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Essential Listening: Shanti Celeste

Essential Listening: Shanti Celeste

Jemima Skala | Features & Interviews

Shanti Celeste has her finger in every pie at the moment. She’s currently booked to play some of the most exciting line-ups of the summer, from London’s new All Points East to Houghton and Dekmantel. As a Chilean who moved to Bristol, Celeste’s music harmonises sun-soaked wistfulness with strong beats and driving rhythms: swirling samples run circles around drum breaks while a synth loop underpins this gentle interplay. Not just content with taking over the dancefloors, Celeste also runs the Peach Discs label and has her own monthly show on NTS Radio. Not one to be skipped over, we review Shanti Celeste’s top tracks to get you looking ahead to brighter and warmer days.

Days Like This 
This track broke Shanti Celeste into the collective consciousness, and for a good reason because it sounds just like summer in a bottle. Celeste’s own velvety voice floats over the samples and beats, inducing the track with a certain nostalgia that it’s impossible to escape. Appearing on the distinguished Idle Hands label, this track remains a defining point in Celeste’s trajectory, shooting her definitively upwards.

Make Time
"Make Time" is Celeste’s most recent release, and although you can still hear the definitive Celeste brand of electronica in there, it’s a step away from her earlier stuff. Not afraid to let the drums do the talking, Celeste lets each element speak for itself; never brash or loud, she simply lets each section float in as if on a warm breeze, like that friend at the pub with the confidence to suggest you make a night of it.

Golden – Dub
This track starts out almost ominous in its conception, but Celeste soon takes the lead, guiding us into the dark recesses of the clubs that music like hers gives us the courage to explore. The sparkly synths rise above the murkier synths before suddenly shifting direction, pitching everything down and moving into swampier sounds. The dub version of this track moves us closer to what Celeste’s live sets are like: a heady mix of her sunnier, uplifting productions to darker, intense techno.

“Being” is one of the tracks that marks out Celeste’s incredibly apt ear for creating dancefloor-ready beats. The bass guides this track, with the hi-hats coming in as a necessary gee-up that will keep any raver moving and grooving till the early hours. The refreshing thing about this track is the variety of sounds Celeste introduces without them seeming shoehorned in; the bass makes a daring contrast to the higher-pitched synth harmonies, both of which stand apart from the crisp, clear drum sounds.

The opening syncopated drum break says everything there is to be said about this track. As the track progresses, drums layering on top of one another and melding gradually, there is something that feels very vintage about “Nu4him”. Something quite 90s, with the hard rhythms dripping in buttery synth samples that means it wouldn’t sound out of place at an old-school rave.

If you know what’s good for you, you’ll see Shanti Celeste at the next possible opportunity, and that could well be at Malta’s Lost & Found or Parklife in Manchester, two festivals that have already confirmed her presence on the bill.

Photo courtesy of Shanti Celeste and POLY.

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Essential Listening: Shanti Celeste

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