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Selections: Holly Lester

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, Holly Lester highlights house gems for all occasions

Northern Irish DJ Holly Lester’s devotion to house music has made her something of a hero in her local scene. Behind the decks, she runs the gamut from jackin’ classics and techy rollers through Detroit slammers, tough tribal thumpers and acid scorchers, all the way into deeper shades of prog, trance and electro. She does this with a dextrous skill, and a deep-digging approach that demonstrates a love for the craft that she's been finessing since her teens. 

It’s a passion that’s seen her play clubs and festivals throughout the UK and Europe, from AVA in Belfast and Printworks London, Warehouse Project in Manchester, DC-10 in Ibiza and SuncéBeat Festival Croatia. 

In recent years, she’s also been fighting for an improved infrastructure and more progressive licensing for the Northern Irish night-time economy as part of the Free The Night Campaign, pushing for "a safe, progressive and culturally rich environment for nightlife”. Last year, Free The Night launched a nationwide survey in the hope of gaining better insight into people's experiences of nightlife in NI. It was in acknowledgement of this work that Lester was nominated in the “Underground Hero” category in DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards in 2021. 

Her Duality Trax label has also been active, releasing two wicked EPs from Abdul Raeva and Tifra in 2022. In March, the label will release a new four-tracker from Manchester-based DJ and producer Aiden Francis

Lester’s Selections embody all the energies you can expect from one of her DJ sets, encompassing house gems for all occasions. Dive in.

‘megafauna’ [Music From Memory]

“If you need some serious chill time and want to switch off your brain for a while, you can’t go wrong with RAMZis new album. The whole LP is blissful but I really love the tribal jungle infusion going on with this track.” 

‘Same Same’ [Wisdom Teeth]

“This lush lil broken beat track by Yushh is just lovely and makes me crave some poolside or beach downtime. Bookmarked for the next time a warm up or daytime set calls!”

‘My House’ [Craigie Knowes]

“This contemporary deep house cut is one of my favourites here but it’s a hard choice between this and the swirling breakbeats of Shy Partiboi. Emkay is one to watch!”

‘Closer Energy’ [Butter Side Up]

“Classy, smooth house music from the don Sweely on his first studio album. Go check it in full!”

LVCA & Marlon
‘Captain Fantastico’ [Ba Dum Tish]

“Just scooped this sleazy tech house groover which I believe has just become available digitally. Glad to see the resurgence of good tech house in recent years - I think this release is a prime example of the latter.”

Piussi & Zelaya
‘V2’ [dbh-music]

“Been playing this one out a lot recently – very fun jackin’ house with an old-school Chicago flavour, which makes sense coming from legendary Chicago-inspired label Chiwax. Also check out V2 for another solid house track.”

‘Linear Lotus’ [Maai Records]

“Some dreamy prog business from rising Aussie star Aldonna. Whatever you guys are drinking in the water over there, I want some of it.” 

Rudolf C
‘Globular (N​-​Gynn Remix)’ [Pleasure Club]

“N Gynn and Rudolf C are a dream combo! Modular blips and bleeps, a hypnotising acid line and snappy electro tinged goodness inside.”

‘Prune’ [Gudu Records]

“I just can't stop listening to this track at the moment. There’s something about the bassline and the piano chords which reminds me of the mid-2000s - 2010 good electro house era before it all went tits up and headed to EDM territory.”

DJ Babatr
‘The Tribe (Baila)’ [sonidoaca]

“Huge tribal house business from Venezuela, originally made back in the early 2000s and finally seeing the light of day on new Barcelona label ACA. Try standing still to this one.”

‘VT Trad’ [Kalahari Oyster Cult]

“Spray never misses with his uniquely innovative and mind bending take on modern trance. Instant download every time!”