Attention house fans–DJ Dan has just released his first-ever artist album Future Retro. If you don’t know who DJ Dan is, he’s an American acid/electro house producer who’s had some pretty major house hits over the past few years. He even made it to the DJ Mag Top 100, peaking at an impressive #5 in 2006. However, we haven’t heard much from him too recently – his Telephone remix (which is poppin’, by the way) is his most recent piece at large.
The album is aptly titled Future Retro–electro sounds from years past make an appearance in more colorful ways throughout. The album has a decidedly paced feel; no insane polyrhythms, syncopating basslines or wobbling analogs to send you too far off-track. It’s almost as if DJ Dan eschewed the last two to three years of technical and stylistic progress in electronic dance music in favor of a real vintage sound. Even the electro house tracks themselves – which belong to an otherwise rapidly moving genre -are bursting with soulful voice and four-to-the-floor beats.
If you’re looking for something hard, Drop Hits is the place to start. Much like a Boys Noize piece, a furious analog bassline grinds this electro track above a steady beat. This track is among the more modern-sounding in the album, as opposed to the funkified Tribute to Voodoo Ray. We also have DJ Dan classics like N2O – remastered for the album – and new acid bangers like Hit The Drummer. In short, Dan’s signature old-school sound is all over the record.
As far as first albums from DJ/producers go, Future Retro is solid. While it may not be the freshest, it certainly proves that DJ Dan is in touch with the roots that made dance music great. That’s not to say the album is stale, either; it manages to fuse some newer elements of electro and progressive into Dan’s square kick beats. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves good house in general.