Roundup, February # 2 – The Playground


From scuzzy bubblegum pop to drum’n’bass from a techno superstar, we roundup our favorite releases of the week. In no particular order:

Caroline Polachek – Billions

On her new single, alt-pop star Caroline Polachek delivers a rapturous, sensual, and romantic slow-burner that’s more witchcraft than love song. Recalling Pagan Poetry era Björk, Polachek delivers more of her eccentric vocal hooks (who can resist that strange, rushed incantation of the line “say something to me?”). Drenched in allure and simmering 90’s trip-hop beats, Billions is a magical and ethereal take that continues Polachek’s journey into alt-pop’s fairytale realms, and her penchant for mashing Y2k and pagan aestheitcs. Download it here.


Aquarian- Death, Taxes & Hanger

Probably unsurprisingly, drum & bass is poised to make a comeback. Following in the breaks of its cousin UKG, which has been growing in popularity, the form seems to be gaining momentum with many considering its dismissal (fuelled by the rejection of dubstep) as unfair in retrospect. Berlin’s Aquarian, who pulls from a myriad of styles for his propulsive and unrelenting body music, seems to agree that it’s time for drum’n’bass to be reconsidered. The first single off his upcoming EP of the same name (and possibly his most significant release to date), Death, Taxes & Hanger is drum’n’bass made like techno. Massive, breakneck, and with a bassline designed to astound, Aquarian looks to show us just how impactful drum’n’bass can be if used to its full potential.


Bree Runway – Pressure

The rising queen of left-field hip-hop, Bree Runway follows in the lineage of acts like Azelia Banks and Missy Elliot in delivering attitude-soaked bars over fire dance beats. On her latest single Pressure, Runway rides the current kuduro wave rapping lines like “shine like VV, bad like RiRi ”and“ make ‘em gag when i step in the room” over humid and sweaty afrobeats. It’s groovy, sexy, and totally badass. We live. Download it here.


Kim Petras – Slut Pop

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On possibly the horniest pop EP in recent memory, Kim Petras applies the Cupcakke formula to her bubblegum techno. The result is seven dirty, gloriously raunchy tracks covering everything from Petras’s apparent lack of a gag reflex to how boys from London to Dubai are lusting over her coconuts. They Wanna Fuck is a filthy, ridiculously fun slice of dance pop while Superpower Bitch is a propulsive techno banger about making boys get hard. Throat Goat gets bonus points for the gurgle sounds and this gem of a line: “this throat? Lady Gaga. Boys say? Hallelujah! ” Audacious, subversive and kitsch to the max, Slut Pop is the sort of vapid nonsense that’s been missing in the pop sphere of late, and a welcome return to exploring matters of desire on the dancefloor. Listen here.


Santé and Re.You feat. Human Life – Perfect Place

Teaming up with Human LifeGerman brother duo Santé and Re.You deliver another emotive and gorgeously detailed slice of tech-house. Human Life’s powerful vocal delivery recalls alt-rock power ballads, juxtaposed with the duo’s laser sharp tech production. Sizzling basslines and buzzing machine sounds create a textured soundscape, accented with plucked guitar chords against a careful house beat. The third single from their upcoming album, due in April on the duo’s label LSF21 +, Perfect Place is another look into what promises to be a stunningly realized body of work. Download it here.






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