Having already debuted on Portuguese label Enchufada and featured heavily on the Boko! Boko! JOY compilation (which she co-curated with Tash LC and DJ Chin) in the past few months, London’s Mina is back with the Satellite EP, a collection of five light hearted efforts that traverse ground from dancehall to UK funky. “Balafon Bata”, a collaboration with Freetown-based Sillati, is a highlight from the EP, a propulsive number that sees Mina take a more meditative route than her usual sun-dazed, replete with droning bassline and brillaint mid tempo syncopation. Having previously worked together on “New Patan”, the a-side to the Kabala single, Mina and Sillati are clearly a winning combo and future work from the duo would surely be appreciated. Satellite is out September 28.
“Multiplicity is key in my vision of music.” Dviance’s music isn’t easy to categorize. The Lyon-born producer has released some of the most striking music of the past year, ranging from a hi-stress re-tool of CRIM3S’ “Milita” to a collaborative mix with N-Prolenta for Halcyon Veil that saw the two disfigure hardcore aesthetics with surgical care across 14 frenzied minutes. With almost a decade of classical guitar training under his belt and studies in musicology and sound design currently under way, a deep sense of musicality inhabits the teenage producer’s music despite its often dissonant leanings. That tendency towards dissonance is always in the context of a deeper spatial awareness though, one built on widescreen cinematics and a deep sense of how ghost melodies, bits of sonic detritus and disembodied glossolalia can foment deeply haunting atmospheres. It’s an idiosyncratic sound, but one that can find contemporaries in artists like v1984, SKY H1, Sentinel and other niche experimentalists.
Dviance’s collaborators, like fellow French artist Lauren Auder and the aforementioned N-Prolenta, also seem to fit into the outsider mold, artists balanced on the cusp of pop sensibility that nonetheless make deeply bizarre, insular music. For his part, rap music and various hardcore strains seem to temper Dviance’s music, a volatile synthesis that is almost presupposed as natural in his productions and mix work. His Astral Plane mix features hardstyle, noisy pop edits, a trove of foley effects and a few key originals from rappers like Jordy and Babyt33th. Whereas other collage minded artists might offer up a disembodied version of their myriad influences, Dviance’s compositions, both here and in previous editions for HV and the Absolute Zero show on Radar Radio, have a striking consistency to them, an unnerving sense of moving-in-all-directions-at-once that allows for a certain reticence to be grasped in the chaos. With no official releases on the horizon, Dviance plans to continue producing for himself until he’s satisfied with a body of work. Check out the track list for his Astral Plane mix below and find more original material at his Soundcloud.
If you’ve tuned into mixes or radio appearances by artists like Neana, Eclair Fifi or NKC over the past few months you’re likely to have caught one of DJ JM’s many percussive heaters that seem to be slowly percolating towards popular consciousness. “Make Partie”, an irresistible collaboration with Neana, is the most popular so far, a carnivalesque banger of the highest order that pairs the sort of elastic percussion favored by both artists with an arrangement of distorted sirens and bizarre digi-horn synths. Unreleased to date, the pairing of the Night Slugs rep with the Lithuanian producer DJ JM is fitting considering the latter’s deep bed of unreleased material, a collection of originals and edits that range from simple drum tools to relentlessly fun dancefloor bombs that recall a re-tooled 90s house sensibility in line with labels like Dance Mania, Strictly Rhythm and Henry Street Music. Unlike many contemporary artists though, DJ JM doesn’t attempt to modernize or add some faux futuristic bent to those classic sounds, preferring to double down on the wood block percussion, runway vocals and indefatigable sense of forward motion that makes them so unforgettable.
Besides radio sessions by the aforementioned artists, the best place to catch DJ JM tracks is his Tactic Signals show on Radar Radio, a collaboration with Tuan:Anh that shows off their love for the 90s dance sounds mentioned above as well as West Coast rap and dancehall. Still a relatively new program in the Radar arsenal, Tactic Signals has already hosted Bay Area production legend Traxamillion, a coup of sorts that shows a willingness to reach out beyond the confines of new/similar artists, and continues to improve every month. DJ JM can also be found on the next Nervous Horizon release via a collaboration with Tsvi, another fitting joint venture that should get more than enough play from artists both within and outside of their respective circles. That track isn’t in DJ JM’s Astral Plane mix, but plenty of other original material is including “Make Partie” and about 12 other tracks with the potential to win over even the most jaded listener. The instrumental to “Lose My Breath” by Destiny’s Child, Busy Signal’s “Text Message” and a bit of gqom make appearances, but the session’s main star is clear from the beginning, the whole affair not quite taking the air of a production mix, but clearly showing off a vault of unreleased material. Hit the jump for a full track list and be sure to tune in to Tactic Signals for even more exclusive DJ JM.
Coming in as the fourth release on Air Max ’97’s Decisions label, Jikuroux’s Ruptured Pulse EP has had us geeking out since we first received the promo, a whirlwind of drums and sneaky brilliant melodies that tend to stick out in mixes. Based in Sydney, Jikuroux is a co-founder of the EVE night, a “crucial” outpost according to AM97 that has hosted international artists like Venus X and Imaabs as well as likeminded Australians Strict Face, Jalé, Rap Simmons and Aspartame. On the production front, we’ve only heard bits and pieces from Jikuroux, an edit found in a self-hosted mix from 2014 and, most recently, tracks from Ruptured Pulse floating around mixes and sets including our own session for Dummy. Set to be released on September 30, we’ve got EP opener “Only U” on premiere today, a beatifically cut throat track that balances battering ram kicks with rhizomatic synth work and enough digital noise to make the whole thing feel like its coming apart at the seams. On September 23, EVE will host the Ruptured Pulse release party in Sydney, featuring fellow Decisions artist Waterhouse as well as Candlelyte, Scam b2b Aph and AM97 himself. Each respective release on Decisions has involved a drastically different approach and as the crew grows it’s exciting to see how it develops and engages with the small, but brilliant, scene that Australia has to offer.
Coming in as the 10th release in the Liminal Sounds catalogue, French Mount Ultra’s Static Assembly is a striking label debut for the London-based producer, six tracks of searing industrial noise and reinforced grime structures. Having self-released two sprawling EPs/albums including August 2015’s excellent Sirens. Heavy. Poison., FMU has found a home with the club experimentalists at Liminal Sounds, following a Summer-ready release from Orlando Volcano and following in the steps of artists like Copout, Air Max ’97 and Soda Plains. Today we’ve got “Broken Teeth” on premiere, a resolute take on video game grime that comes across like a wild animal trying to break out of its cage. It also recalls the beat stylings of artists like Samiyam and Dibiase, or even more recent work from Iglooghost, a spastic take on sound design that takes knocking the listener out of their seat as first order of business. The rest of Static Assembly is no less manic, making the quick run time of 21 minutes seem both lightning fast and oddly distended. Static Assembly is out September 23 and is available for pre-order here.
With releases out on TAR and Heat Records, Bay Area-based artist Botaz has begun to make waves over the past few years, entering his clear-eyed approach to production into a growing network of internet-connected individuals pushing club music’s various stands and variants. Also part of San Francisco’s Bread crew who have been bringing out some of the best lineups on the entire West Coast, Botaz is something of a Bay Area hold out, especially when it comes to his label, Big Sigh Brat Club, which is run in tandem with LA’s Farsight and Ballast. Set to be released on September 19, Botaz will debut on BSBC with the Stuck EP, a collection of three widescreen originals aided by remixes from Kieran Loftus, Ca$h Bandicoot, HABIBIBOI and Patrick Brian. We’ve got the EP’s title track on premiere today, a beatific take on the Gobstopper/Coyote school of weightless grime built on glassy synth work, an amnesiac sensibility and a bassline that both grounds and drives the track forward. It’s an intro in a sense, but whereas “Anxious and “Trying” take a more club-oriented approach to the same palette, “Stuck” sits nicely in its own realm, an almost incongruously lush landscape that almost demands a visual analog. Look out for the Stuck EP on the 19th and hit the jump for a preview of the full release.
Inaugurated at the beginning of August with Eaves‘ Mauled Heretic, Kid Smpl’s DISPLAY label/series is a new endeavor intended to “showcase longform single-track musical explorations.” If you’re familiar with operations like Disc Magazine, Novembre Magazine, aqnb or JG Biberkopf’s Unthinkable show on NTS, this format will likely be familiar to you, somewhat based in the ambient tradition of extended songs but with far more of a concise narrative bent. July’s MAMI X NON compilation, featuring short mixes from Nkisi, Marcelline, Asmara and more, is another example of the shorter format, this time blurring the lines between original/mix formats in a way that allows for a collagist underpinning and a runway soundtrack overtone.
Despite the mix-cum-collage format becoming increasingly popular, DISPLAY has been established to feature solely original works and the second entry into the series, Promise Emulation, comes from Kid Smpl himself. An expansive synthesis of the hi-stress style style found on the producer’s releases for Symbols, the piece aims to “explore a succession of decrepit futurist locales,” a dystopian purview that the producer, recent relocated to San Francisco, manages without the heavy handed posturing and cloying sci fi motifs of so many of his contemporaries. Largely beat-less, Promise Emulation is a largely textural affair, briefly breaking out into trance-like crescendos and bursts of raw noise, but by-and-large retaining more restrained exterior that recalls Ben Frost at his most subtle. Promise Emulation is out now in full and available as a free download.
If you follow our FACT column or listen with any regularity to our show on Radar Radio, you’ll surely be familiar with Mina, the rising production star behind some of the bounciest mid-tempo hits of the last year and co-head of London’s Boko! Boko! club night and radio show. Coming off a busy Carnival weekend that included a number of gigs across the city and a surprise b2b session with funky legends Crazy Cousins, we grabbed Mina for Astral Plane Mix 122 and the result is an idyllic run down of original and likeminded material that links from funky, afro house and gqom to soca, dancehall and kizomba. With releases out on Lisbon mainstay Enchufada and Los Angeles-based Friends of Friends (a joint effort with longtime collaborator Lorenzo_BITW), Mina has quickly justified her place in the conversation over the past 12 months and if you haven’t heard her signature xylophone melodies peek through a mix this Summer then you’re clearly not going to the right parties.
At the beginning of August, Boko! Boko! (co-run by Mina, Tash LC and DJ Chin) released the JOY compilation, a kaleidoscopic effort rejoicing in ebullient dancehall, kizomba and more from the likes of DJ Bboy, Gafacci, Mapalma and more. From a curatorial perspective, the inclusions are decidedly in line with the crew’s jubilant aesthetic and two lighthearted Mina collaborations, with Lorenzo_BITW and Svani respectively, pull the whole affair together nicely. Tracks from JOY and forthcoming collaborations with Nané, Wanted, Boyfriend and the aforementioned Lorenzo_BITW are peppered throughout Mina’s Astral Plane mix, which flips the rule book a little bit and descends in tempo from the rhythmic chop of Ahadadream, Jay De Silva and Champion into more a lethargic riddim territory populated by Busy Signal, Popcaan and Beenie Man. Like everything Mina has done to date, the mix has enough bounce and funk to carry even the laziest dancefloors and if you’re looking for a mission statement from this rising London artist the look no further.
With our Dummy Presents: The Astral Plane night coming up this Friday, our own Astral Plane DJ Team have contributed a mix to Dummy Mag’s inimitable series, chopping up label material from SHALT, Nunu, LOFT, Chants and more with a host of exclusives by Eaves, Imaabs, Jikuroux and more. The mix starts out with a stab at a Rian Treanor x 21 Savage blend and only gets more deranged from there, smashing in industrial dubstep with Lil Uzi Vert and PnB Rock. The following quote accompanied the mix:
Made up of tracks tested out in our living room and at nights in LA over the past few weeks, this recording touches on a lot of the more industrial-influenced music we’ve released without delving into full blown hysteric dystopia. It’s important to always leave room for light and whether that comes from sneaky ghost melodies in a SHALT tune or a moment affirming Lil Uzi Vert chorus we’ve tried to include plenty in our Dummy mix.
Violence, Maieli, Bianca Oblivion, The Dance Pit, Nargiz and the Astral Plane DJ Team are playing Dummy Presents: The Astral Plane which goes down Friday night from 9 PM to 2 AM at the Ace Hotel Rooftop in Downtown LA. RSVP here.
Photo by Nick Blu
Last Friday, Qween Beat’s inaugural Qweendom compilation hit the streets; 11 tracks from a who’s who of contemporary ballroom greats. The release runs the gamut of ballroom style, a mixture of hard-as-nails production, fierce vocals and a reverent sense of history that manifests itself in both subtle and literal ways. In that sense, no artist epitomizes Qweendom more than Byrell the Great and on “Bubble Drop”, a collaboration with Kassandra Ebony, WARREN B. and Princess Precious, and “Legendary Children”, the New York-based DJ effortlessly matches a distinctly modern production approach with classic sounds. Which is pretty much what Byrell has been doing since emerging as a producer a few years back, working extensively with the likes of MikeQ, Cakes Da Killa and Venus X to establish a position as one of ballroom’s rising production stars and most sought after DJs.
Specifically, Byrell is one of the top DJs in the kiki scene, a counterpart to the main ballroom scene that is younger and more oriented to fun, free flowing balls. Without making too many assumptions, Byrell’s production work often mirrors those characteristics and features samples from predictable sources like Masters at Work, Tronco Traxx and Beyonce, but also brings in Chedda da Connect, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West for a decidedly more modern sound. Byrell’s Astral Plane mix is, in his words, a “spell casting” of recent favorites, a Qweendom-heavy tour through modern ballroom with room for a collaboration with UNIIQU3 and inclusion of tracks by up-and-comers Capital K’aos, Quest?onmarc and TRICK$. We had a brief chat with Byrell over email and talked about the next step for Qween Beat, testing out Qweendom and his position, both internal and external, as one of the most in-demand ballroom/kiki DJs around. Hit the jump for our talk with Byrell and check below that for a track list we’re sure you’ll be repeatedly checking back on as you run through these 35 hi energy minutes.