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Selections: Akanbi

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, Akanbi spotlights ethereal boogie music, healing ambience, gentle amapiano, masterful dub, club slammers and more

Rave man. Spiritual leader. Mayor of enjoyment. Three simple descriptors used by the Lagos-raised DJ Akanbi to sum up his role in New York’s bustling scene. Listen to any one of his studio mixes, club recordings or The Lot Radio shows, and you’ll quickly learn what he means. Over the past few years, he has nurtured a fluid style of DJing that strikes an irresistible balance between the rough and the smooth, the urgent and sensual, the mind-altering and limb-loosening. 

At venues like Nowadays, Bossa Nova Civic Club and public records, festivals including Sustain Release and Dweller, and at his own renowned GROOVY GROOVY parties, he’ll spin tough percussive club workouts into gorgeous amapiano soothers, before taking a hard handbrake turn into cowbell-heavy techno and a juicy Azealia Banks jam. Sub-bass steppers and ceiling-shaking dubstep will give way to vibrant eruptions of melody and vocals. Moving all over the genre map, the through line to any Akanbi set is in how much fun it is. 

He’s currently on tour around Europe and the UK, having recently given up the day job to focus on music full time. He’s in London’s Corsica Studios tonight (28th April) for the club’s weekly Small Talk soirée alongside OK Williams, Louise Chen, James Bangura, Toumba b2b Sim and Acidfinky. You can get your tickets for that here, and you can find more dates in the Akanbi calendar here.

For a little taste of what to expect, Akanbi has chosen 10 gems from his record back that showcase just what he’s all about. Dive in below to find ethereal boogie music, healing ambience, gentle amapiano, masterful dub, experimental club craziness and more.

DJ Trystero
‘Castillo’ [Incienso]

“Trystero has gone and birthed another masterpiece! Ethereal boogie music executed with so much swagger and intention. Track 3 ‘Ludus’ never fails to send me out far into the galaxies. This is the perfect soundtrack to touch the sky.”

'Release Spirit’ [Ghostly International]

“Ambient masterclass from the don Khotin. The level of beauty, grace, space, and calmness on this record can eradicate all the evil in this world. The vocal recordings spread across the album is another sweet treat.”

Paul St. Hilaire
‘Tikiman Vol.1’ [Kynant Records]

“Dub nation stand up! The Rhythm & Sound long-time collaborator is back with an outstanding collection of dub music engineered for nourishment of the soul. I listened to this album during a solo hot yoga session a few weeks ago and the effects were real! Fav track 'The Weatherman' hits the feels every damn listen. Paul’s voice especially on this track is truly so divine.”

DJ Black Low
'Impumelelo’ [Awesome Tapes From Africa]

“Amapiano for the gentle spirit. It’s a perfect follow up to the ‘Uwami’ record that continues to highlight Black Low’s genius production skills. This is music for calling out to the rave gods OR for a cruise down the coast on a sunny day. Rinsing ‘Drive Through’ in DJ sets has been such a joy.”

DJ Tunez & Amexin
‘The "Amexin" EP’

“Amexin’s voice blended with Tunez’s productions absolutely champions the super sweet sound of afrobeats that is honestly dangerously irresistible. The level of sexiness, afro swagger & bubble throughout the record must be celebrated. Tracks like Lambo, Boogie Down & Inner Joy are truly supreme.”

‘Till I’m Dead’

“RXKNephew is my favourite rapper at the moment. Man’s flow, charisma, genius word play, and overall super fun approach to rap is bigly refreshing. The wrestling references on the album closer 'Long Song' is truly one hell of a mood. 'Frames', 'Critical' and 'What I'm Doin' are other standout tracks.”

‘Phiriya’ [SLINK NYC]

“Bangladeshi vocals blended with deep drone and club percussion… What more can man ask for eh? Super bold release from the Slink and Daytimers camp that graciously contributes to the ongoing rise of asian diaspora club music culture. The rrao remix is a big slippery fav that never fails to prepare the spirit for a deep dive."

Beta Librae
‘Late At Night (with james K)’ [Incienso]

“This music perfectly contributes to my ‘sexy party’ agenda and for that I am thankful. James K’s fairy-like voice floats effortlessly over Beta Librae’s psychedelic and luscious productions setting such a sincere and sweet mood. This one's for the cute steppers.”

Peder Mannerfelt
‘Hyperchase EP’ [Nervous Horizon]

“Peder back at it with a prime stack of grade A club weapons. Hard body percussion overload at its finest. Tracks like ‘Big Ball’ and ‘The Great Stink’ will legit have people questioning their whole existence in the club.”

‘Relentless’ [Hyperdub]

“Stupid good footwork from Chicago! The vocal and percussion execution on this one is mint! Tracks like ‘5,4,3,2,1’ and ‘Chicago Flow’ are go-to club tools to send the rave into a frenzy.”