In 2013 whilst the majority of electronic music was engaged in a process of algorithmically enforced reductionism, Djrum's debut LP 'Seven Lies' was a breath of fresh air. Showcasing a range of styles and influences more reminiscent of the early to mid 90's where genre jumping on albums was a given, Felix Manuel displayed the production skills and musically of someone well into their career. This indifference to genre guardrails and continued refinement is on display again with 'Portrait With Firewood'. If you haven't already you should immediately take a listen. Though you would be foolish stop with Djrum's studio productions.
I have hammered Djrum's mixes whilst I work. There is a distinctly cinematic feel to many of them, helped in no small part by the liberal smattering of filmically sourced vocal samples. It's a well worn cliche to say that mixes can take you on a journey, but there are - to my ears at least - clearly narrative threads informing the intent of Djrum's mixes, and which makes for such great listens when you want to get lost in something whilst working.
Felix Manuel has said a big influence growing up was Coldcut's Solid Steel and that comes across in both his music and how he approaches mixes. If the seminal show were running today Djrum would be one of the rightful heirs to take over the mantel from Coldcut, DJ food and DK for a new generation.
These mixes in particular worth calling out (all Soundcloud links)
Adam Cain is a creative director, storyteller and visual artist from London.