Written by Travis Shosa
It’s been yet another great year for DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ. Since dropping her first track, “No Regrets (Feels So Good),” on SoundCloud at the very end of 2016, the prolific London producer has been the best-kept secret in dance music, churning out massive mixes of effervescent plunder-house to a passionate and growing cult audience. In addition to releasing the 87-minute Bewitched! in August, a writing credit on The 1975’s “Happiness” and a remix of Superorganism’s “Teenager” signaled a spreading awareness of Sabrina’s unparalleled ability to re-contextualize both past and present, painful or pleasant experiences, and process them with an unjudgmental eye: finding the joy and beauty in each and magnifying them ten-fold across sprawling and euphoric 1990s house party bangers.
Sabrina’s newest single, “Dance Now,” opens with fat synthesizers pitch-shifting over rollicking drums with commands of “Dance / Now / Yes.” It’s a slow-build shuffle as she introduces new elements: funky guitars and jazzy horns, auxiliary chatter and synth lines, and a twinkle effect like the sound from a wand in a cheesy witch TV show all hit the dancefloor, layering rhythms and textures as you relinquish your body to the grooves. Then, you ascend. Approximately six minutes in, the third section delivers Sabrina’s signature brand of rapturous pop: placing emphasis on the bass rhythm, a bright synth lead and vocal sample melodies. It’s a masterclass at establishing subtle tension before dispersing it, creating an extended moment of pure physical catharsis.
For more DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ, you can watch the video for “The High Road” (Melon Edit):
For further reading on DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ, check out our review of Enchanted.
Travis Shosa is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stamens/Pistils/Parties. Formerly the runner of COUNTERZINE, he has bylines at Pitchfork, The Alternative, and Post-Trash among others.