South African-based DJ/producer/graphic designer/director Spoek Mathambo caught the attention of the world a few years ago when his hyperkinetic dance tracks — which were part of the rising township tech movement — began gaining the attention of upfront DJs all over the world. Since then Mathambo has continued to blaze trails and innovate, pushing his sound in a fresh direction and documenting the scene in the upcoming full-length documentary Future Sound Of Mzansi.
After releasing his Father Creeper album released on Sub Pop in 2012, Mathambo has turned his boundless creative energy to heading up the South African group Fantasma, who dropped their Eye of the Sun EP at the end of 2014. An audio-visual concept group, the outfit, who will release their debut album later in the year, mash up future soul, hip-hop and shards of rock into an utterly unique hybrid.
Always working on new projects, Mathambo took time out to craft an exclusive Big Shot Guest Mix. The 23-track journey — our first mix of the year which he’s dubbed Soup: The Lownt Theory in lieu of its soupy, syrupy beats — features an array of jams from Tall Black Guy, Riff Raff, Sage The Gemini and (of course) Fantasma.
And be sure to scroll down and check our video interview with Mathambo filmed in NYC back in 2010 where the man himself explains a bit of his history and hopes for the future.
Fantasma’s Eye of the Sun EP is out now on Soundway Records.
Live and direct from Amsterdam is TWR72, a duo who’ve been refining a lean ‘n’ mean techno signature for the past several years. Comprised of two best friends Roger van der Zwan and Tom Doorschodt, the pair’s sound draws upon the lessons taught by masters from Detroit and Berlin and embellishes the insight with their own creative twist. Though BBC Radio 1 tagged their sound in 2010 as Future Techno — er, isn’t all techno futuristic? — the twosome continue to evolve their musical ethos in the wake of fleeting trends and fads.
2014 has so far been a standout year so far for TWR72: they forged remixes for JoeFarr and Nikola Gala, collaborated with Truncate and issued their Download EP on Turbo Recordings. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the upcoming launch of their own label, Float Records, there’s no doubt that these techno titans are headed for even bigger things.
In this exclusive 15-track Big Shot Guest Mix featuring cuts by Mike Dehnert, Jonas Kopp, Exercise One, Benjamin Damage and two of their own productions, the guys give us a taste of their floor-rocking and uncompromising sound. “We love four by four beats with a never ending groove,” they tell us in the interview below. “So expect a mix that starts big and keeps on going.”
Born in Beirut, raised in Berlin and currently living in Minneapolis, DJ/producer Dory Kahalé’s musical interests are as diverse as you can get. Over two decades in the DJ game, he’s been investigating everything from house to techno to nu disco during his years of dance floor exploration. Working under the alias Dirty McKenzie, Kahalé, who helms Bass United Recordings, has been holding down a residency at Clubhouse Jäger in Minneapolis for the past seven years and is readying the release of the first of three compilations of tracks he’s produced over the years. The first offering, Let’s Riot, will be released on July 29. In his exclusive Big Shot Guest Mix, Kahalé offers up a sublime, effortless and extremely funky 17-track journey featuring The Rolling Stones, Claudja Barry, Teedra Moses, Two Door Cinema Club and Justin Jay. Not only is Kahalé’s programming impeccable, but his mixing is right on the money. “It’s a small taste of the diversity in music I like to play to my crowd,” says Kahalé. Listen and savor every note.
1. Rolling Stones – “Miss You” (Marcel Vogel Edit)
2. Claudja Barry – “Sweet Dynamite” (Todd Terje Edit)
3. DJ Smash – “Bottle Service”
4. Chemise – “She Can’t Love You”
5. Teedra Moses – “Be Your Girl”
6. Manmade Science – “Phase”
7. The Groovers – “The Stars”
8. The Treatment – “Waves”
9. Modjo – “Lady” (Kaytranada Remix)
10. Lovelock – “New Age of Christ”
11. LeSale – “We Go Straight Ahead”
12. Sean Roman – “Can’t Do Without You”
13. Passengers – “Girls Cost Money” (Auxiliary tha Masterfader Play That Disco Music Edit)
14. Larse – “So Much Fun” (Roberto Rodriguez Remix)
15. Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work” (The Twelves Remix)
16. Justin Jay – “Static”
17. Sr CSMC – “All Night Boogie”
Having spent years meticulously honing his quixotic brand of techno as both a DJ and producer while releasing tracks on Richie Hawtin’s Minus Records and Dubfire’s Sci+Tec, emerging Windsor, Ontario-based technocrat Justin James is spreading his artistic wings by launching his own label, refused. In advance of the imprint’s debut release, James’ Not the Curator EP, and upcoming set at Detroit’s annual Movement Electronic Music Festival, James mixed the latest Big Shot Guest Mix.
Featuring tracks from his new EP and an array of cuts from Monkey Coops, Murk & Frank Oba Lords, Alex Under and Florian Frings, the 13-track session illustrates the variety of musical styles that inform his view of techno. “This mix is a glimpse of what you would see from a night of me at one of my shows,” James tells us in the interview below. “I hope it showcases my diverse interests and encapsulates the sheer joy I have sharing music with people across the globe.”
Justin James’ Not The Curator EP is released May 20 on refused. Catch him on May 17 at the WE.ARE.refused. label launch at Red in Windsor, Canada and the Silent Disco Stage at Movement Detroit on May 24.
Congrats on the launch of your label. What inspired you to start it? What’s behind the name?
Justin James: Thanks so much. I am super excited for the launch of refused. Opening a label, I believe, was important for me to have more say in this special culture. Too often we as artists, rely too much on the opening and closing of doors of others to be able to contribute to the culture we love. Especially when we get closer to the higher organisms of the food chain. refused. is my opportunity to not only showcase some of my own works, but also to share music of great friends of mine and as well as amazing young artists whose music I admire. The hope is with this fusion of artists and music, we’ll cultivate our own family which can positively influence underground dance music.
You’ve released tracks on Minus and other labels. How did these experiences inform how you approached launching your imprint?
One of my dreams that came true is the opportunity to release music on Minus and work closely with Richie Hawtin and his fabulous team. Sci+Tec, Dubfire’s label, is also a special imprint to work with. Both of these labels have been a huge influence for me in developing refused. Their professionalism, foresight, dedication to the culture and commitment to the development of new artists are all things that I will carry with me in the growth of my imprint.
Tell us a little about the label’s first release. What’s in the pipeline in terms of other releases? Are you planning releases from other artists? refused.’s first release is a four-track EP by myself. It’s an EP is entitled Not The Curator. I’d say it’s a diverse collection along the spectrum of the techno genre. I’ll allow the listeners to categorize them any more than that. The tracks, “Not the Curator,” “Inquire Within” and “Absolutely Necessary” have gained huge support from Richie and were a staple for the whole Enter season in Ibiza with weekly rotation in his sets. “Who’s Your Friend,” on the other hand, is a little more trippy and stripped down.
You’re playing Movement this month in Detroit, the birthplace of techno. What does this particular gig mean to you? How are you preparing for it?
Playing Movement in Detroit will be another dream come true for me. This is a festival that I have frequented since its inception and it has quite literally changed and shaped my life. It’s such an amazing weekend to attend. Attending it as an artist will most certainly be a surreal experience. I’m preparing for it by selecting a two-hour set that will be a great representation of me and what I am about. It will highlight not only the music that I am making and supporting but also an homage to the synergistic relationship in house and techno between my city of Windsor and Detroit.
Please describe what influenced your Big Shot Guest Mix.
This mix is a glimpse of what you would see from a night of me at one of my shows. I hope it showcases my diverse interests and encapsulates the sheer joy I have sharing music with people across the globe. I hope you and your readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it and sharing it.