We’re four weeks into lockdown now, and socialising is almost entirely made up of Netflix parties, endless pub quizzes and showing off the banana bread you baked on Instagram. But if you need to spice up your weekend, why not cut through the monotony by having a big night in? Crack open a tinny, dim the lights and get that shitty £10 disco ball out the loft. Hey presto, your kitchen/lounge/wherever-you-fancy is now the most exclusive club around. So exclusive, in fact, that only the people you’re self-isolating with have a fighting chance of making the guest-list.
Need a soundtrack for your personal Berghain? We’ve got that sorted – here are the mixes and albums that NME writers are blasting for their night on the (kitchen) tiles.
Two decades and twelve albums into his illustrious career, Detroit hero Moodymann is not just one of the most prolific producers of his era, but perhaps the most commanding, too. Continuing his hometown’s crucial place in house/techno history, his slippery vocals writhe amongst twisted bass-lines on ‘I Think Of Saturday’ and guitar-led, soul-infused ‘I Got Werk’, while barely-audible mutterings indicate a legend always in charge, but perhaps not always in control. This is the sound of a formidable beat-maker and vibe-master working a crowd that might not necessarily be there in body, but most definitely in spirit.
Traditional nights out are obviously off the cards in lockdown, but laying down in your room, closing your eyes and pressing play on Jon Hopkins‘ 2013 album will get you pretty damn close. ‘Immunity’ tracks the arc of a night out emphatically – from the glitchy beginnings of opener ‘We Disappear’ – where the engines begin to start revving – to the ecstatic, jagged drops of techno heavyweights ‘Open Eye Signal’ and ‘Collider’ in the album’s centre. Swiftly cruising onto a gorgeous, blissed out final half hour to bring you down in the early hours, it’s the whole package.
‘Working Class Woman’
Look, we’re all just doing the best we can, OK? On her fourth solo album, French-Canadian producer Marie Davidson paints a vibey portrait of an underpaid, over-worked generation playing the shitty hand they’ve been dealt and having a fucking good time in the process. What’s that? A once-in-a-lifetime financial recession? Crack open a can, baby! Oh, there’s more – a once-in-a-century global pandemic? Fire up Zoom and let’s get down! With grinding bass-lines, grotty beats and sarky lyrics (“So, frankly, this album is about taking risks…”), this is the ideal dance record for calling life’s bluff. Let’s be ‘aving ya!
‘This Is Andrew Weatherall’
The world lost a giant when Andrew Weatherall passed away in February. A musical magpie who’d take rock, rave, pop, house and everything in between and present it through a prism of pure joy, Weatherall didn’t believe in walls or barriers – he just wanted to get loaded and have a good time. This fairly all-encompassing Spotify collection of his production work with Primal Scream and solo material through to his absolutely slapping remixes of Saint Etienne, New Order, Bjork, Happy Mondays and beyond will transport you immediately to a halcyon balearic wonderland.
This new mix from Brooklyn house producer Octo Octa may only be a couple of weeks old, but it’s already my go-to for capturing the essence of a low-ceilinged basement club at 3am, and bringing it to, er, my living room. Maya Bouldry-Morrison views DJing a bit like casting spells, and there’s a hazy magic to ‘Love Hypnosis Vol. 1’ – constantly swerving, it visits everything from Patti Smith to Fatman ft Stella Mae’s piano-inflected 90s house banger ‘Release Me’. Bouldry-Morrison has explained that her latest mix is all about seeking out love and connection. Let’s raise a glass to that (over Zoom, for now).
What was the song of the summer last year? For me, it was Daphni’s glittering disco smash ‘Sizzling’. Whether it was sliding into secret Crow’s Nest DJ sets at Glastonbury as a delicious midnight (well, 4am) treat, or playing on repeat at pal’s houseparties until somebody managed to wrestle the aux away, it conjures up hazy memories of dancing terribly for hours on end. Taken from Dan Snaith’s ‘Sizzling EP’ – released last year under his Daphni moniker – the rest of the four-track release is similarly jubilant. From the piano house of ‘If’, to the slinky nu-disco of ‘Romeo’, it’s 20 minutes of pure euphoria.