Newcomers and scene veterans converge in the March edition For Club Use Only, which traverses geography and genre to bring you the month’s best under-the-radar club material.
The range music covered in this column has never been easily confined into one scene, and this month’s ferings feel more disparate than ever, with Jersey club purism falling alongside brash Euro-trash edits and urgent afro house.
Perhaps it was just an odd month, but it’s hard not to see this as a further diversification not only the tracks producers are churning out but what exactly DJs are willing to play. Old genres are reinvented and new ones are merged, twisted into bizarre shapes and thrown aside entirely.
Kehlani’s SweetSexySavage has been hard to miss since its release in January, but successful edits the Oakland-born artist are few and few between.
8ULENTINA changes that with ‘KeepOn100’, a hype blend ‘Keep On’ and DJC’s ‘C100’ that manages to maintain the original’s distinct East Bay bounce while adding the Night Slugs Allstars Volume 3 hit’s unmistakable synths. Edits like this are why 2017 is shaping up to be a huge year for the Club Chai representative.
Nass Beatz ft. DJ Helder
A previous collaboration with Firaas turned us onto young Marseille-based producer Nass Beatz, and this new effort is a sign that he has plenty heat as a solo artist.
Brief and full wonder, Nass Beatz and DJ Helder’s untitled collaboration has been an obsession since it was uploaded in early February, combining hypnotic percussion with playful chord progressions.
Liquid City Motors
‘Call The Specialists In’
Glacial Industries (fka Glacial Sound) doesn’t pump out releases on a monthly basis, but you can be sure that each respective artist they work with will come through with a fresh sound and approach.
Milwaukee’s Liquid City Motors is the latest artist to join Paul Purcell’s stable, bringing a breaks-heavy sound that references Detroit’s electro lineage as much as it does contemporary footwork.
‘Call The Specialists In’ exhibits all the qualities that make the Current Source EP such a special body work, full overdriven kicks, slippery breaks and a directness that belies how complex its overlapping rhythms and textures happen to be.
Tink x Marilyn Manson
‘Bio Weapon’ (Jikuroux Blend)
There was a notable spike in metal edits a few months back and while most efforts result in unlistenable mush, producers like Kilbourne, Swan Meat and Estoc have managed to infuse a hardcore spirit into their work.
Now we can add Australia’s Jikuroux to that list having through with this spacious blend Chicago upstart Tink and the so-called God Fuck.
Jikuroux debuted last year on Air Max ‘97’s DECISIONS imprint with the excellent Ruptured Pulse EP and ‘Bio Weapon’ proves she has plenty more in the tank.
AMAZONDOTCOM has been making some our favorite asymmetric club efforts recently – psychedelic tracks that mix hi-tech percussion with hand drumming and a range effects.
Some tracks recall the f-kilter techno Lee Gamble’s UIQ imprint, but the Los Angeles-based artist is fully in her own lane. Tracks like ‘<3' and ‘Like The Night, Full Sun’ manage to balance intimacy with a finely cultivated digital sheen.
‘<3' is one her best yet, aided by soothing pads and a rhythm that lazily lurches forward into a bizarro take on jungle.
‘Tea Lizard’s Lament’
New York’s Sweat Equity label has been releasing high energy dance tracks with remarkable frequency since debuting in 2015 and their latest drop is as hype as it gets.
Coming from recent LA transplants DIVORCE, ‘Tea Lizard’s Lament’ sits at the crossroads techno and jungle, a blistering run four-on-the-floor kicks and whirlwind breaks that recalls the more nerve-addled end the hardcore continuum.
‘Blue Kush (Tool65)’
Merca Bae has started f 2017 at a blistering pace, coming through with an essential Resla collaboration and contributing stand out tracks to recent comps from Trendy Decay and GoldenHall.
‘Blue Kush (Tool65)’ was on the latter, appearing alongside tracks from like-minded artists such as Kid Cala and Bigote. It’s also the second Eiffel 65 bootleg we’ve come across in the past few months, fering a hype analog to Mr. Mitch’s elegiac take.
‘Conceited’ (DJ Problem Remix)
Remy Ma’s conflict with Nicki Minaj has dominated the news cycle since ‘Shether’, but maybe it’s time to take a closer look at her back catalog than wait for another diss track.
DJ Problem takes 2006’s ‘Conceited’, flipping it into a raw Club anthem comprised entirely drums, strings and Remy’s looped boasts. It’s hard to imagine a producer more fit to take it on than Problem.
‘16 Shots’ (DJ Yoko Remix)
Cartagena, Colombia’s DJ Yoko is always a sure bet for re-tooled vocal tracks and his take on Stefflon Don’s massive ’16 Shots’ is no different, fitting the original with a beefed up dembow arrangement and an emphasis on the urgency the London MC’s words.
Previous takes on Gyptian, Demarco and Casanova have also proven to be dancefloor bombs and we’ll take any chance we can get to hear ’16 Shots’ out in the club.
‘Show Me’ (Asmara Remix)
As half Nguzunguzu, Asmara has established herself as one the most influential artists to come out the vaunted Fade to Mind crew, but we’ve heard surprisingly little her solo work over the years.
That should change soon with her debut album on the way, and in the meantime we have this ficial take on Kristin Kontrol’s ‘Show Me’ to sink our teeth into. The result is an awkward melding grime production and indie rock twee, tied together by an unholy union pulses and chipmunk vocals.