Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Producer and Auxiliary music head ASC treated listeners to a primer on the 170bpm techno sound that laid the foundation for the concept of Grey Area, a liminal space they continue to pioneer alongside friend and frequent collaborator, Sam KDC. By layering drums of disparate tempos with the right ratio of complementary tones and pulses, each work gave the impression of being in multiple places at once: a liberating, if dissociative, feeling. Featuring tracks from ASC’s new album Defiance, along with several cuts by Sam KDC, the hypnotic, genre-bending set read like an open invitation for more artists to join in muddying the water.
Equal parts listening party and experimental odyssey, San Antonio’s Episode None aired out some recent vinyl cops and treated listeners to a live session of beatmaking. Featuring belters from Brian Auger & Julie Tippetts’ 1978 album Encore, and sax-heavy bops from Wilton Felder’s release We All Have A Star from that same year, Episode None let their spidey sense take the wheel as they chased loops and isolated samples in real time. Closing with a chopped-up approach to Michael Henderson’s version of “Never Gonna Give You Up,” the distorted effects and stuttering live drum-machines let the set fade on a haunting note.
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Returning with another selection of 45s played at 33rpm, Fracture’s Slow Sevens stretched the inner fabric of familiar songs by giving every element room to breathe and luxuriate. A technique deployed across pop and techno genres to elicit feelings of nostalgia in audiences was here stripped of its pretenses, as tracks by David Bowie, Hall & Oates, Kate Bush, Enya, Marvin Gaye, and more floated through as if submerged. Deeply spacious and tuned to the key of nitrous oxide, the set was a blissful cooldown that found humor and beauty in the subversion of life’s imperfections.
Self-described “drone and drum” musician glia shared a tight set of original beats and collaborations ranging in tone from the mechanical to the deeply emotive. Treading similar water at times as Actress or Stefan Betke’s Pole moniker, the Virginia-based artist’s work embraces and expands on early Musique Concrète traditions by using them as incubators for contemporary rhythmic experiments. With so many elements at play, the set proved delightfully difficult to pin down. Yet as abstract ambient compositions gave way to off-kilter IDM grooves, the set’s mercurial bent never once lacked a clear artistic vision.
Mysterious artist Krewes returned to the Blast Radio airwaves for another DJ set raising money for Choose Love, an NGO that provides humanitarian aid to, and advocacy for, refugees around the world. The mix maintained a tender, melancholic tone throughout that still gestured to the dancefloor. Moments such as “50 Euro To Break Boost'' by Skee Mask layered onto “It’s Not You, It’s Me” by jamesjamesjames, or their use of the synth wash from Khotin’s “Processing” to bolster Slacker’s cut “As I Fear the Ground Opening,” were masterstrokes, as Krewes wove a range of house, UKG, jungle and more into a coherent pulse of rolling euphoria.
In a new show dedicated to the life and music of singer, songwriter, and “fourth pyramid of Egypt” Om Kalthoum, Los Angeles-based artist Soof debuted Radio Kalthoum with an episode centered on her monolithic achievement, “Enta Omry.” Translated to “You Are My Life,” Soof set the scene by providing concise historical context before cueing up a live performance of the epic work in its entirety. Written, composed, and recorded over a span of many months from 1963-64, and released on Sono Cairo in February 1964, Radio Kalthoum helped introduce the vitality and passion of this Om Kalthoum classic to a new generation of listeners.
Amsterdam-based heavyweight and avid traveler Tom Trago embarked on a fresh sonic journey with the inaugural episode of their new venture Around The World In 80 Shows. Broadcasting live from Tom Trago’s home studio, each installment will center on a different country, region, or sound, with the first transmission highlighting the Pan-African pulse of funk and jazz-tinged soul. Featuring cuts by Tony Allen, Harari, New Gatanga Sound, Oscar Neves, and Berkely Ike Jones, to name a few, Trago’s echoing track IDs were a subtle reminder that a well-curated selection can be its own passport.
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After acquiring a vacant discotheque, the Eskal, on Ushant island in the Celtic Sea, Yann Tiersen converted the dilapidated structure into a multi-room studio, performance space, and cultural center to share inspirations and bask their creative spirit in the salt air. In his new show, My Studio Is a Disco, Tiersen is taking a break from composing to spin some of their favorite techno records for all the dancers, living or dead, who passed through the Eskal over the years. With the last track of each set becoming the first track in the next, tune in to My Studio Is a Disco every Saturday at 4pm EST to hear the party unfold.
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