The month's best mixes: digital sludge, techno slammers and Kylie

The Guardian Entertainment 3 weeks ago

Oli XL — Lily Mix (on NTS)

Perhaps the most talked about album of experimental electronic music this side of the summer is Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer, the debut LP from Swedish producer Oli XL. Totally sample-based, it melts down echoes of UK rave, garage and pop into digital sludge, then pumps it into woozy, surreal rhythms. The artist taps into influences from Basement Jaxx to MESH on Lily Mix, and it’s this ability to find a liminal space between pop and avant-underground styles where his DJing shines the most. MIA folds into the techno of Shadowax and Beta Librae with a surprising cohesiveness, while Janet Jackson and Yves Tumor reveal themselves as a natural pairing.

Truancy Volume 252: MoMA Ready

“There is Something! going on in NYC y’all better wake the hell up!!!!” read a recent tweet from MoMa Ready, an artist from Brooklyn’s new wave whose tracks seem to be on everybody’s USB sticks this year. His release The NYC Dance Project was one of the summer’s standout records, loaded with soul-sampling deep house groovers, jacking club cuts and ravey hitters. In his mix for Truants (the ad-free site where, full disclosure, I volunteer as an editor), the energy levels are propelled higher and higher. The cosmic spoken word/bass combo of A Guy Called Gerald’s The Universe provides an expansive intro to an hour of blood-pumping techno slammers. Whether it’s industrial, acid-adjacent, rough-and-ready or flirting with breaks, MoMa Ready makes it work; he’s not picky but he never lets up.

Boomerang - BOO000

Boomerang is a new project from Brussels’ Samuelspaniel, a sound engineer, sound designer and producer of off-ambient beats. It’s inaugurated by BOO000, a mix best described as an entire era of early-00s futurist aesthetics crammed into a dense and dizzying 15 minutes. Tracks shuffle and stutter, veering wildly off course before returning back to the centre, as is the case with the spaced-out drum’n’bass rolling beneath Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head vocal. It manages to work as both textural demonstration and medley of bangers all in one – no easy feat.

DISCWOMAN 80 x Shannen SP

Hyperdub celebrated its 15th anniversary this month, and the musical landscape at the time of its inception is almost unrecognisable from today’s. Thankfully the London label has never rested on its laurels, in no small part due to the work DJ, A&R and monthly club night programmer Shannen SP has been doing to develop Hyperdub’s international network of bass mavericks. Her entry for the Discwoman mix series brings together loose and mischievous percussive cuts from all corners, with kuduro and gqom presented alongside twisting house polyrhythms and coarse techno. It’s a celebratory showcase of “afro artists or those influenced by afro drums and rhythm patterns”, in the artist’s own words, and “witchy black energy” that will continue well beyond Halloween.

Mx Silkman - Submitted For Public Systems Recordings (Rinse France)

Coming from the American midwest’s DIY techno scene, and having co-founded esteemed Cleveland queer party In Training, Mx Silkman is an expert in body music. She flips that coin in this mix for Rinse however, navigating industrial chuggers and after-hours dub. Terre Thaemlitz’s introspective vocal abstractions are interrupted by a lethargic bout of drumkit-meets-mic feedback, before the reverb-heavy bass wanderings of African Head Charge take over. Mx Silkman further frazzles the ears by spinning Christoph De Babalon’s fierce synth/breaks concoctions into the sun-struck drone refractions of club-inspired minimalist Carlo Maria, ultimately reframing off-kilter as the new norm.

In Session: Florentino

British-Colombian producer-DJ Florentino has spent the past five years honing a sound that combines the reggaeton and dembow of his roots with UK soundsystem culture. Unofficial edits and bombastic blends take centre-stage for his In Session mix, wherein he squeezes around 40 tunes into the space of an hour and still finds room for two versions of Lento. Refixing grime classics and giving Benga & Coki the baile funk treatment is one thing, but Florentino pushes the hijinks envelope further still when he playfully chops up Josh Wink and Stardust.

Dummy Mix 566: Ariel Zetina

Chicago’s Ariel Zetina is a producer, DJ, playwright and writer, known for holding down a residency at the renowned Smartbar. While her own compositions sit within the techno-ambient continuum, Belizean punta and brukdown influences permeate her style and her DJ sets often juggle a great range of genres. In her Dummy Mix, she takes a slower approach to cultivate a more hypnotic experience, seamlessly linking together rugged acid jams, dreamlike wonky beats and runaway drum tracks. Her selection is something of a who’s who in club music right now, with New York’s new house agitators, fellow Latinx luminaries and queer heroes of the global underground all present.

Tags: Music

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