Mixes I by I 10.01.23

Fact Mix 890: Akua

A journey at light speed through the universe of Akua, focusing on old school techno from the ’90s and early 2000s.

Over the past several years, Ghanian-American artist Akua has established herself both as a fixture of the New York’s dance music community at venues including Basement and Public Records, and as an internationally renowned techno DJ who has played at festivals such as Draaimolen and Dekmantel, and clubs like Berghain and C12. Central to her approach is activating timeless strains of raw, mechanized expression while also educating her audiences on the Black futurity that lies at the foundations of techno, as she told Fact in 2019.

In keeping with this focus on Black artistry, Akua’s sets are frequently filled with foundational US techno from Detroit and Midwest artists, music she feels is raw and straightforward yet deeply immersive for the listener. “I’m fascinated with old school techno because it seemed the only thing that truly mattered then was finding and following one’s authentic groove and I yearn for this energy so much in the present day,” Akua tells Fact. “I see the opposite very often in the present day as DJs and artists are so attached to achieving perfection and following trends in what they share with their audiences especially because of technologies we engage with through our practice.” 

It’s this era that Akua hones in on for our first Fact Mix of 2023, an all-vinyl, high-octane trip through the cosmos that provides a jolt of much-needed energy for the new year. “The mix is definitely a journey through my universe at light speed,” Akua says. “It clocks in at around 146bpm the whole time. It starts out a bit intense but by the end of it after many twists and turns has a euphoric ending once it’s reached its destination.” Featuring classic tracks from K.Hand, Robert Hood and Spank Spank of Chicago acid innovators Phuture, as well as artists who were inspired by American techno innovation like Surgeon and Steve Bicknell, it looks resolutely to Akua’s vision for techno’s future while referencing the past.

Akua’s interest in the era also stems from a deep commitment to researching the vast archives of techno’s past – not just the classic tracks but the art of the techno mix itself. “I am constantly listening to and searching for ’90s techno mixtapes and I wanted to create something that emulates the vibe and energy of all of my favorite promo mixes,” Akua says of her Fact mix. “Some [of the mixes] that have inspired me the most have been by artists including Jay Denham, Claude Young, and Jeff Mills (all who have tracks are featured in the mix), Mike Dearborn, and DJ Hyperactive. I love how carefree and fearless they were in their mixing and how they were not so focused on technical perfection but rather on creating a compelling story that connects and resonates deeply with dancers.”

Follow Akua on Instagram and SoundCloud.


Sean Deason – ‘Feel It’ (Matrix, 1994)
(Unknown white label)
Silvershower – ‘Ice Fractions 2-1’ (Plus 8, 1996) 
The Martian – ‘Vortexual Conceptions’ (Red Planet, 1996)
Kirlian – ‘Exit PG (The Fated Remix)’ (Disko B, 1995) 
The Advent – ‘Jamming’ (Internal, 1996) 
Spank Spank of Phuture 303 – ‘Klubshaker’ (Clashbackk, 1997)
Umek – ‘Darvaren’ (Black Nation, 2000) 
Jay Denham – ‘Peacemaker’ (Cosmic, 1998)
Steve Bicknell – ‘Untitled A1’ (LR #4) (Cosmic, 1998) 
Punisher – ‘Revolver’ (Matrix, 1997) 
Claude Young Presents Twine – ‘Untitled A1’ (Surface, 1997) 
Surgeon Meets Vice – ‘Creep’ (Ideal Trax, 1997) 
DJ Tuttle – ‘Cromozoide 21’ (Subsounds, 1996)
The Carbon Boys – ‘Untitled A’ (212 Productions, 1995)
Inigo Kennedy – ‘Input Inversion’ (ZET, 1996) 
Robert Hood – ‘Special Heat’ (Music Man, 2005) 
John Thomas – ‘Insector’ (Sino, 2000) 
Unknown Artist – ‘Untitled A’ (Draw, 1997) 
Monomorph – ‘Metoh’ (K. Hand Sphere Mix) (Molecular, 1996)
Jeff Mills – ‘Untitled (A2)’ (Axis, 1996) 

Watch next: Fact Mix 889: Tim Reaper & Jack Anderson



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