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.
This week’s haul includes sets from frequent features like Rabit and Gobby; cassette-borne eclecticism; a proto-disco Rosetta Stone and some “straight-ahead high-octane beating techno” for good measure.
Mixtape from the Du Pt.4
Gobby’s fourth dispatch from the Du (subtitled “GarbleDu Interrupted”) is exactly the type of frazzled freak-out we’ve come to expect from the UNO producer. No matter which medium you compare it to — crossed radio waves, melted tape and vinyl, or overloaded digital signals — Gobby’s mixes over a warped tour through the producers psyche, where there are no lines between pop, hip-hop, electronics of all flavor, or TV and film. How else would you get a rap-rock remix of ‘Hot N*gga’ or a lounge version of FKA Twigs’ ‘Two Weeks’?
Now we’re talking. L.I.E.S. man Ron Morelli does us all a solid here by going back to basics for Ninja Tune’s long-running Solid Steel series. In Morelli’s own words it’s “straight-ahead high-octane beating techno,” and who are we to disagree. Blending Plastikman, Regis, Paula Temple and Sleeparchive (among plenty more) he manages to bring to mind a time when techno was less complicated. Just listen at high volumes and let the grinding beats drag you into a state of near-delirium – it’s quite simple.
Electronic Explorations 361
Houston-based producer Rabit has been going deeper and deeper into the darkness ever since his ace series of Pandemic Transmissions mixes last year. This latest hour-long blend is a soupy concoction of drones, crumbling beats, field recordings and twisted pop, giving about as good a representation of his direction right now as you could possibly hope. Here’s a space where Coil rubs up against Rene Hell and where PJ Harvey and Tricky’s brilliant ‘Broken Homes’ is dug up alongside a couple of cuts from Scanner. With every transmission, we’re getting more and more excited for Rabit’s imminent full-length, and if it’s anywhere near as crucial as these selections we’re gonna be in for a treat.
And now for something completely different. You might not have heard of Blue Tapes before but don’t turn away now – the explorative cassette label is well worthy of your attention, and there couldn’t be any better primer than this excellent mix. It was commissioned by Bandcloud’s Aidan Hanratty, who became interested in the label after their ace ’13 release from Katie Gately, Pipes. There’s more to the label than that though – listening through this collection there’s bizarre drone, itchy experimental rock, choppy garage (really), blissful ambience and so much more. Thankfully there’s some kind of direction though, it’s not eclectic for the sake of it – Blue Tapes have a solid curatorial vision, they’re just unafraid to push the boundaries.
Live at the Gallery, October 1976
Nicky Siano was a key figure in New York’s proto-disco scene, innovating dance DJ techniques, giving starts to house figureheads Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles and serving as one of Studio 54’s residents. Siano’s sets at The Gallery are legendary, but unfortunately, no one knew disco was being born and no one was sober enough to think to to document them. That’s why this 30-minute set (part of an excellent feature at Wax Poetics) is so important: for dance music, this is the equivalent of a stone tablet.
Mixpak FM 079
House of Trax co-founder / Trax Couture boss Rushmore is next up in the always-fire Mixpak FM series. Fans of his clubnight and label should know what to expect: club music with a heavy ballroom influence, with touches of dembow, electro and anything that gets asses moving. Along with plenty of Rushmore reworks and originals, keep watch tracks from artists profiled in our For Club Use Only column.