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.
In an era where down-the-middle house and techno dominates clubland and has seeped into normie culture, this column performs the uneasy role of agglomerating disparate global club sounds in one place. Most months, we’re concerned with what’s emerging from non-traditional centers, both social and geographic, and what’s pushing boundaries. Every once in a while though, it’s healthy to take a step back and meditate on contemporary artists’ attempts to interface with and build upon older sounds that might have peaked in popularity five, 10 or 20 years ago.
The most interesting artists to emerge from the digital heap consistently tend to synthesize the old and the new, taking a dialectic approach that balances mediatized hybridity against hyperlocal tradition. Over the past decade, we’ve watched Jersey Club grow from a regional dance phenomenon to a chart-topping success and the ballroom, FDM and kuduro scenes crystallize around tight-knit groups of producers and DJs and break onto global dancefloors.
Faster, more aggressive and more threadbare sounds have emerged as the decade has come to a close, allowing for artists to revisit both the extremities of gabber and hardstyle, as well as softer, earlier hardcore manifestations. Much of this material is strictly nostalgic but the opening up of the dancefloor to higher BPMs has widened the sonic aperture available to DJs and, paradoxically, allowed for a range of slower sounds to inch their way back in (see: lento violento).
This month’s column features legends and new faces in equal measure. The selection process was no different than any other month but the lens offered by five years of this column and the closing of the decade frames each individual track in a different light.
33EMYBW – ‘Adam Bank’
Ari Lennox – ‘BMO (UNIIQU3 X Wiz The Producer Remix)’
BADSISTA – ‘Bota (Acid Mix)’
BE3K – ‘Muscles [Prod. by Farsight]’ [Feat. Divoli S’vere]
DJ Bboy – ‘Pânico’
DJ Netflex – ‘San Junipero (For Estoc)’
DJ Sliink – ‘My Butt Too Fat’ [Feat. DJ Fresh & Celeb]
Dj Tray – ‘Drive U Crazy’
E-Saggila – ‘Tilt’
Elysia Crampton – demo for my tio
KG X Scratchclart – ‘Dirty Cash [Reprise]’
Lechuga Zafiro – ‘Sudor en Vapor’
Manuka Honey, Nara – ‘Siren Spell’
Nazar – ‘2 African Sickos’ [Feat. Citizen Boy]
Odete & DRVGジラ – ‘Lake Verity’
Ptwiggs – ‘Worth It’
Riobamba – ‘Muerte’
Static-X – ‘Push It (Estoc Donk Flip)’
Swizzymack – ‘Rise and Shine’
TAYHANA – ‘Eterna Migración’