As the temperature slowly warms up and those passports are being dusted off ready for use this summer, we’d like to take this time to give you that extra motivation to get your summer game in check. Regardless of whether your holiday plans are already in the bag or this is the year of the staycation one thing is for sure – everybody deserves a fresh soundtrack this summer.
Kicking off our countdown, straight in at number five is the UK producer Bontan. Although based in the North West he has managed to bag a few collaborations with Defected Records very own Sonny Fedora, “Reach Out”, “Want to Know” and “Always You” have all been getting a lot of internet love over the last few months.
But it’s the Shiba San remix of the track “Always You” that makes the top 5. Although taking on a definite Two Bears flavour with the vocal on this one, the deep thrum of the bassline is quickly becoming a Shiba San trademark, and as you fight the urge to two step in public – all of a sudden you start to feel as though summer might be on the cards.
In at number four is Liverpool’s own Friend Within, another producer that has made his love of bass well known, his “Raw 808 rhythms, club ready vocal cuts and deeply addictive woozy-synth[s]” made the 2013 remix of “The Renegade” a stand out. March 2015 saw his latest offering hit SoundCloud, taken from his EP entitled The Square, our choice for number four is a track with the same name.
“The Square” is the kind of tune that you’re just dying to hear on a professional sound system, so that you can feel the bass rattle your rib cage in the best way. But, almost inevitably, if you do manage to catch this one being played on a night out, you’ll be less elegant and poised and more mashed and excited. Coordination no longer being an option now, in your head you imagine you’re on form but in reality – you passed that point three hours ago. This one is all about the melody and dappled vocals, hoping to catch the drop after he says “bassline” so everyone can see what you can do on the dancefloor.
On to number three now and it’s another of Defected’s own, this time in the shape of the Dutchman Franky Rizardo, his remix of Got Some’s “Just a Feeling” hit SoundCloud last month. This vibrant two step bassline boasts the kind of arrangement that makes your morning routine come together, as you grow into the beat of this one you know that by the end you’ll be ready to slap down whatever nonsense Monday tries to throw your way. Fully hyped by the time the song hits four minutes you end up almost leaving the house in your slippers.
Into the business end of the list now so it’s only right the music heats up as well. Number two is another offering from the continent, this time brought in by German producer Nils Penner. The vinyl edition of his track entited “I Can Be” was released on January 19 this year with the digital offering following shortly after that on the 26th from the EP of the same name and released on Freerange Recordings.
Penner showcases his masterful vocal sampling, adding depth to this track and creating a definite air of mischief with his choice of sample that might take more than a minute to grasp as you groove to the straight up funk of the arrangement. This intro is a lesson in building anticipation, with top draw mix and blend vocals delicately balanced on this rhythm like a £12 London cocktail.
Finally, we get to the number one track to help you get your summer game in check, and its MNEK’s “More Than A Miracle“. “No stranger to chart success, MNEK co-wrote Oliver Heldens’ UK number 1 single Gecko (and his forthcoming follow-up, Last All Night (Koala)) and crashed into the Top 5 with the deep house majesty of Gorgon City collaboration, Ready For Your Love (which he co-wrote and sang)“.
This one takes pride of place in the number one slot – and not just because he’s from South London – but because on this track MNEK demonstrates the kind of throwback Jodeci vocal that has long been a staple in House tracks. The R&B vibe updated, and complimented by the most out and out rude boy bassline that will have you sweeping shufflers off the dancefloor and laying down your best moves like it was Easter Sunday.
Words by Akua Ofei