Curated and Written by Stefan Nickum
This week’s Cluster Mag mix comes to you from Dutty Artz producer, WFMU radio personality, and expert curator/selector, Lamin Fofana. Fofana’s debut EP, What Elijah Said marked his expert attention to detail, drums, and even narrative. All of these are apparent in his 2-part mixtape for Cluster.
The EP, like the mix, uses a wide swath of beats-per-minute, sounds, and ideas to create a pastiche that showcases Fofana’s interest in the danceable and the experimental—ends of a spectrum that explore necessary tension and symbiosis. Tracks like “Dance In Yr Blood,” off What Elijah Said, roll in at a cool 120 BPMs—classic house territory—then break into UK funky or South African house’s swing and swagger. Underneath a potent drum rack is a sampled voice, echoing from somewhere in the past or distant future.
Stark contrasts like these pervade Lamin’s work, challenging and pleasing the ear simultaneously. For his entry into Cluster Mag’s mix series, Lamin charts this territory in the deep valleys of the heart, sometimes choosing to disregard seamlessness for collision, or pulling heartstrings with D’Angelo before queuing the ambient abstraction of Kevin Drumm’s “Romantic Sores”.
Side B patters and hisses with all the melancholy atmosphere of a morning train ride on a rainy day, swing bass buzzing into your skull as if it was being fed to your forehead through some scratched up trolley car window. But getting to Bass Clef’s “Rollercoasters of the Heart” on a day where you’re at your best could easily trigger a psychic lift–instead of a shoe gaze subway ride, you stare a stranger in the eyes as if you would dance with them right then and there.
SIDE A: Romantic Sores
Lapalux – Time, Patience, Everything
Holy Other – Touch
Downliners Sekt – Selfish G
Bass Clef – So Cruel
Grouper – Alien Observer
Morgan Zarate – Buy Bye
Jane Weaver Septiéme Sœur – Majic Milk
D’Angelo – One Mo’Gin
Kevin Drumm – Romantic Sores
SIDE B: Rollercoasters of the Heart
Niggas With Guitars – Milky White
Chasing Voices – Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit
Kangding Ray – En Amaryllis Jour
Blawan – Bohla
Bass Clef – Rollercoasters of the Heart
Actress – Gershwin
Leyland Kirby – Live For The Future, Long For The Past
Various Production featuring Asher Dust – Runaway
HIT UP OUR SOUNDCLOUD FOR SIDE A AND SIDE B