Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
The Album Leaf
When we picture chaos, images of things run amok rush to fill our mental theater. But with Chance, a performance The Album Leaf has been quietly preparing since lockdown, there’s a concerted effort to reclaim the unexpected. Conceived as a randomizer of Ableton midi functionality to trigger and recombine original melodies, chords, and time signatures across an array of hardware, The Album Leaf’s featured broadcast offered a calm rebuttal that random acts, like those of kindness, can also work to sooth and offset the more nefarious examples of the unforeseen that occur on a daily basis.
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New York-based artist and DJ Bryce Hackford treated listeners to an eclectic mix of leftfield house, OG classics, and occasional curveballs to break the tension. Featuring new music by Tigersushi founder Joakim, the hauntingly beautiful slice “Can you listen to the feeling of my words unspoken?” by Viola Klein with vocals by Georgia Anne Muldrow, throwback jams by François K and T.P.O, and outsider cuts by The Residents and Adalberto Cevasco, Hackford wove an impressively diverse cache of tracks into a coherent sonic tapestry without once losing the thread.
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DJ Bus Replacement Service
For the uninitiated: when it comes to a DJ Bus Replacement Service set, nothing is off limits. “I suppose a DJ’s job is to strike the right balance between an absolute guilty pleasure, and what actually works,” DJ BRS mused over their mix from Resident Advisor’s 2019 twenty four/seven party at Fold in London. Pulled lotto-style from a box of similarly packed thumb drives, DJ BRS broke down how they layered music and vocal tracks, extolled the creative freedom of mixing with three decks, and outlined the occupational hazards of performing in an elevator.
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Returning with another egalitarian set of dancefloor bliss, London-duo Kiara Scuro graced listeners with a soothing mix of perfectly paced tunes to guide those vibing out or getting down. Opening with some choice downtempo grooves, each selection toggled between the initial ripples of a slow boil and the gentle ebb of a lowering tide. Situated in their preferred milieu allowed Kiara Scuro room to flex their skills and curatorial prowess, because knowing the right moment to cue a bassline or unleash a vocal track is a spidey sense that’s hard to teach.
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Taking a break to “delve into the other side, away from techno,” Luke Slater’s Meditative Monthly Gatherings have been a consistent source of calm on Blast Radio for those seeking refuge from the pressures of life and leisure. With a decidedly experimental approach to “probing around the depths of sound,” Slater feels equally at home cruising subspace as he does rattling dancefloors. With selections by Zvrra, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Porter Ricks, Drexciya, Florian Kupfer, and more, listeners were treated to a therapeutic deep dive by an epicure of low-end frequencies.
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Blurring the lines between art and science, Melbourne’s Lysdexic treats sound like a thing to be corralled rather than created. By running an array of samples and source material through various coding languages, the results range from the life-giving beauty of a Zelda fairy fountain, to rhythmic cacophonies stuck in limbo between manipulation and destruction. Reminiscent of Autechre’s more freeform experiments, Lysdexic’s set revealed the frailty of musical form, while providing a musical allegory alluding to how our own emotional valence can be assaulted by these self-same systems.
Beaming in from Chicago, IL, Brazilian ambient artist wøunds took listeners on a prismatic tour of their musical stylings. Beginning with longer, more meditative breaths, tones were gradually layered creating dense granular clouds that swelled and evolved through various movements guided by a deft hand at the modular controls. Encompassing segments of stunning atmospherics that rang in celestial wonder, to softer, more pastoral themes, the set ran a gamut of emotive registers that maintained the mercurial bent of a weather pattern unbeholden to terrestrial whims.