We’re just a few months into our beta and already Mixcloud is heaving with talented individuals from all corners of the globe. Obviously all you bedroom producers, local DJ’s, aspiring artists, and pro-active music fans are the foundation of the online radio revolution that is Mixcloud, but we thought we’d use this post to shine the spotlight on some of the multitude of stars that also frequent the site.
But with all this talent to choose from, where do you start? Well how about the mother of all dance music genres; house music. First up is local London legend, Luke Solomon, whose career spans more than 17 years, working alongside the likes of Felix Da Housecat and Marshal Jefferson at Freerange Records, setting up seminal Classic label with Derrick Carter, and more recently creating his own imprint, Music for Freaks, with Justin Harris. As well as releasing his own album, ‘The Difference Engine’ last year he has recently lent a helping hand to Radioslave and Damian Lazarus’ latest productions and uploaded a brilliant new cloudcast for all to enjoy.
In comparison, Zombie Disco Squad are relative newcomers, but Lucas Hunter & Nat Self have been producing, playing and pushing sounds like Balie funk, Baltimore bass and so-called fidget house, since way before everyone else started jumping on the bandwagon. Taking influences from African percussion, hip-hop, and jackin’ music in general they have not only built up one of the capital’s best club nights, but made fans around the world, with Jesse Rose signing them to his Made to Play label and Claude VonStroke picking up a single on Dirty Bird. With two mixes already online, if you haven’t been bitten by the Zombie’s then there’s no time like the present.
You’ll probably know the name Mason from his 2006 cross-over hit, ‘Exceeder’, a powerful house tune with just the right amount of Dutch trance euphoria. Using all the best bits from house, trance and techno, he’s a man who doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed, professing, “It’s not about making records for a particular set of DJ’s or scene but just good honest music!” Watch out for his new album, featuring diverse collaborations with Run DMC and Aqualung, out in the next few months on his Animal Language label, as well as regular mixes for the site.
As well as individual artists and DJ’s, Mixcloud is also home to several leading house labels, just a few examples of recent activity being a mesmerising new mix from rising star Wesley Matsell on the Border Community page, and a special B-Pitch Control 10th Birthday set by Sasha Funke, recorded live at the Sonar festival in Barcelona.
Another DJ/producer with a varied musical style is DJ Vadim, who laughs in the face of one-genre jocks whilst expertly blending hip hop, soul, reggae and electronica in his mixes. The Russian ex-pat exemplifies all that is great about his long-time home at Ninja Tune, where he has been consistently releasing fine, fruity funk for years. For a taste simply get his latest Cloudcast, ‘The Truth is Here’ and lap it up.
If you prefer things a bit faster and harder then Mixcloud has you covered, we’ve got a couple of drum’n’bass heroes in the form of Radio 1xtra and Metalheadz d’n’b diva, DJ Flight, and Technique Recordings head honcho, Simon Bassline Smith. The harder side of electro and the emerging bassline/fidget house scene is also well catered for by unashamed party starter Mickey Slim and rising Fabric resident L-Vis 1990.
Just to show you it’s not all music made by computers we’ve also been doing our best to attract a variety of other genres, so whilst these may not be household names, the following are well worth a listen. The Berlin based Mashup Crew will provide all the freshest soca and carnival music from the Caribbean, whilst The Heatwave plays similar blend of “jubilant home-grown dancehall”, so say FACT magazine. Staying with the international vibe we have Snackfight from San Francisco, who specialises in afro-beat, reggae, free jazz, cosmic funk and astral sounds, whereas Timbertron from Barcelona has your Latin music desires covered.
If soul and funk gets you going then have a search for either HeavySoulBrutha and his homemade mixtapes, alternatively PJ Gray’s cloudcasts from his residency at Boston’s biggest soul night, ‘Soullelujah’ and 10 year strong University radio show, ‘Galactic Fractures’, should keep you happy. As for guitar based music there are a few exponents here and there, Vast and Grand’s bevy of mixtapes are full of American guitar heroes, whilst Pipette’s founding member Monster Bobby is certainly involved in rock music, but seems to prefer DJ’ing a big fun mix of party sounds.
If you’re a b-boy at heart then straight outta Brooklyn come DJ Ayres, DJ Eleven and Cosmo Baker, three white boys playing the finest in old school hip hop; their recent Michael Jackson megamix is a fitting tribute to the king of pop. Keeping things funky are Laid Back, a fine internet radio station and magazine from Belgium, who dabble in everything from soul and jazz to psychedelic rock and disco.
Sticking with radio station run shows, Roundhouse Radio is a station run exclusively by young talent, broadcast directly from the fantastic Roundhouse venue in Camden, producing innovative content such as special live events, distinctive music and unique spoken word content. Staying with the spoken word, we would like to introduce the next Chris Moyles (it’s about time!), Seb White, whose radio show is currently broadcast on Diesel:U:Music Radio, where his witty banter is making him one to watch, or should that be listen to?
Words by Peter Walker
If you’d like to check out all of this content but aren’t yet a member of mixcloud then just go here and enter ‘starcloud’ into the invite code box to unlock the ‘beta’ gates to the site. And remember to tell your friends, family, colleagues and arch nemesises all about it!