Your soundtrack to those impending balmy evenings, sorted
Words Martin Solveig
Introduction Marianna Manson
French DJ and producer Martin Solveig has been a beacon of the dance world for close to 20 years. After releasing his debut studio album, Sur la Terre, in 2002, the Parisian talent – who cut his teeth on the decks of clubs like Le Palace when he was just 18 – rose through the musical ranks alongside peers Bob Sinclair, Dimitri from Paris and DJ Gregory, and has gone on to produce records for the likes of Madonna (on her 2011 MDNA album) and Kele of Bloc Party. Solveig’s marathon ten-year residency at Pacha Ibiza has kept him in touch with the burgeoning talent coming out of the White Isle, but don’t be fooled, he’s not just about the party – this is a man who is as at home directing his own music videos as he is curating the mood on the dancefloor.
Here the dance heavyweight curates his quintessential summer tracks, from Duke Dumont’s Caribbean-tinged steel drums to Romy’s hazy, mellow vocals on Jamie xx’s ‘Loud Spaces’. Just try and listen through this without getting excited for beer gardens and BBQs in the park…
LISTEN IN FULL
TRACK BY TRACK
You won’t believe this track was released 21 years ago as its production (by Lem Springsteen and John Ciafone) and Nate’s voice are just timeless. The opening guitar alone is an invitation to summer adventures. There has been nothing but joy and happiness everywhere I played it.
2. Sun is Back
A beauty, no more no less. I remember having been struck by Julien’s incredible drum programming, it’s so syncopated and groovy. The main strings sample adds an extra positive and magical feel, it just grows and grows on you throughout the track and finally embraces you completely.
3. Je Ka Jo
It’s a stunning and beautiful organic deep-style track filled with wonderful strings and guitars. A myriad of drum instruments come knocking along in harmony. Earthly and spiritual, you’ll appreciate every second of this 7.28 afro-house journey.
4. The Blaze
A 2017 revelation, to such extent that I used some of its elements to build the introduction of my sets. ‘Territory’ is as celebratory as it is emotional, raw, sincere and visceral. A real breath of fresh air in our electronic world, I’m really looking forward to their upcoming album.
5. Loud Places
I immediately fell in love with Loud Places, it has both a mellow and yet happy summer feel. The contrast between verses and chorus is just exhilarating, not to mention the sweet explosion when Idris Muhammad’s ‘Could Heaven Ever Be Like This’ sample comes in.
6. Mi Mujer
I have to say that no matter the project he’s working on, whether DARKSIDE or Against All Logic, Nicolas Jaar has shown an incredible level of musical creativity and artistry. ‘Mi Mujer’, showcasing his Latin side, is one of my favourites, and a great example of how he controls musical colours. All his elements blend with one another to convey a unique groove. The voice sounds like a mantra inviting you to get into the sensual mood that is built up through out the track. A must-listen for sure.
7. I Got You
Built on the sound of an infectious steel drum, this one will drive you right into the heart of summer. It’s really hard not to dance and smile when something sounds as happy as this one. Catchy lyrics, intense rhythm, and Caribbean tinge, this is the perfect song to get together to.
Everything But the Girl
Todd Terry definitely made one of the best 90’s dance tracks, using his typical drum pattern to give some extra energy to the original. The synth brings a unique melancholic feel to it and the chorus instantly sticks in the brain. The kind of song you listen to again and again when summer fades away. No matter it was produced in the 90’s, it sounds as good today as ever.
9. Block Party
This is a joy of a track, a festive tune based on soca drums and a sample of Milton Hamilton’s ‘So Beautiful’ brass section. This melody will make you dance all day long and make you feel as if you were right in the beating heart of Rio Di Janeiro during the festival. Thank you Gregory!
10. Everybody Loves the Sunshine
Is there a better tune to chill out during summer afternoons? This is definitely a woozy and laidback tribute to the hottest season of the year – an ode to sweet contemplation and procrastination. It’s as funky as it is delicate. Royas Ayers captured what it feels like to melt into a perfect sunny day.