In our first mix roundup of the year, we embrace the darkness.
Winter seems long, doesn’t it? And has anyone noticed that it’s really, really cold? Whether you’ve been snowed in or you’re choosing to stay firmly shut indoors, it seems that mixes, too, have been reflecting this mentality as of late.
This month there’s no shortage of shadowy, nocturnal music to soundtrack your self-imposed ban from the outdoors: there’s Danielle getting moody for Oscillate, Maria Somerville channelling western Ireland’s impish menace and Forest Swords’ sludgy Unsound entry. Look to Leon Vynehall or Giovanni Turiaco for some half-light, and don’t forget to plug into Yaeji’s outstanding “karaoke mix”.
One of the best young DJs in London steps up for the mighty Discwoman series. anu’s reputation has long since grown from her association with Rhythm Section, and the last year has seen her playing shows in India, Uganda and New Zealand. The selections here represent her experience as a first generation artist growing up in London, and she nods to a tapestry of sonic traditions in just over half an hour. Describing her mix as a “huge mixture of sounds and cultures”, anu channels the “confusing sense of belonging” she feels in the UK capital. Dark and moody, but energetic throughout, anu’s entry for the series is a selection of no-holds-barred club tracks. Take note of the Sega Bodega and Shygirl track too.
Paquita GordonTerraforma 2018
Sundays at Terraforma have become a highlight on the festival calendar for those in the know. Last year it was Donato Dozzy’s set on the final day that demanded those in attendance – and later, those not – to pay attention. Paquita Gordon is a fellow native, and last year the Italian selector’s set was talked about long after it had ended. Gordon is known for shifting genres with apparent carefree abandon, but sudden lurches like these don’t sound so smooth without due consideration. Many of the track highlights were impossible to identify, but the transition into drum’n’bass near the halfway mark and the sudden drop in tempo at the set’s end will have you taking notes.
Leon VynehallDJ Kicks
Leon Vynehall turns in an exceptional entry into the DJ Kicks series. Retaining a timeless quality throughout, there’s a plethora of outstanding moments; take, for example, the opening salvo of Kemikal’s Genie. As ever with a DJ Kicks record, it’s a chance to pick up some digital versions of tracks that may be difficult to find, and after Vynehall released his gorgeous LP, Nothing is Still, via Ninja Tune last year, this is yet another marker laid down by an impressive talent.
DanielleOscillate Podcast 31
Danielle is firmly one of Bristol’s most impressive, rising DJs and recognition is growing beyond the UK city, with Danielle flexing her talents both as a selector and graphics designer. Crack Magazine hosted her at its annual Motion party last December, and Danielle seemingly commandeered her audience with ease. For the Oscillate podcast she goes syncopated and tough – all punchy breaks and sawtooth electro with only slivers of light in the murk.
PeverelistTruancy Volume 233
Can anyone claim to have influenced the sound of modern UK club music more than Peverelist? The Bristol-based artist has honed a style that’s dubby and hypnotic, yet percussive, angular and hard-hitting all at once. It’s the sound he’s been plugging and playing for years; and despite the fact that people seem to have caught up, no-one does it quite like Pev. Lock in for some essential listening.
NaziraRA Podcast 659
Almaty is Kazakhstan’s largest city and Nazira is its biggest champion on the global dance music stage. As a resident at Berlin’s Room 4 Resistance, she’s built a reputation for hard-hitting and uncompromising sets. Back at home, she’s used her profile to grow her city’s scene, founding the night ZVUK and performing at a one-off special event hosted by Unsound Festival in May 2017. Her commitment to Kazakhstan is deeply rooted in her work – both behind and outside of the decks. “The most rewarding thing is feeling that you are bringing real change for the better,” she said in her interview with RA. “Kazakhstan is and will for a long time be an archaic and patriarchal place, but with ZVUK we’re trying to create a place of acceptance and equality and unity.” Her 18-track mix is filled with cuts that stand at the razor’s edge of modern dance music.
Forest SwordsUnsound Podcast 44
Coming through with the 44th instalment of Unsound’s mix series is Forest Swords’ excursion of ghostly sounds. Shackleton’s Death is Not Final and DJ Koze’s swampy edit of Efdemin’s Acid Bells is indicative of the mood and sound that the Merseyside producer crafts for his latest mix. Further still, it reflects the cantankerous strain of dub that characterises the producer’s own work – and the shadow is deep and inviting.
Giovanni TuriacoTrushmix 131
A former record store owner, Giovanni Turiaco has turned his time behind the counter into a career as a selector; and it shows, with this off-kilter mix demonstrating his experience as a deep digger. For his Trushmix instalment, Turiaco lays down some oddball classics that paint a snapshot of northern Italy’s history. The south European country is known for being a hotbed of incredible music from pop’s left-field. Turiaco’s two-hour mix reflects why.
Maria SomervilleThe Invisible World
Maria Somerville is an experimental musician from the west of Ireland. Her debut album All My People, out in March, channels the earthy mana of that place by way of her murky folk. This special show for NTS sees her reach around for peers and influences to help tell the story. Inspired by the Irish poet John O’Donohue and his words on our internal landscape, Somerville pieces together tracks by The Durutti Column and Grouper with the poet’s recorded voice. The effect is haunting, one that fits the ‘invisible world’ that O’Donohue often spoke of.