Far from the neon-clad throngs teeming around festival main stages, a deeper shade of dance music flourishes in sweaty basements and small-capacity clubs. I resist calling it "the underground," if only because a) the term "underground" has been co-opted so often, it rarely means anything anymore, and b) this parallel dimension of dance music is actually thriving quite nicely, thank you very much. It's not so much that it exists in opposition to the strobe-lit EDM scene; the leftfield/DIY club-music circuit represents its own, independent ecosystem, one that flourishes across a worldwide network of venues, festivals, podcasts and blogs.
In the interest of shining a spotlight on dance music's nether regions, we hereby introduce Deep-End Beats, a new monthly (or thereabouts) playlist of the tunes that your favorite DJ's favorite DJ is playing. Our first installment kicks off like any good warm-up set should, with slower, gentler cuts from MMOTHS, Sorcerer, Isolée, Mano Le Tough and The xx (as remixed by both Four Tet and John Talabot and Pional); the pace picks up with raw, squirrelly tracks from Maxmillion Dunbar, Daniel Avery and Planningtorock. Hudson Mohawke (remixing Disclosure's "White Noise") and Martyn take us to the peripheries of contemporary bass music, while Randee Jean, Classixx, HNNY, Legowelt and Conforce drop deep house and deeper techno. There are some curveballs from Actress and Vester Koza along the way, and we wrap it all up with Carl Craig's 2013 remaster of his epic remix of Theo Parrish's "Falling Up" from way back in 2005.