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.
With hotly tipped releases on the way from Errorsmith, Last Japan, M.E.S.H. and Sharp Veins, as well as current smashes from Epic B, False Witness, Violence and Dinamarca, we took it upon ourselves to dig deeper and find the best under-the-radar, leftfield club music of the last month.
To hear all the tracks in one go, use the playlist below.
‘حركت السكوت (No Speech)’
Thoom’s angular sound has wowed us since we first heard her collaboration with Itsï back in March. Now, the Beirut-born, Chicago-based multimedia artist arrives for the debut solo release on Club Chai, introducing a sound heavy on texture and spatial dynamics.
Initially alienating, tracks like ‘حركت السكوت (No Speech)’ take on a world building quality over the Blood and Sand EP’s runtime, simultaneously adding and destroying new layers of hectic sound.
Tzusing ‘日出東方 唯我不敗’ met B. YHZZ ‘HOL’
Tzusing and B. YHZZ aren’t traditional partners at first glance, but the Chinese L.I.E.S. representative and Polish Intruder Alert co-founder combine their skills to brilliant effect on Anni Nöps’ latest edit.
With B. YHZZ’s ‘HOL’ providing a layer of grit to Tzusing’s elastic ‘日出東方 唯我不敗’, Nöps drags a surprisingly agile industrial number out of the mist, drawing lines between two artists in seemingly disparate scenes.
‘Sometimes The Going, Gets A Little Tough’
Never one to shy away from faster tempos, Finn here combines a four-on-the-floor structure with a looped Dusty Springfield sample and the result is either pure melancholy or unadulterated euphoria depending on your mood.
It almost feels like something you’d find in a deep YouTube dive, primed for 2017 club play.
‘Kambo’ (Lechuga Zafiro Remix)
Despite not following up the Aequs Nyama EP with a traditional release, Salviatek co-head Lechuga Zafiro has sprayed work across labels like NAAFI and Club Chai, providing standout moments on the former’s bootleg tapes and the latter’s debut compilation.
His latest, a remix of Sun Yufka’s ‘Kambo’, is pure mania, all wooded drums and rubbery synth lines creating ever-more complex patterns across the track’s surface.
Linked with the Knives camp, Mind:Body:Fitness has been quiet of late, but September saw the Berlin-based producer post ‘MBF 2017’, a collection of demos, live recordings and remixes, mashed together into a single gleaming heap.
A finely attuned focus on sound design and an overdriven rave ethos define the pack, which should have everyone keenly looking forward to MBF’s first official release.
‘HA YOU THOUGHT’
Baltimore’s Thunderbird Juicebox pulls no punches on ‘HA YOU THOUGHT’, harnessing the raw energy of Meek Mill’s ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ for a punishing Bmore club workout.
Few producers can ratchet up the energy to these levels, but Thunderbird Juicebox does it with ease and the result epitomizes the most raucous end of the Bmore spectrum.
‘Atura ou Surta’ (DJ Helder Afro Funk Remix)
DJ Helder has emerged as one of the most consistent producers in Europe this year, pushing a distinctly modern Afrobeats sound that relies on simple, addictive melodies and robust drum programming.
The Paris-based producer’s latest is a reboot of MC GW’s baile funk smash ‘Atura ou Surta’, proving once again that the trans-Atlantic connection is as strong as ever.
‘Glowworms’ (Noelsferatu’s Broken Circuit Edit)
Ohio’s Build crew has emerged as one of the most exciting party outfits in the US in 2017 and their first bootleg package lives up to the hype.
Featuring re-takes by v1984, Shirtless and Noelsferatu, the pack traverses hybrid club styles at a brisk pace, emphasizing the raw emotion of high key pop and a range of exciting melodic flourishes. Noelsferatu’s break-laden take on Sharp Veins’ ‘Glowworms’, itself unreleased, should soundtrack many a night out.
Vancouver B.C.’s Ayeeemami, a recent guest on Kelman Duran’s excellent NTS show, turned in the standout ‘PAPI CHULO’ this month, making up for the lo-fi sound quality with a withdrawn exuberance that recalls the likes of Tomasa del Real and Ms. Nina. Her edits of Brandy and Spice also stand up, bringing organic flair to hypnotic dembow chop.
DJ Taj & NateTheProducer
‘Koze Kuse #TouchYaHeadWorldwide’
DJ Taj and NateTheProducer link up for this hypnotic take on DJ Merlon and Mondli Ngcobo’s 2014 hit ‘Koze Kuze’, reinvigorating the original with a fresh burst of laid back Jersey club energy.