Following in the footsteps of the likes of HAAi and Jasper James, Phonox – the Brixton club institution that needs no introduction – have recently announced their new Saturday night resident: none other than South Africa’s Esa. With a pedigree that boasts releases on the Dekmantel imprint, a radio show on Giles Peterson’s Worldwide FM and working as Ata Kak’s bandleader, this much-travelled DJ promises to bring a unique new sound to Phonox. Ahead of the residency, we asked Esa to talk us through four tracks that have a permanent place in his heart, and record collection. LiS
PEGGY GOU FEAT. YOO AH-IN – HUNGBOO
In 2014, I met Peggy Gou at Corsica Studios and knew there was something interesting about her. Aware that she was into music and a DJ, I reached out to her to find out whether she would be interested in furthering her knowledge with some Ableton one-to-one sessions. We spoke a lot about her musical direction and since I loved referencing my roots this became part of our creative process. Through tapping into her Korean roots and developing samples, Peggy honed her craft and ideas before moving to Berlin, this is how ‘Hungboo’ came to be. I’m happy to see how she has progressed and built on her production skills, whilst still championing her roots.
POWERMAN FEAT. ARTHUR RUSSELL – LOST TRIBE
Released 1983: the year I was born. Great vocals and lyrics that resonate with me – a super hypnotic track. I had a great experience with this at Atlas electronic music festival: end of the night and finished with my set – as I was leaving I walked through a corridor the festival used as the ambient room, and in there I saw the whole Red Light Radio family and friends mellowing out after an amazing time in Marrakech, with this track playing.
HYPNOSIS – BORMAZ
Electro, disco synth-pop track, that I have been playing all summer and throughout the year. The Todd Terje version is nicely put together and arranged: an electro funky bassline melody which flips into super-funky guitar and an ambient breakdown that comes back to a fat bass line. Memorable moment must be playing B2B with HUNEE at Dekmantel selectors, the energy in the crowd was amazing.
BARBATUQUES – BAIANA (WOLF MUELLER DRUM DROP)
Barbatuques are a body percussion group from Brazil – this drum drop version’s by a good friend of mine: Jan Schulte aka Wolf Mueller. Fusing broken beat and loud drums with Tibetan harp and Brazilian vocals, plus elements of body percussion, is just amazing. I’ve played it a lot this year at 95 bpm. I always take that risk: play it at the middle, the end or beginning and it allows me to change tempos and experiment.