It’s almost impossible to keep on top of everything that SoundCloud, Mixcloud and online radio has to offer. In our monthly column, FACT guides you through the must-hear mixes of the last 30 days, whether you want a club session to warm you up for the weekend, ambient soothers or a set of vinyl-only obscurities.
The late summer mix crop is often a good yield with virtual keepsakes of festival highlights and teasers of the coming season’s big records – but we’re already looking ahead. Among September’s essential mixes was CCL’s primer for this year’s Unsound Festival, happening now in Krakow, and a mixtape download from Finn celebrating a bumper year of club tunes in Manchester.
L U C Y reps the future of UK bass in a mix packed with dubs from her friends and cohorts, while we catch LSDXOXO and Lena Willikens both operating at a different tempo and pace in two unique sets. Plus, blasted techno and breaks from a San Francisco expert and a bizarre journey through the archives of an arcade classic.
Finn – Tryin’ It!
A Manchester celebration from the 2 B Real chief
This special end-of-season mixtape from Finn, warmly treasured as one of Manchester’s most talented DJs, celebrates a great year for the city’s club underground. Moving deftly between chunky ‘90s beats (Robert Miles, Satin Storm), peppy filter house (Finn’s own ‘Scandalous Little Number’) and a raft of jackin’, uptempo cuts, including a few bits set to be released on his 2 B Real label. Look out for cuts from Martyn Bootyspoon, Gage and mysterious Mancunian producer Michael J. Blood.
CCL for Unsound
Shunted grooves ahead of this year’s trip to Krakow
In the run-up to this year’s Unsound, Seattle’s CCL provided some fittingly wiggy entrance music for the FOMO-inducing festival. Opening with the crepuscular crawl of Poland’s Fischerle, the mix wades through a muddy stack of hard-hitting, half-waterlogged material. No tracklist but bass contortions and shunted grooves have been identified as coming from Bristol’s Forest Drive West and Lurka. There’s a killer mutant dancehall riddim in there, too.
DJ CZ for The Bunker
Blasted techno and breaks from the Left Hand Path boss
All hail San Francisco’s DJ CZ, whose Surface Tension club night and Left Hand Path label have become havens for blasted industrial weirdness out there on the smiley-happy West Coast. His mix for The Bunker operates in the dark and slippery territory between techno and drum ‘n’ bass, stretching back to early ’90s Mille Plateaux and right up to present day heavies like Simo Cell, Hodge and Forests 森林.
L U C Y for SZNS7N
Eclectic bass maneuvers from Bristol’s rising star
Bristol bass producer L U C Y kicks off a new mix series for her own SZNS7N label, home to MUHLA, Raheim and the masked woman’s own debut EP. Fast and aggressive yet stylishly eclectic, it’s packed with dubs from rising producers (like her 6 Figure Gang cohort Yazzus) and features her own refix of Objekt’s now-classic ‘Theme From Q’.
LSDXOXO four-hour set at Buttons
An unusually groovy Sunday session
Catch LSDXOXO in the middle of the night and you’re in for a relentless sweat-fest of ballroom, jungle, gabber and booty house – so this four-hour DJ set, captured on a Sunday evening at Buttons in Berlin, is a refreshingly breezy trip through some groovy house belters and vintage classics from Prince and Björk.
Lena Willikens for Discwoman
Tempo extremes with a dedicated digger
Lena Willikens is already renowned for her unpredictable selections on the dancefloor, so give her a home listening mix to settle into and you’re in for some real obscurities and outsider gems. For her Discwoman set, the German DJ starts with cosmic synths and ramps up to 170 BPM, getting into the very slow and very fast tempos that are tricky to reach in a typical set.
Calculator’s Non-Stop DDR Mega Mix for Sweat Equity
A glut of Dance Dance Revolution belters
As well as releasing warped breaks and techno on quality NYC outpost Sweat Equity, LA artist Calculator is also a big fan of arcade classic Dance Dance Revolution. This two-hour compilation of DDR tracks is as addictive and ridiculous as any nostalgia trip, but with added air horns. And, obviously, it gets really, really fast.
Chal Ravens is a freelance journalist. Find her on Twitter.