Adam Wray also likes Coney.
Detroit’s Kyle Hall may only be 21, but the mix he’s assembled for Resident Advisor’s podcast is veteran’s work. No surprise for heads who’ve been paying attention – Hall was 16 when his first 12″ was released on Omar-S’ FXHE imprint. Since then, Hall’s put out a steady stream of crack tunes, releasing records on Hyperdub, Third Ear, and Wild Oats, his own label.
Hall, it should be noted, is something of a purist. He works mainly with hardware and prefers to spin vinyl. This mix, titled “Be Kind Rewind,” was recorded directly to cassette. Cloaked in tape hiss, it has a it a raw, rugged, almost mystic quality. The mix opens with the familiar ka-chunk of a cassette deck, pulling you into its miniature soundworld before cutting into Glenn Underground’s “Israelee Nights Falls,” a slice of deep, jazzy Chicago house. Hall folds these vibes into the dubby techno of Lubin’s “Monotuber” before dipping into the industrial Sturm und Drang that’s characterized so much of Detroit’s dance music. A slowed-down Robert Hood tune rolls into an edit of Philly post-punk band Crash Course in Science’s “Flying Turns,” which clatters into unreleased heat by Wild Oats artist Funkineven. Like most great mixes, Hall suggests new possibilities through unlikely pairings, creating conversations across genres and geographies.
Hall’s devotion to analog expresses itself in his mixing, too – he’s smooth and confident, but not perfect. The lapses are few and far between, though, and actually add to the atmosphere Hall’s trying to create. They make the mix feel all the more human. It’s easy to fetishize analog, to focus on the process more than the product, but Hall’s methods seem like the key to his output. Like SpaceGhostPurrp’s productions, Hall’s mix is full of fuzzy artifacts that recall another era. The low end distorts, and there’s a segment towards the end that sounds like its being played through the blown-out system of mid-nineties Civic. Frankly, it’s cool to see someone who came up in the era of Ableton and Traktor committed to doing things the hard way.
Hall has just dropped his debut LP, THE BOAT PARTY, on his Wild Oats imprint. Between his work and releases from other Wild Oats artist, there’s no shortage of great dance music coming out of Motown. As Omar-S might say: it’s money in the D.