The line between club and noise music has been thoroughly breached over the past decade. Artists flow seamlessly between the two worlds, participating in bands and DJ projects, recklessly merging sounds, and ignoring the bounds established by “experimental” scene gatekeepers. More importantly, sounds that had decayed in the hands of those gatekeepers have been revitalized and torn up by a range of black and queer artists who have essentially re-written the rulebook, matching militant energy and high intensity sonics with a deep historical awareness, comedic instinct and collective spirit. Stylistically divergent artists like Dreamcrusher, Fuck U Pay Us and Moor Mother have led the charge in the live arena, while DJs like Juliana Huxtable, LSDXOXO and Nkisi have taken distinctly black, hardcore sounds to global dancefloors.
Richmond’s ARCHANGEL is one of the most refreshing voices to emerge out of this environment of late, combining a passion for Baltimore, Jersey and Philly Club with a distinctly confrontational and emancipatory ethos. Taking on a collage approach, ARCHANGEL mixes and tracks are saturated with information, full of overlapping Club tracks, bits of speeches and spoken word, and recontextualized video game and anime soundtracks. Initially introduced to Club music while driving to a cousins house (her mother is from Philadelphia and the track was DJ TIZZ’s “I’M THE NIKE MAN”), she continued to hear snippets of other regional sounds and was hooked from that point.
Moving away from the dancefloor, ARCHANGEL is also a member of BLVCKPUNX, a noise-rap group in the process of re-recording their debut YOUAREHERE(I) EP. Filtering the sound of institutional racism and violence, BLVCKPUNX are explosive, pushing back on the idea of blackness as a monolith while embracing a mischievous, joyful energy and a coy hedonism.
With her Club music roots in mind ARCHANGEL’s Astral Plane Mix (initially titled “Hot Girl Summer”) is aimed at letting go and allowing people to let go. At an hour and a half long, the mix is a comprehensive run through the past few years in Club music, drawing on a litany of different micro-movements while touching on specific standout tracks from the likes of Ase Manual, DJ Tameil, LSDXOXO, R3LL and more. A few sly originals from ARCHANGEL herself fit into the end of the session as does an instrumental BLVCKPUNX track. You can grab a download of the mix here and hit the jump for a full track list.