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Photo: Taylor Rainbolt / NTS Radio

We decided to put a spotlight on our favorite artists from our home city of Los Angeles this Summer. Over the coming 10 weeks, we’ll feature a cross section of what the city has to offer. Far from a selection of the biggest touring entities, we hope to shine light on the individuals who brighten the airwaves and nights out on a regular basis.

NTS Radio‘s programming is littered with huge names, but it’s the station’s odd ball thematic shows that make it such a joy to listen to on a day-to-day basis. When NTS opened up their Los Angeles station, they were especially astute in bringing on Sasha Ali’s Miss Modular Radio for a monthly show. Formerly airing on Boyle Heights’ Radio Sombra, an operation housed in Espacio 1839 that is currently in a transition into a “more concrete and revolutionary media entity,” Ali’s show is focused on “womxn-powered musical selections” and has been a staple since we first came across it sometime in 2016.

The format ranges from show to show, but each hour is generally composed of interviews, loose selections from the hip hop, experimental and electronic music worlds, as well as blistering guest sessions from a range of talented club DJs. Sessions are often freeform in terms of style, genre and composition, but womxn are always centered and the resulting milieu is vibrant and varied, linked more by an earnest affect and desire to push forward than any particular aesthetic.

Contemporary DJs like Bearcat, Erika Kayne and Helikonia have all  been featured on the show, but Ali has also found space for a wider purview, inviting accomplished solo artists like Low Leaf and Kilo Kish on, as well as archivist and punk provocateur Alice Bag. Ali’s own selection are similarly varied and polychromatic, running from blissfully emancipatory jazz and soul on to the best hip hop that LA has to offer and on to a range of Latin American club musics, both classic and contemporary.

Her Astral Plane Mix takes a similarly heterogeneous approach, drawing on experimental music from womxn of SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) heritage. The selection was born out of an opening set Ali delivered for a show called “A Night of Arabic Hip-Hop and Poetry” at the Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles. 8ULENTINA, Deena Abdelwahed, DJ Haram, Fatima Al Qadiri, Ikonika and Thoom all contribute key passages to Ali’s mix, as do multi-talented Egyptian vocalist Nadah El Shazly and French-Algerian R&B impresario Ta-Ra. True to its original intention, the mix has a distinctly live feel, frantically leaping along an electrical wire with a core energy that supersedes groove.  Dive into Miss Modular’s essential archive here, hit the jump for a track list, and download the mix here.

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Oakland’s DÆMON was kind enough to join us on our latest NTS show, turning in a blistering 30 minute guest mix. Building on the raw energy of their own club/vocal experiments, the mix runs through contemporary artists (DJ NJ Drone, N1L, False Witness), as well as some of the most distinct voices in dancefloor-minding rap (Rico Nasty, Thast, Lil Reek). The first hour and a half is handled by the AP DJ Team and includes new tracks from SHALT’s forthcoming Seraphim LP, a secret for now Chants number and special new ones from Sharp Veins, Cremation Lily, Hitmakerchinx, Calvo, Rizzla and more. Hit the jump for a full track list and download here.

Astral Plane DJ Team
SHALT – Conceived on Ash
Sharp Veins – forever night rip
R. Girardin – Splashed On
Why Be x oldest unknown – HURRIAN HA (Yantan Ministry Edit)
SHALT – Seraph
Cremation Lily – In England Now, Underwater
Yves De Mey – 17 Graves
M.D. James – ???
Muqata’a – Haswet Phalasipha حصوة الفلاسفة
Eartheater – MTTM (ft. Odwalla1221)
M.D. James – ???
Bliss Signal – Bliss Signal
Lilly Kane – Administer Truth
Aisha Devi – Intentional Dreams
SHALT – Preserved in Amber
Hitmakerchinx – Arabian King
Primitive Art – Security (M.E.S.H. Remix)
Sim Hutchins – Bath Salts In The Saccharin (LOFT’s Artifically Sweetened Luv Mix)
Chants – ???
Sharp Veins – return 2 tha club [demo]
dj lostboi – D MAJOR XO LIFE (blastah Edit)
Rizzla – Inquisition
Jonathan da Nova x Ansome – Nova Geração Hitch (Clemency Blend)
HahaDavis & CalvoMuxic – Blow Up Doll
DJ Flex & BillzTaDon – Bad Ting
Lechuga Zafiro – Ita
Nunu x Kyrstyn Pyxton – NEVER ALONE (Yantan Ministry Edit)
Djurum – Waters Rising
Sim Hutchins- Dumped by Pirate Radio (Object Blue Remix)
DJ Plead – DVE (DJ Dylan Edit)

DÆMON Guest Mix
H-Ricky – endlessHail
DJ NJ Drone – Go Flame
MindPersuasion – Accelerated Thinker
N1L – Crawlspaces
Presta – Perro Sucio
Crimson – Daemon
Rizoma – ≠
False Witness – In the Dark
Thast – Play My Shit
King DouDou – Espiritos
Rico Nasty – Countin Up
Dj Darshkeeper – Patient Returning (PIN# Edit)
Rizoma – Tool
XD – Sirenxe
El PlayBoy – Ritual
Lil Reek – Rock Out
Pineal Sounds – Curtain Call

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We hit the NTS studio for the second time in September last Friday and brought along Julien, a DJ and producer spending the summer in Los Angeles. With releases out/forthcoming on Tobago Tracks and Apothecary Compositions, the Denver resident brought a deluge of hardcore techno to the table for his 45 minute session, ratcheting up the tempo and bringing out a brutalist energy. His mix begins at the 45 minute mark and runs until 1:30. Our session features new Bell Curve, VIOLENCE, Torus, Dane Law, Fatima Al Qadiri, Alex Compton and more. Download available here and track list after the jump.

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No guests and no worries on this month’s edition of our NTS Los Angeles show. This was recorded after driving out of (near) a forest fire so the mood is slightly uneasy/ominous for the first 45 minutes. Excuse the abruptness of the start. It was hot in the studio. We also played out the entirety of SHALT’s new ʃælt single, out now on Astral Plane Recordings. You can get that one here. We’ll be back on NTS on September 30. Full track list after the jump.

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If you’ve tuned into our previous NTS shows you’ve almost certainly got bits and pieces from Dane Law’s various projects, whether it be a hectic trance experiment or glitched out hardcore released through the Quantum Natives platform. We were lucky to grab a guest session from the British producer for our latest show and his ‘Digital Paganism’ mix has not disappointed, joining elegiac ambient forms with Wicker Man samples and a perfect blend of mania and serenity. The guest mix starts around 35 minutes in and runs for 35 minutes. As usual, the Astral Plane DJ Team handles the rest of the show, which features a few tracks from SHALT’s upcoming return to APR and LOFT’s debut 12″, also out via our in house label.

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Due to some scheduling peculiarities, we’re in a slight lull in the Astral Plane Recordings release schedule, which makes our monthly NTS show the best outlet to hear new music from the label and label-related artists. We hopped on NTS on Good Friday (April 13) with a collection of devotional music (Alkaline, v1984, Arca, MC Pikachu, etc.), as well as a wonky, pitch/reality bending guest mix from Los Angeles’ AMAZONDOTCOM and Mexicali’s Siete Catorce. Also look out for a new LOFT edit, a Chants x Ophex collaboration, some unreleased SHALT and the usual assortment of barely together edits, bootlegs and blends. We also played a favorite from Mika Vainio. I only delved into Vainio/Pan Sonic later in the Finnish artist’s career, but have come to appreciate his work as one of the fundamental building blocks of what we do as a label and how I’d live to envision experimental music as an individual. Paul Smith and Andrew Ryce both wrote wonderful pieces in the aftermath of his passing and I highly recommend newer listeners to stop what they’re doing and to spend the day with Vainio’s myriad projects. He will be missed.

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After recording February’s show in a rain storm that knocked out the studio internet, it was a relief to jump on NTS last Friday on a beautiful day in Highland Park with our good friend Alis. In town from Berlin, we were lucky to get her in the studio before she left for the airport and the resulting 45 minutes is a whirlwind of rhythms, textures and her own distinct edits. The remainder of the show features recent and upcoming music from Suda, Kareem Lotfy, WA?STE, astvaldur, Englesia, 2K, x/o, SHALT, Endgame, Kala & RIOBAMBA, DJ Jayhood, DIVORCE and Liquid City Motors. We also played a load of our favorite Lechuga Zafiro tunes in anticipation of his set at Club Chai x Astral Plane this Saturday at the Starline Social Club in Oakland, CA. If you’re in the area and haven’t grabbed a cheap advance ticket yet you can do so here. Stream the full show below and grab a download here. We’ll be back on April 14.

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Astral Plane DJ Team took over our February NTS show last Friday in the midst of a massive storm. The stream cut out halfway through and Highland Park’s power grid had failed by the end of the show, but we made it through. Left a live mic and a some effects on as well. Forthcoming material from Chants, Nunu, LOFT and E.M.M.A. inside, as well as favorites from LXV & Karmelloz, Celyn June, Egyptrixx, Nargiz, Sami Baha, Capital Kaos, 2lanes, Why Be, Citizen Boy, Errorsmith & Mark Fell, coucou chloe, Xuxu Santamaria and more. Chants’ Amethyst Dust, the Madison-based producer’s second EP for APR, is our March 3.

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After compiling our favorite club tracks of the year in list form for FACT Magazine, it felt only right to translate the material into its proper context by playing as many of those gems as we could on radio. Our second session for NTS LA slotted in just before the holiday season so we took the opportunity and played out a mixture of favorites from that list, tracks that barely missed the cut and a collection of Astral Plane Recordings specials from the last six months or so. It’s an intense two hours with some genuinely questionable transition decisions, but the pay off is real in a sprint/exhaustion sense. The track list definitely backs that up and traverses from the relative calm of ADR’s “Every Node” on through the melancholic bliss of Soda Plains’ “Rodeo” with favorites from Florentino, Jikuroux, Sylvere and Lanark Artefax that unfortunately didn’t make the final FACT list. Hit the jump for a full track list and download here.

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