Tag Archives: Tobago Tracks


DJ Pitch has made an indelible mark on London’s club and experimental landscapes over the past several years, but more often than not, the Watford-born DJ, producer, label head and promoter has operated behind the scenes. Pitch has quietly amassed an impressive catalogue of original productions, blends and mix work though, much of it settling in at the unpopular 120 BPM range and almost all of it showing a nous for rhythm and pleasing vocal manipulation. Of course, most will be familiar with his work with Tobago Tracks (TT), the label he co-runs with Gribs, and the context that we first came across his early work as Pitcheno, including an intoxicating collaboration with Organ Tapes that we still rinse to this day. It’s been a while since we’ve heard Pitch’s singular voice, but that may be changing soon.

TT has been popping up on the timeline quite a bit recently and rightfully so, having curated a jealousy-inducing series of events at Peckham’s Rye Wax venue (think Ziúr, Stud1nt, M.E.S.H. and more) and trailblazing a cross-UK promoter collaboration between Liverpool’s Cartier 4 Everyone, Manchester’s Mutualism and Leeds’ Come Thru. The label’s recent releases have also been particularly striking, covering everything from DIY afrobeat (Don Sinini‘s Grove Centraal) to grand, synthetic ambient landscapes (Lucaufer‘s EP1). That sort of idiosyncratic approach to A&R work has always been at the core of the Tobago Tracks with releases from the aforementioned Organ Tapes, a collaborative mixtape with Oakland’s 8ULENTINA and forceful, Cardi B-tinged techno machinations from Object Blue in their release catalogue. It’s an approach that is also born out in the TT mix series which has been a staple for outré club manipulations and is one of the few must checks in the cluttered Soundcloud sphere.

It’s no surprise that Pitch’s Astral Plane mix also covers quite a bit of ground. Mixed on Technics 1210s and a 2 channel mixer (no FX), the selection is split into two sections, the first featuring slower, lighter sounds from Pitch’s childhood, as well as more recent contemporary British sounds, and the latter featuring an array of artists attacking the dancefloor from different angles. The previously mentioned Lucaufer’s “Pupa”, featuring Yma, starts off the selection in sublime fashion and Pitch covers a startling amount of ground in under 40 minutes. Check out more of DJ Pitch’s solo material here and if you’re in London, don’t miss the next edition of the TT x Rye Wax residency featuring M.E.S.H., Object Blue, LOFT, Malin, Iceboy Violet, MtMt and Helge. Tickets available here.


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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London’s Tobago Tracks outfit always seems to be bringing new faces into the mix, whether through their regular club nights at venues like HUB16 and the Alibi Room, their regular shift on Radar Radio, or an always-impressive mix series. Nonetheless, the label is still selective with who it chooses to bring on for official releases and despite hosting mixes from Brood Ma, Asmara (fka MA Nguzu), The Dance Pit and beyond, TT is just passing the 10 release mark after launching in mid-2014. This Friday (July 15), Londoner AF85 will join the TT roster with plazamayor, a three track effort featuring two long form nu age ambient sessions and a collaboration with Organ Tapes. Comprised of six stanzas, “plazamayor (Side A)” is laid out over eight and a half minutes, full of wispy choral vox, gorgeous layered pads and plinking strings that rise seductively out of the depths of the mix. plazamayor is orchestral in composition and disarmingly pristine, briefly interrupted by a monologue delivered by a daughter who has lost her mother to gun violence. That moment is underlaid by morose pads and followed by a small, gunshot-recalling pop, the piece’s clear nadir and the sort of emotionally direct moment so rare in electronic music’s cryptic annals. Having only released short pieces to this point, the longer format of plazamayor befits AF85’s extensive affective range and with Organ Tapes playing the role of bridge on “Air It Out”, the tape fits comfortable in the avant-pop-dance world of Tobago Tracks.


On a Friday night in early June, Dubbel Dutch is finishing up a set of almost elegiac dancehall to a 2/3 full loft in Los Angeles’ Fashion District. The occasion is a collaborative Fade 2 Mind/Club Chai party, the first joint venture between the LA institution and the Oakland party/space. 8ULENTINA, half of Club Chai along with foozool, is set to step up and as the first song cuts in, a palpable excitement runs through the crowd. foozool has played earlier in the night and with BBC AZN NETWORK‘s Manara and Sweyn J in the building, the crowd feels primed to be knocked off their feet. An hour later and nearly everyone is drenched in sweat, whipped into a frenzy by breakneck Middle Eastern trance, dense blends and songs from 8ULENTINA’s diaspora-focused, border rejecting DISMISS U compilation from this April. That compilation, a collaborative project with Tobago Tracks, drew together artists like DJ Haram, Nargiz, Maieli and specifically declined to conform to western standards of composition and representation. DISMISS U involves several excellent 8ULENTINA songs and if the compilation exists of a statement of intent then their set at Club Chai felt like the manifestation of that intent, of 8ULENTINA setting out their own distinct path to follow in the physical club space, as well as the more ambiguous club music locales of the internet.

“I wanted a space where I could be trans, middle eastern, queer and everything else at once instead of one tokenized element of myself which is often the case when queer and trans poc get booked.” Chatting over email over the past few weeks, 8ULENTINA lays out their positions in no unclear terms and whereas many producers might not be able to articulate the whys and whats of their music, that position isn’t afforded to a Middle Eastern femme artist working in the ever-shifting climate of the Bay Area. Whereas many have left the Bay though, 8ULENTINA has decided to stay and in their words, “the music scene has kind of exploded, people have been making some really amazing, vulnerable and dark music during these times.” From Los Angeles, the talent drain in the Bay is palpable as more and more artists move south, but with Night Forms, foozool and 8ULENTINA’s first collaborative night in conjunction with Browntourage, and now Club Chai, a warehouse series started in January, the onus is clearly on supporting local artists, expanding and reinforcing the spaces that are left. That means involving performance artists that mesh with the DJ talent and creating networks outside of the temporal limits of a club night, two goals that seem key to the Club Chai ethos.

Listening to 8ULENTINA’s Astral Plane mix immediately took us back to that night in early June, recognizing a vibe from that set and several songs, especially DJ Kantik’s “La Marimba Rmx”, in particular. The sound is raw, sensual and heavily rhythmic, bringing east coast club forms into conversation with Turkish trance and vocal pop and slightly more abstract work from 8ULENTINA. Listening to their mixes and recorded sets from Club Chai, it’s obvious why Tobago Tracks asked 8ULENTINA to curate DISMISS U and the depth of that knowledge shines through on their Astral Plane volume. Throw yourself into 8ULENTINA’s Astral Plane mix below and hit the jump for the interview and track list.

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Next week, London outfit Tobago Tracks will release Organ Tapes‘ debut mixtape, the vocal-heavy WORD LIFE. First grabbing our attention via his collaborative (with Pitcheno) cover of Future and Kanye West’s “I Won”, Organ Tapes has become one of our favorite artists over the past few months, both for his beatific, slightly androgynous vocal work and for his bizarre, ambient-noise heavy beat work. “心雨”, from WORD LIFE, recalls Mario Winans and Chief Keef in equal measure, a track with a slightly underwater feel and one of the strongest vocals to date in the Organ Tapes catalogue. Be sure to check out Organ Tapes’ Astral Plane mix and look out for the release of WORD LIFE on September 23.


For the past year, the Watford-based Tobago Tracks label has matched UK producers with international artists in a six part EP series. So far, the label has focused on France, Turkey and the US and their latest volume, out May 26, brings China into the mix. Tobago Tracks artists Pitcheno and Organ Tapes feature, as well as Laura Inglass and Macchina as the tape touches on techno, grime and R&B in sprawling fashion. We were lucky enough to grab Pitcheno’s Organ Tapes-featuring “K1. 不明白”” for premiere, a brilliant pseudo-cover of Future and Kanye Wests “I Won”. At a loping dancehall-pace Pitcheno’s bracing production matches clattering, reverb-clad kicks with whooshes of noice as a fragile, beatific melodic quotient and children’s voices slowly build into a feverish atmosphere set around the percussive pillars. It’s a surprisingly prescient piece of contemporary pop, matching the feel good nature of Caribbean forms with an ambient sensibility and a brilliant piece of heavily processed vocal work. In a sense, it’s pop music and the quote-on-quote underground working hand in hand, but the track is removed from both contexts, both too overt in its form to work as a piece of collage/sound art and too sonically abrasive to function as a clear cut pop number. Instead, “K1. 不明白”” exists in a nether region between the two worlds, grasping at wispy elements from both and placing them inside its internal brilliant collider. Grab Tobago Tracks Vol. 4: China next Tuesday (May 26).