Tentendo’s ‘Dance With Me’ will stick to you like gum on a sneaker
Melbourne producer TENTENDO has linked up with rising emcee JORDAN DENNIS on his third single, ‘Dance With Me’, a sticky neo-soul jam that oozes the self-assured confidence of being his most accessible track yet.
Explaining how the collaboration came together, Tentendo says that: “‘Dance With Me’ is actually two tracks that ended up merging together – I wrote the skeleton of the instrumental as a remix of another song and the vocals came from another draft of a song Jordan and I had thrown together for a live set. We re-wrote and re-structured the song and this is what came out! I also got a couple of buddies to add some layers of backing vocals and a huge guitar solo”.
‘Dance With Me’ rides an effortlessly bouncy, KAYTRANADA-baiting bass line and a thick, elastic synth that sticks to the eardrum like chewing gum on the sole of a shoe. A simple backbeat gives shape to the melodic elasticity, allowing just enough room for the thumping instrumentation to rubber-band around in without ever overpowering it. Like the beat, everything else about the track feels subsumed within the viscosity of the bass-synth combination: when a free-flowing, sunnied guitar solo emerges in the last minute to ride the track out, it’s groove is processed to the point that/where you can feel/hear the still-fresh droplets of goop dripping from it.
Even Dennis’ rapping falls into it, saturating the track with a gelatinous style built off a wavy melodic shape, a focus on phonetic repetition, a series of internal rhymes and a vocal delivery that feels as though it’s being imparted through a mouthful of honey. Carefully produced layers of texture meanwhile bubble underneath, adding a near impenetrable depth and density to the syrupy feel of the track, so that when they do rise to the surface, these layers – flourishes of clacking percussion, pitched up vocal samples and smooth runs of G-Funk synths – shine for a glimmering few seconds before Tentendo’s goo consumes them once more.
In its viscous groove and its lush neo-soul stylings the DNA of ‘Dance With Me’ feels fundamentally indebted to Tentendo’s time spent as a producer and live member of BILLY DAVIS’ band, having shared stages with the likes of GOLDLINK and NONAME. But more than that, it oozes with the confidence of an artist maturing and growing through these experiences to come out with his most self-assured and accessible track to date.