This week on campus has been particularly hard on all of us, given that this week we lost one of our own. But one thing I have learned throughout my life is that even in the times when we are feeling the most downtrodden, music has a healing ability which can allow us to either make sense of tragedy or escape from it temporarily. I personally am having trouble making sense of this tragedy, so for this week, let’s be lifted by some peppy dance tracks for a short time.
- A.G. Cook ft. Hannah Diamond — “Drop FM”
This week, the mastermind behind the elusive yet critically-acclaimed P.C. Music label, A.G. Cook, teamed up with vocalist and label-mate Hannah Diamond on the vivacious, hyperactive tune “Drop FM.” As with his previous singles (namely the immaculately produced “Beautiful,” which you should definitely listen to if you have the time), Cook pulls sounds from a variety of pop and electronic genres: American pop, J-Pop, K-Pop, trance, dubstep, chiptune, you name it. But the result I believe is best described as a musical Rube-Goldberg contraption, where the energy and intensity created by one part of the song is used to propel it towards the next part. Pitch-shifted vocal samples from Diamond being snarky and cutesy with some unnamed love interest are interwoven with punchy, bouncy, zingy synthesizers crafting a track that sounds so unlike anything else in the music world right now. The minds of P.C. Music are innovating dance music, taking it somewhere stratospheric.
- Madeon ft. Passion Pit — “Pay No Mind”
I was first turned on to then-adolescent French-dance-wunderkind Madeon in 2012 by a friend, and quickly fell in love with his first official single “Icarus,” which was one of my 10 favorite songs of 2012. Madeon, now a few years into adulthood, after playing at huge gigs like Coachella and producing some of the better songs on Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP,” is preparing the release of his debut album “Adventure.” The second single from that album, “Pay No Mind,” featuring the effortlessly effervescent vocals from Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, sees Madeon continuing to develop his more funky approach to EDM. Synth riffs climb and jump as the song progresses, and Angelakos’ voice flutters ebulliently with them seemingly as though they are on an adventure. During the breakdown of the song, Angelakos’ voice becomes an auto-tuned drabble, contorting itself over some subtly hazy production, reminding me of one of my favorite Skrillex songs, “With You, Friends (Long Drive).” This song is an interesting, focused addition to Madeon’s discography, and leaves me excited for his album!
- Giorgio Moroder ft. Kylie Minogue- “Right Here Right Now”
A disco legend collaborating with a pop icon on the first single from his first album in 30 years? Absolutely. Giorgio Moroder, an Italian disco pioneer who produced some of Donna Summer’s hugest hits back in the 70s, made a comeback in 2013 by guest-producing and being featured on a song which used his name, “Giorgio by Moroder,” from Daft Punk’s comeback album of sorts, “Random Access Memories.” Now, Moroder is ready to put his stamp on 2010s dance music, combining some of the old tricks he helped establish to the new trends in dance music today with his upcoming album “74 Is the New 24.” “Right Here Right Now” features a throbbing, pulsating and grimy production over a characteristic four-on-the-floor beat, paired with Kylie Minogue’s nimble vocals. I feel that this ode to living in the moment is very fitting for this week here at Witt. Moroder proves that it’s not too late to change things up and give your life a new rhythm if you’re not feeling whatever you’ve got going on right now. Change things up. Take risks. Don’t let your past or present prevent you from spicing up your future. The result can be breathtaking.