First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Tiesto, Dusky, Pennywild & More

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Another week, another weekend well on its way. You know what that means—time to dance!

It was an eventful week in the electronic music world. Galantis remixed Coldplay and BTS, foundational legends Kraftwerk announced a new 3D tour of North America, and we found time to sit down with both Solomun and Cerrone for 20 questions each.

Now it’s time to dig into the best new tracks of the week.

Dusky, “Soundcheck” Feat. Rainy Milo

Close your eyes and imagine a romantic time, before smartphones and social media, before sync buttons and thumbdrives, when a warehouse full of smoke and lasers was all someone needed to find bliss in a rowdy crowd. Dusky’s new album Joy taps into the classic rave mindset for a spectacular journey into the scene’s not-so-distant past. Taking inspiration from Chicago house and Detroit techno, Belgian bops and electro breakbeats, the UK duo drops a feel-good heater. It’s not jump-in-your-face music, but it will keep you grooving from start to finish. Previous singles “Hildegard” and “E-Dawn” got the party started, but we’re highlighting opening track “Soundcheck” with Rainy Milo to encourage you to dive into this project from page one. — KAT BEIN

HAAi, “Keep On Believing”

On the heels of her previous single “The Sun Made for a Soft Landing” — her first original release since last year’s Put Your Head Above the Parakeets EP — Australian producer HAAi has shared its companion track, “Keep On Believing.” Whereas “The Sun Made for a Soft Landing” is an electronica exploration rendered in muted tones, “Keep On Believing” is bright, extroverted techno that pounds while it embraces. Beaming synths and whimsical arpeggios welcome listeners with open arms, but the track soon dips into head-down territory with rolling and slinking percussion. Its joyful essence is captured in the above music video, a dizzying display of color and light. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Shadient, “Sympathy Coil” Feat. Fknsyd

Chaos gives way to beauty, isolation gives way to unity, and UK producer Shadient’s ever-present feelings of otherness give way to a dark and alluring story on debut LP Have You No Burden. Posed as a question to those smiling faces on social media “living their best life,” the album is a 13-track exploration of misanthropic moods met with industrial-rock edge. “Sympathy Coil” is an especially sweet track that plays with all this light and heavy dichotomy, boosted by the haunting vocals of experimentalist favorite Fknsyd. The pair teams up on three songs from this LP, which is out now on Nghtmre and Slander’s Gud Vibrations album. — K. Bein

Pennywild, “Sweatbox” 

If you’re hesitant about going out but still have FOMO watching your friends’ social posts from the club, listening to Pennywild’s Night People EP offers the best of both worlds. The L.A.-based producer, DJ and choreographer’s latest is more than a collection of house tracks calling you to the dance floor  — it’s an audio scrapbook of a night out, spliced together by candid vocal samples from friends. Closer “Sweatbox” with Dances With White Girls is as groovy as it is funny and nostalgic. Pillowy pads and a grinding bassline place listeners at the afterhours, where the drinks are flowing and everything is coated in sweat. While Pennywild and Dances drop smooth verses, other vocal gems abound in the snippets of conversation you’ve overheard (and probably had) at 6 AM: “I was supposed to be home two hours ago.” “Where are your shoes?” “Wait… where the hell is my phone?” Good times, indeed. — K.R.

Oblvyn, “Shift”

Are you awake, or are you dreaming? Canadian producer Oblvyn can never really be sure. She lives a waking dream when crafting her thoughtful tunes, and her debut EP Dream Theory explores the bleeding edge of sonic sentience with skill and poise. 

Dream Theory is an introspective journey through the subconscious mind, its strange quirks, and curious phenomena,” Oblvyn says. “It’s a small glimpse into my universe through dreams I’ve had from childhood until now and features themes that are commonly experienced among most dreamers. Concepts include surrealism, time perception, scene changes and lucid dreaming. A small, furry sidekick makes his debut appearance in ‘Nibbler’s Lullaby,’ which is a short melodic theme heard throughout the EP.” 

Definitely give that little nocturn pal a spin, but we’re highlighting “Shift” for its glitched-out fun. The whole EP, out today on Monstercat, is a fun listen. — K. Bein

Tiësto & Ava Max, “The Motto” 

“Work Hard, Play Hard,” the lifestyle mantra turned into a 2011 hit of the same name for Tiësto, gets a 2021 update in the form of the producer’s latest single “The Motto” with pop star Ava Max. Boosted by bold, thumping production, “The Motto” is encouragement to treat yourself by spending money and popping bottles. As Ava Max reasons: “We’ve been up all damn summer / Making that bread and butter.” “The Motto” is Tiësto’s third single from his forthcoming album on Atlantic Records; it also continues a string of high-profile collaborations, following teamups with Ty Dolla $ign (“The Business Part II”) and Karol G (“Don’t Be Shy”). — K.R.

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