Whether you’re prepping for the weekend or still recovering from the last, here’s our roundup of the month’s indispensable mixes.
It has been a stellar month for mixes, and the sets from Dekmantel still haven’t been released yet. Our picks come courtesy of percussive shelling from Shed, wigged-out early trance from Excelsior Ruth, worldwide party vibes with Jayda G and an incredible collage of rave sounds from Sim Hutchins and friends. Plus, Jeff Bridges takes us on a guided tour through the American wilderness to tee up a sublime ambient mix on Sublab Radio. Whatever mood you’re feeling, grab the aux cable and scroll down.
Excelsior RuthTrance Edition 93 – 97 on Balamii Radio
What a gem this is. Excelsior Ruth compiles a collection of early trance cuts from 93 to 97. She plays with both intensity and depth and tells a story about the evolution of a much-loved (and much-maligned) area of dance music, before closing out with the interstellar stunner Keep Me Close by Jules Venturini (out on Whities last year). Peaks of euphoria mingle with swampy chuggers you might hear Weatherall play in a Love From Outer Space set, while occasional choppy breaks like UVX’s Shape of Life (Spiralhead Remix) slice through the trippiness.
ShedIlian Tape Podcast 31
René Pawlowitz steps up for the increasingly impressive mix series by Ilian Tape. He does so in fine style, slamming gear techno with almost no time for regular 4/4 kicks. Syncopation and mischief have always been hallmarks of Shed’s favoured sounds and somehow this mix fixes the image of his impish grin in the mind’s eye. The music is predominantly preoccupied with the present, with tracks by Truska, Martyn and Fennesz laying seismic waste to the eardrums.
BudinoLes Yeaux Orange 107
Italian DJ Valentina Bodini appears on this list for the second time in three months. This time she cools it down compared with her Test Pressing mix for a breezier stroll through some irresistible synth tracks, including the opening double of Peter Bauman’s Romance and Kraftwerk’s Europe Endless (still such an incredible tune). Things get tougher later on, but there’s a really enjoyable sense of restraint and a reverence for the weird throughout.
Alex Albrecht & Jack BurtonSkylab Radio
Worthy of inclusion simply for the introduction featuring one of Jeff Bridges’ sleeping tapes. Something about hearing his idiosyncratic throaty growl and squeak, saying things like ‘buzzard’ and ‘Spanish doubloon’ as he ambles around an imaginary canyon is weirdly pleasing. The rest of the mix is great too as both Albrecht and his guest Jack Burton lay down ambient sounds that ebb and flow beautifully for maximum kicking back.
Jayda GTruancy Volume 222
The insatiable energy of Jayda G lands at Truants for their 222nd volume. Warm and lush disco from around the globe make up the majority of the mix with a few of her own tracks thrown into the fold. Like in her lauded DJ sets, the rising Canadian star injects a vibrancy into these blends for a joyous salvo against the navel-gazing seriousness of so many dance parties. A goldmine for digger’s delights as well, there is a lot to love here.
Don’t DJDekmantel Podcast 191
The energy channelled by Don’t DJ for his Dekmantel Podcast isn’t too far from that of Jayda G. Their styles differ, but the vibrancy and determination to have fun are firmly present. The tracks veer wildly from Brazilian percussive cuts, headsy releases from the likes of Beneath and Sotofett, and unexpected classics (who knew Hammer Time could bang this hard). It’s rare, even when sets from parties are recorded, to feel so swept along by a DJ when you listen remotely, but Don’t DJ leads you wherever he wants, and willingly you follow.
NightwaveRA Podcast 638
An absolute blinder of a set from Glasgow’s Nightwave. Tough, rugged sounds are the name of the game, squelchy acid tearing out the blocks and a thrilling switch to some heavy-hitting breaks with Special Request’s Make it Real and Raito’s Gunman. The mix is unmistakably indebted to old school rave sounds and includes a couple of unreleased bits from Lone and Nightwave herself. Get it on your stereo.
Sim Hutchins & FriendsClubeighteen2thirty on New New World Radio
Audiovisual artist and self-proclaimed Essex lad Sim Hutchins exudes passion and hardwork with each of his projects. The latest, clubeeighteen2thirty is a highly conceptual reflection on themes like nostalgia, youth and excess. This radio show is just as ambitious, drawing together nine artists for quick-fire snapshots of their favourite rave tracks and the result is a heady, overwhelming kaleidoscope of the varying spectra of older club tracks. You can tell a lot of love went into the selections and it is infectious.
Jordan CarnellNetil Radio
Sheffield’s Jordan Carnall runs two labels in Zeitnot and Seven Hills. The former is already home to a string of really strong hypnotic acid releases and the latter is about to release a compilation of records released by obscure early nineties label Nation of Noise (which has already sold out at pre-order). Spend four hours in his company and drift through a very impressive collection of electro, techno and acid.
LuckeMe with Inkke & SevendeathsRinse FM
LuckMe’s latest radio show shows off what a force for good the Scottish label is, forever pushing varied and exciting music. Inkke kicks off with an hour of jittery, sharp club tracks and smoother moments of release and for the second half Sevendeaths’ spreads noise and texture both beautiful and jarring like a canvas thick with oil paints. The two very different approaches sit next to each other surprisingly well, and taken as a whole it’s a really satisfying listen.