KEXP's weekly guest DJ mix show is a multi-genre program featuring eclectic sets by a rotating cast of local, national, and international DJs and artists. Every late Sunday night at midnight, a guest DJ outside of KEXP's on-air talent will take you on an hour-long journey through their record collection to showcase their unique sonic vision of a Midnight In A Perfect World.
Check out the archives of previous exclusive mixes here, and check out the upcoming schedule below:
Crossing paths on and off going on three decades now, Morgan Geist and Kelley Polar (Michael Kelley) formed as Au Suisse just prior to the pandemic and produced one of 2022’s most elegant and sophisticated synth pop records. First acquainting as students in the early 1990s at Ohio’s Oberlin College — as late night DJs with shared tastes and time slots — both settled in the east coast after graduation; Polar attended and taught at Juilliard while Geist started producing and releasing records in New Jersey on his Environ label.
After hooking up with Darshan Jesrani to form the now-legendary Metro Area, Geist sought out Polar’s compositional and instrumental acumen on several now stone-cold classic Metro Area tracks like “Miura” and “Caught Up,” bearing the future hallmarks of lush arrangements and effortlessly deep, but accessibly playful, melodies found in Polar’s solo records. The success of Metro Area’s 2002 self-titled LP, and innovative offerings on the Environ label, led to Geist and Polar collaborating on the latter’s solo musical output with Geist producing Polar’s superb 2005 and 2007 LPs Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens and I Need You to Hold on While the Sky Is Falling.
And now finally, in 2022, the longtime friends and collaborators truly merged their musical talents and sensibilities as Au Suisse, self-described as “a project borne of a long creative friendship, steeped in each member’s traditions, yet simultaneously naïve-sounding and undiscovered.” A quietly rich and accomplished record in its own right, the introduction of Au Suisse doubles as a friendly reintroduction to the musical partnering of Geist and Polar, both solo and now jointly in one of those great tips shared with a friend.
Remember any home phone numbers by heart? If you rattled off “301-341-7207” than you might be Washington D.C.’s Davon Bryant aka dreamcastmoe. A lifelong resident of the nation’s capital, this supremely funky and blunted track off his 2020 Lamont EP is a perfect encapsulation of dreamcastmoe’s cool versatility. Debuting in 2017 with the 100% truth-in-advertising 7” single titled “Liquid Deep,” dreamcastmoe and his D.C.-cohorts running and releasing music on the Future Times, Peoples Potential Unlimited and 1432r labels have carved out a wonderfully idiosyncratic place in contemporary underground music, one that deserves a far broader spotlight.
Billed as a mixtape, dreamcastmoe’s Ghostly International debut Sound Is Like Water showcases the free-moving moods and sound of his earlier singles and EPs, bouncing smoothly and soulfully between electronic, R&B, funk and soul, grounded by Bryant’s infectioius but laidback crooning style. Coupled with impeccable production credits (like Future Times’ Max D, 1432r’s Sami and Vancouver’s ZDBT), Sound Is Like Water marks the emergence of an understated talent.
—> Wikipedia —> 2012 —> Harlem Shake —> ! ! !
Talk about your all-time debuts, huh? One of the biggest tracks of the 2010s, or recent memory, or however one remembers hearing “Harlem Shake” seemingly everywhere all the time, Baauer (IRL the now Brooklyn-based moniker of Harry Rodrigues) never stopped producing infectious, mood-elevating cuts of mutant beats, trap ’n’ electronica. From his earthquaking 2012 debut to working with a who’s who of collaborating talent along the way (including Jay-Z, RL Grime, AlunaGeorge, Pusha T, M.I.A. and Future just to name a few), Baauer landed in August with his first single since 2020’s alien-visiting-party party LP Planet’s Mad, “Let Me Love U.”
With an accompanying music video shot, in part, with videographer Leia Jospé of cult series How to With John Wilson acclaim, Baauer described the summer jam as trying to “catch the energy of New York as we start to move again.” And if the single’s other main impetus — “I wanted to make something that’s undeniably happy” — is translated just a joyously onto wax, Baauer’s tease of a new record in 2023 is one to be excited for.
“STILL DAT BITCH” - Cakes Da Killa
“I know you’re touching me / but are you feeling me?”
So it goes on Cakes Da Killa’s recent second record Svengali. Circling back on the self-described early influences of musicians like Yusef Lateef and Alice Coltrane, Cakes (Rashard Bradshaw) re-teams with producer Sam Katz for beats, moods and rhymes mirroring the highs and lows of the cinematic love affair found on Svengali, zeroing on emotional vulnerability as effectively and sonically-intriguing as the electrifying ode to hip-house club breathlessness found on Cakes’ 2016 release Hedonism. Forging onward with reverence to the past and a creative surge of the future, Cakes continues to zig when others zag, with dynamic results for the club, the afters and the day after the day.