With dancefloors in a seemingly permanent state of flux, there are still plenty of great sets to be heard from some of the world’s best selectors. This series is a recurring roundup of the month’s best mixes. On this installment: new mixes from Tim Reaper, Akua, and a B2B from Kush Jones and DJ SWISHA
Tim Reaper – BBC Essential Mix
Tim Reaper is the heart of the jungle renaissance. He’s a workhorse, constantly putting out excellent productions and remixes, manning his own label, and spinning together outrageous DJ sets. So it’s no surprise that his turn on the most famous mix series in the world delivers in spades. True to form, it’s two hours of unrelenting breaks clocking BPMs that flirt near 200. Reaper highlights plenty of the best cuts in his discography while shining a light on the other bright stars in jungle like Dwarde, Sully, and FFF. It’s yet another stunning effort from one of the most exciting artists in the world.
DJ SWISHA & Kush Jones – HAUS002: Bossa Nova Civic Club NYE 2022
B2Bs are always a ton of fun, especially when it’s Kush Jones and DJ SWISHA, who always seem to bring out the best in each other. Somehow one upping their fantastic set at Sustain Release, the duo speedrun through their USBs, cycling through what feels like hundreds of tracks at breakneck pace. It’s the type of night that could have only happened at a place like Bossa Nova Civic Club, which tragically shut down due to fire damage earlier this month. There aren’t many spaces like Bossa left—COVID and corporations shutter or sublimate more and more venues each month, wiping out decades of history and suffocating vibrant art scenes. As more facets of daily life recede into the digital realm, it is crucial to preserve the sanctuaries still standing, and to make sure they flourish and allow artists the space to create. Bossa is the model; we cannot let it die. Consider donating to the GoFundMe to preserve Bossa Nova Civic Club.
Akua – Juanita’s Mix 061
Akua is easily my favorite discovery of the month. I was vaguely familiar after seeing her pop up on the Dekmantel podcast a few months back, but her Juanita’s mix resonated with me as a proper introduction. She is working outside her comfort zone here. Rather than reaching for throttling techno records, Akua dives deep into late ‘80s and early ‘90s house records. It’s a joyous affair and strikes a fittingly optimistic tone for the first Juanita’s mix of the year. The tight 75 minute set is the only one I’ve returned to on multiple occasions this month, an elated sprint that boasts different peaks with each listen. I hope this isn’t the last time she explores the housier side of things—it’s a ton of fun.