In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. This week, ahead of series 2 of her Assurance podcast, Juba spotlights energetic dance music from across the globe, from future gqom and amapiano classics to Brazilian grime and Ugandan club bangers
In her 2020 interview with DJ Mag, Juba described the importance of dancing to her expression as a DJ. “I dance behind the decks, and want people to dance very hard when they listen to me play,” she said at the time. It’s an ethos captured in her contribution to the Selections series, in which the Berlin-based, British-Nigerian DJ spotlights energetic dance sounds from across the globe. From the bright, bouncing gqom and amapiano sounds of Griffit Vigo, Gafacci and Gina Jeanz, to the fierce Brazilian grime of TONCALi & AKA AFK, each track here is an irresistible invitation to the dancefloor.
Also featured in Juba’s Selections are tracks by guests in her Assurance podcast, which launched earlier in the year with the intention of celebrating women and non-binary DJs across the Global South. Series 1 of the podcast featured interviews with Nyege Nyege’s Kampire (Kampala, Uganda), Badsista (São Paulo, Brazil), Risa Taniguchi (Tokyo, Japan), Liliane Chlela (Montréal-via-Lebanon), Zeina (Cairo, Egypt) and Valesuchi (Chile). Series 2 will kick off on 13th September, and will see Juba interviewing a mixture of DJs representing Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, focusing on progress and necessary changes being made in the area of gender representation within these regions’ dance music scenes. Confirmed guests for series 2 include Gina Jeanz (South Africa via Namibia), Julianna (Colombia), Coco Em (Kenya) and Lyla (Pakistan).
Ahead of series 2, listen to series 1 of the Assurance podcast here. Assurance originated as a follow up to Juba’s 2020 documentary of the same name, which you can watch here.
Dig into Juba’s Selections below.
“I've been coming across Gina Jeanz more often in recent months and I really enjoy her productions. ‘Amagroove’ is one of my favourite tracks of hers and it’s a very smart take on the South African sound of the moment, amapiano. It’s mature and sexy and has a nice housey swing to it with a bit of funk and bass too. She’s also an upcoming guest on the second series of the Assurance Podcast and I’m really excited to hear about and share her perspective as a Namibian DJ in South Africa.”
“This track has to be one of my top songs of recent times. Griffit Vigo is one of my favourite producers and responsible for some indisputable gqom classics like ‘Ree’s Vibe’. This track, ‘Run’, is definitely a classic for me. I love the build up and the echoing shrill sounds at the beginning and when the first drop finally comes it honestly makes me go a bit insane. I came across this track during lockdown and I’d been anticipating playing it out once parties and festivals started up again and I haven’t been disappointed.”
“‘Cool Cool’ is probably my favourite from Mina and Bryte’s cross continental dancefloor banger packed EP. When I first heard it, it passed my twerk test straight away. I love Bryte’s energetic delivery; it's so infectious as is the hook. I also enjoy Mina’s brass samples and drum patterns that play throughout the track, they’re a great basis for a certified club banger.”
“The Melbourne duo Sleep D have been a recent find for me and I’ve enjoyed exploring their discography since. Centro is very funky and weirdly twerkable (it passed the twerk test too). It has a sleepy quality to it with the chords, but the drums and other elements give it a kind of defiant energy. The song feels like that 6am energy that you get at the end of a long club night stint, where a sense of euphoria meets the need to pass out.”
“This track comes from a really cool compilation from Brazil based label ZONAexp. Not only is it a lifeline for artists who have been affected by the pandemic, but there are so many amazing tracks on it, very much representing Latin American and principally Brazilian sounds. I’ve picked out a track by Valesuchi, an amazing Chilean DJ and Producer who is based in Rio and who was also an amazing guest on the Assurance Podcast. I feel like this track would sound amazing on a massive dancefloor. It’s got a dark energy, but is also really exciting and I can imagine this song ping ponging off the walls in a club. I’m looking forward to playing it out."
“I love this track because it’s loud and cacophonous. I enjoy songs that are borderline uncomfortable to listen to and this is one of them. It sounds a bit like an electronic malfunction but it has a heavy 4x4 beat running through it that makes it a hard dance track. I also enjoy the really abrupt ending and it’s just cool to hear these experimental sounds coming out of East Africa: Kampala, Uganda to be exact.”
“I’ve recently found myself indulging in more Brazilian club sounds such megatron and baile funk, so this track from TONCALi & AKA AFK felt like perfect timing when it came out on Club Yeke. It’s a short sharp burst of energy and grime, and is part of this really exciting ‘brime’ movement in Sao Paolo, which fuses UK grime’s grittiness with percussive afro funky rhythm of Baile Funk. I love this combo, I think it creates a really stank energy (which is great).”
“I don't think there’s a set of mine that exists that doesn’t include a Gafacci track. He just makes the most exciting, intelligent and danceable stuff and has a big impact on my musical direction. This track is the latest one of his that I’ve bought. It has a kind of minimalist energy to it at times and then it comes alive at others. It’s quite frenzy-inducing and incorporates some gqom patterns which I enjoy.”
“I heard this track out at a party the other day and the second the DJ put it on I went up to the decks and took a picture of the song (I asked the DJ of course) and then bought it the second I got home. It’s just such a hard track and chaotic too, I especially love the breakdown at like 1:26, it just gets better and better from that point on. Clearly right now I’m enjoying a lot of dance focused music.”
“Badsista from Sao Paulo is one of my favourite DJs/producers, so I was really excited to have her on as a guest during the first series of the Assurance Podcast. This track ‘Esperando O Verao’ is actually the theme tune and it’s a nice contrast to the quite heavy dance stuff that I’ve been buying recently. It has a nice sunny laid back Soulection feel that takes me back to my 2015 SoundCloud days, so it’s got a nostalgic quality for me. I just think it’s a really beautiful and understated track and it calms me down, whilst incorporating a bit of groove.”