The week’s best mixes: DJ Pierre, Grace Jones and the history of Detroit techno

Each week, FACT trawls through the untamed world of free mixes, radio specials and live blends so you don’t have to.

This week, acid house originator DJ Pierre jumps into the Essential Mix hotseat to show the kids how it’s done, while another legendary rave bod, Woebot, goes back to the old skool for a mammoth introduction to Detroit techno.

There’s also a ridiculously listenable, dub-heavy tribute to the Queen of the Gay Discos and Christina Vantzou documents a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon with quiet precision, while Bwana blends a vintage pic ‘n’ mix of electro, EBM, synth-pop and breaks gems. Just skip past the prog house, it gets better!


The week’s best mixes: DJ Pierre, Grace Jones and the history of Detroit techno
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DJ Pierre
BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix
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2017 marks 30 years since the release of Phuture’s ‘Acid Tracks’, widely held to be the first acid house track ever made. To celebrate the occasion, Phuture’s DJ Pierre stepped up for the latest BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, weaving acid tracks from himself together with contemporary bangers from artists including Paula Temple, Vin Sol, Amir Alexander, Green Velvet and Planetary Assault Systems. Three decades in the game, and Pierre has still got it.


Grace Jones by Wrongtom
The Vinyl Factory mix 77

To mark the release of Sophie Fiennes’ “doc-biopic” The Musical Of My Life later this year, DJ, producer and Grace Jones megafan Wrongtom has channelled his love affair for Jones into a one-hour tribute mix that captures Compass Point’s reggae-rooted pop sound. Spanning the fruitful four-year period between 1977 and 1981 that saw Jones release an album an year, Wrongtom brings some of Jones’ biggest, dubbiest hits to the table, including ‘Me! I Disconnect From You’ and ‘Pars’ – enough to turn even the steeliest doubter into a fully-fledged fan before the hour is out.

(Due to licensing restrictions the mix isn’t available in the US.)


Woebot
Force Field: Detroit Techno 1985-95

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately – this is a four hour mix of blindingly good Detroit techno from 1985-1995. It’s probably the best distilled introduction to the genre you could ask for, and even if you already know your Belleville Three from your Red Planet, it’s a veritable memberberry banquet served on a glistening silver platter.

Veteran scene commentator Woebot has been involved in techno since the 1980s and acts as a guide through Detroit, mixing chronologically to show the development of the genre through its first three waves. We’re talking Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Underground Resistance, Kenny Larkin, Dan Curtin, Morgan Geist and much more. Did we mention it’s four hours long?


Christina Vantzou
Wild Facts

Prepare for braindrift with this mix of synth, ambient, drone and miscellaneous weirdo music compiled by Kranky artist and former Dead Texan member Christina Vantzou. Spanning field recordings, unaccompanied glossolalia, glassy drones and whispers of Carpenter-esque horror, the mix accompanies a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon hosted by Vantzou, where fans added their expertise to incomplete or missing Wikipedia entries for the women artists featured, including Miyako Koda, Eliane Radigue and Annea Lockwood.


Bwana
Beats in Space Radio Show #868

Bwana seems like one of the good guys, right? (Of course, you never can tell. That people-pleasing Canadian veneer may be just a facade for an individual who spends his evenings de-limbing spiders on Chatroulette, or making Praise Kek memes.) The Against The Clock champ paid a visit to Tim Sweeney’s studio this week for a walloping 75 minute session, and though you might want to cruise past the progressive house near the beginning he soon gets into the meaty stuff, with vintage electro, EBM, synth-pop and breaks making for a deep and soupy mix that belies the DJ’s normie stylings (check that Roots sweater!).

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