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Still Mixing It Up While Clubs Are Closed: Duke Dumont, Ytram, Surf Mesa, & More Stay-at-Home DJ Picks

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 Jacksonville, Florida, DJ Robert Goodman; Orlando’s Brianna Lee; and North Jersey’s John Rizzo.

Robert Goodman
Robert Goodman has been enjoying Ytram (an alias for Martin Garrix; “Marty” spelled backwards) and Elderbrook’s “Fire.” “I love the subdued vocals, reminiscent of late-’90s, early-2000s trance, but maintains a contemporary sound,” Goodman tells Billboard. “I live for tracks like this.”

“Fire,” released Sept. 4, should ignite on next week’s dance/electronic charts.

Goodman, normally a resident at Eclipse Nightclub in Jacksonville, has also been into Space 92 and The YellowHeads’ “Planet X.” The DJ says, “This is a driving, peak-of-the-night track that is definitely a dance floor filler.”

Additionally, Goodman, who for 25 years has hosted his “Forbidden Planet” radio mix show on WWJK (Planet Radio 107.3) Jacksonville, is also liking Duke Dumont and RY X’s “Let Me Go” (Cerrone remix).” “A Duke Dumont song remixed by the legendary Cerrone? Yes please!” Goodman raves. “The keyboard loop throughout reminds me of a Stranger Things TV show-vibe, with subtle vocals. It’s a perfect track for me.”

Brianna Lee
Brianna Lee (real name Larry Cowden) praises Surf Mesa’s “ily,” featuring Emilee (Topic remix). “Good track, with a nice electro feel on the build-up,” Lee tells Billboard. “It would be a floor hit.”

After a steady rise, “ily” first achieved its No. 3 peak on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs on July 25, and re-ups 4-3 this week. The track also debuts at No. 43 on the Radio Songs chart, with 19.9 million airplay audience impressions (up 54%) in the week ending Sept. 6.

Lee, who under normal circumstances would be playing regularly for large dance floors at various Orlando-area venues including Parliament House (which currently functions as a restaurant, with a strictly enforced no-dancing policy), has also been listening to Luciana and Dave Aude’s “Watching You Watching Me” (Tom Staar remix). The DJ dubs it “a feel-good song” and muses that “the crowd would like the jumping energy from the remix. ‘Watching’ has a fun punk feel with fun vocals; makes me think back to ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ by Rockwell [a No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1984]. It’s a song that will hit the younger and older crowd together.”

Luciana and Aude’s track was just starting out on Dance Club Songs when the pandemic hit, climbing 46-39 on March 28, the last week before the chart’s coronavirus-induced break.

Additionally, Lee, who has livestreamed occasionally during the pandemic, extols the virtues of DJ Aron and Beth Sacks’ “You Can Have My Heart,” calling it “a great track with powerful diva vocals; great video; keeping the club music going strong. We need a good heart, a great dance song and good energy, even dancing at home.”

John Rizzo
John Rizzo has been relishing Jackers Revenge and Lissat’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” “As a great alternate mix of the multi-generational Barry White classic, Jackers Revenge and Lissat put together this cool, feel-good house rendition ready for any socially-distant pool party,” Rizzo tells Billboard. “I just can’t resist a good sing-along, and neither will they.”

White’s original “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” topped the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts in September 1974.

Rizzo, a longtime resident DJ at Club Feathers (which due to the pandemic has segued to outdoor dining) in northern New Jersey, has also been enjoying Moon Rocket’s “Unclutter Your Mind.” The DJ offers, “Uncluttering your mind is exactly what people need these days, and this Afro house track does just that. It’s a shoulder-shaking, uplifting, happy tune that sets a great vibe each and every time.”

Additionally, Rizzo, who has logged two Dance Club Songs entries of his own (including “Lover Who Rocks You,” with Jipsta and featuring Reina; No. 20, 2012) recommends Brutal Bill’s “Black Sugar” (Brutal salsa tribal mix). “Brutal Bill really has fun with this Celia Cruz classic. This energy-driven rendition holds onto the original salsa feel, while the underlying tribal beat carries it home. So many smiles from fans young and old for this track.”

Cruz’s Azucar Negra (“black sugar” in Spanish) reached No. 6 on the Tropical Albums chart in 1993.