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.
This month offered a sonic analog to the fog and heat storms of pre-summer. UIQ’s N1L and ZULI strutted their stuff on Opal Tapes and Haunter respectively, while Air Max ‘97’s Nacre full-length shows the club producer at his manic best.
Meanwhile, Berlin’s Réelle debuted on Danse Noire with the Kissing Myself EP, matching obtuse rhythms with unusual textures. On the more cerebral end of the spectrum, Kid Smpl’s first solo release on his own DISPLAY label is essential, as is lucaufer’s pristine EP1 for Tobago Tracks.
‘Barbie torture area # 2’
Nicki Minaj’s latest material has been contorted into countless shapes recently, but House of Kenzo’s LEDEF might be the fiercest take, substituting metal riffs and gutturals for ballroom’s traditional stabs and crashes.
Ariel Zetina fills her latest with plenty of alarm bells, metallic rumbles and clever panning. But it’s the unrelenting drive of ‘Oil Rig’ that has had our hands in the air since its release as part of Sweat Equity’s EXTREME HITS compilation.
‘All I Have Left’ (Dis Fig Remix)
What sounds like an excellent set opener morphs into all-out hoover bass and breaks madness, proof that Dis Fig can blend dense, often frightening sound design (see her FACT Mix) with the serious soundsystem pressure.
Having riffed on hyphy and ballroom in the past, Ytem turns his attention towards trance and hardstyle tropes on his latest release, an expansive four tracker for Abime. ‘Chute’ opens the record and introduces its sound palette, layering melodramatic strings over hard-hitting drum programming.
‘Do you plan to end a seige?’ (HEAVENLY YASHA REMIX)
Object Blue’s Do you plan to end a siege? has proven to be one of 2018’s most striking efforts and now the material has been reworked in this fast paced update from Yokohoma-based footwork producer YASHA.
My Sword’s ‘persona’ was featured in the June 2016 edition of For Club Use Only and now Kareem Lotfy, recently thrown into Ye-induced controversy, has given it a hype update, with a little help from Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert.
‘Black Light, Blind Fire’
Subtext has been a focal point for sub heavy, experimental explorations for well over a decade and xin’s To Shock the Sky and Shake the Earth EP fits in perfectly on James Ginzburg’s imprint. ‘Black Light, Blind Fire’ opens the release in spectacular fashion, splaying totemic kicks over arpeggiated synth and disarming vocal gurgles.
‘RIA’ (FOOZOOL Remix)
Cuyo’s debut for Nostro Hood System is an exercise in bright, enticing melodies and chunky basslines and FOOZOOL’s patient, textured take on ‘RIA’ finishes off the pack nicely.
‘i Luv 2 Dance’
Los Angeles’ AMAZONDOTCOM has long been focused on sub bass and ‘i Luv 2 Dance’ is no different, a roller punctuated with vocal flickers and heaving low end frequencies.
‘Toot Dat 2k18’
DJ Dwizz’s ‘Toot Dat’ is a Philly Club staple and here, New Jersey’s HotRod gives it an update worthy of our time, adding contemporary production sheen without losing any of the original’s raw energy.