Club Future Nostalgia is officially open.
Following a premature cover art reveal by the Queen of Pop™ herself (which in and of itself is legendary), Dua Lipa‘s flung open the velvet rope at the door and shuffled us into her swanky club experience on Friday (August 28), cramped wall to wall with special guests in a chaotic, silly, raucous, sweat-inducing one-hour set, curated by The Blessed Madonna.
The special release covers the breadth of her 2020 studio album Future Nostalgia, one of the top pop album contenders of the year, as well as “Kiss & Make Up” with BLACKPINK, and a few unreleased-’til-now surprises.
Club Future Nostalgia furiously, erratically swerves through the hits and deep cuts alike, conjuring familiar feelings through ample samples, as cuts like “Hollaback Girl” suddenly comes flying into the speakers. (Check out the specifics on all the samples in the tracklisting.) The record’s served up as a continuous mix, just as with Madonna‘s Confessions on a Dance Floor, one of the inspirations behind Future Nostalgia, and could even be considered an indirect nod to Madame X’s own 1987 remix album, You Can Dance.
Shout-outs are peppered in throughout from Dua, as well as collaborators like Little Louie Vega, Yaeji and Mark Ronson all dialing in, radio-style, to say hey to the listeners and make special requests. (“I would love to hear ‘Buffalo Stance’ by Neneh Cherry, and just one more thing – don’t you get fresh with me,” Mark sasses.)
Highlights are plentiful, including the hypnotic, repeat-heavy Yaeji mix of “Don’t Start Now,” the ass-shaking “Boys Will Be Boys” mix by Zach Witness, the bright house piano chord-filled Paul Woolford take on “Hallucinate,” Horse Meat Disco‘s retro re-rub of “Love Again,” as well as both the funky, Jamiroquai-sampling “Break My Heart / Cosmic Girl (Dimitri From Paris Edit)” and the Moodymann mix of “Break My Heart,” which brings the album to a close.
Gwen Stefani hops into the VIP area to assist on Mark Ronson‘s remix of “Physical,” which smooths out the song into a more midtempo synth-pop sheen, as Gwen climbs aboard to provide her signature crooning, effortlessly fitting into the groove and easily providing one of the album’s standout moments – and extreme L.A.M.B.-era Gwen nostalgia to boot.
The new songs, which may or may not have already been floating ’round the Internet, only add to the anticipation for Dua’s eventual B-sides/deluxe edition, which is still on the horizon.
There’s the appropriately holy experience that is “Love Is Religion,” mixed by The Blessed Madonna and bolstered by the always reverence-worthy sound of Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back,” and the near Confessions-leaning “That Kind of Woman,” remixed by none other than Jacques Lu Cont, AKA Stuart Price. Both songs are incredible. Truly, Future Nostalgia: Side B cannot come soon enough.
“The last few months have been surreal. I’ve watched you all dance in your homes and on your Zoom parties to Future Nostalgia like you were in the club with me. It brought so much joy to my days spent at home, even though I would’ve much rather been playing these songs live for you all on the road. During this time, I decided to take the party up a notch with the incomparable The Blessed Madonna, who secretly helped me to craft the mixtape that would become Club Future Nostalgia,” Dua says of the release.
There weren’t any real expectations for Club Future Nostalgia – or, at least, there shouldn’t be: it’s bonus content, and hardly the traditional route post-album release. She didn’t have to do this at all, and yet, we’ve been given an exciting, unexpected, well-curated treat nonetheless.
The array of remixers on duty is impressive, as are the clever selections of sounds and songs referenced, providing Future Nostalgia with an added pulse of throbbing energy, introducing younger audiences to legendary DJs and entertainers, teasing new music still to come, and extending the life of the era even longer.
In a world of attention spans lasting no longer than a TikTok, Dua’s managed to keep the Future Nostalgia experience alive and kicking. It’s no easy feat – especially when the only club that’s open exists solely in one’s head – and further proof of her current reign.
Madonna, Missy and Gwen hopping on your remix album? Talk about a Main Pop Girl humblebrag.
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