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Songs We Love: Shiba San, 'Up & Down'

Shiba San's new EP, <em>Up & Down</em>, is out now.
Courtesy of the artist
Shiba San's new EP, Up & Down, is out now.

Dirtybird Records is spreading its wings. The once-boutique dance-music label with roots in San Francisco has gone global, nabbing a residency in Ibiza, its own sell-out festival outside Los Angeles and a sweeping tour of BBQ day parties from Seattle to Brooklyn. But while founder Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin have become the go-to headliners, performing everywhere from Coachella to Mysteryland, Shiba San has emerged as the label's secret weapon.

The French producer produces a particularly deep brand of booty-shaking house music with bass so heavy, you can feel it reverberate in your rib cage. His breakout 2014 hit "Okay" was quickly picked up by Ultra/Sony and became one of the most popular club tracks of the past two years.

Now, he's back with a bouncy EP titled Up & Down, and the title track is sure to dominate dance floors in 2017. It's a playful mix of echoed vocal chants and weird warbles over an impossible-to-ignore bass line.

Shiba San says this project was a bit of a career milestone. After 15 years as a hip-hop DJ in Paris, he began looking for studio space in the United States as his gigs ramped up. He settled in Miami earlier this year, and got to work.

"I was a little nervous," he says about the new space. "I have my habits and ways of doing things, and I've had friends who've moved into new studios and gotten totally thrown off. But Barclay [Claude VonStroke] jumped at it."

Shiba San concedes that the South Beach heat might be working its way into his sound. "I'm so relaxed here," he says. "Paris is so busy and noisy and cold, there's so much traffic. Here, it's like paradise. It's a whole new way of working."

Up & Down is out now on Dirtybird (Spotify, iTunes, Beatport).

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Megan Buerger