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Resident Advisor Podcast : RA.832 Ciel

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RA.832 Ciel : Toronto’s Cindy Li, AKA Ciel, has a knack for balancing warmth and pressure. Her productions and mixes often feel coated in an iridescent gloss, evoking the trippy stylings of ’90s UK tech house and the swung drums of classic New York house. In between that, though, there’s lots of vigor via sleek electro, rippling trance, barrelling techno and big, bad breakbeats. Her style may lean towards the atmospheric but it’s loaded with moxie, giving her the versatility to close out a main room or kick off the afters.

Her fluid movements between bouncy basslines, spiraling synth patterns and weightless house grooves are just one facet of her impressive rise as a DJ and producer. When she’s not behind the decks, presenting radio shows or working on the excellent Parallel Minds label she runs alongside other Toronto acts Yohei S and Daniel 58, Li throws herself into community work. Committed to diverse dance floors, affordable housing and overall equality in the music industry, she’s a hard worker in the realest sense of the phrase.

Li’s RA mix is a treat. Rolling through scintillating drum work, wonky rhythms and dreamy pads, it feels like quintessential Ciel. In her interview below, she described how she enjoys “the challenge of trying to combine and make cohesive all the diverse styles of music I loved in a DJ set.” Judging by this mix alone, it’s safe to say that Li succeeded.

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Resident Advisor Podcast : RA.830 Roy Davis Jr

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RA.830 Roy Davis Jr : The decade-spanning career of Roy Davis Jr. is intrinsically intertwined with the history of house music. As one of the defining voices of Chicago’s underground, he’s worked both behind the decks and behind-the-scenes. From handling Strictly Rhythm’s A&R sector in the ’90s to joining seminal production crew Phuture to launching his own Undaground Therapy Muzik label, Davis Jr. isn’t just a veteran but a compendium of dance music knowledge. Daft Punk cites him as an influence while the likes of Disclosure, Zed Bias and Waajeed have sought him out for collaborations.

He may be best known for his 1998 single Gabriel with Peven Everett—now a garage anthem on both sides of the Atlantic—but his discography and DJ sets go well beyond club hits. Weaving in soul, gospel, disco, techno and acid into a deep house framework, he marries raw funk, plush melodies, hypnotic synths and stripped-down arrangements. All these elements are beautifully captured on his RA Podcast. Moving from a state of eyes-closed bliss to body-moving grooves, the near two-hour session is as grounding as it is free-floating. Spiritual, sensual and tightly mixed, it’s a lesson in multifaceted house music.

Resident Advisor Podcast : RA.829 HAAi

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RA.829 HAAi : There’s a track on HAAi’s upcoming debut album, Baby, We’re Ascending, called “Louder Always Better.” That kind of sums up her approach right there. (See also: “Biggest Mood Ever.”) Since her first record, 2017’s “Be Good” her approach to dance music has been to make as dense, overwhelming and uplifting as possible. Much has been made of her background in psychedelic rock, which definitely informs records like the muggy, intense Motorik Voodoo Bush Doof Musik, but it’s not the whole story. A better point of reference might be DJ Harvey lost in the Australian desert, but comparisons are beside the point. At this point, HAAi is completely unique.

The Australian producer has made quite a name for herself as a DJ in her adopted hometown of London, and while her album shoots off in all directions—from ecstatic rave-pop to sultry stunners—her RA Podcast captures the spark that makes her such a beloved force behind the decks. Weaving powerful techno from artists like Atrip and Piska Power with weirder, adventurous music courtesy of Cocktail Party Effect and Sha Sha Kimbo—plus a few tastes of HAAi’s new album—it’s an eclectic mix that’s as windy and unpredictable as her records. Plus, it ends with classic track by The Cure. That’s just good taste.

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