The Playlist: electronic

Hear the latest from Night Slugs' Bok Bok, the urgent sounds of Air Max 97, and MGUN, one of the best of Detroit's current dance crop

Air Max 97 – Progress and Memory (Neana remix)

The influence of juke, ghetto house's coiled yet funky mutation, continues to eke its way across the world – even as far as Melbourne where Air Max 97 resides. The style's rumble-strip bass judders underneath his track Progress and Memory. This remix from Neana takes it back round the globe to Chicago, with juke's relentless snares scampering with demonic industry in perfect 4/4 time. A two-note melody is pure urgency, like the theme to an emergency services TV drama starring DJ Earl as a maverick surgeon. With the new album from scene originator Traxman taking juke to previously unthinkable new heights of glorious, pointillist weirdness, the rest of the world is still catching up – but making some dancefloor bombs in the process.

Darq E Freaker – Minger

Even higher on the hectic scale is this completely huge new production from grime producer Darq E Freaker, best known for his work with Danny Brown – a thick, lurching headswim of a sound. Minger starts out like some UOENO-esque melancholic rap track before deciding, no, it's not going to sit around the house in its jogging bottoms but rather get turnt up to ridiculous levels. Cue rapid-fire synths and a crushing beat, in a perfect scaling of TNGHT's already kaiju-sized productions. Expect many, many remix verses being rapped on top of this: it's what Wacka Flocka Flame should have chosen instead of his terrible Steve Aoki banger.

Bok Bok – Your Charismatic Self

If you condensed the notes in the new mini-album from Bok Bok into Minger's density, you'd be left with about a track and a half's worth of material. Like an expert Jenga player, he removes elements until his work almost falls apart, but ends up with improbably elegant structures. The beautiful single Melba's Call, featuring Guardian favourite Kelela, has been around for a while: it might have been nice to have some more top lines on the rest, but the spacious funk is still richly rewarding on its own. Second track Howard splutters chimes like an incurable romantic fumbling his wedding speech, while Funkiest and Da Foxtrot tip their hats fondly at dubstep bass and UK garage respectively. It's a long way from the neo-acid bounce of his (still excellent) earlier work, and on his current arc he'll quickly end up as some austere conservatoire minimalist – but it's unlikely.

MGUN – Wideye

MGUN is one of the best of Detroit's current dance crop, and is keeping up an impressive release rate. His If You're Reading This EP last year offset some tame acid retreads with enjoyably punkish house, while the follow-up, Some Tracks, slayed our ears: it was the kind of thing Autechre make when they look up from their Haynes manuals, with seething minimal techno wed to pretty and delicate detailing. This year's Resin went further still, on bonkers hardcore, sturdy electroclash and yet more analogue 4/4, and now he's set to drop yet another 12”. Wideye is the best of the new bunch, and uses MGUN's strongest weapon: a dumb thud that hits so hard that smaller beats seem to fall off and patter around it. Murmuring synths waft through the chirruping in the foreground, leading you to more layers on every listen.

M Geddes Gengras – Passage

You may know Los Angeleno knob-twiddler Gengras from his album with Sun Araw and the Congos from a couple of years back. He and Mr Araw (aka Cameron Stallones) are US hipsters; the Congos are a group of geriatric Rastas. The potential for it to have been a well-meaning but unlistenable gap year jolly stuffed with windchimes was high, but it turned out to be a beautiful fusion of US psych with Jamaican skank. Now he's got a solo record coming out, and judging by this track it's the kind of new-age whalesong ambience that is finally being rescued from critical snobbery (check out the wonderful I Am The Center compilation for more electronic patchouli moods). Here, beatless sheets of placid synth wash across the track, irrigating its Japanese garden calm – Gengras has called it a reaction to the deaths of two people close to him, “a sort of offering of something peaceful but at the same time respectful of the conflict and dissonance of life, with movement always in the distance.”


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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