Newcomers and scene veterans converge in the February edition of For Club Use Only, which traverses geography and genre to bring you the month’s best under-the-radar club material.
Music (and indeed any art or entertainment) can feel less worthy of discussion in this political moment, but its importance is paramount – both as a means of expression and as escapism. Experimental club music has often been more concerned with fresh ideas than dancefloor salvation, but there’s an argument for both right now. Whether it’s inspiring new methods of thought or simply offering a salve, the artistic community is needed more than ever to challenge and question the swell of global fascism and its proponents.
‘OoW No More’
Nargiz tracks don’t come along all that often, but when they do it’s worth the wait. ‘OoW No More’ is a case in point and one of many highlights from Club Chai Vol. 1, the first official release from 8ULENTINA and foozool’s club night and label. It’s a deft flip of Rihanna’s ANTI highlight ‘Woo’, that loops the track’s memorable guitar riff over clattering percussion and Travi$ Scott’s cooing harmonies.
Like ‘O’youn Oyoun’ from 2016’s DISMISS U comp, ‘OoW No More’ is anchored by its singular use of drums – simultaneously caustic, rugged and brimming with sub bass. It’s a rare combination that highlights RiRi and Scott’s gleaming vocal work flawlessly.
‘Hidden Place’ (Sharp Veins Remix)
With a performance at PTP’s DWMS13 night on the horizon, the constantly shape-shifting Sharp Veins has let loose this twisted hulk of a Björk remix, infusing the Icelandic icon’s ‘Hidden Place’ with a feverish electro energy that recalls DJ Stingray and Drexciya.
As you might expect, Sharp Veins skirts traditional grooves, with the propulsive rhythms eventually disintegrating into tranquil choral ambience.
‘Caduceus’ (Eaves Hardcore Mix)
Out now on FaltyDL’s Blueberry Records, Dasychira’s Immolated EP is a brilliant slice of club madness, pushing elastic sounds to their logical conclusion across seven tracks, punctuated by collaborations with Embaci and Dviance.
Eaves takes on an almost EDM approach to ‘Caduceus’, time-stretching its lead melody into psychedelic abstraction before pushing the whole track into screeching hyperdrive. Hardly anything these two release is for the casual listener and this “hardcore” remix certainly continues that trend.
COOL FOR YOU
Berlin’s Creamcake label has quickly become an incubator for vital European talent, opening up spaces for artists like SKY H1 and Keiska to explore the intervals between pop and club. COOL FOR YOU is the latest artist to join up with the crew, building on last year’s Given Your Convenient Absence with ‘Seeing Difficulties’, a quick blast of Amnesia Scanner-esque vocal-led mystery.
COOL FOR YOU’s biography reminds of Donna Haraway’s seminal A Cyborg Manifesto, so it’s fitting that ‘Seeing Difficulties’ is so discomfiting, descending easily into the slippery middle ground between organic and mechanical.
The Halcyon Veil label is always ahead of the curve, constantly upending our perceptions of Rabit’s burgeoning imprint. ‘Organic’ is City’s second outing for the label, and it’s an attention-grabbing trance experiment in the vein of Lorenzo Senni’s more restrained pre-Persona output.
Beginning with a crunchy pulse, the Vancouver-based producer quickly pushes track’s arpeggiated lead through a mess of heaving noise that drops out almost as quickly as it begins.
‘E Pa Nu Mata’
Nidia Minaj has long stood out on the Lisbon-based Principé label’s packed roster, picking up considerable acclaim for her unique kuduro and afro house variations.
‘E Pa Nu Mata’ is a slow-burner – a syncopated West African house track that masterfully utilizes a whistle to drive things forward even as the syrupy melodic elements drag the energy down. It’s no surprise that Minaj’s sets tend to burn up late night dancefloors with deceptive ease.
‘Bad and Boujee’ (SBF & BIGK Club Remix)
A deluge of ‘Bad and Boujee’ remixes has followed the release of Migos’ smash hit, and while it’s hard to pick a favorite, SBF and Big K’s take has been on repeat since its release over the weekend.
With CULTURE now out, it’s fair to expect a further deluge of ‘T-Shirt’ and ‘Kelly Price’ remixes, but with ‘Bad and Boujee’ still destroying the club, these two Jersey producers do the most while leaving the original’s most important components largely intact.
Olympia, Washington’s Estoc is a relatively new name, but her blends have certainly caught our attention, showing off a passionate devotion to the source material that results in a final product that’s more than just a combination of two decent tracks.
‘Vipera Concord’ utilizes bits from Embaci and Dasychira’s recent ‘Vipera’ most prominently, while also infusing everything from Portland metal act The Body to Japanese video game producer Akira Yamaoka. It’s a brilliant piece of collage work that deserves to be played on a loud system for its intricacies to be fully realized.
“I remember that I could be next.” On ‘Urgency’, Linda LaBeija’s spoken word piece is interrupted briefly by a runway-ready Byrell the Great production, giving the composition a very necessary dynamism.
LaBeija’s steady, powerful voice describes violence against trans people of color and the otherness inflicted on their bodies. And while ‘Urgency’ fits into a history of spoken word pieces being matched with house and techno productions, this collaboration reaches towards something new altogether, neither dictated by the tempo of the poet’s voice or the producer’s beat. Never have these words been so urgent.
HIGH and LOW is the latest release on Ciudad Juarez-based net label LOWERS. The compilation features tracks from in and around the NAAFI universe like OMAAR, Mock the Zuma and Siete Catorce, but it’s the relatively unknown artists like Error.Error, Dvrvnt and HEXORCISMOS who really impress.
Error.Error’s ‘Pentòcoron’ is particularly special, a slab of squelchy acid thrown over a lurching dembow beat. At certain points, the rave-y synths seem to point to the track moving into hardstyle territory, but Error.Error restrains himself, anchoring the track to its Dominican roots.