Telekom Electronic Beats

The Top 7 Mixes of February 2020

Congratulations: you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time.

Words by Chal Ravens
Published on February 26, 2020 18:55 Berlin Time

In this column we shine a light on seven mixes that deserve your attention this month; seven mixes that you may otherwise have missed in the ever-roiling sea of musical uploads. From superstar DJs to underground operators, from peak-time heat to home-listening treats, there’s something for all ears.

This month we learn the “Ebonics” theory with a Hyperdub affiliate, reimagine ‘90s hits for the Brazilian streets, and get left on hold by an NTS host. We get percussion concussion from a New York talent and go super slow with an SF hero, and finally, we tune into three icons of the queer techno underground.

Before that, a moment for the dear departed Andrew Weatherall. The outpouring of love and grief for the British acid house DJ and producer, who died on the 17th of February, sent us back to the archives to bask in his singular talent. Tribute mixes came in from DJ History’s Bill Brewster, The Orb and Ashley Beedle, while Mixmag pointed us to the Weatherdrive – a gargantuan 85gb archive of vintage mixes from the Chairman himself.

Shannen SP for DJ Mag

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The Hyperdub DJ sets out her Ebonics theory

Hyperdub crew member Shannen SP throws out a truly jaw-dropping mix that twists and turns between a world of percussion-driven styles: from Nazar’s “rough kuduro” to DJ Doraemon’s Afro-Portuguese rhythms, from the menace of South African gqom to Lechuga Zafiro’s Latin drum workouts, and far beyond. With diverse global talents like Scratchclart, RP Boo and Hitmakerchinx also represented, it’s a mix deserving of its own genre – Shannen SP calls it her “Ebonics Mix”, which sounds just about perfect. Do not sleep on this.

Eris Drew – Dekmantel Podcast

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Let the Motherbeat take you higher

Warning: listening to Eris Drew’s latest mix while deskbound could result in acute embarrassment: involuntary fist-pumps and wild screwfaces might be unstoppable. The Chicago resident-turned-international superstar is having a much deserved moment in the sun as the world wakes up to her unique style of disco turntablism, and her Dekmantel podcast is up to the usual sky-high standards: bass, prog-house, techno and minimal all scratched into psychedelic oblivion. The whole enterprise is inspired by the Trancesetters track ‘Secrets of Meditation’, which she discovered at Chicago raves in 1994: “This track revealed to me that modern dance music contains archaic ritual elements such as trance-inducing resonances, penetrating sacred drums, and language transformed into glossolalia,” she explains. Strap in and lift off.

King Doudou – Yin-Yang Street Mix

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Delirious pop edits with a South American twist

The giddiest mix of the month comes via French label Editions Gravat, typically home to warped dembow by Low Jack and Clara!. King Doudou’s Yin-Yang Street Mix (also available as a two-sided cassette) sees the French DJ splice all kinds of pop debris – ‘90s trance, ‘00s R&B bangers, ‘10s SoundCloud rap – with rhythms from South America and Africa, including the irresistible beat of funk paulista, the Sao Paulo update on baile funk. Listen out for edits of Eiffel 65, Faithless, Bad Gyal and Lil Pump on this delirious set.

Mamiko Motto Disconnected Mix

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A tongue-in-cheek ode to telephony

“Hello? Hello-o?” It’s Mamiko Motto calling, NTS radio host and leftfield selector – and she’s got a conceptual mix for you to stream and download, if you’d like to hold? Disconnected is Motto’s ode to telephone technology, automated messages and heavy breathers. Using a ton of strange clips and samples, she decorates a playlist of sultry, skippy house and lo-fi spook-funk to create a unique meditation on communication.

Djs Pareja – Los Unreleased Mix

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The Argentinian techno duo invite us into their archive

Djs Pareja are trailblazers of the queer techno underground, having been partners in life and music since meeting at an underground party in Buenos Aires in 1993. This mix runs through a stash of unreleased tracks and remixes from the last decade or so, in which time they’ve had records out via Cómeme, Huntleys and Palmers and Honey Soundsystem: expect dark, hypnotic moods with a synth-pop chill and an occasional dash of samba.

Tristan Arp – The Bunker 210

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Four-way drum tesselations from New York

Tristan Arp is quietly making some of the most thrilling rhythmic records in the world right now, and the New York artist’s mix for The Bunker is a real percussion concussion. Arp is in “pursuit of all rhythms slinky, freaked-out, and asymmetrical,” as he explains, and there are often four channels on the go at once as he seeks out those wild combinations. Listen out for LSDXOXO’s dancehall breaks, techno ragers Pelada, DJ Firmeza’s loose kuduro and even a burst of whalesong.

Solar – Digital Tsunami 174

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Super slow-mo chuggers from the West Coast

Solar Langevin has put together a real epic for Digital Tsunami: a set of mystical, slow-motion chuggers that capture the San Francisco veteran at his most trippy and freeform. Expect dark electro, rabid synthwave and plenty of distortion, starting at a treacly 74BPM. Though Solar has been active on the West Coast since 1994 as part of the Sunset Sound System crew, he only started DJing internationally in 2014 – catch him this year if you can.

Chal Ravens is a freelance writer based in London. Find her on Twitter.

Additional graphic design by Ekaterina Kachavina.