Our monthly mix roundup returns for the new season.
The start of autumn still evokes a sense of that ‘back to school’ feeling long after you leave education, not least because DJs have spent much of the past month teaching a thing or two on the ones-and-twos. Our latest curriculum includes history lessons in the form of tribute mixes; geography classes marking out the lay of the land for underground dance music; ambient revision soundtracks, a stunning example of literary club, and, of course, a host of PE workouts to get you moving. Cue up these offerings from Akua, estoc and more for a surefire way to pass with flying colours. Oh, and a bonus for this month if you haven’t listened to it already: Ben UFO’s return to the Essential Mix, eight years on from round one. You’re welcome!
Aside from being an excellent producer in his own right, DJ Pitch’s vision and dedication powering labels TT and All Centre have brought some of the finest club music to these isles in recent years. True to form, he makes the most of these two hours, setting the mood with eyes-down grooves before proving that dance’s most cutting edge can be its most fun. The new wave of UK experimental electronic music is woven through here alongside DJ Pitch’s own hilarious garage remix of Seven Nation Army – but it’s London drum specialist Architect’s edit of You Can Call Me Al that’s particularly memorable.
object blue & acadjmiaRinse FM (23/09/21)
You can always depend on Rinse regular object blue to bring all the best off-kilter oddities of techno to the fore in her shows, and the second hour here doesn’t disappoint. Still, it’s guest DJ and avant-garde audio-storyteller acadjmia who steals the show over the first hour with an ambitious narrative collage perfect for fans of radio dramas, Kentucky Route Zero and club music alike. Small Offers Toward the Service of the Q features textural sound, music and a script performed by voice actors to tell a story of two adventurous DJs who join an organised crime conspiracy to get ahead in the game. “I don’t know how to rob a bank,” one protagonist muses. “It’s just like DJing,” comes the reply. “You’ll learn on the fly.”
Philly-based DJ, producer and blends specialist estoc is best known for her catalogue of hardcore dance tracks and uncanny mashups. Here, she turns out a mix themed around ideas of transness and becoming, whirling through maximalist 2000s throwbacks at a dizzying pace. She tears through some 30 or so tracks in around an hour, packing in picks from The Twelves, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Robyn and Justice: “All your favourite anthems from before you realised”. It’s an experience of nostalgia in full technicolour, retaining the thrill and satisfaction of puzzle pieces falling into place.
Dev/Null & DJ PersuasionIn Focus: Dillinja
To know Dillinja’s classic discography is to know jungle and drum’n’bass in their golden years. Raw and relentless breaks, monstrous basslines, atmospherically vivid mixdowns, skill to channel the spirit and imagination of the Detroit techno he was sampling – these are the hallmarks of Dillinja’s craft, impressively exhibited in this NTS In Focus special. It’s perfectly fitting that Blog to the Oldskool host Dev/Null takes on the first hour covering the artist’s early years, while Don’t Be Afraid label head DJ Persuasion – aka Semtek – showcases the transition into jump-up in the later years.
AkuaDekmantel Podcast 350
New York fast techno firebrand Akua turns in a belter of a podcast for Dekmantel’s 350th. Her knack for finding the maddest old-school cuts and bringing them to the present with an air of freshness alongside new tunes you wouldn’t expect pays dividends here. It’s a no-holds-barred hour-and-some of floor-filling techno, acid and rave that fishes out and parks together music from four different decades (that’s 90s to now – feel old?). Heady Warp classics from Joey Beltram and the late, great K-Hand meet Trax, Dance Mania and Hyperdub in a maelstrom of adrenaline-fuelled uptempo mastery.
RabzMelvin Van Peebles Special
Filmmaker, curator and DJ Rabz Lansiquot has held down shows on Balamii since 2017, playing out a wide spectrum of Black music in all its manifestations. Here they dedicate two hours to the memory of another interdisciplinary artist: the recently departed Melvin Van Peebles. Van Peebles was a pioneering storyteller whose practice crossed into films, plays, novels, music and lyricism; and Rabz spends the first half of the tribute playing his spoken word, soul and jazz compositions. The latter half traverses his legacy in the world of hip-hop, with tracks sampling him from the likes of Jurassic 5, MF DOOM, Nas and, of course, Madlib.
False WitnessTehran Night 321
Techno rebel False Witness is known for both their devilishly dark approach to producing and mixing dance tracks, as well as their willingness to shine a light on political issues with and through the scene. Fittingly, they dive directly into the deep end delivering a podcast for Iranian music platform Deep House Tehran, wheeling out intergalactic cuts from the jump. With a tracklist strapped with industrial stormers, devastating pulsators and percussive masterclasses from Silent Servant, Answer Code Request and OSSX, this mix could turn any laptop-lit bedroom into pitch black warehouse paradise.
Why BeMusic for Theatre Lobbies 10
Schauspielhaus Zürich’s Music for Theatre Lobbies mix series asks contributors: “What happens in the theatre’s lobby?” Berlin-based post-club soundscape specialist and Yegorka label founder Why Be answers the question with a 90-minute concoction of flavours from every corner of the room. Ambient, folk, classical, post-rock, easy listening, downtempo, lounge and Far Eastern traditional instrumentation all work together to conjure a sense of intimacy in moments of respite, finding the perfect place for Yves Tumor’s The Feeling When You Walk Away in the middle.
There isn’t heaps of information around about Brooklyn’s Уткина (anglicised as Utkina) – bar from the fact she’s previously contributed to the infamous Club Cringe internet mix series, where DJs joyously push the limits of irony in electronic music. With that tidbit alone, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that HYPERTRAD WAIFU is one for all the sordid online freaks out there who just want to hear stomping edits of Cassie’s Me & U fed directly into Randomer and Lil Baby. Or relentless techno flips of Somebody to Love shortly before Baby Keem Jersey club remixes, Future & Lil Uzi Vert into City Girls’ Twerkulator, Ariana Grande’s positions twisted into Drainpuppet and powerdoll’s emo-trance warper Slip Away. Every moment brings its own thrills in this one.
Slackk & LogosBoxed 'Bootleg City' Mix
The formation of grime platform Boxed proved to be a thrilling injection of energy into the underground back in 2013. Slackk, Logos, Mr. Mitch and Oil Gang paid tribute to the scene’s undersung production and DJ legends while heralding a new wave of talent and interest in instrumentals through parties, compilations and more. This mix features two of the founders trading exclusive dubs that channel the spirit of Boxed ahead of its closing party, kicking proceedings off in fine style with a proper screwface take on Are You Really From The Ends? Expect chopped R&B, eski and square wave, plus a hyper mess-up of Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s Dilemma.