Welcome back to our monthly round-up of the finest mixes to be found across the web.
This month we’ve been graced by two separate live recordings from DJs who we count as some of the very best. You won’t find too much in common sonically in those sets by Shyboi and Beautiful Swimmers, but the energy throughout both mixes is uncanny. We’ve also got an instant classic from Batu, outlying jazz from NY-based digger Madteo, an extended look at the career of one of French music’s most iconic figures and lots more.
Beautiful SwimmersTest Pressing 489
In celebration of Beautiful Swimmers taking the reins on the second Love International compilation record, Test Pressing share this recording of the pair playing at Pittsburgh’s Hot Mass. The pair need very little by way of introduction or hype by now, but suffice it to say the set is a thrilling snapshot of their deep-digging but ecstatic DJing style. The compilation traverses the wide expanse of the duo’s taste, as does this recording, but as usual everything is bound by the same appreciation of house music’s joyous and unifying atmosphere.
Françoise HardyIn Focus (NTS)
NTS’ In Focus series serves as a deep dive into the back catalogue of specific artists or labels, ranging from Azymuth and Sarah Records, to Terry Riley and Grace Jones. The latest is one of their best, delving into the works of the French icon Françoise Hardy, who, over six decades, went from starlet to introspective poet to national treasure, rivalling Serge Gainsbourg as a pillar of French pop music. Lock in for an hour of delicate romance and cool sophistication.
BatuTruancy Volume 240
Batu… Truants… what else is there to say? As head honcho of Timedance, Omar McCutcheon is responsible for putting out some of the most interesting tracks in UK techno of the last four years, rivalled only by the likes of Hessle Audio, Livity Sound and Whities in influence. As a DJ he’s positioned at the cutting-edge of UK dance music, and by this point his is a name that should be known to anyone with an interest in club culture. This mix demonstrates why: dark and tough, slippery in tempo and technically impressive. It’ll be one of the best of the year without question.
ShyboiUnsound Podcast 49
One of the best DJs, from one of the best crews, for one of the best festivals on the block. Shyboi’s sets make a mockery of the homogeneity of techno sets and within minutes of this one kicking off we’re hit with a blend of garage house, baile funk, soca and more straight-up techno. If you’ve ever seen her play, you’ll know the level of energy found in every track she plays. The vibe from this set, closing last year’s Hotel Forum party at Unsound, is dark, sexy and futuristic.
EversinesZeeZout Podcast 110
Celestial synths, twinkling flecks of light and ponderous bleeps are all generously applied to the slick breaks and syncopation Eversines uses as the base layer in this mix for ZeeZout. The result lies somewhere between IDM and B-movie soundtrack for the first half, before things get tougher and more angular at its peak. The blend of atmospheric mood-building and intricate sound design and drum programming seems to be the Dutch artist’s favoured style. Look out for more of him and the De Lichting crew.
The Black LodgeDigital Tsunami 166
With a Twin Peaks intro about the heart of darkness, this mix from the LA party crew and label The Black Lodge includes a narrative that can be pinned to several cinematic reference points. Kosmik lights the fuse with an abrasive warm-up before Force Placement takes the reins and adds bounce and a sinister disco edge. By the time Simonowsky ups the revs you’re delighted by the concussive throb that brings the mix to its crescendo. Always menacing but with ample swing, this is one you’ll be wanting to return to.
House of DoorsLibra Mix
For their 99th instalment, the Vancouver-based team behind Libra Mix looped back to their beginnings by dusting off this old, forgotten recording from 2014 by one of their earliest regulars, House of Doors. The series has gone on to host many international dons like Beautiful Swimmers, Yu Su and Jay L, but this is a reminder of the local talent their understated respect was built upon. The set is patient and easy, almost dripping with calm. Listen here.
This column has long been an admirer of the mix series by the Sex Tags family which, not unlike the Libra Mix series, is a reliable supplier of incredible selections by low-key legends. Madteo is just that sort of guy, a fervid digger and producer from way left of centre. He’s supplied a few Trushmixes over the years, and for his latest, he digs into his collection of jazz records. ‘Out there’ is a bit of an understatement; this one’s for those who like it slippery.
Glasgow selector Rosehips steps up for the Structures from Silence series. The low-key blog has an impressive record of catching DJs on the up (look for entries by Anu and Ribeka for examples) and judging by this mix there’s good reason to expect to see more of Rosehips. The style of the mix is unconventional, jumping from glitchy to more straight-up beats, focusing on a melancholic mood as the connective thread. By the time we end with Vester Koza’s frm angel meadows to abundant slums, the heartstrings have been through the ringer.
Desert Sound ColonyDimensions Festival 168
In recent years Desert Sound Colony has, through his own productions and those on his Holding Hands imprint, overseen a run of consistent weapons, laser-tuned for the dancefloor. This has been a gradual shift from his earlier, more psychedelic tracks, as evidenced by the shift in tone from his first entry into the Dimensions mix series (which dealt largely with grubby post-punk) to this one: a razor-sharp journey through some of slickest club tracks around. There are few frills here, but for a demonstration of brilliant selections and streamlined mixing, look no further.