You better buckle up because our first Texture Tape of 2021 is an absolute belter from start to finish. We couldn’t be happier to welcome L.A.'s Kaili to the mix series, nor could we feel more juiced up after listening to her turn up the pressure with pumping club workouts and raucous bootlegs. This mix is an exercise in how to chop tunes that are bursting with energy while keeping things tight and controlled. At a time where many of us are feeling spent after just 10 days of 2021, here’s some much-needed fuel to top up your tank.
Tell us about the ideas and philosophy behind your NTS show, Bodywork!
I like to use “Applying pressure where it’s needed in order to release” to describe Bodywork. Bodywork is a bit of a play on traditional Chinese medicine and the idea that you can address various ailments through specific parts of your body and pressure points. In the very ritualistic practice of listening to dance music and going out to raves, we’re also activating these elements of physical release which in turn helps us to cope with or expand on elements of our daily lives. I even wrote a whole manifesto about it, but in short, I’m very much interested in exploring this somatic framework of how we relate to dance music as an alternative healing practice.
Following on - how have your approaches to physicality and space changed this year with everything that's happened?
Of course with the new onset of lockdowns and social and physical distance being our new norm and raving/clubbing basically slowing to a halt as we know it, our previous routines and rituals were completely disrupted. I’ve definitely had a lot more time and space to think about how special the dancefloor is… I’ve also learned to adapt with the absence of a physically intentional space like a dancefloor, and instead turn more inwards and live a bit more in my head so to speak. I still entirely miss dancefloor euphoria, but it’s given me new perspective on pace, access, and urgency. I guess I’ve learned to slow down which is not what I’m used to.
What were your ideas or plans going into the mix?
I really just wanted to play something high energy and something that would be like a typical night out. I love being able to be playful and irreverent and I was definitely imagining a crowd with the whole gamut of scene heads and also people you rarely catch out. So it really spans so many genres I love--Jersey club, Baile Funk, bootlegs of pop songs, everything in between, which is kind of what I do with a lot of my hybridized club sets.
What have been your favourite recent releases?
I’ve been really loving new releases by Oklou, Eartheater, BloodzBoi, and Odunsi the Engine. Everything Bored Lord has put out this year has been absolutely lifesaving. I love everything that Principe puts out including that Nidia release and that DJ Lycox EP. As far as events go, the Papi Juice zoom party I had the pleasure of playing (with Raveena Aurora and Le1f and some others) was super cute; I loved playing for and alongside people in entirely different timezones!
Have your listening habits changed since the pandemic started and clubs and venues have closed? Are there any styles you’ve been listening to more or less?
1000%! I revisited some of what I used to listen to in my angsty youth (indie rock mostly..) then I got back into playing piano (which I hadn’t played since I was nine) which sent me into a classical hole. There were times I couldn’t even imagine wanting to listen to club music because it was too depressing. I spent a lot of time finally getting more into “listening albums” which I probably wouldn’t have spent the time to listen to before since I’d always be scouring for tracks to play in DJ sets. Oklou’s EP (later the album) and Mechatok’s OST are good examples of those. I always listen to a lot of UKG and hip hop; that never changes. I really enjoyed getting more into Amapiano, Zouk, and Kizomba too, while I was driving around or going on long walks and runs. Plus when I really missed rooftop pool parties, disco and house. Overall it’s been a very nostalgic year and I find myself revisiting records from previous times in my life, rather than focusing on new and upcoming releases as I usually would if I were playing out every weekend.
What’s the music scene like where you’re from?
Truthfully we struggle with the infrastructure of nightlife sheerly because of the 2am liquor cutoff, which forces unnecessary pressure on promoters to find ways around that. LA geographically is fairly decentralized as well which also further exacerbates the feeling of having a core or a scene. Our scene is small but intimate, and I think there’s a high likelihood that we have a lot of genre cross-pollination between promoters and events simply because we don’t have that many events going on in a single weekend. House and techno definitely have the strongest presence in the afterhours scene but we make room for a cute queer club scene as well.
A track you've always wanted to play out but never had the chance?
Bored Lord - All Around Me. Like I said everything Bored Lord put out last year is just WAITING for a dancefloor and I’m itching to play them all out. But this one especially just because I know it would slap and have everyone who listened to Flyleaf back in 2008 or whatever excited.
Your dancefloor saver?
Nguzunguzu - Mirage (DJ Pierre Remix). Goes without saying it’s an absolute electro banger that is adaptable in any situation--can be slowed down, sped up, mixed with anything-- and it’s got that timeless feel. Absolute sick drum breaks, chopped up vocal samples, and synth lines.
Is there a show you would love to go back in time and experience again?
Definitely our January 2020 Bodywork party. That was hands down the best event that I got to be a part of, not only because it was the sickest ever and vibes were on 100 that night, but also because it was my blood, sweat, and tears and it showed me that people care about intention and community. I was a bit too stressed out to fully let go and enjoy it, but even so, the way that people were buzzing off of it still to this day is testament to me the power of the concept. It being one of the last events before lockdown and getting to see the community in full force and everyone enjoying their self-expression was immensely impressionable for me.
How do you organise your music?
I’m terrible at organizing my music. I constantly wish it was better at it honestly. I keep up with music through Soundcloud and Bandcamp and everything, but once it comes to actually downloading files, I shuffle between multiple hard drives and way too many badly named Rekordbox playlists. Somehow I manage to make sense of the mess but it’s one of those things where I’m always like… I really should try to be better about this.
What’s the song you’re most looking forward to playing when clubs reopen?
I’ve been really itching to play a hardcore set since I think it matches the level of energy that a lot of us are looking to release, so probably something like Scooter - Move Your Ass! But really there’s so much I feel like I’ve just been sitting on, new and old!
The soundtrack to your funeral?
What a question.. maybe Reverie, the Debussy composition. I think it’s really pretty and dreamlike, and I don’t know the circumstances of my death yet, but if people come to my funeral I hope they can experience a nice peaceful memory of me with this.
And on a lighter note, the tune you'll still be listening to in 50 years?
Eunice Collins - At the Hotel. Before I was a dancefloor DJ I really loved digging for soul, and this tune has stuck with me for years as one of my favorites and has been with me through so many phases of my life and I’m sure will continue to stick with me as one of those comfort tunes.
Lastly, any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?
I’m always excited for my NTS shows since I get to build them around themes or ideas and make artwork that goes alongside them, and I have one of my all time favorite DJ/producers slotted soon. Recently I’ve actually been collaborating with friends on visual artwork for their releases, so I have a couple things related to other forms of media I’m excited to announce!
YG Pablo - AVM
NÍDIA - Emotions
Grind Mode - I'm So HIgh
PTA - INK (Beatapella)
Jubilee - I Don't Think So
DJ Wawa - What it Means (DJ Delish's West Philly Dub)
DJ Swisha - Scream
DJ Jayhood - Get Ruff (feat. Juiceboy)
DJ B-Stee - Robot Club Rock
DJ Lilman - The Return (feat. Ms Porsch)
DJ Tameil - Rude Boy Giddy Up
Blaqstarr - Throw That Ass Back
DJ Assault - Vandalism
NA DJ - Liston Boo
Bored Lord - All Around Me
DJ Rish - LC Ghettotech
Skin On Skin - Opps On Tha Block
Klassik Frescobar - Looking Good
PML Beatz - Pedra de 800 Kg
Brunoso - Arrocha Do Berimbau
Petit Piment - Sex In Vidigal