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Dazed Mix: Crystallmess

The Paris-based DJ shares an eerie mixtape featuring 100 BPM electro, New Orleans bounce, Congolese and Ugandan rap, and more

Whether she’s behind the decks at Berghain or throwing together cutting-edge club edits at Yves Tumor’s Terms of Endearment party, Crystallmess (real name Christelle Oyiri) knows how to pull in an audience. The Paris-based artist is recognised for her genre-fluid approach to DJing, switching effortlessly between pummeling techno cuts, high-speed electro and melodic trance. Her club-adjacent tracks are equally varied; mutant techno-IDM bangers that draw on moody and experimental textures to form a cohesive narrative.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Oyiri also sheds light on past and present subcultures through performances and mixed media work that tackles themes of club culture, colonial alienation and alternative temporalities. Her latest exhibition at Glasgow’s Tramway explores The Ivory Coast’s 2002 military coup, while a 2018 project Collective Amnesia hones in on the forgotten history of logobi, an urban Afro-French dance from the mid-00s.

For her Dazed mix, Oyiri shares an eerie mixtape that spans 100 BPM electro, New Orleans bounce, Congolese and Ugandan rap. “The first part of the mix is slow and sensual until we reach a new rhythm portal and unleash the 140 BPM bangers,” she says.

How is your summer going? Any plans?

Crystallmess: My summer is more than ever a moment of realisation and epiphanies. I plan on touring in July again and will try to sit still for the month of August in the countryside in France.

How would you describe your artistic practice? How, if at all, does it relate to your music?

Crystallmess: My artistic practice is vicariously related to my music, music is often my point of entry to iconography or even theory. 

What are some of your earliest memories of music? Have they influenced your sound at all?

Crystallmess: My earliest memories of music are Jamiroquai, my big brothers YO MTV! Raps VHS tapes – they would play “Can it be so simple“ by Wu-Tang Clan over and over again. A staple of beauty, haunting, gloomy and melancholic, it never left me. 

What’s your experience of the pandemic been like? Did you spend it focusing on music?

Crystallmess: My experience of the pandemic was dark on one hand, and a renaissance on the other hand. My parents work as caretakers in the health sector so they were constantly exposed and were never rewarded in any capacity for putting themselves on the line and doing their job despite the fear. Friends and family members lost loved ones they couldn’t bury with the honour and decorum they deserve, some said bye to their loved ones on the phone.

I had to sit with these feelings like the majority of the world, we faced collective mourning. I spent the pandemic focusing on building meaningful relationships, taking care of myself, recording some music mostly for others, scoring mainly and exploring a new dimension of my artistry. 

How has it been returning to live shows? Do you have any favourites post-pandemic, why?

Crystallmess: It has been a journey, being in the crowd again. I love it! My favourite place to play right now is The White Hotel in Manchester. The crowd is focused on their sensation and is down for whatever and Jacob and his team really have one of the best programmation of the game right now. Also it closes at 7AM which is pretty rare in the UK – or at least in London. 

Tell us about your Dazed mix.

Crystallmess: A bit eerie but lots of treats like 100 BPM electro by Andrea Parker, the new Blackhaine record, Clipse, New Orleans Bounce, Congolese/Ugandan rap, Detroit Techno. The first part of the mix is slow and sensual until we reach a new rhythm portal and unleash the 140 BPM bangers. 

How were you feeling when making it?

Crystallmess: Not willing to give everything right away, I felt playful and demanding with myself.

Crystallmess will perform at Terraforma Festival on July 1


1. Little Weapon - Edit 
2. Blackhaine - Stained Materials
3. Andrea Parker - Empty Words
4. Clipse - Trill
5. Black Replica - Ephemeral
6. Shannon - Mal À Dit
7. Dopplereffekt - Z-Boson
8. Maelstrom - Oxy Blur (Original Mix) 
9. Hut Hut - ???? 
10. Frankie Knuckles - Your Love 
11. Chrisman - Lupupu 
12. Kaaris - Zoo 
13. DJ Polo & NKC - Hammerhead
14. Biga Yut - Cash Boss
15. Clouds - Fantazia 2003
16. DJ Technics - Girlfriend
17. Detroit’s Filthiest - Before I Self-destruct
18. Exploited Body - Alive & Damaged 
19. Ignez - Aura (edit)