Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
London-based producer and selector Fiyahdred brought a low-end odyssey of dubs and bangers to the Blast Radio airwaves for their first broadcast of 2022. Formerly releasing under the moniker Bamz, Fiyahdred has demonstrated a keen comfort traversing every corner of Funky’s vast universe – from its UK-derived stylings to its related subgenres – with this recent appearance being no exception. Still riding high off their stunning Anyway EP released on Hyperdub last November, Fiyahdred has continued to turn up the heat with a series of high-octane live performances, and a scorching new single that showcases their signature drum sequencing and synth tuning. Between linking up with Goon Club Allstars and Night Slugs for a stacked bill, going B2B with the incomparable Ikonika over the weekend, and their slowburn, amapiano-inspired new track “Bottle Riddim,” Fiyahdred’s prowess as a DJ and creator keeps bearing new fruit despite the record-breaking temperatures. And with a fresh avenue carved out to share creations with the airwaves, the Blast Radio community is officially on burn notice.
Detroit-based producer, MC, and mainstay of Modern Knot Artists, Josh Davis, aka Jah Connery, isn’t shy about his passions. Coming off his 2021 release, Nah, that attempted to stifle the dumpster fire of the previous year, Connery has been taking the Blast Radio airwaves back to school with his semi-weekly show, Jah Con Puts You On, centered on different musical subgenres and other stylistic hallmarks. Tackling New Jack Swing for the recent installment, Connery applied his tactical mind to the origins of a genre he defined as “the love child of electronic funk and crooning R&B - but if it grew up to date, like, a rapper or something.” This same level of jocular candor is representative of Jah’s insights throughout the transmission – between pinpointing Janet Jackson’s 1986 album Control as one of the first recorded examples of the genre, to using that fact to debunk Teddy Riley’s assertions of being New Jack Swing’s primary innovator, listeners can rely on Connery to tell it to them straight without pulling any punches.
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LA native, dancer, DJ, and veteran of the ‘90s underground house scene, Juliet Mendoza brought her particular blend of regional and international stylings to the Blast Radio airwaves for a series of broadcasts that tapped into a broad reservoir of selections. Having spent time both behind the decks and on the dancefloor, Mendoza’s attunement to her sets should come as no surprise: sampling widely, each cut folded effortlessly into the next as if governed by something more particular than logic, exemplified perfectly by a Lady C track’s repeating mantra partway through the mix asking, “What does this music feel like?” As the founder of Jill’s House and resident DJ of the organization’s Jackin’ Jills crew, Mendoza has been a champion of spaces and parties organized and thrown by women-identified dancers and DJs across the city. Recently, Mendoza, along with over 100 other house music producers and DJs, organized to raise money for S.O.F.I.A. and help promote women’s empowerment globally. Keep it locked on Juliet Mendoza’s channel for more grooves and good works.
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Record Bar Radio
A bastion of independent, community-supported programming in the Southwest, Record Bar Radio recently brought their transmissions to the Blast Radio airwaves to expand their reach and triangulate their signal through the vast annals of the online dial. Located in Phoenix, AZ, Record Bar Radio is a fixture for producers and DJs familiar with the western recesses of the Sun Belt, offering local and traveling selectors alike respite to vibe and refuel before hitting the road or the decks. With an ever-accruing roster of touring and resident DJs, Record Bar Radio offers listeners access to an evolving community nested within Blast Radio’s own dynamic ecosystem. Much like the recent popularity of stories sporting interdimensional timelines, Blast Radio's ability to contain a multitude of sonic worlds poses an alternative to the dorm-derived destabilizers trying to flip the multiverse inward everytime they pass GO. Rather than getting duped by machines, keep it locked on Record Bar Radio’s corner of the airwaves for real humans making algorithm-free selections.
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Seeming to take his cue from longtime radio personality and American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, American-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Egan has been bringing his charm and warmth to the Blast Radio airwaves for a weekly show dedicated to different topics and musical themes. From exploring and highlighting artists located in his new hometown, to plunging the contents of a rediscovered iPod Classic, Egan makes regular air breaks throughout, and provides artist info and track IDs while live-tweeting each selection in real time. For his most recent broadcast, Egan dedicated an entire hour to artists from Ukraine that cut across eras and genres, highlighting the country’s rich musical history. While it’s so easy to feel powerless in the face of compounding, once-in-a-lifetime anomalies, Egan’s efforts were a helpful reminder that contributing thoughtfully to the discourse, especially when it’s in the service of peace and positive sonic vibrations, is always an available option. Keep it locked for more mixes from Ryan Egan, and watch out for his debut LP Soft Power which drops on April 8th.
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Purveyors of nectar ranging from passable to exceptional, certified wine hustlers Sauced Brooklyn recently copped some real estate on the Blast Radio airwaves to share their in-house events and DJ sets with the world at large, which, as of late, have been popping off with increasing regularity. Their inaugural broadcast saw none other than NYC-based DJ, producer, and fellow Blast Radio broadcaster Kunal Merchant dipping into his vast stash for a 4-hour, all-vinyl set of hip-hop from across the spectrum. Kicking things off with a selection of soulquarian staples, Merchant kept the mood positive and the vibes deep as he wove 20 years worth of wax into a varied tapestry of the genre’s defining highpoints, paired with choice underground anthems. Sporting an evolving stock of regular DJs and bottles for every occasion, stop by the space if you’re in the neighborhood, or keep tabs on their social for recommendations and upcoming sets to vibe and imbibe with from home – or wherever you catch a buzz.
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Titan in the techno community and longtime Blast Radio supporter Surgeon took over the soundsystem at the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham, and brought Bristol-based producer and DJ Jurango along for the ride. The pair cooked up a 5-hour set that spanned the full breadth of their repertoires, encompassing everything from mellower house and illbient to blistering broken beat-, acid-, and soundclash-inspired cuts that helped plot the emotional arc of the dancefloor. By connecting to the Blast Radio airwaves, listeners from the UK and beyond could share in the live performance, as the two selectors guided both audiences on their own sonic journeys. Given Surgeon’s close proximity to the venue, his All Night Long sets have become the stuff of legends, with the most recent installment being no exception to the rule. With COVID restrictions once again in decline, Surgeon has a few other dates on the horizon, including a 29th birthday celebration of Birmingham techno institution House Of God at The Tunnel Club in early April. Bop around for the gig and keep it locked for more transmissions.
Torn & Frayed
Beaming in from York, UK-based sound explorer and selector Torn & Frayed recently brought their self-described blend of “cosmic america, folk loners, psych outliers, and other assorted range life” to the Blast Radio airwaves for a series of spaced-out yet twangy broadcasts. With a reputation for delving deep into niche genres and sussing out forgotten gems, each mix prided itself on juxtaposing original pioneers from the ‘60s and ‘70s with the current artists following in their footsteps. Placing contemporary cuts by Colemine / Karma Chief Records darling Andrew Gabbard’s new LP, Homemade, and Ryan Pollie’s delightful 2021 release, Stars, alongside cult tracks by McGuinness Flint, McDonald and Giles, and The Apryl Fool revealed not only a rich and storied musical lineage, but also a seasoned curatorial mind privy to the longtail of each genre’s development. With so many exciting discoveries in each broadcast, the slice from founding member of the Meters, Leo Nocentelli’s long-lost solo album stood out as an especially precious find.
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