Tag Archives: techno

NYC house & techno legend Levon Vincent makes his Bongo debut for Substance, Sat 27th April

24 April 2019 -

We couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming Levon Vincent to the Bongo for the first time, courtesy of the evergreen Substance crew.  This recent interview with him by XLR8R gives an insight into why he’s such a talented and successful producer…

Levon Vincent has been producing records for nearly two decades, starting in Manhattan, New York. His music taste and processes were shaped by early ’90s house music and the energy that surrounded him in places like the Lower East side and Alphabet city. The explosion of music sampling in the ’80s informed his processes and, influenced by the elder producers in his orbit, he began his own experiments using an Ensoniq EPS-1, one of the first few affordable samplers on the market. He released his debut EP, No More Heros, in 2002 via his own More Music NY.  “I have quite a lot of experience as a student,” he explains. “I’ve never shied away from tracking down a producer or engineer to ask them 100 questions.”

Vincent’s ensuing releases landed with regularity: Complicated People and The Thrill Of Love came next, with a slick, warm house sound, before 2005’s Love Technique saw Vincent present a harder acid-infused techno aesthetic. This evolution continued as his signature became dark, chunky, and raw but groovy, psychedelic, and, well, sexy—at once driving and meaningful. “It can make you dance and it can make you contemplate,” says one enthusiastic Discogs user. (Case in point: “Double Jointed Sex Freak.”)

The culmination of this came with 2015’s self-titled album debut, a release—offered as a free download as a stand against the corporate machine—that exceeded even the huge expectations that surrounded it. It spanned atmospheric dub techno, lush deep house, and explorations into the darker realms, cementing Vincent’s reputation as one of the most original producers in contemporary techno. Often it takes two or three listens to properly understand his message; to really appreciate how he says so much with so little.

Vincent has been hard at work recently, preparing a series of EPs that’ll drop this year, expected to be one of his busiest yet—his first release of the year was “Dance With Me,” an old-school house cut on the January edition of XLR8R+. After some informal exchanges, he invited XLR8R into his studio, located in the spare room of his spacious Berlin apartment. He’s always been a bedroom producer, so this is where he feels most comfortable. Although distanced somewhat from the analog heavy lairs that we see so often in contemporary production, there is some seriously heavy duty equipment. “I am proud to be a bedroom producer and not too flashy,” he says. “This is independent music and should be in the hands of anyone who wants to make it.” To learn more, we sat down for a lengthy and candid discussion with Vincent, and below you’ll find a (slightly) shortened version of what was said.

To start, can you describe your current studio setup?

Today I am working with a few Roland synths and a Jomox drum module. For tracking, I use a combination of Aurora and Great River pre-amps and UAD conversion. For mixing down, I use JCF conversion, an SSL G-series compressor clone, and I sum through the Chandler mixer. I am a fan of the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format and I use Korg and Tascam recorders. I own a pair of trusty US$30 Logitech multimedia speakers, as well as a monster pair of Barefoot monitors for reference purposes, and some other goodies.

I’ve put any profits over the years into recording gear so I’ve really cherry-picked the exact items I need. I went through a lot of extra items while figuring it out and now I am down to just what I need, so if there is a piece of gear in my studio nowadays, I use it. I don’t have a synth museum or anything; those setups come and go for me, depending on my disposable income at the time. I also use a Yamaha digital piano, and while it’s nice, I left a Kawai MP7SE stage piano in New York when I moved to Germany, and I miss that one a lot.

Has your setup changed considerably over time?

My setup is constantly changing. Not the recording gear—it’s too important—but the instruments always change. I usually buy a few synths, make a record or two, then sell them on Craigslist and repeat. Overall, there is less equipment now; I choose not to have an exorbitant amount of sonic “toys” at the moment. I will start buying again soon, just a couple things here and there. I am holding out for Behringer to announce a Jupiter 8 clone.

Why do you feel the need to constantly change the gear?

Hmm, good question. I like that first feeling you get when you put a couple of synths together and you learn what type of personality they have. That comes from reading about Miles Davis, how he was so widely recognized as having a knack for putting band members together. I always liked that concept, so I enjoy the skill of combining different synths and drum machines. So a Walforf Pulse might have a very muscular character. That would be a nice compliment to a Juno, which has a more buttery sound. Mixing and matching the different instruments is akin to orchestration.

“..an artist must believe in what they are doing because there is a great sacrifice involved in dedicating your life to music or the arts.”

You spoke earlier about how you learned a lot from apprenticeships in New York. What are the most important lessons that you reflect upon?

This might sound like a negative but it actually was a positive for me: one lesson I will always remember was when working for the engineer on Steve Reich’s Violin Phaserecording for Nonesuch. And I had spent several months with him but he had never heard my music. Finally, the day came and I played him my CD. He listened, and I asked him what he thought, and he said, “If you weren’t in the room, I would throw this disc in the garbage.” Sounds like a tough one, right? But it gave me a thick skin—it was better than being coddled and that experience forced me to evaluate what I was doing. I do believe it was good music, and I did release some of it on Novel Sound to great success. So, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. But I had to go back to make sure I really believed in what I was doing, and I learned pretty quickly that you have to take things with a pinch of salt if you are going to succeed; an artist must always believe in what they are doing because there is a great sacrifice involved in dedicating your life to music or the arts. It can be a frightful leap to take because you never know if you will always be able to eat properly, or sleep in your own place, or have health insurance, etc.

It’s interesting that your studio is still in your bedroom. Do you want an external studio?

That has never appealed to me. My space is very personal and it is a very important part of my work process. I like smoking weed and working, getting all dubby—and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that outside of my house. Also, I often wake up in the night with an idea and go immediately to the piano. That happens every couple of weeks, where I have a good idea in the night, and just jump out of bed and go immediately to working on it. I have written every song I have ever released in my bedroom. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. Well, now I use an office room in my flat and not my actual bedroom, but you get my point.

If I can’t make music with just 18 simultaneous preamps then something is wrong with my approach.

It doesn’t look like the most organized of spaces.

Yes, I do have a bit of a sloppiness problem with my work area. Not dirty, just messy. Truthfully, the messiness is a habit I developed from collecting records—just having too many records, the hoarding aspect. At one point I had 17,000 records. I didn’t even know what a few crates were. I also collected comic books and graphic novels when I was younger. I like collecting things, as long as it doesn’t disrupt my life. The way I learned to conquer the vinyl addiction and manage the hoarding is by first getting rid of that entire collection. It was difficult but a very healthy thing for me to do. And now every few years I give away several crates of records. I’ve passed out gear too. It frees you up. Regarding the equipment, I have always been buying and trading gear. The 1990s were worse because I worked for a music instrument shop and was able to buy things at cost. That got out of hand. For the past 15 years or so I have had a “no patch bays” rule: I have 18 inputs on my preamps, and that’s it. If I can’t make music with just 18 simultaneous preamps then something is wrong with my approach.

Why do you think you’re more drawn to recording and processing equipment more than instruments?

Well, I was born in the ‘70s, and I came up in the ‘80s, and the era was dominated by sampling technology. It was a revolution. Synths are cool too, they are the instruments that belong in the studio. I love it all. I love a good machine—I always have time to appreciate a piece of gear that is designed and assembled well. I realize that I like machines that do one thing really well. I’d choose an MPC if I could only have one piece of gear. That’s a New York thing. Although I moved to Germany 10 years ago and haven’t looked back, some things stay with you throughout your life. I will always have a fondness for recording gear and old samplers.

Are you still sampling a lot nowadays?

Nope. December would be the last time I sampled my synths or drum machine. I sampled my Moog Source most recently, three octaves worth, and layered it with noise from the Anamod ATS-1. The result was a really fat sounding disco bass patch. It sounds like the octave bass from “Blue Monday.”

Why do you think your practices have changed?

It’s because my library is so big now. It’s more important for me that I update what I have and bring it into the present time. Like my FZ-1 diskettes, I need to update those, and I have a bunch of zip disks to deal with, etc. I have an enormous library of 12-bit drum samples that I could use to make some really cool personalized drum machines. That’s something I really love doing—making my own drum kits, and then thinking of and treating them as if they are a rare drum machine, one that only I have. Then, I will spend a month making beats with it and really getting to know the sounds and how they work. I also like to pilfer the Jomox module, which is really punchy, and combine it with bits from my older kits. I sampled the hell out of my long-gone Linn Drum, for example. So I might take a shaker or a Tambo from that archive. Something I go back to a lot is a DAT of a Roland TM-404 drum machine that someone gave me in the ’90s, which was a prototype model that never came out commercially, and I sometimes mix a few sounds from that machine too. In the end, you have this really unique drum kit, which is like your own personal beat machine, and it’s cool to assemble your own drum kit because there’s only one “drum machine” made, so it’s like having serial number #001.

Do you think what you’re looking for with your setup has changed considerably since your New York days?

Yes, because I have grown a lot since my early days with production. It’s been a great journey. These days I have a higher success rate when working and I know what tone I like. An artist’s approach to their tone is one of those areas of audio that is regarded as esoteric since a lot of the boutique audio gear is subjective in its fan base and their opinions. So much of what makes a good record for me is in the areas of tone and timbre, but trying to explain what makes my clocking system so important is not always as readily agreeable as say, mentioning a Prophet V, which is a universally recognized work of art. I also reference my VU meters these days, which is something I ignored for a lot of years and regarded as a rock approach, where you are mixing live drums etc., but it’s an equally pleasant approach for dance music, making sure those meters are gently riding rather than jumping all over the place.

Are you currently using any in-the-box instruments?

I am a big fan of Native Instruments’ Kontakt. I have 25 years worth of my own samples stored on about 300 floppy disks, which I need to convert to Kontakt since I sold my Akai S6000 recently. I am already thinking about just buying another S6000 though. Otherwise, I will take the plunge and buy a copy of Chicken-Sys Translator. Then I can convert all my Ensoniq and Casio floppies too, so even though it might take a week or two of studio time, I would only have to do it once to be future-proof. The main thing is finding a way to preserve my aging library because I have put so many years of work into it.

Software-based instruments are awesome but can also be a point of contention for me due to struggles with timing issues. There is a competitive race to create the most extravagant, over-the-top-sounding beast of a synthesizer plugin but these instruments require buffer sizes of 256 Kbps or higher. This is unacceptable. If I can’t run my sequencer at 64 kbps, or maximum 128, then I will use a hardware sequencer instead. I can make music more reliably, whether it be with hardware or software, when working with small buffer sizes because I like to play instruments in real time—that’s why I like hardware samplers. I also like getting piano sounds or Rhodes sounds from my Korg TR-Rack, for example. Those are ROM-based machines. There are all kinds of sound generators. Analog synths are cool and fun but I generally don’t use more than four simultaneously. They are always necessary for funky and nasty bass lines, however, that’s a department where I really feel they shine.

It’s funny because I have made some of my personal favorite songs with delay compensation completely off, and a buffer size of 64. I like to work without delay compensation engaged because what you hear is what you get. I don’t like to disrupt the timing because I like to play my instruments and I want that snappy feeling. I hope that with the advent of the ELK system we are going to be able to use software instruments from within a Eurorack at extremely low latencies. That is tech worth paying attention to as it develops. That could really be big.

Is there any particular piece of gear that you feel like you’re missing?

I really like the Deckard’s Dream synth. A number of notable producers have expressed their happiness with that synth, Ellen Allien, for example. One of my “grail” synths would be an Ensoniq Fizmo in a rack. Also, Armen NYC refurbishes Akai MPC60s with hugely upgraded RAM and storage, new buttons and everything mint. That would be ace. I mostly would be happiest this year with a pair of racked Behringer Jupiter 8s. Dare to dream, right?

You’re rolling out EPs pretty quickly at the moment. Is this a good time for you?

Yep, I am in a good place. 2019 is off to a great start with regard to Novel Sound. It’s a dream come true to release music professionally. I always tell up-and-comers it is completely worth all the work to become a producer and touring DJ.  Music has so much to give, and there is always something new to learn. On top of that, we are in the midst of a technological revolution. If you survey the history of music, we are in one of the most innovative eras ever.

“I have made plenty of sacrifices in life over the years, worked shitty restaurant jobs to get by when I really should have been doing music, etc. But with my music, I have a clean history.”

How do you maintain quality when you’re releasing so frequently?

I have a rule not to take any short-cuts, musically speaking. I put everything where I think it should be, and I won’t accept lazy decisions from myself during the process. There are, of course, mistakes, but I have managed to adhere to a strict rule: never compromise with making music. I have made plenty of sacrifices in life over the years, worked shitty restaurant jobs to get by when I really should have been doing music, etc. But with my music, I have a clean history.

Do you perceive this to be a purple patch when it comes to music making?

Not really, because I have never had to deal with writer’s block. There is always something for me to do, even if it’s just cutting up recordings of previous sessions. I truly enjoy all of it. If I were to describe my own catalog as I have experienced writing it over the years, I would call it a steady trajectory rather than ups and downs. I am dedicated to music, and each time I work I get a little better. There is so much to learn. You get out of music exactly as much as you dedicate and the coolest part is sometimes you can sit down and listen back to your catalog and it’s like a type of journal. You can hear where you were in life, or maybe one song will remind you of someone you loved, or writing a song in a flat you really enjoyed, etc. And that’s so cool because it’s such a bonus.

What does “Anti-Corporate Music” take you back to, and even that whole album?

It was really just about enjoying life, my enjoyment of life and the joy that DJing and music have given me. The song title, of course, is more serious but the music and the LP was an expression of a joyous life. Actually, when reviewing life and my catalog, I can give that same answer for pretty much any release! Did I mention I enjoy making music?

Do you remember the processes behind this particular track?

That’s an example of a track where I wrote the beats first, and then I became obsessed with making effects stand as a valuable musical element. I had this idea at that time about building an effects chain that you wouldn’t want to change for months, like one delay so elaborate and that would give such a rich tone that the effects in itself would be a type of composition. It was like a Rube Goldberg of reverbs, flangers, and other pedals, all for this one dedicated effect. When I look back, I always like those effects and how thick they are. I still use that approach today some times, where I put everything I have into one effects chain and then write around that.

Did you expect it to be such a success?

I had no idea. The actual reason I gave that tune away as a promo before the LP release was because the digital was a different version than what was released on vinyl and I wanted them both to make it to the listener. Honestly, I still get quite surprised by which tracks find success. The first track on my latest release on Novel Sound #26, the Dance Music EP— that record sold out faster than anything I have done in years, and I almost did not include the tune that people are playing right now. You really never know what will happen. That’s always so exciting about watching a record release.

I always notice that your tracks are filled with all sorts of inspired melodies—warped, melancholic, tense, foreboding etc. Are you playing these separately live? Or sequencing and tracking them along with the drum-machines?

I work alongside drums most of the time, especially for improvising. Lately, however, I have been writing the melodies first at the piano before I turn any other gear on. When you write the melody first, the result will be more songwriter style because you can do the harmonizations and other things like tuning your drums all in support of the melody. The result is, therefore, a melody-driven tune. For other tracks, more grooving and in the pocket tracks, you can make the drums first and then play alongside them as they loop around. One approach is not better than another. You can also let chance take part. For example. John Cage used a pair of dice with his notes assigned to a corresponding number on the dice, then he would roll and let them “write” the melody for him. That approach can be used not only for melody, but you can make the kick #1 on the dice, the snare #2, open hat #3, etc.

“I’d say a lot of my songs—most of them, actually—are the result of experimentation, I really like to answer the question ‘what if?'”

You’re clearly open-minded when it comes to production.

I need to be. There’s no one way to approach music: you get different results from different processes so I orbit different modes of working and I enjoy the variety. Sometimes you sit down and write a tune, or other times you just jam. Occasionally you enter with prepared ideas. Ideally, you are just sitting there and something comes over you. Those are the best moments in music, when you seem to be channeling something bigger than you. I’d say a lot of my songs—most of them, actually—are the result of experimentation. I really like to answer the question “what if?” So, “What would it sound like if I did this?” Then I can go into my room and work to find an answer. I am productive when driven by curiosity.

So how much is jamming and how much is actual writing songs, from left to right?

I bounce between the two. Sometimes I will write melodies on paper, other moments I play them out by ear. Arrangements can be done on paper, too—I like doing it that way because you can map out Phi points and use them to accentuate parts of a song. You can easily sit down with a pen and paper, and work out the Golden Mean, the Fibonacci sequence, or Harmonic series, then use it in your music. There are a number of patterns in the big Euclid book, or from visual art textbooks, etc., all of which can be applied to pitch, loudness, timbre, or duration. I actually made a frequency chart, which I rely on heavily for all things equal-temperament. I have a giant one on the wall in my house.

Can you explain more about how you incorporate these visual art elements or non-direct musical theories into your work?

I like abstraction methods and impressionism and I use those techniques in my music. For example, recording sounds in nature or city areas, then using those recordings as templates for sonic events. Or, if you think of “La Mer” by Claude Debussy, how he created the sound of waves crashing by playing on the piano—that’s musical impressionism. You can take that further using today’s technology, and make literal abstractions of recorded sound effects and environments. So, if he was writing “La Mer” today, he might have first recorded real waves, then used them as a template for his sound. It’s taking the feeling of inspiration from his great work and thinking about how to update that concept using software like Logic or Tracktion.

How would a producer incorporate this chart into their practice?

The Novel Sound reference chart lists the note and corresponding frequency. So, for example, if your bass line has an Eb which is too prominent and needs to be tamed, you can look quickly to the chart to know which frequency to dial up and attenuate. Or, if you want to make that note warmer, you can refer to the chart for the fundamental, and then either boost some even numbered partials or reduce some prime-numbered ones. Even-numbered partials are where the warmth resides, and prime-numbered partials give you “edge.” It’s also interesting to look at what frequency resonates with you sometimes. I find that it helps you to get to know equal-temperament intimately, since it makes up so much of Western music, for so many centuries. If you strike a note and it moves you, look at what frequency you just played, and think of how it makes you feel. Eventually, you know what you like or dislike with a broad range of notes of combination therein.

Can you give an example?

Here is a 232 bar song arrangement (See screenshot below.) By determining where the PHI points lie, you can use these moments to illustrate climactic or memorable parts in a song. You do this by multiplying a given amount by .618, and this will give you the next point. The first line is the whole, or 1/1.

The second line demonstrates the primary point of interest, at 144 bars. I multiplied 232 by .618 and rounded to the nearest logical measure. This marks where the beat comes back in after a long breakdown in many songs, although you don’t have to do the most obvious event there.

Next line, you have the PHI point of the main PHI point so something musical can happen here at 89 bars which will point to the main event. By repeating this process of determining Phi points and their PHI points, you come up with more PHI points, such as 55, 34 and 21 bars. These are building blocks—places where events can happen that accentuate a groove, perhaps where cymbal crashes occur. All these blocks have a forward and inverted position in the timeline, and there is a vortex that exists between them. So, for example, from 89 measures to 110, that’s where something very attention-grabbing could happen. It all comes down to observing one main ratio: .618.

This is the same ratio found in all aspects of life, just like a nautilus. So, by observing these ratios, you are working with nature and people can often feel it, though they may not be able to turn around and explain why everything happens at “just the right time.” You can also break these rules and that will give you something that goes against nature—which is another type of tension in itself. You can ignore it completely too, but by using established forms like this, you can create tensions, releases, or romanticism etc…with consistent intentions.

Basically, the blocks are laid out in this arrangement, and if you have events happening at these points in your song, it will be perceived as being “logical” by the listener. You can continue to find the PHI points of the PHI points, right down to the smallest rhythmic increment if you choose, and by doing this you are creating a conceptual model of some of the most dominant patterns that exist in life and creation. Or, by going against this form, you can really freak people out! Your call.

What percentage of tracks do you release?

It may surprise you to read this, but the answer is almost all of them. I’m not a producer who is sitting on a giant surplus of material. If I see a project through to the end, I release it. I mean, it’s a bit of a fluke that I had the track available for XLR8R+. I had been sitting on the multis for it for so long because I just knew there would be a time and place for it, simply because I liked the song.

How do you know when a track is finished?

I don’t mean this sarcastically, but basically, when you press stop on the recorder. You know while it is recording that you have captured a good take because you feel it.

Looking back at your biggest records, “Man or Mistress,” “Woman is an Angel,” were these different to the rest of your catalog?

You know you are on to something special when you are making the tunes but nobody can guarantee a hit record. I don’t see them being different to other songs though, they are all part of my catalog. It would be boring if I only made hits.

The benefit of being a bedroom producer and keeping in that mindset is that you can easily just make something you enjoy, then think about the other stuff later. I had an interesting experience lately because I am working on an LP right now. And I was driven to make something as advanced as I could, trying to push my own limits and musical technique, etc. But alongside this I have been making some other tunes, a bit more simple, just having fun and blowing off steam with them. And it dawned on me only this week that the tunes I have been noodling around with for fun are the ones that will make up the LP! I was blindsided with this notion. That’s a great benefit to being an independent label owner and artist, because I can just do a total 180 if I want to.

What determines whether a track will be released?

Honestly, it’s a tough question to answer definitively because there is no right way to do things, and there isn’t just one direction either. I make music all the time—I am a music addict. I make music for peace of mind, I do it for joy. I suppose I could say the songs that are giving the most to me when working on them are the ones I release. It’s a gut feeling, if that makes sense.

Do you finish all the tracks you’re working on, or how do you know when to ditch a sketch?

Yes, for the most part. Ninety-nine percent of the time writing a tune I will see it through to the end.

Do you ever produce and keep specific tracks for your DJ sets?

I do. I play exclusively my own music and edits in DJ sets.

So do you have different processes: one for DJ-friendly tracks and the other for tracks that you wish to release?

Yes, exactly. Although, I use different classification. I might think: This is gonna sound really cool! or, I wonder what would happen if I combined this and that, or even, how can I make people feel this certain emotion while on the dance floor?

At what point does it become clear that you’re producing for a release or a DJ tool? And how does this influence your processes?

Just legal limitations, I observe copyright laws with Novel Sound releases but with edits or anything in-between, I play those without publishing limitations. It’s not illegal or even disrespectful to play things in your DJ sets which could not be officially released. For example, I made a track which samples George Kraanz “Din Dah-Dah.” I made this tune knowing I couldn’t release it but I always liked that record because I heard it when I was about 11 years old and it had a big affect on me. I could never get the sample cleared in order to release it, but that doesn’t matter. I do play it all the time and people love it. And I like having all those tunes that are unique to my sets, because it means I am offering something unique as a DJ.

Is music making an immersive process?

Yes. I do like to live inside a song as it unfolds. Some come easy, some take all your life force away. Neither are really better than the other, however they are entirely different beasts.

 

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Enigmatic techno player Gesloten Cirkel makes his Edinburgh live debut for Overground x Substance this Friday 29th March

25 March 2019 -

Substance are more than just a wee bit excited to have bagged this week’s guest, finally.  In their own words:

‘After literally years of independently tracking one the most elusive and sought after artists of our world, with apparent dead ends aplenty, we’ve finally got our man and bring Gesloten Cirkel to The Bongo for a debut appearance in the Capital.

The full live show has only graced select dance floors and is the sonic attack we’d always hoped for, fusing those untouchable underground anthems with live hardware experimentation, twisting acid, techno and electro into brave new forms.

Strap yourself in, this is going to be wild.’

MORE INFO / TICKETS

Richard Brophy did a good interview with the elusive producer for Juno on the release of his debut album, Submit X, back in 2014.  It’s well worth a read (see below)…

Richard Brophy interviews Gesloten Cirkel, the mysterious producer behind one of this year’s best albums.

Gesloten Cirkel is an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. Named after a quote from I-F during an interview in the documentary, When I Sold My Soul To The Machine, this artist has only put out a handful of records in the past five years. Despite this, his recently released debut album Submit X was one of the most anticipated – and is also one of the most acclaimed – works of 2014. The reason he is held in such high regard is because while there are references to other styles, artists and communities in his music, what he makes is highly distinctive, with that rare ability to make people sit up and listen.

Gesloten Cirkel’s self-titled debut record appeared on I-F’s Murder Capital in 2009, the first release on that label in seven years. The screeching strings and shriek of a rooster on the driving techno of the title track sounded like a rude wake-up in an age of digital sterility, while “Twisted Balloon” was just as head-turning, consisting of grainy beats, grimy acid and slow-motion sirens. Following this debut, there was a two-year wait until the next Gesloten Cirkel release, Moustache Techno Series 001. That release kick-started David Vunk’s Moustache Techno sub-label and featured the eerie, bassy electro of “Yamagic” and the wonky, offbeat house of “Insummer”.

Like its predecessor, Series 001 became a sought-after release, with copies now on offer for nearly €80 (£65) online. Following the release of Series 001, there was another period of radio silence – with the exception of a short, high-tempo ghetto mix for Juno Plus – until 2013, when Gesloten put out the reduced electro drums and menacing bass of Hole on Berceuse Heroique. Earlier this year, he announced that he was putting out an album, Submit X, also on Murder Capital.

Was he surprised by the reaction to his first few records and why has he only put out such a small amount of music in the past five years? “Yeah, I was surprised, but also I am not sure a lot of copies were pressed,” he says about these records. “Music is mostly a hobby for me and I don’t want to make worthless releases. I do it to enjoy it, but I have to be confident in the package to release it with a price tag. That being said, I pump out recordings pretty often and post them online on Intergalactic FM.”

Although we have not yet reached the halfway mark of this year, Submit X is easily a contender for album of 2014. Like previous releases by this artist, it is rooted in grimy acid, techno and electro. Grainy drums are pushed to the point of distortion, acid spews out like bile and there are even some vocals on “Stakan”, “Feat Liette” and the over the top robo-electro of “Zombiemachine”.

However, Submit X is just as varied as his singles. It rages from the dirgeful Goth intro of “Stakapella” and its follow-up, the long-slung electro bass and wavy vocals of “Stakan”, to “Vader”, a nasty, distorted sewer techno banger. “Stakans” is almost catchy and sounds like it could be a big track – would Gesloten Cirkel be happy if his music became known by a wider audience? “I don’t care! I am happy if one person almost enjoyed it. “Stakan” was a stab at Emo wave,” he explains. “It used to have a few more lines of vocals that were really silly, but I didn’t record them so the track stayed pretty dark.”

He explains that “Stakan” was also the track that provided the idea for Gesloten Cirkel to record an album in the first place. “I played it live in 2010 in The Hague after the first EP was released and got nice feedback at the show. I actually made it in the same week as “Twisted Balloon”, so I think I mixed the two together at the live show. I accidentally deleted those files during some MPC maintenance,” he adds.

“Later, I put that track in a mega mix that was for a contest on IFM. The Murder Capital boss (I-F) liked it and I sent him some versions. I didn’t like them too much so it didn’t drive me to finish a release. Then work took all my time. I sent a demo version of “Feat. Liette” after I returned to working on a release for Murder Capital and that got some airplay. It was pretty rough and the vocals were clashing in some parts, but I think I-F still plays that version. So with two tracks kind of done, I said I am going to do an album. Most of the compilation and polishing was done in December 2013 when I had time and then I procrastinated with artwork for a bit.”

Now available in its final version, “Feat Liette” is an insistent, pulsing affair. Like a dark, slowed down EBM riposte to Alden Tyrell’s “La Voix”, it features an unnamed vocalist wittering away in an unidentifiable tongue. On “Zombiemachine Acid” and “Zombiemachine” the artist delivers more vocals. This time, they are accompanied by murderous basslines, grainy kicks and epic, soaring synth lines. The vocal element comprises a pitched down robotic tones ordering listeners to “follow the leader”. It sounds like Gesloten Cirkel is having a laugh. Does he not take things too seriously and like to inject some humour into his music?

“Funny? You think I’m funny”, comes the all-caps response by email. “I guess it is sort of a formula. I like tracks to have character – be it a sound or melody or solo but yes, life is one big joke.”

But there are things that this producer won’t discuss. “Zombiemachine” sounds similar to the grainy, acid-fuelled electro-techno that Hague labels like Panzerkreuz and Bunker release. Is he inspired by them?

“No comment.”

What about the vocals on the album; who is the vocalist on “Stakan” and what language is the unidentified woman signing in on “Feat Liette”?

“No comment.”

Fair enough, let’s steer it back towards the music. There are exceptions to Gesloten Cirkel’s bombastic electro-techno sound, and the most notable one here is the upbeat, warbling, lo-fi synths on “Chatters”. It sounds more melodic than the rest of Submit X – is this an area Gesloten Cirkel is keen to explore? “That track was a keyboard jam that I’ve set up to sound like some chiptunes – I don’t think it is that deep. I am more psyched that it was all in one take,” he says. “I definitely want to play live melodies more, but it takes a lot of practice.”

Would he ever consider making a soundtrack/home listening album à la DJ Overdose or like one of Danny Wolfers’ side projects? “I do make a bunch of ambient and sometimes a chill track, but I don’t plan on putting those out. I would rather score a film or do some sound design than make a home listening release,” he replies.

There is an argument that he should stick to what he knows best, and the title track sees Gesloten Cirkel channel a similar type of electro funk as “Yamagic” but with looped vocal stutters replacing the ethereal, dreamy textures. “Vader” is a banging, straight down the line techno track, while “Arrested Development” is inspired by Hague electro. However, it veers unexpectedly into a spiralling guitar solo before ending with Gesloten Cirkel spitting acid-soaked nails all over the arrangement. Did he sample a hard rock guitar for “Arrested Development”?

“No comment”.

Thankfully, he is slightly more forthcoming when asked about the influence of industrial music on Submit X. “Yes, I am sure it was inspired by it. I don’t listen to IFM radio often, but I know it influences my taste in sound. Mostly I tune into Murder Capital radio and it plays all sorts of dark and industrial and minimal sounds – especially on Black Mondays.”

So while Gesloten Cirkel’s music operates in its own world, The Hague’s electro and techno sound and the community that centres around I-F’s Intergalactic FM radio station seem like his spiritual home. A sign of how close Gesloten Cirkel is to this community is evidenced by the fact that his debut release relaunched I-F’s Murder Capital label and the follow-up provided the kick-start for David Vunk’s Moustache Techno sub-label. Speaking to this writer, Gesloten Cirkel says that he feels most affinity with artists from this milieu.

“Most of my contact with artists is through online chat on IFM,” he says. “There is an obvious connection since we discuss all sorts of things, including music production and the IFM radio site. I haven’t been participating in production of various media involved with the radio, TV or website code all that much in the past years due to my day job, but still – that is my main contact and reason for contact,” he adds.

The scant amount of information that is available about this producer suggest that he is Russian or based in Russia, which would explain his interest in developing relationships with like-minded artists online. As he is based away from the Dutch west coast nerve centre, he also places importance on face-to-face contact with his peers.

“When it is possible, I try to meet artists I’ve met in chat or forums before their gigs and just shoot the shit. On the rare occasion that I do play, I am with like-minded people who are on the bill or are putting on the show. It is really good to just talk with people who are moving through time alongside you, instead of getting too carried away or attached to things you can’t influence or be influenced by directly,” he believes.

In spite of this back story, not everything adds up. All of the topical questions that this writer sent to Gesloten Cirkel about Russia via email – his views on its incursion into Ukraine; its treatment of homosexuals and even questions about the development of electronic music in his home country – are unanswered. Of course it’s not unusual for some artists to dodge unrelated topics and to instead focus on talking about their new release or recent records. But then there is another strange twist – in the midst of preparing a new set of questions to send him by email, Gesloten Cirkel puts out a tweet stating that all of the proceeds from sales of Submit X will go directly to IFM, which recently announced it had been hit with a large fine for filing its tax reports late in 2010 and 2011.

It seems like such a selfless act for a producer who does not own the station that it immediately raises suspicions that Gesloten Cirkel may not be who he seems. Why has he decided to do this?

“Because IFM is the place – doesn’t everyone support what they like? Nothing is for granted. Everything is taxed and everyone needs a break sometime. The amount of work that goes into IFM, I know first hand – so I know where my earnings end up,” he answers obtusely.

It sounds like a very altruistic move, but Gesloten Cirkel would probably argue that it is money well spent and arguably, the producer’s debut album is shaped and influenced by I-F’s multi-channel digital broadcasting empire. “They are all very talented, self-driven, creative and reachable,” he says of the IFM community, justifying his donation.

“There is such a huge amount of material that I hear from these people and the IFM radio that I can hardly keep up with my influences anymore. Obviously there are tracks I don’t even remember that influence my melody or synth patches. That’s another thing, if I hear some old Paul Johnson or Armani record, these artists feel really far away and from another planet, so I can’t just go, ‘hey do you have more tracks like that or, hey how is that bass even made?’ So I kind of get inspired by them to make my own versions. But if I hear some Legowelt or Mark Du Mosch or I-F, I almost don’t want to know how they made that because I can just ask. And also, what’s the point of me jacking their production values or patterns? I guess it happens anyway whether I want to or not.”

This kind of interaction was impossible before the internet and it is one of the main reasons why an artist like Gesloten Cirkel is able to source and soak up all of these sounds on IFM, communicate with some of the artists who made the music and then deliver a unique interpretation of what he has absorbed.

It’s a different situation to the ’90s, as he recalls. “I was really blown away by Live at the Liquid Rooms by Jeff Mills in the late ’90s. He was already a superstar by then and obviously I couldn’t just talk to him or other acts like Ciccone Youth or Nirvana about what was on my mind. I probably liked it (Live at the Liquid Rooms) because it was marketed to me and my friends also liked it.”

“Richard D James’ album also blew me away and lots of Future Sound Of London stuff. I couldn’t talk to them or people that were involved with them. I could talk to other fans and hope that some synth magazine somewhere would reveal just a few bits or techniques that they used. So, after a while I really got tired of that and just did my thing and talked to other like-minded people. So now I am happy to be around the exact people you see me on the bill with,” he adds.

Possibly the other reason why the artist is comfortable giving the money to IFM is because he works full-time and has the financial wherewithal not to be reliant on touring or releasing records. On the subject of whether he will play live to promote Submit X, he says that he has “no tour and no gigs planned due to work”.

At the same time, he believes it is “very hard” to mix full-time work with music-making. “You have to be very mindful of funds, promotions, investments of time. It is basically running your own business that is powered by your creativity. You can sit at a desk and use 1/10th of that creativity per month. That is, until you get promoted. Then you are fucked,” he believes. Nonetheless, he can always slip back into his Gesloten Cirkel alter ego. Apart from his own releases, he has also remixed Mark Du Mosch and Conforce. Is it something he enjoys and does he approach it differently to making his own music?

“Not really. I just make my own track and put their name on it usually. Sometimes it turns out really bad because I can’t make it my own enough. I should probably approach it differently, and then I would enjoy it more,” he explains.

As a parting shot, I ask him if he has any other releases planned apart from his debut album.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it,” he replies curtly, before signing off for good. With a debut album like Submit Xto his credit, it’s no wonder that he’s reluctant to set the studio wheels in motion for some time.

Interview by Richard Brophy

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Sunil Sharpe, aka ‘Dublin’s Jeff Mills’, headlines Overground x Pulse this Friday 7th December

05 December 2018 -

Sunil Sharpe makes his Edinburgh debut for Overground x Pulse this Friday.  He’s been kicking around the Irish techno scene for a good while but has been touring internationally more and more of late, so it’s an exciting booking for the Bongo and should be a great night for techno fans.

Here’s a good interview (courtesy of Fabric’s blog) with the man hailed by some as ‘Dublin’s answer to Jeff Mills’, where he name-checks some of his earliest influences as a DJ, demonstrating the unpretentiousness which has no doubt been core to his enduring success (and includes a track by Edinburgh’s own Neil Landstrumm, no less)….

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CORNERSTONE TRACKS

Sunil Sharpe charts the start of his DJ career

Until a few years ago, it was quite rare to hear the name Sunil Sharpe outside of Ireland. The Dublin-born artist has been considered one of the country’s best techno DJs for the best part of a decade, but his growing following has meant you’re now as likely to find him at places like Bassiani or Concrete as you are anywhere in the Irish capital.

The increased interest surrounding Sharpe is easily explained. Over the years he’s developed an outstanding talent for mixing records, sometimes cutting between 30 tracks or more in the space of an hour. A string of banging techno releases has also helped, and his forthcoming On A Roll LP with DeFeKT under their Tinfoil alias should be an opportunity for more of the same.

Sharpe joins us on a techno-heavy billing in Farringdon this Saturday, so we asked him to pick out a handful of records for our next Cornerstone Tracks feature. In his list, he discusses some of his earliest vinyl purchases as an aspiring DJ, and how these shaped him as an artist today.

Cambodia (Clanger remix) – The Art Of Trance [Platipus]

Some older friends of mine were big into trance, goa trance, and anything with a trippier sound palette. I picked up a lot from them, and by the time I got a pair of decks, it gave me a head start with trance or tech-trance, or good old acid-trance as well. Naturally I knew of Platipus Records. Like many Platipus fans, I was a bit of a completist when it came to artists like The Art Of Trance, Union Jack and so on. I still occasionally play some of them. This one is slightly more minimal but has a different hypnotic ingredient to the others; definitely one for the head as well as the feet.

It’s interesting because trance gets a bad rep but lately we’ve heard a lot of big name house and techno DJs playing it. Is there really much difference between trance and techno?

At one point there wasn’t. I switched off to it as vocal trance came in but the early era before that had so much amazing music. It’s disappointing that many will overlook what an incredible movement it was or base their judgement on the more commercial stuff. Trance was just as vital as techno for a while. Like with techno though, you can’t just scratch the surface, you need to look deep into it to find much of the best stuff.

Tranceido – Tandú [Noom]

This was on a Billy Nasty mixtape that I used to listen to. Back then it was close to impossible to find track names, but it wasn’t as important, as you could still hear it on the tape and preferred hearing it in the mix you knew anyway. After I started playing records though, things obviously changed. One day I popped into a shop called Music Power in Dublin’s Merchant’s Arch, and picked this one out to listen to. BOOM! The track with the sireny horns off that tape was now mine! It was such a rewarding part of buying records back then: randomly putting the needle on a record of something you loved and never expected to hear.

Quite a fearless sound to this. Were you already looking for a specific style of record like this at this point or collecting from quite across the board?

As simple as it sounds, I just wanted any records that sounded good, I wasn’t thinking quite like a DJ yet in terms of what could go with what. As I started to find labels and producers I liked, I would get fairly obsessed with their music. I was buying mostly techno then, all kinds, and some tech-trance records too I guess. Some Chicago stuff also which crossed into house here and there. I think I widened my collection a lot more when I started getting bored with new techno for the first time – a situation that everyone probably reaches at some stage!

Vessels in Distress – Model 500 [Network]

A second-hand copy of this and The Art Of Stalking by Suburban Knight were two of the first Detroit techno records that I got, delivered from Hard To Find Records. Like a lot of records back then, I listened over and over, really absorbed them, and it was tracks like this that I feel “coated” me somewhat going forward. It was techno on a much deeper level. I later found out that this was co-produced with Martin Bonds (aka Reel by Real), which makes sense considering his own classic track Surkit; you can definitely hear a connection between them. We’re at a point now where the first wave of techno partially gets forgotten, but I think you should know that first wave, and especially Juan Atkins’ music. It’s so warm and free, uplifting and tension-filled too. It’s nice to see the appreciation people have for Drexciya’s music, and rightly so, but it’s still clear to see who a lot of this can be traced back to.

So would you say discovering Detroit became a gateway in itself for you?

Yes and no. I was probably drawn more towards the darker sound of Detroit, and got more into second generation people like Jeff Mills, Underground Resistance, and Kelli Hand; there was another producer called Punisher, I liked her stuff a lot too. The Kalamazoo guys like Jay Denham also. I think when I began working in a record shop called Spindizzy, I discovered a lot that I had missed or overlooked. I worked with Graham O’Sullivan (who had co-run the D1 record shop in its early days) there too, who showed me some less obvious stuff that I may not have known otherwise.

Crisis A Gwarn – Bandulu [Infonet]

I bought a second-hand copy of this in a short-lived shop called Vinyl Frontier in Dublin’s Abbey Mall. At one point there were about five record shops in this mall, including one that specialised in German and Dutch hardcore and gabba tapes. This was like heavy metal meets hard techno when I first heard it. So fierce and warped. I eventually got the chance to play with Bandulu and see them live. Such an intense and masterful clash of worlds, dub reggae v techno. Lucien MCing and owning the room, an authoritative-looking John O’Connell controlling the desk and Jamie Bissmire rocking the 909. It’s extraordinary that Bandulu haven’t had more coverage in recent years for their contribution to techno. What a group they were.

We’ve heard one Ricardo Villalobos playing a record of theirs at the club recently, but we have to say in general we’re also surprised by how few techno artists seem to know of them. Do you think there’s still a lot of untouched gold in 90s techno like this that people have overlooked?

Definitely. Having said that, I think social media and the ongoing sharing of content means that people are clued into a lot more old stuff than previously. As DJs, we can introduce people to older acts, but I think journalists have a responsibility too. In London alone, the amount of techno history is mountainous. I appreciate that some journalists weren’t listening back then, but if not, get to know this stuff and share the knowledge. Techno has a history that needs to be told and sometimes re-told; DJs and journalists have a duty here. I’m not going to say we’re the “historians”, but you know what I mean!

Chord Memory – Ian Pooley [Force Inc. Music Works]

Back when you’d associate certain tracks with a specific DJ, as if they nearly made it themselves, this was very much a Carl Cox tune. I was after this for a while, and had to settle for the likes of Celtic Cross or the odd Ian Pooley remix until I got it! This is probably the first time I remember buying what was considered to be a ‘big’ tune that my friends also knew after hearing it out. At the time I was hooked in by the jacking beats and “Rock The Discotheque” sample, but these days it’s more about the chords and breakdown for me. An all-time highlight for producer and label.

It’s interesting how the appealing part of a record can change with time. Or the B-side you never played suddenly sounds like a gem you’re been missing. 

Definitely. It often happened with some older Marco Carola records – one side would be a banger, but over time I’d go for the other side or inside track, which would be a lighter, pulsing groove for earlier in the night. But yes, it is an ongoing thing for me – sneaky A2 or B2 tracks that later become the highlight of a record!

This is surely one of the biggest records that came out on Force Inc. Do you still play a lot of stuff on the label?

It kind of depends on what I have access to. Not all of my collection is in one place, and some stuff has fallen out of sight here and there. I’d say the ones that I kept closest were Heckmann’s later Welt In Scherben releases. They’ve aged quite well too.

Praline Horse – Neil Landstrumm [Tresor]

I was on the way home from town one day. I had literally just got my own decks, and had a bag of records with me that I’d bought in Comet Records, including labels like Labworks and Prolekult. I bumped into a friend and early DJ inspiration of mine called Mark Gormley, and showed him what I’d got. He recommended a label called Tresor. The seed was sown. I knew of Joey Beltram and the first Tresor record I bought was by him, but it was over the next year that Neil Landstrumm, Cristian Vogel and Tobias Schmidt opened up a new kind of world for me. They were like protest records against everything else I was hearing, as they were so original and followed no template. Landstrumm’s music was obnoxious, Vogel had this weird insect funk, and the Tobias Schmidt stuff was very one-minded too. I loved Swedish techno for instance, but I could tell that these producers were very much the opposite of loop techno.

This doesn’t sound a world apart from some of the tracks you’ve made. Have you taken inspiration from Landstrumm in your own production?

That’s hard to say, but I guess I must have. I think what I took from him and other producers of then was a mind-set, that techno is an experimental music form where you create your own style and sounds. Making my own original sounds was my main goal when I started making music, before I ever fleshed things out into completed tracks. It’s not so hard to make sounds that are different, but forging that into a style of your own becomes a challenge. Neil is one of those producers who can make an electro track or a techno track, or a ravey track, or something slow and dark, and you still know it’s him. To have such a distinct sound that carries over many styles is quite rare. Definitely one of the greats.

Mortuary (Thought Process) – Freddy Fresh [Holzplatten]


Freddy is one of my all-time favourite techno producers. I used to read Mark EG’s reviews in Eternity Magazine, which is how I found out about him originally. Mark’s writing was funny, colourful, full of enthusiasm and made me want to track down and own anything I’d find by someone like Freddy Fresh. This was taken from a CD on Freddy’s Analog label, and Holzplatten put out five tracks from it on a 12”. It’s an epic 303 workout, turned into some type of dark sci-fi soundtrack. Amazing.

Like Bandulu, we’re surprised Freddy Fresh isn’t better known in the techno world.

Freddy did what some techno producers weren’t “meant” to do – he didn’t make only techno. He was big in the breaks world and through his association with Fatboy Slim; he had a long background in hip-hop too. He had also stopped releasing techno for many years. Dustin Zahn then re-released an old track of his on Enemy, and I managed to get some new material from him and Paul Birken for Earwiggle after that too. He has since become reinvigorated by techno, his Analog label is back up and running, and it seems people have been discovering his old stuff again too. His name is going to grow in the techno world again for sure.

This sounds like an end of the night record. When would you pull normally pull it out?

I’ve been the other way around, I would open up a set with it. I agree though, the end of the night would be a good time for it too because it’s such a climactic piece.

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Nightwave’s recent Resident Advisor mix isn’t taking any prisoners!

19 October 2018 -

Nightwave headlines the Hobbes Music 5th Birthday Party on Friday 9th November.  This feature/interview is republished courtesy of Resident Advisor.

Maya Medvešek has spent a lot of her life in Glasgow, which you might guess from hearing her DJ. Something about the city seems to breed DJs who know how to rock a party by spanning genres and eras, unafraid to drop anthems while they do it. Medvešek is no different. Her sets encompass everything from classic acid house and electro to new-school grime and footwork. She has an enterprising spirit that keeps her selections adventurous and forward-looking, with a mixing style that hearkens back to the rough-and-ready days of classic Chicago house. This might be explained by her formative years spent in Ljubljana, a city she says took great influence from Chicago and Detroit.

It’s that push and pull between retro and futuristic that defines most of Medvešek’s work. Take her two recent EPs for Fool’s Gold. Wavejumper is a thrilling EP that combines Drexciyan electro with ghettotech and rap, while Sanctuary takes old rave music and polishes it. Her RA podcast is full of new and unreleased tracks that fold in techno, breakbeat, electro, footwork and acid. There are classic flavours from newer producers like Arttu and Bodyjack, early ’90s hardcore from Public Energy and an appearance from the king of rave throwbacks, Special Request. It’s mixed live from the decks at one of her favourite nightclubs, K4 in Ljubljana.

What have you been up to recently?

A great year so far. I released the Sanctuary EP on Fool’s Gold, Acid Mouse on Metro Jaxx, worked on remixes and music for a feature film, had the amazing opportunity to travel to India and teach production for women thanks to the British Council and Wild City, held Producergirls workshops, played some great gigs, celebrated five years of my club night, Nightrave, and my label, Heka Trax. It’s been a very personally transformative year as well as I’ve done a lot of inner work, shamanic retreats and practice, and feel I’m starting a new exciting chapter in my life and my music.

How and where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded at club K4 back home in Ljubljana, Slovenia while visiting. K4 is one of the oldest leading electronic music institutions in Slovenia (it’s been going since the late ’80s) and the first club I ever went to, so it has a special place in my heart. Recorded in one take on CDJs and a Pioneer mixer.

Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?

Nice jackin’ house and techno party time, some classics, quite a lot of recent and unreleased stuff in there and a couple of my new tunes as well.

A lot of your productions and DJ sets incorporate old-school dance music sounds. What draws to you those classic styles?

I guess I’m partial to some rave nostalgia from when I started out, as it got me into DJing and producing, but mainly because it still holds so much energy and life. It’s no-nonsense music made for people to have a good time. I also love how club music has evolved into so many new forms and hybrids now, I often play quite a variety in my sets.

Is there a healthy scene in Ljubljana, and any producers or DJs to watch out for?

Ljubljana has always been a bit of a techno haven, I’m very grateful to have had such a good scene to look up to when I was a teenager—a fantastic Detroit and Chicago influence, loads of great electro, local producers like Umek and Random Logic. I moved to the UK in 2002, so I’m a bit out of touch but the scene is very vibrant. Try K4, Metelkova, Bozidar for clubs and look out for nights by Bojler, Stiropor, Rx:tx. If you like beautiful, shimmery jazzy vibes I recommend Your Gay Thoughts, they have a new album out soon.

What are you up to next?

Should have a couple more releases out this year and I’m starting a new label with a more focused direction. Apart from that, doing what I love most: DJing and travelling about. I also want to build on my therapist qualifications to hopefully help musicians with their mental health and wellbeing in the future. It’s all about creating a balance.

Tracklist /
Nightwave – Rainbow Body (unreleased)
Lauren Flax – It’s Ours (unreleased)
Arttu – WD40 (Jack For Daze)
Arma – Girl (unreleased)
Bodyjack – Nataraja (unreleased)
Mak & Pasteman – Reakt (Boom Ting)
Oli Furness – Trigger (Jack For Daze)
Benny Rodrigues – Cocaine Speaking (UTTU)
Special Request – Make It Real (Gerd Janson & Shan Prance Mania Mix) (Houndstooth)
Raito – Gunman (BNR)
Lone – Oedo 808 (unreleased)
Defekt – Acid Bounce (Tripalium)
Solid Blake – Masha (Modeselektion)
Martyn Bootyspoon – Spread That Kat (Steve Poindexer Remix) (Fractal Fantasy)
Public Energy – Three O’Three (Stealth)
Mella Dee – Expansion (Warehouse Music)
Nightwave – Bang The Rocks (unreleased)
Bleaker – Hype (Funk) (UTTU)
Ritzi Lee – Reverse Processed (Theory)
Panteros666 – Euronature (Meteociel)
Clark – Honey Badger (Warp)
Kenny Larkin – Without Sound (Rush Hour)
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Berlin techno legend DJ Boris (Berghain) makes his Edinburgh debut for Substance x Pulse, Fri 11th May ’18

02 May 2018 -

It’s another coup for the Substance crew, as they join forces with Pulse once again to welcome Berlin native Boris Dolinski to our stage. He’s been resident at Berghain since Day One, having been involved with the original OstGut club & Panorama bar (from ’98 & ’00) before it opened. 

But his heritage runs even deeper than that, as he also lived in New York in the mid-Eighties and was a regular at the legendary Paradise Garage and Loft parties when both were going strong, taking early DJ cues from Larry Levan and David Mancuso.  How many DJs still active in the world today can lay claim to an involvement with such towering temples of dance music history? 

This audio interview he gave to Resident Advisor, where he talks about his early clubbing experiences in Berlin and at the Garage and then becoming a DJ himself (‘all i want to do is create memorable experiences’), is worth a listen.

BIO

DJ Boris is kind of a charismatic, multifunctional weapon in the Berlin club life. His musical roots reach back to the mid 80s, when he lived in New York for four years where he absorbed the unique spirit of the seminal club Paradise Garage weekend after weekend. From the Club’s mentor Larry Levan Boris learned to believe in his musical intuition as well as a broad musical spectrum, which nowadays ranges from Disco, Hi-NRG, Post-Punk and (Kraut-) Rock to House and Neotrance, all of which Boris loves to throw into one set. 

‘Music was most important for Levan. He was uncompromising and he knew how to convey it. That’s what I’m trying to achieve, too, when I’m djing.’  Many years later, Boris became a resident at Panorama Bar’s first incarnation in Berlin, where he was able to build a loyal following by playing long sets lasting until noon. ‘The crowd is always a lot more receptive for music at the end than at the beginning. That’s when I rather have the opportunity to present unusual stuff and that’s when I’m able to let my feelings run freely.’ 

After the old OstGut/Panorama Bar closed, Boris played in almost every club in Berlin, but when the follow up club Berghain opened its doors in 2004, he quickly focused on playing out here again. Since 2005 he has got another musical platform, as he is taking care of the label Careless Records as an A&R. Both as a dj and as an A&R, he is not exactly keen on refining a certain genre, but rather to push music with a certain twist.

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Acclaimed American DJ Avalon Emerson makes her Bongo debut for Substance, Fri 16th Feb

04 January 2018 -

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Riding high on the success of her remix of Octo Octa’s ‘Adrift’ (one of last year’s best releases for many DJs), a busy international DJ schedule (not least her much discussed B2B set with Copnehagen’s ace DJ Courtesy at the mighty Sonar festival in Barcelona) and a slew of fine releases prior to that, Avalon Emerson makes her Bongo debut for Substance on Friday 16th Feb.   To say we’re looking forward to welcoming her to the Bongo is a bit of an understatement…  TICKETS



Here’s a transcript of Will Lynch’s great Resident Advisor piece (from November 2016), plus video clips of some of her previous stand-out releases:

Last week, Avalon Emerson released a video for “Natural Impasse,” a track from her new record on Spectral Sound, Narcissus In Retrograde. She made the whole thing herself using emojis and clips from her phone, a process she explained on her YouTube channel.

“I trimmed each video, turned them into gifs, and processed them into various emojisaic gifs using a ruby script created by my friend Lucas Mathis (github: @lilkraftwerk), then edited them all together using Adobe Premiere, a process that took me about two months.”

Those three things—the gnarled club track, the homemade video, the scrappy method behind it—tell you a lot about Emerson as an artist and a person. For as long as she can remember, she’s found a creative outlet in music and technology, and has pursued both with relentless energy and resourcefulness, teaching herself to code, to make tracks and many other things besides. This self-efficacy helped propel her to where she is today—28, an ex-software developer, full-time DJ and producer. But there’s something else, also present in that clip, that makes her so compelling as an artist. For Emerson, this music is a rawer form of self-expression than it is for many of her peers. With all of her output, including her DJ sets and club tracks, she offers a window into herself, however oblique it may be.

Take Narcissus In Retrograde. For a bundle of club tracks, this record has an unusually deep personal dimension. The music is rooted in a period of change in Emerson’s life—the same stretch of time captured in the video. “It’s been a tumultuous year,” she told me. “A good year, but difficult. Quitting my job. Going through some intense relationship events with my family. Falling in love, and finally being in a relationship with a woman. On a micro level, it was fantastic. On a macro level, though, it’s seemed like the world was crumbling, especially with every piece of news from America. Another young black boy gunned down by police, a shooting at a Planned Parenthood, us electing this orange shit-mound for the highest possible office. There’s a strange tension there.”

We were sitting in the living room of her apartment in Neukölln, a bright attic space with wood floors and angled walls. She just moved in a few weeks ago—that’s her at 5:30 in the video, opening a box of sound treatment foam for her studio. When we first spoke, some three weeks earlier, she’d been warm but guarded, at times playfully sardonic (she raised an eyebrow at one of my questions and said, “So in other words, ‘What’s it like to be a woman DJ?'”). Things had changed since then. Trump had been elected president days earlier, an event so ominous it made it hard to talk about her music and her life as an artist.

Her recent set at Panorama Bar was a welcome diversion. She’d gone back-to-back with Courtesy for the final stretch of Leisure System, and was still glowing from the experience. Courtesy’s selections skewed dark and heady—I recognized only Karl Lukas Pettersson’s “Paradise Island” on Acido. Emerson was more flamboyant. “I’m like the colour commentator in the NBA—’Whoa! Boom! There it goes!‘”

By which she meant she played a lot of curveballs: The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Ringfinger,” Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Rain,” Joe Claussell’s remix of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place,” and my personal favorite, an acapella of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” layered over the opening bars of Gesloten Cirkel’s “Submit X.” In each of these selections, there was an element of autobiography. The Knife was one of Emerson’s early influences, and “Ringfinger” was on Pretty Hate Machine, an album her mother “played the shit out of” when she was growing up. Ryuichi Sakamoto is another old favorite—she’d made the edit of “Rain” minutes before leaving for the club.

“A lot of my favorite edits come to me right before I play Panorama Bar,” she said. “It’s like clockwork. I did ‘Rain’ literally 20 minutes before the cab came, and I exported it wrong somehow so it was only one break. I played the original and then mixed in my break, basically doing a live Cybernedit.” (Cybernedits being her ongoing series of free club edits.) “It’s so easy to understand what is and isn’t tasteful or cool in a certain genre and play it off your USB,” she said. “Surprise and re-contextualization of familiar morsels—that’s what I like most about playing places like Panorama Bar and De School.”

Gigs at leading clubs like those are a regular thing for Emerson these days. Something she hadn’t mentioned about 2016 was that, amidst all that upheaval, she’d had an incredible year as an artist. Her reputation as a DJ boomed, and for the first time she spent most weekends traveling for gigs. This breakthrough had been a long time coming, but there was a needle that broke the camel’s back: her EP on Whities.

“People loved that one,” she said. “That pushed things over the edge, I started getting a shit-ton more gigs and the decision to quit my job was kind of made for me.”

It’s not surprising that particular EP had such an impact. Whities 006 is an ecstatic techno record, at once rowdy and euphoric. The atmosphere is bright and windswept, the rhythms soar as if carried by gusts of wind. DJ-friendly as they are, its tracks—”2000 Species Of Cacti,” “The Frontier” and “The Frontier (High Desert Synthapella)”—brim with a heart-clenching emotion fitting to the topic that inspired them: Arizona, the place where Emerson grew up.

“Try as we might,” she recently told CRACK, “we can’t escape where we came from. You hold a fondness for the place you started out in, even if you wanted nothing more when you were 16 than to leave that fucking place.”

Emerson was born in San Francisco but spent most of her young life in Gilbert, Arizona, where she never felt like she belonged. Her household was an exception. Both parents were into music. Along with Nine Inch Nails, her mother played a lot of synth pop in the house—”Propaganda, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Depeche Mode”—and also got her into astrology, which, as her track titles suggest, still inspires her today (when I asked about the phrase “triple scorpio supernova” on her RA artist page, she replied with this screen-grab). Her dad was into guitar, and the two of them would record themselves playing together using a program called Cakewalk, which sparked her interest in music production software.

From a young age Emerson was creative and resourceful. “That was kind of out of necessity,” she said. “Building my own computers and figuring out how things work. Not being able to afford software and figuring out how to download and crack stuff. Computer-based music creation was always super fascinating for me. I mean, even when I was super young, maybe like 11 or 12, me and my little sister would record songs on Cakewalk.”

Beyond the bubble of her friends and family, though, was a conservative stretch of America that Emerson knew she’d leave one day. She graduated high school with a full scholarship to Arizona State, where she studied journalism, but her time there only made her more determined to get away. At 19, she took an internship in San Francisco. The idea was to come back and finish her degree at ASU, but when the time came, she couldn’t do it. “I was ready to be an adult instead of staying in this stunted state of maturity you get in college,” she said. “So I dropped out.”

Emerson landed on her feet in San Francisco. She found work easily, first interning at tech startups and, later, XLR8R. Having taught herself to write code, she managed a web-store for a family of San Francisco boutiques, then got various jobs developing software for Bay Area tech companies. Armed with a fake ID, she explored the city’s underground scene. “There was this whole world of music I hadn’t had any exposure to,” she said. “Going to my first Honey Soundsystem and other queer parties, I’d never seen anything like that. I was into Pitchfork-y things like Crystal Castles or whatever. Then hearing, like, Argentinian cumbia, it’s like, ‘Whoa, what the fuck is this? This is tight!'”

That last one was presumably at Tormenta Tropical, a party cofounded by Shawn Reynaldo (then known as Disco Shawn) with whom Emerson had worked at XLR8R. “The party was in the Elbo Room, in the middle of The Mission,” she said. “This little upstairs place with low ceilings, kind of dank, with carpet and coloured Christmas lights, and these technicolor kaleidoscope Virgin Mary things, lit from behind. You could get a Tecate for a few dollars with a little lime in it. There were a lot of small little parties like that. It was a lively scene when I was there.”

But as musical influences go, nothing could touch Emerson’s second Bay Area residence: a 12-room warehouse in the SoMa neighborhood she’d found on Craigslist. The place was massive, home to 14 young creative types from around the world. It was also, occasionally, an illegal party spot called Club 380, where Emerson became a de facto resident DJ.

“There was this guy there named Matt, he was a couple years older than me and a really good DJ technically. His taste was different from what was popular at the time—more of a ravey sound instead of the DFA, nu-disco thing you always heard back then. When we threw parties, Matt and I would DJ all night. That was the first taste of real DJing I had.”

It was because of those parties that Emerson started making edits. At first she’d use Ableton to make small changes—extending intros, cutting out parts she didn’t like. Over time she got more creative, and soon she was making original productions. Thanks to a rigorous, self-imposed work schedule, she quickly honed her skills.

“I liked it, and I wanted to be good at it, so I made up my mind that I would make one track every month. I also decided to be my own PR agency. I made this massive rolodex of blogs and music media outlets, everything from small WordPress blogger sites to things like XLR8R and Mixmag. I would collect the contact information, and every time I created a track, I would write 100 personal emails to all these people. Some people picked it up and put it on their blogs. It was pretty addictive. If you release something and five pretty decently-sized blogs cover it, and it gets 10,000 plays and all these comments of like, ‘This is great!!,’ you get energized to make the next song and develop your skills.”

The once a month thing was key. “I know a lot of producers and writers and people in a lot of creative passions, professions, that will just continually work on something to no end, in private. You see yourself as your only gatekeeper, and maybe you don’t progress as fast as you want. Or at least as fast as I would want.”

Music became a vital mode of self-expression for Emerson, something she had to do “in order to stay sane.” The same is true today. “I would make music if no one heard it. But I’m not sure I’d DJ if there was no one there to dance.”

By 2014, someone showed one of Emerson’s tracks to her old friend Shawn Reynaldo, who was by then running the party and record label ICEE HOT. He decided to put out her first record, Pressure / Quoi, at the beginning of 2014, with remixes from Tuff City Kids.

The next one came a couple months later: Church Of SoMa, an ode to Club 380, was the first 12-inch on Spring Theory, a label run by one of the warehouse’s other residents, Guillaume Galuz. That fall, Spring Theory released her third one, Let Me Love And Steal.

These records chart the rapid evolution of Emerson’s sound. With their sampled vocal hooks, “Pressure” and “Quoi” had more of a straight-up house vibe than what would come later, but the urgency of the rhythms and the weight of the drums already showed a keen sense of club impact.

By Let Me Love And Steal, those house tropes had given way to something bolder and heavier, especially on the lurching “Triple Scorpio Mix.” The singular sound she has today—smooth but raucous, bright but heavy—was beginning to take shape.

Meanwhile, change was afoot at the warehouse. Emerson had moved out after a year or so but kept returning to play the parties. Others began leaving. An era was ending. “It was a very special thing, and everybody was kind of very depressed when it was over. But these things naturally ebb and flow. People move away, the French exchange students have to go home, things just change.”

By then Emerson was getting deeper into the tech world, at one point working at what she called a “stereotypical Y Combinator startup”—referring to the elite seed accelerator. At a glance, she had it pretty good. She’d made it in a city she loved, plying a trade she’d taught herself. She made tracks, she played gigs, she rode around San Francisco on a Vespa (“a 1980 P200E—really nice”).

But it wasn’t going to last. Emerson was working 60 hours a week, and falling into a career path she didn’t like, while San Francisco—”small, delicate, beautiful San Francisco”—was succumbing to a “monoculture of moneymaking,” which she couldn’t see herself in. Meanwhile, the music thing was looking better and better—her records were getting attention and she’d joined a booking agency. Some friends from the warehouse had moved to Berlin. “I’d just gotten a really big tax return, so I said, ‘Fuck it, let’s try this new thing.'”

Emerson hit the ground running in Berlin much as she had in San Francisco. She turned up with no prospects but found freelance work writing code, and eventually landed a job as a software developer. She continued making strides as an artist. In 2015 she released an EP on Shtum, a techno sub-label of Uncanny Valley, and played Panorama Bar for the first time. By the end of that year she was playing a few gigs a month. The prospect of becoming a full-time artist hovered into view. In May of this year, she went for it.

“It was kind of an economically-driven decision,” she said. “The money I made as a musician was approaching what I made as a software engineer, and finally those two things converged. But also, it was getting hard to manage. Playing two, sometimes three shows a weekend then coming in on Monday… I was becoming a little bit of a crazy person at the end. And I knew I couldn’t fully devote my brain to production and DJing until I quit my job. You have to close one door to really propel as an artist, I think.”

Things are different now than when Emerson made Narcissus In Retrograde. How this will affect her music remains to be seen. “There are things that have been so powerful and intense for me lately, and I’ve just barely been able to put them into this abstract musical form,” she said. “I’ve been doing kind of, I don’t want to say ‘experimental pop,’ but more lyrics-driven stuff not really made for the club. I’d really like to make an album.”

You get the sense that what’s come so far is just the beginning for Emerson. From the moment she quit school to stay in San Francisco, she improvised a path toward self-realization that’s just now come to a kind of landing point. “I’m really hitting my return of Saturn,” she said. “Have you heard that term? It takes 27 years for Saturn to go around the sun. When you’re about 27 it comes back to where it was when you were born. I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I’ve ever been.”

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Only 50 tickets left for Headset’s Hogmanay event! Don’t sleep!!

29 December 2017 -

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Headset tickets have been flying out the door since the event was announced in November and there are only fifty remaining tickets to be had now (4.30pm, 29.12.17), so don’t hang around if you’re keen to come to the Bongo for NYE.

The event features headliner Hodge (from Bristol) plus local star Telfort, with a veritable smorgasbord of local DJ support.

In short, this will be another great Hogmanay party at the Bongo, with everyone welcome!

THE LAST 50 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE

Room 1 (Garage / Techno / House):
Hodge
Telfort
Ariose (Traum)
Ami K (Hi & Saberhägen)
Shapework DJs
Skillis (Headset)

Room 2 (Hip Hop / Funk / Reggae / RnB):
Soul Jam (Sneaky Pete’s)
Brother Most Righteous
DJ Jonny Cashback
Skanky B & Drowzee (Electrikal)

 

• D&B Sub Sound System
• Licensed Beer / Smoking Garden
• Sofa Room Upstairs

Past guests at Headset: DVS1, Paleman, Hodge, Kowton, Peverelist, Beneath, Sticky, El-B, Groove Chronicles, Scott Garcia, Champion, Parris, Facta, K-Lone, Chris Farrell, Danielle NTS, Murder He Wrote

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Heidelberg’s finest, Move D, headlines Lionoil’s 3rd Birthday B2B with Telfort this Fri 8th Dec

07 December 2017 -

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We’re very excited to be welcoming Move D to the Bongo.  Alias David Moufang, he’s one of Germany’s most successful DJ/producers and a man who’s been around the block more times than most in the contemporary scene, having first got involved as a DJ in the late Eighties, releasing his debut productions in the early Nineties.

Making his Bongo debut, Moufang plays this special date for local label Lionoil, as they celebrate three years of throwing parties in the capital, inviting him to go back-to-back with their pal (and something of a local hero just now), Telfort, whose records Moufang has been championing from the start.  It’s not often that you can catch a B2B set from Move D, as there are apparently only a few people in the scene with whom he’s happy to do this.  When asked ‘do you enjoy [b2b] as much when you get the opportunity?’  Moufang replied, ‘No, I don’t, and it’s only a handful of people I’d enjoy doing that together with. So that would be Gerd Janson, Jus Ed, and Axel Boman, actually. So I have to really like the person as well as their taste in music… It’s quite an intimate, personal thing.’  So, high praise indeed for the man like Telfort!

With fellow Lionoiler Philip Budny in support, in short, we’re sure this will be another special night, much like Lionoil’s last ace event here with Soichi Terada (live) and Jonnie Wilkes (in May).

For TICKETS and MIXES check the EVENT PAGE.

MORE INFO (MOVE D BIO, courtesy of RA):

If talent converted into record sales, David Moufang would be a very rich man. His records with partner Jonas Grossmann as Deep Space Network and his own solo releases as Move D are among the furthest outreaches of techno’s push towards the stars. Moufang grew up in Heidelberg listening to his parents’ collection of early Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk records but the most overwhelming influence on his childhood was outer space, the result of a trip to the cinema with his father to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. “I was space crazy as a child,” Moufang told journalist Tony Marcus in 1995, “when the other kids were riding around in their little cars I’d be building my own spacecraft. I’d put in a small engine, put rubber on the wheels so it made some noise and stand there with a walkie-talkie and my headphones on. It was very techno…”

Moufang’s grandmothers were both classical concert pianists. He can still remember favourite childhood moments, sitting under the piano as they played, surrounded and lost in sound. By the age of 12, he taken up drums (he eventually went on to study classical percussion) and took up the guitar a few years later, this time taking lessons from two separate jazz guitar teachers. He played guitar in a band called Rivers & Trains well into the ’90s. Occasionally he even plied his trade as a DJ, spinning electro, funk and jazz. It wasn’t until 1989 that he discovered techno when a friend of his, D-Man, invited him to a club he was running in the industrial suburb of Mannheim. When Moufang walked into the Milk! Club that night – like so many others before and after him – he discovered a scene that changed his life. Discovering Detroit, 808 State, Nexus 21 and the first stirrings of ambient techno, Moufang became a committed clubber. Through D-Man, he met Redagain P who converted Moufang’s nickname “Mufti” into the more kinetic Move D.

Moufang’s first records were made with Grossmann as Deep Space Network. Their first two albums, EARTH TO INFINITY (1992) and BIG ROOMS (1993) suggested a significant, unpredictable and innovative talent which was confirmed by the release of HOMEWORKS (1993), a Source Records compilation that included solo tracks such as “Pulsar” and “I’ve Been On Drugs” alongside collaborations with D-Man. Ranging from subtle, Detroit-inflected grooves to wired electronic jazz, Moufang’s music seemed to operate on ambience, slow motion and subdued rhythm, a sound that was rooted, as Tony Marcus later pointed out, “in the jazzy, laid-back but still hip-tugging tradition of Larry Heard, Carl Craig’s “Microlovr” or “The Wonders Of Wishing” and New York’s Burrell Brothers… listening to [Moufang’s records] is like a sweet and lazy adventure into sound, a space where time and stress are suspended.”

REAGENZ (1994), a collaboration with SpaceTime Continuum’s Jonah Sharp, was an astonishing fusion of beautiful, experimental electronics that reached out to a point that even Detroit’s most visionary producers hadn’t yet achieved. Recorded between Heidelberg and San Francisco, it sounded like pianist Bill Evans might have if he’d grown up surrounded by Star Trek instead of modal jazz.

Moufang’s debut album, KUNSTSTOFF (1995), was equally remarkable. Tracks such as “Soap Bubbles” and “In/Out” oscillated between soft, dreamlike textures and the spiked electronics that Detroit was beginning to explore. The glittering production surfaces were a legacy of Moufang’s days as a student at the School of Audio Engineering, but the music they encompassed was equally compelling. It was an album full of contrasts – between the jagged drugfloor grooves of, say, “Nimm 2” and the gentle, synthetic lullaby of “Beyond The Machine” or between the pristine sounds Moufang conjured with and the haloes of analogue noise which surrounded others. Amazingly pretty and wildly innovative, KUNSTSTOFF remains one of the most accomplished techno albums to emerge from Europe so far.

The collaborative ventures that followed – including EXPLORING THE PSYCHEDELIC LANDSCAPE (1996) and A DAY IN THE LIVE (1997) with Pete Namlook – preceded an experimental single for Sheffield’s Warp label. Moufang had been a big fan of the label’s “bleep techno” output in the early ’90s and “Cymbelin” was, in some ways, a homage to that sound, twisting beats and synths into a bass heavy groove. But the producer’s ability to soften almost any structure with aching prettiness transformed the record into a unique fusion.


Another unique fusion was suggested by the release of CONJOINT (1997). A collaboration between Moufang, jazz veteran Karl Berger, Jamie Hodge (of Born Under A Rhyming Planet) and Gunter “Ruit” Kraus, it was Moufang’s most overtly jazzed outing so far, but provided spectacular evidence of his growing abilities as a producer and composer. Currently working on a number of new projects – including a new Deep Space Network album and a second Conjoint album – Moufang continues to explore the boundaries of electronic music.

For TICKETS and MIXES check the EVENT PAGE.

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DUNT X body welcome Copenhagen’s DJ Courtesy to The Bongo Club, Thursday 25th May

14 May 2017 -

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In Dunt’s own words:

OH BABY WE’RE BACK,

After two smashing resident parties at everyone’s favourite red bar, Dunt Club is back for its third instalment at a new stomping ground – The Bongo Club – to reel in the end of term. For the hallowed event we’ve teamed up with our older brother – body – to present the one and only Courtesy for her Scottish Debut.

For those who aren’t familiar, Najaaraq Vestbirk (Courtesy) is a DJ, journalist and the co-label owner of Copenhagen’s Ectotherm imprint. Hailing from Greenland and residing in Copenhagen, Najaaraq was previously one half of Ung Flugt (translation: Young Escape), a youthful, party-oriented duo whose rapid rise was paralleled only by the project’s quick dissolution. A few years later, Vestbirk re-emerged as Courtesy, taking a more refined approach and also serving as part of the all-female Apeiron Crew.

Since breaking away from Apeiron Crew, Courtesy has established herself as a formidable solo artist and launched Ectotherm with her former Apeiron cohort Mama Snake, which holds a monthly residency on London’s NTS Radio. Her lauded Crack Magazine and FACT mixes in 2016 attest to her penchant for blending styles that push the boundaries of dance music: fuzzier textures meet polished productions, silky electro and rave-influenced breaks. 2017 has brought more acclaim to her deft mixing abilities with her recent boiler-room debut and mix on Rinse’s Hessle Audio show which featured in Pitchfork’s top mixes for April.

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When Courtesy’s not working on mixes, writing or digging for overlooked break-beats she’s taking major slots at clubs all across the world at the likes of Concrete, De School and Berghain. She’s also just completed a tour across Asia with Avalon Emerson – who’s set at Sneaky Pete’s for Juice will go down as one of the best we’ve seen in the capital.

///Bring your space goggles; we’re going into outer orbit///

Lineup:
-Dunt and Body Residents: 11-1
-Courtesy: 1-3

LIMITED EARLY BIRD TICKETS: £5
ADVANCE TICKETS: £7

TICKETS: RESIDENT ADVISOR 
TICKETS: PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE

MIXES

 


NTS: http://www.nts.live/shows/ectotherm

Links:

RA: https://m.residentadvisor.net/dj/courtesy
Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/…/1499-the-10-best-dj-mixes-of-april-…/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtesyDK
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/courtesy707

Artwork Credits: Andrew Ioannou

YET MORE INFO

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London techno legend Jerome Hill returns to Substance and the Bongo, Fri 12th May ’17

11 May 2017 -

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We’re proper excited to be welcoming Jerome Hill to the Bongo this weekend, not least given his links to Edinburgh’s own ‘wonky techno’ crew back in ze day (see below). Is Edinburgh actually a home from home for Jerome?!  Perhaps… 😉

In the promoter’s own words, ‘We’ve had him at Henry’s and then at the Bongo in June 2012 as part of a free summer rave… think it went Jeff Mills, Rephlex then Jerome.*  He’s so good if you’ve never caught him.’ [*What a sequence! ]

There was a cracking piece (published early 2015) by the Electronic Explorations blog on why Jerome Hill is still such an essential DJ, which is copied below for your convenience.  It also includes a BANGING mix which he describes as follows:

“Just a load of tunes that I love and regularly play out… Old and new… No theme except that the tracks are hopefully memorable in varying ways.. Techno, Acid and Electro, all embracing their individuality and not creeping around trying to ‘fit in’.  Oh, and mixed on vinyl, a couple of CDs when necessary and no tractors or sinks”

Jerome Hill runs a weekly radio show  on Kool 94.6FM (London) – koollondon.com – every Wednesday 11.00-13.00.. “The Roots Of Rave”

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If there’s one man who embodies rave spirit in modern dance music it’s Jerome Hill – FACT Mag (via Joe Muggs)

DJ since 1990, beginning with Hip Hop, Acid House, UK Bleep, Breakbeat and Techno, a residency throughout the mid to late 90′s on infamous London sound system “JIBA”among others, manager and music buyer for 2 record shops Trackheads & Dragon Discs in Camden, London, (1997-2004) during which time an international DJ schedule opened out, Jerome has been a permanent fixture on the London scene and pretty much lives and breathes the music, his sets being educational and hedonistic in equal measures..

Founder of Don’t Recordings (which celebrates it’s 15th birthday this year) & Fat Hop records (for fans of Old Skool Hip Hop/B-Boy Breaks) , and more recently two new labels; the booming acid house of “Super Rhythm Trax” and the 1992 rave themed “Hornsey Hardcore” His bi-monthly ‘Don’t’ club night in Dalston is entering it’s 3rd year and has built a strong following amongst true Techno lovers, with Jerome as its resident and amazing and well respected guests passing through every time.

‘Jerome is best known for his involvement in the “wonky techno” scene (indeed he coined the term for a section in the Dragon Discs record shop where he worked in the mid-90s) – the punky but secretly rather sophisticated warehouse sound of people like Neil Landstrumm, Dave Tarrida, Cristian Vogel and co’ – FACT

Between putting out records on the labels and the release of his and Mark Archer’s (Altern8/Nexus 21) double mix CD, 2014 saw a hectic DJ schedule, playing slots at Bestival, Glastonbury (alongside Aphex Twin), XOYO (London), House Of God (Birmingham) and up and down the UK plus Australia, Japan, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Prague, Poland, Spain, France and Ireland all featuring in the international calendar. 2015 is set to be busy too, with releases about to drop on I Love Acid, Power Vacuum, Super Rhythm Trax, Don’t and Mindcut and the calendar beginning to fill out.   You can also catch Jerome on London’s Kool FM / www.Koollondon.com, The Roots of Rave show every wednesday 11.00-13.00 GMT   Be it a Techno dancefloor, an Old Skool Rave or a Hip Hop jam, Jerome is at home and relishes bringing something new to the party with surprises around every corner.

Hill has always flown the flag for other rough and rugged UK underground sounds, notably UK hip hop, breakbeat rave and old school Yorkshire-style bleep’n’bass – and he continues to represent all of these in his sets, promotions, releases on his labels and the ‘Roots of Rave’ show on Kool FM – FACT

Tracklist

Warehouse Sessions – 011 – Jerome Hill

  1. 01. Bintus “Cylinder Bop” (Power Vacuum)
  2. 02. Wevie De Crepon “Ton Wah” (Sonig)
  3. 03. Herbert “My DJ” (Accidental)
  4. 04. Jerome Hill “Work That Shit” (Don’t)
  5. 05. Teknocracy “Shrapnel Valley” (Pie Factory)
  6. 06. Vernon “Awakening In Antwerp” (Dixon Avenue Basement Jams)
  7. 07. Green Velvet & Gary Beck “Stronger” (Relief)
  8. 08. UVB “Anxiety” (Mord)
  9. 09. Pump Panel “To The Sky” (Missile)
  10. 10. Gutts “Gabos” (Horror Boogie)
  11. 11. Rei Elbaz & Anna Haleta “Don’t Stop” (Pacotec)
  12. 12. Fear of Music !
  13. 13. LFO “Mummy I’ve Had An Accident” (Warp)
  14. 14. DJ Rafael “Meltdown” (On The Prowl)
  15. 15. Patric Sjeren “Heart Condition” (Virgo Rising)
  16. 16. Neil Landstrumm “Diamond Taxation” (Sativae)
  17. 17. Tessela “Nancy’s Pantry” (R&S)
  18. 18. Frankie “Scarp” (Faste)
  19. 19. JoeFarr “Gabba Problems” (Don’t)
  20. 20. Jerome Hill “Frogmarch” (Mindcut)
  21. 21. Lenk “Untitled” (Blank Ltd)
  22. 22. CEO “Screeching” (WNCL)
  23. 23. Jerome Hill “Paper Bag Acid” (Super Rhythm Trax)
  24. 24. G-23 “Kidding Kids” (Super Rhythm Trax)
  25. 25. Jamie Lidell “Sonelysome(o)ney” (Sativae)
  26. 26. Shit n Shine “Shower Curtain” (Diogonal)
  27. Lupine Outro

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Catch the man himself at Substance this Friday, 12th May!

Recognised by the authoritative Resident Advisor to be “one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass”, Substance brings a wide ranging collage of classic and cutting edge underground electronic music to the Bongo.

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