Breaking down some of Nuts to Soup’s best mixes – Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Nuts to Soup continues to redefine radio

Originating in London, Nuts to Soup is an independent radio station founded in 2011 by Femi Adeyemi. With the original studio in London and an additional one in Los Angeles, NTS broadcast music is hosted by a wide array of artists from around the world, 24/7.

NTS is perfect for those interested in discovering new music. Artist residencies and mixes are a great way to find more of what you like from as selected by some of your favorite artists. Here are some excellent NTS mixes.

Bladee – Bladee Radio

The Bladee radio residency was my introduction to NTS, and it was probably the first time in my digital life that I waited in anticipation for a piece of analog media. Bladee radio was originally only supposed to be a four-week stay but received a surprise fifth episode to bring in the new year.

Benjamin Reichwald, better known as Bladee, is a Swedish rapper hailing from Stockholm. The Bladee radio series is more so hosted by him, rather than curated. Each week, Bladee brought in a different artist or artists to share some of their favorite tracks.

The Royal Mix, curated by Thaiboy Digital and Woesum, brings a Euro-house mix with staples like Basshunter and CJ Bolland. The Hoxton mix, curated by Baby_Xd and Joakim Benon, brings a trance-like hardstyle mix, with quiet reprieve in Benon’s outro. The Stockholm mix, curated by Yung Sherman, is an incredibly atmospheric post rock mix, briefly interrupted by the “bruh” sound effect at various injunctions.

The final two mixes are untitled. The final planned mix brings in Hannah Diamond for a hyperpop heavy mix featuring A.G. Cook and Namasenda. The last mix has Bladee team up for a mix with Mechatok and features an interesting cover of Salem’s “Not much of a life,” in addition to spoken word reflections on the year 2021 by Bladee.

Bjork – Dec. 1, 2018

Bjork provides a peek into her creative process with a mix of tracks that inspired her 2017 album “Utopia.” This avant-garde electronic heavy mix features collaborators Arca and Caroline Shaw, as well as some more experimental cuts from Mesharyalradah and Peder Mannefelt. She even features more classically styled music from famed minimalist composer Steve Reich. As eclectic as ever, Bjork provides a mix unlike any other.

Elusin & Malibu – United in Flames, March 23, 2022

Malibu has had her monthly “United in Flames” mix since mid-2020, and the French musician teams up with Norway’s Elusin for an ambient mix. With haunting, pensive songs by Paul Van Dyk (remixed by Malibu) to obscure remixes like Slackers of “Best Boyfriend,” Elusin provides vocals on the first half of a Chromatics song and even dives deep down into my music memory to bring a vaporwave adjacent remix of Aires “Pink Freckles” by Vanity Productions. The reverberating vocals along with its airy synths provide a hypnotic quality to them.

Katie Vick- Bubble Gum Violence, May 21, 2022

Katie Vick (formerly Uli K) brings together a scrappy bunch of the underground’s ironic iconoclasts. This is hosted by Rhode Island’s Joeyy, whose social media presence defies definition. His hyper-edited glamour pics, nonsensical music videos and playful cadence make his music as funny as it is good. Joeyy “hosts” this mix as a sort of directors’ commentary with the mic left on. For instance, he interjects Swoopy’s “easy-going” to let us know this is a “good song,” and he thanks his listeners  for attending “Swagchella.”

This mix isn’t some sort of throwaway. The mix effectively weaves in post-rock tracks like “Age of Information” by Evanora Unlimited with trance electronic tracks, such as “Return to Fraser Canyon” by SECONDATTACK and “Ocean” by Oozini. Incredible remixes like Rapallo’s “Heartcoregirl” with help from Plush help bridge that gap with a heavy industrial sound.

Vick then transitions this into Joeyy’s “Better Man,” with production from Vinso.

Vinso’s production is hard to get, and Joeyy doesn’t waste it. His flow fits right in with the atmospheric beat as he describes life as the better man.

My Bloody Valentine – April 19, 2021

Shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine provide a mix of the songs of their youth, from punk to blues to classic rock. Each song is followed by a hearty discussion among the group’s members, be it the memory the song brings them or how the song influenced their sound.

For a band that defined a new genre and era of music, getting some background on their inspirations helps to trace the roots of shoegaze. The heavy instrumental dissonance and muted vocals can find some inspiration in the avant-garde jazz selections like Don Cherry’s “Brown Rice.” On “To Here Knows When,” lead singer Bilinda Butcher seemingly inhales and exhales as the grating synths and guitar begin to drown her out, as the resonance fades and the melody becomes clearer.

Honorable Mentions

There are many other fantastic mixes. Evilgiane’s “Surf Gang” is an excellent mix, serving as a CV for the producer who recently gained placement with ASAP Rocky. Yves Tumor’s glamour rock/reggae mix also features some superb East German pop tracks.

NTS doesn’t only do radio, their YouTube channel features live performances with stunning visuals. Bladee and Ecco2K put on an ethereal performance as the pandemic began to crescendo called “Remote Utopias.”  Ecco2K’s features the Swedish multi-hyphenate backed by blinding lights to produce an effect like that of astigmatism. Surrounded by his production equipment, 2K dances alongside projections of himself, portraying a form of escapism through his artistry in those weird times. Bladee gives a similar performance, backed by visuals from his recent album “Exeter,” playing tracks from the album alongside some of his past hits like “Botox Lips.”

Aphex Twin gave us a more traditional performance back in 2017. The ambient artist’s performance features a stage with lights obscuring the artist at work, overlayed with text and drawings. The performance also features intimate camera angles of the diverse crowd, providing a glimpse into the wide appeal of Aphex Twin.

The resurgence of mixes and sets in the mainstream are a welcome phenomenon, and I love seeing what people put together. Platforms like NTS, Boiler Room and Hör are great ways to spend less time crafting playlists and more time actually listening to them.

Jackson Walker can be reached at [email protected]

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