Native Mix #055: Strange Signals' Best of 2017

The Native Mix

Rhys Baker


29 Dec 2017

Fourth World resident, Platform B DJ and 199Radio Presenter, Joe Innes aka Strange Signals is in the mix for Native.

Starting as a radio show on Platform B, Strange Signals aka Joe Innes aka DJ Lyle Lanely, talks us through how he got into DJ'ing, his Dank Donk mix – a mixture of best of 2017 and some old classics, how important local online radio is, and future plans for Fourth World.

 Can you tell us a bit about your alias/project Strange Signals?

Strange signals started as a radio show on Platform B. The name was meant to represent my fascination with pirate radio and the sound I was pushing being heavily influenced by it. I really liked the idea of these radio signals being broadcast featuring all this alien music and hope that the name kinda represents that hahah. Pirate radio is a big influence on me as when I first got into dance music I would listen to all the old rinse fm shows from people like Slimzee, Kode9 and Oneman. They were all massive influences on the way I thought about uk dance music.

I've used the alias for my radio shows and for when I'm playing more bassy and slightly more off-kilter sets. Alongside this, I have also been billed as DJ Lyle Lanely for when I'm playing more housey/discoy events, along with a hip-hop set for Can't Win Don't Try (shoutout to Saadia, Matteo and the rest of the crew involved!!).

How did you first get into DJ'ing? What were your inspirations at the time?

I first got into it when I was 15 after getting a chance to play around on my uncle's controller DJing for a family party for my sisters 21st birthday where I Don’t think I made one successful mix!

From there I got a little Numark controller for my 16th, at that time I was massively into American hip hop, so my first attempts at mixing involved me trying to blend Odd future and Wake Flocka records to very poor results. I then started to get really interested in Grime around the start of my first year of uni after pretty much only listening to American music. I then fell into the habit hole of old rave footage and tape packs on youtube which just grew my fascination with the Hardcore continuum. Also, early influences were Jamie XX and Burial as I was listening to them in college without any of the knowledge of the uk reference points.

When I first got properly into DJing in my first year of uni was playing a lot Grime and Trappy TNGHT style stuff, but I slowly gained more of an interest in house and techno after getting into UKG and also generally just going out and hearing these sounds out. Back then my DJing was very much inspired by DJs like Oneman who could pull off these insane blends that I could only dream off but would still attempt. I then in the summer of first year saw Ben UFO B2B Joy Orbison which absolutely blew my mind and set me off on the path I'm on today. That way of ignoring genre boundaries and the emphasis on hunting for interesting music has been a massive influence and I wouldn’t be the DJ I am today.

Your mix is a best of 2017 - can you talk us through it? Who have been your standout DJ's and artists of the year?

It wasn’t entirely a best of 2017 as I ended up mixing in quite a few old records but the mix almost acts as my personal highlights of 2017 as every track was either one discovered this year or a tune I heavily played on radio. The mix did start as a best off, especially the James Holden track in the middle which absolutely blew my mind when I first heard it. Along with that, there's a track off the new Joe 12" on Hessle and THAT hackney parrot mix.

The mix itself goes quite a few different places as it starts at about 108bpm with a bunch of slightly strange electronic tracks and I eventually push it all the way up to 135 rave bangers hahaha. I wanted it to cover quite a range of different styles of tunes I've been listening to recently. It was kinda meant to represent a slightly more club-oriented version of what I do on my radio show with me playing everything from Old Detroit Techno records through to old Hardcore tracks via Bristol Broken Techno.

And for the year I’ll say Call Super has been one of the big standouts for me, I opened the mix with Apro Low which is an alternative version of a track that features on his album Apro which was definitely one of the highlights of the year along with his 12" for Hessle which has been a staple on my radio show since it came out. Also a massive influence this year has been Mumdance who’s radio show has been among the best things to happen in dance music for quite a while in my view. What other show has Stingray mixing electro into old Dexplicit instrumentals!

How was 2017 for you?

A very interesting journey to say the least! Had to deal with the final year of university which was very stressful but I was able to graduate with a 2:1 and somehow found a way to reference Wiley in a Maths dissertation which may be one of my proudest moments.

From a music point it has been my most productive and fulfilling year I've ever had. I started 2 different radio shows, One at Platform B which helped me grow massively as a DJ and recently just started a show on 199 Radio in London as I’ve moved back there after Uni. I also joined the Fourth World crew and been part of 2 great events and a lot more in the pipeline for the coming year. I've also had the chance to really explore loads of different styles whether that be my usual mix of electronic music on my radio show, disco and hip-hop sets while I'm out or guesting on other people radio show and getting to play footwork and jungle.

I also started an internship for Keep Hush and got the chance to be involved in a bunch of sick live streams. Keep Hush has been great as it's been inspiring to see what the Fred’s who run the website are trying to do as they put a massive focus on building a community and wanting to only push interesting, good music.

What's your role at Fourth World?

Badboy selector.

You've recently been on Platform B a lot, broadcasting from the Green Door Store, how's that been? And how important is local online radio?

Platform B was my first steps out of-of just being a bedroom DJ and gaining the confidence to play out and also making me really push myself to constantly find new music. Nats does an amazing job running the station and lets everyone really express themselves in whatever way they want, that includes letting me play a Jeremy Corbyn interview over an ambient track during there Great Escape broadcast from the Laines!

And local radio is massively important as it really helps to build a community. Through the station, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some great DJs like Fauzia, Daisha and Matt who I played with for there event Shook which was a great vibe and hope to play again with them soon. The community building at Platform B is great, and I’m so lucky to be part of it. (Also Big Shouts to Saygal the glue that holds Platform B together!)

You played Shook at the GDS – what do you think of the Brighton scene? How does it compare to South London?

Shook was a great vibe to play at, it was particularly good for me as during University I worked at the GDS for nearly 2 years and always said that the space should have more youth-oriented club nights as for a long time apart from Donuts the club nights lacked anything for a younger audience. It was too much fun to see as this was all music we’d been pushing in our radio shows and to see us getting the chance to play it out was a great feeling.

And it’s a tough one as I'm massively biased towards London as I spent my entire life there before uni and a lot of the music I love is deeply rooted there. However, I think the Brighton scene is in a healthy state as there are some great smaller nights really booking interesting artists and doing a lot to help the scene. It’s a massive shame, however, to see Mono Closed as I had some of my most fun nights out in Brighton there. It's also a shame as small spaces with a sound that good are rare to find but can be instrumental in building musical communities.

What plans do you have in the pipeline for 2018 that everyone should know about?

Well, firstly Fourth World are going to start a monthly residency in the second room of Patterns where we’ll be playing the first Friday of the month and gonna be inviting some guests with us each time to spice things up. Firstly we’ve got the Dulcet Tone boys coming through which is gonna be a big vibe and very happy to have those guys on board.

We also some big plans for our first birthday which I can’t reveal just yet but keep an eye out as it's not gonna be one to miss.

Outside of that I’m gonna be continuing with my show on 199radio and doing as much with Platform B as I can from London. Along with that hopefully going b2b for some friends radio shows and trying to hopefully do some 140 stuff with MCs as I got to play with one for the first time at a Keep Hush event recently and it was one of the most fun sets I’ve ever played. I also have a couple of unconfirmed dates to support some big-name artists which I can’t get into too much but very much looking forward to them if they all come through.

Finally, I’m hoping to get more involved in the scene in London by DJing out more and helping out with Keep Hush as much as I can. And who knows maybe if the years goes well we might see some strange signals nights.

Finally, what are you listening to right now?

Right now I’m sat on my bed blasting out the Mumdance b2b Ben UFO mix for Rinse FM this past week. Hardcore will never die <3