Artwork by Jeremy Dabrowski
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Some of the best selectors are pure sound travelers who would probably call themselves “historian” before “musician”. Max Pearl is a music documentarian by blood, from his own publications, including Cluster mag, to launching Thump/working with Vice to Resident Advisor (where we covered Sustain-Release). But he also will dj with a live conga player and drop killer mixes like this one, which effortlessly jumps around the globe calling on deep ethnic and club strains, as well as some killer footwork cuts, in a stew he describes as “hardcore”.
Max has been keeping busy in Mexico, we caught up with him to see what he’s up to, and get his predictions for 2015.
Our 4-yr mix series continues with New York’s finest in Teklife.
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“This is probably our best, or our most personal mix yet… just because it’s our shit — that we touched.” DJ Mel Gibson and DBK come to the table with a fresh bag of exclusive/unreleased tracks and cook up one of the most inviting platters of footwork we’ve heard since Double Cup. DJ Rashad introduced us when he put them up during SXSW presenting them as peers, and you can feel the kinship in the music – they both have a tight grip on that comfortable zone between turnt-up and chilled-out, where you can dance or smoke. And when they recall his jazzier, more soulful side, like when the horn section peaks out on mix opener “All I Can Do”, I swear I can hear the ghost of Rashad.
“We sought out to kind of do [footwork] but not really copy it, to use that sound to guide you.” (Their penchant for soul and jazz samples probably owes just as much to Dilla, whom they close the mix with an edit of.) “All I Can Do” is distinctly their own, but then when Rashad/Spinn/Taso’s “Cream” VIP slips in sounding like a continuation of that same thought, it all kind of makes sense. Fittingly, then, their next appearance will also be alongside all of them on Hyperdub’s upcoming Teklife compilation, Next Life. They’ve also got two EPs in the oven, and you can get your first dibs on all that right here.
We visited the duo at their Sunset Park studio….
Our 4-yr anniversary mix series continues with xorzyzt’s URLxUSA tour mix.
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Brandon Rosenbluth aka xorzyzt, a well-known and pervasive force in Berlin’s dark underworld, is a busy man —- producing events, djing and touring alongside BlackBlackGold and Tom Ass as UnReaL; playing in bands reliq and Shaddah Tuum; booking European tours for littlebig Agency; engaging in video and performance art of the ‘metaphysical, shamanistic thread’; all while launching two new labels: Portals Editions (with Niko Shaddah Lfo, Ketev, and Marijn Degenaar), and UnReaL Audio, which just saw its first release with Born in Flamez. During our stay in Berlin last year, we caught him djing Stattbad & playing with his band at Berghain within our first few nights, and he remained a constant presence from there, throwing parties featuring House of Ladosha, ITAL, Stellar Om Source, and Light Asylum, to name a few.
Hot on the heels of a US tour (including a stop at our beloved Bossa Nova), this is the set he put together and fine tuned on the road: “In my signature style, I’ve consistently layered a number of tracks on top of one another including layers of drones and ambience in order to create an impenetrable wall of body-obliterating techno bliss.” From the first whispers of “what am i doing here?” we knew we were in for a ride, and as expected, this mix perfectly demonstrates his ability to drag you through the darkest corners of hell and still leave you gasping for more.
To celebrate our 4-year anniversary, we are re-launching our mix series and highlighting some of our favorite artists/selectors.
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Jan Woo is Brooklyn’s best kept secret. Meticulous curator of all musical genres trance-inducing, his impeccable filter has landed him gigs alongside Juan Atkins and a festival-closing set at Sustain-Release. A Jan Woo track is one that stays close to your heart, and this mix is one you can put on and dance to start to finish, knowing you’re in good hands.
Up until now, unless you’ve caught one of his dj sets in the flesh, it is unlikely that you’ve gotten to experience the Woo, but this mix is a perfect distillation/introduction: one amazing tune after another — most that you probably would never find — and then a surprise blend like “Makin’ A Living” into Mr. Fingers “Can You Feel It”, that makes you want to cry. Thankfully, Jan has more in store for the world: He is prepping his first 12″ for Greek label Echovolt which includes “Whyfor” (below), a dancefloor stunner, and he’s got a new label Tripper Disc in the works, with an upcoming reissue/compilation of the appropriately-named obscure New Age band, Woo. Some things can only be kept tight for so long…
We spoke to Jan at home at Body Actualized Center in BK…