SLOUCHO is eccentric. Behind the mask, the Ireland-born-and-bred musician has quite a unique way of looking at dance music. Without taking things too seriously, his sound is both introspective and extreme, a little on the nose, and almost always falls into the same category of ‘silly but serious’ club music.
Plucking inspiration from CloudCore, a tight-knit online music community and record label zeroing in on uptempo dance-pop tunes to the sound of Two Shell or the likes, SLOUCHO’s sound often combines wistful pitched-up vocals and a bassy undercurrent, surely in a realm of its own. With the recent launch of his new platform for forward-thinking, leftfield dance music, OUCH!!, the Dublin-based producer is now focused on curating live shows with a twist, and with just a handful of releases under his belt, he’s grown a beloved fanbase in just a short few breakthrough years.
We’ve asked SLOUCHO to select 10 of his favourite dance-pop bangeers currently on rotation right now. Check them out below.
SLOUCHO 'when INCHES became MILES(XXX016)'
This track is so wild and probably one of the best examples of what I’m trying to achieve with the SLOUCHO sound, something that's fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously but absolutely goes off in the club. There are some pretty out-there sound selections and some odd bar lengths that keep the arrangement evolving and interesting over the four minutes.
I’ve been rinsing this tune in any warm-up slots I’ve been playing - it’s actually very simple once you identify all the elements in it, but they’re all used so tastefully with some really nice vocal looping and sonic choices and a really progressive arrangement that’s mixed to perfection.
Sierra Catorce ‘Agnosia’
With warm and fuzzy intro chords, this track has an instant calming and nostalgic feel like a deep album cut, slowly departed from as the chords are replaced by off-kilter vocal chops, digi bleeps and distorted 808s morphing into a mutant club track for the silly hours.
Hudson Mohawke ‘Dance Forever’
This song is another North Star for me production-wise, simple and to the point, no fluff. Expert sound selection, weird sample processing mixed with synth leads and choppy vocals. All of this somehow feels like a pop song from another dimension.
Idle Air ‘uLuv’
With dreamy chords, manipulated vocals that feel familiar even on first listen, and a tastefully minimal beat, this song gets off to a great start - all of these elements are developed and contorted over the course of the track with deep bass hits and sawtooth synths carrying the low end. A perfect progressive dance track that can be mixed seamlessly.
Gazzi ‘no pasa nada’
Gazzi is an incredible producer, borrowing from the best parts of pop music in his melody and chord choices and fusing them with infectious loops and sonics to create nostalgic dancefloor anthems. The Spanish Overmono!
Mullholland ‘Nobody Move’
A perfect club edit. I’ve heard this chune played out a few times and it goes off every time. While respecting the acapella, Mullholland manages to infuse it with deep wobbly bass hits, noisy hats, squeaky effects and futuristic synths all in service of bringing an oldie into contemporary dance culture.
Sloucho ‘TM’D my DM’S’
This track is a straight up banger, I’ve been really into mixing 808s with sawtooth LFO bass to give an extra dimension to the low end. Secret bit of trivia: all of the vocal elements apart from the lead vocal part are sampled from a Blender tutorial that was playing on YouTube by accident when I was making the song, I like to embrace randomness and let my ears be the ultimate judge. If it sounds good then I don’t really care where it came from.
Parallels ‘Need Me’
Something that Parallels always nails are chords and vocal chops. This track is no different, there are so many different vocal chops all processed, pitched, looped and arranged to give a really smooth transition between sections. All of this breaks into an edit of 'Call Me' by Tweet for a minute, and then back to a club anthem using a classic garage beat with contemporary percussion and sonics.
Plus One ‘Sparkler’
A high-tempo, pop-infused club banger. I’ve been a big fan of Plus One's production ever since his hip hop days, something I think gives him an advantage now that he’s in the dance sphere. His taste when it comes to vocal samples and mixing makes his tracks instantly recognisable. With this track, he creates a seven-minute loopy number that never gets repetitive, the sonics always changing and developing while never getting in the way of the bassline and melody.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter