Summer's on its way, and, right on schedule, we're treated to a spate of new music that's perfectly attuned to top-down living. And not just "dance music," mind you: Santigold, Black Dice and Kindness have all plundered electronic music's playbook to come up with their own singular statements on 21st century pop. When I imagine my ideal summer day, I imagine listening to Santigold on the way to the festival, freaking out to Black Dice on a sun-baked lawn, and cooling off to Kindness and CFCF in the wee hours -- but that's just me. Listeners of the ravier persuasion might pick another stage, where The M Machine, signees to Skrillex's OWSLA label, are twisting up their own interpretation of dubstep-infused, electro-plated pop.
As for "proper" (and provocatively improper) house music, Dave Aju, Justin Martin, Vedomir, Amirali and Soul Clap all put their stamp on the elastic genre, taking us deep into the night. And for those that would prefer to shut out the sun and immerse themselves in chilly electronics, Portishead's Geoff Barrow and the analog pioneer Suzanne Ciani both offer material that goes head to head with any old A.C. unit.