What I listened to on my summer vacation


The Air Between Words
Ninja Tune

A quick scan over my mixes will confirm what you already suspected, that if I thought I could get away with it I would only ever mix Martyn tunes always. (Ok, maybe with a bit of Night Slugs and R&S’ roster in there as well.) He’s one of maybe three left-field/bass music producers whose embrace of four-four kick drums didnt feel like a concession, and The Air Between Words just cements his mastery. There’s a dusty, from-the-catacombs air to choons like “Like That,” whose erotic moans and swishy house piano mixed with a gloomy baseline sounds like Lil Louis’ “French Kiss” remade for a rainy day in Wales. And the languid Fender Rhodes-isms of “Drones” are perfectly offset by the insistent groove, which never lets the track sink into melancholia or pander to baser instincts. That’s really the genius of Martyn in a nutshell: capturing a feeling of unease or tension while keeping the music itself animated and alive.  Or maybe its just my overpowering urge to drop something dark and stormy like “Forgiveness Step 2” at peak time, turn the lights down – except for maybe a strobe – and see what happens.


Prins Thomas
Full Pupp

Apparently Prins Thomas loathes the phrase “cosmic disco,” which makes me think it means something different from what he thinks it means. I read it as Kosmiche disco, a descendant of Can and other outfits bent on bringing experimental sensibilities to whatever cool shit was happening, including but not only dance music. If the definition of the subgenre doesn’t include a cut like the echo-laden, circular synth riff-driven, rolling drum hypnosis that is “Trans,” I don’t know what the hell you’d call it. In some ways this is the most stripped down of the three solo discs; it’s the most cerebral, but “cerebral” in the sense that, while the language it speaks isn’t really of the dance floor, it is viscerally intense. Not to mention sexy – I was struggling for a metaphor for bass lines that didn’t involve asses in skin-tight leather, and then I gave up, and here we are. Still. People forget that the brain is biggest erogenous zone, you know.


Maria Minerva
Not Not Fun

Dubby bass, hazy layers of sample smog, a singer who sounds like  she’s talking in her sleep, how can you go wrong? Even now I’m not sure. Maria Minerva seized my attention with the DIY tape underground diva vibe of Cabaret Cixous – Toronto, there are three vinyl copies in Rotate This’ deep discount bin, which tells you how many people shared my affection – and a little more polish shouldn’t have gone astray. But Histrionic always seems to be beguilingly on the verge of getting good, and after a few listens, the fact that it never does gets damnably annoying. Not even a cheeky flip of a Pet Shop Boys lyric could dispel the air half-assed art schoolism. Go away and take your sub-Lana Del Rey schtick with you.

Mix: War Games

Expedition 21 Docking

Rough and rugged, rugged and raw – is anyone else feeling like grime is having a moment? There’s plenty beyond that realm in this ruffneck bizness mix, but I do have to say that the Boxed Vol. 1 comp feels like the actual resurgence of that sound that the Grime 2.0 comp was trying to manufacture (not that Ninja Tune’s set was unwelcome). Lock into this sound like you’re sitting in a beat-up Ford Fiesta trying to pull in some bashment pirate radio…

Click here to download War Games from mediafire

1. TOKiMONSTA – Focused Chaos – Half Shadows (Ultra)
2. Jack Dice – Stash’s Theme (Feat. Stash Marina) – Sip Paint (Modern Love)
3. High Klassified – Scopola – Palindroma (Fool’s Gold)
4. Mumdance & Logos – Proto – Legion / Proto (Tectonic)
5. Dizzee Rascal – Strings Hoe (Wen Refix) – Strings Hoe (Wen Refix) / Signal (Keysound)
6. L-Vis 1990 – Ballad 4D VIP – Ballad 4D VIP / Not Mad (Helix Bootleg) (Night Slugs)
7. Danny Brown – Shouldn’t Of – The OD EP (Fool’s Gold)
8. Strict Face – Saigon Figure – Boxed Vol. 1 (Boxed)
9. Patrick Sexx – Placebo Pinch – Shape (Alpha Pup)
10. Lakker – Mausoleum – Containing a Thousand (R&S)
11. 040 – Minors – Let It Be Known (Butterz)
12. Martyn – Vancouver – Vancouver (Head High Remix) (White Label)
13. Youngsta – Poseidon – Destruction / Poseidon (Tempa)
14. Special Request – Ride VIP – Soul Music (Houndstooth)
15. Crazy Bald Heads – First Born – First Born (Text)
16. Digital Mystikz – 2 Much Chat – 2 Much Chat / Coral Reef (DMZ)
17. Machinedrum – Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real – DJ-Kicks: Brandt Brauer Frick (K7)

Deemo – War Games by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

Mix: Deemo – A Space Odyssey


Shake off your hangovers and get into this mix. If you need motivation, consider it a kind of fitness boot camp for your ears – it’ll kick your ass and you’ll be glad it did. (It kicked my ass making it; I half considered calling it What I Did On My Winter Vacation.)

Click here to download from Mediafire

or scroll down to stream

1. Kyson – Sunnyvale – The Water’s Way
2. Policy – Postscript187 – Postscript
3. Mathew Jonson – Sahara – Her Blurry Pictures
4. Jay Daniel – Brainz – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part One
5. Sophie – Bipp – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
6. Dino Sabatini & Donato Dozzy – Penelope – Journey Back To Ithaca
7. Martyn – Be My Own Pupil – Be My Own Pupil
8. Gerry Read – Beatin My Dick To The Beat – Been A Lot Of Places Seen A Lot Of Faces
9. Erol Alkan – Bang! – Illumination EP
10. Tazz – Piano Kinesis – Science Friction
11. Adam Marshall – Chaos – Memphis
12. Mumdance & Logos – In Reverse P.I.V. – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
13. Slackk – Blue Forest – 14 Tracks Best Of 2013: Part Three
14. Pearson Sound – Starburst – Starburst
15. Roman Flugel – Duck And Cover – Gerd Janson Presents Music For Autobahns

A Space Odyssey by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

Mix: Back To The Garden

**this mix has been taken down**

I is returned! And this is one of the mixes I am prouder of than many. Let us begin with sounds. Bump it in your jeep.

Jermiah Jae & Oliver The 2nd – Purple Moonshine Pt. 2 ft IsReal [self-released]
Mike Gao – Precipice (Precipitate) [HW&W]
Tokimonsta – Park Walks [All City]
Siriusmo – Enthusiast [Monkeytown]
Boxcutter – Neo-Geocities (Web 2.0 Remix) [Planet Mu]
Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards [G.O.O.D.]
Quasimoto – Brothers Can’t See Me [Stones Throw]
Ras G – News @ 11 [Leaving]
Mo Kolours – Laser Wind Tunnel [One-Handed Music]
Letherette – Furth & Myre [Ninja Tune]
Pye Corner Audio – Wasted Evolution [Boomkat Editions]
Electronome – V = For ViewLexx [Viewlexx]
Mono/Poly – Swarm [Self-released]
French Fries – Everything [ClekClekBoom]
L-Vis 1990 – Signal [Night Slugs]
Martyn – Oceania [Dolly Dubs]
Salva – Drop That B [Friends Of Friends]
Rustie – Triadzz [Numbers]
TNGHT – Bugg’n [Warp]
Kingdom – Bank Head f Kelela [Fade To Mind]

Thursday late pass: Benji B & HudMo in the mix

Look at that smooth bastard. Honestly BBC, just because you were replacing Mary Anne Hobbs doesn’t mean you had to style his replacement as though he was a male model auditioning for a non-speaking role in Dr. Who. At any rate, it all comes out in the radio wash, where noone can hear you scream when you fluff a transition, though Allah knows such a mistake will be spotted immediately if you do, regardless of whether you look like David Beckham or David Starkey. And Benji B‘s skills as a selector require no airbrushing of any kind, as his August 3 late-night Radio 1 show proved beyond a sliver of a shadow of a doubt. [DOWNLOAD via the always-on-time Mymanhenri.]

Rather than run down Hudson Mohawke’s much-praised, much blogged mini-set (from which you can snag his characteristically grandiose remix of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody”, better to give some shine to the set that preceeded it, and the man whose finger is pushing down so hard on the pulse of the beat scene, the the motherfucker’s heart might exploooode:

Pearson Sound, “Untitled,” Unreleased (18:32)
A descending organ lick and a vocal snippet are the heart of this tune, but the body is the clattering beat that’s as jittery as a footwork set, but twice as danceable. I get restless leg syndrome just listening on my couch. There’s a real Detroit vibe to it, though, making this more than just a drum(programming)circle. Moar like this, pleez.

Martyn, “PopGun,” Forthcoming Brainfeeder LP (31:46)
The first time I heard drum ‘n’ bass on a real system was wandering into a randomly-discovered dance shop on Dundas West called Traxx I think. It was an oasis in the middle of a bunch of strip malls and body shops. Not owning a car, I only managed to get there a couple of times, and walking in was about as record-scratch-stare-scene-from-High-Fidelity as you can imagine for a then-pudgy nerd like myself, but the feeling of a creative vista opening up in front of you like rolling up the blinds and seeing the ocean, is something I’ll remember forever. The skittering shuffle drums of “PopGun” are more UK garage than pre-techstep DNB, but the DNA — James Brown yelps, blurry whirling-dervish bass — is taking me back to that first-love feeling. I literally cannot wait for this album.

Dorian Concept, “The F*cking Formula,” re-edit (50:32)
And there’s that fucked G-Funk again that I just can’t resist. The bassline on this song is a squiggle that could have been on a Zapp record if it weren’t so honking ooogly. Something else I can barely resist is breaking into a kind of Tash-from-the-Alkoholiks patois when I hear this stuff, so you’re lucky I only work in print. Do people still do double dutch? This could soundtrack a round.

In sum: if this is the calibre of jawns we’ll be taking in this fall — to say nothing of HudMo joints next year — I may start posting every day. Brothers ain’t ready.