As part of our attempt to highlight “under-the-radar” club music, we’ve tried our best to feature as many artists as possible throughout the past nine months.
While there have been a good many repeat entries (and I’m sure a discerning reader could distinguish a few of our favorite artists and labels) it’s been a real pleasure, and sometimes a challenge, to continue featuring fresh tracks from artists new and old to us and to all of you. While most of the tracks in the September edition of the column are from younger artists just beginning to reach their potential, there are a few who have already built up impressive catalogues and deserve respect for their past work as much as their present output. As always, dig a little deeper if you like a track and read more into the artists, labels, scenes, genres and cultures that you enjoy regularly.
It’s also hard to recount a month of our favorite club music without referencing a few mixes so, to start, be sure to check out DJ C-Kid’s Go Mike Gip Legacy session, Juliana Huxtable’s Discwoman One-Year Anniverary, Inkke’s Clock Strikes 13 mix and Toxe, Letta and SHALT’s respective entries to our own Astral Plane series.
Beatking x Mr. Mitch
‘Lock That Ass’
Head of New York crew/label/fashion outpost Purple Tape Pedigree, Geng has built up a reputation for bringing together a host of US and UK talent for his Devil Want My Soul (DWMS) parties in Brooklyn and, by extension, into the PTP label fold. To date, the label has released records from Celestial Trax and Joey Labeija and will soon be bringing CYPHR and Gang Fatale together for PTP003. Simultaneously, Geng’s prowess as a DJ and bootlegger has grown, his recent volume in the excellent Liminal Sounds series proving one of the more unique mixes we’ve come across in months.
And if you’ve been paying attention to either of the two recent grime-focused Boiler Room soirees, first Boxed and then Coyote, you’re likely to have heard Geng’s raucuous blend of Beatking’s 2012 anthem ‘Throw That Ass’ and an unreleased Mr. Mitch instrumental, with each play getting an equal response of gun fingers and head banging. Some of Geng’s bootlegs, especially the soundtrack-borrowing variety, seem to come out of nowhere, but ‘Lock That Ass’ is as straightforward a banger as they come. Sometimes all you need is that straightforward beat + vocal combination to hit the perfect note.
‘Dance’ (Divoli S’vere Remix)
At eight volumes deep, Divoli S’vere’s Ckuntinomksz is as good a record of the contemporary ballroom sound as you’ll find anywhere, and the latest edition is one of the strongest, featuring 12 rambunctious takes on hits and B-sides from former Danity Kane member Dawn Richard. Despite Divoli’s remix not involving the Atlanta resident’s fierce vocal work, an array of “ha” samples and crashes are layered over a pumping kick pattern, adding just enough grit to the glossy original.
‘Beam Cannon Dub’
Part of a huge (and free!) package of Gundam originals, bootlegs, refixes and mashes, ‘Beam Cannon Dub’ has the ability to set virtually any dancefloor aflame. The Dragon Ball Z-referencing Cashmere Cat flip has been floating around sets for quite some time (it’s also known as ‘Pulse Wedding’) and now that it’s out for the masses, it’s fair to expect this vicious instrumental to take on a whole new life. Based around a twinkling flute melody and pulse-heavy drum programming, ‘Beam Cannon Dub’ proves once again that Gundam is one of the most malleable producers in the grime sphere and the whole of GUNDAM001 is a must have for any self-respecting DJ’s bag.
Formerly a member of the Brick Bandits crew, DJ K-Deucez is as sure a thing as the Jersey club scene has to offer, and while his SoundCloud profile has been unfortunately taken down, the newly released mixtape The Calm is a brilliant overview of his mastery of the genre. Featuring collaborations with Kayy Drizz, DJ Problem and DJ Bake, as well as a brassy bootleg of K-Deucez’s own ‘Hydrolics’ from Tobago Tracks head Pitcheno, the tape functions as both an introduction to the large scale pop remix side of Jersey club and its deeper, more aggressive proclivities.
Despite not having a release to his name yet, Ohio-based producer v1984 has built up a wealth of material, his originals and edits appearing in mixes from the likes of Kuedo and J.G. Biberkopf and garnering attention from the Glacial Sound camp. ‘8182013’, ripped from the Circadian Rhythms NTS show, is far from v1984’s most club-ready production, but it’s an excellent example of how weightless and beatless material can take on an immediacy like that of more percussive sounds.
One of the most talented members of Principe camp, DJ Bboy (one third of Tia Maria Produções) comes through with an absolute beauty in ‘Sozinho’, a melancholy number that holds as much emotional weight as it does kinetic rhythmic energy. It’s rare that such body-focused music has the potential for everyday/all-day play, but ‘Sozinho’ hasn’t left rotation since it was upped a week back.
‘Play’ (Mobilegirl Bootleg)
Berlin’s own Mobilegirl is quickly becoming one of the best bootleg artists in the game, offering up mischievous takes on Brandy and TLC in the past and taking on Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Play’ for her latest conquest. Expect plenty more from this Staycore representative in the future and be sure to check out the Berlin Community Radio show she runs with Mechatok!
A key producer behind Blaze Kidd’s still simmering Exclusivo mixtape, Kamixlo’s solo material often has a drill-like quality, in terms of its clattering percussion and the way hip-hop and R&B samples are taken to ridiculous extremes in his edit work.
A precursor to Kami’s forthcoming EP on Bala Club, an outlet co-run with Uli-K, Blaze Kidd, Endgame and Lexxi, ‘MONTANADELAMUERTE’ is another banging rap edit, adding a near-constant stream of snares to the already-propulsive ‘Chiraq (Remix)’ by Montana of 300. It’s only two minutes long, but an exhausting listen nonetheless, adding a level of spastic energy to Montana’s rapidfire flow and slightly submerging him under layer after layer of noise, reverb and a heap of air horns.
It seems like everything Italian producer Lorenzo_BITW touches these days turns to gold and his latest only continues that streak. Following stripped down numbers like ‘Tombura'(a collaboration with Mina) and ‘Get Together’, ‘High Zone’ is a slight deviation from Lorenzo’s warm weather-ready take on UK funky, offering a chopped up, synth heavy, NBA arena-esque sound that recalls a hi-NRG take on classic electro. Like all of Lorenzo’s productions, ‘High Zone’ is focused firmly on the dancehall, but it also represents a left turn for the producer towards further rhythmic exploration.
FXWRK & Kilbourne
‘I Can’t Escape’
The first release on New York-based label Bastard Brigade (LOL Gurlz, False Witness) since October of last year, FXWRK & Kilbourne’s ‘Bang’/’I Can’t Escape’ is one of the more tranquil takes on the Jersey club template you’ll hear anywhere, and despite all of the *chill* signifiers found throughout, the kicks still sound monumental and vox are still chopped up with the precision we’ve come to expect from Newark’s finest. Friends from college, FXWRK and Kilbourne looked to go deeper into the collaboration format than most artists care to on an A/B single and the result is a beatific, leftfield take on the ever-more popular East Coast club format.