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Dance-music legend Arthur Baker returns with 'No Price'


Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories helped to revitalize the careers of disco-era masters Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. Now Arthur Baker—who helped guide disco’s evolution into modern dance music, producing Afrika Bambaataa’s massively influential “Planet Rock” and remixing the biggest pop stars of the ’80s (including, weirdly, Bruce Springsteen, who’s not known for being a club-music kind of guy) along the way—is engineering a comeback of his own.

Baker’s new track, “No Price,” was first written and recorded in 1979 for a collaborative album with soul singer Joe Bataan that was scrapped when their label folded. Thirty years later, Baker dusted it off and sent it to Al-P from MSTRKRFT, and later invited Chromeo crooner Dave 1 to add a new lead vocal part. The final result is a glossy, string-laden jam that gooses peak-era disco funk with some contemporary thump. Baker’s calling his new project Slam Dunk’d, and they’ll be releasing a full album in September.


Hear Diddy go techno with Guy Gerber on 'Tourist Trap'


The words “tasteful” and “Diddy” don’t often appear in close proximity to each other. But while rap artists from Waka Flocka Flame to Lil Jon have been stampeding toward the massive, transcendently un-subtle sounds of big-room EDM, the erstwhile Puff Daddy is approaching dance music through the rather restrained sounds of classic techno. Recently he teamed up with producer Guy Gerber for a new project, the enigmatically named 11 11, which finds the hip-hop mogul collaborating on dark, lean beats that seem custom-made for hyper-exclusive Berlin dance clubs or as mood music in a luxury hotel room.

Two weeks ago the pair unveiled the first track from their partnership, “My Heart.” Today they released a new track called “Tourist Trap” that’s nearly seven minutes of tense, hard-driving techno with the icy reverb and Kraftwerkian overtones of the genre’s early Detroit roots and some surprisingly hard raps from the pitch-shifted Mr. Sean Combs himself.


Exclusive: Dance music super-duo Kid Gloves debuts 'Third Round'


Back in the early ’00s, Roy Kerr (a.k.a. the Freelance Hellraiser) was taking apart pop, rap, and indie rock songs and recombining them into strangely synergistic new combinations of sounds and styles, which launched a brief but potent craze for mash-ups (like his brilliant Strokes/Christina Aguilera fusion “A Stroke of Genie-us”) that radically altered how people think about genre. Around the same time, Anu Pillai was working under the name Freeform Five and producing tracks like “Perspex Sex” that provided some of the high points the era’s electro revival, whose influence has been all over the Hot 100 lately.

Since 2007, Pillai and Kerr have been teaming up under the name Kid Gloves. They’re about to release a new single for Brooklyn’s Fool’s Gold label, home to A-Trak, Danny Brown, and a bunch of other acts who are redefining the sound of hip-hop and dance music. The lead track is called “Third Round,” which the pair describe thusly: “Some days you’ve just got to ask yourself, what would A-Trak do? That was the task we set ourselves that day. To throw down and cut up some Crydamoure grooves with hand crafted vocal chops. ‘Third Round’ is our latest upper cut. Lean and mean and hungry like a young Balboa. It’s the ringside walk-on music we imagine in our heads when we step out to our local coffee shop. Probably explains all those strange looks we’ve been getting.”


The Obamas write personal condolence letter to Frankie Knuckles' family after legendary DJ's passing

There’s been a public outpouring for Chicago house music producer Frankie Knuckles, who passed away last month at 59-years-old. But now he’s been recognized by the leader of the free world: It turns out fellow Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama are fans. READ FULL STORY

Frankie Knuckles, 'Godfather of House Music,' dies at 59

Frankie Knuckles, one of dance music’s most formative stars, has died of undisclosed causes. He was 59.

The Bronx-born Francis Nicholls went from a kid riding into the city to hit after-hours spots like Sanctuary and the Loft in the early days of disco to presiding over the Warehouse, the legendary Chicago club that birthed house music (the genre literally got its title from a diminutive of the club’s name).

Knuckles went on to become a prolific DJ, producer, and remixer (for the likes of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Toni Braxton), and held now-iconic residencies at clubs including his own Chicago spot Power Plant, London’s The World, and New York City’s Sound Factory. In 2004, Chicago named a street near the old Warehouse location Frankie Knuckles Way, and in 2005 he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.

Knuckles suffered from Type II Diabetes, which may have contributed to his death.

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