New artist of the week: Denis Sulta

Plus songs you have to hear from Leon Bridges and David Byrne

Denis Sulta: techno-leaning beats and high-tempo disco-soul vocals

Denis Sulta: techno-leaning beats and high-tempo disco-soul vocals

 

New artist of the week: Denis Sulta

What: UK house music’s young leader

Where: Scotland

Why: The generational difference on the dancefloor was recently brought home, literally, when my sister in her forties visiting from the US for Christmas, and attending a local DJ gig, noticed that early on in the night, the dancefloor was unusually full with young lads fistpumping to house, techno and disco tracks.

The last time she was out in our hometown for such a night, the boys skulked around the corners of the floor, nervous and unsure of approaching the all-female dancefloor.

How the tables have turned. Dance music is the youth’s vernacular and Denis Sulta is one of their leaders. The Scottish-born, Red Bull Music Academy graduate, whose real name is Hector Barbour is as comfortable with moving between genres of dance music both in production and DJing as his dancing peers.

His inclusiveness for big-room house exaltations, techno-leaning beats and high-tempo disco-soul vocals is par for the course, and it has seen the 24-year-old play all of the lauded places and festivals around the globe.

The Irish audience has taken to his regular DJ sets in large numbers, sure that a good time is on the cards.

Why has Sulta succeeded in a crowded sea? The Glaswegian has displayed depth, heart, technical skill and a sonic identity that few his age have reached. Tracks like Our World (With The Boy On His Shoulders) have Four Tet-esque synth warmth while his most well-known original It’s Only Real mixes pinging synth with rackety house beats for hard-hitting emotional highs. His DJ sets are littered with his own songs making Sulta one for the early dancefloor risers, whatever the age.

https://youtu.be/EHbpt-559xI

Leon Bridges: low-slung soul-funk
Leon Bridges: low-slung soul-funk

You have to hear this...

Leon Bridges: Bad Bad News

When the Texan singer Leon Bridges first appeared in 2015, his old-fashioned Texan soul music in the mould of Sam Cooke, was so well-executed, it was easy to forgive the throwback style he wore like a fine suit. Bad Bad News is one of two tracks previewing his forthcoming second album Good Thing and it roughs up the notion that Bridges is content to stay in the past completely, by embracing a live low-slung soul-funk sound and callback backing vocals. It’s like a cross between a bluesy Anderson .Paak and a smooth Bruno Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJOGT1axUV4

Still taking risks: American Utopia is the newest solo album from David Byrne
Still taking risks: American Utopia is the newest solo album from David Byrne

You have to hear this... David Byrne: Gasoline And Dirty Sheets

American Utopia, the newest solo album (with about 25 collaborators), revels in the bright and boisterous, while flitting between some of the 65 year-old former Talking Head’s best work and some of his most clunkiest. Of the former category, is this stomper about the displacement of professional people caught up in refugee camps. The elder rock’n’roll thinker is still taking risks. Take a bow.

https://youtu.be/TYCOqjKHE3M

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