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Podcast 332: Heatsick

Much of the attention surrounding Heatsick (a.k.a. Steven Warwick) focuses on his relatively spartan set-up, as the UK-born, Berlin-based producer makes music with just a Casio keyboard and a series of guitar pedals. It's certainly intriguing that Warwick relies upon these rudimentary tools, but fixating on his process does his music something of a disservice, as his intricate, loop-based creations are noteworthy in their own right. Heatsick releases have been popping since the mid '00s, but there's little question that Warwick's efforts for the PAN label in recent years, especially 2013's Re-Engineering, have significantly elevated his stature. Still, after hearing so many of his original creations—many of which sound like off-kilter takes on house music by someone who most definitely didn't come of age in that scene—we found ourselves wondering what exactly a Heatsick DJ set would sound like. He's responded to that question with Back 2 Asics, an exclusive mix and the latest installment of the XLR8R podcast series.

Listening to the 70-plus-minute session, it seems that Heatsick's vision behind the decks isn't all that different from what he does with his own music. Although there's more of a direct focus on the floor, Warwick also breaks things up with obscure ambient passages and augments some of the dancier offerings with bizarre voiceovers and spoken-word excerpts. House music is definitely the through line here, but he also manages to fold in bits of electro and techno, a bootleg remix of Enya, some washy post-punk, and a closing piece of dance-pop from The Cardigans. It's not the average podcast mix, but it works. More importantly, it helps demonstrate that dance music's self-imposed boundaries perhaps don't need to be quite so rigid.

01 Goldie "Sensual" (FFRR) vs. Hanne Lippard "Ancientisms"
02 Bass Clef "Yr Heart My Heart" (Magic & Dreams)
03 Round One feat. Andy Caine "I'm Your Brother (Club Version)" (Main Street) vs. "Healthcare Phone In" (BBC Radio 4)
04 Carla Bley "Like Animals" (ECM)
05 Heatsick "Après Moi, Le Déluge!" (PAN)
06 I-F "Space Invaders are Smoking Grass" (Disko B)
07 Pirahnahead "Sail Away"
08 The House Crew "Keep the Fires Burning" (Production House)
09 Orbital "Chime" (Oh-Zone/FFRR)
10 Hans Wittstatt "Flying Gay" (Celine)
11 Heatsick "Speculative" (PAN)
12 Terekke "Bank 3" (L.I.E.S) vs. "Jim Slater Strategises Monopoly"
13 Sotofett feat. Madteo "There's Gotta Be a Way (Underground Version)" (Wania)
14 Walter Marchetti "Da Nulla E Verso Nulla" (Alga Marghen) vs. Birds of Delay "Erasure" (Tome)
15 Paul Kindersley "Babes" (Correct Usage)
16 Malcolm McLaren "Who the Hell is Sonia Rykiel?" (Polygram)
17 The Durutti Column "Never Known" (Factory Once)
18 The Cardigans "Erase & Rewind" (Universal)

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