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Selections: Nosaj Thing

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, Nosaj Thing spotlights Detroit house and techno stompers, shoegaze slow burners and hypnotic electronics

Nosaj Thing cuts a singular figure in the electronic music landscape. Since releasing his debut EP in 2006 he’s produced tracks with stars including Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi and Chance The Rapper, while simultaneously refining a personalised electronic palette that’s characterised by lucid soundscapes, evocative melodies and crisp, understated beats. With a catalogue comprising five albums and three EPs, he has amassed a devoted following, and earned reverence from all corners thanks to his painterly take on the craft. 

Nowhere is this more evident than on his latest album, ‘Continua’, which was released via LUCKY ME in October. Stacked with collaborations, including Julianna Barwick, Duval Timothy, serpentwithfeet, Coby Sey, Kazu Makino and Panda Bear, it’s comfortably his most accomplished work to date, and demonstrates his curatorial touch and deeply considered approach to arrangement. From the velvety, soft-focus synths and piano chimes of the engrossing opening title track to the blissed-out beats and vocals of ‘Blue Hour’ and ‘Condition’, it’s a decidedly nocturnal offering, but its gaze​​ is fixed on the stars. 

Speaking about the record, Nosaj Thing said: “There’s multiple energies on the record and every time I hear it, it feels alive to me. It’s a communal record and we all tuned into something. My hope is that this could impact whoever's listening to it in a positive way. ‘Continua’ invites you forward. To keep going.”

The curatorial, collaborative spirit and shifting energies that define ‘Continua’ are mirrored in Nosaj Thing’s Selections, which comprise old favourites, recent discoveries and cuts from some of his collaborators. From Detroit house and techno stompers to shoegaze slow burners to hypnotic electronics, it’s an insight into the broad Nosaj Thing musical universe. Dive in below. 

Hoshina Anniversary
‘Rokumeikan’ [ESP Institute]

“I was put on to this record by my friend. We were working on some tunes together in his studio and he started playing this tune as a reference for tempo. I play this one out during the first 20 minutes of my set.”

Kenny Larkin
‘Wake Me’ [Planet E Communications]

“This track has amazing energy. It feels like you’re on the verge of something unexpected about to happen. The pocket of the synth stabs is locked.”

‘Crossing Mars’ [Planet E Communications]

“I was on a DJ tour with Dam Funk and Machinedrum a few years back. Dam put this one on and I had to ID it. I love the drums in this one. The compression on the snare is really nice.”

‘No Sale Ya Casi la Pobre’

“I heard this track on a random NTS show I had on when I was home.  The drums swing nicely and the vocals in the main hook takes over the room. It sounds massive.”

‘Position’ [Hyperdub]

“This track came out on Hyperdub a while back and it’s still been in constant rotation. It really puts me in a hypnotic state.“

‘Don’t Turn Me Away’ [Lucky Number]

“I’m changing it up with this one. The next five tunes will be more for listening at home, on a walk, or a drive. The tone and delivery of her voice is perfect. I like it when she laughs mid-line at the end of the song.”

My Bloody Valentine
‘if I am’ [Domino]

“I’m really not sure how mbv managed to make a record like this over 20 years after their last record. As usual, the sonics are beyond.”

Boards of Canada
‘Happy Cycling’ [Warp Records]

“One of my biggest influences and favorite albums. From the 2001: A Space Odyssey-like vocal sample to the seagull-like sounds, this is classic in my mind.”

Duval Timothy
‘Next Tomorrow’

“I play Duval’s music often at home and it was a pleasure to finally work with him on my new album. All of his work is really great. I just happened to choose this one since it came to mind first.”

Sam Gendel
‘Uroko (鱗, fish scales)’ [LEAVING RECORDS]

“Another artist I got to work with recently for my album. Sam is an incredible musician and I admire how prolific he is with maintaining such quality. I hope to work with him again soon.”