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 a contemporary music economy that emphasizes constant innovation – or, at least the perception of it – consistency is not always a quality that’s rewarded. This is particularly true for veterans of America’s numerous regional club scenes. There are countless artists who are still active and still releasing a barrage of quality tunes on Bandcamp, SoundCloud and a range of other streaming and download platforms. That many of the scenes these artists originally grew out of have been capitalized on by indie legacy stalwarts and major labels alike only makes the situation more tragic as canons are manipulated. It’s important to give a nod to artists like Baltimore’s DJ Technics, Chicago’s Traxman and Newark’s DJ Jayhood, each of whom have recently released some of the most striking music in their respective long and storied careers.
Across three album-length Bandcamp drops this past month, DJ Technics has elucidated the past, present and future of club music, putting the focus on the scene’s many female MCs on Queens of Club, providing a treasure trove of highly functional acapellas, breaks and loops on Club Tools 1, and bringing the hyper-local Baltimore sound to the fore on Flea Market Tracks 2. Best Of DJ Jayhood Throwback Jersey Club Vol.1 takes a similar archival approach, building on 2017’s KING collection, to highlight the Jersey Club producer’s now legendary edits and remixes dating back to the late 2000s.
Official releases for Moveltraxx and Teklife have marked out one end of the Traxman sound this year, but we’ve been equally absorbed by the edits, mixes and throwback material released through his CORKY STONG page. Disco, footwork and seemingly every flavor of house sit comfortably together here, emphasizing several decades of vibrant Chicago dance music and Traxman’s sustained role in its progression.
This month’s column features some of the best and brightest working in the seams of contemporary electronic music. But before moving forward, it’s always good to share a little bit of agitprop for the legends in our midst.
BALTIMEGA – ‘It Begins’
Capital Kaos – ‘WARFACE’
Clara! y Maoupa – ‘Badman’
Color Plus – ‘Pure Energy’
Dj Narciso – ‘DIARRUMBA’
El Irreal Veintiuno – ‘Apofenia’ [Feat. Siete Catorce]
Emily Glass – ‘Uvula’
Epic B, SIM & Eddie Hill – ‘Patient’
LAFAWNDAH – ‘STORM CHASER (COBRA RASTEIRA) X LINN DA QUEBRADA X PININGA REWORK’
Lil Live – ‘Party Tyme’
LILA TIRANDO A VIOLETA – ‘MALA (ABSSYS RE-TAKE)’
Loraine James – ‘dunno really’
Miracles – ‘Game Over’ [Feat. Ms. Boogie]
MOBBS – ‘Hit’em 100bpm’
Nick Catchdubs – ‘Creeper (BSNYEA Remix)’
SWISHA – ‘Scream’
Tim Reaper – ‘Lights Off Heads Down’
Tre Oh Fie – ‘Give It 2 Em’
UNIIQU3 – ‘Go Dumb (BITCH I TWERK)’ [Feat. Addy OMG]
WHY BE – ‘Panic Glue Drum’t’ [Feat. Elysia]