Born and raised in Vienna, but now residing in Manchester, 22-year-old producer salute—real name Felix Nyajo—has been heralded as a shot in the arm for both UK garage and underground dance music in general.
His productions and DJ sets alike betray a profound love for UKG as well as a unique thoughtfulness that adds real depth to the scene. That can be heard most recently in his triptych of EPs: Pain (Condition I), Memories (Condition II) and Hope (Condition III), each of which address the grief he experienced after the passing of his grandmother and grandfather in quick succession.
Away from introspective projects like the Condition series, salute also prides himself on looking outwards. "Dance music, among other genres, has been gentrified to the point where the presence of non-white people is often unwanted," he's been quoted as saying in the past. "I think people tend to forget where it all started; dancefloors were spaces where people — especially minorities — could go to feel safe, empowered and comfortable in their own skin. Music and social issues will always go hand in hand."
We reached out to salute for a mix that spans the spectrum of what you can expect to hear at one of his parties. As he explains in greater detail below, this is also one of the mixes that doesn't feature any of his own productions. Instead, he treats us to a bright and colourful garage selection, flecked with hints of bassline, D&B and the other pirate radio sounds that raised him as a teen in Austria. So, without further ado, get one last summer fix before the sun leaves us for another year.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
For the first time in a while, I've not included any of my own music in a mix. The entire thing is just pristine club cuts at 130bpm — arguably the ideal club tempo. It's all fun, unpretentious dance music.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
Neana's "Nightshade". I don't think people really appreciate that record as much as they should. It's exactly the stuff I'd want to be hearing on a night out.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
ELOQ's "All Nite". I've been playing this unreleased cut it in all of my DJ sets; keep an ear out for it. I played it on Rinse and in my Keep Hush set.
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
Pendulum's Hold Your Colour. What an album!
What's the last physical record you bought?
Jadu Heart's Melt Away. We're lucky to be living at the same time as them.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I need a resurgence of fun, weird and UK-flavoured dance music. There are people pushing that sound, but ultimately, it's up to promoters to start booking the right DJs again. It sort of feels a bit stagnant at the minute.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
I'm so tired of the bro-ey parts of the techno/tech-house scene. The music is boring, there's a lot of pretentiousness, and the gatekeeping is painful to watch. It will take a while for it to die though, then it'll hopefully be time for fresh talent to shine.
1. DKVPZ - Vice Versa
2. Murder He Wrote - Aaliyah Riddim
3. Kingdom - Nothin’ (feat. Syd) (Club Mix)
4. Boddika - Acid Jackson
5. Neana - Nightshade
6. Lone - Blue Moon Tree
7. Jam City - Barely A Trak
8. Jacques Greene - Nordschleife
9. Sammy Virji - Get Up
10. Pepe - Lemon Fanta
11. Finn - Do What You Want Forever
12. Nature Boy - Do The Freak