Each month, Philip Sherburne listens to a lot of mixes so you just have to listen to the best ones.
L’Rain – Sunday Mix
L’Rain’s latest album, Tired, swirls with healing energy: a tender tumult of layered voices, electronic rhythms, field recordings and pieces of jazz, folk and soul, all anchored in the fluid but impenetrable rhythms of personal transformation. The New York musician’s contribution to Rift‘s Sunday mix the series is cut from a similar fabric. She leans towards measured tempos and rippling textures, and although most of her selections include vocals, they rarely dominate; instead, they stay deeply embedded in the mix, much like they do in L’Rain’s own music. It begins with wispy, ambient songs by Lionmilk and Daniel Aged, shares a dreamlike lullaby in the form of Jitwam’s instrumental “Confessions”, then moves on to a left-wing electro pop stint with Smerz, Hildegard and Yu Su ; tunes from Flying Lotus and Clever Austin (in collaboration with Georgia Anne Muldrow) mark the focal point of the ensemble. And the final stretch through Low, Space Afrika, Nala Sinephro and L’Rain’s own “Take Two” amounts to a cleansing sonic bath of pulsating synths and weightless vocals.
Shanti Celeste – Daisychain 196
Chilean-born, London-based electronic musician Shanti Celeste’s debut album is called Mandarin, and for good reason. No matter the style or the tempo, his music is bathed in bright colors. The same goes for its mixing. His set for Chicago Daisychain Series sails through deep house, electro, IDM, UK garage and more, but it’s uniformly radiant. In just 30 minutes, she weaves her way through ambient tropical techno, the jungle tunes of Sputnik One and Special Request, breakbeat, electro and even a hard cut of “Jerrod” by Solange. But despite the variety, the flow never falters. Celeste’s predilection for luminous detail runs through her selections like the fine gold filigree.
Tristan Arp – Podcast Dekmantel 356
For his excellent new album Sculpture gardening, released on UK label Wisdom Teeth this month, Tristan Arp attempted to wire his synthesizers so that music could be written effectively, then cut down on the chaos to highlight the fruits of his labor. (Or the work of his machines, anyway.) The Mexico-based musician’s Dekmantel podcast also almost feels like the result of an organic process, something that developed on its own. But where Sculpture gardening Emphasizing sleek lines and efficient movement, this DJ set suggests a yard that’s sowing: an overgrown tangle of stray weeds and stubborn undergrowth. This is especially true at the beginning, where multiple pieces of music seem to compete for space: methodical drum beats, minimalist choral beats, small bursts of noise. Every now and then, an excerpt from Hiroshi Yoshimura’s “Feel” appears, like a small white flower seeking sunlight. Unlike his album, which is mostly ambient, a clubby impulse runs through large swathes of the set, but even then the mix is densely layered and incredibly unpredictable, going from DJ Firmeza to Steve Reich and from Sputnik One to Jon Hassell. Changing tempos and rhythmic structures play a crucial role: in the end, Arp’s set looks less like a traditional DJ mix and more like an ecosystem of interrelated species.
Massimiliano Pagliara – HNYPOT 396
Massimiliano Pagliara’s Honeypot Soundsystem podcast is bursting with panache. This is exactly the kind of session one might expect to encounter on a Sunday afternoon at Panorama Bar, where Pagliara is a resident: driving, playful, seductive. He prefers analog-inspired house jams with a hint of disco flair; although many of his selections are relatively recent, they tend to refer to the sounds and spirit of that ’80s period as disco morphed into house music. Cormac’s single in 2021 “Heart of heart”Sounds like a vintage Italo hit to the world; Pagliara follows that up with Divine’s 1982 song “Native Love (Step by Step Remix),” a quivering example of hi-NRG, and the back half of the ensemble plunges further into the eerie valley between the period tracks. and the tribute of the last days. He ends with a full 10 minutes of Patrick Cowley epic “I feel love” bootleg remix, as psychedelic as it is sexy. You can practically feel the sweat pouring down the walls.
Dopplereffekt – DUSK150
Dopplereffekt emerged in 1995 with a PE slinky electro infused with menacing connotations – her name was Fascist state, for one thing and a wry sense of humor. (“I want to make love / To a model,” a robotic voice chirped over “Plastiphilia“:” I want to fuck it / I want to suck it. “) Released on the Dataphysix label in Detroit, the record was accompanied by a sheet in German and presented as the work of two unknown characters named Kim karli and Rudolf Klorzeiger; It wasn’t until later that Klorzeiger turned out to be Drexciya’s Gerald Donald, though in retrospect the Detroit electro musician’s fingerprints were all over Dopplereffekt’s squelchy analog footage and the mysterious self-presentation. But where Drexciya focused his myth-making on Afro-Futuristic sci-fi, the Dopplereffekt mood board amounts to a sinister tangle of totalitarianism, eugenics, and astrophysics. Led by Donald and unknown collaborators, the Dopplereffekt project is still ongoing and as cryptic as ever. Their set for Amsterdam DUSK. | ?? the series begins with over 30 minutes of seasick drones covered in awkwardly processed speech about space-time; things pick up after that, however, plunging into a slamming machine of grooves and bubbly analog synths. The setlist is full of classics from Donald’s catalog: “ScientistExplains Dopplereffekt’s tongue-in-cheek program; “Rotation axis”, From its alias Arpanet, delights in dazzling pairings; and towards the end, the Arpanet track “Probability Densities” drops the stone facade to indulge in undeniably melancholic tones and moods.
Exael – Plaisir Gallery
Exael, aka Naemi, is one of the key people in a loose configuration of artists – among them Special Guest DJ, Ulla, Perila, Pontiac Streator and Huerco S. – using powdery textures and dusty pastels to erase the boundaries between ambient and dance music. Exael can get pretty heavy: some of their work is steeped in drum’n’bass beats, jagged synths, and even the occasional reference to Godsmack. But their new ensemble for the wonderfully named Pleasure Gallery series is a showcase of their music at its peak. They open up with shimmering waves midway between Durutti Column and Arvo Pärt, move into a breezy, Arovane-like IDM, then settle comfortably into the drones and precipitation of Perila’s “Untitled” from their recent album. How long between you and me? While swirling synth pads and abstract rustling predominate overall, it’s not all strictly ambient: twenty minutes later, the wispy curtains parting halfway, revealing a muted montage of “Ghostin.” Ariana Grande, as if playing at the bottom of a tunnel. Then, after being buried in dusty chords, rhythmless trance arpeggios and the incredibly elastic tones of Diony Lake’s “iTrinity”, they end with an ambient passage from Ariana Grande’s “Goodnight N Go”. It is both magnificent and, once again, totally unexpected; collapsing the sluggish + reverb aesthetic in underground electronic music, it sounds like a glorious subcultural singularity.