Whether you’re prepping for the weekend or still recovering from the last, tap into our nine-point guide on the most essential mixes from the past month.
For our latest roundup, we’ve scoured the internet to procure a selection of the best mixes published online. In this week’s guide, Lee Gamble and Tzusing craft high-octane excursions built for the main room, Budino and Jane Fitz take us to transcendent terrains, and two cultural icons are honoured: the revolutionary spirit of Patti Smith, and the cult anime classic Akira. Featuring a range to suit whatever mood you’re feeling, grab the aux cable, scroll down and plug in.
Lee GambleNTS Radio (Live from Oval Space)
Last year’s Mnestic Pressure felt a watershed moment for Lee Gamble, a point in which his conceptual digging collided with cultural reference points and produced an explosion of thrilling force. It was no end-point however. Sets like this one, glitchy and epic in scope, belie a mind in restless flux. There’s an endless tension at work here: build-ups stretch onwards, snatches of incoming breaks or bleeps are interspersed throughout, and razor-sharp sound design contributes to this deeply unsettling, nerve wracking trip. Its angularity is also intensely satisfying, teasing at the boundaries of how far you can push it while retaining just enough control to keep a dancefloor moving. One of the very best working right now.
BudinoTest Pressing Mix 467
Raised by parents who met at the legendary parties helmed by Beppe Lodda, Budino is an artist bound to disco and the dance. Italo disco segues into new wave and boogie, while hints of hip-hop and electro are draped around the periphery. The spirit of the dance is strong here; no high-minded concepts, just 80 minutes of fun – and it’s camp as hell.
Andy PaybackAir Mix 16 – Street Soul Lovers
Happy Skull’s Air Mix continues its hot streak with a collection of sizzling slow jams and boogie heaters selected by Andy Payback, an experienced digger able to race through a rapid selection of tracks at any given flavour at a whim. At his day party, Under Heavy Manners, he – along with a line-up of guests – does exactly that, but here his mixing style is understated and easy, letting the tracks do the talking without surrendering to any temptation to veer off course. Sultry, sweltering and ideal for the heatwave.
Jane FitzThe Ransom Note Mix
As a DJ and curator, Jane Fitz’s craft demonstrates the steady hand of someone in the know. Ask anyone who’s witnessed her residencies at Pickle Factory or attended any of the Night Moves parties. Reviews of her sets are often glowing and highlight her ability to keep a crowd moving for long periods of time, whatever she plays – and she plays plenty. Having swerved the limelight for a long time she’s also been receiving long-deserved props in recent years, though she may not covet them. Here the vibe is wiggy with a subtly hard edge, but she holds back from going too tough. Celestial, loose and carrying a free energy: a cosmic wave, if you will.
Choses Contraires: Tribute to Patti SmithLyl Radio
It’s always a joy to hear Patti Smith’s distinctive East Coast drawl in conversation; always a welcome salvo to the modern aversion to sincerity. Unafraid of accusations of pretension, her commitment to the idea of the artist is refreshing and the scope of her ambition is expansive, to say the least. This mix on Lyl Radio encapsulates her many selves: there’s sexy slow burners, classic rock subversion and punk savagery, all threaded with her spoken words of utter conviction.
PloyIlian Tape Podcast 29
Several killer releases on Hessle Audio, Hemlock and, most frequently, Timedance, have revealed Ploy as a producer of fine talent, putting a distinct spin on UK techno whilst helping Batu’s label take its place as the next in the lineage from which Livity Sound and Hessle were spawned. An inauspicious intro gives way to a snapshot of the UK sound the aforementioned labels helped define, full of mind-melting bangers. Koehler’s Thief, from the Blue 02 EP on Tasker’s Whities label, stands out as a highlight here, and it stands amongst a wealth of dance cuts on this 80-minute mix.
Octo OctaSolid Steel Radio 29/6/18
This isn’t the first time we’ve included an Octo Octa mix in our monthly roundup, and if she keeps putting out mixes of this calibre, it won’t be the last. House music, so often abused, is a mighty weapon in hands such as these. It takes less than five minutes for three of house’s classic tropes to appear (lengthy strings, loose piano chords and snappy vocal samples), and yet it feels fresh and vital. Maya Bouldry-Morrison is quite simply a master of the energetic and the joyous – get it on your speakers and turn the volume up loud.
TzusingLente Kabinet Festival
There were a lot of outstanding mixes to unearth among the string of sets from Dekmantel’s little sister festival that dropped on Soundcloud last month. The hype lay with this one, and rightly too, as Tzusing crafts one of those sets you wouldn’t shut up about for the rest of the year had you been in attendance. It thumps hard for one that moves at a slow pace, a squawking behemoth of boss-battle music. Plus, in dropping Diesel Power, Tzusing makes a track maligned by Prodigy fans feel inspired. When he does approach escape velocity towards the end of his slot, the cumulative energy feels crushing.
Lord TuskAn Alternative Soundtrack to Akira
Akira is one of those cultural phenomenons with an impact that’s hard to overstate. It reaches beyond the realms of animated film and science fiction, and in music its presence can keenly be felt. Not only is it 30 years old but we’re just one year away from the time of its setting – always a cause for reflection of where the world is at. To mark this, Crack Magazine asked Lord Tusk to compile an alternative soundtrack to the 1988 classic. In doing so, he crafts a kaleidoscopic collage of the film’s influences and soundtrack snippets, and by doing so encapsulates its narrative and struggle. Tense, unsettling and powerful all at once, this sweeping mix is designed for those who haven’t watched the film (yet) and fans alike.