Kanding Ray – Secret Thirteen Mix #108

Nice collection of music right here, curated by Kangding Ray aka David Letellier. Originally brought to our attention via Raster-Noton with a 12″ drop in 2010, the Berlin based producer moves amongst the art world of installations alongside dropping drone influenced, intense, bass techno workings on Stroboscopic Artefacts or Raster-Noton; unpredictable in when or what he may throw up next musically, but it’s consistently superb.

His latest drop is the 2LP Solens Arc, out officially March 17th but slowly trickling in to stores this week. Get on it quick as it’s limited, and from what we’ve heard properly on point. In the lead up to picking it up, with a bit of knowledge of his back catalogue, this mix gives a surprising insight in to his inhabited world.

Starting with some West African work from Mdou Moctar, he quickly gets an electronic beat behind it and pleasantly mixes in a cut with Jabu on vocals, which really sets the standard for the rest of the mix. He pushes it out to the DIY vibe with some chugging techno and deep house, keeping it on edge but never self-indulgent or too far left that you’re girlfriend will tell you to turn it off. Really great stuff.

Not sure what Kangding Ray used to put this together, but the selections are spot-on and sewn together perfectly, showing (not that there was any doubt) that his voyages in to the experimental work have a brilliant musical foundation behind them.

Check the mix below, Secret Thirteen write-up and tracklist underneath that.

01. Mdou Moctar – Nikali Talit [Sahel Sounds, 2013]
02. Rrose – Waterfall (from “Merchant of Salt version”) [Sandwell District, 2011]
03. Truncate – Diffraction (Markus Suckut Remix) [Modularz, 2012]
04. Young Echo – Slow Jam [Ramp Recordings, 2013]
05. Roni Size / Reprazent – Beatbox [Talkin’ Loud, 1997]
06. Kreidler – Il Sogno Di Una Cosa [Kiff SM, 1998]
07. Pfirter – Caos Y Orden Superior (feat. Xiantek) [Stroboscopic Artefacts, 2012]
08. AnD – Free At Last [Ann Aimee, 2013]
09. Kelis – In Public [Virgin, 2004]
10. Miles – Status Narcissism [Modern Love, 2013]
11. Outer Space – Scanlon [Arbor, 2010]
12. Couch – Was Alles Halt [Kitty-Yo, 2001]
13. Jon Hassell – Chor Moiré [Editions EG, 1981]
14. ADMX-71 – The Winfield Spur [Sonic Groove, 2012]
15. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Alles Ist Gut [Virgin, 1981]
16. Front 242 – Song (StarCandy) [XIII BIS Records, 2003]
17. Stanislav Tolkachev – Break Something That Breaks You [M_Rec LTD., 2013]
18. Autechre – Goz Quarter [Warp Records, 1997]
19. Ø – Kolmas [Sähkö Recordings, 2006]
20. Sleeparchive – 5 (from “A Man Dies In The Street Pt.2”) [Tresor, 2013]
21. Drake – The Language [Cash Money Records, 2013]
22. Marcel Dettmann – Push [Ostgut Ton, 2012]
23. Sagat – Intruder [Vlek, 2013]
24. Container – Application [Spectrum Spools, 2011]
25. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away [Bad Seeds Ltd., 2013]
26. Emptyset – Order [Raster-Noton, 2013]
27. HEALTH – In Violet [Lovepump United/City Slang, 2009]
28. Mogwai – Punk Rock [Chemikal Underground, 1999]

“Secret Thirteen Mix 108” is a dynamic and deliberately measured mix that is a clear reflection of Kangding Ray’s current musical background and some of his early influences. In this conceptual selection the author of a mix is exploring a delicate connection between cultures of techno and popular music. However, in his mix Letellier professionally and smoothly incorporates a much wider palette of music styles ranging from industrial or glitch to experimental and world music. This makes his compilation richer, more flexible and compelling. The mix consists of 28 diverse records that were originally released between 1981 and 2013. However, fixed sound quality, exemplary beatmatching and extracted new formations break barriers of concrete time period that could be assigned to some of the records if they were played alone. 

Entire mix sounds relevant to nowadays subtle dance music scene, although Kangding Ray says that “the mix is not based on a super-actual stuff these days”. Emptyset, Ø, Rrose, AnD, Front 242, Jon Hassell, Autechre, D.A.F. are only a few names in this eclectic selection where works were creatively edited, adapted to every different sound expression and substantially mixed together. An accurate, complex, yet controversial or provocative layering of seemingly conflicting tracks gradually creates a complete, enduring and sometimes even slightly confusing wholeness that is quite similar to a multiplex Richard Sweeney’s abstract drawing “Untitled”. The basis of the mix stands on the intense, profound and progressively shifting rhythms, consistently developed repetitive digital percussions, immersing sound modulations and minimalistic melodies. Occasionally appearing hip-hop vocals, melancholic and polemic rhymes, sonorous sample cuts, various sound distortions and noises effectively turn this mix into a modern club music masterpiece. Wide, deep and lush sounding quality should leave no indifferent.

Secret Thirteen in it’s own right is a wicked online space. Their mix series of late has boasted offerings from favourites such as Senking, Jan Jelinek and Violet Poison, all who’ve featured multiple times across the Awkward Movements NTS show. That list is just from their last ten of the one hundred and nine deep archive of mixes they offer, which you can dig through here: http://secretthirteen.org/secret-thirteen-mix-108-kangding-ray/