When New York City’s DJ Python (@wnkrs) is in the studio, very different worlds collide. His drums and rhythms draw on dub and reggae, his synths come from celestial ambient skies, and together they resulted in 2017’s Dulce Compañia album on Anthony Naple’s Incienso. As beautiful as it is beguiling, the music was hugely original and managed to make both a physical and cerebral impact. Since then he has made music for Moxie’s On Loop and also been installed as resident at Mister Saturday Night's New York venue Nowadays. In brazen fashion, Python calls his Dekmantel selection ‘Best Mix of The Year Let’s be Real’ and certainly does come correct over 75 minutes. As ever he serves up the unlikely but intoxicating pairing of dub rhythms and soothing ambient. Before long he has you utterly locked in for the ride as the drums get more long legged and upright, broken and steel plated. The synths get freaky, too, with cut up vocals and tropical percussion all colouring the airwaves in ways only DJ Python can.
Recording of Batu's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Mr. Scurff's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of A Good Christian's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Izabel's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Nosedrip's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Max Abysmal's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of our weekly Dekmantel Radio show at @redlightradio. First hour: Alicia Carrera Second hour: KAT (Red Light Radio)
Fred P’s music is not just deep, but spiritual. Under his own name as well as Black Jazz Consortium, FP-Oner and FP197, the man from Queens, New York imbues his bottomless grooves with pensive pads and emotionally loaded keys that sink you into another dimension. His DJ sets are also cathartic experiences for mind, body and soul, and he’s remained hugely prolific over the course of more than 11 LPs and 20 EPs during the last decade. His eternal aim is “to raise each other's consciousness”, and he never fails to do that whether playing all night long at one of his residences or serving up releases on his own Soul People Music. In October, that label came to an end after more than a decade, only to make way for Perpetual Sound, which launched with a new Black Jazz Consortium EP featuring remixes from Mr G and Fred P. His emotionally awakening style is present and correct on this 90 minute mix he serves up for us. It starts with warm and cavernous atmospheres and the sort of balmy pads and tight basslines that define his sound, before progressing into a zoned out techno sound. Always smooth and meditative, moments of jazzy musicality are never far away, and there is a timeless nature to everything Fred does. Without him, then, dance music wouldn’t be anywhere near as deep.
Recording of our weekly Dekmantel Radio show at @redlightradio. First hour: Pangaea Second hour: Haron
Recording of I-F's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Volcov's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Esa's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Jon K's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
Recording of Mendel's set at Dekmantel Selectors 2018.
It was a long time coming, but last month Fatima finally dropped the follow up to her debut album Yellow Memories. And Yet It’s All Love—released on long time home Eglo—found the artist’s newly matured vocals taking centre stage amongst production that was slightly more paired back. It revealed her very real talents on the mic and her ability to go from buttery smooth slow jams to resoundingly chest pumping neo-soul anthems via curiously innocent lullabies and grown-up jazzy invention. Covering a wide musical and emotional scale, the record mixed up all consuming seriousness with the same sense of fun and playfulness that characterises her essential radio shows on NTS. They are treasure troves of r&b, hip hop and neo-soul that can be 20 years old or not yet released, and that’s what she serves up on her ‘Maple Motivation Mix’ here. It’s an intimate and personal listen that offers a window into the artist’s wide array of influences. Like Fatima’s own rich musical output, it variously bumps and grinds, melts your heart or empowers you, and will keep you coming back for more time and time again.
Recording of our weekly Dekmantel Radio show at @redlightradio.
Chicago’s Specter is a maverick, but one who has remained somewhat under the radar. Over the course of twenty years, he’s continually turned out gritty house that manages to be deep yet physical. For the last eight of those he has released on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature—a suitably unconventional home for his unconventional grooves. Most recently he excelled on his debut full length, Built to Last, which reworked house music into various colourful, experimental and bass heavy new forms. As well as rare studio skill, Spectre is a hardworking DJ who can light up a loft or jack a warehouse. On his Dekmantel mix, he decides to serve up a two hour mix that is suited to home listening. It’s all simmering, slow burning deepness to start with before gradually the drums grow more raw and angular. The mood remains reflective and thoughtful, though; a meditation on the more cerebral side of house music, which is just one of the many things Specter does so well.
Betonkust & Palmbomen II - Parallel B - Dekmantel (DKMNTL062) https://shop.dekmantel.com/release/6217/parallel-b a1. Bart Is Alone Again a2. Underground Dance Floor a3. Working In The Attic b1. Bart's Jam b2. Rejected Demo Tape b3. A Series Of Bad Decisions Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP. An immediate follow up to their debut LP Center Parcs, the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. Once more replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro. With Palmbomen II a.k.a. Kai Hugo, based out and working in Los Angeles, collaborations with Dutch-based partner Betonkust happen less frequently than they should - especially when you acknowledge that they do not use, or record to computers. When they do happen though, their distinctive sonic palette of saturated distortion, and warm melodic wavey house shines through. This time recorded in a bungle somewhere in the Dutch countryside, the two producers have created a concept record about Bart, a local hero and his imagined life in a parallel universe. In this reality, instead of making it in TV, Bart is a successful music producer, the track titles detailing his journey through this new and imagined life. 'Bart Is Alone Again' kicks off the record with its wistful melodies, and harmonic leads, before 'Underground Dance Floor' kicks in with its predominate bassline, and squelching deep-rooted, undercurrents of hardcore. Along Bart’s odyssey there are moments for 'Bart's Jam', an early days Warp Records / Detroit belter; 'Rejected Demo Tape' a downbeat moment of anguish; ending with 'A Series of Bad Decisions,' in which the EP plays out to somber, yet harmonious conclusion.