The month's best mixes: steely funk, Lisbon tarraxo and hardcore psychedelia

Our May selection features Job Sifre’s bitter electro, TSVI’s polyrhythms, and a trip down memory lane with Tama Sumo

Pinkman 31: Job Sifre – The Fast & Curious

Through his fortnightly Antikunst show on Amsterdam’s Red Light Radio, Dutch producer and DJ Job Sifre explores industrial, new wave and EBM alongside contemporary hard-edged techno and electro. He’s part of a growing community of younger electro-obsessed artists in the Netherlands, with Identified Patient and Parrish Smith as brothers in sound. The palette is bitter, but it’s still underpinned with the kind of steely funk that you’d find in Nitzer Ebb or Detroit rave records. Dutch label Pinkman’s mix series is a fine home for his latest work – with just over an hour of drum machine-powered electro, it’s perfect music for stomping on a podium.

Ilian Tape Podcast 040: TSVI

TSVI is an Italian producer and DJ based in London who is part of Nervous Horizon, a label that focuses on experimental club music drawing from UK funky and grime production, as well as Dutch house and African diasporic sounds such as Lisbon’s tarraxo, an Afro-Portuguese mutation of Angolan tarraxinha and kuduro. This intricate network of influences can be heard on TSVI’s 2018 debut album on Nervous Horizon, Inner Worlds, and on this mix for the Zenker Brothers’ Ilian Tape podcast. With polyrhythmic drum tracks, fragments of woodwind instrumentation and ominous voices, warped bass lines that rattle across the walls and buzzing high ends, it’s a bonkers ride through a bubbling global underground.

Groove Podcast 206: Mark

Mark oscillates between making anything from, as he puts it, “goofy minimal to blowing down a cardboard tube” as Klon Dump, and under his own name experimental downbeat (with vocalists like Silvia Kastel and Carla Dal Forno) and drum and bass (on labels Ostgut Ton and A Colourful Storm). His most recent for the latter is titled Here Comes a Fucking Startup Campus, bemoaning the gentrification of Berlin’s creative communities. For German magazine Groove, he gives himself some wiggle room for fun within the drumn’bass strictures, blending psychedelic elements with layered grooves and snatches of rave breakbeats, digital hardcore and dank ambience.

Jay Simon: Spiritual Jazz mix for Mask magazine

Jay Simon lives in Atlanta, runs Must Have Records and often plays with fellow ATL-based artists like Kai Alcé and Stefan Ringer. His tastes are part of a lineage: growing up with black gospel, southern rap and booty bass, and later midwest dance music culture, drawing from old-school funk, R&B and soul. Though sonically broad, Simon’s style is in spiritual deference to under-appreciated elders and long-lost B-sides: he has an old head on his shoulders and a deep selection in his record bag. In this mix for Mask magazine, Simon blends a silken hour of spiritual jazz for dimly lit rooms electrified with longing.

Alternate Cuts: Tama Sumo (Broken Beat set)

If you put a group of London DJs of a certain age together and bring up the term “broken beat”, the chances are they will all be flooded with nostalgic warmth. In the late 90s and early 00s, broken beat travelled from its west London origins to parties such as Co-op at Shoreditch’s Plastic People. Pairing deep percussive house rooted in Caribbean soundsystem culture with choppy drum machine rhythms and soulful melodies, the sound would later have a huge influence on emergent genres such as UK funky. Broken beat lovers will find much to smile about with this dedicated set, a two-hour trip down memory lane expertly executed by one of Europe’s finest, Tama Sumo.

BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix: Paula Temple

‘Goes for the jugular’ ... Paula Temple.
‘Goes for the jugular’ ... Paula Temple. Photograph: Karen Vandenberghe

There are few working in modern techno who can command the power of a room with relentless, super-fast industrial sounds quite like Paula Temple. She’s been an underground DJ for at least 20 years, but it was her productions in the late 2010s on Belgium’s R&S and her own label, Noise Manifesto, that thrust her on to top-tier club and festival bills globally. Her DJ sets are hybrid beasts – she co-developed one of the world’s first MIDI controllers for DJing – using hardware and software to layer up her own edits over others’ tracks to razor-sharp effect. In her recent BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, she goes for the jugular, playing two hours of intense hardcore techno, including tracks from her 2019 debut album, Edge of Everything.

Betty Bensimon: Science Heavy

Betty Bensimon’s DJing is indebted to her native Paris. As well as running her Bonus Stage parties and hosting a regular show on Rinse FM’s French broadcast, she’s the anointed DJ for the Paris chapter of the House of Mizrahi, spinning for vogue battles and balls. Vogue DJing demands a very particular energy – you’re serving the flow of the dancers, watching their every move to time blends for the best on-beat reactions, while drawing from across club genres, looking for bass and drums that will complement the gender-play power of the dance moves. In her latest self-hosted mix, Betty uses this skill to tease out surprising and playful connections: between techno and grime-adjacent beats, scuzzy Belgian and German electro, US booty bass, and amorphous new club tracks from French artists.


Lauren Martin

The GuardianTramp

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