Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Portland, OR-based producer and co-founder of Image Research alongside Justin Depth, Hunter P. Thompson, aka Akasha System, made frequent appearances during their first week on the Blast Radio airwaves with a run of broadcasts that outlined the broad scope of their sonic interests. While some sets leaned heavily on jazz arrangements and exotica, others were situated in the more familiar stylings of broken beat, meditative IDM, and organic outsider house that fans of Thompson’s work have come to yearn for. With enough ambient and new age textures folded in, these broadcasts served as a veritable taxonomy of Akasha System’s beloved old-growth aesthetic.
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Braving a slight head cold, Los Angeles-based producer and DJ Jelani took to the decks several times during their first week on Blast Radio to spin some choice selections across the minimal and tech house spectrums. Chiming in with the occasional track ID and concise editorials, each set saw Jelani pivot the mix in unexpected ways to accommodate different aspects of their curiosity. Combining tracks by heavy-hitters like Herbert, Steffi, and Jan Jelinek’s abstract house project Farben, with out-of-the-way cuts by Cromie and DJ Qu, Jelani demonstrated being both in the know and no stranger to doing their homework.
Chicago record label and sound curators Love Lion dedicated their recent featured broadcast to the Hamburg-based independent label Sky Records: known for championing the more experimental side of Kosmische Musik’s transmissions throughout the latter part of the 1970s. Titled Into the Sky, Love Lion’s program delved into the seminal sounds that inspired entire catalogs of new age, ambient, and avant-garde music that spun out in orbit from its West German origins. Home to pioneering releases by Cluster, Thirsty Moon, and Michael Rother of Neu! and Harmonia, Love Lion’s set served as a primer on a constellation of musical stylings that continue to coax artists to chart courses for the heavens.
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After a brief hiatus, Toronto-based electronic duo and purveyors of Sleepy Bangers, Otherwise Fine returned to the Blast Radio airwaves for a special essential mix of their current end-of-year favorites. Described as, “a song that might be on the chiller side, but still connects with you in a way that’s emotional and powerful,” the 2-hour set was packed with Z-catching steppers that highlighted the best of the year, featured alongside some unreleased IDs peppered in throughout. Beginning with a Tourist remix of Sofia Kourtesis’ achingly poignant shuffler “La Perla,” each track continued on an evolving affective course that produced an exquisite corpse of emotions ranging from the euphoric, to the melancholic, to somewhere in between.
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Bedroom producer and pop star Roxanne Starnik treated listeners to a flurry of broadcasts that focused on their wide-ranging influences and current contemporaries. One such mix in particular seemed to combine the intentionality of an artist's statement with the curatorial prowess of aiming to define and showcase their chosen milieu. Clocking in at just shy of 3 hours, the set covered rising luminaries like Amber Mark and Tirzah, while highlighting under-the-radar acts such as Sammy Slims, Ziemba, and Jennifer Vanilla who, like Starnik’s work, suggested the existence of a much larger tent than the music-industrial-complex would lead us to believe. Bookended by tracks from their most recent album Hermes, Starnik established their channel as one to watch for art-school and outsider dance music balanced on the cutting edge.
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Surgeon and fellow dance floor epicure Regis returned to the Blast Radio airwaves for another installment of Karl & Tony’s Radio Show for what was deemed a “holiday meeting” to adhere to current UK regulations. This yuletide non-celebration found the two techno titans trading tunes and conversation amidst quips of the make-believe office antics transpiring around them. Featuring healthy doses of new wave, goth, and industrial tracks, an anecdote about Surgeon dropping Throbbing Gristle during an opening set for Squarepusher, and the two friends waxing on the Butthole Surfers’ aptly creepy cover of Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” Karl & Tony’s Radio Show closed the festivities with a sobering reminder: that life, old chum, is only a cabaret.
Singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and prolific collaborator Tex Crick wove together selections from a bizarre cache of cassette tapes he found while repairing multitrack recorders in Japan. The intimate and at times voyeuristic set combined snippets of woozy surf rock, heartfelt folk arrangements, and experimental guitar work that resonated like a patchwork of missives netted from the sea. A breezy, laidback rendition of the Ventures’ classic “Walk, Don’t Run'' stood out among the tracks as one such bottle that had managed to strike land. But despite taking a backseat and letting the tapes speak for themselves, Crick’s knack for finding and curating out-of-the-way sounds remained the focal point in a broadcast brimming with buried treasure.
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