Billboard Dance Fall 2019 Music Guide: 15 Must-Hear Releases From Major Lazer, Gryffin, Dillon Francis & More

With autumn starting today, these are the 15 biggest releases to anticipate this season.

Hot Girl Summer may be over, but that’s no reason to shed tears on the dance floor. While summer is indeed the hottest season for the global electronic music scene, fall — which officially begins today — offers many opportunities to keep on dancing.

This fall, dance music devotees can enjoy another three-month spell of sweaty club nights and festivals upon festivals. And once October arrives, Halloween-themed raves and warehouse parties will also be in full effect.

This fall also sees the release of a long list of highly anticipated albums, major compilations and essential box sets from some of the world’s leading electronic music artists and labels. We’ve compiled the biggest and best dance/electronic releases to keep the global dance floor thriving this fall.

Major Lazer
Lazerism
Release Date:
TBD
Label: Mad Decent

Talk of Major Lazer’s new album, Lazerism, has been making the rounds since at least 2015, when Diplo and band member Walshy Fire began dropping early hints regarding its forthcoming release. Fast-forward four years, and a lot has changed since the long-delayed album was first announced. Second-generation member Jillionaire left the group this past June, replaced by dancehall/electronic specialist Ape Drums. With the lineup change came an album title change, from Music Is the Weapon to Lazerism. And in 2018, Diplo casually announced that the group’s next album, its fourth overall, would be its last

What hasn’t changed is the group’s penchant for Caribbean polyrhythms, Afrobeats and Latin-American melodies. Most recently, Major Lazer has been digging deep into African music and culture via their Africa Is the Future EP and Afrobeats Mix DJ mix album, as well as “Already,” their collaboration with Beyoncé and Shatta Wale off The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. They’re also exploring the wider Latin pop/Latin urban canon via their latest tracks, and presumed official Lazerism singles, “Que Calor,” featuring Colombian reggaetonero J Balvin and Dominican dembow icon El Alfa, and “Make It Hot,” with Brazilian pop star Anitta. Expect more multicultural mashups on ​Lazerism whenever it drops later this year.
 

Madeon 
Good Faith
Release Date:
TBD
Label: Columbia

Things had been quiet on the music front with French producer Madeon since he dropped “Shelter,” his massive Porter Robinson collab, in 2016 and his debut album, Adventure, which he wrote in his parents’ basement in 2015. Madeon made his grand return this past May with the chilled-out, groovy pop-funk cut “All My Friends,” followed by the ethereal dance-gospel gem “Dream Dream Dream” in July.

The pair of singles leads his forthcoming second album, Good Faith, which is being dubbed “the new era of Madeon.” That new era is defined by a relocation from his parents’ house to Los Angeles, where he wrote Good Faith and a shift in style towards a more mature and pop-centric sound. “I knew Adventure was about my teenage years,” Madeon told Billboard Dance in June. “That’s when I made it, and I wanted [Good Faith] to be about my early adulthood. It was natural to move out from my parents’ basement and have more of my own life experience. Then I’d have something to write about.”

Trentemøller
Obverse 
Release Date:
September 27
Label: In My Room

Danish musician Trentemøller splits his time and talents as an electronic artist, producer, multi-instrumentalist and composer. It’s no surprise, then, that his music often feels like a film or an opera, unfolding slowly yet majestically scene by scene. On Obverse, his first album in three years, he crafts hauntingly beautiful soundscapes that weave in and out of ambient, shoegaze, dream pop and electronica. Minimalist by design yet brimming in robust production, Obverse features vocal contributions from Lina Tullgren, Slowdive’s Rachel ​Goswell, Warpaint’s jennylee and others.

DJ Harvey
DJ Harvey Is the Sound of Mercury Rising Vol II
Release Date:
September 27
Label: Pikes Records

This month, DJ Harvey is celebrating the five-year anniversary of his residency at Pikes Ibiza the only way he knows how: spinning fine tunes behind the decks. The master selector, who’s known for his deep knowledge and ever-expansive collection of rare disco cuts and eclectic house and techno jams, closes out the summer with the second installment of his The Sound of Mercury Rising compilation series, which spotlights the music he regularly spins at his Pikes residency. The 13-track release features music from Australian disco-jazz band Mildlife, Polish electronic producer Das Komplex and disco singer Marta Acuna. While festive in nature, this year’s compilation carries a bit of a somber tone: This past February, Tony Pike, the original founder of Pikes Ibiza, died of skin and prostate cancer; the release is in loving memory of him.

Various Artists​
FOF10: Singles 2015-2019 
Release Date:
October 4
Label: Friends of Friends

Various Artists
FOF10: Friends of Friends at 10
Release Date:
November 1
Label: Friends of Friends

Los Angeles-based tastemaker imprint Friends of Friends celebrates a decade of off-kilter independent electronic music throughout next month and into early November with a slew of activities, which include a commemorative merch line, picture disc vinyl and a hometown anniversary party on Saturday, October 19 at The Regent Theater in Downtown L.A. 

On the music front, the label is releasing a pair of expansive compilations. The first, FOF10: Singles 2015-2019, is a sort of best-of collection pulling from across the label’s catalog. The follow-up, FOF10: Friends of Friends at 10, comprises cover songs and new material from the label’s artists and homies. You can look forward to deep cuts and future classics from Perera Elsewhere, Deru, Shlohmo and, of course, friends of the label.

Gryffin
Gravity
Release Date:
October 10
Label: Darkroom/Geffen Records

Gryffin has been slowly rolling out singles off his forthcoming debut album, Gravity, all year long. If the early tracks are any indication, the LP will be jam-packed with massive collabs showing off the producer’s wide-ranging sonic palette and full songwriting scope. Gravity already nods to diverse genres and sounds: debut single “All You Need to Know,” a collaboration with Slander featuring Calle Lehmann, is a sweeping melodic-bass beauty, while “OMG” with Carly Rae Jepsen is a pop earworm with song-of-the-summer potential. The latest Gravity single, “Baggage,” sees Gryffin pushing into deep house waters with the help of U.K. duo Gorgon City and London synthpop act ​AlunaGeorge.

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible​
Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible Greatest Hits
Release Date:
October 18
Label: Nacional Records

Before Diplo was mixing Latin pop rhythms over electronic beats and Dillon Francis was making Latin trap bangers, Tijuana’s Nortec Collective was blending regional Mexican music and Latin American melodies over electronica elements and techno pulses. (The name “Nortec” is a portmanteau of “norteño,” a style of regional Mexican music from Northern Mexico, and “techno.”) An ensemble of multiple producers and collaborative projects that’s been around since the late ‘90s, Nortec Collective is a pioneering group that fused the worlds of Latin and electronic music, and introduced the wider Latin electronic underground to a global audience. 

In 2008, the crew disbanded as a proper collective, but founding members Bostich and Fussible have been carrying the torch ever since; they’ve received two Grammy nominations for their work as a duo under the Nortec Collective banner. As Nortec Collective celebrates its 20-year anniversary in 2019, Bostich+Fussible are prepping a retrospective compilation of the group’s greatest hits from the past two decades. The project comes at a time when Latin pop and EDM culture have replaced Anglophone music as arbiters of cool, and during an era that’s seen multiple crossover hits between the two genres, that’s largely thanks to Nortec Collective.

Armin van Buuren
Balance
Release Date:
October 25
Label: Armada Music

Across his 20-plus-year career, dance legend Armin van Buuren has experimented with just about every genre on the electronic music gamut — from psytrance (“Blah Blah Blah”) and big room (“Repeat After Me”) to electro house (“We Are Here to Make Some Noise”).

On his new LP, Balance, van Buuren puts his full sonic spectrum front and center. His seventh solo album overall, the massive two-sided collection comprises new and previously released van Buuren originals and collaborations that span his all-encompassing style and explore new sounds, as heard on the R&B-leaning “Unlove You,” featuring Ne-Yo. “Balance is a new chapter in my book of life,” van Buuren said in a recent press release, “the result of venturing into known and unknown territories while finding the balance in between.”

Teebs​
Anicca
Release Date:
October 25
Label: Brainfeeder

Bronx-born, Los Angeles-based producer Teebs returns to the scene after a five-year hiatus with Anicca, his third album. Rising from the L.A. beat scene, a genre and community cultivated by mentor Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder crew, Teebs commands a fluid style that can border on mind-melting hip-hop and psychedelic electronics. It’s a fine combo that defines “Studie,” a collaboration with Panda Bear, and “Mirror Memory,” the lead singles off the album. Featuring contributions from Sudan Archives, Ringgo Ancheta (aka MNDSGN), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and several others, Anicca is sure to reflect a new side of Teebs’ sound. “It feels like it [the music] comes from a different place now,” he said in a recent press release. “My inspiration to work has changed and my choices with it. I’ve explored more with what tools and instruments I used and tried to be more open to collaboration.”

Underworld
DRIFT Series 1
Release Date:
November 1
Label: underworldlive.com via Caroline International

DRIFT Series 1 is a year-in-the-making multimedia project from British electronic legends Underworld that comprises multiple interconnected releases across audio, film and book format. Launched last November with the track “Another Silent Way,” DRIFT Series 1 is an ongoing experiment that sees Underworld creating and publishing original work, in music and film, for 52 consecutive weeks. The series concludes November 1, exactly one year since it launched in 2018, with an all-encompassing release featuring brand-new Underworld material. DRIFT Series 1 is available in multiple formats, but the box set is a collector’s dream: seven CDs, one Blu-ray and an 80-page exclusive book documenting the DRIFT saga via interviews with Underworld founders Karl Hyde and Rick Smith and more.

Grum
Deep State
Release Date:
November 8
Label: Anjunabeats

Scottish producer Grum initially announced Deep State, his second artist album and his first LP for Anjunabeats, last September, alongside debut single “Never Have to Be Alone.” Then, in November 2018, Anjunabeats announced the album would be delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances.” “Deep State is not cancelled, it’s just going underground for a bit,” read a Reddit post from Anjuna head honchos Above & Beyond. Deep State has since resurfaced with a newly confirmed release date and a fresh debut single off the album via “Stay.” Like the lead single, the LP throws back to ‘90s rave sounds à la progressive trance and vocal-based progressive house melodies. 

Dillon Francis
Magic Is Real
Release Date:
November 15
Label: IDGAFOS/Mad Decent

After revisiting his moombahton roots via his 2018 Spanish-language album WUT WUT, Dillon Francis returns to his raucous, party-starting sound on his new mixtape, Magic Is Real. The release is lining up to be a collection of nonstop bangers: Lead single “GO OFF (Nuthin’ 2 It)” is a low-end house cut, while “Bawdy,” a collaboration with TV Noise, sees New Orleans bounce icon Big Freedia going off the rails.

Other standout tracks include the ragga-leaning “Bomboclot (Light It Up),” featuring Trinidadian ragga soca artist Bunji Garlin, and electro bomb “Still Not Butter.” The first half of Magic Is Real, featuring four tracks off the mixtape, drops October 2, with the full project out in November. 

Various Artists​
WXAXRXP Sessions
Release Date:
November 15
Label: Warp Records

For the past three decades, Warp Records — home of influential acts like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Flying Lotus, TNGHT and Kelela — has championed left-field electronic music and avant-garde artists across techno, IDM, ambient and beyond. Founded in 1989, Warp, in partnership with online tastemaker radio station NTS, celebrated its 30-year anniversary this summer via a weekend-long session featuring more than 100 hours of original music and programming.

The label now extends the celebrations via WXAXRXP Sessions, an expansive box set comprising 10 specially selected radio sessions recorded across Warp’s storied history. The high-quality releases include multiple rare Peel Sessions, live recordings featured on legendary British DJ/broadcaster John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show, from Warp all-stars Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, as well as radio sessions from the recent WXAXRXP x NTS weekender. Starting November 15, Warp is releasing the sessions individually on vinyl and as digital releases, in addition to bespoke box sets, via its digital music and entertainment store, Bleep.com.

Klingande
The Album 
Release Date:
November 15
Label: Ultra Music

French DJ/producer Klingande goes big on his debut record, a two-part LP that doubles as an original artist album and a greatest-hits collection. Simply dubbed The Album, the collection is split into two sides, with the first featuring all-new original tracks, including early singles like the bouncy blues-funk song “By The River,” the harmonica-laden house cut “Ready for Love” and the breezy “Sinner.” His latest single off The Album, “Messiah” is a slow-downed, guitar-fueled dance track that perfectly encapsulates the transition from summer into fall. The second half of The Album features a stack of Klingande’s previous hits, including the saxy “Jubel” and “Punga,” which explore his tropical house and melodic house roots. 

Floorplan
Supernatural
Release Date:
November 22
Label: Aus Music

Floorplan, the father-daughter duo of minimal techno pioneer Robert Hood and his kid Lyric Hood, is rooted in the elder’s seminal work during the epochal days of Detroit techno, mixed in with soulful Chicago house rhythms and gospel grandiosity. (Famously, Hood, a practicing minister, claims to have been awakened by a premonition that inspired him to incorporate gospel music into his house and techno sound, and thus Floorplan was born.) Supernatural, Floorplan’s forthcoming album, nods to all three distinct musical worlds: a mixture of divine piano chords and synths, next-level drum programming and good, old-fashioned house and techno grooves. If heaven had a soundtrack, this would be it.

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