This week, we spoke with Orlando, Florida’s DJ Joanie; Raleigh, North Carolina’s Joey Shull; and Houston’s Wes Wallace.
Joanie (full name: Joan Stanco) has been into HOSH and 1979’s “Midnight (The Hanging Tree),” featuring Jalja (MK extended remix). “‘Midnight’ delivers a haunting take” on the 2014 James Newton Howard’s Hunger Games track, Joanie tells Billboard. “The lyrics are poignant, and echo recent headlines, and MK’s classic piano mix elevates it to house perfection.”
“Midnight” topped the Mexico Ingles Airplay chart for three weeks in May and currently ranks at No. 6.
Joanie, who would normally be spinning weekly at Savoy Orlando among other local venues, has also been moving to Toni Braxton’s “Dance” (Dave Aude extended remix). “‘Dance’ is a genuine, packed-floor anthem. If I only had a big room audience to prove its certification,” Joanie muses. “Dave’s mix weaves around her delicious vocal and the progressive build on the chorus is total fire.”
Additionally, Joanie, who’s been livestreaming during the pandemic, lauds Dua Lipa’s “Hallucinate” (DJ FUri DRUMS new tribal energy house extended club remix). “It gets a rave anthem treatment with this remix. It’s super-charged from start to finish, expelling fireworks and a trippy, military-cadence vocal. It’s a solid circuit monster,” Joanie says. “Just add the nearly-naked dancers.”
Joey Shull endorses the recently released Sigma and John Newman collab “High on You.” “I love John’s vocals on almost anything,” Shull says. “Sigma has been one of my favorite artist/producers for years. They make everyone they work with sound better. Plus, the video is great.”
Shull, who pre-COVID-19 was accustomed to playing weekly at Legends Nightclub in Raleigh, has also been liking Eden Prince’s “Memories,” featuring Nonô” (extended mix). The DJ declares, “‘Memories’ is a perfect late-night, dark-room, strobe light song. Nice beat.”
Wes Wallace has been enjoying the new lockdown version of Pet Shop Boys’ signature smash “West End Girls.” “To come back with such a fresh version of this classic track with their trademark brilliant production is somehow especially comforting right now,” Wallace shares. “The only problem for club play is that it’s only about 3:20 long. So, I did a slightly extended remix version that is a bit more DJ-friendly.”
Pet Shop Boys, who debuted at No. 1 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart in February with Hotspot, enjoyed their first of 11 Dance Club Songs leaders (the most of any duo or group in the chart’s nearly 44-year history) with the original “West End Girls” in 1986. The song also topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Wallace, a weekly resident DJ at Numbers Nightclub in Houston for 33 years and counting, has also been savoring Disclosure and slowthai’s “My High.” Wallace calls the song, from Disclosure’s forthcoming album ENERGY (expected Aug. 28), “a pounding, not-for-children track. It’s something different and wonderful, with a phenomenally bizarre video, obviously filmed before quarantine.”
Additionally, Wallace, who’s been livestreaming at least twice a week during the pandemic, is excited about Erasure’s latest, “Shot a Satellite.” The song previews Erasure’s album The Neon, due Aug. 21. The heritage act has earned two Dance Club Songs No. 1s, among 20 top 10s.
“This one is another solid track from one of the most popular New Wave duos,” Wallace says. “A sure crowd-pleaser, I can’t wait to play it in the club.”