by Matthew Herbert
For any other dance-identified producer who sang and played all the instruments on their new album, it'd be business as usual. For Matthew Herbert, it's a shock, because he's finally moving beyond well-publicized, rigid strictures—from conceptual sample technician supreme to a singer-songwriter, more or less. This track, which topped London webzine FACT's favorite tracks of April (others follow), is heavy with the flavor of '70s Robert Wyatt and Brian Eno. Herbert sounds like he's learned his limits as an artist and is testing them, both at once.
by Girl Unit
"Mix 2010," an hour of bass-driven mayhem this London DJ/producer, a dude, uploaded in March, already sounds like a right-here-and-now marker; remarkably, so does this, his first 12-inch. "I.R.L." harks back to mid-'00s grime—cold hand claps, dying-breath synths, sudden bass drops—welded to a hardy house frame. DVA's remix takes it further toward industrial; French Fries' take reduces it to a fading rave riff and chunky Burundi drums.
by Hot Chip
Hearing this away from the album really enhances it. It takes on its own weight, its own space; the slashing Pet Shop Boys (via Chic) strings go skyward, the falsetto vocals gain in passion, and when it's finished, its drama can seem to merge into its surroundings, wherever or whatever they are.
Basically a Basic Channel–style dub-house track, only along with the layers of ricocheting keyboards and miscellaneous-icicle atmosphere, what gets caught under the mist is a diva wail. Thanks also to a beat that's more bumpin', Chicago-style, than clacking, Berlin-style, you get a nearly pure DJ track that's so elastic you can play it like a song.
by Space Dimension Controller
So many of the better new producers are so young—not as unheard of in dance music as in all of pop, but still. Jack Hamill of Belfast is only 19, and on these five tracks he exhibits a veteran's skill—along with the bright-eyed exuberance you'd hope for from someone his age. Journey is basically late-breaking Detroit techno with heavy touches of Scandinavian frost-house and—the great uniter—dubstep. For extra points, one of those tracks is a remix from another 19-year-old, Detroit wunderkind Kyle Hall.