Monthly mix roundup: potent electro, mutant riddims and forest rave techno

Chal Ravens’ column collects the best DJ mixes and sets that have dropped in recent weeks.

If your Hot Vax Summer never quite materialised, console yourself with seven mixes that are still warm to the touch. This month’s best sets include some killer electro, one brainy techno missive and a B2B2B2B from NYC’s finest, plus slamming syncopation from Oz and mutant riddims from the Caribbean.

What else? Well, no downtempo mixes this month because Midland has flooded the market. Dive into his sans doof” playlist of 82 (!) DJ sets for off-duty ravers crowdsourced via his Twitter followers – including modern classics like Leif’s Blowing Up The Workshop set and Erol Alkan’s Bugged In mix.

Yung Singh presents Daytimers Boiler Room

More of an event than a mix, really

Here’s a mix you need to watch as well as hear. Yung Singh’s Boiler Room is one of the more eclectic sets we’ve heard lately, covering drill, jungle, hip-hop, juke, bhangra and – of course – Singh’s favourite Punjabi and Asian Underground gems. The Midlands-born DJ made a name for himself as a Punjabi garage connoisseur with this ace mix from last year, but in this set he’s celebrating not just a genre but an entire sound, culture and community. The crowd’s reaction says it all – as does the DJ’s repeated requests to please allow him just a millimetre of space, and maybe don’t touch the decks quite so often and so annoyingly? The joy is infectious; it’s a massive cultural moment.

Anz – Spring/Summer Dubs 2021

100% unreleased heat from a rave magician

Anz has somehow had a banner year, despite the dance music industry only half-functioning for most of it. In April the Manchester-based DJ-producer released one of the best 12”s of the season on her brand new label, OTMI, and she’s kept up multiple radio residencies while easing back onto the dancefloor. Surely there wouldn’t be space on her iCal to fit in her annual tradition of dropping a killer mix of 100% unreleased heat, just in time for summer? Well, it’s August Bank Holiday but she’s only gone and done it. There are more ideas in here than most producers come up with in a lifetime, TBH: neon-bright electro, cloudy amapiano, ragga jungle and all kinds of heavyweight tools and treats.

Lady Lavender for Neptunian Influence

Because electro is god’s music

The Neptunian Influence mix series – as Drexciya fans will guess – is focused on the living legacy of electro. Curated by Whipnotiq, a DJ from Long Beach, CA, the series has featured a wide range of underground DJs, from electro torchbearers like 214 to nu-Afrofuturists like ADAB – and the thing is, because it’s electro, it’s all good. This time New Orleans selector Lady Lavender steps up with a crate full of Legowelt, The Hacker and CPU Records: expect thwacking snares, ultraviolet synths and androids shouting Acid! Science!” If there is a god, it would explain electro.

DJ Swisha, AceMo, Kush Jones & MoMaReady on The Lot Radio

B2B2B2B with the Kings of New York

From a distance it seems like The Lot Radio is the accidental epicentre of New York nightlife right now – a tiny booth in a scruffy parking lot which attracts the best and brightest local DJs week after week. DJ Swisha, Kush Jones, AceMo and MoMaReady are no strangers to the station, sometimes playing separately but often turning up as a Voltron-like four-way B2B. This month’s two-hour session makes space for dreamy breaks, UK subs n’ bass, vintage Chicago house and, true to form, a lot of fast music mixed with freedom.

Elena Colombi for Daisychain

Eccentric earthbound techno

A powerhouse of a mix from Elena Colombi, the Italian DJ and producer who seems to exist on her own plane of earthy eccentricity. For the Chicago’s Daisychain platform, she knocks out an hour of heavy weirdness, from enchanted forest-rave to ice-cold Italo. Shifting seamlessly between different styles and eras, the Osàre Editions label boss shows off just a fraction of the vast collection she’s been building for more than a decade, leaving plenty of Discogs mysteries for us to solve: My sexiness is only for me,” someone purrs over a whipped electro beat and some inside-out hoover noises. Whomst?! Clues can be found on her IG, where the complete Colombi experience can be had by playing this video while headbanging to the trippy technosis of Neil Landstrumm, October and Bergsonist.

Time Cow – Return to the Dance 006

Mutant riddims from the Equiknoxx universe

Return To The Dance was launched earlier this summer by No Knees, a DJ and designer who also knocks up the phantastical 3D artwork for every mix. Look closely at this one and you’ll spot a daggering duo doing it dancehall style in tribute to Time Cow, AKA Jordan Chung, a core member of Jamaica’s Equiknoxx crew. Mutant dembow, frantic riddims and wonky percussion collide on his upfront set, with bangers from Errorsmith and aya (aka LOFT) poking out between his own edits of Low Jack and Lady Saw and cuts from Equiknoxx’s international affiliates.

dj pgz for Lobster Theremin Podcast

Torque and syncopation from around the world

The most downright futuristic mix of the month comes from down under. Paul Gorrie is a Gunai/​Kurnai and Yorta Yorta man based in Naarm (the Indigenous name for Melbourne) and he has a sizeable portfolio of skills: musician, DJ, filmmaker, radio presenter, youth worker and drummer, to name a few. None of this is particularly useful information, actually, when it comes to his mix for Lobster Theremin, which is a truly unpredictable set of torque, syncopation and verve. Bouncing between rugged and futuristic dance from the likes of OKLOU, Tygapaw, DJ Manny and JADALAREIGN, he doesn’t waste a second of this hour-long, globally-sourced set. Nothing could feel more 2021.

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