Notable Broadcasts: Week of 01/17/2022
Here’s a recap of some notable broadcasts from last week.
Los Angeles-based producer and nocturnal selector Diamondstein debuted a new show on the Blast Radio airwaves as an excuse to explore even heavier modes of sonic violence. The ominously titled Doom Trance is taken from an early description of Diamondstein’s music, which he expanded to include anything that “has a subtle hint of psychedelia, but is pretty dark, generally speaking.” This left the crepuscular maestro ample room within the genrescapes of techno, metal, breaks, and ambient to craft a meticulous and hard-hitting set. Although largely devoid of human voice, the instances where speech broke through the undulating morass doubled as poignant moments of reflection: a haunting, Speak & Spell dictation over distorted dial tones suggested a yearning to connect, while the repeating mantra of “you think you know me - you don’t” seemed to torpedo any such notions. If anything, Doom Trance is a blank canvas for an artist who knows his way around dark places.
Those paying attention noticed renowned DJ, producer, and Street Corner Music label head House Shoes has stepped into the arena. The ardent stalwart of the Detroit scene and global representative to hip-hop writ large has brought his long-standing show Magic to the Blast Radio airwaves, and with it a seemingly endless supply of beats, bars, and blunt avuncular knowledge. Doing his legacy and reputation justice would require a much longer word count, but since his roots in the Motor City, Shoes has been a tireless champion for hip-hop’s true practitioners, embodying a passionate generosity that continues to inform SCM’s release schedule, and his rock tumbler approach to fostering young talent. Tuning in to Magic is a party with all the trappings of a hip-hop seminar, with hours-long episodes paying homage to golden era greats and underground legends, to rising MCs and producers carrying fire to a new generation. Real recognize real - and House Shoes is the genuine article.
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Expanding on his digital audio/visual outlet A G E M O W O R O S, Jenus added an educational arm with A G E M O W O R O S introducing, a new series exploring the artists and bands who were instrumental to his development as a listener and creator. For the first episode, Jenus selected Steven Stapleton’s surrealist/experimental project Nurse With Wound, and provided an in-depth primer on a band that’s often intimidating to the uninitiated. With dozens of releases and an ever-changing lineup, Jenus presented a thorough cross-section of the band’s oeuvre with a 20-track mix that spanned their 40-year career. Choosing to eschew chronology, Jenus ordered the set in a way that best complemented the works themselves, and at times layered multiple songs simultaneously, making for a complex and immersive experience. Noting his encyclopedic knowledge and strong penchant for the avant-garde, Jenus’ new show should prove illuminating for old heads and budding scholars alike.
Few groups manage to capture winter’s angelic doldrums quite like the seminal UK band Seefeel. But the Nairobi-born, Berlin-based sound artist KMRU has managed to elevate the seasonal potency of their music to a new apex of spacious, overcast transcendence with his stunning mix, Rupture to Rupt, a reimagining of the band’s iconic experiments from the mid-’90s. Assembled from fragments of the post-rock/ambient/shoegaze outfit’s reissue Rupt and Flex (1994-96) that compiles their prolific output on Warp Records and Aphex Twin’s now defunct imprint Rephlex Records during that period, KMRU graced the Blast Radio airwaves with his approach to this body of work as that of both a curator and sculptor. By selecting and reshaping choice components from this archive, KMRU rendered an expansive and entirely new experience of Seefeel’s unique sound, as heard through the prism of a rising young talent.
Known for blurring the lines between human- and machine-generated music, New York modular technician and sound designer Matthew Ryals utilized his featured broadcast to give listeners a glimpse into his creative process, field questions delivered through his email and IG, and offer a deep dive into his new album, Voltage Scores, released on Sydney-based imprint Oxtail Recordings. Revealing his reverence for fake books and improvisational jazz greats such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, Ryals spoke at length about the generative approach behind each track on his latest effort, and how the work ethic he cultivated from 2020 onward allowed for the more liberative aspects of his compositions to shine through. Each track was dizzying in its arrangement - breaking the confines of genre and expectation that mirrored its maker’s academic interest in aleatoricism: a five-dollar word that, for Ryals, means freedom.
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Seoul, South Korea-based selector mini spent the past week carving out space on the Blast Radio airwaves, and hit listeners with a series of mood- and genre-specific broadcasts that highlighted their eclectic taste and thoughtful pacing. Revealing early on their desire to have an online radio show, mini is viewing their burgeoning presence in the community as an opportunity to hone their skills, while relishing in the chance to share the music they love. Between the soul- and jazz-centric sets that celebrate both traditional and modern interpretations of the sound, the more rap and R&B stylings tapping regionally specific up-and-comers, and the more dance-derived mixes that acknowledge hyperpop’s heyday, while being cognizant of its overlap with the future garage cuts of yesteryear, there’s no telling what version of mini you’ll get until you press play. And if their first impression was any indication, it shouldn’t be long before their next broadcast.
Fresh off a 30-day no-sample production challenge, Portland, OR-based beatmaker and MC Theory Hazit stuck his neck out onto the Blast Radio airwaves to debut his new show, Giraffe Hour, and share some of what he’d cooked up over the past month. Being no stranger to starting tracks from scratch, Theory’s new joints dotted the set as he celebrated various anniversaries of past releases, played cuts from Thr3e, Lord Fire 2, and Modern Marvels, and paused in between to share stories and memories, offering glimpses into his headspace at the time of each record’s creation. But this inaugural broadcast wasn’t just about past experiences. After suggesting Giraffe Hour might become a recurring Monday program, Theory teased a new collaboration with Dudley Perkins, before revealing a snippet of what the two have in the chamber. If Mondays have you feeling small, Theory Hazit can help you get lifted.
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In the opening moments of Xirtic’s inaugural broadcast, Troy made a notable observation: while there is an abundance of talent in the community across the electronic and beat-driven spectrums, there’s a stark lack of twang on the Blast Radio airwaves. So in an effort to remedy this string instrument deficit, Troy announced the launch of Stray Topix Radio, a proudly DIY, pirate radio outfit beaming in from a small town in East Tennessee that, according to its host, is home to a single stoplight. Pledging to remain a malleable space that mirrors Troy’s daily mood, the first episode kicked off with live and studio cuts by Jason Isbell; the lonesome, train whistle fiddle of “Frankie” by The Brother Brothers; and tracks by Bones Owens, Carolina Story, and Ryan Bingham. When you need a break from the dance floor, Stray Topix Radio has space for you on the back porch.
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