Uncovering records through mixes might just be the next best thing to rummaging around in a record shop. So, each month we’ll be trawling through the wild world of online mixes to save you the trouble.
To be eligible for our top five, the mixes, radio shows and live sets must be vinyl-only or vinyl-centric in format. And failing that we’ll only consider it, if it slakes our crate digging urges.
It may be the middle of winter, but this month’s selection is all about stimulating the topical islands of your mind. We’ve got an invaluable introduction to the Caribbean’s synthetic dancefloor sound of zouk, an international join-the-dots from Invisible City Sound System and a deep reggae mix straight out of Amsterdam from Tapes.
Back at home Beatrice Dillon and Dale Cornish give us a taste of the urban sprawl, before national treasure Andrew Weatherall rounds things off with a cracker from his private collection.
Hugo Mendez & Emile Omar
The Golden Era Of Zouk
We’ve been after an introduction to zouk ever since Ruf Dug blew our socks off with Jacob F. Desvarieux’s ‘Sweet Florence’ from his adventures digging in Guadeloupe. The Creole answer to funk, zouk is a low slung, drum machine heavy island dance music that sent sweat dripping down the walls from the Caribbean to Paris. Sofrito’s Hugo Mendez and Emile Omar of Radio Nova take you there.
Invisible City Sound System
Dekmantel Podcast 05
As their recently launched Selectors series shows, Dekmantel mixes are about more than just dance music. More than just a top-notch reissue label, Invisible City’s Brandon Hocura and Gary Abugan are also great selectors in their own right. Here they connect the dots between traditional percussion, oddball boogie and astral techno to create one grand cosmic picture that makes Ursa Major look like Paddington Bear. Stellar.
Red Light Radio
Jackson Bailey aka Tapes makes Jamaica-drenched lo-fi bass music, filtering dancehall and electro roots through old-school rhythm machines. From Mighty Diamonds and Prince Far I to Eddie Warner and Aphex Twin, his influences are all over this brilliant mix for Red Light Radio, which also features a 30-minute selection by Lorenzo from Radical Hi-Fi.
Beatrice Dillon w/ Dale Cornish
London-based producer-to-watch Beatrice Dillon was back on NTS this month, armed with Dale Cornish. The pair pulled some gems out the bag, kicking off with dreamy birdsong ‘L’altitude 10 000’, moving through Herva, Hyman and Imaginary Forces and finishing up with an absurdly punchy electro wave track by 3rd Face.
Phonica Mix Series 21
As Frank Underwood will tell you, it’s not nepotism if they deserve it. The latest instalment of their mix series sees our mates at Phonica reel in Andrew Weatherall for 70 minutes of eclectic bliss from one of UK music’s most respected gents. They’ve even shed the house & techno mantel in favour of spacey cold wave, afro-psych, dubby folk and everything in between. A reminder that few, in anyone, does this better than AW.