The month’s best mixes: industrial dancehall, digital anxiety and ‘the Techno Columbo’

RA 718: Low Jack

Low Jack’s Resident Advisor mix hits like a sack of bricks. Born in Honduras and based in Paris, the producer/DJ imbues his work with hardness and intensity. There’s the experimental techno and house of his earlier releases, his current vehicle, industrial dancehall, his collaborations with electro-turned-rap producer Brodinski, the edge he’s added to Dominick Fernow’s dark ambient Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement project and even reggaeton records from friends released on Editions Gravats, the label he co-runs. This mix throws trap and dub in with riddims, breaks and weighty slabs of dancefloor drama. Low Jack shifts the gears swiftly as he flits between rap tempos and double-time club BPMs, constantly switching lanes and hand-braking corners to keep the adrenaline pumping.

Blowing Up the Workshop 110: Jack Murphy

At the start of the 2010s, Jack Murphy was based in San Francisco, very active across the scene’s social media and so adept at tracking down and identifying tunes that he was known as the “Techno Columbo”. In the wake of his relocation to New York, his focus moved from putting out releases and guest mixes to starting a label and mix series of his own, Knowing Something, and a radio format under the name Various Perfumes. Few fingers sit tighter on the pulse of house and techno than his, and few are better placed to put together a mix in tribute to minimal techno and micro-house master Ricardo Villalobos. Murphy draws highlights from Villalobos’s sprawling discography to create a 69-minute introductory mix that sinks right into the groove and never looks to leave it.

Fresh Kicks 135: Pelada

Dance-punk duo Pelada emerged from Montreal’s DIY scene with intent to mobilise against oppressive systems and rave in the face of the apocalypse. Their entry for DJ Mag’s Fresh Kicks series is one of the more vivid, chaotic and exciting mixes making the rounds, juggling a sense of digital anxiety with the release that dance music can provide. It opens with a happy hardcore tune imbued with big Y2K energy, its anthemic vocal sailing over a euphoric, arms-in-the-air beat that’s fast swapped out for a ticking dembow. Drum’n’bass, garage, acid and remixes of Gangsta’s Paradise and Robert Miles’s Children soon follow. Pelada’s use of stutters throughout this high-octane smorgasbord lines the experience with a spirit of uncertainty that comes hand-in-hand with the thrill.

Dummy Mix 579: Badsista

Once a part of the emo scene, São Paulo’s Badsista is now one of the busier DJs on the queer party circuit. Over the past seven years, she’s put out her own productions, formed a collaborative partnership with rapper Linn da Quebrada and thrown club nights with creative collectives Tormenta and Bandida. She’s garnered a reputation for packing raw emotion into her music and mixes, while her DJing at parties is known for fierce tempo shifts and concoctions of baile funk, Chicago house, techno and harder rave cuts. That said, her mix for Dummy is all warm grooves, breezy blends and summery springtime moods – her own guitar and voice make an appearance before a remix of Kanye West’s Flashing Lights swings things uptempo. It’s a positive, melodic journey towards the deep end, charming and enthralling.

Daisychain 111: Beta Librae

Kansas-raised, Brooklyn-based producer/DJ Beta Librae creates a sort of house and techno music awash with dub, ambient and nocturnal atmospherics. Her mix for the weekly, community-inspired Daisychain series expands upon these aesthetics over the course of 80 deep and swampy minutes. She quickly establishes an emphasis on percussive elements during the opening chapters, with breaks coming into the picture as things progress. Artists featured include texture-obsessives such as Forest Drive West and Beatrice Dillon as well as fellow New Yorkers such as Gallery S (AKA Moma Ready). True to her own name, the mix conjures imaginations of the natural, the wondrous and the cosmic, dazzling throughout.

Ravage Mix Series 100: Sunil Sharpe

Pure stormers and raging system-wreckers from Sunil Sharpe on the 100th mix in the Ravage series. The Irish DJ is known for his everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to techno and his productions don’t hold back either. He recently released on BPitch Control (whose owner Ellen Allien features in this mix) while Sharpe’s love for the craft has extended into running the Earwiggle label, collaborating with producer DeFeKT to create music under the name Tinfoil, and even broadcasting crate-digging and listening sessions on YouTube. In this exhibition, his blends move as fast as the tracks do, cramming in 29 selections in just over an hour. Featuring heavy hitting selections from the likes of James Ruskin, AQXDM and Peder Mannerfelt, it’s a rush of fiery, flawlessly mixed slammers for the peak hours.

The Guardian

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