The set from Bristol’s Pev & Kowton is an eagerly anticipated one this weekend. The duo is perhaps best known for their Raw Code b/w Junked 12″ on the Hessle Audio label from 2013 – two forward-looking slices of audio, aimed squarely at the dance floor.
However, they are also responsible for a slew of fine releases via their own Livity Sound imprint, their main focus over the last few years, where abstract rhythms coalesce with deep bass frequencies for a sound that’s authentically British and excitingly fresh.
Simply described, in their own words: ‘Record Label. UK Techno. Sound System Frequencies. Body Music.’ Livity Sound is uncompromising but not inaccessible, with real substance to the music – hidden depths for mind, body and soul.
Resident Advisor did a good interview a few years ago, which reveals something of the duo’s working methodology in the studio. See here. This twelve minute live jam recorded for RA in late 2013, with third Livity Sound wheel, Asusu is also fun.
But they’re actually playing a DJ set this Friday. No doubt the tremendous new Jinx / Scanners 12″ release on the label, from Forest Drive West, will get an outing. Scanners is no less of a gem on this 12 but isn’t up on YouTube yet. Check out its subliminal vibes in full on Bandcamp.
Either way, we can’t wait to hear what they’ve got in store for us!
Against today’s climate of fake hype, meaningless social media ‘likes’ and equally over-rated ‘stars’, Munich’s Zenker Brothers are a massive breath of fresh air and a rare breed. They’ve no truck with the trappings of fame today. They’re more interested in making and releasing great art, music that will find and resonate with a genuine audience, and it’s an attitude that has seen them thrive through ten years at the helm of their acclaimed Ilian Tape label (and before: older brother Dario was already a seasoned player on the international techno scene when the brothers launched the label, in 2007).
The label often releases without any fanfare. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that they prefer it that way after so many years, emphasising quality over quantity and staying true to their roots as fans of the hip hop of Nineties New York (as much as the techno coming out of the US, UK and Europe at that time), due to the rawness and purity of its sound.
The Zenkers are massive collectors of analogue hardware (images courtesy of Slices / Electronic Beats).
This 2015 video interview with Electronic Beats / Slices magazine really nails the attitude at the core of the duo’s style (and their enduring success). ‘(There are) DJs on Facebook that have been at it for thirty years and have much better reputations than some hyped Facebook stars and they don’t even manage to get paid half the money that the stars do,’ rails Dario. ‘I think the whole Facebook thing is a little over-rated too. An artist isn’t just good because he has 50,000 likes on Facebook, that’s completely ridiculous.’
‘These days it isn’t even real any more,’ adds Marco, equally unimpressed. ‘There are numerous DJs that buy their likes and then profit from that,’ clarifies Dario. ‘Promoters that book acts on the basis of Facebook likes. Those are not parties that i’m interested in playing. It’s not about the music in those cases. It’s about making sure the club is packed and that’s not really very important to me.’ Quite.
Label aficionado Skee Mask lends his support, having been forced to cancel his date here last year, due to illness. With more abstract leanings, less focused on the dance floor, his music will act as the perfect counterpoint to the Zenker’s more ‘floor-conscious style. Both acts make this their Edinburgh debut but it’s also Skee Mask’s Scottish debut.
To say they’re a good fit for Substance at the Bongo would be understating things slightly. In short, we can’t wait!
This is the one. Possibly the single most important, living electronic artist in our world – Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, founding father of Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus and Elecktroids et al – makes his first ever Edinburgh appearance, with the essential Arpanet concept live show, fusing proto-internet vision and next level futurism. Truly unmissable.
Read RA’s news item here. And there’s a great Gerald Donald primer on FACT.
BEN UFO: Arpanet - Wireless Internet
SURGEON: Dopplereffekt - Infophysix TESSELA: Drexciya - Black Sea DJ STINGRAY: Dopplereffekt - Scientist JOHN HECKLE: LAM - Balance of Terror EP DJ ROLANDO: Drexciya - Dr. Blowfin's Experiment (Somewhere in Detroit) DJ PETE: Arpanet - Illuminated Displays BLEACHING AGENT: Japanese Telecom - Mounting Yoko MGUN: Drexciya – Birth of a New Life VELOCITY FUNK: Arpanet – Infinite Destiny GAVIN RICHARDSON: Abstract Thought – Hypothetical Situations (Bermuda Triangle & Galactic Rotation!) DOMMM: Japanese Telecom – Making of Ultraman ADAM RICHARDSON: Der Zyklus - Formenverwandler
NB The Soundcloud post below is from 2012.
Donald also released a new album this year under his (collaborative) Der Zyklus alias:
The legendary Bongo Club in Edinburgh marks its 20th birthday with a month of celebrations. The party starts on Friday night with a set from one of the world’s best DJs, Ben UFO. Gayle Ritchie finds out more…
Twenty years is a huge milestone for any club to reach these days.
So get on your dancing shoes because the Edinburgh institution that is the Bongo Club is alive and kicking and marking two decades of its commitment to diverse, alternative acts, music and DJs with a month of celebrations.
Despite being forced to move location twice, the club is now firmly rooted on the city’s Cowgate and is as popular as ever.
For those into underground techno parties, Substance – billed as one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass music – is hosting a night to remember this Friday (September 30), with Ben Thomson, aka Ben UFO, on the decks.
As co-founder of Hessle Audio, Ben confounds expectations with his seamless dancefloor heavy sets that encompass everything from hard techno to Afrobeat, house and electro.
Over the past five years, Ben has built a reputation as one of contemporary dance music’s most daring and wide-ranging selectors, with his keen ear and razor-sharp abilities enabling him to cut between eras, lineages and mixing styles with dazzling ease and fluidity.
Having cut his teeth in early dubstep and drum and bass, his roots lie in UK rave culture – yet his selections cast the net wider, drawing new mutations of this culture into the orbit of house, techno and other global dancefloor sounds.
In clubs, his sets manage to be simultaneously considered and raucous, sliding from sidewinding broken rhythms into an irresistible four-to-the-floor groove, or broadsiding you with unexpected tangents, old favourites and bizarre secret weapons.
Ben has come far since broadcasting internet radio from two turntables on his mate’s bedroom floor. As well as holding down a residency at London’s club fairyland, Fabric, he stays busy touring Europe’s festival circuit, while continuing his now-eminent radio show with Hessle Audio on Rinse FM.
Substance’s Adam Richardson is more than just a bit excited about the night.
“Ben is obviously much in demand and we’re delighted to have got him on board to play what is a relatively intimate venue,” he said.
“His eclecticism is fitting for the occasion, the Bongo being a broad church both musically and in the diversity of its crowd. Add to that the biggest and highest spec sound system we have ever worked with, brought in especially for the evening, and you have a pretty unmissable party.”
With support from residents Gavin Richardson and Velocity Funk, Friday night is the first of a big run of four parties for Substance up to the end of the year, which includes their 10th birthday on October 28.
Substance has been serving up some of the most thunderous innovators to the capital for ten years so you’re guaranteed a good night out.
The rest of the Bongo Club anniversary month sees everything from grime and UK bass, theatre, funk, spoken word, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. Check out www.thebongoclub.co.uk
Tickets for Substance: Ben UFO are available here and here.
Continuing their custom of breaking new ground and introducing the cutting edge of electronic music to Edinburgh, Substance are very excited to be welcoming Munich artist Skee Mask to make his Scottish debut on Friday 15th April.
February’s release of his debut album, Shred, is only the second long-player to have emerged from the Ilian Tape label run in Munich by brothers Marco and Dario Zenker. Exhibiting a penchant for the classic, Nineties techno sounds of labels such as Warp, Chain Reaction and Counterbalance, Shred combines deep, atmospheric textures with refined dance floor aesthetics. No wonder the likes of Scuba have been hailing Shred as one of the releases of the year so far, with Skee Mask recently making his UK debut at the finale of Scuba’s XOYO residency in London.
To paraphrase the Ilian Tape website, in his DJ sets Skee Mask aims to create a deep trip, constituted of organic grooves and diverse clang accompaniments: techno, ambient and mostly experimental, forward thinking. Naturally, we can’t wait!
There’s a good write-up about the new album on Juno.
One of the UK’s most exciting new producers, Tessela brings a DJ set to Substance this Friday 18th March.
The guy known to his mum as Ed Russell set out a bold stall when he released Hackney Parrot via his own Poly Kicks label back in 2013. Channelling hardcore rave for a new generation, all jungle-style breakbeats, a neatly processed soul sample, swirling synths, dramatic stabs and sub-bass that’s sure to get a rasta’s pulse racing, its energy and production finesse set it apart immediately as one of the records of the year and a bit of a game-changer for the scene ever since.
B-side Helter Skelter was no less frenzied and his releases since then, via Poly Kicks and legendary Belgian imprint R&S (who snapped him up quicker than you could say Outlander, The Vamp, back in 2013) have followed a similar trajectory. In short, if you like hardcore, rave, bass music or techno, this is for you.
Here’s a great interview Russell did with Pitchfork back in 2013. This chat with him and his brother, Tom (alias Truss), for RBMA is equally revealing and there are unsurprisingly some great hardcore tunes assembled in this Top 5 for XLR8R.
Bristol techno DJ Hodge makes his Edinburgh debut for Headset this Friday 19th February and to say we’re looking forward to it is a bit of an understatement!
First emerging via his house and UK garage-flavoured debut EP, The Fall (Immerse Records), in 2011, Hodge has stormed the ranks of UK techno, since 2013, via exciting releases for respected labels such as Punch Drunk, Tempa, Livity Sound and Hemlock Recordings plus up-and-coming imprints Hotline and Berceuse Heroique, culminating in high profile artists such as Leftfield and bookings across Europe last year. You could he’s officially broken cover now.
With roots in Bristol’s fertile drum ‘n’ bass, garage and dubstep scenes, his bass-heavy sound has an identifiable UK flavour which gives him the edge over many of his peers.
Helena Hauff has been resident at Hamburg’s renowned Golden Pudel club for some years now, an esteemed selector of raw Chicago, Acid, EBM, Electro and Wave music and a producer of growing acclaim via analogue recordings on Werkdiscs, PAN, Panzerkreuz and Lux (as a solo artist and in collaboration as Black Sites and Hypnobeat), all while retaining a staunchly low profile on the social networks.
So, as well as quite clearly demonstrating that she’s got what it takes to raise the roof when she plays, in today’s climate of in-your-face artists and relentless social media updates to fans about every second of their existences, Hauff is an all the more enticing proposition.
Find out why on Friday 12th Feb, when she brings a unique selection to The Bongo Club for Substance.
More on Helena below, courtesy of a short interview and podcast she did in September for XLR8R…
Helena Hauff doesn’t really fit the mold of the modern-day electronic musician. She continues to reside in Hamburg and actively avoids the limelight; she doesn’t self-promote or even attempt to communicate with her ever-expanding fan-base; you can’t even find her on Facebook, never mind Twitter. Outside of a limited number of interviews—where, seemingly reluctantly, she elaborates on her analog-heavy production techniques and penchant for dark and twisted industrial acid techno—her only vehicle of public expression is through her music. In her own words, “I just do the stuff that I wanna do and I don’t do the stuff that I don’t wanna do.” It’s really that simple.
But for Hauff, this would seem to be enough. The release of her highly anticipated and widely acclaimed debut LP on Werkdiscs/Ninja Tune, Discreet Desires, along with a busy summer touring schedule that included a stunning performance at Dekmantel Festival—one of the best sets of the summer, in our books—has seen the Golden Pudel resident’s reputation rise considerably. Ahead of her performance at Robot Festival early next month, XLR8R contacted Hauff to see if she’d be interested in showcasing her talents with a podcast.
Fortunately for all of us, this is one of the things she did want to do.
How and where was the mix recorded?
At home! All records..…
Describe how you selected the tracks you wanted to include? Did you make a fairly concise list before you actually began mixing?
I knew how I wanted the tracks to come together before I started mixing. Sometimes a mix comes together in my head really quickly other times it can take quite a while to gel—this one was easy!
What else have you got coming up this year?
More gigs and then start playing around with my new synthesizers, can’t wait. And a couple more releases on my label!
For more information or to download the podcast, please visit XLR8R.
Rolando R Rocha grew up in south-west Detroit, a Hispanic district. He was heavily influenced by his cultural Latin rhythms and percussion. Inspired from an early age by his musician father, he pursued his own interest in music and became well known and respected within the community. It was later when he heard Jeff Mills in 1985 as “The Wizard” that he discovered the innovative sounds of Techno. Through a mutual friend he was introduced to Mike Banks and joined Underground Resistance in 1994.
In 1999, ‘Knights of The Jaguar’, although not Rolando’s first release on UR turned perceptions of Techno on their head, breaking into other genres of dance music and becoming a classic in the boxes of DJs such as Tenaglia, Morillo, Oakenfold, and Gilles Peterson. The track has a long legacy of reworking and lives on over fifteen years later inspiring audiences from all genres.
As of November 2004, Rolando left both Underground Resistance and his Los Hermanos project behind.
2014 Rolando has launched his own label R3 (Roland Rocha Records) and will exclusively release his own music on his label.
Rolando now a Dj for almost thirty years continues to work internationally as a Dj and continues to hold a residency at the notorious and enigmatic Berlin club Berghain.
LABEL TITLE MATRIX NO.
UR AZTEC MYSTIC EP. UR035
UR AZTLAN EP. UR015
UR MI RAZA (interstellar fugitives album) UR045
UR KNIGHTS OF THE JAGUAR EP. UR049
UR REVENGE OF THE JAGUAR EP. UR2000
UR AZTEC MYSTIC MIX CD
UR UR Z TRACKS vol. 1,2&3 UR ZT1,2,3
UR AZTEC MYSTIC MIX CD URCD049
UR VIBRATIONS MIX CD URCD 3000
UR AGUILA EP. UR059
LOS HERMANOS BIRTH OF 3000 EP. LH1
LOS HERMANOS A: QUETZAL, B: TESCAT LH2
LOS HERMANOS TRES LH3
LOS HERMANOS INFLUENCE EP. LH4
430WEST JAGUAR EP. 4W350
430WEST JAGUAR CD 4W CD4049
SWEAT RECORDS SWEAT MIX vol.1 (HOUSE) SWEAT CD 1
NRK ROLANDO (MIX CD) nite:life 016 NRKMX016
NRK ROLANDO “FROM THERE TO HERE
AND NOW” (2CD MIX) NRK025 NRKMX025
CROSSROADS IN-TRANSIT NRKMX025
DELSIN HIATUS EP 73DSR/ RLD1
SAVED RECORDS THE AFTERLIFE EP
KLING KLANG EXPO 2000 KRAFTWERK
SOMA VIRTUOSO SLAM
LOGISTIC BLACKSTAGE RE-WORKS “WORKING NIGHT” JOHN THOMAS – LOG 026
POUSSEZ! MUSIC YOUR LIGHT NEXT EVIDENCE
PARLOPHONE/EMI COMING UP FOR AIR SIOBHAN DONAGHY
2. BEATSTRUMENTAL MIX
SUPERB ENTERTAINMENT PEAK TIME K-ALEXI
ROLANDO’S I-94 MIX
RUSH HOUR RUSH HOUR POPULATION ONE
We’re very excited that UK techno producer Blawan is returning to the Bongo on Friday 27th November with a DJ set for the Substance x Pulse head-to-head.
First witnessed when he played Substance’s 6th Birthday at our former venue back in 2012, the Yorkshire-born producer, DJ and sound design buff has become quite the international sensation of late, treating massive festivals all over the world to his exciting brand of punishing beats and moody soundscapes.
Blawan continues to provide evidence that he is currently one of the hottest and most versatile properties on the electronic music circuit. Seemingly rising from nowhere, he first came to prominence with his debut release on Hessle Audio, standing apart from the crowd with his clanking, stepping percussive beats, following it up with the acid-flooded ‘Bohla’ on R&S, its raw, techno-influenced beats championed by DJs such as Surgeon. ‘What You Do with What You Have’ followed and a remix of the Radiohead track “Bloom” helped his popularity grow. He has since become one of the biggest artists in techno, winning over the heads’ hearts with his raw percussion and a nod to the UK’s techno heritage as seen on productions such as ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ (Hinge Finger).
A hardware-only project, Karenn, combining with fellow R&S producer Pariah for some outrageously exciting live shows and dynamic recordings and couple of startling performances on Boiler Room all brought fresh acclaim, cemented when UK pioneer Surgeon joined forces with Blawan for a release on his vinyl-only label (Works the Long Nights) under the guise Trade.
This mix from 2014’s Aquasella Festival in Spain should give you an idea of what to expect from his DJ set at the Bongo.
While his 2012 Boiler Room is unsurprisingly still one of his most popular sets online…
After two stand-out shows with Rodhad and DVS1 earlier this year, Pulse and Substance join forces once again for this event, with respective residents Gavin Richardson and Darrell Harding providing the DJ support.