7 must-hear mixes from June 2017: VHS-warped dreams, blasted techno and Japanese delights
It’s almost impossible to keep on top of everything that SoundCloud, Mixcloud and online radio has to offer. In our new monthly column, FACT guides you through the must-hear mixes of the last 30 days, whether you want a club session to warm you up for the weekend, ambient soothers or a set of vinyl-only obscurities.
Looking back, male DJs had something of a mense horribilis in June – when they weren’t embarrassing themselves in the YouTube comments of Against The Clock, they were as exposing themselves as creepy gender essentialists who think women DJs just aren’t “natural”.
So it’s with a delighted smirk that many of this month’s most essential DJ mixes came from non-male DJs around the world – from the ferocious techno-grot of Copenhagen’s Apeiron Crew to DJ Bitchcraft’s dystopian cyber-meltdown to DEBONAIR’s VHS-melted summer shakedown. Other highlights include a cross-generational mix of Arabic sweat-wringers and a selection of Japanese obscurities to die for.
Crack Mix 150: Apeiron Crew
Blasted late-night techno from Copenhagen’s coolest collective
Going back-to-back for Crack’s 150th mix, the three Danish DJs who job under the banner of Apeiron Crew invite us into their techno hivemind for lashings of blasted kicks, grotty acid, sci-fi bleepage and pressurised bangers dredged up from somewhere near the Marianas Trench. Mama Snake, Smokey and Solid Blake throw in tracks from Beneath, Szare and DRVG CVLTVRE alongside unreleased nuggets from labels like from Ectotherm, the local operation run by Mama Snake with DJ pal Courtesy.
Dekmantel Podcast 126: Inga Mauer
For diggers with a heart of coal
Tipped by Helena Hauff and picked as one of FACT’s favorite new techno acts for 2017, Inga Mauer has been firmly on our radar this year. The Russia-based DJ brings a mood of damnation and desire to her Dekmantel podcast, setting the tone with a handful of dark-as-night goth diversions before jumping onto the dancefloor for a psychedelic shakedown with cuts by Black Devil Disco Club and Adam X. With plenty of left turns throughout, it’s got the “Track ID???” crew going berserk.
DJ Directory Mix #18: Anu
The heart-eyes emoji was made for this Japanophile mix
DJ, radio host and happy digger Anu has spent a year piecing together this overwhelmingly delightful mix of music from Japan, which features some of the ghostliest synthpop, lounge-soul, disco-fromage and exotica ever to emerge from the Pacific Rim. Frankly we have no idea what most of this stuff is, other than a couple of gems from Haruomi Hosono, but we’re sure that feeling of helpless fury will push any interested parties down a Discogs rabbit hole for some time. In other words, it’s a brilliantly slippery mix.
In Focus: Susumu Yokota
An essential introduction to the late Japanese ambient legend
When he died a little over two years ago, Susumu Yokota left a vast, quiet legacy of some of the most gorgeous electronic music ever recorded. If you’re new to his catalogue or want to dig beyond his best-known albums, this NTS In Focus session should help get you up to speed. For the ideal dosage, take a mini speaker to the bottom of the garden and let yourself drift away.
DEBONAIR’s Sweet Surrender Mix for Radio Cómeme
A headswimming, ‘80s worshipping summer mix
The record collection on this one, seriously – every time DEBONAIR drops a new mix you know you’re going to be flexing your Notes app to keep track of all the gems. The London DJ’s ‘Sweet Surrender Mix’ for Radio Cómeme is, she says, “full of hazy desire and playful dreams for the summer.” However, that doesn’t quite capture the headswimmy, near-hypnagogic mood of this ‘80s worshipping session, which charts a course from the exotic electronics of Chris & Cosey through Geneva Jacuzzi’s VHS-warped dreams to a crop of dungarees rave belters, and finally to The Greatest Techno Track of All Time. Superb.
Egyptian Hip Hop Mix by Peter Holslin
Sweaty jams for Arabian summer nights
For the past few months Peter Holslin has been flagging up irresistible findings from the Arabic world in his ad hoc role as Passion of the Weiss’s Cairo correspondent. With temperatures soaring and tempers fraying during the long, hot weeks of Ramadan, he’s been hiding indoors under his metal ceiling fan to put together this compendium of recent finds, featuring Egyptian shaabi, Lebanese dabke, Iraqi choubi and more vernacular “hip-hop” (the mix title is deceiving) sourced from restaurants and cellphone stores on his travels. It’s exuberant, sweaty stuff for the most part, but listen out for some Arabic trip-hop from Soapkill and Mohamed Mounir channelling Jam & Lewis-esque funk’n’b.
DJ Bitchcraft’s Tension Mix for Mask Magazine
A riot-starting East Coast club session
Raised in Philadelphia, previously based in Atlanta and now living in North Carolina, DJ Bitchcraft raises the mercury to the top on this politically charged, high-octane tour of East Coast club sounds. A lot of DJs operating in this cut-and-shut, sensory overload style tend to fly by the seat of their pants, messy clashes be damned – but Bitchcraft shows off a razor-sharp sense of rhythm, melody and structure by placing ballroom royalty (Vjuan Allure, MikeQ, Byrell The Great) alongside New Jersey club from Ase Manual and hardcore-funnelling rage from Kilbourne & Estoc.
Chal Ravens is on Twitter