“Space, intrigue and tenderness” form the thematic foundation of the latest mix from Truants-certified DJ and NTS Radio mainstay DEBONAIR. It’s the 68th entry in the Blowing Up The Workshop series, which has previously hosted across-the-board excellence from Beatrice Dillon and hurfyd to personal favourite Harsh Patel and the universally acclaimed 100% Galcher mix. DEBONAIR’s edition sees the selector revisit the key feelings behind her early radio slots in an attempt to unify the oppositional forces in her character, both as an artist and as a person. It’s that tension which makes her mix such an enthralling listen, with every next tune a curveball that somehow makes sense, from Croation Amor to UMFANG and Stereolab to Severed Heads. In the space between Fleetwood Mac’s “Dragonfly” and Three 6 Mafia’s “I Thought You Knew”, she leaps across hardcore punk/noise, easy listening, winding electronica and slowcooking ambient. The mix is a rejuvenating, exciting listen that distills the joy in music discovery, thus demonstrating once again how powerful the craft of curating and exhibiting music can be.
Myler has been a key player amongst the Irish techno vanguard for quite some time now. His productions have always been percussion heavy – It’s easy to recognise his musical influences: grime, drum and bass, two-step and any other genres begging the description ‘dutty’. His latest outing, Northern Extension on London-bred label EarToGround (invigilated by Dax J, Gareth Wild and Chris Stanford), draws upon his treasury of talents to whip up six tracks unfurling his musical spectrum. His sound is distinctly UK, complete with a trudging pace, but what makes Myler’s sound unique is his ability to maintain a minimalistic approach while making each drum count and keeping a full-bodied sound space. The core of the EP is made up of powerful, functional dancefloor tracks, with special mentions to “D’Electrocution’s” rave synths. But the pick of the bunch has to be the opening track, “Stranger Fever”. It’s refreshing to see the hook line coming in the form of a ride here. The breakdowns are rich with vitality, making it impossible to resist listening to the whole track.
According to Urban Dictionary, timelexia is “a disease that attacks people who stay on the computer all day long, causing their bodies clock to become distorted.” So that’s most of us. What does the word ‘tropico’ add to that affliction? Tropico Timelexia is the first release from Benoit B on Peur Bleue Records (a nod to Armin Van Buuren?), offering a broad mix of ideas from bubbling exposition to thundering dance. Its title track feels like a countdown to a launch that never comes, its flourishes instead existing for their own sake. “Weekend Girl” is a clattering jam, its bed of floating synths reminiscent of The Orb’s “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain… (Orbital Dance Mix)”. “Crystal Fuselage” combines jarring piano with syncopated claps and hi-hats, reverberating across phrases and bar lines while arpeggiated, fuzzy synths bounce around with real heart and intent. Why he’s chosen titles like “Zanzibar Sunrise” and “A Night In Gobi Desert” for his (admittedly beautiful) ambient episodes is beyond me, as the music deserves better than such lazy othering. If he really is suffering from timelexia, a nice walk outside might give him the inspiration he clearly feels making his music.
Words by Tayyab Amin, Jena Sivakuma and Aidan Hanratty.
Photo credit: Stephanie Elizabeth Third.