BC025 – Five Mixes: Daisychain, January-February 2023
The Chicago femme-focused podcast is already having a bumper year.
Three years ago, I binged a whole bunch of Daisychain Podcast sets for what proved to be my last (online) Mixmag column, linked above. (That SoundCloud playlist is here, by the way.) Obviously, I have peppered a number of Five Mixes thus far with sets from Leesh’s weekly community-building forum and ear-opening showcase, and will continue to, but it seems right to zero in on the young year’s run, which is particularly expansive. When five of my early favorites for the year come from one place, it’s worth saying so. It’s also a good place to start doing these sorts of targeted roundups more frequently. Stay tuned, as it were.
Here are all five mixes as a SoundCloud playlist.
Ron Like Hell, Daisychain 259 (January 3)
I must have heard Ron Like Hell play at some point when I last lived in Brooklyn, between 2009 and 2016, but I don’t recall if so. And I think I’d remember, because who could forget that mustache? This set makes up for lost time in a pretty serious way. It’s electro without being too slithering-alien about it, linear without all sounding the same, and minimal—a word that comes up a lot in this grouping, FYI—without being remotely arty. And then the 303s and the bleeps arrive. Soon enough, the guitars do, too, trailing cheapo synths—but not until after a long stretch of techno at its purest, with another yet to come. A sweaty one—or, to grant the set’s SC hashtag, sassy. (Tracklist here.)
jennifer fauxxpez, Daisychain 261 (January 19)
A quote from SC info: “I was made to believe for a long time that Reggaeton and all of its iterations were not genres worth studying, worth identifying and admiring artistically—by those who saw it as ‘trashy.’ I’m so happy I’ve released myself from that thinking. Not only do I get to enjoy the music I love most with others, I have a new found confidence in and admiration for it. In that sense, it's always best to be who you are and own it.”
I am likely the kind of person she’s talking about, so let me say that I absolutely think reggaeton’s worth studying—it’s no more (or less) samey than techno—even if it isn’t my particular field of study. As for “trashy,” how about “throbbing,” instead? Because the irradiated track that this Chicagoan drops past the midway mark (@ 32:00) pulsates with abandon, like a muscle vibrating of its own accord. It’s as minimalist as anything I’ve heard. It’s electrifying, and it nearly climaxes half-hour that continually builds in both tension and looseness—not for nothing does a dang Prodigy blip show up and then disappear (@ 19:25). The set’s final third is straight up reggaeton, not a “dance version” thereof, and you bet it goes down easier for me than it would otherwise. You always learn something from a good DJ.
Nada Fácil, Daisychain 262 (January 24)
Sometimes you just want to see where a thing goes. This low-key but enticing entry doesn’t announce itself outright; instead, it seems to seep into the room its playing, catching everything up in its drama with bare, flickering strokes. It’s a percussion feast—almost exclusively so, for much of it. It’s also deeply trippy, and the two things are not unrelated. You can really alter a room’s temperature by just using drums. Within a half-hour, she’s shifted to electro, and what hits the ear is the enticingly bare feel of it—the earlier tracks’ minimalist tendencies having trained us to hear it here, the tracks themselves being so spare. It comes out the other side @ 39:00; this is where the wubs begin. No, not the kind associated with brostep; here they growl in place, anchoring snares that knock in frisky syncopation, and soon we’re in full breakbeat mode. Then it goes straighter, then underwater. Etc. These shifts feel inevitable rather than like someone deliberately plotting a course. The whole thing’s a journey; my favorite set from this bunch by a length.
Beverly Chills, Daisychain 264 (February 7)
She calls this one “indie sleaze,” a term I’ve resisted digging into very deeply until now, when she opens with the bright, bulbous, neon-hued, French touch-defining “Intro.” So I look it up and . . . oh, another term for “bloghouse.” Great. (Three points for young people making up new words to describe things that already had words to describe them.) And . . . whatever, call it anything, it’s as storied and gloriously misremembered as the eighties themselves, and this set turns it into a fast drive in a virtual Lamborghini. It zips by.
Arianna Danae, Daisychain 265 (February 14)
One of Daisychain’s great legacies is the width of its range. Hashtag: “Percussive Reverie”—no fooling. It’s the theme over all five, and here it takes on a particularly dazzling hue. From SC: “Influences: My Armenian heritage, paired with the fact that a lot of my childhood and formative years was spent going to Suryoyo halfa’s. I would dance dabke with all of my extended family to a live singer and a small band of a synthesizer keyboardist and a derbake player, inspiring the natural percussive rhythm consistent in the music I resonate with.” It resonates outward as well—this is a 72 minutes of sizzle heaters, almost nothing but percussion, worn like a new suit. You won’t even mind the skip.
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