Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Jet-setting may have lost some of its appeal with the double helix of public health and cancellations, but that didn’t stop Los Angeles-based DJ and global funk epicure Arianne Dominique from taking listeners on a round trip to all her favorite locales. Spinning tracks from nearly every continent, Dominique’s set was a veritable encyclopedia of deep cuts and rarities that, thanks to savvy DJs as well as reissue labels like Edinburgh’s Athens Of The North and Chicago’s Numero Group, are helping to get forgotten sounds back in the rotation. After ricocheting effortlessly through an hour-plus of complimentary selections, Dominique dedicated the latter portion of her mix to the work of Italo disco producer and personal inspiration Michael Violante, before bringing to a close one of the more varied and informed broadcasts to grace the Blast Radio airwaves.
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Detroit-based soul maverick and son of a preacher man Apropos took to the Blast Radio airwaves for his first featured broadcast, and flexed his vocal chops on some canonical tracks and contemporary favorites, with a few originals sprinkled in. Backed by frequent collaborator DJ Covelove, Apropos burned through scorching renditions of songs by Bill Withers, Frank Ocean, and Michael Jackson, and hit listeners with a version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” that brought down the proverbial house. Easing into some Nuntheless- and Lord Gulley-produced cuts saw the Bruiser Brigade bastion relish in the full breadth of his creativity, and gave this unparalleled, karaoke-style set space to stretch beyond the familiar scope of legendary sounds. Apropos really moved the goalposts with this one.
When not busy chasing X Game-level thrills, the Los Angeles-based self-proclaimed “leisure DJ” Emanuele Breccia can be found behind the decks searching for a different kind of gut-lifting euphoria. But breaking his silence on the Blast Radio airwaves with a nearly 5-hour set hardly qualifies as a feat of relaxation - despite his status as a champion of laid-back energy, don’t let anyone tell you Breccia wasn’t putting in the work. The False Idols label affiliate kept a tight focus on groove-centric bops that never lost the thread of positivity instilled from the onset. Multiple tracks from UK brotherly duo Disclosure, Perel remixes of Django Django and Roosevelt, and a cut from Australian production pair Flight Facilities’ linkup with Compton boogieman Channel Tres all stood out among a crowded field of selections that kept the vibes light and the beats heavy.
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Haute to Death
Under typical circumstances, Haute to Death is a monthly dance party at Marble Bar in Detroit that, for 13 years, has been helmed by DJs Ash Nowak and Jon Dones. But with the increasing pressures of this new normal, the pair have been committed to cultivating a digital space that reflects the inclusive ethos of their long-celebrated run as provocateurs of big-tent individuality. Last week, Haute to Death kicked off their new series Haute House, “an at-home listening experience from [their] living room to yours'' that retrofits their beloved aesthetic to better match the pace of a night in: the transition from Barry White’s “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me” into “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ‘Round) by Alicia Bridges is a good indication of the show’s strike zone. Tune in to Haute House every other Thursday night from 6-10pm EST, and we recommend pushing your furniture out of the way ahead of time.
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Growth and wellness are terms often touted as solutions to the pace of postmodern life. With apps for meditation, and tranquility parcelled out in measured allotments, it’s difficult to imagine unplugging in a world that demands more than its fair share. That’s why Imka prefers to take his cue from plants. The bio-therapeutic musician and founder of Washington, D.C. label Evidence of Yesterday is in many ways an artist and a conduit, translating the subtle frequencies from potted and wild specimens alike into lush arrangements that reflect the slow work of extending roots, and reaching further sunward. With his expansive 24-hour installation HEALTH - +, Imka stretched the limits of a Blast broadcast for an ambient ouroboros of tonal rejuvenation that, like breathing in the fecund air of a rich landscape, required listeners to be fully present to receive its benefits.
No matter your stance on popular music, R&B took a noticeable turn in the wake of 808s & Heartbreak and the debauched stylings of The Weeknd’s acclaimed trilogy of mixtapes, which finally crystallized with the rise of OVO and everyone’s favorite champagne papi. But with the Alizé having given way to Super Bowl halftime shows and Thriller-esque revivals, LA-based Jnatra’s inaugural episode of Velvet Lab Radio was a reminder of what made the late ‘00s and early ‘10s such fertile ground for exploring the underbelly of human desire. By capturing the chaos of both romance and regret, Jnatra established the perfect mood for calling that one ex, or opting to put a depressive cycle on pause to slide into some DMs. If this brooding slow burn of a set is any indication of what else Jnatra may have in the chamber, keep this channel on lock for the next time you and your woes need a good cry.
Prior to his featured broadcast, Salar Ansari hit the Blast Radio airwaves with a quick teaser for his upcoming set. Under a bed of King Britt’s SYLK 130 cut “The Reason,” Ansari gave listeners a heads-up to tune in the next time PassedOutOnAPersianRug appeared on their home screen. Beaming in from his home in Detroit, MI to his hometown of Tehran, Iran, Ansari delivered on his earlier promise by contributing to a live in-store listening event at Adaptor Records, alongside fellow selectors Borna Farshid and Payam Parvizi. With a mix packed with “4/4 and more,” Ansari drew attention to Tehran’s vibrant dance community while showing love to his current roots in the Motor City. Featuring tracks by MAW, François K, Paul Johnson, and Overmono, Ansari’s set served as a crucial reminder of how media and political narratives obscure our universal humanity, while uplifting dance floors as spaces that know no borders.
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Tuning in to a Soul Clap broadcast is like stepping into a party that’s already in full swing. Despite being relatively new arrivals on the Blast Radio airwaves, the Boston-based DJ and production duo and operators of Soul Clap Records, Eli "Elyte" Goldstein and Charlie "Cnyce" Levine, have been making waves globally with their unique blend of raunchy club cuts, smooth-as-silk disco edits, and original tracks and remixes that synthesize all their favorite sounds into something entirely fresh and new. The pair’s ability to wrestle a vast array of genres into one continuous vibe was on full display with their last broadcast: the acid house stylings of Clark’s “Jak to Basics,” DHS’s quasi-fanatical “House of God,” and Jammin Gerald’s seminal floor stomper “Hold Up” all made appearances in what amounted to one seamless, high-octane transition.
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