The longstanding FADER Mix series presents new, exclusive DJ mixes from our favorite artists and producers.
Soraya Brouwer runs Truants, a "non-profit cultural platform" that is consistently one of my favorite corners of the internet, a rare place where music is treated as near-sacred. Through the Truants platform, its website, and events, Soraya, who is Amsterdam-raised, London-based, she elevates the sounds and voices of artists making interesting, culture-pushing work. Her impeccable ear came in especially handy for this week's FADER Mix, on which she artfully offers an undeniably uplifting energy, perfect for dancing all day and well into the night. As she points out, "it's also quite nice to run to." We stan a versatile mix! Hit play below, and read on for more from Soraya.
What do you imagine people doing while listening to this mix?
I got the selection together after I came back from a day festival in London, and tried to put together the perfect playlist for me personally to listen to in a setting like that, dancing during the day. Hopefully people can vibe to it when they are getting ready to leave the house, or need to find a bit of motivation to get something done on a lazy afternoon! It’s also quite nice to run to.
Is there a track in particular that stands out? Why?
All the tracks are by producers I really rate, and the majority have worked with Truants in the past or will be doing something with in the future. The one track I have on repeat myself is Peggy Gou's "Shero" which came out on Needs not too long ago, with all profits going to UN Women. It's hypnotic yet so loud. I also love the last track by Anthony Naples - the track progression is too beaut, I just want to listen to it forever.
What music or artists do you turn to for inspiration when you're working on projects of your own?
I'll listen to everything and anything, but I think the two constants in my life are Atlanta hip-hop and hardcore punk. I'm currently obsessed with a lot of London-based artists though, including Klein, jazz artist Moses Boyd, and rappers Ms. Banks and Dave. I rarely listen to house or techno when I hit a creative wall hough - minus Kenny Larkin's "Northern Lights" which is the one track I will never tire of.. oh, and add Drake's "We'll Be Fine” to that. I probably must've listened to more than five thousand times at this point. Rubber band stacks.
You've been running Truants, a cultural platform and website, for nearly a decade now. How has that shaped your relationship to music over the years?
Truants is a non-profit run by friends - as we do it in our spare time we have no choice but to work on our own timeline, which means we prioritize the artists and records we genuinely feel deserve the attention. It all comes from a positive place, instead of following the PR circle. This space that we've created for ourselves also translates to the real world. I met so many dear friends through the platform, including the majority of my close circle of friends, and I'm forever grateful for that.
In this cultural climate that can feel oversaturated with new music and new content, what are some of your favorite go-tos for discovering emerging talent?
A lot of the music I listen to are recommendations through other Truants, no lie! I used to be all about music boards, pirate radio and my inbox, but for every good record that I receive nowadays there's ten times the amount of cheesy mail-outs that are so far removed from anything I'd ever listen to. This is crazy as there's more exciting music out there than ever before, but this also goes for uninspired music, I guess. I started relying more on discovering music through people’s DJ sets, as well as word-of-mouth recommendations. Online radio is obviously really strong, and a great way for for new talent to create visibility. The only other online platform I actively use is Bandcamp as it forces you to focus on one artist or release at a time, and it is easier for upcoming artists to push themselves compared to other publishing platforms.
Powder - "Humid Wind"
Mall Grab - "Caught Slippin'"
Elias Mazian - "Ride That Shh.."
Helium Robots - "Jarza (Theo Parrish Translation 2)"
Peggy Gou - "Shero"
Roza Terenzi - "Lili's Lounge"
Junes - "Circuit Rift"
Jayda G & DJ Fett Burger - "Velvet Vortex"
Avalon Emerson - "Finally Some Common Ground"
Jasper James - "These are the beatz"
Batu - "Marius
Anthony Naples - "Pinao"