Japanese DJ and producer Powder launches the Beats in Space mix series in style | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Japanese DJ and producer Powder launches the Beats in Space mix series in style 

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click to enlarge Powder


Cédric Diradourian

In fall 1999, NYU freshman Tim Sweeney launched a late-night dance show called Beats in Space on the college’s radio station. The show attracted fans from throughout the city’s dance community, and Sweeney became enmeshed in the scene, interning for DFA and occasionally DJing the city’s infamously wild Motherfucker party. He still hosts Beats in Space on WNYU today, and since 2011 he’s run a label with the same name. In February the Beats in Space label ushered in its new mix series with Powder in Space by Japanese DJ Momoko Goto, who produces and performs as Powder. Her immersive mix plucks from the serene parts of house and techno, even bordering on ambient in its gauzy version of “Release” by Berlin producer Acid Pauli. Goto also contributes a couple of her own tracks: the outre, uptempo “New Tribe” and the gleaming “Gift,” which is built on dainty, cycling bell-like loops and a gently humming synth line. And though Goto can draw listeners in with calm sounds, she’s also prone to nudging them toward extremes. The same mix includes “Ton 10” by European duo Karamika, which borders on aggressive—it combines dronelike synth wash with severe, militant percussion that seems to dictate a more regimented form of movement than dancing. But Goto shows that it can blend with looser tracks—it comes right after the funky, downtempo “Roy Brooks” by Tiago, for instance. Considering the reputation of Beats in Space, you’d expect its mix series to make a big entrance, and Powder in Space delivers in spades.   v

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