Guest Mix #001: psychic surgery


Banner art by Christina Liu.

I’m very happy to present you with the inaugural installment of the Chickens Don’t Clap! Guest Mix series. For this feature, I’ll be tapping some of my favorite artists, producers, and DJs to provide intermittent respite from my ramblings with some mixes of their own curation. I hope that each mix will help provide a fuller picture of the current musical landscape and that this series itself can bridge the gaps within my own eclectic appetites.

First up, we have one of my favorite composers who also happens to be a true homie, San Francisco’s psychic surgery. A bedroom producer who doesn’t share nearly enough of the music he makes, psychic surgery has gone by many names and composed tracks in a diverse range of styles and genres, but has consistently maintained his unique approach to songcraft and a deft command of melody across his various projects. As the both of us have become increasingly enamored with electronic music in recent years, it’s of no surprise to me that this mix explores those grimy club sounds that have helped to shape his current tastes.

The mix is packed with stellar, effortlessly-blended tracks from Instra:Mental, Lone, Martyn, Bambounou, Gesaffelstein, Helix, and others. Shed‘s “44A (Hard Wax forever!)” provides the perfect ride in, its initial celestial shimmers ultimately building into a hypnotic bounce of surging synth chords and shuffling percussion. The energy continues to crescendo until R-Zone‘s “Hardcore Track” settles the mix with a cool, classic rave groove. Unabashedly grounded in rich synth and pulsating rhythms, psychic surgery’s Guest Mix successfully unites a myriad of styles on through the closing brilliance of Das Ding‘s soaring “Hyperinformed Superconsumer”, a befitting bookend that carries this diverse blend to its satisfying conclusion.

In his own words, psychic surgery says of the mix:

A selection of artists from the last seven or so years who bring back dark and stripped down techno music. There are some true analog warriors in here though they aren’t particularly precious or fetishy about the sound. You shouldn’t find any sort of analog-as-a-standalone-statement thing here.

Includes some classical electro, dirty house and hints of rave— wherever rhythmic texture is the prime objective while melody and aesthetics are secondary.

Thank you to Derek and Chickens Don’t Clap! for giving me the place to put this together. Hope you enjoy it!

You can stream and download this excellent mix below. Be sure check out some of psychic surgery’s own productions over at his SoundCloud.

Download: CDC! Guest Mix #001: psychic surgery


  1. Shed – 44A (Hard Wax forever!)
  2. Instra:Mental – User
  3. Lone – Cobra
  4. Stigmata – Crawlspace
  5. R-Zone – Hardcore Track
  6. Martyn – Forgiveness Step 2
  7. Emptyset – Completely Gone
  8. Bambounou – Challenger
  9. Silicon Scally – Process (Morphology Remix)
  10. Legowelt – Fundamental Superstition
  11. Clemens Neufeld – Eternal Spheres
  12. Gesaffelstein – Video Exposition (Original Mix)
  13. Unspecified Enemies – Insurgency Soul
  14. Helix – Whoosh Ice Dispenser
  15. Das Ding – Hyperinformed Superconsumer

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