A club can be a palace of unmitigated capitalism and consumption, or it can be a place where a community can come together and celebrate the joys of good music, dancing, and each other. It’s often forgotten that the origins of club culture and of electronic dance music, were born in the clubs of Chicago, Detroit, and New York, nurtured by black and brown people, straight and gay people, men, women, and all other gender identities. We often forget how radical that was, how radical dance music can be, how organizing and participating in a safe, inclusive, and fun club night can serve as the reflection of the society we want to live in, and maybe even a reflection of how we can organize to make that happen. Anyways, here’s some of the best, house, techno, footwork, club, and ambient music released in January 2017. —Sam Ribakoff
Allergy Season– Physically Sick Comp
This compilation, curated by New York dance label Allergy Season, along with badass New York DJ collective Discwoman, has been getting a decent amount of attention lately, with very good reason. The 42 track compilation showcases a wide swath of dance styles, from the burbling techno of Bookworms “Sacred Drama,” to minimalist club bangers like Bergonists’ “Colonial Revolution,” which shows the power and evocativeness of one forceful four on the floor bass drum and some effects. All proceeds from the sale of the comp will be split up and given to The American Civil Liberties Union, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center, and Planned Parenthood. They’re going to need it.
Club Chai– Club Chai Vol. 1
Club Chai is a nomadic club night in Oakland organized by East Bay club music veterans DJ 8ulentina and Foozool, who specialize in club music with an ear towards Middle Eastern vibes. This comp is their under the Club Chai name, and it includes a lot of similar minded DJs and producers. Some of this comp is a little hit and miss, but when it’s good, it’s damn good, like Jasmine Infinitis harrowing “Hapocalypse,” and Moro’s weirdly satisfying breakbeat baile funk “Ezra Entrena El Bumbum.”
DJ Chap– Drum Pakk 1
DJ Chap is a part of the extended footwork music Teklike crew, but on Drum Pakk DJ Chap tackles Brazilian baile funk with an ear towards the glitchy fast samples of footwork tracks.
NINONG, who used to go by the amazing name of Tiger Would, is a producer I’ve been following for a long while. I know nothing about NINONG, except for the fact that he makes sometimes exceedingly silly, sometimes just straight exciting, footwork inspired tracks. I can’t decide where “nnh” sits in that continuum, but I’m pretty sure I dig this slowed down footwork remix of Future’s “Move That Dope.”
Compton’s own AshTreJinkins serves up a nasty, grungy, loosie beat on his Soundcloud.
Mr. Beatnick– Dawn Vapours EP
Mr. Beatnick lays down some heartwarming, euphoric, house music on this short EP.
William Basinski– “For David Robert Jones”
Maybe this is not a track you’d want to hear dropped in the middle of a DJ set, but Basinski’s new composition, a tribute to David Bowie, sounds like a meditation on the forces of the apocalypse; a perfect song for today.
Also, if you’re not bumping the new Migos album, or the new Missy Elliott song, what are you doing?