Over the past decade-plus, Teki Latex has consistently done more than almost anyone else, building a venerable solo career, seemingly expanding into new formats, platforms and arenas on a near-weekly basis, and imprinting his uniquely open curatorial lens on a huge assortment of projects. Nowadays, you’ll find Teki, born Julien Pradeyrol, at the helm of the insistently current Sound Pellegrino label (run in tandem with longtime creative partners Orgasmic and Emile Shahidi), hosting and curating the “2-hour long weekly DJ television program” Overdrive Infinity, and touring the globe, playing everything from A Club Called Rhonda here in Los Angeles to FWD in London and Cakeshop in Seoul. Inspired by contemporary ballroom legends like MikeQ and Vjuan Allue, Teki is also a member of Paris’ House of Ninja and has become active in the city’s ballroom culture, playing regularly at and supporting balls across the city and even putting on a vogue-focused Boiler Room earlier this year. In short, if you haven’t caught at least a few of Teki’s movements over the past few years you’re not looking in the right places and are almost certainly missing out. After all, the borders between Teki’s many projects are flimsy at best it’s no surprise when an artist contributes a song to a SND.PE compilation, appears on Overdrive Infinity and plays b2b with Teki himself at a world famous London club as Loom has done over the past few months.

For our 100th Astral Plane mix, we wanted to bring in an artist with longevity, sprawling creativity and an unabashed community spirit and I think we’d be hard pressed to find anyone better for that roll than Teki Latex. We spoke with Pradeyrol about his roll as a polyglot and how that effects his bookings and professional perception, his roll with TTC and Eurocrunk’s continuous influence on contemporary crossover forms, and the next wave of French artists and parties he’s in constant dialogue with. His mix is a rambling three deck affair that runs through eras and genres with a reckless flair that only a DJ as skilled as Teki can maintain. 2014’s Deconstructed Trance Reconstructed mix is still one of our favorite mixes of all time and Teki’s work on Astral Plane Mix 100 only expands that affection we feel for the Parisian legend, effortlessly walking the line between the most affective, self-serious modes of club music and its most gregarious, silly fringe. Few artists work as hard as Pradeyrol and even fewer seem to have anywhere near as much fun as he does while doing it. Hit the jump below for our extensive (and wonderful) talk with Teki and a track list (you’ll need it) and the bottom of the article. Enjoy.

Read More

12242946_10153100152706890_1202519591_o (1)

It’s release week! Since announcing SHALT’s Acheron EP last month, we’ve been aching to get the full project out to you and it’s finally out on digital platforms this Friday (1/29)! Last Thursday, FACT Magazine premiered the second single from the project, “Unconfined”, and spoke with SHALT about artificial life extension, Tim Hecker, and the club-via-noise context of his music. Check out the interview here, “Unconfined” below and keep an eye out on our Bandcamp for the full release on Friday.

Tom E Vercetti shots-6

With grime and drill music in his sight, Tom E. Vercetti has stormed out of the gates in 2015, crafting an elongated, hyper-melodic take on contemporary club sounds, debuting with the Future Perfect EP on Coyote Records and joining up with Lovedr0id and Chemist as Silk Road Assassins (an outfit now signed to Planet Mu0). With tracks like “Crystal Cloak” and “A Matter Of Perspective” floating around, not to mention Silk Road Assassins efforts like “Shaded” and “T (Peace Edit)”, it was only a matter of time before the general public picked up on Vercetti.

Inspired by everything from Lil Durk’s analgesic raps to the TimeSplitters game, Future Perfect is the Southwest England’s solo debut and it fits perfectly into another big year for Coyote, another beatific, introspective take on rap and grime that could almost be taken as a companion piece to Spokes’ Green Eyes EP and Letta’s Testimony LP. It’s a conscious step away from aggro grime and rap tropes, leaning towards menace and paranoia as underlying moods. Work with Chicago rapper Mikey Dollaz is on the way in 2016 and along with the Silk Road Assassins EP, it’s looking like a breakout year for Vercetti. Grab Future Perfect here and be on the lookout for more solo material from this riser.

Hi Jack, how are you? Where are you right now?
I’m pretty good thanks. I’m currently jamming in my flat in Bath looking at a pretty nice view.

How did Future Perfect come about? What’s behind the name?
I actually picked up the term from the Timesplitters game and just thought it sounded cool. Then I realised the phrase evoked really lucid imagery of the future as imagined by the world 20/30 years ago. Very crystalline, vibrant and optimistic.

Do you approach your solo work differently from your work as Silk Road Assassins?
Yeah but subconsciously. With solo work I can spend hours fine tuning certain details but that just wouldn’t roll in a collaborative situation. It would be pretty boring for the others if they had to watch someone editing a melody for two hours for example. The solo process is a lot more drawn out and about spending a long time trying to get things perfect. When we make beats together it’s really quick fire and we don’t spend too much time on details until the actual arrangement is down. I don’t ever feel the need to focus on separating the two though because the SRA stuff will naturally have a different feel due to Chemist and Lovedr0id’s approach to it. Though recently the lines have become a bit more blurred as I’ve spent most of my time in SRA mode. My idea to get around that with the next EP is to try things we wouldn’t normally do together as SRA.

Your sound is intensely melodic and seems based in both American and British musical styles. What did you grow up listening to and how has your musical taste developed over time?
I listened to just about everything I could when I was growing up. The first genre I ever properly invested in was bassline back when I first started secondary school. My dad’s friend would always bring back bassline mixtapes from Leicester which I used to rinse. He also taught me how to use Reason and I used to mess about on that trying to make bassline tracks. I’d often have Channel U on at home as well so I was exposed to grime through that mostly. Everyone would also share grime instrumentals on their phones at school because everyone was an MC back then. But at the same time I was really into the American rnb and rap sound around the 2000-2005 period. I think the rnb production from back then has resonated massively in my approach to melody. During secondary school I got into playing guitar and listening to bands like The Smiths and The Cure etc. That took my focus away from dance music for quite a while but I got back into it during college when I started making beats again.

Is there a specific physical and/or virtual space where you see your music excelling?
Geographically I think the music can work in the UK and USA. Grime fans can latch onto the UK influence of the EP and there’s also the obvious trap/rap references which American listeners may be more familiar with. The EP is largely targeted at the virtual world though. It’s meant to be something people will come across whilst chilling at home, heading into the Youtube abyss. I always had the club at the forefront of my mind while writing the EP though so it’s intended to be experienced there too.

Bits of non-human sounding vocals show up throughout Future Perfect. How do you go about selecting samples and what effect are you trying to get across by including them?
The vocal samples are usually taken from rnb tracks I used to like as a kid. Most of the time I try to obscure them a bit and not use obvious parts of acapellas but sometimes it’s cool to put something in there that people will recognise. I find having a human element to electronic music makes it subconsciously more relatable to people. Vocal tracks always go off in clubs and people just seem to like hearing human voices in music.

How did Silk Road Assassins’ “Shaded” get involved with the 20 year Planet Mu compilation?
Kuedo originally hit us up about doing a release on a label he was starting which became Knives. I think as time went on the music seemed to fit less with what Kuedo wanted to do with the label so him and Mike Paradinas decided to get us involved with Planet Mu instead. ‘Shaded’ is a track we wrote for our EP and Mike also decided it would fit with his idea of the compilation.

Do you have a favorite club in Bristol?
Bristol can be really hit and miss with club nights so a club could be great one night and dead on another. I think one of the best nights I’ve been to in Bristol was at The Croft. I think it was Dubloaded in 2012 and was Bristol at its best. Very sweaty and smoked out. Another cool space is The Island which is an arts space based in an old police station. I went there for Batu’s Timedance night a while back. It’s crazy because it’s essentially a club in a prison. The toilets are in a jail cell. Cosies is always fun too when the PTS nights are on.

You’ve included tracks Chicago rappers Lil Durk and Billionaire Black in your mix for Complex a little while back. Do you see a dialogue emerging between UK-based producers like yourself and rappers from Chicago (or another regional American rap city)?
That’s the hope. Our approach to the Silk Road stuff kinda about exploring the links between UK dance music and drill music. I think the energy of both types of music is really similar and there’s definitely crossover potential. We want to tap into the Chicago/Atlanta rap movement and try work with some rappers out there eventually. The link is definitely already there to some extent though. There’s a mixtape coming out next year from a Chicago rapper called Mikey Dollaz with a lot of UK informed production on it. We’ve done something for that.

Do you have a favorite Chicago rapper? Producer?
Probably Lil Durk. I think it’s his ear for melody that catches my attention over anyone else. I also really like the production in his work. Which leads me on to say my favourite Chicago producer is probably Parris Bueller as he produced most of Durk’s best work.

What do you have planned for 2016?
We’ve got the Silk Road EP to put out alongside some other work. I also want to write another solo EP and hopefully get the chance to work with some people I normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to.


A key member of the formidable Staycore crew, Gothenburg, Sweden-based Toxe (FKA Tove Agelii) has asserted her position as one of the most forceful, talented artists in the club music world over the past year, pushing an aesthetic that is as raw and unforgiving as it is delicate and inspiring. With a year left of high school and her debut Muscle Memory EP out on October 16 via Staycore, Toxe has seen a remarkably quick rise into the popular consciousness, first garnering attention for tracks like “Martial Arts” and “Offense” and further bolstering her credentials via collaborations with fellow Staycore members Dinamarca and Mechatok. Meanwhile, Tove started the ever-growing Sisters Facebook group, an in increasingly influential space for female producers, DJs, writers and label employees to share music, discuss sexism in the dance music world and occasionally work to take down a repugnant label head. And while Tove doesn’t like to take credit for founding Sisters, her role in instigating the movement is undisputed and her place as a positive and motivating presence for other female producers is well known.

With Muscle Memory out next week and a move from Gothenburg planned for next year, it’s easy to see Toxe’s name spreading like wildfire in the not too distant future, especially considering how fully formed and considered the EP is. Her Astral Plane mix is also remarkably consistent, showing off Toxe’s ability to switch up tempo with ease and utilize a range of vocals (from Missy Elliot to Jandro) over tracks from Muscle Memory and efforts from producers like v1984, Kamixlo and Zutzut (not to mention a host of her Staycore co-conspirators). It’s an all-enveloping listen that, despite changing speed several times, always seems to be moving at an energizing pace, smacking the listener with brusque, machinic kick patterns while soothing those hits with brief flits of angelic melodies and addicting hook work. We spoke with Tove via email about the mix, Sisters and the concept behind Muscle Memory, which is about as sure a thing as we’ve heard all year, words which can be found after the jump/below the fold. Also check out the full track list below the interview.

Read More

LETTA_ALBUM-138 copy

It’s another blistering day as Letta and I sit outside the Arts District warehouse he’s currently staying at. Los Angeles’ famed beat scene is the topic of conversation, or, more accurately, the lack of recent innovation in Los Angeles’ beat scene. “I can’t fuck with anymore 404 drum machines or those god damn jazzy seventh chords that sound like Nintendo. How long can you do that?” Hailing from the Northwest, Tony Nicoletta has followed a roundabout path to his current location, a path rife with internal struggle, addiction and violence. Letta is also sick of the deluge of kids following outfits like Team Supreme and Soulection. “If I were that positive I would be married and be a real estate agent and have a huge house. All this shit that makes LA seem so laid back and peaceful gets to me.”

With his debut Testimony LP out on October 9, Letta has a lot on his mind and while LA’s hoards of teenage trap DJs are a drag, the album’s background soon takes over the conversation. “I did the hip hop thing for a really long time. Always slower than the boom bap-y stuff, more on a Portishead tip. I was always making shit at 65-70 BPM. I just sampled shit for years.” The conversation takes a detour to the tragic passing of legendary Brownsville rapper Sean P, one of Letta’s favorite MCs and an immensely relatable figure. Nonetheless, Nicoletta later laments that “words are dead” and, at least for now, he’s working almost entirely with the instrumental format, blending the occasional sample into the mix but largely letting his pensive, harmonically thorough productions shine on their own.

Letta first came across grime in the early 2000s, initially attracted by the sparse arrangements and dark minimalism of Wiley, Ruff Sqwad and Tinchy Strider. The MCs reminded him of East Coast rap’s rougher streak, the cold, no-fucks-given attitude that would also attract him to Portishead and Gang of Four. In fact, Letta’s dad was in several Seattle and Bellingham-based synth pop bands, an uneven (but unsurprising) musical lineage that included the passing down of an Ensoniq ESQ-1. Years later, after a long stint in a methadone clinic, Letta would utilize a Casio-101 to begin to realize the sound found throughout Testimony, a cavernous blend of twisting, heart-wrenching synth lines and punchy drum programming loosely based in classic grime, but more akin to the style pumped out by other Coyote artists like Spokes and Last Japan, as well as much of Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper roster.

Hit the jump to read the full Letta feature interview…

Read More


Part of Los Angeles outlet Friends of Friends’ inaugural Singles Series, Lorenzo_BITW’s & Mina’s “Tombura” comes in as one of the shapeshifting label’s most dancefloor-oriented products yet, a blazing UK funky anthem primed for Carnival takeover and play well into the cold months. Cheekily utilizing steel drums for the tracks only melodic function, the Rome-based Lorenzo and the London-based Mina have a surprising hit on hand for their first collaboration, combining the former’s rhythmic ingenuity (see: “Drumz”, “Guava Swim” and “Congo Natty”) with the latter’s ear for addictive melodies, often found on her Boko Boko sessions on Radar Radio. “Tombura” is out now on FoF and can be bought here and here. Scroll through a quick Q&A with the artists and some rubiks cube talk.

Can you tell us about the creative process behind this collaboration and what strengths each of you brought to the table to make “Tombura” what it is?

MINA: Collaborating was always something we had wanted to do since we met in Leeds a few years ago. I came up with the idea for the track originally, and it reminded me of Lorenzo’s tunes, so I sent to him to see if he wanted to work on it with me together. The first time he sent it back to me it already sounded so good, it just took a few more times sent back and forth before it was finished, very straight-foward! I think I am stronger with melodic stuff and Lorenzo is better at the rhythmical side of things, we compliment each other very well!

LORENZO: Hannah sent me a rough idea of the track, i absolutely loved the melody at first and it something it captures my attention immediately. From there i kind of built some drums around it, and we keep exchanging versions of the track till it was done.

Any more collabs coming up, with eachother or otherwise?

MINA: Yeah, we definitely want to work on more stuff together given that its had such a positive reaction! I’m currently working on a track with a producer from London called Mokadem, and I’m off to Freetown, Sierra Leone in December to collaborate with local MCs and vocalists. I’m very excited, there is such a vast amount of raw talent in Freetown.

LORENZO: Me and Hannah will work on more music together soon and i am really excited about it. I am doing some music with Tsvi (part of the Nervous Horizion crew), who is another Italian producer and he’s really talented.

What’s been your best DJ moment in recent memory?

MINA: Playing in a banana plantation in Ghana! On a huge soundsystem in the jungle with about 500 people going nuts to afrobeats all night. Out to the Asa Baako crew, its an incredibly beautiful and unique festival!

LORENZO: Guesting on for Marcus Nasty back in June was an incredible moment as i always loved radio, and especially station like Rinse, plus the dj equipment was really good there, i wish i can always use that.

What are you guys passionate about outside of music?

MINA: Rubik’s cubes!

LORENZO: It’s mainly music for me, i used to take a lot of pictures and i still do. Photography has always intrigued me but it never as much as music does.

What else is in the pipeline for your individual projects like BITW and Boko! Boko!?

MINA: Boko! Boko! as a collective is continually growing and expanding, our next party is September 26th. Whilst it’s foremost about pushing forward thinking sounds from around the world, we are also using it as platform to encourage female participation within music. We just want to normalise the idea of men and women playing alongside one another, diversity makes a better party!

LORENZO: Got a couple of tracks inside some compilations, and a couple of remixes coming up. Plus I want to dj more in Italy, and i would like to start getting more recognition over here.


A key member of the Philadelphia-centered PUMPDABEAT crew, DJ Delish has established himself as one of the most exciting ballroom producers and DJs around, garnering attention from a wide spread of artists, DJs and curators from inside and outside of the ballroom community. Most recently, Delish has been trading tracks with Rabit, whose forthcoming Communion LP is as standout as debuts come, and will be appearing on the Houston-based artist’s Halcyon Veil label. To celebrate, we’ve got the call-and-response ready “Back To The Bump”, from the HeatbeatZ mixtape, for you today, as well as a little Q&A/introduction to Delish’s background and the wildly talented PUMPDABEAT crew. If you’re familiar with Delish’s work with Kevin Jz Prodigy and tracks like “Piano Rage”, you know he’s got next and his introduction into the rapidly progressing Halcyon Veil team is more than welcome. Check out “Back To The Bump” below and hit the jump for our Q&A session with Delish.

Read More


While Tim Zha has worked under the Organ Tapes nom de guerre for some time now, his vocal explorations and lo-fi take on digital pop only recently entered our ear space, the result being near-immediate obsession. Growing up listening to everything from ambient and noise to 50 Cent and Eminem, musical sources drawn from friends and television, Zha split his childhood between China and the UK and now lives in London, taking his place in the sprawling, yet intimately creative cultural metropolis. Recently, the Organ Tapes project has been lapped up by Pitcheno and his machine-minded Tobago Tracks label, Zha’s best track to date “K1. Bu Ming Bai” appearing on a TT single several months ago.

Working with and taking inspiration from the sounds of dancehall, afrobeat, bop and Future, Organ Tapes sings in a low slung, sultry manner, both swimming in the pool created by his influences and taking them beyond the cloud cover into another, moon-drenched environment. Like fellow newcomers Malibu and Blaze Kidd, Zha is re-instituting the role of voice in club-not-club music, utilizing motifs from a place-less club world in his beatific covers and originals. And with a special, vocal-focused mixtape on the way, it’s easy to see that Zha is becoming increasingly confident in his voice in song writing, not to mention his acumen with roughneck club tracks that are also on the way. Throw on Organ Tapes’ Astral Plane mix and scroll below for our Skype talk with the artist, touching on the topics above as well as his thoughts on the club, ascension and his roll as a live performer. This is one of our most non-dancefloor-oriented mixes in a while so get cozy and delve in.

What were your first experiences listening to hip hop and R&B?

Pretty much as far back as I can remember I’ve been excited about hip-hop music. I remember 50 Cent and Eminem videos on MTV Asia  / Channel V really exciting me as a child, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really got into rap & RnB. At the same time I was probably equally if not more into guitar music and ambient and noise music. I don’t think my environment growing up made any one musical form or set of aesthetic references feel naturally dominant or the norm. Or maybe I’ve just always been resistant to the idea that any one form or style can be function as dominant or the norm for me. There’s a lot of freedom in moving between and drawing upon a wide variety of forms and styles, but that also brings with it certain anxieties over whether I’m meaningfully or appropriately interacting with them…

How did you hook up with Pitcheno and Tobago Tracks? -What is your creative relationship with Pitcheno look like?

I met Robert (Pitcheno) and the rest of the TT squad through a friend who does the label’s graphic design work. I think not long after we met TT started gravitating away from being a more club-focused label and what I was doing kind of fit the bill for the sounds they were wanting to start expanding into. I’m super grateful for their support because before linking with TT no one really knew or gave a shit about any of the music I made – Organ Tapes is an old, old project.

As for our creative relationship, I think it’s developed quite organically. I think Robert knows that I can be quite private and controlling about the way I work but “K1. Bu Ming Bai” was made really smoothly and organically despite me being unused to much collaboration. It was definitely a different process to how I work on my own but I’m hyped on it.

There’s an interesting cohort of London artists pushing Caribbean sounds and reinterpreting R&B in interesting ways. Endgame, Kamixlo, Blaze Kidd, Malibu, etc. Do you guys get together to talk and share ideas or is it more spontaneous? -Are you excited by what’s going on around you?

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of people that are doing a lot of exciting things in London right now. I don’t really know a lot of people personally to be honest, but I’ve spoken to Endgame a bit and I have huge respect and love for everything him and the rest of the artists you just referenced are doing.

Although London is definitely a hub for this kind of cultural activity (London is a hub for cultural activity in general, tbh), it’s definitely not a geographical movement.  So many people all over the place are making music that is reflective of and responsive to our present historical moment. A lot of this music is quite political (consciously, in addition to the inherently political aspect to all music) and I don’t think that’s a coincidence… Hand in hand with the establishment of a “post-club”, “post-generic” sound and redefinition of the club as a space that so many of the artists you just mentioned are engaged in is a broader will to redefining oppressive dominant narratives and reclaiming the idea of “neutrality” from them, attempting to replace it with something broader and more inclusive.

With that being said, although I think it’s interesting and exciting to see the Internet generating these quite Utopian artistic impulses, I’m also wary of overstating its potential for instigating real positive social or political change on any broad scale…

Hit the jump to read the rest of the Organ Tapes interview and check out the track list…

Read More


With just over ten years under grime’s belt, journalists and historians have spent a good amount of time navel gazing about the genre’s origins, eulogizing the demise of its piratic origins, and prophesying about its gun clad future. Since its modest, wheel-filled beginnings though, grime’s story has always been best told by its constituent members and crews, whether through formal means of official histories and interviews, or the contemporary platform of the Twitter screed. We were lucky enough to speak with a modern legend in Grandmixxer and the former Rinse (and current FLEX FM) DJ was kind enough to drop off an hour of palette wrecking instrumental grime for the occasion. As a label curator (Wig Power Foundation), tour DJ (Big Narstie), mentor (Novelist, DullahBeatz) and producer in his own right, Grandmixxer has inextricably involved himself into the fabric of grime’s rich past and its effervescent future. And the man himself can obviously tell it best so without further ado, a conversation with Grandmixxer.

Over the years, you’ve played out on a number of radio stations and you currently have a weekly slot on FlexFM. Do you have a favourite memory or set of memories from your time in radio?

My first ever radio appearance on On Top FM. A locally big pirate at the time with crews such as N Double A, Roadside G’s, South Soldiers, Mastermind Troopers and basically any one who was big at the time in grime from south London.

Appearing on there was a big deal to me and I will never forget the tension, shaky hands and all of that! Luckily for me it went well and I was given my own show a week or two after my debut.

The Nasty Crew show was my first grime experience and I used to lock in every week. More recently I got to host a show with Mak10 at FlexFM. It is not an understatement when I say I would not exist today if it was not for this guy, hearing him manipulate sound made me want to own my own turntables so being able to do a show with him was just a very special moment for me

Continue with interview, Grandmixxer’s favorite trax to rinse, and track list below…

Read More

CHANTS ARTChants gives me goosebumps.

Jordan Cohen, better known to the world as
Chants, has been making everything from lullabies (“Way Awake“) to topshelf makeout (“I Feel Like I Feel It”) music out of sleepy Madison, WI for the last five years. After getting a few EPs and remixes under his belt, Jordan offered last November’s I Feel Like I Feel It through Seattle’s Hush Hush Records. The album defined his sound as warm and lovely and catchy and somehow perfect in any weather. Favoring drums and doing everything himself, Jordan didn’t leave anyone much choice, but to look at him and the music that he is creating. We were lucky enough to get Jordan to send us over a mix and answer a few questions about who he is/what he does/how he does what he does. Stream Chants’ Mix For The Astral Plane below and get to know the sweet man/find a tracklist after the jump.