Do whatever you want: Aletha is infusing acid and breaks into genre-melting DJ sets

today14/06/2023 6

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I find it interesting that whilst there’s an electronic basis to the party, you’re still quite keen for the event to not be bound by genre. Is that something reflective of your own sound?

Definitely. I just wanted it to be as open as possible, and there’s so many events which are specifically wrapped around genre, that I want to create a space for people who want to hear everything and don’t want to go to a night and hear one genre all night. If you go to an event and you don’t really like house that much but have to listen to house for eight hours, it’s probably not going to be that enjoyable! So by having an event where the music policy is quite open, the people who I book might think about playing a sound they don’t usually. It’s completely up to who is playing what they wanna play.

That’s refreshing, where sometimes it’s easy to get quickly pigeonholed into one genre.

I’ve been asked by so many people ‘have you decided what genre you want to play?’. I don’t want to pick! I like everything!

So, what’s the vibe you bring to the dancefloor then?

I feel like you’ll always hear some sort of acid in my sets, but acid stretches across so many different genres anyway. I always like to play around with that sound. I think it was ever since I saw DJ Pierre play at Bloc Festival and I was like ‘oh my god, I love this!’. I’d obviously already heard acid before, but when I looked into him as a DJ and the creation of the sound, I realised it was something I could find more of so I got into Posthuman and the whole I Love Acid thing. I love acid in different genres throughout sets, you’ll definitely always hear some! Lots of breaks, too. That’s influenced by loving broken beat and jazz in Leeds. The broken element to tunes always fits somewhere – whether that’s UK bass or broken beat or broken techno, it’s somewhere in there.

Read this next: How your favourite genre got its name

Your sets feel structured in a really nicely thought out way, especially as they meander through genre. Would you say piecing DJ sets together is a cathartic process for you?

Definitely. I think because I only plan the first couple of tracks, and then just go through, it’s always so nice mixing two tracks together and getting the cathartic feeling of ‘oh wow, they actually sound really good together!’. It can be quite exciting, but that’s always what’s worked for me. It’s feeding off the crowd, seeing if it really works for someone or if the crowd don’t really like it, so you’ve the freedom to move away from that kind of sound and move into something else.

Speaking of sets, I see you played the iconic bathroom, HÖR, at the end of last year!

I hate being filmed, it makes me really anxious, so that was a bit terrifying! I don’t know if you’ve seen the video but I can’t watch it back. I couldn’t look at the camera once, if I was checking the time I was looking all the way around the screen. It was fun to go over to Berlin and do it, though.

Looking forward, then, what’s on the cards for you this summer? I believe you’re quite packed…

Annual leave is running low! I’m going to play at Love International and Dimensions which I’m really excited for, and Glastonbury for the first time! I’ve never even been so it’ll be exciting to go. I’m doing Lost Village and Parklife too. I’m excited to play on the Parklife stage, I think it’s the Temple stage, it looks quite cool. I’ve got lots of different sets and different line-ups in terms of sound so I’m really excited to play around with different sounds for each festival.

Finally, can you tell us about your Impact mix?

I recorded this mix on my home setup, which includes two hifi three way bass Aiwa speakers, two Pioneer XDJ 700s, two Technics 1210s and a Xone:92 mixer. However, for this mix, I just used CDJs. I included lots of new music as there is so much amazing stuff coming out at the moment and it was hard whittling down the tracks. I also threw in a few tracks I’ve been playing out quite a bit at the moment, which have also featured on my Rinse FM show. Sound wise, it’s very acid and breaks heavy, with those styles heavily influencing the tunes I select. I tried to keep it high energy and fun as we’re going into festival season – it’s sunny and we all wanna hear bangers!

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

Arkajo – Sagan
Eric OS – Omen
Olsvangér – Darkroom Dubz
DJ Life – Hotdog Technology
Jotel California – Bulldoze
Jex Opolis – Pneumatic
DJ Life – Fermented
Laars & Cosmic G – Five Atoms
REES – Energia (Original Mix)
Pletnev – Wandering Mind, go f yourself
REES – Hydrate (Dream Mix)
K65 – Bad Tabs
Half Cut – Generate
Amaliah – Mespo Dance
Amor Satyr – Dragonfly Glider
Delicate Records – Sin Limites
Gzardin – AMBicious
Mabel – Equestrian
Mortar & Pestle – Wet on Sight
Perko – Prang feat. Huerco S.

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Written by: Tim Hopkins

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