The shuttering of clubs in March last year marked the start of a long, fallow year for nightlife. The aftershocks were – are – many. From the stark financial fallout for DJs and promoters, to the sense of loss for punters; of community, or escape.
For our 400th mix, then, we've chosen to celebrate clubs and nightlife culture with a series of archive mixes. From Nowadays in New York to Hollywood Massawa in Kampala, we want to pay tribute to the dancefloors that have been dearly missed.
Mixed by rRoxymore
In 2019, Hessle Audio and its founders Ben UFO, Pearson Sound and Pangaea returned to FABRICLIVE as part of the Farringdon club’s 20th anniversary celebrations. The long-running Friday residents were joined by Paris-born, Berlin-based producer rRoxymore, whose curious house and techno concoctions on labels such as Don’t Be Afraid have earned her a fanbase of global admirers. Now, the thought of repping a label as storied as Hessle, at a club as revered as fabric, may be daunting to some. However, rRoxymore takes it firmly in her stride and delivers a staggering two-hour mix packed with robust selections and peppered with surprises. Expect tunes from producers such as K-Lone alongside remixes from Bambounou and French Fries.
fabric is pointing listeners towards Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign, which the club is supporting with London Unlocked.
Mixed by Ribeka & Call Super
Glasgow is widely regarded as one of the UK’s great clubbing cities, and La Cheetah goes some way to explaining why. Its bookings strike that crucial balancing act between big names and up-and-comers, providing a way for young, local promoters and DJs to become part of the city’s vibrant scene. Inclusivity and diversity are at the forefront of the club’s booking and door policies, and the reputation of its friendly, enthusiastic dancers precedes it.
This recording documents a “particularly packed and sweaty one” in September 2018, when local selector Ribeka joined club mainstay Call Super for an intimate rinse out in the 200-capacity basement space. Ribeka warms up for the first 90 minutes before Call Super takes over to close.
As part of our Crack Mix 400 campaign, La Cheetah would like to highlight Turn the Tables, an organisation helping those who’ve experienced homelessness to improve their quality of life and upskill in DJing.
Acre b2b Szare
Two home city heroes face off at one of Manchester’s – well, technically Salford’s – most beloved club. Across this almost three-hour-long mix, Mancunian producers Acre (Opal Tapes, Tectonic) and Szare (Polity Records, Different Circles) showcase the breadth of their respective repertoires as well as the assortment of the kinds of sounds that can be found reverberating around the venue on any given occasion. Boisterous, loud and proper good fun, prepare for a mind-melting transition from Errorsmith into São Paulo jokester MC Bin Laden as well as tracks from Ploy, Rezzett, Nervous Horizon bosses TSVI and Wallwork and more.
Mixed by DJ Python
When he’s not busy putting out critically adored releases like last year’s Mas Amable LP on Incienso, or booked and busy on the international festival circuit, DJ Python – real name Brian Piñeyro – can be found behind the decks at New York club Nowadays. Across this mix, the ‘deep reggaeton’ kingpin dives headfirst into a pool of dubbed-out techno, dembow and heads-down UK club sounds.
Expect processed vocals courtesy of Coucou Chloe, UK funky from Roska or DJ Polo, a House Music remix from Robosonic and a deep tech dub from Hugo Massien.
You can help to support Nowadays via the club’s Patreon page.
Mixed by MNTY
When Mexico City venue Yu Yu opened in 2017, the team led with a desire to showcase local artists and collectives while also welcoming an array of international headliners. In the time since, a selection of DJs have fast become regulars at the intimate club, situated in the city’s Juárez neighbourhood. Among those now firmly part of the crew is MNTY, a multidisciplinary artist with a storytelling approach to DJing. As evidenced in this mix lifted from a balmy night at the club, MNTY’s no stranger to sprawling narratives. Expect a rich tapestry of deep, driving and shapeshifting sonics.
You can help to support Yu Yu via their record store.
Mixed by Don Zilla
Ugandan DJ and producer Don Zilla releases terse, tense and palpitation-inducing music on labels such as Hakuna Kulala – the club-focused sister imprint to Nyege Nyege Tapes. And by day, he dons an equally vital managerial hat at Boutiq Studio, a community recording studio and residency space in Kampala. Both aspects of his work nod to his importance within the city’s electronic music ecosystem. In this mix lifted from a raucous night at Kampala venue Hollywood Massawa, Zilla whisks together foreboding atmospherics and furious drums. Rude and relentless – in the very best way.
Mixed by ZULI
VENT is a Cairo-based project helmed by producer and sound artist Ahmed El Ghazoly (aka ZULI) and Asem Tag, who works under aliases such as $$$TAG$$$. It’s existed in several forms since its inception. More recently, it’s found success as a series of live events and club nights primarily hosted in the Egyptian capital. While many will associate ZULI with a mutant, percussive sound palette, this mix – recorded under his now-defunct moniker XULI – sees him explore a different set of textures. It’s a thoughtfully crafted mix with tracks from S Olbricht, Madben and Lukid. El Ghazoly, as ever, excels at striking the balance between ambient atmospherics and combative intent.
VENT is asking for listeners to donate to The UN Refugee Agency, which is helping those fleeing from violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Héctor Oaks b2b SPFDJ
In 2018, the future of Bassiani seemed uncertain after it was subject to a police raid that saw around 60 ravers and its founders arrested. Protests erupted in response, and thousands of locals gathered to save the venue. Eventually, it was allowed to reopen.
Shortly after, Bassiani and Herrensauna resident Héctor Oaks released the LP As We Were Saying, and dedicated it to the venue’s main space, Horoom. It’s fitting then, that the producer represents Bassiani for Crack Mix 400 – and he steps it up, once again in Horoom, with fellow Herrensauna resident SPFDJ. Together, their B2B alias is SPFOAKS. Moody and propulsive body-moving selections are met with hard-as-nails techno. It’s the sound of the defiantly queer Bassiani, and the revolutionary spirit of Georgia’s ravers. Unstoppable.
Mixed by FILM
Auro Kitchen & Bar is one of those multi-function venues that doubles up as a restaurant – with a name that pays homage to the Aurobindo market – and a musical hub for both local talent and international artists.
For Crack Mix 400, the cultural space dug out this opening set by New Delhi producer FILM, aka Sanil Sudan. His own productions range from 90s techno and electro-indebted tracks to low-slung ambient and abstract forms. This set, recorded in June 2019 demonstrates his skilful approach as Sudan creates a sophisticated, laid-back warmup atmosphere before setting an explosive scene for the arrival of Helena Hauff.
Mixed by Total Freedom
Anyone who’s watched Total Freedom DJ will know that attempts to accurately describe his style, or sum up the trance-like atmosphere he creates while he’s behind the decks, simply won’t do him justice. He’s been in his bag for some time now, continually blazing the trail for propulsive, devilishly chaotic and sound effects-heavy (think smashing glass, sobs, inhuman noise) club sets in all four corners of the world; touching down in cities like Seoul, for example, to play at famed venue Cakeshop on many occasions.
Recently, the Seoul hotspot launched a new label with the compilation CRSL 001. For Crack Mix 400, they sent this recording lifted from a 2014 gig, which shows TF in his element. He races between rap and Rihanna, golden-era Night Slugs tunes and Tinashe with feverish intent in a way that’s equal parts fluid, and, on the flip, the total antithesis.
Mixed by Ouissam & Miya
Savage was the very first underground electronic music club to open in the Vietnamese capital. Ever since its opening back in 2016, the Hanoi club has remained a staple within the city’s music scene thanks to its musical direction and dedicated crew. In this mix, Savage’s own Ouissam and Miya embark on a multi-hour tour of funk and house. Recorded at the club’s monthly queer party, Snug, the Fragrant Harbour Sound System collective members take turns to step up to the decks solo before finishing with a feverish b2b.
As part of our Crack Mix 400 campaign, the club is supporting Stop AAPI Hate: a reporting centre for anti-Asian hate crime.
Mixed by DJ 瓢瓢 (Piao Piao)
DJ 瓢瓢 (Piao Piao), real name Wen Shun, is a resident at Beijing club Zhao Dai. A post-pandemic world in Beijing sees the Chinese capital booming with new clubs, and Zhao Dai is a staple of the city’s underground scene.
Beijing’s musical history has, in previous decades, leaned more towards male-dominated indie bands and live performance. However, its contemporary landscape sees women fronting its electronic scene – a wave that’s been boosted in recent years by conversations on gender equality in the capital. Beijing’s underground scene continues to be shaped by industrial music in particular, and Wen Shun is an artist who pulls both from the city’s rich history and current wave of sounds.
Zhao Dai regularly teams up with, and financially supports, queer organisations. The venue would like to highlight Beijing’s LBGT Center. Find out more and donate here.
Mixed by ENA
Tokyo club Contact celebrates its fifth anniversary on 1 April. To mark the milestone, they’ve chosen this archive mix by Ena, which is made up entirely of his own productions.
Inspired by dubstep and drum’n’bass, Ena has, in recent years, veered into more experimental territory. His 2017 EP Divided: Body saw him lean into the darker peripheries of experimental electronics, and his most recent release – 2021’s One Draw – is composed of sculptural sounds; rhythmic and subtle at the same time.
Here, Ena demonstrates his mastery at crafting tension, steeping the mix in brooding, and menacing, electronics that rarely lets up for a release. A chilling and exhilarating listen.
Mixed by Raumtester
Popoff Kitchen is a queer techno party held in Moscow. The monthly event offers a safe space for LGBTQ+ clubbers while also providing queer artists with a platform for their music, performances or alternative artistic output. Both DJs and attendees are encouraged to relish in the freedom that comes from a welcoming atmosphere, as well as the pleasure that comes from raving alongside a like-minded crowd.
In this archive mix, recorded at District 27, party resident and Test FM mainstay Raumtester offers a preview into what a night at Popoff Kitchen may entail: hard-hitting techno, long-forgotten gems and the occasional detour via tracks such as Utah Saints’ Something Good, which is playfully thrown into the mix for good measure.
Popoff Kitchen is supporting the Russian LGBT Network as part of our Crack Mix 400 campaign.
Mixed by Monster
Oramics member and Projekt LAB resident Monster is somewhat of a hometown hero in the Polish city Poznań. Having made her start at squat parties about a decade ago, Monster is an artist who continues to use her stance in club culture to amplify her political activism. Throughout Poland and Ukraine, she’s run DJ workshops for women, and she’s contributed to this this 91-track compilation which supports the Kurdish resistance in Rojava.
With a love for ravey, vintage euphoria, this club set at a Moondance party sees her inject, well, a high dose of fun into the dancefloor. Unpredictable and incredibly infectious, there’s an edit of the A$AP Rocky and Skepta linkup Praise Da Lord, Technotronic’s Pump Up the Jam and 1992 by Alignment.
Monster is highlighting the fundraiser Support Ciocia Wienia, a collective helping people to gain access to safe abortions.
Mixed by Alex Savage
Kiev’s electronic music scene is on the rise, and it’s a venue by the name of Closer that’s leading the charge. The factory-turned-club, which is also home to Strichka Festival, is lauded within the Eastern European club circuit and beyond; touring stars and elusive headliners regularly enticed in by the club’s stellar reputation and enthusiastic crowds.
In this mix from Closer resident and Progressive Future co-founder Alex Savage, those who’ve yet to step foot in the club are invited to close their eyes and picture themselves lost within a warm crowd, swaying to a fusion of dark and moody club sounds.
Mixed by Volruptus
Macao is an independent centre for arts, culture and research in Milan, Italy. The extraordinary space – situated within a cavernous former slaughterhouse – has grown to become a vital hub for alternative art and creative enrichment, with a cross-sectoral programme that covers everything from performing arts, cinema and visual arts to design, photography and club nights.
In this archive recording, bbbbbb and трип signee Volruptus sets out on an audacious electro excursion. Much like his releases, it’s a hotbed of weird, warped and sci-fi-indebted sonics. For listeners in the US, head to the SoundCloud mix.
The club is supporting Tampone sospeso, a campaign created by Brigate Volonterie per l’Emergenza – one of the organisations operating within Macao to fund free Covid tests for people in difficult situations.
Mixed by Ólta Karawane
Neukölln venue Sameheads provides Berlin’s young creatives and budding talent with a multi-function space, operating as a gallery, bar, shop and club. Run by three brothers, the venue has a distinctly DIY feel, with its own label that platforms its ‘family’ of artists and a station called Radio Rixdorf.
For Crack Mix 400, Sameheads digs into the vaults for a session by residents Ólta Karawane. Not much is known about the elusive duo, but the backstory is that the pair are from Ukraine and Russia, and they met while in a “delirious state” outside a Moscow liquor store. This is all stomping grooves, swirling guitars and euphoric giddiness.
If you’re a Crack regular, please consider supporting. Your support powers our platform, the artists we cover, and the global community of writers and creatives who make Crack Magazine. In return, we promise to bring you even closer to the music.