Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week:
A tireless champion of rave culture and disciple of Richie Hawtin’s Minus label, Asher Perkins was disappointed to have his birthday once again fall during an outbreak. But thankfully, this year Perkins took the party to the Blast Radio airwaves for a special featured broadcast, and put warehouse vibes back in reach for the whole community. Promising an eclectic mix of house and acid tracks, along with some more leftfield fare that would confuse a physical dancefloor, Perkins celebrated another orbit surrounded by friends and fellow Blast Radio broadcasters as they took turns playing live or stepping behind the decks. Speaking through the garble of a vocal manipulator, Perkins MCed the event, announcing each guest and giving updates as Secrets, E. Spleece, Dru Ruiz, Gusto, and finally Perkins himself all chipped in to keep the party going. Wrapping up the night with ominous bell tones and a Twin Peaks sample, Perkins and co. managed to keep the mood light despite the nocturnal vibe. Happy belated, Asher!
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Whether it's approaching a blank canvas or opening a new project file, creating always takes courage. But VA-born, Brooklyn-based producer and visual artist BSTFRND has been taking it one step further by building entire tracks under the full auditory gaze of the Blast Radio airwaves. Similar to watching old reruns of The Joy of Painting, BSTFRND’s ability to render a complete and often complex work has been on full display as intention, exploration, and happy accidents collide for listeners in real time. From finding the right synth- and basslines to set the mood, to chopping and looping drums in the perfect complementing lilt, to leveling out the voices and cushioning each component in the mix, BSTFRND continually employed different production techniques and knowhow with the ease of a skilled painter switching brushes, or using a flat edge to carve the sky. Between churning, atmospheric jungle breaks and fuzzier abstract funk, BSTFRND appears ready to tackle any sonic landscape.
Since arriving on the Blast Radio airwaves like an out-of-town troubadour, boyincar has presented daily micro-broadcasts that paint surreal and emotive scenes, rarely breaching a minute and thirty. Featuring strummed, high-tuned strings, artfully abstract lyrics, and a decidedly melancholic vocal delivery, each track offers listeners a brief, almost confessional snapshot of the wry intelligence and sharp, if sardonic, eye behind each flash composition. Reminiscent of work by The Magnetic Fields that cloaks earnestness and honesty in self-deprecating humor, each performance is raw yet well-developed, which, when coupled with the DIY and demo-like nature of the recordings, makes each boyincar broadcast feel simultaneously like a blueprint and a completed house in motion. Whether these frequent Blast Radio appearances are products of a writing challenge, the fruits of overactive muses, or the furtive greetings of a gifted-yet-reclusive neighbor, each subsequent boyincar broadcast is a unique auditory amuse-bouche for listeners to savor until the next installment.
Ray Bradbury’s increasingly prophetic novel Fahrenheit 451 begins with an epigraph by Spanish poet and Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez that states: “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” To the same generative effect, Gig Harbor, WA-based pianist and composer Elijah Bossenbroek has pivoted an aversion to prescribed structures and systems toward honing a more personal and unique approach to crafting his works and performances. Despite being a recent addition to the Blast Radio airwaves, Bossenbroek’s rushing and enchanting broadcasts have invigorated listeners looking for alternatives to the dancefloor. Running a mixture of organic and synthetic piano sounds through a balanced array of effects and filters gives Bossenbroek the freedom to wend effortlessly through his creative and emotive impulses. With new evocative live performances available on a daily basis, the community is responding enthusiastically to Bossenbroek’s ability to simultaneously tether the best parts of tradition to the possibilities that await a change of perspective.
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Returning to the Blast Radio airwaves after a brief hiatus, TV Lounge and My Baby resident LOREN wasted no time in getting the community back up to speed with a blistering marathon set just shy of the 5-hour mark. Known for repping Detroit techno both geographically and traditionally, and championing inclusive spaces that encourage people to feel safe and let loose, LOREN’s broadcast offered a wide range of tones and tempos. An acute ability to suss out the seams of each selection allowed LOREN to combine them easily at will: mixing the bassline from Richie Hawtin’s seminal acid house track “Gob” off Sheet One with “Invisible” by Forest Drive West was one such moment of alchemy that elevated the pulse and mood that each track possessed individually to new heights through their layering. These feelings of slippage and porous boundaries were augmented by LOREN’s deft application and pacing with effects and mixing, allowing listeners only so much time to find their footing before the kaleidoscope kept turning.
Beaming in from the sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean-born musicophile, minimalist, and DJ technologist Mixerdafixer has been steadily sharing laidback and tropical-laden bangers on the Blast Radio airwaves since late summer, and recently hit a new high-water mark with frequent, and often extended, eclectic broadcasts. Drawing from an array of global genres derived from African stylings and traditions, Mixerdafixer’s sets are musical melting pots that reflect the unique placement and history of the Caribbean as a cultural and geographic crossroads. From elevating local artists creating calypso and soca music, to introducing listeners in the Blast Radio community to emerging trends such as South Africa’s rising Amapiano craze, Mixerdafixer has proved a go-to curator of new sounds percolating around the globe. Between the rhythmic and groove-minded selections and steady drip of insightful commentary, keep it locked on Mixerdafixer’s channel for a global perspective on new sonic flavors.
As an alumnus of the beloved nightly show Rockers, a hip-hop and reggae time slot on 88.9 WERS that once shook the FM dial out of Emerson College in Boston, Selectress Iriela knows something about choosing the right vibe. After DJing and collaborating with artists on a global scale, Iriela brought her long-running series, Second World Sessions, a show dedicated to closing the gap between the first and third world, to the Blast Radio airwaves for a socially conscious dance party. Informed by her musical roots and the sounds she’s absorbed throughout her travels, Selectress Iriela’s recent 3-hour broadcast presented an uplifting demeanor while still managing to push boundaries, eradicate genre distinctions, and have conversations about tough sociopolitical issues. Between tracks by A Tribe Called Quest and Nas denouncing police brutality, and cuts pushing sex-positive narratives with varying degrees of subtlety by Prince and Mary Jane Girls, Selectress Iriela’s set remained committed to a better holistic experience for everyone, both on and off the dancefloor.
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For J Dilla fans, February is often a bittersweet mix of joy and reflection: with the celebration of his birth just three days before the anniversary of his passing, this brief window has an almost spiritual weight. Taking part in the rites of the season, London-based beat maker and loop manipulator Vigi Beats lit a candle on the Blast Radio airwaves for one of hip-hop’s patron saints with a broadcast of Dilla favorites and original flips that kept pace with now-established tradition. Featuring selections from Donuts, Ruff Draft, and The Shining, Vigi Beats gave each cut a gentle treatment, allowing tracks like “Lightworks” and “Take Notice” to pop with sudden jolts of difference. Slotting these reworks alongside some of Vigi Beats’ own productions brought the chain of influence into a sharper focus. But unlike a monk copying a sacred text, here the solemn duty of keeping knowledge and praxis alive translates to the right drum and sample placement, and making new beats the highest form of praise.
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