If you ask any DJ he (or she) will undoubtedly tell you that stringing together a coherent set of his (or her) musical taste in an hour is near impossible, yet somehow once every month FunkinEven does via his Apron Records show on NTS. Typically, it’s filled with throwback tunes from before many of us were born and exclusives from himself and his talented friends. This week he invited LA beatsmith Gifted & Blessed to join him for an hour of exclusive tunes. As expected the pair came through with nonstop machine drum funk. From what we could ID, which isn’t very much, they played new FunkinEvil (Kyle Hall & FunkinEven), fresh solo work from Steven including a new Apron record, and GB blessed us (ha) with new music as well. If you have an hour to kill pop this mix on, do some housework and enjoy a slew of unreleased music. And if you haven’t already checked out our recent interview with the Apron head honcho give it a read.
Download: FunkinEven – NTS Apron Show (featuring Gifted & Blessed)
This past year has seen more exciting explorations of grime, house and techno by Dro Carey through his releases for The Trilogy Tapes, Templar Sound, Opal Tapes as well as superb self-released material available through his Bandcamp site. This mixtape for Australia’s inthemix website is a follow-up to Dro’s great mix for FACT. It is an incredibly compelling and fun mix of grime futurism, hip-hop, new DC tracks as well as a selection of original rap instrumentals from his new joint project Chambray Cartel with fellow experimentalist Napolian. We have had it on repeat for well over half a year. Stream it on the ITM site or download it via the link kindly provided by Dro Carey.
Berlin-based Irish producer and DJ Mano Le Tough, after a series of singles released on different labels over the last few years, has recently found a home of sorts on Permanent Vacation. The German label released his “Changing Days” album last February, and to celebrate its release Mano played Panorama Bar alongside Michael Mayer, the Permanent Vacation DJs and The Drifter. To our benefit, Mano posted part of his set on his Soundcloud page. It’s 100 minutes of exceptional house and techno, encompassing a range of moods and emotions. There’s the trippy groove of DJ Koze’s Mariposa, Wraetlic’s stuttering “Rats”, the shuffling “Late Night Jam” from Levon Vincent, the sheer euphoria of Ripperton’s edit of Global Communication’s “Maiden Voyage” – a journey in itself. Mano’s own “A Thing From Above” makes an appearance, before the beautifully deep “Black Ice” from Smallpeople, expertly laid over the satisfying crunch of Paranoid London’s “Paris Dub 1”. Sounding perfect in every situation, from a boring afternoon in work to the pre-club ritual on a Saturday night, it’s a great introduction to this wonderful talent. Get familiar with Mano Le Tough, you deserve it.
Download: Mano Le Tough – Panorama Bar February 2, 2013
Earlier this year, Kingdom made a guest appearance on BBC Radio 1’s “Diplo & Friends”, with a mixtape that was a true force to be reckoned with. It might have lost your attention slightly as the LA-based Fade To Mind label head was quick to follow the mix up with another one, the “Clubposite” mix in collaboration with DISMagazine. Just in case you missed this 1Xtra gig, let us set your sights on this hour-long mix filled with hand-picked selections that exemplify exactly why we are such fans of Kingdom and his exquisite taste. The tracklist makes a grand entrance with its inclusion of Total Freedom’s eye-opening Beyonce edit of “Baby Boy”, moving on to some of Kingdom’s own recent tracks and a Ciara remix that hit our radars on Fade To Mind’s satisfying second white label release late last year. There’s a lot of things to look forward to in your listening here, but a true highlight of this mixtape is Kingdom’s edit of the much-availed Kowton remix “Stop What You’re Doing”, based on sounds which have originally been crafted by Untold. It’s been reinterpreted here with classic Mariah screeches and Busta ad-libs to form a wholesome and hard-hitting anthem that might have dancefloors confused with its overwhelming presence. That track alone should have you yearning for this mix, but look forward to more goods from the Fade To Mind and affiliated Night Slugs camp for an hour that’ll undoubtedly make your weekend a good one.
Stream: Kingdom – Mix for Diplo & Friends on BBC Radio 1Xtra
Vakula! Vakula! Vakula! Don’t you think ‘vakula’ would make a good football chant? It would also probably work well as some kind of medieval incantation, which is pretty fitting because Vakula’s sweet forty five on Boiler Room opened with some spectacularly spectral sounds. Everyone’s new favourite Ukrainian just got even more spaced out as the set went on, moving through his mysterious modulations with an almost unnerving ease. Vakula is one of those supercool cats who can juxtapose totally incongruous vibes upon one another – see the frightening screeches over baby-soft house about a third in – like it’s not even a thang. This set is really a masterclass in groove, and it’s less than an hour long. Come for the xylophonic tinkles, stay for the chest-thudding disco-tech. Extra Truants points to Vakula for the stellar head-nodding and maximum chill booty shaking as well. Check this one, it’s an unregrettable decision.
Stream: Vakula – 45min Boiler Room Mix
Written by: Jonathon Alcindor, Eradj Yakubov, Aidan Hanratty, Sindhuja Shyam & Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura.