Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Tuning in to Colin Miller’s first foray on the Blast Radio airwaves carried with it a visceral sense of unearthing something precious. Beaming in from the hilly outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina, Miller chose their debut broadcast to share a record that they and guitarist MJ Lenderman of the band Wednesday had recorded just last week. This achingly tender document of homespun emotion, like any attempt to capture lightning in a bottle, will remain a snapshot of the moment when inspiration and craft rendered something larger than the friction of air and heat. Conjuring up feelings somewhere between Grouper’s disillusionment and Daniel Johnston’s sense of wonder, the lo-fi, DIY production contributed to the potency of the recordings which, alongside the plucked strings and seemingly ad-libbed percussion, worked to cushion the vocals that hung like confessions in the mix.
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Detroit-based DJ and producer E Spleece has been busy on the Blast Radio airwaves, schooling listeners in a wide variety of intersecting and divergent musical genres with broadcasts often cracking the 5+ hour mark. These marathon events see E Spleece dropping in multiple tracks by the same artist, allowing listeners time to acquaint themselves with the hallmarks of a given sound, and to better understand the full complexities of an artist’s unique approach. Whether he’s spinning a block dedicated to the seminal J Dilla-produced crew Slum Village, showcasing the cosmic vibes of LA soul experimenters Sa-Ra Creative Partners, or denouncing the obscurity of Chicago-based outsiders JaGoFF, E Spleece is always at the ready to pass on some of their hard-earned knowledge to anyone tuning in.
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Reykjavik-born, Los Angeles-based producer Lord Pusswhip brought their unique blend of bass-heavy bangers to the Blast Radio airwaves with a set that hit like a bottle of Dom Pérignon across the bow of 2022. Known for combining elements of footwork, juke, jungle, bounce, and countless other universal and regionally specific dance music interpretations, Lord Pusswhip delivered a selection of original bops, unreleased rarities, and choice favorites by artists who helped delineate the loose boundaries of their raucous sound. Featuring cuts off their recently released LP Lord Pusswhip Is Rich, along with tracks by SpaceGhostPurrp, ESG, Rx Papi, and the late Paul Johnson, Lord Pusswhip remains on the forefront of post-genre club euphoria.
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Historically, jazz has been many things for many people: from Birth of the Cool, to elevator muzak, to feel-good Hollywood blockbusters, its many iterations suggest a genre that’s always in flux, sometimes to regrettable ends. But California’s Minaret Records is cognizant of all these outcomes, and has carved out a space for both old school representations of the genre’s lineage, and the pioneers striking new ground in service to the art form’s truest intentions. On their newly minted show Minaret Radio, label boss Yousef Hilmy highlighted the imprint’s roster, along with choice selections from artists on the outer rim of Minaret’s orbit. Featuring soulful cuts from crooner Chiquita Magic, impeccable alto sax arrangements by Nicole McCabe, and more beat-centric experiments by producers Vooo and i-sef u-sef, Minaret Radio demonstrated how jazz continues, like our own, to be an ever-expanding universe.
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New York-based experimental electronic artist Femi Shonuga-Fleming, aka Sadnoise, returned to the Blast Radio airwaves with fellow synth technician Hank Hurst to debut their respective new EPs and discuss their unique approaches to manipulating modular sound. As they played each release in full, Sadnoise’s Hubbell Twist Lock 30A 125V exposed listeners to a cacophony of disparate frequencies that seemed to channel the ambient anxiety endemic to the current cultural zeitgeist. Hurst, releasing under the moniker orthogonal, tread similar water with their new effort 001stygofauna, an equally unsettling body of work that demonstrated a parallel interest in ethereal soundscapes and exploring what may live among them. Between sets the producers shared insights on their creative processes, discussed adding custom modifications to their builds, and shared tips on how to balance financial security while being tempted by a growing list of enticing products and patches.
Party-centric holidays always carry with them the temptation to overindulge: to give into our baser instincts, and let loose in ways that can throw off one’s week, or a hard-won routine. But Baltimore-based producer and curator Shine helped New Year’s revelers resist those urges with a calming and meditative set of jazz and jazz-derived selections that seemed to advocate for an introspective, rather than a cataclysmic, entrance into 2022. Featuring the bossa nova stylings of Arthur Verocai, Bobbi Humphrey, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, an exquisite harp composition by Dorothy Ashby, and the deep-space futurism of Saturnine peace preacher Sun Ra, Shine offered a much-needed reset to clear our minds for the inevitability of what lies ahead.
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