Uplifting, funky house and Italo disco from Los Angeles.
Masha Mar is a DJ-producer and promoter known for moving dancefloors with her eclectic house selections that move through different moods and tempos. She’s also widely known for co-founding Dig Deeper LA, a Los Angeles party series aimed at open-minded people that showcases the best electronic music artists she can find, irrespective of names and social media following. This ethos is something that she applies to her own DJ sets, whether that’s in clubs across north America or through her residencies on NTS Radio (Beyond The Clouds), where she plays sun-kissed dub and balearic beats, and dublab (Analogue Players Club). You’ll regularly find her playing at warehouse and loft parties across Los Angeles, and at festivals like Coachella and Secret Project.
House music found Mar while she was growing up in Greece. Unlike in Serbia, where she was born, electronic music was prevalent, so much so that the jingle for the evening news was the hook from Faithless’ “Insomnia.” Her three older siblings worked in nightclubs and would bring home house music compilations, but she also developed an unhealthy obsession with the dance charts. By the time she joined her family in Los Angeles as a teenager, she’d read up on raves like Monster Massive and she dived right in. Over time, though, she discovered more left-field dance music, which eventually led her into DJing herself, and she launched Dig Deeper alongside Alison Swing as a platform to play her favorite records alongside the artists that excite her.
Fast forward to today, and Dig Deeper is established as a staple of the southern California music community, and the same can be said of Masha Mar. With nightclubs reopening and festivals back, she’s compiled an XLR8R podcast filled with the music she’s ready to play out. At just over one hour in length, it’s a mix of uplifting, funky house and Italo disco from artists including Harvey Sutherland, Das Complex, and Budino. If you listen carefully, you’ll also hear an exclusive first taste of Mar’s debut EP, coming later this year.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been enjoying the world reopening and the dance music scene being back in full force. I’ve had a lot of fun gigs these past few weekends, from playing the underground Pegasus party to opening for Bicep at the Mayan theater and road-tripping to DJ in Bombay Beach out in the desert. I just started surfing again after a winter hiatus and I’m looking forward to spending more time in nature to balance the club nights.
02. What have you been listening to?
Recently I’ve been listening to System Olympia, Space Ghost, and Alex Ho’s new album out on Music from Memory. Tip! I’m always digging for music to play out as well as on my radio shows via NTS and dublab. My NTS show, Beyond the Clouds, is mostly chilled daytime music, with lots of dub/lovers rock, synth-pop, and “songs.” My dublab show, Analogue Players Club, which I inherited from Peaking Lights, is a more traditional dance show. It kicks off the weekend on the first Friday of the month with a lot of new and old discoveries in house, electro, and disco.
03. What is it that appeals to you about electronic music?
Electronic music’s cathartic energy and physicality drew me in; you can’t help but move your body and feel a release. It’s really powerful, healing, and life-affirming. I also love how communal it is! It’s best enjoyed with kindred spirits in a liberating space.
04. Where are your favourite places to dig for electronic music?
I buy most of my digital music from Bandcamp and appreciate getting notified as soon as there’s a new release from a label or artist I follow. I love record shopping in real life, especially when traveling. Stellar Remnant, PB Vinyl, and Sound Metaphors are some of my favorite curated shops.
05. What are the standout guests you’ve had at Dig Deeper and why?
Daniele Baldeli, K-Hand, and Jay Daniel all had their Los Angeles debuts at Dig Deeper which always makes it really special. We were lucky to book The Blessed Madonna right before she blew up in 2015. That was a memorable night as we lost our venue hours before showtime and had to scramble to find a new one, but we somehow pulled it off! DJ Sprinkles and Lena Willikens on the same lineup was super dreamy. Axel Bowman and Kornel Kovacs have become close friends and it’s always a blast having them play and bring their Studio Barnhus signature sound!
06. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix in early February at home.
07. What can the listener expect?
An upbeat mix of records I’m feeling at the moment. A journey through the various styles of house, Italo disco, and funk I’m into.
08. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I picked a lot of tracks I’ve been playing lately to make this mix a current representation of my sound. Some unreleased highlights include a track from Dave Aju on his excellent label Elbow Grease, Das Complex’s new record on Internasjonal, and a premiere of my forthcoming EP.
09. How does it compare to what we might hear you play in a club?
It’s kind of in between a club set and a radio show. it’s hard to play a full on club set if not in the club but I tried to capture that spirit.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Sangre Voss “Bona Fide Friday” (Al Zanders Remix) (A-Z Records)
02. Intimacy “Angelo’s Houz” (D50 String Mix) (Bouquet. Records)
03. Das Komplex “Gdziekolwiek” (Internasjonal)
04. Dave Aju “Space Tempo” (Elbow Grease)
05. Memphis “Deep Core” (Kalahari Oyster Cult)
06. e-freq “Freq Dub”(Hot Haus Records)
07. Dirty Channels & Don Carlos “Adriatico” (Dub Mix) (Polifonic)
08. Prom Night & Brynjolfur “Dr. Arpeggio” (Storken Remix) (Prom Night Records)
09. Eden Burns “The Siren’s Song” (Public Possession)
10. Budino “Venus in Crime” (Oddysee)
11. The Glimmers “U Rocked My World” (Pete Herbert & Tristan da Cunha Remix) (GOMMA)
12. Johannes Albert “Lemonade Fizz” (Live At Robert Johnson)
13. Masha Mar “Extended Release” (Forthcoming)
14. Lauer “Offset Pat” (Futureboogie)
15. DJ Fett Burger “MILKY WAY” (Digitalized Planet B)
16. Harvey Sutherland “Superego” (Dub Mix) “(Self-Released)
17. Neil Frances “Mr Blue” (Masha Mar’s Blue Dream Remix) (Nettwerk Music Group)