Front left since 2001.
RA.839 Eli Escobar
"Working my ass off, to be honest," is how Eli Escobar starts our interview below. That basically sums up his vibe. The New Yorker might not have the same household name status of other DJs who have been soundtracking Manhattan clubs since the early '90s, but he certainly deserves it. Any New York resident worth their salt should have him near the top of the list of their favorite local DJs. He plays anywhere and everywhere in the city, and he can play pretty much anything he wants to, as his RA Podcast will attest.
When it comes to his own music, Escobar puts out records equally informed by disco, hip-hop and house—in other words, a very New York sound. He hasn't been producing as long as he's been DJing, but his albums and EPs for labels like Classic, Night People and Razor N Tape are full of the soul, humor and talent of someone who knows dance music inside out.
As Escobar says below, he doesn't really have any one type of sound. His DJing varies greatly from night to night, and he's always adding to his considerable collection, so no one set is quite the same as another. For his RA Podcast, put together painstakingly with many specially edited tracks and recorded in a hotel room in Colombia, he strikes a relatively reflective tone, but it's still eminently danceable. He moves gradually through two hours of house and disco that ranges from celebratory to muted, from minimalist to rich with live instrumentation. It's the sound of New York dance music as passed through generations, from one of its best and most beloved musical storytellers.
Read more: https://ra.co/podcast/839
Last year, New Jersey group OSSX wowed us with a mix of completely original material that blended infectious edits of Janet Jackson and September with tracks like "Split Wig"—one of last year's indisputable breakbeat anthems—that showed how the then-duo could bring together generations of American dance music into one compelling, vibrant mix that celebrates all shades of East Coast club.
Their RA Podcast might not be an all-originals mix, but it shares the same spirit. OSSX—now a trio, with Juke Bounce Werk member Elise joining original duo Equiss and Lektor Scopes—sprinkle the mix with more of their excellent unreleased originals, in-between canny and clever edits new and old, like DJ Sega's rework of Basement Jaxx's "Where Your Head At," which makes for an early highlight, along with DJ Swisha's Baltimore club edit of Robin S.'s "Luv 4 Luv" and the bouncy DJ Problem version of Mary J. Blige's classic "Family Affair." You can hear both the evolution and history of these genres through this mix, along with cuts that touch on UK garage, ballroom and jungle. Trust us when we say that this is over an hour of pure fun, showing the ingenuity and timelessness of American dance music through the decades.
Read more: http://ra.co/podcast/838
RA.837 Gabrielle Kwarteng
Spend enough time at (or listening to) The Lot Radio, and chances are all you'll find Gabrielle Kwarteng. Even though she lives in Berlin now, the American DJ wears New York on her sleeve, repping for the station that helped make her name (she won a Mixcloud award for "Best Eclectic Show" pretty early on). Sure, you could call her sound eclectic—she jumps from house to Afrobeat to Jersey club and beyond—but it seems like "intuitive" might be a better word. She has the taste of someone raised by musical parents on a diverse diet of albums, of someone who eats, breathes and sleeps records.
Buoyed by her success in the US, Kwarteng moved to Berlin in 2019, not too long before the pandemic. Like so many other up-and-coming DJs, her momentum almost stalled as a result. But here we are in 2022 and Kwarteng is more successful than ever, with a string of upcoming festival dates highlighting her wide, transatlantic appeal. Her RA Podcast is equally welcoming, with a taste for house music that feels perfectly pitched between the classic and the new. You can hear an old soul, but she also has cutting-edge tracks from the likes of NIkki Nair, and a gutsy, fantastic edit of "Can You Feel It?" by Tom Carruthers. The mix also reflects her recently getting back in touch with her roots, featuring smatterings of East Coast club music and ballroom, all wrapped up with an exquisite finishing touch courtesy of a long Moodymann play-out.
Read more: https://ra.co/podcast/837
RA.836 Deadbeat & Sa Pa
We probably don't need to tell you who Deadbeat is. (He even did a previous RA Podcast for us, all the way back in 2007.) But if you need a refresher, he's one of the most important and revered artists in dub techno. The Canadian artist came up in the Montreal scene alongside other trailblazers like Akufen and other Canadians (think Cobblestone Jazz, Mathew Jonson, Wagon Repair, etc). His early records for ~scape are some of the most classic and influential minimal there ever was, but dub is always at the heart of his work, and runs in the veins of BLKRTZ, the prolific label he runs himself.
Sa Pa, on the other hand, sits somewhere in the ambient zone. Originally from Adelaide, he's found a powerful creative sparring partner in Deadbeat. The two released their first album together, The Mountain, earlier this year. It's the 50th release on BLKRTZ and maybe one of the most monumental records in either artist's catalogue, a triple-LP that harks back to the hypnotic, plink-plonk days of yore with the strong cross-genre underpinning that marks Deadbeat's work these days, and plenty of lovely atmospheric wiggles.
The duo's lengthy RA Podcast, taken from two different recordings at their Absurd Dub Lustre party in Berlin, mirrors the LP's sound, weaving through tracks new and old. It's full of warm, dubby vibrations and smooth transitions.
Read more: http://ra.co/podcast/836
RA.835 Marco Weibel
Marco Weibel is the epitome of modesty. Over the past decade, the New York artist has quietly amassed a loyal following through expansive DJ sets that touch on everything from spiritual jazz to disco, but rather than credit himself, he lets the tunes speak for themselves. This humble attitude has won him the respect of veterans such as Lefto, as well as a growing fanbase from all corners of the musical spectrum.
When he's not DJing, Weibel curates nights at various New York venues and co-runs Darker Than Wax, a label based out of Singapore (where he was born and raised). His selections showcase rhythm and texture over drops, but he always has an arsenal of radiant house cuts or UK garage to fire up a crowd. Cavernous crates aside, the cadence of his sets is perhaps their most distinguishing feature. On his weekly shows at Lot Radio, Hawaiian funk is followed by broken beat while at the club, 2-step spills into dembow techno and rich amapiano.
While his mixes and performances usually start out on the melodic side, his RA Podcast switches things up. Unleashing a whirlwind of jungle before moving onto '90s-flavored house and other loopy styles, his session highlights local talents with plenty of delightful transitions throughout. Peter Brown's spacey soul flows into Aquarian's pulverising breaks, Ayesha's percussive techno precedes heart-tugging house and heavy dub morphs into Kerri Chandler's acid. Fluid and rolling, this is a true digger's delight.
Read more: http://ra.co/podcast/835
Emerald is a name that should be familiar to any Rinse FM devotee—she's been DJing on the UK dance music radio giant since 2014, and has just started a new flagship slot called The Dance Show on Friday nights. The Londoner is a consummate radio DJ, blending together genres and tempos with pitch-perfect mixing and an ear for hooks that makes each track stand out. (She calls herself "genre fluid.")
She's said so much in the lengthy, excellent interview below, so we can keep this part brief. Her RA Podcast combines newer favorites from Lauren Flax, Queer On Acid and Neil Landstrumm with older, recently acquired records from DJ Deeon (1994) and FSOM (1992). If this is your introduction, then take a listen and make a note to check out The Dance Show next Friday. And if you already know Emerald, then you know this is gonna be a good one.
Read more: http://ra.co/podcast/834
Stop deleting podcasts that I save
Pretty simple here, if I’m saving something it means that i like it enough to hold on to. I don’t know if it’s RA or Apple but whoever, stop. I know there is not infinite space on ‘the podcast server’ or whatever but now that apple allows you to download and store files this is especially egregious. You know that amazing part on RA 5 Bazillion, the one you remembered how great it was and wanted to listen to again? No? Me neither, because they deleted it. Allow us to save the episodes we want to save. Stop deleting them. Stop.
edit: it appears they have listened and am overjoyed to see this. 2 star changed to 5 star for sick tunes
Consistently boundary-pushing tunes
This is one of the best mix series around, full stop. Always inventive, spanning every genre imaginable, and with a super diverse set of DJs. Even when a certain mix isn’t my style, I’m glad to tun in every week and get exposed to runes I might not have ever heard otherwise.
Yup! Much Needed
This is great!!! One wish… Track listing. Would love to throw my support not just to DJs but artists that are used in these mixes.