Circlesquare’s new album Songs About Dancing And Drugs is a veritable box of surprises, and the stunners just keep coming. Hot on the heels of lead single "Dancers," which featured remixes from Konrad Black and Lowfish, Circlesquare return with "Hey You Guys," backed by remixes from DFA artist The Juan MacLean and Ed Banger’s Mickey Moonlight. Taken as a whole, the four-track EP spans a range of moods from the morose to the manic, making an unexpected keystone in the arc from rock to dance music.
"Hey You Guys," the opening track off Songs About Dancing And Drugs, is the perfect introduction to Circlesquare’s contemplative and conflicted world. Bathed in cathedral-sized reverb, the song’s nimble guitar lines, martial drums, and cavernous ambiance reference an unusual array of musical touchstones‚Äîblissed-out shoegaze, Seefeel’s electronic dub, Fugazi at their most precise. Shaw’s lyrics, meanwhile, paint an ambivalent picture of club culture’s turn-ons and drop-outs‚Äîa litany of regrets wrapped up with the invigorating chorus, "This is it/ This is ours/ Here we go."
The Juan MacLean has clearly taken the latter sentiment to heart, turning in a slow-burning powerhouse amped up on acid oscillations and overdriven drums. If Songs About Dancing And Drugs is a look back at the wild life, the remix is a snapshot of dance-floor mayhem in full flame. The Juan MacLean is no stranger to the groove‚Äîhis cuts like "Give Me Every Little Thing" and "Happy House," plus remixes for the likes of Daft Punk, Matthew Dear, and Roy Davis, Jr., have become club staples for the way that they bridge the worlds of disco, house, and rock. This time out, he turns up the tension with a peak-hour stormer that creeps along at a death-disco BPM. Circlesquare’s music has never been stranger to the pleasures of the slow and low, but MacLean sheds the languor in favor of a methodical, machine-fueled grind that’s lubed with sweat. Both versions of the remix, vocal and instrumental, are simply mammoth.
Rising star Mickey Moonlight (aka disco mystic Midnight Mike) switches up the mood considerably, kitting out "Hey You Guys" in dreamy synthesizers, bells, and kalimba