Baba Ali: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


‘Electro punk disco’, what’s not to like about that?

This is the name that London duo Baba Ali coined to describe their electrifying sound which takes a little bit of all the things we love here at Ransom Note and stirs them up in a big old pot.

Comprised of American musician Baba Doherty and British guitarist Nik Balchin, the group blend elements of punk funk and electro with NYC disco and no wave, that’s equal parts for the dance floor and for the stage, which they’re no stranger to.


They’ve been touring up and down the country since their debut LP dropped in 2021 and they’re showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. With the release of their sophomore album imminent – a debut on Memphis Industries called ‘Laugh Like A Bomb‘ which has been on repeat on 6Music – they join The Go! Team on tour around the UK as of this weekend. But before that they’ll be making a pitstop at our own R$N residency at The Social on 10th March for an intimate live set…

Ahead of the gig, we asked Baba to give us a flavour of all his influences, which he does in fine fashion with this mix of groovy, crunchy funk, punk, synth pop, new wave and electro… Perfect fodder for your thirsty Thursday.

Baba Ali play our residency at The Social on Friday 10th March – grab your tickets.

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

This is Baba from Baba Ali. We are a band. We are in London.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

Our music sounds like the screaming love-child of James Brown, James Murphy and Jamie Hince.


Where was the mix recorded?

In North London at Ten87 Studios.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

You’re getting ready for a night out. You’ve just hopped out the bath and your friends are on their way to your place for some pre-drinks.

What should we be wearing?

A sweet and smoky perfume.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

At a house party, in the basement. Some CDJ’s would do. Maybe have some mics set up to record the noise of the people in the room.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

That Chicken Lips remix of ‘No Wow’ is quite sexy.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

DJ Harvey’s 1998 Essential Mix for BBC

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

It would most definitely be Moodymann. Went to a party where he mixed the White Stripes in between two techno tracks. That’s the kind of DJ’ing I enjoy.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

My very first set-up was a Numark Battle Pak that you could get for around $250.00 and included two cheap turntables and a mixer. I learned on vinyl. Now I just use a laptop or borrow CDJ’s from friends.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

I think the track a DJ starts on tells me more about the DJ than what they end on.

What were the first and last records you bought?

If I remember correctly I think the first record I bought was a 12 inch of ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis. I can’t remember the last record I bought, as it’s been quite a while since I’ve owned a record player.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

It would taste like mezcal and cigarettes.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A panther

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Nothing’s impossible!

Anything else we need to discuss?

Our next record ‘Laugh Like A Bomb’ will soon be in the world on the 28th of April 2023. We are very proud and excited!

Baba Ali play our residency at The Social on Friday 10th March – grab your tickets.