Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Portland, OR-based producer and Blast Radio newcomer antwaaan, aka A-LUXURY, pivoted their maiden voyage on the airwaves into a stunning first impression. Cooking up a cornucopia of tracks by friends and inspirations, complete with a few antwaaan originals, the mix maintained a jazz-centered bent from the get-go, which spiraled out to encompass adjacent beat explorations, R&B throwback aesthetics, and Blue-Note-boom-bap productions chasing that golden era patina. Featuring tracks by collaborators CelerLogica, Woot Noot, and Auvie Sinclair alongside heavyweights such as Knxwledge, Flying Lotus, and Madlib, the set revealed a younger crop of producers who’ve studied up and appear eager to push the game.
With equal parts studio session and masterclass, DJ and producer BlaaqGold tested their beat skills on the Blast Radio airwaves by approaching some new vinyl cops like a sculptor hitting a fresh block. Chopping up samples from No Stranger to Love by Roy Ayers, The Black-Man’s Burdon by Eric Burdon and War, and the virtuosic guitar stylings of Earl Klugh, BlaaqGold took listeners through their creative process, and highlighted how so much of inspiration is rooted in patience and methodical repetition. By running each loop back to suss out the integrity, it was audible when the Detroit-based producer found a groove with the right beat and textures to match, as another recognizable form gradually emerged from the solid rock. Aspiring sample sleuths and beatmakers take note: this is a channel to watch.
Frick & Frack
Hailing from Queens, NY, Frick & Frack threw their first party on the Blast Radio airwaves, and brought a range of vocal house and 4/4, club-style EDM bangers to help give your headphones and floorboards a stress test. Featuring cuts and remixes by Shouse, Danny Avila, James Hype, and ACRAZW, to name a few, the offerings kept a promise of familiarity while pulling enough from the outskirts to keep listeners on their toes. With the pair taking turns hyping the digital crowd, cracking jokes as the beat rose, and quoting memes over the churning pulse of the music, Frick & Frack’s set managed to remain relentlessly high-energy without losing its integral sense of humor.
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When not providing visuals or album art for a sizable chunk of the techno community, Glasgow-based producer Tom Scholefield has been releasing records on Planet Mu as Konx-om-Pax for over a decade, and last week, they spun up a career-spanning selection of handpicked favorites to share with the Blast Radio community. Known for creating ambient-derived, exospheric tracks that increasingly trade their IDM-style roots for more jungle, rave, and hip-hop inspired trappings, Scholefield began the set with “Video Club,” a bona fide victory lap from their 2016 record Caramel, before jettisoning outward through an evolving sequence of calmingly unnerving and undeniably emotive compositions that seemed to question if all the interdimensional travel was really worth the added existential dread.
Inspired by the desire to fully inhabit the here and now, Simona Zamboli’s featured broadcast saw the Milan-based producer translate their own emotional weather into a live and evolving sonic experience. Treading the same aesthetic waters as Autechre’s seminal early work, the set was awash in competing analog textures that resulted in a roll of hums and drones continually offset by the shifting percussion lines. When so much can accumulate in a single day, Zamboli’s acute ability to translate their negative affect into a rush of sine wave- and drum pattern-drenched catharsis was evident across the broad edges of the IDM/techno spectrum, and proved a welcomed testament to the cleansing powers of artistic creation.
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Returning with another impeccable edition of Cellar Sessions, Toronto-based label and tastemakers Stereo Ferment invited DJ and curator Dacou on for the latest installment of the mix series. Promising “an intercontinental deep dive into the sounds of the eighties,” Dacou delivered on their promise with a set heavy on boogie-forward grooves that explored how new wave and disco were all-encompassing planetary phenomena. Drawing from a deep reservoir of borderless musical knowledge, Dacou’s selections unpacked humanity’s gravitational pull toward the dancefloor through the additional niche and nuanced stylings of funk, proto-house, and Bollywood, that all together demonstrated the true potential of a globalized sound.
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