Could heaven ever be like this? It’s a question posed by London pop singer/producer Shura’s FADER mix, most directly in the title of the opener by Idris Muhammad, but more elliptically in the spectral beats throughout. I hadn’t knowingly heard Muhammad’s track before, but I‘d been exposed to it in other ways, like when Jamie xx sampled it for “Loud Places” or Drake took the beat for “Comeback Season.”
It figures that Shura would pick a track so covertly embedded in our musical consciousness. When I first heard the Londoner's debut “Touch” last year, I was struggling to place it: the song felt as if it was somehow already under my skin. Her mix below has a similar staying power, and in these 51 minutes she weaves shimmery reworks of acts like The xx and Warpaint with a twisted edit of her own track “White Light.” Aptly for an artist who's also a self-identified science nerd, it soars like a meteor and lingers like its debris.
Where are you right now? Please describe your surroundings.
Currently queuing in LAX to go through security so that I can get to my show in San Francisco. I'm pretty terrified of flying because there's something not right about being 35,000 ft in the air travelling at 500mph in a tin can with flaps.
What did you open and close this mix with and why?
It opens with a drum break from Idris Muhammad into Patrice Rushen's "Feels So Real." Patrice has been a massive inspiration for my debut record. I absolutely love what she does. Her music is super free and super sexy—it just glides along kicking butt. I finished with Dølle Jølle's "Balaeric Incarnation (Todd Terje Extra Døll Mix)" because it's a beautiful 'end of the night' track. It's uplifting and melancholic—an ode to great Balaeric record. Hands in the air, tears under the mirror ball.
Why did you make www.hasshurafinishedheralbumyet.com?
A lot of people keep asking me when it's done so I thought I'd make something where they can be kept up to date. I'm also kind of into the idea of my label spending six quid on something so completely pointless but fun. Life is too short to take yourself super seriously.
I heard you love The X-Files. Which is your favourite episode and why?
To be honest I think one of my favourites is also one of the worst. I can't remember the name of the episode. Basically there was some weird ass carnival with a guy who had an evil Siamese twin that detached himself in the night and killed people. It was so weird, it's never really left me.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you?
I read The Martian recently and I absolutely loved it. I'm a bit of a nerd and all the science in it was really interesting. It made me wish that they taught science in school differently—I'd definitely have decided to become an astronaut if I had realised at age 13 how cool science was. The Martian is both terrifying and hilarious which is a great combination, for me at least. There's a saying that you're not the center of the universe, and I get what it's trying to say, but, at the same time, in terms of our experience of the world everyone absolutely is the center of their own universe. I’m really interested in the idea of being alone.
Idris Muhammad - "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This"
Patrice Rushen - "Feels So Real (Won't Let Go)"
Jagwar Ma - "Uncertainty (Ewan Pearson Dub Remix)"
Shura - "White Light (Gabe Gurnsey Factory Floor Remix)"
LCD Sound System - "04.45_33 (Runaway Remix)"
Warpaint - "Disco Very (Richard Norris Remix)"
Hot Chip - "Huarache Lights (Soulwax Remix)"
The xx - "Reunion (Ame Remix)"
Jamie XX - "Loud Places (feat. Romy) [John Talabot's Loud Synths Reconstruction]"
Daniel Avery - "Drone Logic (Factory Floor Remix)"
John Talobot - "Matilda's Dream"
Dolle Jolle - "Balearic Incarnation (Todd Terje's Extra Doll Mix)"