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.
Dance music feels most vital when it attains a healthy balance between sonic acceleration and dialogue with the past, utilizing the formal building blocks of the last few decades without descending into regressive nostalgia. That means adventurous, high-minded live sets sit comfortably alongside ingeniously juxtapositional edit packs and paeans to globalized culture are met with vigorous claims to geographic specificity and a drive for collectivization.
Without touching on fraught macro-narratives (historicizing the present is a fruitless task), the past month has seen a range of inspiring movements from artists new and old. Two experimental festival live recordings, from Amazondotcom & Siete Catorce, and 33EMYBW respectively, start us off, each exemplifying a sparse, autodidactic approach to rhythm that prides contortionist motion as much as longform dancefloor groove.
DJ Delish’s XP EP for Sweat Equity is another exercise in transhistorical awareness, linking high tech contemporary ballroom with classic runway house and lush R&B. Leonce’s Penetration Testing EP for the freshly minted Morph Tracks label takes a similar tact, building dynamic, constantly shifting dancefloor burners out of familiar elements.
Lastly, Mssingno’s long awaited return is a breath of fresh air amidst social media’s affective void, proving that telegraphed emotion and larger-than-life riffs are still possible and necessary in the era of irony and whisper pop. A forthcoming album and live show promises a return to the collective outswelling ‘XE2’ brought half a decade ago.
8ULENTINA – ‘deep summer’
AceMula – ‘Loving You’ [Feat. $JAYY & Tiga]
Ase Manual – ‘Taboo’
Avbvrn – ‘Harmony Revisited’
Bonde R300 – ‘Oh Nanana (Architect On The Drums)’
Crystallmess – ‘FLESH’
DJ Delish – ‘Musical Chairs’
DJ Lusiman – ‘Solala la (Gqom Mix)’
DJ Smallz – ‘Bday’
E-Saggila – ‘Alia’ [Feat. Thoom]
EVEHIVE – ‘CROMADA’
!Fliqht – ‘Da Numba 9’
Gabber Modus Operandi – ‘Padang Galaxxx’
HOUSE OF SUNS – ‘TRANSISTOR’
Jennifer Walton – ‘SCAPE’
Lechuga Zafiro – ‘Para Abajo’ [Feat. Matmos & Seba TC]
Leonce – ‘Ricochet’
Nazar – ‘Berghain Assault’
Skepta – ‘Love Me Not (DJ Paypal RMX 19)’
Tzekin, Alice Vicious – ‘Hush (x/o Remix)’