Before he was CHLLNGR, Steven Jess Borth II was a journeyman saxophonist playing in Link 80 and Rx Bandits, two California-based ska punk outfits. In those travels, his music collection and a pair of headphones were his escape from the doldrums of the road. The music he collected in those days became his guide into dub music, collecting Trojan box sets for King Tubby pieces, and ultimately informed his CHLLNGR project.
He recently released his second full length as CHLLNGR, entitled Form Of Release. Since the inception of CHLLNGR, Borth has utilized his friends in music that he’s acquired in his journey—a key component showcased in the documentary by Red Bull—which includes assistance from members of Quadron and Dragons of Zynth on Haven, numerous collaborative works with Spoek Mathambo, and the dominating presence of JOSIAHWISE IS THE SERPENTWITHFEET on Form of Release. To a degree the musicians that appear on Borth’s Friday Night mix belong in his list of collaborators because without his trusted King Tubby records, the movie-score textures of Boards of Canada, and the nocturnal creep of Portishead, CHLLNGR would not be the same.
Borth had the following to offer regarding his mix:
Making this mix to showcase influences from my new album Form of Release, I automatically started to mentally archive where the source of some of musical inspiration comes from.
What got me wanting to do electronic music, first and foremost, is Boards of Canada. When I used to tour in a punk band around 7-10 months out of the year, Boards of Canada was my salvation, I would turn my headphones as loud as possible and automatically the scenery turned into a beautiful movie, whether we were driving through the Swiss mountains or waiting in rush hour traffic for hours in some major metropolis.
On this mixtape I tried to combine as many of my favorite songs that relate to the sounds on Form of Release. From an outside perspective, the mix of genres may seem random but to me they are all home. Enjoy!
CHLLNGR’s Form of Release is out now on Time No Place.
Form of Mix tracklisting:
01 Boards Of Canada, “In A Beautiful Place Out in The Country”
02 Air, “Playground Love”
03 Burial, “Etched Headplate”
04 King Tubby, “Concentration (version 3)”
05 Melodians, “I Will Get Along Without You Now”
06 Roots Manuva, “The Lynch”
07 Portishead, “Undenied”
08 Beck, “Broken Drum (Boards Of Canada remix)”
09 Donny Hathaway, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (live version)”