Fever-dream ambient and hard-hitting grooves.

Melissa Fund, better known as MI-EL, is an emerging DJ from London who has been obsessed with music for as long as she can remember. “I was playing instruments from a really young age and there was always a lot of music and dancing around me while growing up,” she tells XLR8R, “so I really think it just snowballed from there.” She made a name for herself while living in Leeds, where she hosted radio shows on Sable Radio, before moving to Leipzig, Germany, where she played squat parties and became known for her genre-hopping, bass-heavy sets. There, too, she joined Music of Colour, a community space that amplifies the voices of people of color working in the music industry. “When I first started going out I remember the discomfort I felt entering club spaces and encountering countless white performers relentlessly appropriating elements of black culture for white audiences in a way that was frustratingly un-nuanced and tasteless,” she told Origins Sound recently. Today, she’s a co-booker of south Bermondsey spot Venue MOT and a key figure behind party series Late Night Shopper. For this week’s XLR8R podcast, she’s compiled a mix of high-tempo percussive rhythms and hard-hitting grooves, recorded on the fly yesterday and sure to get your body shaking.

01. What have you been up to recently?
Girl bossing, girl sleeping, girl laying down, etc.

02. What have you been listening to?
Fell into a bit of a baroque choral spiral the other week

03. What appeals to you about DJing?
The dancefloor is a really special space to me. I’d say it’s all jumbled up in a lot of thoughts about my politics of feeling and moving and being.

04. Where and when did you record this mix?
Yesterday, January 16, at Venue Mot.

05. What setup did you use?
Martin audio sound system and Pioneer CDJs and mixer.

06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
I checked in with how I was feeling.

07. Where do you imagine it being listened to?
March to battle.

08. What’s on your agenda for 2023?
Focus, precision, and general big bad bitch-ery.

XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.

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