The moment has passed; people have moved on. What felt like a sea change, the likes of which we had not seen in our lifetime, just as soon dissipated. It almost feels as if it never really happened.
When Israeli soldiers and settlers descended into Sheikh Jarrah to evict and eviscerate the Palestinians living there, the world took notice. Suddenly, Palestine and Palestinian lives were all people were talking about. Instagram and Twitter were wall-to-wall covered in coverage of the assault and occupation to an unprecedented degree. American politicians for the first time were no longer giving full-throated support to Israel nor hiding behind wishy washy pablum meant to appease both sides while only bolstering the oppressor, they were outright condemning Israel and it felt as if we were on the precipice of a new, more just and equal world.
But day by day, things started to fade, as they always do. There was no shiny new story to move onto, no new hashtag to glom onto. People just sort of stopped talking.
And so things went back to normal. In the US, that meant turning our eyes away from death and destruction in favor of comfort and complacency. In Palestine, it meant that Israel was free to continue ethnically cleansing Palestinians without the annoyance of Western attention.
This month’s roundup is a showcase of artists who spoke up, from Nicolas Jaar, who has been among the loudest artists speaking up for human rights across the world for many years now, to LSDXOXO, a rising star who just released one of the best EPs of the year and, like Jaar, signed his name to the Musicians for Palestine collective, and the unstoppable force that is DJ Swisha, AceMo, Kush Jones, and MoMa Ready whose set in Times Square soundtracked a Free Palestine protest.
Nicolas Jaar – Palestine #0031, Radio Alhara
Jaar has authored many mixes over the years, but none has felt as personal as this. Constructed of songs he counts as comforts, the mix for Radio Alhara is therapeutic and cathartic. It’s a testament to Jaar’s ear that he can weave together a set so outside the realm of his usual wheelhouse and make it sound so effortless. It’s as if these songs have always lived and breathed alongside each other.
DJ Swisha, AceMo, Kush Jones, MoMa Ready B2B – Times Square Transmissions, The Lot Radio
Everytime these guys step behind the decks something insane ensues, but this set is on a whole different level. Recorded in the middle of Times Square for The Lot Radio, the mix became the soundtrack for a Free Palestine protest that turned chaotic when a small group of Israel supporters came to counter protest. The boys took turns hopping on the mic to shout “Free Palestine” and “No Zionists in the club” while mixing at a breakneck pace through some of the hottest tracks in their own discographies. Yet another unmissable set from the absolute best DJs in the business.
LSDXOXO – The Cover Mix, Mixmag
DEDICATED 2 DISRESPECT is the best EP of the year thus far and it’s hard to imagine anything topping it. “The Devil” has the most infectious hook I’ve heard in 2021 and all four tracks bang from start to finish; his cover mix for Mixmag takes that energy and sprints with it for an hour. Drink a massive cold brew, blast this at full volume, and go absolutely insane for an hour. The thumping remixes of “Sick Bitch” and “The Devil” are extremely evil and I need to hear them in a club immediately. No other DJ has shot so far up my wishlist for post-pandemic shows than LSDXOXO did with this mix.