BEST CLUB MUSIC The Best Club Music on Bandcamp: January–February 2024 By Gabe Meier · March 19, 2024

The relationship between space, sound, and time differs when music is heard through one’s headphones as opposed to on a large soundsystem with a crowded dancefloor. Much club music today is made with both audiences in mind, a challenge of both medium, intent, and political economy that has dramatically transformed how club music is produced.

Club music’s more inventive artists tend to collapse the distinction, working with both actual dancefloors and more abstract sound design concerns in mind. Our favorite releases from January and February are certainly of this kind, firmly premised in regional club and soundsystem cultures yet expanding beyond club functionalism to other psychic—both literally and metaphorically—spaces and times.

Releases from Alex Compton, bastiengoat, EYEHIVE, Helix, and Tre Oh Fie achieve this unity through a rigorous attention to detail, drawing out motifs from regional club music without losing the focal point of their own perspective. Aya, Chrisman, and EL BLANCO NINO take a harder turn in their approach, inverting the familiar and colliding tempos and environments in a novel fashion. TraTraTrax’s latest no pare, sigue sigue compilation also collides, bringing together a global assemblage of artists tethered by the Colombian label’s vision.

Alex Compton
“Caffeine Flutes”

Regional American rap production tends to find a way into the beats, rhythmic structures, and motifs of club music, and few artists take it on better than Alex Compton. “Caffeine Flutes” is the Portland artist’s latest in this vein, a cold arrangement slumped on overdriven kicks and fat basslines. The melody and breakdowns remind of Compton’s faster, trance-y work but “Caffeine Flutes” is more of a continuation of releases Compton and others have laid down on the Headless label. Perfect for late winter thawing into spring.

Lip Flip

Lip Flip is a prism for DJs seeking a challenge, a kaleidoscope for careful listeners, and a destination for dancefloor thrill seekers. The four-track EP, aya’s first solo release since 2021’s im hole LP, leaps between styles and tempos with characteristic abandon, sounding very much like an aya DJ set, albeit sans mic chat. “Leftenant Keith” is a spiritual successor to 2017’s massive (vibe moment) “NGALLO NGALLO”; prickly opener “Essente!” with Ugandan rapper Ecko Bazz, rips open a time-space continuum that doesn’t conclude until the EP shudders into silence; and “Dexxy Is A Midnight Runner,” cosigned by Surgeon, loops aya’s most adventurous rhythmic forms into an insatiable six-minute epic. All proceeds go to a fund for aya’s gender-affirming surgery.


Bastiengoat links freewheeling hybridity with tight grooves on NODE, the Oakland artist’s latest self-released EP. Breaks and square wave synths run throughout the project, occasionally dissolved in sunny vocal come-ons and beatific breakdowns. Empty space is in abundance, as are a range of expertly cut and textured drum loops that form the substratum of tracks like “Slander,” “Beautiful Lover,” and “Midnight Sweat.” “That’s Why They Roll” takes a slightly different tack, molding an acid bassline into a beat-by-beat monstrosity that only seems to grow as the song progresses.


Kampala-based producer Chrisman has released two exceptional projects so far in 2024. The first, IS THE UNIVERSE A FRIENDLY PLACE?, takes the prize in this column, if only because I have had more time to sit with it. Gqom, baile funk, kuduro, and Afro-Congolese rhythms are smashed together in a dense, rough-and-ready dancefloor mixture. Highlights include the disembodied vocal loop of “Afrikanish,” the alarm bell–ringing bass of “Qgomola,” and the insectile lurch of “Break Baile.” Chrisman is one of the most prolific artists around these days and almost never misses.


The cutting edge of Jersey club has been trending towards quasi-ambient sounds for quite a while now, and EL BLANCO NINO’s ECHOES IN THE STU makes the connection clear. Tempos come in around 180, low-end drum patterns arrive in flurries, yet the space of tracks like “Ice Hall” and “Ladies Love Ambient” is plentiful. The Bronx-based artist has offered the release up for pay-what-you-want, among a deep archive of other readily available edits and original tracks, so don’t sleep on these unique environmental bangers.


Comprising five stripped-back club tracks, RONDA SONORA is the latest solo EP from São Paulo-based producer EYEHIVE. RONDA SONORA takes a more reserved approach to past EYEHIVE releases, letting smoothly cut grooves and tight basslines lead the way. Ever-prolific, the Brazilian artist draws on a huge range of styles, situating them within thick mixes that foreground intricate drum patterns and a driving sense of time and forward motion. “SUPINO” exemplifies the pack, a momentum-driven cut that seems to expand as it progresses.


One of a series of early 2024 releases, including a slick ringtone pack, Helix’s “LDCB” is as lush as dance music comes. The single’s “Original Mix” features softly arranged breaks, sweeping effects, and a noodling synth section. That latter feature is accentuated further on the “Synth-A-Pella Mix,” a welcome twist on the single format and an insatiable tangle of twinkling keys and reverb-laden uplift. Lastly, the “HiQ Mix” is also made up of pillowy features, now undergirded by deep kicks and a sense of punctual emphasis that drives the track into the sunset.

“hope’s return”

Los Angeles, California
✓ following
Los Angeles, California
✓ following

Sampling, drum programming, and guitar collide in a viscous blend on Maral’s “hope’s return,” an all too fleeting glance from the Los Angeles-based artist. Self-described as “a song trying to dig itself up from under the dirt,” the dub-y song structure and short refrains of the single at once abstract and return to a sense of loss that is neither here nor there. Likewise, sub bass and fizzing noise are both foregrounded and resigned deep in the mix, neither building material nor memory but rather something in between.

Tre Oh Fie
Get Right SZN (Instrumentals)

The SoFlo Jook sound is slippery, minimal, and fine-tuned for the dancefloor, yet its instrumental form is adapted even further for club play. Get Right SZN was Tre Oh Fie’s first extended release of 2024, full of characteristic ad-libs and vocal performances. Instrumentals, released just weeks later, shines a light on the Miami producer’s spartan arrangements and tight beat work. “Go Low” is an immediate favorite, driven by ragged kicks and a breathy lead vocal line that obviates the need for a more traditional melody entirely.

Various Artists
no pare, sigue sigue 2

Colombian label TraTraTrax had a massive 2023 and their start to 2024 is no different. No pare, sigue sigue 2 comes in at 18 tracks and features a global array of artists giving their hand at intense, polyrhythmic dancefloor exercises. Label stalwarts 3Phaz, Doctor Jeep, and OCTUBRXLIBRV star as do Best Club Music favorites like Henzo, Siete Catorce, and De Grandi. The latter’s “Of Course” stands in a crowded field, inserting yelp-y blips into chunky dubstep to devastating effect.

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