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.
Beguiling to fans of more traditional scenes, club music has continued its rapid explosion into new sonic and geographic territory and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
Hardcore premonitions in the collage-driven work of the past half-decade have given way to more overtly intense formations with artists like Debby Friday, most recently in conjunction with DJ Haram (a fitting extension of her work as 700 Bliss with Moor Mother), Muqata’a and Sissy Nobby embracing DIY recording, noise and propulsion over trad musicality.
On the other side of the spectrum, artists like coucou chloe, Organ Tapes and Qualiatik have also embraced a DIY spirit, but opted for the pop form, laying out clearly referential, yet refreshing takes on various songwriting constructs of the past few decades. In fitting fashion, this approach has involved a vibrant adoption of gauche and uncanny visual and sonic qualities, seen most clearly on coucou chloe’s voice modulation on ‘Silver B’, Organ Tapes mid-2000s indie earnestness on ‘Condition’, and the transportive body mod/horror of Qualiatik’s ‘Mother Tongue’ music video.
Moving back to a more defined dancefloor, there’s still plenty of room for those bending rhythmic formats into dynamic new shapes with the latest from Air Max ’97, DJ NJ Drone and Joey Labeija, all released on their own respective labels, taking center stage. Not to be outdone, MM and Suda, formerly of Her Records, have joined forces on Async Figure, a new project debuted via a high energy live set (which can be heard here) at last year’s Unsound.
AGGROMANCE – ‘Perreo Oskuro’
Baby Blue – ‘Visage Of Truth’
Bell Curve – ‘Stompin My Feet’
DJ NJ DRONE – ‘1000mg’
DJ Plead – ‘Ana Ho’ [Feat. Alaa Fifty]
Dj Tray – ‘Arch Dat Back’
DEBBY FRIDAY AND DJ HARAM – ‘SEARCHING’
Estoc – ‘Terrible Satisfaction (Kilbourne x Rizzla x MM)’
INTENTIONALLYCOLD – ‘DEPENDENCIES’ [FEAT. ENGINE]
joey labeija – ‘simulated love’
Kush Jones – ‘Sin City’ [Feat. DJ SWISHA And DIYR]
MISS HONEY – ‘quest?onmarc’ [Feat. MOI RENEE]
N1L – ‘Neural Uberization (Via App’s Roadkill)’
NET GALA – ‘KIKI’
NYOP – ‘Whoa’
Offset – ‘Clout (DJ Diamond Kuts Remix)’
Odete – ‘FIRST, IT TAKES YOUR WORDS’
QUALIATIK – ‘Mother Tongue’
Sissy Nobbyy – ‘9wd judy checkin 4 me.mp3’
TIA MARIA PRODUÇÕES – ‘C’EST LA DANCE – DECALÉ’
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.
Read next: Deep Inside: June 2019’s must-hear house and techno playlist