Welcome back to our selection of the best mixes from across the web.
With another month in some form of lockdown gone, music and the transportation it affords is as important as ever. There’s been some debate recently about the value of club music at a time when there is no club but, as you might have guessed, here at this column we’re as up to our ears in repetitive beats as ever, itching to return to the dancefloor whenever it’s safe.
This month, our selection starts with Luke Slater’s reinvention of the DJ mix and only gets better from there. You’ll find Anz wistfully pouring one out for the rave, Esposito conjuring the spectre of drum’n’bass in Berghain and Identified Patient strapping into a breakneck rollercoaster of gnarled bass music. Plus, hear odes to South Africa, Babestation-inspired drone and much more besides.
Luke SlaterBerghain Fünfzehn
It’s rare to come across something genuinely new in the format of mixes. The process of mixing one record into another is, at heart, a simple one. This mix celebrating 15 years of Berghain is both an ode to that simplicity and an attempt to do something new. In it, Slater uses music from the entire Ostgut catalogue to build new tracks with which to make the mix. It’s a huge undertaking, exercised impeccably to produce a masterclass of texture and rhythm. A reminder, should you need one, of just how good techno can be.
Anz began her career as a producer working somewhere in the orbit of grime, releasing on Classical Trax back in 2015 and following with an EP of 140 bangers, but last year’s Invitation 2 Dance was different: a strangely pure, four-track ode to the dancefloor. In many ways, this mix feels like a counterpoint to that release, a tear-jerking evocation of the rave and rollercoaster of emotion befitting the current scenario. Booting off with Altern8’s E-Vapor-8, this one doesn’t let go.
EspositoREEF Prefix Pt. 2
The clubs are shut and it’s getting increasingly difficult to remember what being in one feels like. Luckily good folks like Esposito are on hand to give us a reminder. Here he is with a taster of the dark DnB he planned to play at REEF in Berghain at the end of April. The thought of these cavernous subs and colossal, knotty drums in that room is enough to keep us going just a little longer.
Shanti CelesteIlian Tape Podcast 050
A landmark in Ilian Tapes’ superlative series calls for a special DJ. Shanti Celeste is just that, and from the Missy Elliot intro onward this one just feels a little bit different. More of a tearout than you might expect, the mix moves fast. Breaks, footwork-esque rhythms and slippery electro tumble from the speakers with a celebratory air. An essential soundtrack for your next government-sanctioned run.
Identified PatientTruancy Volume 263
In the accompanying interview for his Truants mix, Identified Patient talks about the singular rush certain kinds of music can give you, in his case in relation to rinsing the Prodigy’s The Fat of the Land as a child. This mix seems hell-bent on evoking that feeling throughout. Get stuck in and enjoy the Amsterdam DJ’s blend of free-wheeling abandon, intricacy and measure in one of the most bombastic mixes you’ll hear all year.
Oli XL (Feat. Samuelspaniel)Lily Mix III
Oli XL’s brand of high-definition sweetness and warm textural rhythms shines through on his radio show, and this is the second time this year we’ve been compelled to share one of them. XL is in fine form again but it’s the bubblegum freakishness of Samuelspaniel’s guest mix that tipped it for us. So crisp it’s almost unsettling, its rubber bounce rattles around your head unlike anything else you’ll hear this month. One to split opinion perhaps, but never dull.
Joe CotchMzanzi Oath Vol. 1 (Radio Raheem)
A self-professed student of SA sounds, Joe Cotch is well placed to offer a deep dive into South African club music. Partly in honour of the Boiler Room Johannesburg festival he curated, this mix is a love letter to one of the most exciting scenes on the planet. An hour of the best trap, hip-hop and SA house.
Luke UnabomberWorldwide FM 21.04.20
With more than two decades under his belt as a DJ and promoter (he’s the man behind Homoelectric and now Homobloc in Manchester, among other parties), Luke Unabomber is a figure always worth hearing from. Listening to him wax lyrical about Sylvester and Patrick Cowley, as he does around 50 minutes into this set on Worldwide FM, is a rare treat where a DJ’s chat is as good as their mix. Even better, it’s just one moment in the best part of four hours of Unabomber wandering through his archive pulling out all manner of cosmic delights. One to return to again and again.
Ambient Babestation MeltdownLocked In (Isolutions)
Ambient Babestation Meltdown is the brainchild of London DJ Rachael who, inspired by an old job at an adult entertainment channel and a desire to do something weird, plays a mixture of ambient, drone and downtempo while reading sultry one-liners and taking calls from other weirdos in the scene. It’s hilarious, but also soothing, meditative and a little menacing.
WonjaWood Glass Metal Vol VII
For each instalment of Wood Glass Metal, Oakland DJ Wonja gathers traditional, folk and experimental sounds – usually from an array of countries and musical traditions – and weaves them into a coherent whole. This latest draws from Bali, Vietnam, Cameroon and many more, evoking the series’ title as it flits between twinkling moments and a busy clamour. Texturally rich and melodically sublime.