Beats & Burn Vol. 35 - DJ DNA

Beats & Burn Vol. 35 - DJ DNA

A brand new mix from DJ DNA is your antidote to the holiday hustle. A little bit psychedelic, a tad bit experimental, and a lotta bit chill vibes—our December playlist will make you want to kick back, put those feet up, and reggae your heart out 'til the sun goes down. Happy Holidays!

Cover art is by graphic artist extraordinaire Joshua Minnich

This is the 35th volume of our monthly Beats & Burn series, a collaboration with Portland's local, independent radio station


Playlist by DJ DNA

My basic goal with this mix was to compile some pop tracks I could imagine playing as background in a retail environment, though in some alternate reality where the normal history and economic realities of the music industry had been bent and flipped; bringing together tracks that, though all created around roughly the same period, happened in different parts of the world and in different levels and corners of a then-sprawling global music industry, tracks that would have most likely not ended up playing next to each other at the time. 

As I made the mix, and listening back to it, I picked up on another theme, which is the pure psychedelic exploration of the instrumentation and studio techniques employed by these artists and producers. From strange samples to expansive reverb effects to little animal-like synth doodles to cosmic arpeggiations, these songs are brimming with the sense of fun everybody must have had tweaking these tracks and fleshing out their idiosyncratic visions. For example, Rebbie (pronounced Ree-Bee) Jackson’s “Centipede,” after a slightly jarring industrial intro, begins as a masterpiece of understated moody synth touches adding color to a soulful funk piece, before evolving into a celebratory jammer, all the while maintaining this absolutely bizarre and creepy lyrical conceit about some sort of sexy centipede (?!?!). Her brother Michael wrote the track, maybe he was hanging out with David Cronenberg at the time? 
P.S. I’m a sucker for a good reggae cover of a solid pop song

DJ DNA splits time between selling groceries, selling records, and playing records around town and on XRAY FM Tuesday nights from 10-11pm, with a show called San Remo 1985. Having contributed over 200 (mostly) live vinyl mixes under the San Remo 1985 format since XRAY’s debut, DNA will be switching it up in the near future with a brand new show in the pipeline (same day and time)… stay tuned!


Cover Art by Joshua Minnich

ABOUT THE ARTIST | | @joshuaminnich
Joshua is an illustrator living in Portland, Oregon after a recent move from his home state of Ohio. He has been full-time freelance since 2010 and specializes in illustration and hand-lettering with a focus on branding, label and packaging design. His work is inspired by nature, as well as design and typography from the late 1800’s - 1940’s. He collects old packaging and labels to surround himself with inspiration and interprets the inspiration from these items in a new, yet timeless approach.