20 under-the-radar club tracks you need to hear: September 2019

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.

Artists that reflect and critique advanced technology have formed the backbone of the electronic music canon since its inception. As in science fiction, what separates the wheat from the chaff has always been a willingness to go beyond mere depictions of present technology or facile speculations on future technologies. Whether it’s Jeff Mills or Ursula K. Le Guin, technology has functioned as the speculative thrust for new worlds (and our own) to be laid bare, examined and explored from every possible hierarchical, historical and socio-political angle.

It would be disingenuous to start this month’s column anywhere but the earth shattering collaborations between Kampala’s Hakuna Kulala and Shanghai’s SVBKVLT. With Hyph11e and Slikback as key narrative figures, Slip A and Slip B function as intuitively modernist works with each artist’s respective approach colliding, warping and reforming in real time.

Like Autechre’s Chiastic Slide, or more recently Caterina Barbieri’s Ecstatic Computation, the backbone of tracks like ‘ISHU’ and ‘CANE’ (with Yen Tech) are recognizable at first, full of hallucinogenic speed-noise juxtapositions, but before long are corrupted beyond recognition, functioning only as objects that can move bodies but avoid touch.

New releases from Neana, Rui Ho and xin also look outward while convulsing within, crafting proprietary dancefloor models via the vectors of pop schmaltz, Chinese folklore and rave. Most importantly, each release avoids cynical nostalgia by leaving its source material in a ghostly heap as it pushes far beyond the initial form and motive intended.

On the mix front, Hesska, Loraine James and Loris have each mined the psychedelic depths of rhythm science, patiently and methodically working familiar blocks of sound into new forms. The latter’s session for Club Chai is particularly vital, bringing naturalistic percussion into the soundsystem zone and dismantling the notion that high tech always entails high gloss.

Tracklist:

45DiBoss – ‘Share Work’ [prod. by Ikonika]
DJ Bake – ‘Playing Games’ [Feat. Carvel]
Dj Bboy – ‘LEGS’
DJ Big O – ‘Leme See Ya Booty Drop’
DJ P – ‘Battered Huawei’
Isomov – ‘HOPiNG MECHANiSMS’
JLZ – ‘EXIT’
Kinlaw & Franco Franco – ‘Positivo’
Kush Jones – ‘boogie beats’
Lyzza – ‘Girls R Us (Badsista Remix)’
object blue – ‘FUCK THE STASIS’
Neana – ‘Toxic (Britney)’
NYOP – ‘In The Gov’
piano princess – ‘Sophie Rihanna Young Thug NIGHTMVRE BEAT7’
Rui Ho, ‘Wings of Light’
Sharp Veins – ‘Aviary Chirp At Me’
Slikback & Hyph11E – ‘ISHU’
TAYHANA – ‘Negra Brava’
Toni Moralez – ‘HER NECK HER BACK (ONLY TOUCH HER IF SHE WANTS 2)’
Yilan – ‘Regression (AMAZONDOTCOM Remix)’

Gabe Meier runs The Astral Plane. Find him on Twitter.

Olivea Kelly is an independent artist and designer. Find her on Instagram or at opk.studio.

Listen next: FACT mix 725: RUI HO

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