Björk, rap edits and rave tapes: the week’s best free mixes

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.

So here’s one for the books, this week Icelandic vanguard Björk trudged into a New York studio to record an episode of Tri Angle’s radio show for Rinse. Yeah you heard that right, Björk on Rinse. So we’ve got that, some storming club goodness from the usual London suspects and plenty more to boot.

Björk, Holy Other and Celestial Trax
Tri Angle Records Rinse FM Podcast

You might have heard this one already, but if not, don’t sleep: it’s as good as you’d think it would be. Curated by Björk and Tri Angle boss Robin Carolan, mixed by Celestial Trax and featuring a guest set by Holy Other, the two-hour mix is heavy on the type of experimental fare that inspired Vulnicura, whether Janus-born club trax, Japanese compositions or the frazzled productions of Giant Claw and Dutch E Germ. Remixes to listen for include Lotic’s take on Björk’s ‘NotGet’ and Arca’s “STRAPPED MUDDY RABIT RUBBED UP DEMBOW Edit” of Rabit’s ‘Straps’. Oh, and there’s one of those Aphex Twin demos, too.


Mak & Pasteman
Mak & Pasteman Made You A Rave Tape

Don’t let the title confuse you, London-via-Leeds duo Mak & Pasteman’s charmingly titled Mak & Pasteman Made You A Rave Tape isn’t a throwback selection primed to tug on the heartstrings of Brit 30-somethings working in advertising. Far from it in fact, there’s Levon Vincent and Mosca on here for a start. What they mean is that the mix itself is harking back to the days when you’d bounce a mix to cassette and spend the next couple of weeks jamming it in yer souped up Nissan Micra, bombing down the M6 in a last dash attempt to make it back to the Midlands before work. Or something like that, anyway.

Either way it’s quite refreshing to hear a well-executed mix thrown to tape without a hint of cynicism. This ain’t your usual outsider house fair – there’s Plastikman, Ron Hardy and Shake for a start. Just listen and turn up – don’t think too hard about it.


Inkke
Hyp 213

Glaswegian producer Inkke returns for another barnstorming collection, this time for the Hyponik blog. Those of you expecting instrumental grime should look away now, ’cause Inkke’s on a deliriously enjoyable tip here, eschewing the introspection of Mr. Mitch et al for choppy rap edits, bostin’ club bangers and even a bit of Awful Records. If you want to know why we’re so excited about electronic music (of all kinds) in 2015, here would be a pretty decent place to start.

Braiden
Truancy Volume 110

Truants are on a roll right now, and their latest mix comes from producer and ex-Rinse/NTS DJ Steve Braiden. There are no bells and whistles here, no hokey theme, no poorly-executed concept, instead Braiden ignores all that in favor of blending together a series of killer tunes from his collection. In doing so there’s coherence but also little regard for genre constraints – a smart edit of Boards of Canada’s ‘Staircase Whip’ blends fluidly into STL’s ‘Mindbender’ and underrated house pioneer Gemini’s ‘Substance Groove’ emerges out of Yellow clouds. Sometimes great tunes just speak for themselves, and this is one of those times.

Jay R Neutron
The Pink Mix

In certain scenes, when a highly-anticipated album drops, there’s always a rush to see which producer can craft the best club remixes. But what about a full-album remix? Jay R Neutron is no stranger to the concept (see last year’s Bey Mix), and now the Qween Beat producer has set his sights on Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint. The 77-minute mix draws from almost the entirety of the deluxe version of the ablum, plus non-album smash ‘Yasss Bitch’, turning the album into straight-ahead, gunshot-heavy Baltimore club with touches of Blaqstarr and Debonair Samir classics and amped-up versions of sleepy tracks like ‘Bed Of Lies’ and ‘Grand Piano’. For a breakup album like The Pinkprint, this is the way to dance the pain away.

Murlo
FADER Mix

Murlo is among of class of producers (alongside Mumdance and Slackk) that could be repped in these pages nearly every week, if not for that old proverb “familiarity breeds contempt.” We’re breaking the fast with his FADER mix though, a short-but-sweet set that is a good reminder that dancehall, soca and UK funky are as big or bigger influences on his sound than grime — no matter the rhetorical contortions elsewhere. The mix should be co-credited to singer Gemma Dunleavy (who was featured on Murlo’s Jasmine EP), as half the tracks are “Gemma Special” edits of Murlo’s unreleased material and her voicings of dancehall riddims. Is it Spring yet?