Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from the last two weeks.
Detroiter by way of Kent, OH, Hailey AKA Father Dukes quickly found a new home among the various artist and DJ communities that continue to make the Motor City a hub for musical talent. Their return to the Blast Radio airwaves featured another high-octane, vinyl-only set of vocal house, broken beat, and soulful dub mixes that brought some much-needed release to the rising tension of another holiday season. With selections from the absolute powerhouse Robin S., ethereal grooves from Nadirah Shakoor, and cuts by Bäs Noir, Arvid, Deep Touch, and Jamiroquai, Father Dukes delivered enough canned heat to thaw even the most frosted Scrooge on the dance floor.
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It is said that as we age our perception of time accelerates – and that as each subsequent moment is compartmentalized and rendered into memory’s flipbook at an ever-alarming pace, we have no choice but to submit, agape at its passing. But ambient artist and sound designer Insomniac Hotel challenged that notion by reorienting these collective anxieties toward one of humanity’s greatest and most fraught creations: Mariah Carey’s 1994 holiday juggernaut “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” By stretching the ubiquitous yuletide anthem and bane of every retail worker’s existence into a sprawling, 2-hour work of buzzing, angelic textures, Insomniac Hotel managed to burnish the track's spectacular sheen into an uncanny landscape of euphoria and apocalypse that stood, however briefly, outside of time.
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In a manner equal parts guided meditation, artistic introspection, and candid conversation, sound healer and ambient/new age practitioner Lavender Suarez brought their particular brand of songcraft to the Blast Radio airwaves for a special broadcast honoring and exploring the wonders of the winter solstice. Centered on the complimentary themes of nature and relaxation, the session was positioned as an opportunity for listeners to look inward in advance of the holiday season’s social demands. Accompanied by a shifting musical bed of Suarez’s own creations, and a few choice selections from other fellow travelers, this intimate and otherworldly set was expertly designed to sooth and excite our celestial frequencies.
Post-punk purveyor and producer of “romantic darkwave,” Mareux made their maiden voyage on the Blast Radio airwaves with the first installment of Mareux Radieux, a new sonic space dedicated to the brooding afterburn of synth-laden melancholia. While their nocturnal reimagining of The Cure’s “The Perfect Girl” continues to ricochet through the black box of TikTok’s algorithm, Mareux is positioning Mareux Radieux as a platform to uplift artists operating in various new-/dark-/cold-wave inspired spheres who are yet to be blessed by the gods of virality. Featuring tracks by Miguel Angeles, CD Ghost, and Russian post-punk outfit PERMSKY KRAY, Mareux also phoned up fellow Los Angeles darkwaver Closed Tear to discuss dream collaborators, go-to In-N-Out orders, and the fickleness of luck when it comes to hitting it big.
To celebrate an illustrious year of releases across over a half-dozen different labels and self-released efforts, London-based producer and head honcho at Dynamics of Acid Records, MOY, treated listeners to a chronological recap of their favorite tracks of 2021 with the aptly titled mix, NOW That’s What I Call MOY! Featuring a curated selection of original tracks, remixes, and collaborations, MOY’s talents were on full display across this hour-plus-long experience of atmospheric breakbeat, cosmic braindance, and melancholic, acid-drenched melodies that fused these loosely cordoned-off corners of the techno genre-scape into a seamless rumination. NOW That’s What I Call MOY! was a well-deserved ending to another year of mining drums and synths for new avenues of emotive expression, and fresh means of escape.
Prolific artist, DJ, and founder of the internationally recognized dance label Yoruba Records, St. Louis, MO-based producer Osunlade has become a consistent presence on the Blast Radio airwaves as of late, with near-daily broadcasts heading into the new year. Known for creating eclectic and adroit mixes under the banner of WYRB: Yoruba Soul Radio, Osunlade’s skillfully woven sonic tapestries are derived from the far-flung vanguards of soul, jazz, and funk, as well as the full spectrum of electronic stylings. Featuring tracks from Yoruba artists and friends of the label, along with Osunlade’s own selections and narrations, each show is a globetrotting masterclass in musical harmony.
It’s been a busy year’s end for London-based DJ and producer Ronnie Loko, who made multiple appearances on the Blast Radio airwaves over the long holiday weekend to share their trademarked brand of party stylings. Between hosting a special Xmas/Boxing Day episode of their weekly show, The Loko Effect, in conjunction with No Signal, and offering up additional sets peppered with an array of edits, remixes, and riddims culled from every corner of the web, Loko made a memorable series of first impressions. Featuring everything from a wonky house reimagining of “Stand Up” by Ludacris, to a sultry smooth jazz rendition of Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open,” Ronnie Loko’s channel is one to watch for choice reworks of classic bops and current bangers.
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Chicago-based crate digger and DJ Shahid Mustaf hit the Blast Radio airwaves last weekend with a one-two punch of mixes that were chock-full of rare grooves and familiar, feel-good anthems. Known around the Windy City as a founding member of The Trendsetterz, as a former sound selector for Bang Sunday at The Shrine, and for contributing sets to WBEZ’s sister station, Vocalo Radio, Mustaf’s forays into the digital realm have proved a successful new outlet for his talents. Channeling his encyclopedic knowledge of funk, soul, jazz, and the broader purview of hip hop’s primordial origins, Mustaf’s broadcasts have something for young and old heads alike to nod along to.
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Most people likely know Andy Cabic as the head songwriter and creative force behind San Francisco-derived, indie folk outfit Vetiver. But those tuning in for Cabic’s string of holiday broadcasts were introduced to his prolific record collection, and deep musical knowledge that transcends the confines of eras and genres. With the measured patience of a gifted educator, Cabic’s prowess as a curator seemed intent on maintaining a consistent groove, without pandering to the listener’s need to recognize their ambience. Rather, by combining elements of downtempo retrofuturism, space-age lounge stylings from the annals of easy listening’s past, jazz cuts from both sides of the equator, and a seemingly bottomless assortment of rare audio gems, Cabic’s sets proved the Vetiverse is indeed broad and all-encompassing.
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