A ritual ceremony from Glasgow.
The official line on Highlife, the Glasgow party with which Auntie Flo has a residency, does a fine job of summarising the artist himself: "'future afro-beat' sounds from the across the black Atlantic diaspora—everything from Chicago House, Detroit Techno and Disco to Cumbia, Kwaito and Afrobeat." Brian d'Souza has been DJing in the city for over ten years. Goan Highlife, his debut single, kicked off the Huntleys & Palmers imprint last year. But it was through his next offering, "Oh My Days," that the name Auntie Flo began to circulate. The track's titular chant was inescapable at the end of 2011, aided in part by a bare-bones re-fix from Pearson Sound. d'Souza's global ear was brought into even sharper focus earlier this year, as he released his first album, Future Rhythm Machine. The record drew inspiration from d'Souza's more recent encounters with African and South American music, fixing on dance floor concerns only in passing.
As for RA.341, we can safely say this is the first time we've featured a mix that serves as an "interpretation of a made up ritual ceremony." We'll let d'Souza explain properly below, but we can tell you upfront that the results are dazzling.
What have you been up to recently?
Not sleeping much. We just celebrated Huntleys and Palmers 5th birthday which was amazing fun, then onto Boiler Room last week in collaboration with Soundway. I just released a remix for them and have been doing gigs to promote my Rituals releases from last month on Kompakt and Mule Musiq. Esa and I have just set up a new analogue studio so looking forward to making some new tracks and working on stuff together with him for the first time.
Outside of DJing, I've been developing a mobile app called the MusicMapp which will be launched next year. It will allow people all over the world to connect with the music they hear in bars and shops on an everyday level. We're starting beta testing this month and it's all looking great, so exciting times.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Mix was recorded in my bedroom in Glasgow. I used three turntables, my old Pioneer DJM500, mostly vinyl with Traktor for the unreleased tracks. After a few attempts, I nailed it in one go.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
This is the "rituals mix." I was reading all about music used in ritual ceremonies around the world and was fascinated by the idea that music as a commodity as we accept it in the West is far more ingrained into the fabric of other societies in other parts of the world. The idea of "music" is not something for the elite or those with an ear for it. It is something for everyone.
I wanted to make a mix that was my interpretation of a made up ritual ceremony—starting fairly mystical, before moving into something more direct, tribal, primal, giving way to euphoria then chaos that melds into a party atmosphere and final catharsis. Just like a normal club night really! I was conscious that a lot of my previous mixes are fairly "fun" so wanted to make this harder and more techno, especially in the beginning. I was experimenting with three decks after revisiting two of my favourite mixes from when I first got into techno: Jeff Mills at the Liquid Room and Richie Hawtin's Decks, EFX & 909.
How did your recent Kompakt release come about?
The three tracks for Rituals were made in the same session over the summer. I made "Sun Ritual" in particular for our Highlife "tribute to the sun" party. It's the second year we've done it, we get these audience blinder lights they usually use in big festivals and fill the Sub Club with them, giving out sunglasses to everyone who comes down. Esa and I then control the lights as well as DJing which is amazing—there are some cool videos online if anyone wants to see. "Sun Ritual" went down amazingly well so I made a demo and sent to Mule Musiq who got back asking to release "Mela" and "Kisumu" but not Sun Ritual. This was too good to refuse as I love Mule but left us with "Sun Ritual"...we sent it to Kompakt who just happened to be looking for a track to go with the Nick Hoppner "Ipso Facto" tune and luckily signed it on the spot.
What are you up to next?
Playing Panorama Bar this Friday for the first time which is a huge honour! Got a lot of other DJ gigs over December and then Esa and I are preparing the final Future Rhythm Machine live show for Optimo at Hogamany. We're then gonna work on a brand new, more improvised live show for next year and got a few more experimental projects lined up too.