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Electric Independence

My friend Greg is getting married and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Tour De Traum

Dijf Sanders


Junior Boys

Kenny Larkin

My friend Greg is getting married and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen. I like going out with him and his future bride because I know that underneath all the hugs and kisses, he's scared shitless. He's happy to say hello to a new life with his fiancée, but he's also really, really scared to say goodbye to his old life (mostly the part where he can fuck anything he wants). I know he'll get over that once he has awkward get-it-while-you-can sex with a stripper at his stag party, so whatever. Also, I get to be the DJ at their wedding, and that will rule. Here are a couple of new releases that might fit into my nuptial set. So the party's over for dance music. Bummer, dudes. But is it really? Digital downloading and file-sharing have crushed sales, that's true in every genre. Clubs everywhere are supposedly suffering poor attendances, but that's bullshit—people will always love to dance and take drugs and most places I've been this year have been busy as ever. Maybe rock's continuing rude health has made joining a band and gig-going a far sexier proposition than messing around at home on a laptop. Unquestionably the credibility bubble burst in this country yonks ago for Seb Fontaine-fronted corporate clubbing—even vile stadium dance types Faithless, for most the wizened face of commercial rave, are back like zombies from Dawn Of The Dead with a knackered punk-funk "direction" (shudder). These dinosaurs headlined We Love Homelands the other weekend, too, a shoddy excuse for a dance festival, long past its sell-by date. How is it that events such as Montreal's MUTEK, Barcelona's Sónar, and the DEMF in Detroit can afford to take risks assembling comparatively radical line-ups yet the UK's most high-profile outdoor party offers stillborn morons like the Scissor Sisters and The Music? Such a wasted opportunity. But you have to be pretty fucking naïve to think it's a bad time for electronic music (unless you work in the industry)—there's so much amazing stuff being produced that it's a pleasure just trying to keep track of it all. Like what? How about the new Fabric mix album, the fifteenth, two CDs of delirious Continental electronix shape-shifted by the London club's resident Tyrant, Craig Richards? This is their most interesting release since Michael Mayer's benchmark session last November and finds Richards successfully experimenting with tracks you suspect he was turned on to by dextrous Berlin wizard Ricardo Villalobos, who joins him at the club every three months for unmissable night-long disco-tech orgies. Richards nimbly weaves a groove-based, gently psychedelic spell, dipping into clicky melodic cuts from Luciano & Quenum, Mirwais Sanguin, Pantytec, Ada, D.I.E, Joakim and scores more, casting his net far wider than you'd expect from this former prog-house champion. Sometimes you wish he'd go nuts like Ricardo, but he's too disciplined. His is a cautious, agreeably textured after-hours selection, peppered with offerings from impeccable boutique labels like Trapez, Bruchstuecke, Perlon and Phictiv, so nonchalantly cosmopolitan you can't quite believe an English guy mixed it. Traum is another of those hip German boutique labels, like Trapez, Perlon and Areal, that often has a dedicated section in over-stocked record shops. No-one really needs more than, say, three Traum 12-inches in their life, so buy this label round-up CD, Tour De Traum, imaginatively mixed and retouched by minimalist master Thomas Brinkmann, and you're pretty much up to scratch with the Cologne label's output, a tantalising blend of micro-house, pop ambient and dusty dub. Invited to interpret the catalogue as he wished, Brinkmann teases and nudges these excellent Traum trax, intertwining Miss Dinky with Philippe Cam, unfurling Process over the delightful Off Pop, fashioning a sleepily harmonious, seductive hour of precision-purrs and percolated sighs. A truly lovely album. I've longed for Dijf (pronounced Dife) Sanders' debut LP since last summer, when the Dutch DUB label released the eccentric Antwerp minstrel's first 12-inch, and it's as fine a debut as you could possibly hope for. Sanders is a classically trained musician who lives alone with two cats, a piano and no internet connection, blissfully ignorant of what's cool and what ain't, and on Mating Season has effortlessly fused conventional songwriting and assured musicianship with unorthodox production techniques and arrangements to craft a remarkable collection of curdled acoustic lullabies that sound utterly unique. Modest and honest, Sanders' deceptively simple music at times evokes a discreet dalliance between Air and Squarepusher, at others a delicate freestyle found-sound pop voyage. I mean, if Radio 2 gets hold of "Contradict People" it could make the Top Ten. Troubled Canadian duo (trio? It's hard to know who's left and who hasn't) Junior Boys are another act whose superb debut album deserves to be heard by everyone. Bloggers have been creaming themselves about this stylish synth-pop outfit for a year – the JBs' sparklingly elegant MOR narco-disco has been analysed to death online by critics with too much spare time, who reminisce misty-eyed about Talk Talk and Hall & Oates when they hear "Birthday" and "Bellona"—and sure enough, Last Exit (KIN) is a perfect encapsulation of the Boys' fairytale ascent: a dreamy suite of bruise-tender electro and quicksilver soul. That said, I've had the album since February and haven't felt the need to play it since March. Jeremy Greenspan's sentimental lyrics and wet delivery leave me a little cold and the whole record's kind of like Depeche Mode without the sweaty machismo or drug problems. But I'll always find time for "Under The Sun" and word is their new material's even better. On a vintage Detroit techno tip, Carl Craig's first releases on his Planet E label, "4 Jazz Funk Classics" and "Sound On Sound", have just been repressed for the first time and they're (still) totally, beautifully bananas—"Ladies & Gentlemen" and the Visage-sampling "Frequency Finale" sound as addled and awe-inspiring today as they surely did back then. At the time, these must have seemed like the most exciting records ever made. And Craig's D-town contemporary Kenny Larkin returns after a six-year break with The Narcissist for Peacefrog, a playful, romantic album all about the man in the mirror, boasting the funniest techno sleeve credit ever: "First of all, I'd like to thank me. Because, without me, this wouldn't be possible. Am I right, or am I right?" (Seriously, that's side-splittingly hilarious for techno). Larkin's lush, wonky electronic soul and dodgy faux-French accent make this worth checking. On Thursday, July 8, VICE's Cocadisco night is thrilled to announce a special disco-ish set from the one and only Ceephax Acid Crew (a.k.a. cherubic Chelmsford 303 king Andy Jenkinson), whose Exidy Tours album is already a mind-melting solid gold classic. This'll be insane so get down to The Social (5 Little Portland Street, London W1; Oxford Circus tube), from 7p.m.—late. Free.