Club music’s influence often greatly exceeds the attention actually paid to artists from Baltimore, New Jersey and Philadelphia and despite the occasional retrospective or corporate-seeded event, producers pushing the sound forward are regularly overlooked for the watered down facsimile artists in Europe and elsewhere in the States offer. As always, both the OGs and the younger upstarts continue to impress with a near-constant steam of stylistic innovations, formal transformations and near-constant enthusiasm. Baltimore’s CalvoMusic has been making Club music since 2011 and is at the fore of a new crop of artists slowly mutating Bmore into their own image.
Influenced by the likes of BugzTheProducer, Matic808, Nadus, R3LL and Ripknoxx, Calvo is a former member and co-founder of the The Hypies and has dubbed his own sound “New Club Waves”. Sampling is often recklessly freewheeling in Club music, but Calvo takes that to a new level, often taking a medley approach by including references to multiple recognizable tracks in the same 2 minute segment. Video game music is also a source of inspiration and has resulted in some of Calvo’s best work, most of which avoids kitsch retro revivalism for a more accelerated, all consuming approach to collage. Tracks like “Atlantis Level” and “Game of Cubes”, clear in the material they’re riffing on, offer some of the most flexible and well-balanced takes on Club music in recent memory, constantly evolving across their short run times, yet aimed directly at the dancefloor.
It’s no surprise that grime motifs pop up in Calvo’s tunes as there’s an 8 bar quality to his production, manifested in the relentless switch ups and cut throat rhythmic patterns found throughout. A triton sample here and there and gun finger drum chops are the most obvious examples of the interpolation, but the influence goes beyond sampling into the basic construction of a Calvo tune. Those influences, as well as a rundown of recent pop memory, can be found in his Astral Plane Mix, an all-original rundown of the “New Club Waves” sound featuring solo edits and collaborations with DeeTheProducer, DjDizzy and more. Tracks from Calvo’s excellent recent October EP can be found throughout as can slightly older edits like his rowdy take on Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”. At times, Calvo’s edits seem to be referencing 90s Strictly Rhythm, but then a new sample cuts in and your dragged back to the present without losing a beat. Download Calvo’s Astral Plane Mix here and hit the jump for a full track list.