Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
New York-based producer, DJ, and party thrower Au Contraire returned to the Blast Radio airwaves for another edition of his Wednesday night show, Nite Freqs, that specializes in delivering global club sounds to dance floors and ravers both on- and offline. Last week’s episode took its cue from the recent release of Mr. Mitch’s TECHNO DANCEHALL 3, the latest installment of the UK producer’s exceptional mix series, as Au Contraire put tracks from the collection in conversation with his own selections. It helped that lately, Au Contraire has been in a very similar mindset. Fresh off the release of his stunning new Take Me Higher EP, which combines elements of jungle, house, and dancehall to arrive at a kinetic trio of amalgamated slappers, Au Contraire is continuing his sonic journey to the center of the woofer. Tune in every Wednesday at 5pm EST for a fresh offering of choice bass-, breaks-, and beat-heavy tracks for fellow low end globetrotters.
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Queens-based producer and MC DFNS resurrected his show Bopper Type Shit Radio for the Blast Radio airwaves, and kicked things off with a 2-hour kaleidoscopic journey through some of his all-time favorites. A member of The Boppers, an independent hip hop label/collective known for having “The Best Swing in the Game,” DFNS’s show highlighted tracks from friends and collaborators, while demonstrating how hip hop’s dedication to sampling pulls every other genre into its orbit. Taking their name from a fictional gang in Walter Hill’s 1979 cult film The Warriors who prioritized style over muscle, The Boppers proclaim a similar aesthetic that runs parallel to hip hop’s origins as a vehicle for strengthening community through unfettered creativity. Featuring everything from top-heavy beats, to bars buried in manipulated flips, to the occasional deep funk or progressive rock track that served as sample fodder, Bopper Type Shit Radio puts post-internet hip hop on display at breakneck speed without sacrificing the substance.
Those paying attention to Ghostpoet’s new experimental station BLACK JOY + RESISTANCE RADIO were transported to a live poetry event for the most recent episode. Broadcasting live from Gropius Bau, an exhibition hall for contemporary art and cultural history in Berlin, Ghostpoet shared the latest installment of The Poetry Meets Series, an international, multilingual community event showcasing musicians, visual artists, and poets, that featured an impressive lineup of artists and wordsmiths exploring complex questions around culture, identity, and freedom. Featuring poets Keith Zenga King, Goitseone Montsho, and Idia Joy, and the musical stylings of South African-Algerian duo dumama+kechou, with support from Tobi & Adae of queer, unbinary band Wastewomxn, the broadcast captured the feel of the room, as listeners tuned in from around the world to share in the experience. Where spoken word allows the page to run through a human filter, these audio-only recordings reenaged listeners with their mental theaters, and nudged audiences closer to a readerly relationship with each poet’s work. Keep it locked for future explorations on BLACK JOY + RESISTANCE RADIO.
Legendary DJ and Godmother of House Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale returned to the Blast Radio airwaves for the second installment of her Women in Music series to highlight creators past and present who’ve influenced Detroit’s evolving musical ecosystem. Joined by fellow cultural curators, podcasters and activists Piper Carter, Pilar Côté, and Ana Ansari, the conversation toggled between breezy commentary on the connections between the artists and tracks peppered throughout, and deeper insights around the work of community building, lifting up women artists across the Motor City, and what it takes to nurture a sound. While Hotwaxx’s house/techno credentials are well-established, her interests in rock, R&B, hip hop, and the future of the beat scene proved extensive as her selections delved beyond the dance floor. Simulcast on The Piper Carter Podcast, Hotwaxx’s feature became an ad hoc state of union on the women on Detroit music, while typifying the pivotal role that sages of the scene play as vessels for the stories and tracks that time attempts to erode.
Austin-based ambient producer and soundscaper Six Missing drifted onto the Blast Radio airwaves with a calming series of mid-week broadcasts that dipped into his extensive archives. Composed of unreleased tracks and selections from the artist’s back catalog, listeners were encouraged to luxuriate in the wash of rushing tones and elongated sounds that yawned and shimmered with each new rise and dissolve. By stretching samples and waves beyond their elasticity, Six Missing unlocks the potential for peace in busy arrangements, and often juxtaposes these new sonic beds with arpeggiated runs and drones to compliment and torque their potency. Incorporating everything from inorganic patches to instruments within the neoclassical milieu, these sounds, when run through an array of effect pedals, become something else entirely as they blur into a lush choir of abstraction. Known for his voracious output, Six Missing’s recent collaborative album, Unfolding, with multi-instrumentalist Zac Colwell is further evidence to keep it locked for more meditative and cinematic transmissions.
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Thirty Minute Jams
Enigmatic mix series Thirty Minute Jams invited legendary producer and DJ Laurent Garnier for a special Saturday night broadcast to raise awareness and humanitarian aid to help address the growing crisis in Ukraine. In the wake of the invasion, Garnier and dozens of other artists and producers from across the global techno scene collaborated on the album project TOGETHER FOR UKRAINE, released digitally by Ukrainian multidisciplinary label Standard Deviation. Featuring 65 tracks of original work, with all proceeds benefiting the country and its LGBTQIA+ community, Garnier’s set reflected the overall tone and ethos of the compilation, which sought to harness the soft power of artistry into the tangible effects of collective will. Growling bass and precision synths populated much of Garnier’s set, as the closing moments revealed the track he and Scan X had contributed to the effort: the nine-minute boss battle “Closer To You.” With the mix’s urgency on full view, the beacon-like voices that emerged from the churn became rallying cries of resistance. Check out TOGETHER FOR UKRAINE, and keep it locked on Thirty Minute Jams for more impromptu sessions from some of techno’s leading figures.
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Veteran Detroit DJ, producer, and label head Terrence Parker is no stranger to the airwaves. After rising up through the ‘80s techno scene, Parker went on to found the imprint Intangible Soundworks, and from there, spread his sound to the world. Lately, Parker pivoted his long-running Sounds That Work Podcast, as well as segments from his own digital station, WTPR Detroit, to the Blast Radio airwaves with programming dedicated to lifting up its audience. Acknowledging the multitude of hardships facing the global community, one of Parker’s initial broadcasts centered on songs rooted in love that promote a message of peace in an effort to instill some hope through his frequencies. The sun-drenched and soulful selections broke through the already dreary disposition of springtime in the Midwest, but with the added caveat that distraction cannot be one’s sole method of coping. Adopting an inclusive candor, Parker encouraged listeners to let the music instill a prayer for peace as we continue working towards a world predicated on love and collective understanding.
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