The month's best mixes: infectious singeli and full-throttle floorfillers

DJ Duke and MCZO take flight for 48 minutes of east African dance music, while Gabber Eleganza goes back to the early 90s

FACT mix 710: Dee Diggs

Dee Diggs’ passion for music blossomed into DJing and organising parties in the Boston underground four years ago. Having made the jump to Brooklyn, she’s now best known for regularly rattling New York dancefloors with slaloming house-centric sets. Black, queer and femme, her approach to mixing and selecting acknowledges the authoritative role of “black and LGBTQ innovators” in the creation of club music, aiming to celebrate and reclaim the culture. Her FACT mix plots a direct course from Dance Mania legends DJ Deeon and Parris Mitchell to present vanguard such as AceMo and quest?onmarc. She laces every twist and turn with an irresistible energy, tearing through each minute of this hour with conviction.

MCZO & Duke: The No Visa Mix

Dar es Salaam duo DJ Duke and MCZO are ambassadors for the east African singeli sound – fast-moving dance music that can take everything from Tanzanian styles and hardcore techno to hip-hop and kwaito in its stride. It’s music that emphasises being in the moment, and what a moment it’s having: Uganda’s Nyege Nyege festival and label has helped spread the infectious genre to recognition across the global electronic underground. This mix is borne out of an inexplicable US visa rejection: the pair of artists take flight for 48 minutes, climbing to altitudes well upwards of 200bpm. DJ Duke’s punkish productions will blow the mind of fans of early Death Grips, though this is music for dancing first and foremost. Every variation in pace meets its match in MCZO’s endlessly reinventive flows.

Old skool rave (1992-5): Mixed by Gabber Eleganza

The Gabber Eleganza blog began in 2011, eventually becoming a much-celebrated multi-platform archive of hardcore club aesthetics. Its creator, Alberto Guerrini, now plays shows under the moniker and is viewed by many as a link between gabber’s golden age and rave’s current comeback. In this mix for Crack magazine, he winds the clock back to the early 90s for an entrancing selection of floorfillers. Sandwiched by playful bars and anecdotes on euphoria, the hour builds momentum from house to acid and jungle. Guerrini plunges jubilant piano melodies into confrontations with breaks before lifting everything to a hazy vista, pointedly loosening the tethers until the ground is no longer in view. Despite its full-throttle approach and sustained assault on the senses, the mix strikes hardest when it draws to a close and leaves you in a daze.

Strict Face: PRE-SEASONED

Packing an arsenal of simple track edits, intrepid blends and total overhauls alongside his own swung percussion productions, Adelaide’s Strict Face is a DJ’s best friend. Emerging with grime-tinged instrumentals a handful of years back, he’s released music on various London-based labels as well as on home turf. This global approach is palpable in his mixing, which often betrays a love for R&B melodies, Caribbean riddims, bassy groovers and hip-hop bombast all at once. In PRE-SEASONED, he delivers 20 minutes of his own instrumentals – “smashers, sliders and sketches” that channel everything from carnival whistles and stringed shelldowns to tender Rustie moments and low-end tremolos that could turn even the heftiest subwoofers to jelly.

Bandcloud Presents Missives (mixed by Peach)

Celebrating five years of sharing weekly ambient, house and techno highlights from Bandcamp and SoundCloud, newsletter/radio show/mix series Bandcloud recently released the charity fundraising compilation Missives. Its roster of contributors features various artists from previous editions of our best mixes series, and London-via-Toronto DJ and producer Peach was enlisted to weave their tracks together. The result is a smorgasbord of pensive chuggers, skittish beats and sweeping dreamscapes. With Peach at the controls, the mix embarks on a laid-back, ambling start before plummeting down a deep drone abyss and pulling up at the very last second to jolt you awake. A sprawling forest of twinkling beats stretches across the midsection with breathtaking textural cohesion. Dancefloor pumpers spar with moments of ambient reprieve thereafter, doubling down on Bandcloud’s position in that delirious and delightful liminal space between main rooms and chillout rooms worldwide.

Contributor

Tayyab Amin

The GuardianTramp

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