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Tunes of the month | March 2021

Our favourite releases from February.

Positive news coming out of the UK this week, as its Covid exit strategy was unveiled.

While the roadmap is conditional, cautious and full of caveats, it does point to us nearing the end of the pandemic in Europe. It shows that once vaccine rollouts get underway, there is genuine cause for optimism.

Travel firms reported seeing an instant bounce, with TUI having its best day of the year so far. Meanwhile, EasyJet announced a 630% jump in bookings to short haul holiday destinations.

We don't want to get too carried away just yet, but that's promising news. A normal summer suddenly appears that little more realistic.

On the music front, too, things are positively gleaming.

It's been an ace month for music, including Phantasy's 100th release from Erol Alkan, a new remix by Jamie Jones and a synth dream between Cristoph and Franky Wah - and these are the tracks we didn't have space for.

Let's dive in.

BreakCode | What Lies Beneath (Carl Cox & Jon Rundell Remix) | BreakCode | 26 February

The most famous grin in all of dance music is back with another killer remix. People's champion Carl Cox gets together with Intec partner Jon Rundell to reimagine BreakCode's What Lies Beneath. The result is a full assault of the senses. Consider the tempo cranked!

Coxy is applying the finishing touches to a new live show for his Awesome Soundwaves project - his first since 1992. You can get a sneak peek here. In more Cox-related news, his highly anticipated memoir Oh Yes, Oh Yes is due for a summer release. Essential reading, we're sure.

Idris Elba & Inner City | No More Looking Back | Defected | 5 February

After 2020's rousing We All Move Together, Idris Elba and Inner City link back up, this time arriving on Defected Records. The formidable partnership push things forward with No More Looking Back.

Expressive piano chords, soaring pads and Steffanie Christi'an's velvety vocal bring this forward-facing anthem to life.

Scott Garcia | Closer Than Close (Amy Lauren Remix) | Loud Music | 12 February

Following on from the success of Work, Amy Lauren serves up more bass-driven House. This time she provides a chunky remix, updating Scott Garcia's UKG classic, which itself breathed fresh-life to Rosie Gaines' original. 2021 audiences are set to fall in love with it all over again.

Rudimental feat MORGAN & Tike | Be The One | Atlantic Records | 12 February

Ibiza Rocks party posse Rudimental turn their hand to Garage on new single Be The One. The collective keep things within the Major Tom's family, inviting singer-songwriters MORGAN and Tike on board. A family-friendly Part 2 is doing the rounds, but we prefer this grittier version.

ONYVAA | Lucid | KNTXT | 19 February

Lucid is a darkened roller from emerging talent ONYVAA. Taken from the four track Lost Angeles EP, it's set to ignite with piercing bright synths, distant vocal stabs and an exponential build of tension capable of wiping dance floors away.

We caught ONYVAA and KNTXT label-head Charlotte de Witte together at Magazine London last February - our last rave before lockdown! Maybe this release came about as a direct result of sharing that line-up?

Darius Syrossian | Harlem Lights | Moxy Muzik | 19 February

Darius Syrossian's Moxy Muzik hits the tenth release milestone and the boss duly steps up for the task. With vocal wails and acid bleeps acting like strobes, Harlem Lights is the type of House cut our lives have been lacking.

Elsewhere, Darius has hinted at a return to a certain Basement room on Ibiza. Dare to dream.

Just Her | We Dance | Anjunadeep | 17 February

Lockdown has been tough and tested the best of us. On her latest EP, Brighton-based Just Her returns to Anjunadeep to capture the rollercoaster of emotions. The most upbeat offering of four tracks, We Dance, was written in one of the more optimistic periods and is designed for reunions on the dancefloor.

Watch Just Her jamming in her studio here.

Seth Troxler & The Martinez Brothers | Play In The Dark | Crosstown Rebels | 12 February

Circoloco dream team and Tuskegee label bosses Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers land on Crosstown Rebels. Unleashing ominous beats and crazed vocals, Play In The Dark is an unhinged track fit for the times we're living in.

We rate the Steam Mix, though Seth's spin is even more discombobulating.

It's the best music either act has released in years. Proper weird.

Sanchez feat Kele Le Roc | Paranoid | Realm Records | 12 February

Gorgon City's Realm Records continues to impress. Next up, Manchester-based Sanchez teams up with Garage Queen Kele Le Roc. Punchy basslines and dub sirens - this one is calling out for a dancefloor. Summer is most definitely loading.

MistaJam feat Kelli-Leigh | Good | Dance NRG | 12 February

Following his switch from BBC Radio 1 to the voice of Capital Dance, music mogul MistaJam is back on his Dance NRG imprint. Here he hooks up with radiant vocalist Kelli-Leigh on Good to count blessings. Life may be tough right now, but we have so much to be thankful for.

Channel that good energy.

Want more? Then check out our Spotify channel for more great music.

We'll be back next month with the best releases from March.

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