High-energy club tracks from the Hessle Audio camp.
Pangaea - Cuba Vox
Of all the forgotten styles that Kevin McAuley, the producer better known as Pangaea, could revisit on Cuba Vox, few would have predicted '90s-style, percussive techno. But that's what we get on "You Know What's Up," the loopy groover that sits on the B-side of his new EP. It's the kind of snake-charming weapon you might hear deep into an afterhours soundtracked by Raresh, best deployed when the bar is empty and the dance floor is packed. And like the top tool-style tunes, "You Know What's Up" is deceptively crafty and full of subtle twists—listen to how the melody and open hi-hat creep in during the central breakdown, or how the percussion scatters across the stereo spectrum. McAuley spoke a few years ago about wanting to make interesting techno tools. He cracked the code on "You Know What's Up," finding the sweet spot between groove and flair.
That leaves "Cuba Vox," a track that has appeared in several high-profile DJ sets this year. With a rumbling low-end and a familiar disco vocal, it's the more obvious party track, the intensity peaking with a woosh of white noise percussion midway through. Combined with the vocals, the sounds are a little goofy, but that's probably the point. This is a high-energy party track for rowdy dance floors, much like Two Mixes from last year, which repurposed vocals from pop classics. Again, there's an impressive range of sounds, which makes "Cuba Vox" ripe for big-time DJ sets. Subtler DJs could stick with the B-side.