Happy Skull

Number 166 in our mix series is a collaborative effort courtesy of one of Bristol’s finest labels, Happy Skull.

Happy Skull was formed in 2013 by The Kelly Twins. Already in deep with Idle Hands, part of the team behind the label and party Crazy Legs, and playing regularly around Bristol, the Kellys had built up a sizeable presence in their city. With Happy Skull they’ve been able to expand their twisted vision into a night at Bristol’s Cosies and an excellent mix series of their own, while the label has seen releases from the likes of Rhythmic Theory, Throwing Shade, October & Borai and HOLOVR. Of course what The Kelly Twins do best is DJ. The pair don’t release their own music, focusing instead on building their knotted mixes that move through shade and light, flirting with tempos, moods and percussive patterns from across the board.

For this mix Happy Skull fam Anina and ANTI-FUN also join in behind the decks. Anina, as well DJing for Happy Skull (along with Slack Alice and others) takes care of the label and events’ art direction, while ANTI-FUN is low-key moniker of another Bristol institution. Rather than try and explain what the mix is ourselves, we thought we’d leave it up to the label:

“We like to think of Happy Skull as a close knit family, albeit quite a dysfunctional one. So when approaching this mix, it made sense to do it as a crew. Joining the dots between what we all do was a challenge but we feel that everyone brought their own distinctive vibe to the mix. A blend of synth heavy 4/4 jams, broken UK gear and rolling electro, an honest representation of what we all do in the club. We are lucky and humbled to be friends with some great artists and label owners, who have given us tracks. The mix features unreleased music from October, Don’t Be Afraid, Berceuse Heroique, Kowton, some forthcoming label material plus much more that we can’t tell you about yet. [It was] recorded in one take at Nina’s studio.”