On Deck: Episode 2 - The Morning

Stream and download the latest episode of our monthly dance mix series and column.
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Stream and download the latest episode of our monthly dance mix series and column.
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byAUSTIN REED

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Episode 2: The Morning Set (mp3)
01 Bonobo - Cirrus (Original Mix)
02 Anton Zap - Deeper (Original Mix)
03 Rick Wade - Grimm (Original Mix)
04 I:Cube - Cash Conv. (Original Mix)
05 Hackman - The Blue (Rampa Remix)
06 BENOIT & SERGIO - Walk & Talk
07 Floating Points - ARP3 (Original Mix)
08 Lone - Airglow Fires (Original Mix)
09 Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo (Original Mix)
10 Groove Armada - At the River

It’s 5:45 a.m. You know this because you’re still awake—awake enough to check your watch, anyway. Your legs hurt, you’re fading incredibly fast, and judging by the way your lips taste, you’ve been sweating since Tuesday. But as you look around to take inventory of your environment, all these things take a backseat to an even more alarming issue: You are somehow still surrounded by hundreds of people who look (and feel) just like you do.

And it’s awesome.

This, in a nutshell, illustrates why morning sets are so critical to the fabric of dance music. This scene is nothing new. In fact, it’s been happening for a handful of decades. Dance music by definition sets itself apart from other genres because of its fluidity and elasticity. Six-hour non-stop runs are a dime a dozen, especially in the darkness of the a.m. Morning sets, therefore, are there to assist in the acclimation process.

That’s why the best morning sets in the world convey polished seamlessness. Samples are often completely inoffensive, and BPM’s clock right around 120, leaving room for exploration without ever risking polarization. It’s pretty and sleek and wholesome—the kind of dance music that encourages a deep breath.

We partnered once again with We In Cloudz for this Morning Set-inspired edition of On Deck. Check out our staff picks and expat picks below.

Staff Picks

Anton Zap – Deeper

A chameleonic producer capable of creating lush yet versatile sonic landscapes, Anton Zap has never met a DJ set that his tracks couldn’t improve. “Deeper,” operates as the ambassador of Zap’s most established propensities, blending syncopated hi-hats, fortified bass lines and modulated vocal samples for a clean, centered track that bursts as quickly as it realigns.

Rick Wade – Grimm

Rick Wade is proof positive that the chilliest of deep house tracks don’t require the newest samples or the shiniest toys. Marrying a barreling BPM with viscous jazzy samples and eerie melodic cloud cover, “Grimm” coasts from front to back, prompting a smooth and unfettered shift into neutral.

I:Cube – Cash Conv.

“Cash Conv,” was an interesting pick because of its unconventional construct. It’s the sonic equivalent to a public library built entirely out of marshmallows: its purpose is totally serious, but you can’t help but laugh at the way it was put together. We’re talking about a light marimba sample that complements what I can only describe as the sound my stomach makes when it’s time to eat. That bass line is cash, though.

Lone – Airglow Fires

Lone earned a spot on this playlist simply because it’s our contention that no straits are so dire that “Airglow Fires,” can’t remedy the fever. It bounces and stretches and shape-shifts more than four times, showing exactly how diverse the esteemed UK producer can be when he puts his mind to it, which is pretty much all the time.

Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo

I don’t throw the word “penultimate” around all willy-nilly, but for the Joy, I concede every time. “Hyph Mngo,” is a slaughterhouse of modulated vocal samples, jarring tempo and a cadence that demands attention without ever burying the lead. It’s beautifully crafted, expertly produced and flawlessly executed by one of the world’s premier producers. One for the books, for sure.

Expat Pick:

Groove Armada – At the River

(From the WIC fellas) The most epic of closers when you’re body has finally given in after partying through to the next morning. It also serves as a reminder that it’s probably time to drag your tired ass home! An Ibiza moment, traveling back from DC10 along the highway with the sun rising, knowing full-well that only a short rest separates us from going back and doing it all again!

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