Jacked-up deep house from Lisbon.

The DJ sets of Chima Isaaro, a Lisbon, Portugal-based DJ formerly known as Chimahiro, possess a versatility and instinct for groove—spanning techno, house, disco, soul, batida, and jazz. They were shaped since her childhood, as Chima Isaaro grew up surrounded by the music of her father, a musicologist, who developed in her a curiosity to open to all kinds of sounds.

Isaaro instinctively began collecting records and taught herself to mix, and in 2016 having recently moved to Lisbon, she took up a residency on Radio Quântica, a popular online radio station. Booking requests followed and by the end of the year she was playing all across the city. “Lisbon is a small city so I naturally ended up meeting many people who were active in the scene,” she recalled in an interview with Groove.

As a lover of house and techno, Isaaro hopes to “challenge these white-dominated scenes” as well as celebrate the Black origins of the genres. “I’m particularly dedicated to honouring the Black roots of house music and showcasing the music that preserves its legacy,” she tells XLR8R.

Now, towards the end of a hectic summer, which has taken her across Europe, she’s taken some time to record an uplifting mix for XLR8R, which we’re excited to deliver. Expect just over an hour of jacked-up deep house tunes—filled with timeless classics from her collection but also lesser-known gems.

01. What have you been up to lately? 
I’ve been DJing across Europe and feeling grateful for the opportunities, especially my debut at Panorama Bar and performing at Montreux Jazz Festival.

02. What have you been listening to?
Mainly rap. I’m also rediscovering Ashra’s Correlations and listening it on repeat.

03. What is it that appeals to you about dance music?  
I’m as much a dancer as I am a DJ. For me, dancing is a unique experience of complete freedom. Dance music has the ability to bring people together in liberating communion that I find truly exceptional and powerful.

04. Where and when did you record this mix? 
At home, last Saturday night.

05. How did you go about choosing the tracks? 
I picked groovy and warm tracks that bring me joy, without overthinking. 

06. What can the listener expect? 
A journey into (mostly) deep house, timeless classics, and more recent releases.

07. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out live? 
During my live sets, my interaction with the audience leads to a unique and diverse dynamic that can’t be translated in a home recording. I consider this more of a selection . Also, I don’t necessarily play such deep tunes in the club.

09. What’s next on your horizon? 
To keep doing what I love, to continue learning and growing while staying grateful and focused. I have some exciting gigs coming up and I look forward to reaching new audiences.

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


01. Jay Sound “Melanin Awakening” (Self-Released)
02. Skymark “Find a Place in this Crazy World” (Ron Trent Mix) (Rush Hour Music)
03. Raw Elements “Deep Inside” (Final Cut)
04. Fred P “Soul Life Connection” (2010 Reshape) (Soul People Music)
05. Patrick Scott “Abstract Jazz” (Sistrum Recordings)
06. Alex Attias, Mark De Clive-Lowe “The Waiting Game” (Vision Recordings)
07. Black Rascals “So In Love” feat. Cassio Ware (Shelter Dub) (Slip-n-Slide Records)
08. Ron Trent “Deep Down” feat Robert Owens (Mr. Fingers Instrumental) (Foliage)
09. KemeticJust “I Got Life” feat. Terrence Downs (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul Dub) (Ndatl Musik)
10. T.P.O. “Hiroshi’s Dub” (Joe Claussell Bonus Groove)(King Street Sounds)
11. Anthony Nicolson “Open Chakras” (Deep Art Sounds)
12. Luis Radio “Reach Up” (Original Mix) (Groovebom Records)
13. Strong Souls “Sensual Let’s Work” feat. Twanna X (Black Market Records)
14. Skhalo “Stagger” (Last Forever Records)
15. Halo “Change” Feat. Atwater & Mr. V (Large Records)
16. Kyle Hall “Postcard to Another Planet” (Self-Released)

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