For Club Use Only is your one-stop guide to the best underground dance music from across the world. Each month, The Astral Plane’s Gabe Meier forecasts the next wave of sounds due to break through into the mainstream.
The past month has been a true celebration of summer, with high profile releases from Asmara, Pan Daijing, Hitmakerchinx and Nídia Minaj, alongside standout group efforts from the N.A.A.F.I., Fractal Fantasy and Nervous Horizon crews.
Finally, Jana Rush’s Pariah LP, released via Objects Ltd, is a masterpiece of menacing atmosphere and kinetic drum programming, proving that the Chicago legend still has it, three decades into her career.
To hear all the tracks in one go, use the playlist below.
Los Angeles’ Maral has been a key force behind the SISTER network, assisting in both the local and virtual planning behind the global female and gender non-conforming crew. She’s also a standout producer in her own right, combining Jersey club rhythms with samples of Iranian music in evermore ingenious ways.
‘Blush’ is Maral’s contribution to SISTER: Volume One, an absolute must-listen that also features work from Jana Rush, waterhouse, Anna Morgan, Sha Sha Kimbo and more.
‘Malandrina’ (prod. Orlando)
Jay Boogie’s Jesus Loves Me Too might just be the Brooklyn MC’s best work to date and recent Gobstopper signee Orlando (fka Orlando Volcano) provides a standout moment in ‘Malandrina’, laying out a lush bed for Boogie to rap-sing in Spanish.
Fans will remember the duo also linked up on 2016’s ‘Hear Them Howling’, an essential joint project with PTP’s Celestial Trax.
‘Bodak (IDFWU) ‘18’
Los, a member of Juke Bounce Werk’s East Coast contingent, blasts Cardi B’s ubiquitous summer anthem into the stratosphere, proving that high-pitched juke energy is still one of the quickest routes to dancefloor domination.
‘Unlove Mystery’ (Detente Nightmare Remix)
Detente’s latest falls somewhere between the breaks-laden noise of JK Flesh and, well, the Taylor Swift joint that Boe Strummer’s original virtually samples in full.
Detente’s unhinged approach is on full display here with the beat dropping out entirely two thirds of the way through the track, leaving the listener and high and dry with only Swift’s sanguine voice and guitar to lead them out.
Beek x Blaque
‘I’m Good Ha’
Beek digs deep into the early 2000s R&B vault for this full-frontal ballroom assault, which sees the New York Qween Beat representative show that he’s just at adept at chopping up samples and he is at providing standout vocal performances.
‘D Rose’ (ABE Remix)
If you’re the type of person who enjoys having a repetitive sample smashed into their cerebral cortex while out dancing, then ABE’s lightning speed Jersey club take on Lil Pump’s ‘D Rose’ will throw you into ecstasy. Jersey’s Artistic Music Group has been ratcheting up the tempos into the 150s of late and ABE is one of the crew’s standout producers.
Superficie’s work tends to unravel as a song progresses, seemingly taut elements becoming loose and simple melodic lines intertwining in ever more complex arrangements.
‘Fantazma’ is a perfect example, a truly narrative effort with a surprising amount of low-key oomph. 2016’s Hélices EP, released through Salviatek, was one of the year’s standout debuts and ‘Fantazma’ shows that the Brazilian producer has only diversified his sound in the time since.
Illumination Boiz have emerged with some of the hardest productions in the gqom sphere, drawing the attention of DJs as far flung as London’s Ikonika, France’s Teki Latex and Oakland’s Club Chai crew.
The trio’s debut is released on August 14 on HI-NRG and balances the moody, percussion-driven elements that have made the Durban style so seductive with brighter sound design and more freeform songwriting. Hopefully this is just the start for these talented newcomers.
‘Feign’ (s.m.i.l.e. Edit)
Bubbling has seen a rise in popularity of late and Baltimore’s dj shsHuNj is the latest to try on the sped up Dutch style, arranging an angelic collision course for the listener to barrel through.
Previous dj shsHuNj edits have touched on dancehall, FDM and breakcore so this collision of Caribbean and hardcore sounds is a logical progression.
Deconstructed club has become a popular descriptor of late, but few songs involve levels of destructive decomposition quite like Ledef’s ‘Purity Bynez’.
Essentially throwing Bubba Sparxxx and the Ying Yang Twins’s ‘Ms. New Booty’ into a thunderstorm, the House of Zenzo member reaches stadium rock levels of energy here, a constant rage-inducing peak that ends as abruptly as it starts.
Gabe Meier is on Twitter