The month's best mixes: psychedelic sounds, soulful UK garage and sinewy EBM

The latest instalment in the series includes a warm-up podcast by Wata Igarashi, optimistic house by Beautiful Swimmers and beautiful bangers from Mixpak’s the Large

Conducta – The Kiwi Manifesto

From its early 2000s pop success to spawning grime and bassline, plus multiple mainstream resurgences thanks to the likes of Disclosure and Jorja Smith, it’s clear that UK garage music refuses to ever truly die. This is the case Conducta makes on the Kiwi Manifesto: an hour-long showcase of new, unreleased UKG breezers from the scene’s latest crop of producers, mixed by the Bristolian himself. Across 30 tracks, he packs in sensual R&B, piano house anthems and twinkling melodies over swinging bass rumbles. Few dancefloors can resist the charms of soulful UKG done with its heart on its sleeve, and great things can be expected of the scene in 2019 if this new wave is anything to go by.

EF 43: Beautiful Swimmers – WOW mix

“Things will be better in future times,” is the assuring motto of Future Times, a label headed up by Max D of Beautiful Swimmers. Ari Goldman forms the other half of the Swimmers, a DC duo known for extroverted house that encompasses percussive breaks, funk and Baltimore club. Together they’ve spent a decade creating a springy, sunny sound. Their mix Extended Family maintains the good-time feels, dressing luscious groovers in a colourful 1980s sheen.

Lolina – Live in Geneva

The early 2010s were a momentous time for the UK underground. Mysterious experimental duo Hype Williams sat in the midst of it, tongues firmly in cheeks. Despite their mystique, however, their music has remained grounded in the everyday, mundane to the point of absurdity. This newly released live set by Lolina – formerly known as Inga Copeland, of Hype Williams – is very much in the vein of her earlier work: over austere beats and guttural drones, she sings of smoking behind petrol pumps, driving stick and musing on how dark the streets are. She bends disintegrating samples, cacophonous whirs and disharmony into a pulsating narrative.

Dekmantel Podcast 217: JASSS

Long before she took up DJing, Spanish sound artist JASSS fell in love with all sorts of music, from punk and hardcore to free jazz, field recordings and industrial – and it shows in her instinctively intrepid sets. Having departed Spain for the Netherlands, she eventually ended up in Berlin, where she scored films, released productions and mixed records. Now she’s a resident at clubland monolith Berghain’s newer, more experimental venue Säule, so it’s no surprise that her offering for the Dekmantel series is well tuned for the dancefloor. Sinewy EBM and stark techno trade blows with house flair and a touch of grime on this full-throttle ride.

The Large – Under Water mix

As the A&R of the Brooklyn-based label Mixpak, the Large’s ear for bangers is only matched by her talents on the decks. Her mixtape drops are always a special occasion, wrapping up riddims for party moods with a pace-switching style of DJing. She lays a foundation for the 54-minute maelstrom with Mixpak’s Dre Skull, a version of J Hus’s Bouff Daddy that features Popcaan, and the Vybz Kartel tune the mix is named for. She then packs Jadakiss and Mariah, Dinamarca and a Jennifer Lopez instrumental into the first 10 minutes to complete the lively (unruly, even) opening salvo. It doesn’t stop at dancehall and R&B – there’s ghetto house, Jersey club and Afrobeats stirred in for good measure.

FACT Mix 692: Cera Khin

Tunisia-via-Berlin DJ Cera Khin is best known for LazyTapes, her cassette and vinyl label that is quickly establishing itself as the go-to place for the murk and dub of atmospheric hardcore. Her FACT mix opens with an ambient production of her own making. Inspired by a tour that stopped in Tokyo, it references the city’s juxtaposition of shadowy, cramped alleyways and behemoth neon glow. Searing drones and throbbing breaks set the tone for a retro-futuristic venture on acid-house trips and down rave-y black holes. Cera Khin captures a range of moods, as wonder curls into unease and curiosity blossoms into euphoria.

RDC 024: Wata Igarashi

With releases on the Bunker, Midgar and Bitta – labels based around techno hotspots New York, Berlin and Chiba (on the outskirts of Tokyo) respectively – Wata Igarashi’s psychedelic sound has found admirers around the world. (All the more admirable is that he composes and DJs internationally while holding down a day job.) The beauty of his intricate style is exhibited in this warm-up podcast for Japan’s Rainbow Disco Club festival. Its tempo is best suited to deep introspection, lulling with patient pulses from the likes of Junes and hypnotising with pitched-down Terrence Dixon. Rarely does an hour pass so easily.


Tayyab Amin

The GuardianTramp

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