A'alely's sound seems to be getting more and more refined with each outing - and with appearances mostly being rare / nonexistent for many selectors on our island these days, we thought it would be a good idea to invite him on this series.
His appetite for traditional rhythms contextualized in non-tradition sets him on a path not taken by many selectors here, inevitably resulting in intriguing mixes and unpredictable sets. Press play for a deep dig into the abyss via heavy percussions, dub, exotique sounds and hypnotic rhythms. Scroll down for the interview & tracklist.
Hey Fiz, great to have you on the series. How’ve you been in the last couple months?
Hey mate, thanks for having me. Never been better, alhamdullilah. World’s far out crazier than it ever was — what a time to be alive!!!
For the uninitiated, let’s get a quick intro about yourself and how you got started as a selector and eventually a core member of Darker Than Wax.
I was always inclined to music sub-cultures as a teenager and that led me to experimenting with several bands. I didn’t realise then that the skill set I had was limiting my ability to produce.
I started working at a club, and that’s where I was exposed to ‘the DJ’. I learned that the layering of tracks is in itself a craft, and all that required was a little soul and taste. It didn’t seem as daunting as trying to be sax god Sam Rivers, or trying to be a pro at Ableton. That sparked my curiosity, while being at the club so often was fuelling my love for dance music.
That was the catalyst: I found my jazz cabbage, dance music. Dropped the band, started playlisting for my mates and found a hobby I can’t get enough off.
We absolutely love your Maksiat! Mix on Radio Huru Hara. You’ve been deep into the tribal end of dance music for a while now, what draws you to these sounds?
Thanks, that was a really fun one! I used to play the drums so it was only natural that traditional percussions would appeal to me. I love it when producers add ghost notes and distorted synths or guitars, and when they incorporate traditional rhythms like Konpa, Kadans, Kaada, Gnawa or Kadodi. My other kink is traditional instruments used in post-modern contexts, such as a distorted Biwa, Buzuq or even throat singing. I often pay homage to these sounds in my mixes.
How did you decide to approach this mix, and was there a particular environment or context you had in mind while recording?
Dance music is so subjective, I realise what makes me dance might not do the same for others. Then a good friend shared DJ Marcelle / Another Nice Mess with me a few years ago, and It absolutely blew my mind. There were no boundaries in her mixes, you had The Modern Lovers and Muslimgauze side by side, and that really appealed to me.
That led to a ‘madeleine de Proust’ moment so to speak, since I realised that “slam dancing” at a moshpit as a teen was my form of club sound. That’s where I started to dig deeper into my roots of electro-acoustic distorted guitar riffing, post-punk electronic synths, heavy traditional percussions and dub. I wanted to mash this abomination together into a mix that moves me, and hopefully others too.
What would your most ideal place to play look like?
Are there any projects you’re working on at the moment you’d like to plug / What’s next for Aalely?
Check out my mates Shereen and Yadin’s Radio Huru Hara https://radiohuruhara.com for deep selects, they’ve got another mix coming up soon for Maksiat!
Good thoughts only, Ramadan special extravaganza <3
1. Kuniyuki Takahashi – Asia – Early Tape Works 1986-1993 Vol. 2 (Music From
2. Mong Tong 夢東 - Excerpts from B4 - 夜譚 Yiè Tán - 台灣謎景 Music from Taiwan
Mystery (WV Sorcerer Productions 巫唱片)
3. Mong Tong 夢東 - A2 - 地府 Dì Fǔ - 台灣謎景 Music from Taiwan Mystery (WV
Sorcerer Productions 巫唱片)
4. Arrington de Dionyso and Rully Shabara – Elo Progo Improvisations 3 – Elo Progo
Improvisations (Arrington de Dionyso)
5. German Army – Zoulou Danse – Animals Remember Human (Artetetra)
6. Wahono – Alkisah II (Dalam Dua Bagian) – Senyawa / Alkisah Dikisahkan (YESNO 099)
7. DIVISI62 – KOMPOS 2 – Komposisi Kompos (DIVISI62)
8. DJ Khalab ft. Moses Boyd – Dawn – Black Noise 2084 (Khalab)
9. Lucrecia Dalt – Esotro – Esotro/Veta 10” (Other People)
10. Saba Alizadeh – Dream – Scattered Memories (Karlrecords)
11. mouse on the keys – Dark Lights – Out of Body (mouse on the keys)
12. Champagne Dub – Schmooze Fest. Pt. 2 – Drops
13. Meitei – Seto – Komachi (Métron Records)
14. Unity (DJ Sotofett’s Unity Dub) – Etienne Jaumet – Etienne Jaumet in Dub –
[VER126] (Versatile Records)
15. Sordid Sound System – Dub Cha Cha – In A Year Of 13 Moons EP (Self Release)
16. Edits by Alexis Le-Tan – Butter Flies – Wonders Ovze World (Idle Press)
17. L.F.T. – Trapped In The Piramids – OEOO3 : L.F.T. – Blood in the Grass (Osàre! Editions)
18. A4 – Bermuda – Aigue Morte – Aigue Morte EP (Le Syndicat Des Scorpions)