Most people don’t understand why I enjoy clubbing alone until I explain to them that to me, the club is more of a frame of mind than a physical location. I do go to real clubs alone sometimes, but just as important are those evenings when I shut myself up in my room, put on a good mix, and dance my ass off. It’s much cheaper and can be just as fun.
Clubbing is losing yourself to a never-ending stream of music and perhaps finding a new version of yourself among unusual rhythms. Whether it’s in an illegal Brooklyn warehouse awash in green neon and surrounded by the beautiful and eccentric partygoers who attend GHE20G0TH1K or in a dark bedroom, I find myself looking for that carefree clubbing state of mind. This is why I’ve made a tradition out of releasing hour-long reading day mixes at the end of every semester — finals are when you need that carefree energy the most, and club music clears the mind of detritus.
This semester’s mix kicks off with the lush echoes of Rui Ho, a Berlin-based Chinese producer who released her most recent EP on Shanghai’s Genome 66.6Mbp imprint. Out of the mid-afternoon haze come the euphoric punches of L-Vis 1990’s “Sunlight,” off his mainstream-leaning album 12 Thousand Nights. In Mista Silva’s words, “I seen you in the club looking lost,” but you’ll find some familiar tropes in a live deconstruction of Lava Dome’s, “Balenciaga Denim Riddim,” into its Kodak Black and Rihanna samples. Some excellent drum refixes from Architect and Arthur Reads also take fresh spins on familiar tunes later in the mix. Club music at its finest is hearing a familiar track flipped on its face and taken up a notch.
At the halfway point in the mix, Cardi B’s soaring calls in “Money Bag,” take center stage before the tempo pulls back to a casual bounce for twists on Nicki Minaj’s “Chun-Li,” and Offset’s “Ric Flair Drip,” that’ll get you up on the Tisch study room table. Take a breath because we’re just warming up. I’m constantly amazed at Chynna’s slick delivery over complex productions like “$ Dough,” which sees her carry her verses through a choppy syncopated synth line courtesy of producer Heaven in Stereo. In the same vein comes Sami Baha’s arabesque-inspired percussion for “Discreet.” These two tracks make a good segue into the uptempo footwork section of the mix. L-Vis 1990 makes a return just before the mix settles into its final cut, a stretched out edit of Rihanna’s “Close To You,” which showcases ssaliva’s mastery of unnerving stutters and ambience.
I hope that no matter whether you’re already a fan of club music or new to it, you can enjoy this mix and lighten up a bit for finals. Book your favorite Tisch study room, strobe the lights on and off, and dance like you’re clubbing alone.