Trent Cantrelle, The Right Way EP (Work Records/Spinnin)
Oh, yeah, this is what real house music is supposed to sound like! From the pulsating tribal beats to the grooving changeups and funky flair, the talented-yet-underrated Trent Cantrelle goes back to basics and channels the heart and soul of true house. Cantrelle says he never created the three-song EP specifically with DJ sets in mind, rather more of a guilty pleasure throwback, but one could definitely hear the likes of Carl Cox throwing “Prowler,” “Ride” or “The Right Way” into heavy rotation for sure. More tracks, please! ★★★★☆
16 Bit Lolitas, Warung Brazil 2012 (Bits & Pieces/Armada)
If you were to pull a quote from a review to slap on a billboard or ad, “stunningly beautiful” would work for this album (especially “Wounds”). As an admittedly picky, picky bitch, I can say wholeheartedly this is one of, if not the best, electronic albums I’ve heard all year. Two CDs with 21 tracks of original material—already a rarity in itself these days—Peter Kriek and Ariaan Olieroock successfully create a two-and-a-half hour mix journey inspired by their favorite club in South America. Sexy Brazilian nuances punctuate the album along with minimal beats and a vibing ebb and flow that induces goose bumps—it’s that good. And if “6 O’Clock in the Morning” doesn’t become a go-to set staple for after-hours DJs, there’s something wrong with the world. ★★★★★
William Close, Holidays (self-released)
I am not a fan of Christmas music. That being said, if I were in need of a seasonal album or a great gift for my mom, I’d lean toward Holidays, from the amazing William Close & the Earth Harp Collective. The America’s Got Talent finalist (you can catch him in the live show at the Palazzo for a second run in January) creates ingenious original instruments including his signature Earth Harp, the largest stringed instrument in the world, with its deep resonating tones heard throughout the 10 seasonal standards. Think of it as a much cooler Mannheim Steamroller for the next generation. ★★★☆☆
Upcoming albums on Deanna’s radar …
JAN. 15: Cypress Hill’s DJ and producer, DJ Muggs, branches out on his own with some dubstep, glitch and grimy electronic on his Ultra Music debut entitled Bass for Your Face. It’s complete with guest appearances by Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Dizzee Rascal. FEB. 11: Russian producer Proxy drops the second part of his debut album, Music From the Eastblock Jungles.