This Week in House Music: Beyoncé & Honey Dijon, Cormac & Green Velvet
I’m writing this on RENAISSANCE release day, finally back home in Los Angeles, and now I’m feeling alive again, thanks to this perfect album that dances heavily—and joyfully—in house. We also have a joyful HÖR mix for you from Cormac and a trippy early aughts Green Velvet classic. I hope we all get to kick some vintage crystal off the bar soon.
Best New Track: Beyoncé – ALIEN SUPERSTAR
“I’m one of one, I’m number one, I’m the only one. / Don’t even waste your time trying to compete with me,” Beyoncé reminds us on “ALIEN SUPERSTAR,” the third track of RENAISSANCE. The track is confident and sexy, channeling ’80s / ’90s queer Black culture: Ballroom competitions (“Category: bad bitch, I’m the bar”) and the energy and rhythm of Chicago warehouse parties. Bey enlisted a strong contingent of house producerse for her album. “ALIEN SUPERSTARS” features Chris Penny, long-time British house producer Luke Solomon, and Chicago house queen Honey Dijon.
Honey, who also co-produced “COZY” along with Solomon and Green Velvet, wrote on Instagram: “Your elegance, beauty, talent, work ethic, and vision is truly inspirational. To share my Chicago house music roots and black queer and trans culture with you and the world is profound and emotional.”
Following the release of the Robin S. sampling lead single “BREAK MY SOUL,” RENAISSANCE does not disappoint and serves up plenty of four-on-the-floor dance floor heaters.
Best New Mix: Cormac | HÖR - Jul 12 / 2022
To experience a Cormac DJ set is to feel joy. The queer Irish DJ/producer has found a home in the queer ’80s club music of Hi-NRG, as channeled on his tracks “Heartcore” and “Sparks.” In July, he brought his energetic blend of house and disco tunes to the famous Berlin bathroom decks, HÖR. Witness Cormac wiggle to his hour-long set of rapid-fire mixing and highly concentrated vibes, featuring tracks like “Rendezvous at Rimini,” by Alden Tyrell, “Get Ready” by X-Ray Connection, Patrick Hernandez’s disco classic “Born to Be Alive,” his “Sparks,” and a fire remix of Janet Jackson’s classic “What Have You Done For Me Lately.”
Best Classic Track: Green Velvet – La La Land [2001, Relief Records]
When Curtis Jones sings “La La Land is where I need to be!” on this 2001 classic, he ain’t talking about Los Angeles. On “La La Land,” the Chicago house legend, under his popular Green Velvet alias, delivers five-and-a-half minutes of whacky, trippy tech house channeling the madness of the afterparty. His playful, irreverent vocals (along with frequent collaborator Walter Phillips’) over a marching synthy beat, filtered cowbell flourishes, and other various spacey sprinklings of sounds make for a perfect example of what Jones excels at, concocting playful, strange dance floor heaters.
The track was part of his second Green Velvet album, Whatever, released on his Relief Records imprint and hit No. 12 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.