worry, all that matter is that you dig the song).
Inspired by the Rapture (who are playing at this weekend’s North Coast Festival (Chicago’s Dance/Electronica oriented weekend of music)) and the pervasive volume and influence of synth-laden dance rock in the current musical landscape, I put together the following mixtape: How Deep Is Your Love: an electrodancepunksynth mix.
Without offering too much by way of explaining the “logic” or “organizing principle” behind this mix, I will say that I think all of these songs exist in a similar music universe and/or are in dialogue with each other. Often times the bridge or connection between tracks will be overt but other times there is just a small kernel of influence or “kinship.” What I think is without question about the songs and artists on this playlist is their indebtedness to the aural experimentation and musical fecundity of the 70s that gave rise (or top billing) to punk, dance, minimalism, disco, free-form (or acid) jazz, and the fusion of rock and soul. (For the record, there is wide sample of eras starting with the late 70s all the way to the current day, and is fairly upbeat (read: dance oriented) collection of songs, so avoid heavy machinery and raise the volume.)
But who wants to read more about my rantings and ravings about these songs, just listen to the mix and put on your red shoes…
(As always if you enjoy, please subscribed to the playlist and forward to your friends.)
*Post Script Shout Out to M.S. who brought this under-appreciated song (and album on which it is featured) to my attention. Why did it go unnoticed? Who knows? Perhaps The Rapture are the victims of their own success? Having inspired and paved the way for so many bands, DJs and/or sound composers working in a similar vein, their sound has now become so ubiquitous that maybe they were lost in the shuffle? Well, this listener hasn’t stopped appreciating their work and thinks that you should give The Rapture’s In the Grace of Your Love a second (or first) listen.
over (and over) and out,