Hang The DJ
The Hang the DJ mix series is an opportunity for DJs to step out of their comfort zone and provide half an hour of a genre of music they would never normally mix.
Mix 004-Ben Barter
After a weeks break, Hang the DJ returns rested and energised through Liverpool-based DJ Ben Barter with a unique, funky set of African music, a change from his normal Disco, or Techno 'when the nights are long'. He admitted he wanted to primarily focus on his selection on this mix, and definitely didn't disappoint, showcasing on some tracks the strongest vocals I've heard in a language I don't understand!
Bringing jazzy brass-heavy melodies to disco beats with strong hints of the African style, he really brings something new to the table. 'I love African music', Barter told me, 'so I thought a collection of some of my favourites would be fun, and hopefully people like it!', to which I'm sure they definitely will.
The 30 minutes is littered with funky disco bangers that you're probably yet to hear, with tunes such as Letta Mbulu's Kilimanjaro demonstrating why we all must expand our listening repertoires to timeless tunes like these. Ben Barter provides half an hour of music that truly demonstrates in these troubling times why diversification is important, and I'm sure you'll see that to.
Listen to Ben's mix below.
Mix 003-Liam Syed
The next chapter of the Hang the DJ mix series comes from Liam Syed playing 30 minutes of Disco. Starting as a Drum and Bass DJ, Liam Syed has already started to expand his mixing repertoire; mixing UK Garage, Breakbeat and 'occasionally dabbling in House' whilst still following all things 175 bpm, but he brings us something completely new with half an hour of floor-filling disco bangers.
After recently starting a new event, déjà vu, which in itself is multi-genre, Liam is not alien to a trying new things, but it seems lockdown has brought an even wider spectrum of music to him. 'What attracted me to mix disco was just the fact that it’s always a genre I love to listen to on a night out' Liam told me, with the recent good weather meaning 'a nice little groovy dance in the sun shine would be suitable'.
Liam admits that disco has been put on the back-burner somewhat with Breakbeats, Garage and House peaking his interest, but this mix would suggest his selection is up there even in the genres he doesn't know as well. Pushing funky basslines through Mark Picchiotti's Pump The Boogie mixed with more housey flavours like Hurlee's Favourite Jazz, Liam blends subgenres immaculately, giving us a high energy, vibey half hour. If you're at a loose end this lockdown and the sun is shining, grab a beer, stick this on and enjoy.
Listen to Liam's mix below.
Next up to the decks is Leeds-based DJ Nayth, providing 30 mins packed full of well-mixed bass-heavy breaks from start to finish. Normally mixing Drum and Bass, UK Garage and even Techno 'every now and then', Nayth is no stranger to dance music, yet stepped into a new arena giving us half an hour of a perfect balance between new and old school sounds.
Incorporating heavy basslines, stuttering breaks and tuneful melodies, this mix gives a great insight into what breaks, UK Bass, and even EDM has to offer. The mix jumps from jazzy, more melodic numbers such as Yo Speed's Bring it back as well as the heavier side of the genre through Bradley Drop's Ghettoblaster, allowing Nayth to take the listener on a journey. From skank-inducing bangers to thought provoking melodic breakbeat tunes, the mix includes everything the genre can give and more.
Nayth admits to finding out a lot more about breaks through lockdown, listening to streams or mixes. 'They can often be mixed in with UKG and other genres that I mix more often', Nayth told me, 'so learning the genre could help me add more variety to my mixes in future'. He admits that he's never really mixed these kind of songs simply because he hasn't built up a good enough selection of tracks yet and doesn't know much about the genre itself, but if this mix is anything to go by, this could be a strong new genre for him to delve into.
Listen to Nayth's mix below.
Mix 001-Davy Wavy
Stepping up first is Liverpool based DJ Davy Wavy, who primarily produces and mixes UK Garage, yet provides us with 30 minutes of Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop and Sampladelia. 'These really aren't songs I'd normally play, other than on Spotify through my headphones', Wavy admits, 'Mixing anything other than dance music still feels very alien to me'. The mix kicks off with DJ Shadow's 'Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt', an ode to sampling that is easy to get lost in, but before long we're run through Hip-Hop numbers old and new. Wavy's genre-stretching-collection races through jazzy Hip-Hop numbers such as MF Doom's Rapp Snitch Knishes, yet manages to fit in Trip-Hop classics including Moby's Porcelain.
'I realised quite how difficult it is to mix Hip-hop' Wavy mused 'particularly when you've got tracks that you've only really listened to as a fan, and not from a mixing perspective. I saw that I don't quite understand how these songs are put together'. 'Making a mix really made me think, I can't just put these two songs together and expect something great to come out instantly, you have to work with the songs and attempt to see all the small changes'. Davy Wavy really seems to have put effort into his mix, picking the songs carefully, and creating an understanding on a deeper level with the music he so rarely plays, telling me 'Oh, I definitely learnt a lot doing this mix, and I can't wait to do another!'. This vibrant collage of similar, yet distinctly different genres makes for a great start to the Hang the DJ mix series, and personally I cannot wait for more.
Listen to Davy Wavy's mix below.