Special Guest DJ, or Shy as he’s known by his friends, is an artist who adorns many guises. As Special Guest DJ, he plays bass and breaks and textural club music, but he’s also sprinkled his music out as uon, DJ Paradise, Caveman LSD, Critical Amnesia, and Ghostride The Drift.
Outside of this, he curates labels xpq? alongside D. Tiffany, plus Experiences LTD. The latter of these, launched in 2019, has become a touchstone in the wildly enigmatic collective of artists that originates from Kansas but has welcomed Special Guest DJ. Together, they explore transfixing dub and downtempo. We featured their work in a special EDMjunkies+ edition here, with six exclusive tracks and two mixes.
As is customary for the collective, Special Guest DJ maintains a low profile, swerving promotional campaigns. What we do know is that he originates from Michigan and met Exael, who met the original crew-members Brian Leeds (a.k.a Pendant and Huerco S.), Pontiac Streator, and Ulla while in school, on Tumblr. The couple lived together in Chicago, throwing parties and shows, before buying one-way tickets to Berlin four years ago, and they’ve never looked back. Pontiac Streator has made Special Guest DJ an honorary member.
2020 was a breakout year for Special Guest DJ and his work. In its first full-year, Experiences LTD. helmed Ben Bondy’s exceptional debut album, plus there was Ulla’s spellbinding Tumbling Towards A Wall, which we included in the best releases of the year. Besides a shoegaze collaboration with Exael as Hoodie, there was also an EP as Caveman LSD. These followed an earlier album as uon on West Mineral Ltd., released in 2018.
Looking ahead to the new year, Special Guest DJ composed an EDMjunkies podcast showcasing forthcoming material and work he’s found online. It aims to highlight the work of friends, and includes “L-theanine,” Exael’s contribution to the EDMjunkies+ compilation. Sonically, it is misty and contemplative; pulsating bass and lysergic textures rope you into where it was recorded: in the dead of night during a Berlin winter during lockdown. Put your headphones on and let the flickering darkness in.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with Naemi (a.k.a Exael), my partner. Thinking about physical activity.
02. What music have you been listening to?
This, this, and this.
03. You’re part of a whole crew of artists surrounding the West Mineral label. How did you connect?
I met Naemi on Tumblr and we fell in love, and then Rory made me honorary Kansas. I’m from Michigan.
04. What can the listener expect?
It’s hazy but sharp, hi- and lo- focused and faded. It could be ambient, depending on your attitude.
05. How did you go about choosing the records that you included?
I wanted to highlight what’s going on in our orbit, and I was feeling the gentle, dark December, with full vamp. It’s full of stuff from friends, plus some forthcoming stuff, some unreleased, and some Bandcamp grips!
06. What’s up next?
Up next on Experiences Ltd. on January 28 is mu tates’ full length LP, Let Me Put Myself Together, which I love. Then there’s two records for xpq? from la fe (Daniel Rincon and Michael Red), and one of my first friends in Berlin, PVAS.
Then I’m going to focus on finishing up some records. There’s a new Caveman LSD record, a collaboration record with Ben Bondy, and a collaboration with Naemi and Perila. I’m also gonna fuck around and start another label, called 3XL. Catch you on the flip side!
LR8R 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 EDMjunkies+ 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 EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Perko “Swirral Edge” (Posh Isolation)
02. Tetsu Inoue Invitable Colour (Instinct Ambient)
03. J. Albert “Saved (Self-Release)
04. Bookworms “Nguished” “(Excerpt) (Self-Release)
05. Picnic “Dewey NAP’s Place for Space Mix (Daisart)
06. Nikolay Kozlov “Binary” feat. Ben Bondy (Self-Release)
07. URA “Shojin” (NAFF)
08. mu tate “All 3” (Experiences LTD.; forthcoming)
09. Ateuqram “Aftaglow” (Unreleased)
10. Space Afrika “gwabh” (sferic)
11. Florian T M Zeisig “Been Listening A Lot” (Enmossed)
12. Exael “L-theanine” (EDMjunkies+)
13. tau contrib “euphoria” (Soundcloud rip)