Monthly mix roundup: Ecstatic house, spiral-eyed trance and vintage gay porn samples

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

We’re properly into the summer now and it’s all kicking off. June’s best mixes and radio shows include full-tilt return to raving, loads of super-massive tunes and a few club classics. Super Drama and Dan Shake give us hi-NRG mixes, while Bloomfeld and Mor Elian take us into headsier realms. DJ Safsusa brings hot heat from the Middle East, and Courtesy goes all-out trance on us. Naturally, there’s an afterparty – catered to by Jake Muir with a brooding set of post-Pride ambience.

One bonus pick before we dive in – the pool of ambient and weightless” grime grew larger this month with a near-cosmic hour of instrumentals picked by Grandmixxer, available in the second half of music journo Joe Muggs’ Worldwide FM show.

Dan Shake’s Essential Mix

Full-blown, back-to-back party bangers. No messing around.

Now and then the world’s longest-running mix series (29 years and counting) throws up an extra-special set that ticks all the boxes. Dan Shake cuts an unassuming figure in the UK dance ecology – although he can boast of being the first musician outside of Detroit to release on Moodymann’s label – but his BBC Essential Mix is about as subtle as a foam party on results day. Shake nods to his old label boss with a detour into Moody’s spine-tingling track Kick This Feeling, and after that it’s pure celebration: ecstatic house and disco reaching higher and higher”, as per Congress’ Happy Smiling Faces. It’s like smashing a pinata and finding a handful of gurners among the Chewits and foam bananas. Other YES!” highlights include Missy Elliott popping up in Radio Slave’s I’m Really Hot and a trippy trio of deeper cuts from Midland, Daphni and Dan himself.

Listen to the mix over at the BBC Sounds site.

Courtesy for Mixmag

More fuel for the trance revival

The trance revival is so embedded into our dancefloor expectations at this point that a trance-only set for the cover of Mixmag barely raises an eyebrow! Glad that we got over that stigma and got our belly buttons re-pierced en masse – all the better to enjoy this classics-heavy session from Denmark’s fast-techno doyenne Courtesy. It’s essentially a stack of spiral-eyed classics, from 909-charged techno to blissed-out ambient, from Orbital to Ferry Corsten, with a couple of her own tracks nestled between. There’s never a bad time to get on the trance train. Eks-ta-seee!

Jaymie Silk & DJ Safsusa on Oroko Radio

Fresh frontiers in polyrhythmic partying

For dancers who get their kicks from dizzying drum tessellations and ever-more-intricate polyrhythms – and we know you’re out there – then this hour of music on Ghana-based station Oroko Radio can go straight on rotation. Planet Silk is hosted by Jaymie Silk, a Paris-based ballroom and club DJ with roots in Benin and Montreal. This month he’s joined by Bedouin-Palestinian DJ Safsusa, who slaps down a set of hard-as-nails hand drums and irresistible electronic twists on Middle Eastern musical traditions. It’s brand new music from a fresh frontier of dance. The first half is just as percussive, with Silk leaning into louche reggaeton and fiery club modernism, exemplified by Florentino’s red-hot remix of Isabella Lovestory and MC Buzzz’s Fuego.

Jake Muir’s Bathhouse Blues Vol 2

Faded rainbows and foggy moods

Ambient digger Jake Muir returns to his Bathhouse Blues concept with an after-hours mix for post-Pride recovery. Dotted with field recordings and samples from gay porn movies, it’s a session for half-cut reflections on the night just gone, either alone or in trusted company. Spectral electronics from Demdike Stare, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Terre Thaemlitz and DJ Olive waft across the room like expensive incense, occasionally punctuated by dream-gaze fragments (Cocteau Twins, Vestals) or oddities like Kelman Duran’s blurry revisioning of a Dirty Vegas hit. A slippery, time-bent mix for only the most special moments.

Mor Elian for Daisychain

Deep grooves inside spartan rhythms

Now running deep into the two-hundreds, the Daisychain mix series is a 100% reliable wellspring of taste sourced from a global network of women, trans and gender-nonconforming DJs. This month, an especially tasteful DJ joins the chain for an hour of mesmerising modern techno. Born in Tel Aviv but based between Berlin and LA, Mor Elian has a reputation for trippy, textural tunes thanks to several releases on her own Fever AM label and, recently, as a new recruit to London’s Rinse FM. For her Daisychain set, she locates the deepest grooves within the most spartan rhythms, building a brutalist palace out of airless drums, Villalobosian tech-house and dank slabs of subbass.

Super Drama for Xoxa NYC

Dirty dancing for heads and himbos

What Super Drama offer with their exquisitely pumped n’ plumped set for queer collective XOXA NYC is a secret weapon: a set to whip out on those occasions where someone identifies you as The Music Person in the room, hands you the aux and expects Good Times to commence. You are now armed and ready. Pleasing the heads and the himbos alike, the East London duo bring big b2b energy to this set, serving bold blends with a touch of overdrive. We went with the theme of bangers we want to hear in the dirtiest, queerest basement around,” they explain. Think heavy-breathing house, inspired R&B flips and sub-shaking funky, including Lisa Lee’s When Can I Call You, Latour’s wickedly funny People Are Still Having Sex, a blog house gem from Zombie Disco Squad and new picks from the likes of Logic1000.

Bloomfeld for FACT

Hedonistic beats to LARP and relax to

It’s definitely not important to know that Bloomfeld’s debut album, LARP OS, is inspired by his penchant for live-action role playing games, also known as larping. That said, such absurd biographical nuggets are often all one has to go on when writing about emerging DJs – otherwise it’s just mixing one record into another forever, isn’t it? But the Berlin DJ-producer likes to throw some extra brain cells into the mix. This smackdown of a set for FACT draws on a whole world of rhythm – from gqom and amapiano to bass, breaks and techno – to explore the overlapping aesthetics of ecstatic European hedonism” and modern African and ancestral concepts of ecstasy.” The result is hard and heavy with a hint of nerdish braindance, as Objekt and Lorenzo Senni slot between DJ Lag, Gafacci and Newlandz Finest. I’m not saying I wasn’t just messing about with a bunch of bangers,” says Bloomfeld, but I tried my best at deconstructing some familiar sonic aesthetics.”

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