Each week, FACT’s John Twells and Chris Kelly trawl through the untamed world of free mixes, radio specials and live blends so you don’t have to.
Christmas is over: the goose got fat and we ate it, and New Year’s excesses have come and gone. Now 2015 is making itself known, and we’ve got some sterling freebies that should be all you need to jolt you out of your nauseous, booze-addled daze. This week we’ve got Berlin techno from a Hardwax affiliate, future-facing club sounds from one of the UK’s hottest young talents, blackened drones from the frozen North and plenty more.
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Mix of the Week:
One of the UK’s most promising young producers, Grovestreet turned heads last year with the under-the-radar Intrusions EP, where he managed to mash together a plethora of club sounds with a refreshing lack of pretension. This oddly-titled Soundcloud blend travels in a similar direction, but Grovestreet uses his badly organized collection of MP3s as a guide. It’s a journey through terrible bitrates (we’re told some of these tracks only exist in <128kbps) and sizzling dancefloor pressure, as the Oxford-based beatmaker jumps from Mike Q and Kayy Drizz effortlessly into crunchy lo-fi busters from Dot Rotten and Strict Face's notorious peace edit of Alice Deejay's trance classic 'Better Off Alone'. We're calling this one now, Grovestreet's gonna have a very good year.
THE SOUND THAT WE NEED
Ethiopian producer E.R. (short for Ethiopian Records, aka Endeguena Mulu) is a key part of the small-but-vibrant Addis Ababa electronic scene. The title of his mix for Dazed — “the sound that we need” — is instructive: Mulu assembles a mix of unreleased originals, remixes and jam sessions by himself and his contemporaries (Mikael Seifu, Zion Rebels, LHS, Carlo Ertola) and bounds through and finds coming threads between his various interests, drawing from Ethiopian jazz and traditional music, acoustic jams, post-dubstep grooves and percussive electronica. An adventurous mix by an artist to watch.
WAX TREATMENT PODCAST 044
Hardwax bod Peter Kuschnereit (better known as DJ Pete) is one of Berlin techno’s most crucial figures, so it stands to reason that any free mix coming from his general direction is usually worth grabbing with both (virtual) hands. This latest podcast for Treatment is certainly worth getting hot under the collar over, as Pete effortlessly exhibits his veteran’s ear (the sneaky finale of Ad Vanz and Gescom’s stone-cold-classic ‘Viral’ for example) while making sure he keeps current, dropping newer business from Jonas Kopp, Surgeon and Paula Temple. It’s a good reminder of why Hardwax remains such a vital node decades after its inception – don’t think, just listen.
GET PUMPED VOL.3
Baltimore club queen DJ AngelBaby returns with the third volume of her Get Pumped mix series, which does exactly what it says on the tin. The 92Q DJ drops an expertly-mixed, hour-long session that focuses almost exclusively on the club music of her hometown. Tracks by scene-leaders Mighty Mark, James Nasty and Schwarz mingle with those by newcomers DJ Dizzy and Pac Breezy, both original and remixes of new and old club favorites. As we explored in our recent feature, Baltimore club is alive and well — here’s proof.
OAK MIXTAPE 001
The Bronx-native relinks with OAK for his latest hour-long set, and while this one uses the same club collagist template, it’s definitely a more hypnotic and soothing offering than the first one. The first half finds disembodied R&B vocals floating over dusty dembow grooves and familiar rap bits (strings from ‘What These Bitches Want’, steel drums from ‘Crank Dat’); later on, LaBeija amps up the menace with screwed-down and blown-out Nicki, 2 Chainz and more. A mix for post-club comedowns.
SECRET THIRTEEN MIX 140
Marking the 10th anniversary of the Deaf Center project, Norwegian drone dons Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland were kind enough to slot together an entire mix of unreleased material for Secret Thirteen. Anyone familiar with their output should know what to expect (and should know to expect a certain level of quality) and it doesn’t disappoint for a second. It’s winter – when could there possibly be a better time for listening to crackling drones, moody Badalamenti-inspired strings and eerie vocal treatments?