Josh Dawson

OT:OT

Oli Taylor is a music fanatic. He’s an expert on obscure record labels, unusual releases and experimental genres. This expertise shows through in his selections: Arabian disco, hard breaks and 'My Neck, My Back' are mixed in perfect harmony. He's a regular at Turf and Duende, an eclectic and musically ambitious night he is involved with in Nottingham and Leeds. His knowledge of colourful sounds shines through here, as he couldn’t cut his ideas down to any less than 2 hours and 51 minutes. It may be long, but this mix is as good a showcase of worldwide feel-good music as any. 

What were you trying to do with the mix?

I didn’t want to make a mix that sounded like the listener was just in another club on another night. I think a mix should do something else. It was supposed to be less of a dance mix, but not like boring ‘lounge music’. It’s quite a hard balancing act. Maybe it is fucking boring and I should have just done an hour of 4/4 house hahaha.

While this mix covers a huge range of genres and speeds, I wanted to maintain some sort of connection or theme. Hopefully it doesn’t sound like a random selection of bangers. 

This mix is slightly longer than the others, how did it take shape? Did most of it happen on the spot or did you know what you wanted to include?

I always wanted it to be in 3 parts and so therefore it was always going to be long. The first part is a mix of organic and electronic sounds (and a few spoken word samples). I like the idea of long mixes where they all become one, you know? Oh, and one of the tracks is by your own George Manley!

"I didn’t want to make a mix that sounded like the listener was just in another club on another night. I think a mix should do something else."

The second part is more chuggy disco, with plenty of influences from middle-eastern music and Arabic disco. 

The last part was some mad quick and fun shit. It has UK Garage, electro, and some straight-up bass stuff. Like the Toni Moralez take on Khia’s ‘My Neck, My Back’. I had fun with that last section.

Lots of people organise their music by ‘energy’ or speed or whatever. I just organise it based on influence and the patterns of the drums/bass. I guess you can hear that coming through. 

You are involved in another project though, outside of The Bubble™️. What are you trying to do with that and how would you say it’s worked out?

YES! Speaking of crowd friendly, we have a night Duende in Nottingham and Leeds. About 5 of us are involved and do all the art and promotion stuff. All the profits go to charity. All the venues are cosy and we aim to make the space as much like a house party as possible, with everything from lighting to making sure we have safe door staff etc.

Oli Taylor/Facebook

If anyone’s in Leeds or Notts (or hopefully Cambridge in the future) a Duende night is a must-see. 

Who is your favourite producer/performer at the moment?

So many. Producer, I would have to say Dunkeltier – they make some cool industrial meets Arabic disco stuff yum.

Performers: George Manley or Douglas. Big up. Or Kiara Scuro. Or Dr Rubinstein. Or Johnny Rock. 

What is your go to tune to bring a party up/banger?

Ooooh always Sun My Sweet Sun by Red Axes, or, Arabia by DJ Normal 4.

HAH

HAH DJing at PlaytimeFree Periods/Facebook

HAH is a DJ who has undeniably been at the heart of the Cambridge music scene for a while. Setting up Playtime, the night that showcases female + nb DJs, and organising workshops with some of the best up and coming DJs around. Her sets have been known to hop from scene to high-energy scene, and here she serves up a sweet half-hour of hip hop, soul and RnB. Yum.

What were you trying to do with the mix?

I wanted to throw some tunes that I love all together and make something collage-y.

How did you get into DJing?

I never thought about it before I came to uni, but I've always been into music. DJing is one of the best ways to share that and meet interesting people: Jemima Higgins taught me! Thanks mom!!

You play a lot more Hip Hop in this than previous mixes in the series. How does it fit into the stuff you normally DJ, and do you think it mixes with the music we’ve heard so far in the series?

"If you heard reggaeton mixed into techno in Fez, it was probably me, sorry!"

This mix was a chance for me to mix some music I wouldn't get to play out so much. Last term I played a few more relaxed sets, at Kettle's Yard and Fleapit. I enjoyed them so much that I thought it was time to get artistic and blend some hip hop together with Tirzah and Rosalia. I get so wrapped up in my sets that I tend to mix across genres quite a lot: if you heard reggaeton mixed into techno in Fez, it was probably me, sorry!!!

The mix notably showcases some amazing female artists. How would you say women are misrepresented and underrepresented in the music you listen to? And who do you think are the women making a difference?

I love Tirzah a lot, her kind of messy melancholy vocals over Mica Levi's crisp production really does it for me. I also want people to listen to the lyrics of this mix, they're saying some good stuff. I don’t know, I could ramble on about it forever, but I think the issue about gender representation has been raised in Cambridge: just keep an eye out for latent sexism and give as many opportunities to women and non-binary artists as u can, especially if they're just starting out.

"I could ramble on about it forever, but I think the issue about gender representation has been raised in Cambridge"

You set up Playtime, a night showcasing women & non-binary DJ talent. How did that work? Is it difficult running a night on your own?

There's a lot of work behind the scenes that goes unthanked, people don't think about the mechanics of student-run nights. At the start, I worked so hard on the project but it’s so much easier now. I've also recruited some peeps to help out which I'm really excited about.

Fez is actually a cool room to put stuff on in, despite the rep. defo do it if u can! 


READ MORE

Mountain View

Milk & Alcohol: Saskia and Laksh

Something very special that’s also happened under your watch is the recent DJ workshops. What would you say you learned from Peach, Luz and Doc Sleep?

DJ workshops are interesting because dance music isn't really 'taught' in many other contexts. It’s about what you feel and how you like to move, and like all other creative things, the process for everyone is really different. So, I guess what I learnt has been a mixture of practical knowledge and marking out my own style.

What have you got planned for the future?

Playtime is (hopefully) going to keep putting on workshops. We're losing a lot of our DJs this year, so expect a farewell party at the Portland arms after exams. Next term, we're in Cindies!

Sponsored links