Guest Mix: Le Motel

Guest Mix by Le Motel
Belgian producer Le Motel sneaks through grooves from South America to East Africa. Both on his own beats and in his DJ mixes.

Growing up with jazz, Boards of Canada and Ambient music makes life easier. Le Motel, Belgian DJ and producer, knows that. As a 10-year-old, he had already heard more music than Average Joe. That may be why the trained graphic designer builds beats that taste like multivitamin juice after a club night. Since 2014, he has been crafting songs that land on Spotify lists alongside Bonobo and Four Tet, sampling djembe sounds from Malian weddings and kalimba strumming at Ghanaian ceremonies, is interested in voodoo culture and how he brings the magic into the club. That’s why Le Motel not only sneaks through grooves from South America to East Africa, but also travels to the countries. At the beginning, it was still a hobby and a bread-and-butter job. That changed in 2015 when »Oka«, his first record for Cosmic Compositions, was released. Gilles Peterson drags him onto BBC radio. Suddenly, Le Motel crashes into the scene, playing festivals all over the world.

His beats travel the world

Instead of squeezing into third class three times a week, he decides to get involved with the rap scene in Brussels. Le Motel releases records with locals like Roméo Elvis, YellowStraps and Veence Hanao – somewhere between frippery trap with a jazzy touch and footwork shreds for the techno heads. His solo career: to put on hold. Then came the pandemic, then came isolation and loneliness. Le Motel founded his own label with Maloca, followed it up with an EP and practised as a curator for producers who put »future music« in their Insta-bio. The latest Maloca release, »Suenos«, is dancefloor material from the boss himself. »Without a genre label«, as he emphasised at the beginning of his career. He now works with musicians from Spain, Ghana, and Australia. His beats are travelling around the world again. His beats are travelling around the world again.