A high-energy trip through international rave sounds old and new from Belizean-American DJ and producer Ariel Zetina.
As a resident of Chicago’s famed Smartbar, it makes sense that Ariel Zetina is strongly influenced by the city’s long history of house music. However, since her 2019 EP Organism, Zetina’s music has pushed the style forward by pulling in a varied tapestry of styles – soca, punta and brukdown (a nod to her mother’s Belizean origin) as well as video game soundtracks and late ’90s trance have all filtered into her process, which has consistently delivered some of the most inventive US club tracks of recent years.
Zetina’s debut album, Cyclorama – released earlier this year on Local Action – continued this run of form, drawing on her background as a theatre writer and her personal experience as a trans woman of colour to craft a dazzling set of tracks rich in narrative. “I imagine all the tracks on this as the lights and action projected onto the cyclorama,” Zetina says of the album. “The whole album is like the cyc, a representation of the sky. Or an imagined sky. An imagined dancefloor. An imagined theatrical production.”
On Zetina’s Fact Mix, she provides a window into the sound of her Diamond Formation party at Smartbar and that of her other nights in the city, including Ariel’s Party and Rumors. It kicks off with Morgan Hislop’s clattering club edit of Samantha Urbani’s ‘Time Time Time’, taking in barrelling rave techno from Devoye, Ikonika’s funk-tinged classic ‘PR812’, James Bangura’s punchy club tool ‘Monterrey’ and Jonny L’s hardcore classic ‘The Ansaphone’ before closing out with MCR-T & horsegiirL’s equine banger, ‘My Barn, My Rules’.
Follow Ariel Zetina on Instagram and SoundCloud. Find her music on Bandcamp and buy Cyclorama on vinyl and digital formats from Local Action.
Samantha Urbani – ‘Time Time Time’ (Morgan Hislop Club Edit)
Jollydant – ‘Manna’
Dask Dakota – ‘Difficult Love’
Devoye – ‘Belt’
Manuka Honey – ‘Sling’
Ikonika – ‘PR812’
Purelink – ‘Cricket Dub’
Maara – ‘Can’t Slo Down’
Reosc – ‘Call of the Oscillator’
Annika Wolfe – ‘Troubled Thots’
Elektrochemie – ‘You’re My Kind’
James Bangura – ‘Monterrey’
Vil – ‘Anjos, The New Birmingham’
CZR – ‘Structure’
Jane’s World – ‘Therapy’
Ariel Zetina – ‘Oil Rig’
Seanni B – ‘Tinted Rose’
Jonny L – ‘The Ansaphone’
Syana – ‘Leave You on Read’
Viikatory – ‘Based On Your Listening Histroy’ (ft. jpeg.love)
Aziatic – ‘Budum Budum’
MCR-T & horsegiirL – ‘My Barn, My Rules’
Listen next: Fact Mix 886: Spekki Webu
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