Full of mystery and 90s whimsy, UK-based Outsider House and Deepwave artist DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ releases TWO box sets packed with good tunes, entitled: Combinisions I and Combinisions III.
For the creation of these box sets, DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ captures the nostalgia and energy of 90s and early 2000s DJ sets along with some early moments of DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ’s musical journey.
“The cool old mix albums that used to be popular in the 90’s and early 00’s were so much fun and always felt like a part of an artist’s discography, and I kinda wanted to find a way to make the mixes feel a little closer to the albums, canonically. I consider them extensions from the albums, and they follow on or introduce much of the lore and conceptual themes. The original mixes are charming in ways, you can hear the development of the sound alongside the development of the albums and I wanted to bring them together with artwork for the first time to give people an interesting perspective on what they became. The remixes disc is a nice bonus as a way of having them outside of bandcamp for the first time, and also since there were fewer (but longer) mixes originally, it’s a nice extra to round out the set”.
“I have very fond memories and moments in all of [Combinisions I and III]! I’m pleased many of what went on to become songs originated as ideas in parts of the mixes. Life Fast Light and Dakota Style had some real defining moments for me that really helped me realize the possibilities that were available with the medium, but much of the newer mixes such as Prime Architect and Pseudo Quest brought a lot of the concepts to their most pure and developed form, which was very creatively satisfying after years of trying to get it right and figure out where the sound was taking me”.
As for the unique titles of the box sets, “Combinisions was a portmanteau (obviously) of combinational composition, since I never really had a word to describe them I was playing off those early sound designers like Brian Eno, Daphne Oram or John Oswald who came up with names for their concepts, much like artists do for their art installations or stylistic developments, so I was “plunderphonic-ing” a little. I always loved the way those musicians were more creatively aligned with the experimental art world than the music world, that kind of practical yet pioneering discovery and development of ideas that would lead them to conceptualise the styles and movements with unique monikers or genres. This isn’t that, of course, but that was the inspiration for the ironic pretension ;)”
Ultimately, DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ describes these box sets as “compilations of mash-ups…mashpilations.”
When creating these mixes, key inspirations for DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ were Melbourne-based Electronic group, “The Avalanches” and “Oneohtrix Point Never”—“I owe so much to The Avalanches for their mixes, an enormous influence on me in both mixes themselves as well as my music. So many moments that could have been actual Avalanches songs. I really love the idea of bridging the line between a song made using samples and combining elements of songs that are well established together to make new experiences that wouldn’t exist any other way. It all comes from that same place and is an interesting way of working to see how far it can be taken. Eccojams by Oneohtrix Point Never was also a big influence, complete disregard for era or year of music, just taking beautiful moments of anything and enjoying the vibe without concern for where it’s going or where it came from”.
While listening to DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ, their style is incredibly smooth, as track after track appear almost seamless within their mixes.
“A lot of the sectional suites on the mixes are intended to give that feeling of synaptic fragments of music rolling around your mind as you fall asleep, illogically melodic and harmonic pieces that form from your favourite parts of songs that stick with you. I’m often trying to simulate the feeling of overwhelming euphoria that comes as a side-effect of depression; you can’t really speak and most function is limited to basic motor skills, but underneath the endlessly heavy blanket that hangs over is an internal crying of beauty and waves of unbelievably rapturous emotion. Much like the albums, I try to disassociate any producer personality from the pieces. The listener free to experience them without an ego to influence it, but with mixes the ultimate appreciation going to the original songs and the power of their interaction with each other.”
“I try to keep [mixes] as continually interesting as possible since I get bored if something goes on too long without much variation… I feel like I could have a better experience just listening to the song otherwise which is why most tracks in a mix are barely a minute or two, seems to be the sweet spot of engagement for me personally, lol!”
When describing their mixing style, DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ puts it beautifully and totally in line with their intentional aesthetic choices—“To me, [Combinisions I & III] kinda sound like listening to an old cassette recording of a radio station from decades ago, but if two stations started bleeding into each other and it actually sounded like it worked perfectly. That kinda fizzy, grainy, summery, heat-baked radio sound is always a huge inspiration to me, it feels like the whole world’s listening with you at once and has an alive feeling that’s fun to try and capture.”
The attention to detail and appreciation of their source material are just one of the many reasons why DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ is a must-listen to anyone looking for a sonic journey unlike any other. Below includes images and details for Combinisions I & III.
Enjoy the journey~
Combinisions I includes the early days of DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ mixes from August 2017-August 2020, including the mixes titled “Summer Social,” “Homeshake,” “New Atlantic,” “Shopop,” “Of Three,” and a final CD featuring past DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ Remixes. This box set includes track listings too for each mix, ensuring you can ID every gem you discover within these beautifully mixed sets.
Below is a closer look at Combinisions I, packaging and all~
This anthology includes 7 mixes of theirs from December 2021-March 2022, featuring 2 never-before-heard mixes! This set includes mixes titled, “Centember Sound,” “Hours, Hers?,” “Space 4 Space,” “Prime Architect,” “Harbor Park,” “Exceptional Experience (unaired),” and “Pseudo Quest (unaired)”. Like Combinisions I, this too will include a full tracklist for each mix.
Below is a closer look at Combinisions III~
If you are a current DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ fan or looking to dive into some new, experimental mixes, Combinisions I and III are at your beckoning call. Combinisions I is available to purchase here, and Combinisions III here.