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 conversation around club music in January was driven by new mixtapes and remix volumes with cutting edge new material introduced by LSDXOXO, Jam City and Why Be, while slightly older music from Lechuga Zafiro and Mr. Mitch has been resuscitated by an exciting range of producers.
Meanwhile, the usual oddities, one offs and bootlegs filtered in at an astonishing rate, filling our ears with enough baile funk a capellas and nightcore-meets-Drake renditions to shake off any lingering winter funk.
To hear all the tracks in one go, use the playlist below.
MC GW & Fabinho OSK
‘ATAQUE BOLADO 150 BPM’ (Prod. DJ Douglinhas)
Most new baile funk is situated in a comfortable 130 BPM range, but DJ Douglinhas’ latest production for MC GW and Fabinho OSK comes in at a heartbeat-accelerating 150, an invigorating change that pushes the familiar rhythmic structure to its breaking point.
Lechuga Zafiro feat. C1080
‘Tambor Espada’ (Pobvio Remix)
Lechuga Zafiro’s Aequs Nyama was released in late 2015 but tracks like ‘Tambor Espada’ and ‘Ayida Weddo’ and remixes from mobilegirl and Blacksea Não Maya still get consistent play from DJs across the globe. Now, the original EP gets another tangle of remixes, including this brilliantly-paced version from Pobvio, that peaks with a spastic flurry of high pitched animal screeches, wooden percussion and overdriven digital noise.
Los Angeles’ Maral has a reputation for high energy DJ sets, but her productions often explore the interstices between genre experimentation and collage. Think Jersey club mixed with Iranian classical music. Her latest is a fuzzed out take riffing on before bed lullabies, recontextualized for the noise loving warehouse audience.
‘Promise 2k18’ (DJBakeRemix)
DJ Bake’s latest goes all the way back to Ciara’s ‘Promise’, chopping up the 2006 hit into yet another sensual anthem from the Trenton-based producer. Of course, Bake doesn’t take himself too seriously, throwing enough goofy vocal drops into the mix to appropriately lighten the mood.
Blaqstarr x So Drove
‘In The Middle’
So Drove successfully connected with Blaqstarr on 2016’s Everyday Is A Winding Road EP (under the former’s Schwarz moniker) and the two collide again on ‘In The Middle’, a one-of-a-kind blend of baile funk structure, scuzzy guitar and blown out come ons from the Baltimore MC.
‘wishin’ & wishin”
JX Cannon has never shied away from a gimmick and his latest, a nightcore-styled remix of Drake’s ‘God’s Plan’, pushes all the right buttons without taking itself remotely seriously. If it’s too much, check out his Collapse EP for sparkling synth arrangements and slow breaks.
Jaymie Silk feat. Shug
‘Watch Me’ (Skyshaker Remix)
Skyshaker channels the industrial gods of yore for this forceful, repetitive remix, throwing prospective dancers into the grinder from the off.
‘DEIXA OS MONSTROS FALAREM MIXAPELLA’
Baile funk has become a major presence in the global club consciousness, but sadly most producers and DJs don’t go much farther than ‘Bololo Haha’. Sao Paulo’s Pininga (and his Tormenta crew) are doing their best to raise everyone’s horizons. ‘DEIXA OS MONSTROS FALAREM MIXAPELLA’ is a case in point, an insane 17 minute mixtape featuring a capellas from around 40 baile funk MCs.
‘Green Man III’
Grandiose sound design meets fierce chops from one one of Jersey’s finest. ‘NOBODY SAFE ’18’, a collaboration with $JAYY, one of our 10 club artists to watch in 2018, is also primed to light up the dancefloor.
‘Nidia Na Sukulbembe’
The laying of superlatives at Nidia’s feet has become a monthly task in FCUO, but this month’s entry from the kuduro legend is a bit different, showing off her melodic, beatless chops in absolutely pristine fashion.