Clubs and dance music are entirely synonymous with good times. I doubt Guetta would shift quite as many singles if he were to lay lyrics about social anxiety and loneliness over his techno party beats, but there remain a load of stellar tracks revolving around these themes that are still sure to make your feet move. Here are five underground cuts that’ll leave the dance floor soaked in tears as well as sweat, or if not quite that, at least make you ask yourself some serious questions as you shuffle up to the speaker.
5. Late – Losing You (2010)
The standout track from Late’s 2010 release “Phantom Papers” would superficially be termed dubstep, but it would be remiss to pigeonhole it as such. It could be argued that the construct of the track is formulaic yet the production of the synth-light two step beat is polished. The vocals keep things simple and tight, only prefaced by a short yet haunting assertion that it’s difficult to keep your mind between the past and the present; the no-man’s-land between what life was and what it is now. But this Burial-esque offering knows exactly where it’s at.
4. Four Tet and Burial – Moth (2009)
Ah, now to the man (Or men) himself. The speculation over whether Burial and Four Tet were one and the same came to a climax when the producers chose to settle the dispute this past week. After years of knocking the issue back and forth and even a Tumblr blog devoted to the subject, the names we can now attribute to this classic are Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Will Bevan (Burial). Away from the speculation as to Burial’s identity, their much-anticipated collaboration “Moth” lived up to its billing and remains perfectly at home bouncing off the walls of any venue.
3. The 2 Bears – Increase Your Faith (2012)
The only track on this list which is entirely self-indulgent, the 2 Bears debut offering was a personal highlight of 2012. The album was warmly received peaking at number 36 in the UK charts but was brought into the conscious of the Hot-Chip-inclined section of the public by tracks such as Bear Hug and Work. Increase Your Faith strikes an altogether more ambient note and whilst it certainly seems out of place on this disco-ain’t-dead offering, the quality of production and thought provoking refrain means this can be forgiven.
2. Deadboy – Wish U Were Here (2011)
Deadboy is a producer that was brought to my attention on what was termed a “Stonebaked Sunday” at Worldheadquarters in Newcastle in May last year. Despite him being a man I knew nothing about, the lead record from his 2011 EP stayed with me long after that night and onto this list as the perfect blend of rib-rattling euphoria and heart-wrenching dejection. It’s quintessentially heartbreak for the dancefloor; an eight minute adventure leaving you with a realisation that even though a club load of people are with you, the one person who matters most is not.
1. Lovebirds – Want You In My Soul (Feat Stee Downes) (2011)
This record was my very own JFK moment. I’ll never be able, to nor want to forget, where I was when I first heard this masterpiece. Sebastian Döring, the man behind Lovebirds, has been critically acclaimed for a while now and it’s easy to see why. This is undoubtedly the most uplifting record on the list and its layered three-minute intro means that the sonic-magnificence of the chorus has an impact which is second to none. Although not quite in-keeping with songs listed above, the outright beauty of the lyrics tug on every last heartstring. It’s a prime example of what can happen when an absurdly-talented house producer remains under the radar and places all his energies into one eight minute marathon of soul. If you do nothing else today, lose yourself in this record for a short while and smile at the world.