Still Mixing It Up While Clubs Are Closed: Love Regenerator, Alesso, BLACKPINK & More Stay-at-Home DJ Picks

Calvin Harris
Conor McDonell

Calvin Harris

Each week, Billboard is polling club DJs, with venues shuttered due to the coronavirus.

With clubs closed across the country and Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart on hiatus, we're asking reporting club DJs what they've been listening to lately, while at home, of course.

This week, we spoke with Dallas DJ Ronnie Bruno; Cleveland's Mike Filly; and West Hollywood, California's Jason Lin.

Ronnie Bruno
Ronnie Bruno has been enjoying Purple Disco Machine's "In My Arms" (extended mix). "To have been born in 1980, this DJ/producer/remix artist knows a lot about the history of dance music, specifically disco," Bruno tells Billboard of the act, aka Tino Piontek. "It's like he actually lived it. At first listen, I was instantly a fan. Purple Disco Machine's musical references to the disco era are genius. 'In My Arms' uses a vocal from one of the most underrated, yet instantly recognizable, vocalists in dance music history, Jocelyn Brown." The song borrows from Inner Life's "I Like It Like That," which sports an uncredited vocal from Brown, while also incorporating the piano riff from Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat."

Bruno continues, "Trust me, when you can't see your friends and family due to COVID-19 and you hear Jocelyn sing the lyrics, 'I can't wait 'til you're in my arms again,' over the nostalgic, classic sound of the piano, you will feel it."

While "Arms" has yet to impact a Billboard chart, Stewart's "Cat" crept to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. Inner Life's "I Like It Like That" reached No. 40 on Dance Club Songs in 1983.

Bruno, a longtime weekly resident at The Tin Room in Dallas, continues the retro vibe with Donna Summer's "Lucky" (extended edit). The DJ says, "Being a huge Giorgio Moroder/Donna Summer fan all my life, I was stunned a couple of months ago when I heard 'Lucky' for the first time on Chris Cox's Twitch stream celebrating Moroder's birthday. It has to be one of the summer's best songs, yet it is widely unknown. This should be a worldwide smash, so check it out."

Additionally, Bruno, who has livestreamed occasionally during the pandemic, praises Green Velvet and Joeski's "Barbee" (extended). "This is another great-sounding track in the same vein as Green Velvet's huge hit from 20 years ago, 'Flash,' " Bruno says. "The bass is clean and serious, while Velvet's vocals are hilariously spoken. I highly recommend it when social distancing blues strike."

"Flash," one of Green Velvet's two top 10s on Dance Club Songs, hit No. 1 in June 2000.

Mike Filly
Mike Filly has been admiring the latest from Love Regenerator (aka, Calvin Harris), "Live Without Your Love," with Steve Lacy from the band The Internet. "This is an excellent new tune," Filly raves to Billboard. "It's a groovy, moody deep house track that's as hot in headphones as it would be on dance floors."

With 674,000 U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, "Love" debuts at No. 26 on this week's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, dated Aug. 1, marking Love Regenerator's fifth entry this year.

Filly, who would normally be spinning weekly at B Side Liquor Lounge, Town Hall and Twist Social Club in Cleveland, also has a hunger for Pickle's "Tangerine." "Pickle has been on a roll," the DJ cleverly muses, "with dance floor killers like 'Blow' and 'Body Work' and now unleashes 'Tangerine.' This one amps it up even further with a bouncy tech house beat and punchy acid lines playing along with vocals about tasting like a tangerine. This one would quickly light up dance floors upon the drop."

Additionally, Filly has been finding joy in Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla's "Moving Blind." "Dom Dolla has another gem on his hands," Filly pronounces. "It has an infectious, bouncy beat and bassline, matched with a computer voice answering back and forth to a female voice. This one's hot."

Jason Lin
Jason Lin has been jamming to Jonas Blue and MAX's "Naked" (Nathan Dawe mix). "I always like Jonas Blue's music," Lin says. "He is original and always produces a catchy melody."

"Naked" hit No. 13 on Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales and No. 30 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs earlier this month.

Lin, who pre-pandemic was playing at his West Hollywood residency Club Rage, including its GAMeBoi-themed night, has also been enjoying Alesso and Liam Payne's "Midnight" (Jack Wins remix). The DJ declares, "The beautiful melody of Alesso plus the innocent vocal of Liam Payne equals a winner."

In April, "Midnight" made the top 10 on both Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales (No. 2) and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (No. 8).

Additionally, Lin, who's been livestreaming during the coronavirus-forced downtime, as well as curating a sprawling Spotify playlist of over 3,000 songs spanning the last five decades, shares his affinity for BLACKPINK's "How You Like That," noting, "With its record-breaking YouTube views, it got huge request action from our K-pop regulars during our Pride Twitch session."

"How" is currently in its third week atop World Digital Song Sales, among other cheat feats.

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