We’ve given ourselves a pretty wide berth this week as far as selecting the selectors. Good luck finding a through-line–we’ve got everything from a dark ambient journey to an ecstatic jazz revival, with stops in between on more danceable planets. There’s something for everybody, whether you’re looking to zero in or expand your lane, to follow a fave into some uncharted waters or revisit the hits. Prepare to be boarded.
5. Bill Kouligas :: PAN Records x Rinse.fm #6, January 28th
Plastician took to Twitter this week to address the clamoring hordes who pepper his mentions with requests for tracklists and IDs. He claimed that, because of laptops and Ableton and whatnot, the act of mixing is no longer a barrier to entry; what sets the DJ apart is their selection, their tracks painstakingly sourced from previously untapped regions. This mini-diatribe came to mind while we were flattened by this dense, cavernous slab of unidentifiable drone and noise — how did these blissful, troubled sounds come to be, and how did Kouligas, expatriate Greek head of Berlin’s white-hot PAN Records, find them? Light a candle and launch your own Viking funeral on this cosmic river.
4. Jon Hopkins :: BBC Radio 1 Residency, January 23rd
Hopkins brings a pulsating hour of house and techno in all its dubby extremities, including some exciting exclusive material from his guest, LA’s Nosaj Thing. There’s some chatter about just how incredible Burial’s “Come Down to Us” is, and some choice words about the drum programming on Moderat’s remix of his own “Abandon Window” that Hopkins calls “the most boring comment [he’s] ever made.” It’s an endearingly varied and introspective mix that doesn’t shy from wide gaps and unconventional transitions from the aformentioned emotional extremes to bass-heavy no-soul extremes like D Tiberio‘s forthcoming “Bus People.” Hopkins is an experimenter and a questing, omnivorous listener, unafraid to turn up stones in every underworld he finds, making for a generous and rangy mix.
3. 1080p :: Inna Dublab Airwave, January 28th
Richard MacFarlane, head of Vancouver tape label 1080p, went hour-for-hour with Mexican Summer’s Shea Bermingham, and unfortunately only the former has surfaced in the aftermath. It’s a delightful blend of the label’s own offworld take on dance music (Hashman Deejay’s pharaonic “Statues PF”) and its antecedents (the downright levitational classic “Law of Grace” from cross-the-ponders Soul Capsule). There’s also some expertly mixed dub and hip-hop, some new-agey jazz from Pat Metheney, some junglistic blissouts–sounds for every type of head, in sum. It’s a pleasure to hear the dots connected in idiosyncratic form, and MacFarlane does it with ease.
2. Gilles Peterson :: Strata-East Mix Part 1
The longtime BBC jazzbo takes on a hard-to-find, mythical jazz imprint in advance of his interview and showcase with its founders, Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell, in London this March. The label’s deep catalogue of experimental, astrally-oriented cuts makes an unbelievably strong showing, from slabs like the Piano Choir’s “Nation Time,” which features a deep and sinuous organ groove that moves like fog through city streets, to achingly beautiful pieces from Gil Scott-Heron’s Winter In America, whose “Your Daddy Loves You” stops the show. Another hour-and-a-half is promised, so keep your eye on Peterson’s whereabouts–more stellar work (in both senses of the word) is sure to follow.
1. Maxo :: FADER Mix
Is it still January? Are we not even one dang month into this dang year? Is Maxo not the king of all he surveys? This quick trip through his record bag (or Soundcloud faves) is enough to say as much, with an exclusive remix, some gold from fellow jumped-up web-heads (like Guy Akimoto, Nice Feelings collaborator popcorn_10 and fellow future fave Toby Gale), and a few originals to remind you why you’re listening in the first place. It’s a head-spinning, dead-heat sprint, one that hits all the melodic and rhythmic high notes you’d expect from the guy in the VR mask. It’s not quite long enough to be a victory lap, but with the triumphs already under his belt already in this vale of tears we call 2015, it’s a step in that direction.