It’s almost impossible to keep on top of everything that SoundCloud, Mixcloud and online radio has to offer. In our 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.
October’s best mixes take us from the equatorial jungles of Uganda to the desert scrub of Syria, and from a wedding party in Belize to… er, Dekmantel Festival. Pack light! But before we get into the month’s very best, a few other curios should be flagged up. First, kudos to Beats In Space for bringing in Japanese psych-rock hero Shintaro Sakamoto to play an hour of screw-loose, no-wave jams that you’re not going to hear anywhere else.
Second, Brooklyn’s Doctor Jeep put together a set of down-slow dancehall and electro which also happen to demonstrate the cleverness of Buy Music Club, a tool to share music and put pennies in the pockets of your favorite producers. As well as clicking through to Doctor Jeep’s personal profile, you can check out a Buy Music Club list for this exact mix, linking you to Bandcamp sites for each track. At a time when superstar DJs are making mad bank while producers go unpaid and unrecognized, it’s a welcome gesture.
And finally, some hardcore! New York heavies Show Me The Body put together a skin-flaying mix showcasing the East Coast’s finest extreme music, proving that hardcore has a pretty wide catchment: all the shredded vocals you can eat, plus darkwave hip-hop, narcotic noise, doom-poetry and more.
Re:ni for Dekmantel
Beat tessellations from a sub-loving DJ
If you’re partial to the brain-scrambling rhythm ‘n’ bass of Timedance and Livity Sound, you need to get familiar with Re:ni – a London DJ with a similar ear for unexpected beat tessellations and rattling sub bass. Her set for Dekmantel is the work of a puzzle-solving mind, mixing tracks from N.A.A.F.I. member Zutzut, Montreal rave-punks Pelada and London basshead Otik, among other more restrained works.
Hyph11e at Nyege Nyege Festival
Outernational dreams from a Shanghai original
Here’s one of the most exciting DJs in the world, Shanghai future-club ideator HYPH11E, in the mix at the most exciting party in the world, Nyege Nyege Festival in Uganda. A dreamy combo! Open your ears wide for just over half an hour of slamming outernational riddims and full-pelt klub-noize, including (we believe) many fine cuts from China’s SVBKVLT and Genome 6.66 crews.
Fana for On Earth
Kurdish independence anthems
Following the US withdrawal from Syria and the resulting devastation for the persecuted Kurds, US-based Kurdish musician Fana has compiled an hour of YPG independence anthems interwoven with dancehall bangers. It’s a mix to get us “pumped for the impending revolution; whether it be a personal revolution or a large-scale one.” The transitions may be brash but the tunes are undeniable. Support Rojava!
DJ Richard for Truants
A rocky ride through the White Material DJ’s latest favorites
White Material was one of the most hyped dance labels in the world when DJ Richard and crew broke through in 2012 – and rightly so – but the Philly-based producer’s recent records and mixes haven’t exactly boosted him into the A-list. That’s probably because they’re so damn chewy: haunting, emotional, and not easily assimilated into techno’s business end. Recorded “while sick and accidentally under the influence of cough medication,” Ricko’s Truants mix is a rocky ride through his current favorite records, pointing to the noisy, unapologetically punk inspirations behind his idiosyncratic style.
Ariel Zetina for Papi Juice
A ravey twist on Latinx roots
Chicago star-in-the-making Ariel Zetina puts a ravey twist on her Latinx heritage in a mix for Brooklyn’s queer art collective Papi Juice, with fabulous results. It’s slick as hell but never remotely boring: you’ve got a Belizean wedding band rubbing up against Tomás Urquieta’s club viscera, Zetina’s own Ha!-laced edits making way for Erika Glück’s chugging techno, and left turns aplenty.
Sim Hutchins – Love In The Club mix for Crack
An ode to the dancefloor wreckheads
The latest release from Essex’s Sim Hutchins is an enthusiastically bonkers celebration of dancefloor-based wreckheadism promoted with a very cute website. This accompanying Love In The Club mix opens with extracts of real-life rave tales and tear-jerking synths before going all wonky and aggressive – a path well-trodden, obv – and then somehow finding its way to Whigfield. And not even the famous track. Fuckin’ A!
Ally Tropical for Mitamine Lab
Eclectic stunners for reclined listening
An outstanding mix of wyrd relaxers from Glasgow collector Ally Tropical, tickling your ASMR receptors while wrapping you up in cosmic synths, new age grooviness and glowing notes of spiritual jazz. This sort of “eclectic” thing can easily lose direction, but AT’s selection feels deeply interrelated and thoughtful. Set your seat to recline.
Chal Ravens is a freelance journalist. Find her on Twitter.