The Librans in my life appear to have their lives so fully together yet they’ll be the first to tell you it’s falling apart. Often humble, yet so often they’re most intelligent people in the room. This lends to perhaps their most undersung characteristic: that aura of mystery draped around them, visible only to those with keen enough eyes to see it. There’s always more beyond the surface, perhaps obscured by their nous in navigating the social interactions they crave and thrive in so much. As they seek to strike a personal balance across their character, I’m always left to wonder: do they hold themselves back for their own sakes, or for the rest of us?
Libra Season Mix: Kepla
Jon Davies is the sort of quiet constant in my life who I might only see once or twice a year yet feel instantly at home around. At this time in the calendar, we would normally be catching up in Kraków at Unsound, and perhaps I’d have paid him a visit on my annual trip to Liverpool too. I’d expect to see a little twinkle in his eye regarding some new project or theory, a mischievous grin tapping into a clever spin on some gossip, and of course an earnest expression exhibiting curiosity as idealists and dreamers do. These are all classic traits of those born under the Libra sun, and they’re all to be cherished and celebrated.
As Kepla, Jon has established himself as an artist with a fantastical sense of imagination and a wonderfully detailed ear for sonics and the potentials that lie beyond. His 2019 album Within The Gaze, A Shadhavar, released on Alien Jams, is testament to that and his collaborations with DeForrest Brown Jr. are phenomenal. In his mix for Libra Season, he folds together drone and ambient with tender contemporary compositions and peculiar fragments of sound to achieve a deeply poignant harmony. Here’s what he has to say about it all:
Two thirds into 2020 and it’s only just starting to feel like we’re accepting it as a write-off. As the summer ends I’m always taken by melancholy as the northern hemisphere tips towards Winter. This mix says thank you to a couple friends who’ve helped me creatively on the way, and thanks to new artists that are truly inspiring me in a year when I’ve felt pretty exhausted both making and hearing music.
Solidarity with Hong Kong and Taiwanese Independence movements.
Recorded on a day I saw a seal colony xx
Listen to Kepla’s Libra Season Mix and check out the tracklist here.
Lil Wayne: “I know my role and I play it well / And I weight it well, on my Libra scale”
Snoop Dogg: “Yes, I’m internationally known / Libra lovin’ make you moan and groan”
Chief Keef: “I’m stuntin’ like my grandaddy, nothin’ like my papa / She say she a Libra, she ain’t nothin’ like my mama”
Supporting > Purporting
Some things to know, some causes to get behind:
- Violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region continues to seriously impact long-troubled Armenian and Artsakh people indigenous to the area in a conflict that sees aggressors Azerbaijan backed by Turkey. Lara Sarkissian details the awful situation their people face here and have also listed a number of ways you can help out.
- The Healthy Music Audience Project have created a vital resource to help artists, promoters and event organisers create and implement safer space policies. Explore the new guide and watch the website’s launch video.
- Love Muscle Leeds’ fundraiser campaign for a Queer Brown Northerner’s Top Surgery Fund is almost at the midpoint. It would be amazing if we could help take it all the way.
- Leeds co-op CHUNK have packed away their venue and rehearsal space on Meanwood Road and will be looking for a new home away from home. They are taking submissions for material to help build an archive of memories and experiences at the iconic spot – more info here.
Coin with Sign of Libra (A.H. 1034/ A.D. 1625), The Met
Bulletin for my Alumni
Here’s what all of our previous collaborators and contributors have been up to recently – take a deep breath…
ANZ dropped an immediately memorable record for Hessle Audio. DJ PITCH‘s All Centre launched a Discord server (especially of interest to you artists out there), plus a killer new EP from Jennifer Walton with BFTT guesting on the opening track. Be sure to check out BFTT‘s recent Leftovers show plus an essential new release on Polity. Mutualism partners in crime have been busy too; here’s CLEMENCY‘s recent show on Noods and ICEBOY VIOLET‘s appearance on Rinse FM – the latter will take part in the Nine Nights event at Unsound this Tuesday. The former featured in BOOSTERHOOCH‘s radio clubnight on Sub City. One Bandcamp day before the last, hero deejay HELIX upped more heaters. The desk of one AIR MAX ‘97 is now open for mixing and mastering services. Last year’s Libra Season mixer FORGETFUL ANGEL (AURORA) delivered something beautiful for Beyond / Below. AKASH meanwhile went personal to help close out the Blowing Up The Workshop series and he’s got a charity t-shirt drop in tow. Jim SKUNKROCK‘s warmed the airwaves with another Sable Radio show. Witness the talent of IFEOLUWA for Crack’s mix series and in a recent Swing Ting show. NEONLICHTER‘s latest Days of Steam is up on Soundcloud. The fine flavours of THE DANCE PIT are exhibited in her Club Etiquette show as well as her Buy Music Club list. Don’t miss the new remix from INDIA JORDAN, nor their cameo on Foundation FM. ZALEEL explodes into action for last weekend’s edition of Pure Spice hosted by Manara on BBC Asian Network. New releases on HORTENSE‘s Cherche Encore are always a welcome sight. Piscean astrologer-DJ MANUKA HONEY taps in to Rinse FM as well as Foundation FM with Astro Hours and surely has some October horoscopes in the works for you…
As for us core crew members: HEL‘s rom-com-pod-cast revisits 2001 classic Legally Blonde. Episode #03 of Friends & Neighbours aired last week, with TAYYAB et al playing jazz, classical, metal, folk and experimental musics.
Take care, and don’t digest it all at once,