Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Ancient Puzzle Arts
Alex Burkat and The Ancient Puzzle Arts crew delivered on their promise of 'deep grooves and jackin’ beats' when they brought their encyclopedic knowledge of tech and acid house, crunchy-edits, 4-on-the-floor-style thumpers, and more to Philadelphia’s legendary room, Upstairs at the 700. Featuring cuts by Marshall Applewhite, PAWSA, Nathan Barato, and Luca Lozano, among countless others, the selections covered the past decade and beyond for a seamless 4+ hour set of tactile bangers, perfect for the club or your earphones.
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Berlin-based modular synth polymath JakoJako flexed their curatorial prowess with an expansive mix of tracks from across the techno genrescape. With selections by A.Morgan, Overmono, LKY, and Kangding Ray in the mix, the toggling of emotional registers never took a backseat to the pressing need to power through. Each move felt natural as moments transitioned between melodic arpeggios, cavernous drums, and out-and-out rollers, culminating in a blown out carousel of delayed synths that rang and sparkled their way out of existence.
John’s Little Sister
Jessica Sikon, aka Cleveland, OH’s John’s Little Sister invited listeners over for their new show, It’s My Party! Listening Hour with John’s Little Sister where Sikon played through their new EP, Are We Having Fun Yet? and provided commentary and insight into its creation. The unmistakable twang and '60s girl group aesthetic of Sikon’s work perfects a Patsy Cline meets Lesley Gore sound that shimmers in its homage to the rhinestones and glitter of a bygone era. As a bonus, they snuck in a few unreleased demos and collaborations at the end. We can’t wait for Sikon’s next get-together.
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Beginning with a brief recording of Sputnik’s first transmission back from outer space, Justin Espada and co-host Julia Mukhina launched The Board of Burisma, a new show on Blast Radio exploring the music and culture of post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Focusing primarily on producers from Russia and Ukraine in this first broadcast, Mukhina expressed hope that the inaugural episode “[would] sound refreshing to listeners in the West,” as “Summer Rains” by Odessa-based musician Polje faded in from the background. With cuts by Bejenec, Pavel Milyakov, and Berlin-based artist Xan, The Board of Burisma is poised to become a crucial pipeline to a vast expanse of overlooked sounds.
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Known in another life as Darling Farah, Kamau Baaqi made their Blast Radio debut with a stunning mix of alchemic proportions. Beginning with hard-hitting bass and electro-tinged minimal tracks, the set maintained a mechanical whirr as Baaqi tempered and shaped the selections before submerging it in dub techno, quenching the heat. But shot through with the rush of wind and the muted voices of birds and conversations, the final moments wavered in their catharsis before lapsing in a wash of ambient surf like the memory of fire to a newly alighted phoenix.
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SmileyTheRager’s Late Night Creation Station is the latest addition to Blast Radio’s Thursday night lineup, which found the Baltimore producer and MC opening up about mixing tracks for their upcoming project, known only as the cryptic acronym, asc. Looping each track and dissecting their style and approach to mixing, SmileyTheRager talked about trusting their ear and intuition, quipping that “it might not be the most technical mix, but it’s all about the vibes,” before re-working the track “Heart” in real time from the ground up. Tune in for more vibes-based mixing and late-night conversation as asc takes its final form.
The Stereo Ferment Mix Series continued with a fresh installment from producer and label co-founder Coy Haste centered on tropical psych, lofi boogie, and dubbed-out global funk. Bobbing and weaving in international waters, new cuts by Space Ghost, Reymour, and Elite Beat highlighted talents from some like-minded friends of the Toronto-based outfit, while sneak peaks of upcoming new releases, such as Oreku’s phenomenal remix of Animal Party’s scuttling dance floor crawler “Assassin Bug,” continued to cement the series as the perfect refuge from the drab banalities of life.
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Last week marked the return of the enigmatic presence Thief who served up another eclectic episode of Thief Radio. Moving effortlessly between jazz, house, juke, and back again belied light and fast hands at the controls, and a well-seasoned mind behind the selections. Cuts like “Back Seat Driver” by Stefan Ringer & Ben Hixon, Deaton Chris Anthony’s jock jam laced earworm “1999 She,” and PinkPantheress’ breezy breakbeat anthem “Break It Off” continued Thief Radio’s fidelity of championing underground and emerging producers in what we hope will be a recurring caper.