In Hour 1 this week it's a special mix celebrating 10 Years of Black Acre by Akira Kiteshi. Not only has music from the label featured heavily on Solid Steel over the years, we've had guest mixes from a number of their artists including Blue Daisy, Dark Sky, DJ Khalab, Prayer and Clap!Clap!, who won Mix of the Year in 2014. Label boss Ian Merchant had this to say;
'For our Ten Year retrospective I knew there was only one man who could steer the genres into a cohesive mix; the 'possibly' deceased beat-tape splicer Akira Kiteshi. I tracked him to his remote jungle hideout where he was forcibly shaved, washed and returned to the nearest studio. The result is the definitive clash of new & old flavours. I hope it adds some clarity as to what we are about as a label and shows some traceable bloodlines from 2007-now. Akira Kiteshi was released back into the wild after recording.'
In Hour 2 to complete the Black Acre takeover, we have Cervo who released his 12" 'Deyo' on the label last year, plus an EP on Marcel Vogel’s Lumberjacks in Hell label. He is also part of the Global Roots Soundsystem with Thris Tian and co-founder of club night & label 'Banana Hill'. He had this to say about his mix;
"I was pretty nervous putting something together for Solid Steel as I've followed the series for a long time! This mix is part-collage, part-cosmic party excursions from around the world. I've tied some field recordings around some of my favourite records and a sprinkling of new exclusives. It made sense in my head, I hope you like it."
In Hour 1 we're joined by Steven Rutter from B12, the label and production duo that also features Mike Golding, who were at the forefront of the UK Techno scene in the early 90's, inspired by the sounds coming out of Detroit at the time. They were signed by Warp featuring on the seminal Artificial Intelligence series (alongside Aphex Twin, Richie Hawtin, The Black Dog and Autechre) and their classic Electro-Soma from 1993 was reissued last year and he has a new album coming out on his FireScope label in March. He told us;
"When I was asked to do a mix ; I got kinda nervous as I have never done one of these before .. I am only a bedroom mixer … and certainly doing something like this was a bit frightening. I don’t pretend to be cutting edge or really listen to much new music. Although I own and run my label FireScope Records, this is not an issue for me personally. Anyhow, so I just allowed my mind to go back to the days of standing by the window in my bedsit, situated in Walthamstow east London and I dug out the tunes that I loved then and still love today. I also cheekily included 3 FireScope records tunes too :-) but none of my own recent solo releases !!!
I was no longer 51 years old ; but a bright eyes bushy-tailed music nut, and the mix just put itself together as my hand and ears were once again guided by my higher power. I hope you will enjoy this selection. Thank you to each and everyone that has supported me through the years as I start developing my own solo identity going forward.
I just played Berghain New Years Eve ; a massive club, it was wonderful and the people loved it. It was in the Halle AM ambient room and there were some B12 beats going on in there. In contrast to this, I will be playing a very small gig in May for my friends at Touched music where all proceeds go to McMillan Cancer Support - Touched is a cause I am constantly working with, having given them their first vinyl release last year :-)
November 2017 was a good month for me ; I released FS009 - Steven Rutter - From Me To You - on my FireScope records label and for the first time I used my name as the artist name it was well received ; and sometime probably March ; my solo album (cat no. FS012) will be out there."
In Hour 2 it's Bearcubs the solo project from 26 year old electronic artist Jack Ritchie. Over the past 3 years, Bearcubs has honed in on a distinctly unique blend of emotive electronic music, future garage and lofi house music in his meticulously crafted productions. With two singles and two highly acclaimed EPs ‘Chroma’ and ‘Underwaterfall’ that have seen him heavily championed by the likes of Annie Mac, MistaJam and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Bearcubs announces the release of his debut full-length album ‘Ultraviolet’ for a March 2018 release. He had this to say;
'The mix is a collection of dance music from the 90's to the present that is inspiring my own music making at the moment. There's some unreleased tunes in there and also some Memphis rap tunes that I've been listening to from dusty tapes posted on youtube. It's kind of supposed to be a late night London soundtrack with some unexpected moments.'
Solid Steel (12th January) As we enter our 30th year of broadcasting, it's timely to feature the legendary Kevin Saunderson as our guest in Hour 1. An artist whose music appeared many times, including the first Solid Steel show in 1988, which also featured an interview with his fellow 'Belleville Three' member Juan Atkins. Alongside Derrick May they changed the face of electronic music and the genesis of today’s enormous techno scene can be retraced straight to Kevin, Derrick and Juan, as their formative experiments on rudimentary hardware sketched a blueprint for a genre that was yet to exist. Along with his successful project Inner City, Kevin Saunderson is the man behind the excellent KMS label that started in 1987 and has releases from Chez Damier, Carl Craig, Ron Trent, MK and Bicep, as well as a number of his own aliases.
In Hour 2 we hand over to Sunil Sharpe, one of Europe's most renowned and well-loved techno DJs, with a mixing style that is distinctly his own. Gaining an enviable reputation for his DJing in the early '00s, he was soon invited to play at Berlin's Tresor Club, marking the start of an intensive involvement in the scene. He has recorded for labels such as Black Sun Records, Rave Or Die, Mord, Trensmat, Inner Surface Music, Violet Poison and perhaps most notably Blawan & Pariah's Sheworks. His latest release is a split 12" with Minimum Syndicat called 'Joyless Euphoria' and his collaboration with fellow Dublin-based producer DeFeKT saw the release of Tinfoil 6 last month. He told us;
"My aim with DJ mixes like this is to make something that'll stand up in the long-term, kind of like a good record. The majority of records I played here are new or recent while the rest are mostly made up of music from the '90s, and a few from the '00s. There was no set theme but as it came together I guess it was about representing techno and some surrounding styles through a range of rhythms, moods and eras."
This week we welcome Lee Gamble, a producer and DJ of exploratory electronic/dance music, and owner of the UIQ label. From roots as a teenage DJ rinsing state-of-the-art jungle on pirate radio, Lee explored the mechanics and dimensions of computer music, avant composition and noise in the ’00s with a series of abstract, sculptural releases and live improvisational and multichannel presentations. He has released on labels like Entr'acte, Pan, UIQ and most recently Hyperdub for his album Mnestic Pressure. He told us;
"It's really the kind of way i'd play in clubs, festivals whatever.. I have my NTS show monthly, so i don't really repeat what i do there each month, so it's different and it's in the afternoon on a Thursday. But, this mix is made with a lot of material this sits in the playlists i've been using when playing out over the past year. So, yeh, it's closer to me mixing live than how i do on the radio on a Thursday afternoon"
As is tradition now, in Hour 2 we welcome back Jon1st for his personal choice of tracks of 2017. Over 60 tracks in 60 mins taking in music from Onyx Collective, Dub Phizix, Om Unit, Fracture, Sully, Mosca, Syd, Kendrick Lamar and Sampa The Great. He had this to say about his mix;
'This is the 2017 of my annual megamix series that I've been putting together since 2010 - blending together some of my favourite records of the last 12 months. Some songs feature in substantial length, others chopped into short snippets. Thanks as always to Solid Steel for hosting the mix for me, it's always a true honour!'
We're delighted to welcome an extended set from Jayda G who has been lighting up dancefloors with her music selection plus her passion and enthusiasm. The Canadian producer and DJ shares her time between Vancouver and Berlin, in between running her label Freakout Cult with DJ Fett Burger, which released her 10" Monroe Bumpa / 186 Haylin' alongside Laylay in the summer, followed by a Rudow 12" in September. She had this to say about her mix;
"From disco to house with some unreleased tracks for your listening ears, Jayda G gives you two hours of soulful power. Tune in and get into the groove.”
In Hour 2 it's fellow Canadian Gene Tellem who released her debut EP “Who Says No” on Project Pablo’s label SOBO (Sounds Of Beaubien Ouest) last month. Her mix takes in music from Lola Allen, Sean Smith, LK, Morgun, DMX Krewcharles Trees and Bradford James. She told us;
"Mixes are a great way to give certain songs another life after seeing their effect in confined space. Often those will be put aside to be rediscovered later on. A mix is also a great way to introduce new pieces that i’m excited about, in hopes to create some familiarity for them with the listener that may find themselves hearing it out in the clubs and dance parties of the world."
Our guest in Hour 1 is Walton who dropped his third instalment on Tectonic Recordings last month, calling upon Japanese influences where Asian instrumentation meets head to head with the cutting edge sounds of a UK grime-techno axis. The Manchester based producer has also released an album and 12's on Hyperdub, and in his mix unloads a pile of unreleased tracks from the likes of Rabit, Pinch, Lamont, Commodo, Ishan Sound x Hodge, Lowquid, Compa, Boofy and DJ Sinclair. He told us;
"The mix is a showcase of music I’m really into at the moment and also a good example of what to expect from me in the club."
In Hour 2 we welcome Moscow-based Dmitry Evgrafov who began self-releasing his music at the age of seventeen. In 2015, the young pianist / composer signed to FatCat’s 130701 imprint, releasing the album ‘Collage’, followed by a seven-track EP, ‘The Quiet Observation’, a year later. A further year on, his latest release ‘Comprehension Of Light’ album marks a sizeable step forward for Dmitry, witnessing an increased maturity in his writing alongside an expanded breadth of palette and will sit comfortably alongside 130701 alumni Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka. He had this to say;
"This mixtape is an exploration of stylistic, emotional and cultural boundaries that are associated with different kinds of sounds/instruments/tonal structures. Also, it’s a journey through the music that excites me and I would like to share it with you because I think that these gems deserve to be heard by more people."
Solid Steel (27th October) In Hour 1 we welcome Helena Hauff, who releases her new EP "Have You Been There, Have You Seen It" today via Ninja Tune. Describing the mix, she told us "It’s a small selection of feel good electronic sounds from the heart of gentrified Hamburg” which means music from the likes of I-F, Hieroglyphica and Adapta. Highly respected for her energy, skill and unique selection, her profile has rocketed in the last two years as she has taken on a BBC Radio 1 Residency, delivered her debut BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, played a legendary B2B set with Ben UFO at Sonar 2017, graced the covers of Crack Magazine, DJ Mag and earned herself the #12 spot in Mixmag’s “Top 20 DJs of 2016”. Check out the new EP here: https://helenahauff.lnk.to/have
We hand over to James Grant from Anjunadeep in Hour 2, the independent record label based in London, which started in 2005 and is known for music from the deeper end of the house music spectrum. He told us;
“This mix is mainly a collection of future releases on Anjunadeep, with a few other recent favourites sprinkled in. It gives a flavour of our new Anjunadeep 09 compilation and hopefully works as a bit of an intro to the label for anyone not already familiar with us. Overall we try to sign music with melody and emotion - one artist we’re particularly excited about is Lycoriscoris, a Japanese producer who contributes the third track in this mix. That particular track is more dancefloor-oriented but he’s working on an album for us and writes beautiful, soulful electronica that I’d hope followers of Ninja might enjoy too. Another favourite of mine is track 6 in the mix, by Martin Roth. It’s a hypnotic, posh trancer that pretty much embodies the sound of Anjunadeep.”
In Hour 1 we welcome Norwegian producer Henning Severud, known as Telephones, who has released on Full Pupp, Sex Tags UFO, Love on the Rocks and Running Back, which saw his first solo album 'Vibe Telemetry' come out in 2016. There's plenty of projects in the pipeline and remixes due for Chmmr, Seb Wildblood and Phil Stroud, and you can catch him playing in Europe in November, before heading onto Asia and a tour of Australia. He told us:
"I`ve listened to Solid Steel-shows since the early 2000s, so it`s an honor for me to do this mix. In that respect I`ve done things fairly eclectic, though in check with what I`m into on a contemporary level. So, it`s kind of a journey through some of the things I like. Old favourites and new things I've been playing a lot lately, recorded on two Technics 1200s, a Pioneer DJM300 mixer and a burrowed CDJ. The mix was recorded live in three parts as I had some problems finding the time. In the end I've done some effect-overdubs and edited down a few of the tracks in Ableton. "
In Hour 2 we hand over to Locked Groove who recently released on Kompakt’s Speicher series and did a remix for Sebastian Voigt on Outcast Oddity. Since his debut on Scuba's Hotflush label in 2012, he's also released on Life and Death, Permanent Vacation, Afterlife, his eponymous label Locked Groove records. He'll be playing at ADE for DGTL & Kompakt on 21st October and he had this to say about his mix:
"I made this mix in 2 parts because I wanted to play something else than just the stuff I´d play in a club environment. Every track feels like something from outer space to me and thats also the generally idea and theme of the the mix. Tracks that are from the future or from outer space. In the first Part it´s mostly new tracks and a few unreleased bits by myself. I´ll let you find out where they are. The second part is old and new stuff. Some tracks are personal favorites for years, some are becoming favorites. I hope you enjoy it "