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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » House


Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 28 Aug 2015 7:54 pm

In our last episode of “watching things on the Internet instead of doing real work,” we were enjoying a full-length 90s electronic music documentary and a bunch of music videos.

Well, here we are at yet another weekend. And hopefully we can give you some video watching pleasure yet again, in those moments when you aren’t, well, hopefully, making music.

Leading the pack is a 1986 story from Chicago TV news back when house music was in its early days, as spotted by Dancing Astronauts. And it’s an astounding document, featuring Danny “Sweet-D” Wilson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Steve “Silk” Hurley, and Keith Nunnally. Two big takeaways. One, it’s interesting to note that London was already catching onto house even when these artists were relatively obscure in sweet home Chicago. Europe and the UK, always ahead of American audiences when it comes to American music – note the British announced proudly wearing an enormous American flag shirt.

Two, it’s fantastic to see this stuff being made live. Why that shouldn’t be more commonplace in 2015, I have no idea. Steve Hurly and Jackmaster Funk constructing a track is inspiring and fresh nearly two decades later.

But there’s more, of course. With no particular theme, here’s a bunch of documentary stuff to queue up.

If you’d rather go to pioneering electronic composition in place of 80s dance music, here are two documentaries on the incomparable Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, via OpenCulture (which just happened to pop into my inbox today):


The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) von anaimiaktion

And the classic:

Better Living Through Circuitry is a 1999 documentary, available for full-length viewing (and spotted in comments).

Generation of Sound also covers the 90s dance scene:

And it seems every genre has its own YouTube documentary:

As does Berlin club Tresor:

And Richie Hawtin:

Returning to pioneering electronic music, it’s fascinating to get the 1983 perspective on electronic process (and perhaps it’s a sign of the maturity of the field now that a lot of this is today readily accessible):

And this seminal UK electronic doc:

And here’s a playlist with some of those, plus many more.

Tell your friends and family I’m really sorry.

The post Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries appeared first on Create Digital Music.

808 Site Found: Five Drum Machines Now Live In Your Browser

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 23 Mar 2015 6:58 pm

html5drummachine

It’s finally happened.

The 808 is now a tab in your browser.

And it’s brought friends. Sure, they’re called “hip hop, house, electro, techno, and acoustic” but – you’re not fooling anyone. (Least of all because some of those genres use the other machines.) That’s an acoustic kit, plus the Roland TR-808 and TR-909, Elektron Machinedrum, and Roger Linn’s Linndrum.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen drum machines emulated in a browser. But coding for the rich Web, and browsers in general, have each gotten a lot better, so the experience has improved. And, crucially, this isn’t just a time waster. You can export loops as WAV files.

Or, edit — this is a time waster for your employer, if you have a day job. It’s just an investment for your life as a producer. I do hope people make actual music with this.

Apparently, this is just the first of more things to come. There’s absolutely no information from the creators – like who they are, for instance, so do chime in. But he/she/them/it/the Collective/some entity want us know that more fun stuff is coming soon if you like their page. So there you have it, Like them or the terrorists win.

Clap your drum machines, say yeah.

http://html5drummachine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/html5drummachine

The post 808 Site Found: Five Drum Machines Now Live In Your Browser appeared first on Create Digital Music.

On the Eve of New 808 Film, Techno’s Roots Matter More Than Ever [Videos]

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 11 Mar 2015 4:09 pm

If rock music had the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, hip hop and dance music have the TR-808. And if its sound seems sometimes overly familiar, even that is in some sense a hat-tip (pardon the pun) to its enduring ubiquity.

Now, the Roland TR-808 gets its own full-length documentary, told primarily through the eyes of the people who repurposed its idiosyncratic sound to spin new musical genres and start a revolution. The film features extensive input from Arthur Baker, who acts as a centerpiece for the movie. Baker was the producer behind Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock,’ a record that would arguably guide the long-term influence of the 808 and the course of dance music. Apart from an executive producer credit to Baker, the film is centered enough on his story that it originally even included Planet Rock in the title.

We knew a large-scale 808 documentary was coming, but now, at last, you can see it – if you’re in Texas this month, that is. Multiple screenings around Austin during South by Southwest will mean residents and visiting hipsters will get some chances to pack theaters. No word yet on when it will tour, but early press indications and demand suggest this could see a wide release. (CDM isn’t at SxSW this year, so let us know if you see it; we’d love to hear your review!)

The film is the work of newcomer director Alexander Dunn and a small UK house called You Know Films.

There are some notable points on the way the film has gone.

808movie

For design nerds, the graphic identity and poster come from designer Rob Ricketts. His iconic, beautiful graphics are interwoven with the movie; you’ll remember his beautiful 808 programming posters. See his take on “Planet Rock” here.

You do get the story of the TR-808′s original design and engineering. Roland founder Ikutaro “Mr. K” Kakehashi, recently seen accepting a technical grammy for MIDI alongside Dave Smith, talks about the machine’s origins.

But most significantly, the 808 film’s big draw and marketing focus are on a lineup of music stars. That includes early pioneers behind its sound, but also EDM headliners – and yes, Phil Collins, as a kind of foil, an actual drummer who becomes fascinated with this machine. That has led to some early complaints about the appearance of highly-paid but widely-despised French superstar DJ David Guetta.

Rather than join in on the hate there, let’s step back for a second. Modern techno, house, EDM, or whatever dance genre you’d like to choose is heavily indebted to these earlier musical creations. The success of someone like Guetta, complete with global revenue that might make a medium-sized fast food franchise jealous, is revealing of just how far that influence would eventually spread. There’s no reason, then, not to speak to people like that in this kind of documentary, alongside the pioneers.

And it should all be a reminder of why these early pioneers were so significant – because there was absolutely no guarantee that history would work out this way. By the 80s, those aforementioned Fender and Gibson instruments were already well-established, and had a history all their own. But something like the TR-808 seemed destined to be forgotten. It’s incredibly easy to imagine an alternate history where the 808 joins the many other failed groove boxes that litter music technology history.

In fact, the 808 wasn’t discontinued coincidentally: the box was in fact something of a failure. And anyone who finds the sound of an 808 grating now must surely be slightly gratified by the early Keyboard review that famously compared it to “marching anteaters” (a phrase more appealing than anything dreamt up by Roland marketing).

It was these artists who gave those sounds their permanence. Lately, European dance music has gotten tangled again in the tired debate over who originated techno. It’s a tired argument to me, because it seems blatantly obvious that both German industrial music and African-American music deserve tremendous amounts of credit, each a radical departure from what might have been. You might as well ask whether cheese or ground beef deserve credit for the cheeseburger. And as America’s race and income inequalities become still more pronounced, now seems an ideal time to pour as much energy into talking about all those historical origins.

These early producers and their records are the reason any of us are around having these conversations today. Consider that hip-hop artists can be easily credited with the historical impact of both the 808 and Roger Linn’s MPC (the LM-1 having been mostly doomed to the dustbin).

Arthur Baker is a perfect example, and that history is all immediate and audible on the record itself. You can’t have this sound without the work of Japanese engineers. You can’t have the groove without Germany’s Kraftwerk. But you also can’t have it without George Clinton, without Philly soul, and the Afro-American music Baker grew up with. The fact that electronic music has feet in the dynamic recent evolution of both Germany and America (and the UK, and so on) is part of why its history is so relevant.

Here’s Arthur Baker on the 808 and his musical quest, from while this documentary was still in process.

And this is why history as told through music is such a beautiful thing. One record can lie at the intersection of the Great Migration of African-Americans north, of the legacy of slavery and the impact of the Second World War and Cold War on Germany, Japan, and beyond. It’s machinery and technology as mixed up with parties and culture. Asking who invented what is often missing the point, because what happens after invention is essential.

I don’t think we can ever have too much of this history, particularly because that history is alive and continues to unfold and melt.

Evidently not included in the 808 film, for instance, is Amos Larkins and Miami Bass. There’s always more to tell.

But that makes me look forward to this movie.

Executive producer Alex Noyer talked to Billboard about the movie – and the fact that the actual physical machine had less impact than the samples:

The physical machine appeared and disappeared quickly, but its sound stuck. It’s been used repeatedly, religiously, for decades. The misconception comes from the fact that a lot of producers have never actually used an 808, they’ve used samples. And really, the disappearance of the 808 is still an open topic in people’s minds: Why was it pulled from the market so quickly? What other factors were involved? We get into that in the film.

SXSW Preview: New Film Looks at the 808 Drum Machine — ‘The Rock Guitar of Hip-Hop’

For more:

Here are Roland engineers on the 808 in advance of the AIRA TR-8 announcement – and why the original was intended as a backing track generator, not a “lead instrument”:

BBC Radio 1 on three Roland machines (303, 808, 909):

A short documentary on the 303 (because what are drums without bass, after all?):

Press release on the film [lots more details there]

Documentary mini-site with mailing list (to keep up on screenings):

http://808themovie.com

And – the track. This to me is the sound of growing up in the 80s, the sound of hip hop, the sound of techno, as made by these artists with this machine. It’s … still kind of amazing:

planetrock

The post On the Eve of New 808 Film, Techno’s Roots Matter More Than Ever [Videos] appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Sophisticated Rhythms: 2 Mixes, 2 Approaches, For Your Listening Pleasure

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Sat 7 Mar 2015 2:09 pm

Kid_K_Aleph

Mixes have become another essential reflex of this age of overabundance, a way of navigating in material form the rhythms that come our way.

I turn this weekend to mixes by two close friends. Matt Earp, aka Kid Kameleon (top), has been a CDM contributor in the past; his background spans music and technology and a wide breadth and depth of knowledge in those areas. Noah Pred is simply one of the finest DJs and producers I know, the ever-tasteful mind behind the massively underrated but prescient label Thoughtless Music.

Each mix is singular in purpose, full of the sort of musical energy that can elevate your listening brain. But they’re very different in approach.

Over some Korean dumplings, recently, Matt and I got to talking about tempo. Matt’s mixes are painstakingly and obsessively assembled in Ableton Live. And I mean obsessing – this one is eight months in the making, though he does promise more for 2015. This is a composed score more than the found moment Nina Kraviz described in the interview we saw earlier this week. He also freely mixes tempo and style, weaving things together but keeping a flow that ebbs and rises off the grid.


But Matt is also vigorously eclectic, in a way that he can merge into a clearer larger picture. And I think Matt has something to say about the resonances between bass and beats from styles on far corners of the world. As he puts it, “This one we’ve dubbed a “FutureWave Sound” – not quite beats and not quite bass – but a rolling ride that takes in both – alongside digital cumbia, slowgrind love songs, hip-hop and more.”

“Get lost” in it, he advises, which is easy – big songs and big spaces.

27 tracks of FutureWave beats for a psychedelic summer drive – starting somewhere in the forests of Northern Cali, weaving and bumping through the turbulent beats and traffic snarls of LA, and ending up in the deserts of Texas – probably close to Bat Country. If your city is cold and rainy like Berlin is right now, at least in your minds eye you can be a superstar out on the open road. This mix is for the travelers and tricksters – always keep your #BoomDefence close!

Tracklist:
@deft- Thought You’d Fancy It [@wotnotmusic]
@shigeto – Huron River Drive (@evenings Remix) [@ghostly]
@proflogik – Man of Logik (@deflon Remix) [Self Release]
@lost_twin – Snake Snake [@squaringthecircle]
@alphabetsheaven – Adorn [Self Release]
@sunnygraves – Bayou [@disboot]
Kool G Rap feat. Nas – Fast Life (@the-bear-and-the-sea remix) [@nueva-forma]
@omunit & @sam_binga – Small Victories [@exitrecords]
@flightfacilities – Stand Still (@com-truise Remix) [@futureclassic]
@tobiaspedersen (Beastie Respond) – Lonely Ride [@surfase-records]
@danny-scrilla – The Rift [Self Release]
@cracklewizard – Camph [@hidden-hawaii]
Bahamadia – Uknowhowwedu (@adam-kay-music Remix) [Self Release]
@ikickedacloudonce – Deep Inside [Self Release]
@jongpadawan – Closer (@shatter-hands Remix) [@greased-up-records]
@elestialdaisy (Afta-1) – Trust [Self Release]
Moment – Beautiful [@mad-hop]
@shatter-hands – Knifin’ Around [CDR Dimensions]
@summer-of-haze – Sea Sea Sea [@hyperboloid]
@chanchaviacircuito – Sabiamantis ft. @barriolindo & @sidirum [@wonderwheel-recordings]
@umojaworldwide – La Piragua (@alecassis Remix) [@inimovement]
@nicolacruz – Jocotoco Antpitta [@rhythm-roots]
El Nuevo Sonido De La Kumbia – El Llanto Del Acordeon (@bigote_caballito Remix) [Self Release]
@copyfokking – Knippelsuppe (@frikstailers Remix) [ZZK]
@cumbiacosmonauts – Cumbia Sampuesana (@yelramselectah Remix) [Self Release]
@fulgeance – Step Thru [@rxtx]
@julien-mier – Out of the Cloud [@cascaderecords Records]

I know why Matt has road trips and America on the mind – after being here in Berlin, he’s headed to South by Southwest. Do say hi if you’re in tech or music and going.

noah

Noah’s Thurmcast episode is essentially the opposite pole. This is a straight groove, an arrow drawn directly through danceable tracks. In the wrong hands, such a thing might be disposable. But Noah is mixologist as much as DJ – the right dosages.

And Noah’s own productions, DJing, mixing, and labels tend to be the ones I point to when people have grown to (perhaps fairly) loathe a genre. It’s especially true with those words that, when appended in front of a beloved genre, have a tendency to signal something you won’t like. Tech House. Dub House. Deep House. This is commercial, it’s club-ready, to be sure – and you know my tastes will sometimes go very experimental – but it’s always on target.

Whether these are the waters you inhabit or not – just as with Matt’s mix – they illustrate how you can approach a mix. There are no fancy tricks or acrobatics here; Noah is selecting tracks, mixing them together, mostly via compatible bpms and genres, and letting the tracks do the work. But that can be a good thing. With so much competition, I think some mixes try to do too much – take too much on and then show off their DJ software configuration skills. Noah reminds us we don’t have to do that. Relax. Sit back and listen. And then your listeners might do the same.

Thrumcast 019 – Noah Pred by Thrum Room on Mixcloud

Thrumcast 019 by Noah Pred is probably our most energetic house/tech/dub offering to date, delivered to us in what can only be described as a class of it’s own, much like every release on his label, Thoughtless Music.

Producing and performing live for over ten years, Noah emerged from the Canadian underground as a sought-after techno DJ with a sophisticated sound and unique style.

Making the leap to Europe after five years exploring the extensive musical underground of Canada’s multicultural metropolis, he comes deeply impacted by the unique influence of Toronto. Launching his Thoughtless imprint there over seven years ago, the label is now on its hundredth release.

Along with a rather enviable list of record labels he has released on, Noah’s latest full-length, Third Culture, continues to earn critical praise, further establishing his reputation as an artist with as much vision as skill.

Download : http://goo.gl/7J2QQN

I’m rambling; the other point is that Noah has put a nice context around his own work, and in particular the brilliant Concubine collaboration with Rick Bull. Noah, originating from North America, has returned there for a time early this year, but continues to work with ex-pat Berlin stalwart Rick. I hope to talk to them soon, so have a listen and let us know what you might like us to talk about.

That’s not even’s only significant collab – the prolific artist also joins Tom Clark on Get Physical. I’m mystified why some of these producers aren’t common names – they’re crafting the sounds that make up all the DJing business you’re hearing. Ahem. So, let’s say their names and spread the word.

And for some crazy reason, while you can (possibly should, if it’s your thing) buy the Second Horizon EP, Noah is giving away the Concubine full-length. Have at it:

http://www.concubine.cc

And I hope you have a great weekend – and whatever you choose, that you get some time to turn everything else off and properly listen.

Previously:
After 100 Releases, A Label You May Not Know, But Should [Thoughtless Interview]

Get Your Fix of Quality Electronic Music, with a Summer Mix for a Hot Drive by Kid Kameleon

The post Sophisticated Rhythms: 2 Mixes, 2 Approaches, For Your Listening Pleasure appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 5 Mar 2015 5:19 pm

Who’s ready for some springtime romance? Show of hands? Thought so.

Here in northern Europe, at least, we’re at that inflection point as spring first crawls its way out of winter, tiny buds on the trees and ice/rain mixes giving way to faintly warm sunbeams. This is music that matches that mood. And it’s music that finds a voice, that can sing – not just in beautiful vocals (and the likes of Brolin certainly suffices in his latest work), but in music that is crafted from some intimate place. These are productions that are immediate and intensely personal in the same way as singing.

And there’s another reason to look at these artists. Sometimes artists blow up because they met the right people, they played the right parties, they hit the mainstream at the right time. This is something different. These artists have all taken some turn in their own musical identities. That seasonal metaphor works: they are bursting, creatively, in the best possible way.

Full disclosure: I get to be impossibly lazy as a journalist here, or certainly very lucky, in that I’m the warmup DJ for this lineup tomorrow in Berlin. But it’s one of those rare situations where you get called to play, and wind up losing yourself listening to the promo materials they sent over. I wish that happened all the time; we know it doesn’t, so I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Brolin (video, top) is an artist on the verge of really blowing up to a wider audience – if he can break the Google curse; no relation (that I know of) to the American actors of the same last name.

brolin

I would say there’s something in the water in England, but I know exactly what’s in the water – a superior music education for singers. The result is nailing spot-on technique without sounding overly controlled, that ability to make tone that purrs but retains a lightly rough edge.

Brolin, if you know him from earlier releases like his track “Portland,” has traded that cuter, more twee sound for something with more depth. (The videos have gotten better, too. It turns out that the Internet is so savagely competitive that cute dogs and cute models in jean shorts actually aren’t enough to attract an audience.)

Pairing that sound with electronics works perfectly. With the German duo Kruse & Nuernberg, he produced the hypnotic video at top, an ideal foil to the deep house-inflected, pop-worthy track. (Kruse & Nuernberg have also graduated from more conventional house tracks to a grown-up, laidback take of their own.)

Kruse & Nuernberg Get Kaleidoscopic on “Lost N Free”

Their collaborative EP I think will be a huge hit:

The duo check in with the blog Sloth Boogie – 5 Questions with Kruse & Nuernberg + Brolin – he talks to ,a href=”http://www.electricmusicmagazine.com/#!brolin-interview/c1ykg”>Electric Music Magazine.

Brolin has jumped into the deep end of chilled-out, smart electronics, adding his whisper-close vocals. For further evidence, check out this free mixtape with more of his work:

His single “Swim Deep” is more pop-y than the waters I normally tread, but you can hear that vocal technique as it’s developed. I’m curious to see the live act tomorrow.

luka2

luka

So, that’s the UK. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, there’s Luka Seifert. His own personal breakthrough came from lightening up on the edits, he tells The Fader: sampling recordings raw, returning to his roots on the guitar, leaving an organic feel rather than over-producing, to get something that’s “honest.” It has the same immediacy as his Tumblr feed of photos – rough, but effortlessly drenched in aesthetic sense. (Somehow the ghosts of the Bauhaus in Germany seem to do that to people here.)

I think the result is spectacular, swells of sound, hiss that becomes its own color and air.

LUKA’s “Fault Line” Is The Soundtrack To Your Low-Key Spring Romance

Luka’s “Lowdown,” released for XLR8R, is in a similar space, floating atop a cloud of sampled noise and echoing with lullaby-like tune and percussion:

Glenn Jackson, usually at no loss for words, actually stumbles a bit on how to categorize it in the article for the free download – which I think is a good sign:
Luka “Lowdown” [XLR8R Downloads]

Luka’s Hamburg sometimes-neighbor, the globe-trotting, gypsy nomad Sofia Kourtesis, is a kindred spirit in this new style – something made partly in technological chops and partly in dreams.

Sofia is one of the people behind this lineup in Berlin. We covered her previously, but it’s worth visiting her yet again – because she has found a way to get still more personal with her tracks, closer to the core of their being. With singles she released on XLR8R and The Fader to accompany her new EP, she’s built tracks that are melodic, dreamily evocative atop their rhythmic framework.

And she has likewise found her way to some of these same corners. Amidst the aggressive gothic clanging of tribal rituals that has become the mainstay of electronic music, this is music that can be genuinely, comfortably vulnerable. I can think of nowhere better to conclude.

And speaking of getting personal and vulnerable, “Zaza” reminds us why we do that in music. It’s a musical reflection on the loss of her grandmother, finding life again by using sound as a window to memory.

I’m fortunate to get to warm up the room for these folks and the rest of the lineup. If you care to join us and you’re around Berlin tomorrow Friday, we’d love to see you. The fact that we’re playing the former cultural embassy of Czechoslovakia, remade as a club, is another reminder that seasons’ change can rejuvenate:

BROLIN (UK) Live + Sofia Kourtesis / BlackBlackGold / Local Suicide / LUKA / Les Filles Noires / P Kirn / Soen / [Facebook]

6 March from 22h / 8€ / Konzulát – Leipzigerstrasse 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany

And if you can’t, I do hope you enjoy listening from afar.

The post Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 5 Mar 2015 5:19 pm

Who’s ready for some springtime romance? Show of hands? Thought so.

Here in northern Europe, at least, we’re at that inflection point as spring first crawls its way out of winter, tiny buds on the trees and ice/rain mixes giving way to faintly warm sunbeams. This is music that matches that mood. And it’s music that finds a voice, that can sing – not just in beautiful vocals (and the likes of Brolin certainly suffices in his latest work), but in music that is crafted from some intimate place. These are productions that are immediate and intensely personal in the same way as singing.

And there’s another reason to look at these artists. Sometimes artists blow up because they met the right people, they played the right parties, they hit the mainstream at the right time. This is something different. These artists have all taken some turn in their own musical identities. That seasonal metaphor works: they are bursting, creatively, in the best possible way.

Full disclosure: I get to be impossibly lazy as a journalist here, or certainly very lucky, in that I’m the warmup DJ for this lineup tomorrow in Berlin. But it’s one of those rare situations where you get called to play, and wind up losing yourself listening to the promo materials they sent over. I wish that happened all the time; we know it doesn’t, so I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Brolin (video, top) is an artist on the verge of really blowing up to a wider audience – if he can break the Google curse; no relation (that I know of) to the American actors of the same last name.

brolin

I would say there’s something in the water in England, but I know exactly what’s in the water – a superior music education for singers. The result is nailing spot-on technique without sounding overly controlled, that ability to make tone that purrs but retains a lightly rough edge.

Brolin, if you know him from earlier releases like his track “Portland,” has traded that cuter, more twee sound for something with more depth. (The videos have gotten better, too. It turns out that the Internet is so savagely competitive that cute dogs and cute models in jean shorts actually aren’t enough to attract an audience.)

Pairing that sound with electronics works perfectly. With the German duo Kruse & Nuernberg, he produced the hypnotic video at top, an ideal foil to the deep house-inflected, pop-worthy track. (Kruse & Nuernberg have also graduated from more conventional house tracks to a grown-up, laidback take of their own.)

Kruse & Nuernberg Get Kaleidoscopic on “Lost N Free”

Their collaborative EP I think will be a huge hit:

The duo check in with the blog Sloth Boogie – 5 Questions with Kruse & Nuernberg + Brolin – he talks to ,a href=”http://www.electricmusicmagazine.com/#!brolin-interview/c1ykg”>Electric Music Magazine.

Brolin has jumped into the deep end of chilled-out, smart electronics, adding his whisper-close vocals. For further evidence, check out this free mixtape with more of his work:

His single “Swim Deep” is more pop-y than the waters I normally tread, but you can hear that vocal technique as it’s developed. I’m curious to see the live act tomorrow.

luka2

luka

So, that’s the UK. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, there’s Luka Seifert. His own personal breakthrough came from lightening up on the edits, he tells The Fader: sampling recordings raw, returning to his roots on the guitar, leaving an organic feel rather than over-producing, to get something that’s “honest.” It has the same immediacy as his Tumblr feed of photos – rough, but effortlessly drenched in aesthetic sense. (Somehow the ghosts of the Bauhaus in Germany seem to do that to people here.)

I think the result is spectacular, swells of sound, hiss that becomes its own color and air.

LUKA’s “Fault Line” Is The Soundtrack To Your Low-Key Spring Romance

Luka’s “Lowdown,” released for XLR8R, is in a similar space, floating atop a cloud of sampled noise and echoing with lullaby-like tune and percussion:

Glenn Jackson, usually at no loss for words, actually stumbles a bit on how to categorize it in the article for the free download – which I think is a good sign:
Luka “Lowdown” [XLR8R Downloads]

Luka’s Hamburg sometimes-neighbor, the globe-trotting, gypsy nomad Sofia Kourtesis, is a kindred spirit in this new style – something made partly in technological chops and partly in dreams.

Sofia is one of the people behind this lineup in Berlin. We covered her previously, but it’s worth visiting her yet again – because she has found a way to get still more personal with her tracks, closer to the core of their being. With singles she released on XLR8R and The Fader to accompany her new EP, she’s built tracks that are melodic, dreamily evocative atop their rhythmic framework.

And she has likewise found her way to some of these same corners. Amidst the aggressive gothic clanging of tribal rituals that has become the mainstay of electronic music, this is music that can be genuinely, comfortably vulnerable. I can think of nowhere better to conclude.

And speaking of getting personal and vulnerable, “Zaza” reminds us why we do that in music. It’s a musical reflection on the loss of her grandmother, finding life again by using sound as a window to memory.

I’m fortunate to get to warm up the room for these folks and the rest of the lineup. If you care to join us and you’re around Berlin tomorrow Friday, we’d love to see you. The fact that we’re playing the former cultural embassy of Czechoslovakia, remade as a club, is another reminder that seasons’ change can rejuvenate:

BROLIN (UK) Live + Sofia Kourtesis / BlackBlackGold / Local Suicide / LUKA / Les Filles Noires / P Kirn / Soen / [Facebook]

6 March from 22h / 8€ / Konzulát – Leipzigerstrasse 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany

And if you can’t, I do hope you enjoy listening from afar.

The post Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Meet Beste Modus, One of Berlin’s Best House Crews

Delivered... Elissa Stolman | Scene | Fri 27 Feb 2015 1:50 pm

The creme of Berlin’s crop is rising to the top with a batch of killer DJ tool white labels. Check out their latest release here.

It feels safe to say that Berlin’s dance music scene is crowded, especially in tech/house-related fields. The occasion and topic for discussion in this article is—in my eyes at least—one of the city’s most successful and promising underground house crews, Beste Modus, a collective of East Berliners who gathered in the conference room at the Electronic Beats office in mid-November last year to chat.

Three of its five core members are seated at the table: Cinthie, Diego Krause, and Ed Herbst. Cinthie seems in some ways to be the matriarch of the group; the one two decades of experience as a DJ; the one who speaks the most during our conversation; the one who wrangled the others to form the collective and record label in the first place. Herbst has a quite, easygoing demeanor and the stoney approachability of a former backpack rap fan. Krause is, so far—and I hope this observation won’t chafe the others—the most successful of the bunch at garnering buzz about his immaculate productions. His tracks appear on a few other labels besides Beste Modus, including his own Unison Wax imprint and a 12” on the label run by globetrotting French DJ trio Apollonia.

A fourth member, a guy with a likeable jokester vibe and who DJs under the cheeky moniker stevn.aint.leavn, arrives 20 minutes late. (The fifth member is Albert Vogt, who wasn’t present at our interview.) By that time we’re discussing the attention the latest Beste Modus record has received on DJ charts and online record stores. BM04, like every release on the label, is a hand-stamped 12” that features a handful of solid, straightforward house grooves. This one in particular features one cut from each constituent of Beste Modus.

The tracks are accessible floor fillers that work within the established conventions of tech-influenced house production and maximize their rewards. Beste Modus is a team of native Berliners, and its music bears the unmistakable influence of its city’s homegrown brand of dance floor sonics, a mechanical and psychedelic groove with drums that smack harder than old-school American house tracks. Dub chords wash over spoken word vocals from a disembodied black male, boots-and-pants rhythms underpin undulating sub bass notes, and bongos ricochet off the crispest of high-end percussive clicks.

Their style is traditional but fluent and remarkably well-executed, which makes them a neat foil to the rising interest in local labels, artists, and crews who subvert the conventions of dance floor productions, many of which are run by and/or comprised of expatriate artists. While the Beste Modus producers don’t challenge existing structures, they’re extremely successful at constructing fuel for all-night parties, which is, of course, a challenging endeavor nonetheless.

Beste Modus’s own audience has grown with each new release. “For the first two records, we only pressed 300 copies,” Cinthie explains. “It was sold out in 48 hours. We pressed 800 copies of the third one, and now we’re pressing 1000.” Their next record, Beste Modus 05, is a split 12″ featuring Cinthie and Herbst, and it shelves next week—but you can hear it here first.

The label’s immediate success was a relief for Cinthie, who has been an active DJ and producer for nearly two decades (and once contributed to our EB Radio mix series). “I was with Keinemusik, and that didn’t work,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘I’m either going to quit now, or I’ll find someone I can work with.’ I wasn’t desperately looking for someone, but I met the boys and felt really comfortable and liked their music and attitude. So I just decided to pressing one record, and if I lost some money, then fuck it. For some reason, I was 100 percent, or 1000 percent convinced we were going to make it.”

“Cinthie had the idea to start the label,” Diego chimes in. “She met up with us and said, ‘OK, this is going to sound crazy, but I want to do a label, and I want to do it with you.’ We weren’t even playing vinyl by that time, but she was like, ‘And it’s going to be vinyl-only.’”

Prior to Cinthie’s proposition, Diego, Herbst, and Steven were hip-hop producers who originally met through their ties with the German arm of EMI. Diego racked up a few production credits on a few of the major label’s German rap CDs (he wouldn’t say which ones) and teamed up with Herbst on a project with a soul singer signed to EMI publishing. “I think Stevo was [the singer’s] intern,” Diego recalls.

“Ed, Stevo, and I made the transition from hip-hop to house together,” Herbst says. They started to explore Berlin’s club scene and discovered the seductions of house through extended and repeated visits to Watergate starting in 2009. “Over a few nights—or mornings—we fell in love with the music,” he recalls.

In 2012, they met Cinthie at a party at YAAM. “The party was super shit, so I don’t know why we stayed that long,” Diego explains wryly. “But when Cinthie came on at 9 in the morning, we were super surprised because, all of a sudden, someone was playing good music.”

Stevo made the first contact with Cinthie by asking for a track ID. “We had a nice chat and exchanged email addresses,” she says. “I think Stevo told me that he produces and asked if he could send me tracks, and I said yeah. When I listened to them, and was like, ‘Damn, this is really good.’ I think that’s how we all met, then we met more often. He also sent me some tracks from Diego and Eddie and I was like ‘Whoa this is amazing.’”

So far, it seems like many agree with Cinthie. The constituents of Apollonia are among the crews’ admirers, and they included a track from Diego’s second Unison Wax 12” in their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and contacted him via Facebook. “The whole Apollonia thing is pretty huge,” he says. “I wrote back to Dan [Ghenacia] and he was super chill. I sent him some demo tracks and he replied six hours later to say, ‘OK, we’re going to pick these three tracks for an EP.” The record, Right About Now, is set to drop at any minute; the tracks recently premiered via Mixmag.

Diego’s success bodes well for the rest of the team, whose accessible approach to house production makes them attractive to international audiences. While there’s some scorn in the world of Berlin’s underground techno savants for Ibizan dance floors and big room clubs, and while “tech house” is often used as an insult therein, Beste Modus seems to have little interest in confining to a militantly alternative listenership or conforming to their expectations. For the most part, they’re humble with their ambitions. “I’m happy if I can pay for my vinyl addiction with my gigs,” Herbst says.

But if Beste Modus is keen to break out of its hometown and reach wider audiences, that goal seems within their reach.

“I want to play parties where I have the feeling that people appreciate my music,” Cinthie explains. “I play music, and I want to have the people rave and dance their ass off. If they do it in a small club in Berlin, I’m gonna do it. If they do it on Ibiza, I’ll do it.”

Meet Beste Modus, One of Berlin’s Best House Crews

Delivered... Elissa Stolman | Scene | Fri 27 Feb 2015 1:50 pm

The creme of Berlin’s crop is rising to the top with a batch of killer DJ tool white labels. Check out their latest release here.

It feels safe to say that Berlin’s dance music scene is crowded, especially in tech/house-related fields. The occasion and topic for discussion in this article is—in my eyes at least—one of the city’s most successful and promising underground house crews, Beste Modus, a collective of East Berliners who gathered in the conference room at the Electronic Beats office in mid-November last year to chat.

Three of its five core members are seated at the table: Cinthie, Diego Krause, and Ed Herbst. Cinthie seems in some ways to be the matriarch of the group; the one two decades of experience as a DJ; the one who speaks the most during our conversation; the one who wrangled the others to form the collective and record label in the first place. Herbst has a quite, easygoing demeanor and the stoney approachability of a former backpack rap fan. Krause is, so far—and I hope this observation won’t chafe the others—the most successful of the bunch at garnering buzz about his immaculate productions. His tracks appear on a few other labels besides Beste Modus, including his own Unison Wax imprint and a 12” on the label run by globetrotting French DJ trio Apollonia.

A fourth member, a guy with a likeable jokester vibe and who DJs under the cheeky moniker stevn.aint.leavn, arrives 20 minutes late. (The fifth member is Albert Vogt, who wasn’t present at our interview.) By that time we’re discussing the attention the latest Beste Modus record has received on DJ charts and online record stores. BM04, like every release on the label, is a hand-stamped 12” that features a handful of solid, straightforward house grooves. This one in particular features one cut from each constituent of Beste Modus.

The tracks are accessible floor fillers that work within the established conventions of tech-influenced house production and maximize their rewards. Beste Modus is a team of native Berliners, and its music bears the unmistakable influence of its city’s homegrown brand of dance floor sonics, a mechanical and psychedelic groove with drums that smack harder than old-school American house tracks. Dub chords wash over spoken word vocals from a disembodied black male, boots-and-pants rhythms underpin undulating sub bass notes, and bongos ricochet off the crispest of high-end percussive clicks.

Their style is traditional but fluent and remarkably well-executed, which makes them a neat foil to the rising interest in local labels, artists, and crews who subvert the conventions of dance floor productions, many of which are run by and/or comprised of expatriate artists. While the Beste Modus producers don’t challenge existing structures, they’re extremely successful at constructing fuel for all-night parties, which is, of course, a challenging endeavor nonetheless.

Beste Modus’s own audience has grown with each new release. “For the first two records, we only pressed 300 copies,” Cinthie explains. “It was sold out in 48 hours. We pressed 800 copies of the third one, and now we’re pressing 1000.” Their next record, Beste Modus 05, is a split 12″ featuring Cinthie and Herbst, and it shelves next week—but you can hear it here first.

The label’s immediate success was a relief for Cinthie, who has been an active DJ and producer for nearly two decades (and once contributed to our EB Radio mix series). “I was with Keinemusik, and that didn’t work,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘I’m either going to quit now, or I’ll find someone I can work with.’ I wasn’t desperately looking for someone, but I met the boys and felt really comfortable and liked their music and attitude. So I just decided to pressing one record, and if I lost some money, then fuck it. For some reason, I was 100 percent, or 1000 percent convinced we were going to make it.”

“Cinthie had the idea to start the label,” Diego chimes in. “She met up with us and said, ‘OK, this is going to sound crazy, but I want to do a label, and I want to do it with you.’ We weren’t even playing vinyl by that time, but she was like, ‘And it’s going to be vinyl-only.’”

Prior to Cinthie’s proposition, Diego, Herbst, and Steven were hip-hop producers who originally met through their ties with the German arm of EMI. Diego racked up a few production credits on a few of the major label’s German rap CDs (he wouldn’t say which ones) and teamed up with Herbst on a project with a soul singer signed to EMI publishing. “I think Stevo was [the singer’s] intern,” Diego recalls.

“Ed, Stevo, and I made the transition from hip-hop to house together,” Herbst says. They started to explore Berlin’s club scene and discovered the seductions of house through extended and repeated visits to Watergate starting in 2009. “Over a few nights—or mornings—we fell in love with the music,” he recalls.

In 2012, they met Cinthie at a party at YAAM. “The party was super shit, so I don’t know why we stayed that long,” Diego explains wryly. “But when Cinthie came on at 9 in the morning, we were super surprised because, all of a sudden, someone was playing good music.”

Stevo made the first contact with Cinthie by asking for a track ID. “We had a nice chat and exchanged email addresses,” she says. “I think Stevo told me that he produces and asked if he could send me tracks, and I said yeah. When I listened to them, and was like, ‘Damn, this is really good.’ I think that’s how we all met, then we met more often. He also sent me some tracks from Diego and Eddie and I was like ‘Whoa this is amazing.’”

So far, it seems like many agree with Cinthie. The constituents of Apollonia are among the crews’ admirers, and they included a track from Diego’s second Unison Wax 12” in their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and contacted him via Facebook. “The whole Apollonia thing is pretty huge,” he says. “I wrote back to Dan [Ghenacia] and he was super chill. I sent him some demo tracks and he replied six hours later to say, ‘OK, we’re going to pick these three tracks for an EP.” The record, Right About Now, is set to drop at any minute; the tracks recently premiered via Mixmag.

Diego’s success bodes well for the rest of the team, whose accessible approach to house production makes them attractive to international audiences. While there’s some scorn in the world of Berlin’s underground techno savants for Ibizan dance floors and big room clubs, and while “tech house” is often used as an insult therein, Beste Modus seems to have little interest in confining to a militantly alternative listenership or conforming to their expectations. For the most part, they’re humble with their ambitions. “I’m happy if I can pay for my vinyl addiction with my gigs,” Herbst says.

But if Beste Modus is keen to break out of its hometown and reach wider audiences, that goal seems within their reach.

“I want to play parties where I have the feeling that people appreciate my music,” Cinthie explains. “I play music, and I want to have the people rave and dance their ass off. If they do it in a small club in Berlin, I’m gonna do it. If they do it on Ibiza, I’ll do it.”

Slices Talks Tech With Ian Pooley

Delivered... EB Team | Scene | Tue 27 Jan 2015 2:00 pm
After 20 years as a producer and DJ, Ian Pooley remains authentic and original. His releases, which have appeared on labels such as Force Inc., Ovum, Innervisions, and his own Pooled Music imprint, fuse staple dance floor styles like house, techno and broken beats. In this Slices Tech Talk, Electronic Beats TV delves deep into the artist’s Berlin-based studio.

Slices Catches Up With Panorama Bar Resident Virginia

Delivered... EB Team | Scene | Tue 20 Jan 2015 4:04 pm

Ostgut Ton regular Virginia stars in the inaugural episode of our new Slices series, Word/Play.

Over the past few decades, Munich native Virginia Högl has enjoyed a string of commercial successes as a singer. Now based in Berlin, she focuses more on her career as a resident DJ at Panorama Bar and producer for the club’s label, Ostgut Ton. In this episode of Slices on Electronic Beats TV we engage Virginia in a little Word/Play to elicit her thoughts on life, soul, the stage, and beyond.

Daniel Wang on Cocktail D’Amore— “I didn’t want to write about the hedonistic utopian Berlin club scene.”

Delivered... EB Team | Scene | Mon 1 Dec 2014 2:09 pm

This is a flyer for Cocktail D’Amore, a Berlin party.

Saucy ads have become one of the staple features of the Cocktail D’Amore brand. The series’ in-house artist, a visual artist called GoldNSour, has produced one witty flyer for every Cocktail party that has occurred since the Italian DJ duo Discodromo founded the monthly gay bash with Berghain resident Boris in 2009. That’s about 60 suggestive promotional posters and GIFs of bondage bears (literally), peeing men, and kittens jumping around on a pair of turntables, plus about as many videos which were screened at each night. One of the clips is embedded below, and you can see other clips he made for the party series here.

Additionally, there’s a handful of somewhat less-sexy (yet still provocative) designs that have appeared as artwork on the records the trio has released on its spinoff Cocktail D’Amore label. My favorites are the sweaty mustache from the imprint’s first sampler, and the deranged cartoon that Benedikt Rugar composed for its latest 12″, which is a compilation titled Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing.

CDA comp artwork 1

CDA comp 2

This most recent record features contributions from previous headliners, artists who have released on the label in the past, and a few new faces, including PAN signee (and frequent Electronic Beats contributor) Heatsick, Swedish beatmaker Dorisburg, and house/disco champion Massimiliano Pagliara.

“Cocktail is always a colourful party,” Heatsick told us. “Be it when you turn around and see an acquaintance getting pissed on in front of the bar, and reclining their head back in full ecstasy, or when a random naked guy runs around at 6 a.m.” But he’s quick to point out that overt displays of sexual activity aren’t the most important or exciting aspects about the gathering—Cocktail D’Amore stands out on the strength of its music selections. In addition to stellar appearances from some of the artists featured on the compilation, the party series has hosted marathon sets from New York legend Joe Clausell and many memorable mixes from its resident DJs.

CDA fetish flyer

Longtime DJ, producer, and label owner Daniel Wang also captured the party series’ special magic in an essay he wrote for Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing, which will be included as fold-out liner notes with the physical release.

Wang wrote one of the first and most poignant pieces about Berghain and its predecessor, Ostgut, back in 2004, when he covered the club’s opening night at its new location. His keen ability to recreate a party’s particular vibe and environment makes his text about Cocktail D’Amore incredibly powerful and compelling, and Discodromo has vested us with the honor of hosting it, unedited and in full, below. Mind the (sic)s.

CDA-stageimage 940

“For the past 7 years or so, I promised myself not to write ‘that novel about Berlin’.

Because when people say Berlin, they certainly don’t mean ‘Cabaret’, or GDR, or Christiane F. anymore. When people say Berlin now, they mean the present reality: post-Wall, techno along the Spree, cool breezy uninhibited metropolis, kebabs and Vietnamese noodles and ice cream on any corner for a few euros, if only you could move here too and have it so easy and go dancing every weekend at some crazy party until the sun rises and sets again. Or is Berlin ‘eine Wolke’, merely a cloud, as the old melody goes? Clouds look like different things in different people’s eyes.

Four or five gay boys whom i know might be preparing their own version of the Novel About Berlin which would, of course, be a guaranteed hit. There’s an Italian famous for his literary translations, and another less famous one who lives next-door to me; there are a few well-qualified Brits who just can’t seem to get it together, probably because they drink too much; there’s a handsome lanky boy from Sao Paulo studying philosophy at Humboldt. But i, both the Asian and the American, the outsider-insider, haven’t cashed in my chips yet.

I didn’t want to write about this so-called hedonistic utopian Berlin club scene any more because i didn’t want another person between the ages of 18 and 45 reading all this hype and moving here, only to get lost in the masses which have already swelled out of control, making it impossible for my friends to find a really cheap apartment ever again. Oops, that happened already.. e non é stata colpa mia.

CDA party 1

Only if Giovanni hadn’t asked me to put a footnote inside the lining of this CD compilation for Cocktail d’Amore.

Gio with that beard and beautifully symmetrical cranium, with his voice of a California pot-head, although he actually comes from a little town in northern Italy. And Giacomo and Boris, his DJ partners in crime, whose collective past lives in Milan, Bologna, New York and some other strange places are surely the source of karma of their present disco reincarnation.

I’ve often asked myself why i miss Berlin whenever i have to fly away. Before my grandmother died last year at the age of 96, i’d go spend 8 or 9 days with her pent up inside a bland apartment for seniors, surrounded by the clean, sterile streets and shopping centers of suburban California. It was not a duty; it was out of pure affection. But i remember most clearly that urge each time i came home from SFO via LHR or FRA to TXL—running back into the smoky, sweaty, neon-lit bars and discos just to feel alive again—just to know that it will be a while yet until physical desire and rhythm are extinguished in my own body.

Whenever i’m not in Berlin (which is where you yourself, reading this text, probably are right now), the one party I miss attending most of all is Cocktail d’Amore. Some natives will surely protest: what about those afternoons in the garden at Homopatik, or Berghain’s never-ending Sundays, or that sleazy basement in Ficken 3000? They can all be sexy, i don’t disagree. Each person finds his own garden in this city.

But as the name so appropriately suggests, mixing up a proper drink to last you through these long nights is a delicate and peculiar task indeed.

How Cocktail d’Amore has managed to sustain its demographics so well and for so long is a mystery, but perhaps the answer is Love.

As Andrew Holleran (who surely would not rank below Isherwood among the Literary Saints of the Urban Homosexual) once wrote, to go the disco in 1975 was to enter a Democracy of Desire. And so it still is, here. Our friend Pindar, who designs visuals for the party, even projected excerpts from Holleran onto the walls all night when Cocktail briefly took place in a gigantic abandoned brewery deep in the middle of Neukölln.

The US-American paradigm of pornographic bodily conformity, perhaps the basis of mainstream gay life there and on the international ‘circuit’ at large, serves the curious function of obliterating the immigrant past of a nation whose grandparents had humbler European origins pre-dating the era of the tacky, self-hating WASP-wannabe fascism of Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie and Fitch. I think it is the genuineness of people in Berlin who are still in touch with their European roots which touches me. Perhaps being at Cocktail feels like joining the United Lovers’ League of Europe – that is what keeps pulling me back. Women are present too, the boys certainly welcome their presence. Not politely dressed female hipsters, i mean those fierce girls with tattoos wearing thread-bare leotards and Carneval beads, that handsome lesbian grrl with her chest as bare as any boy’s dancing up a storm in the month of March—i was applauding! But if you’ve ever read ‘Dancer From The Dance’, you know the hardcore tit-shakers. Those boys who live not merely for the party, but inside of it.

CDA party 2

I am speaking far too generally. Every club in Berlin is United Nations now, and that is also what makes this city feel like a Beacon of Hope. Shouldn’t we humans all be dancing and sleeping together in one big endless happy orgy? But i don’t actually want to sleep with EVERY body. I am selfish, but i am also honest. Every time i enter the darkness of Cocktail d’Amore, I do look for certain eyes which will greet mine in return. I look forward to that moody German boy at the door, for when he smiles briefly, his blue-hazel eyes light up like sunshine in the Berlin winters. Those two lanky French boys in whose laughter i never fail to smell the joy of wine, cheese, and a pair of sweaty worn-out sneakers. That Italian who was still so young when he first arrived here, his Greek-statue brows and lips adorned by eyes like aquamarine jewels—he could only escape to a city like this one, for we know that, in the conservative province in which he grewup, he stuck out like a swan among sparrows. I want to see those two bearded boys who married last spring and who always hold each other while grinding their hips in synchronicity. If only all married people could keep on dancing like they do! I want to see certain scruffy Spaniards with their dark hair and bright eyes and nonsensical tattoos, and certain slightly vain German boys displaying their pale hard muscles fed on so much meat and beer. I’ve hardly ever spoken to some of them. We only acknowledge each other’s presence, but there is no need to seek more than that.

After kissing hello with any 4 or 5 or 10 of these compatriots, my neck and arms are smeared with their scents—musk, smoke, sandalwood, ambergris, pure sex secreted without intention. I am unspeakably happy every time i see these friends in their natural state of movement and desire, in their beauty and most of all in their imperfection, just as they are pleased to see me, imperfect, delighted by their presence. It is more like a family living room than any other environment i can think of, because there is a sense of familiarity and communality which has somehow remained undiluted by tourism, hipster-ism, or the need to earn money. It is held together by an unspoken passion, not merely by sex. Sure, you see an occasional blowjob in the basement or even on the dancefloor at 10 am, and we try not to look on—there are enough other distractions, luckily, such as the rainbow-like LED constellations installed by Emil and his loyal 50% German, 50% French team of 100% heterosexual technicians. Their comfortable co-existence with this nocturnal tribe would be a miracle of symbiosis in other countries; here, it is simply a natural condition.

But most of all, a public blow job means nothing here because the pleasure of motion is so much greater.

I love the way the music flows at Cocktail, without too much drama and personal statement, leaving so much aural space for the bodies on the dancefloor to do what they will. That sounds like Alistair Crowley: pagan rituals, worshipping the Beast, all that. No gospel choirs, no gimmicky digital noises, but rather a continuous stream of rhythm and bass—and this is no accident, because the Discodromo duo plays so much from physical instinct, with their fingers always on the pitch control, never too fast or too slow. Thus the clock stands still—and thus day remains night, and no one ever notices. Too much expression can end up turning into a chaotic soup; simplicity in aural and visual stimuli are an underrated virtue, one which is always respected here. I stay on the dancefloor at Cocktail, simply floating on these rhythms and this soft emotion, and stop wondering or worrying when it is ever supposed to end. It doesn’t end. So here is a love letter to my favourite Cocktail: grazie, ragazzi. Cincin—Prost—and Kampai! Let’s dance and enjoy the music. E tutta quella gente fuori di testa…

- Daniel Wang, May 2014

You can pre-order the vinyl version of Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing or buy the digital version on Cocktail D’Amore’s Bandcamp page. The next Cocktail D’Amore party takes place on Decmeber 6.

Give Yourself a Night at Panorama Bar for Free, with Ryan Elliott

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 24 Oct 2014 1:00 pm

Ryan_Elliott_by_Sven_Marquardt Quer

Mixes, like DJs, are everywhere. But the question of how to stand above the crowd has a simple answer: be better. Be consistent, be intelligent, paint a scene. Give humans a reason to listen to you; make algorithms, like unskilled DJs, weep.

And, yes, have a soul.

Ryan Elliott’s mix on Ostgut Ton is simply one of the best such mixes I’ve downloaded this year, and earns a place on some hard drive round here, stored permanently in all its lossless WAV glory, an hour and a half and gig and a half. Strip away the Panorama Bar label, and it still communicates one of those moments in that venue. You can learn something and feel something all at once. It’s an encouraging sign that quality can still endure, that DJs can do things with what producers make that shines light on them and gives them meaning.

OSTGUTMIX01-Panorama_Bar_06-Ryan_Elliott

I’ve just returned from Amsterdam Dance Event, which is perhaps a microcosm of where dance music is at these days – a very, very huge microcosm. The event is strange in some ways; it’s not that it’s commercial, as it’s got a surprisingly wide range of music and unique venues like the audiovisual-themed events just across the water at Beamlab and EYE. (More on the excellent Paula Temple / Jem the Misfit AV show soon, as well as the results of our 4DSOUND spatial audio collaboration.) But it’s still skewed overall to industry and business, and for all the quality there, the biggest money gets the attention. (Dutch friends were quick to chide me for so much as uttering the name, produced as it is by Buma, a royalty collections agency that has alienated many artists and somehow managed to become more-hated than Germany’s GEMA.)

So all of this brings us back to Berghain/Panorama Bar, which on the weekend of ADE and the weekend following manages to produce similar lineups not because it’s a festival but just that it’s a regular weekend. Commerce and names are subdued, even as the machinery of the club ticks away. Hype is only a problem if it clouds judgment, or it’s undeserved.

Sure, this venue has been talked to death in a way that might ruin most places. The New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, forever a fount of profundity and my all-time hero, famously quoted “No one goes there any more; it’s too crowded.” But, much as New York baseball fans need the Yankees, Europe’s music scene needs Berghain. It’s a place where you can wind up having hours-long conversations with producer friends over ice creams (yes, they serve them, even in winter), then wind up hurting your feet from dancing too much. Artists rub shoulders with DSP engineers making music software. No one should ever pay too much attention to any one place, lest they become myopic, but the feeling those connections produce is important. We need venues that draw us in; we’ve plenty that push us away.

Ryan Elliott nicely sums up Panorama Bar on a day when everything is clicking. There isn’t anything terribly virtuosic here – no special edits or anything like that. And you miss out on the delightful weirdness Panorama sometimes achieves – odd tracks, wonderfully undanceable mixes, and I won’t say anything about the crowd because that’s meant for those inside, not for words.

But what I would say is, this is a good mix precisely because you don’t have to visit Berlin. You can create your own personal club, as you like, with a pair of headphones. (You can also smell fresh and clean and have as much space as you like to dance, which beats any club in the world on some evenings.) It’s not a typical 3-hour set at Panorama. But it says something about Ryan Elliott, about his tastes – deep, dark, soulful, yet precise, calibrated.

Andrew Ryce does a nice job of walking through the tracks.

And that’s what Ostgut needs to do as a label behind Berghain/Panorama – this steps up Ostgut’s output at a very important time. The club is brilliant; the label as far as international attention has to emerge from that club’s shadow (and shadows). This free gift helps Ostgut to say what it’s about in a way that can stand on its own.

And I think in that sense, it can be a strong template for people making mixes with different things to say, too – even if you’re planning a dark ambient mix or avant-garde noise radio show. I would make the measure this sense of encapsulation, of beginning, middle, and end, of the mix as both a teaser (90 minutes makes you wonder what Elliott does with a full set, what the party is like), and standalone object (you might be happy to devote a gig and a half of precious drive space to it).

Ryan Elliott is a great ambassador, and it’s fantastic to see Ostgut back with long-absent mixes. Elliott has been a regular since 2007; the mix download here suggests a post-CD life for Ostgut.

So, give yourself a nice weekend – anywhere in the world, no entry fee, with your favorite headphones. Enjoy.

http://www.ostgut.de/label/record/120

The post Give Yourself a Night at Panorama Bar for Free, with Ryan Elliott appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Groovy, Moody Songs, Flea Market Sound Design Finds: Meet Sofia Kourtesis

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 13 Oct 2014 3:13 pm

sofia3

Half Greek, half Peruvian, born in Lima but raised between Germany and New York, Sofia Kourtesis is a fresh, emerging voice. Her music interweaves shadows and introspection with smart grooves – seductive melancholy. Her mixes, too, cross similar territory, aided by her broad knowledge of music as a globe-trotting DJ and booker.

So, it’s a perfect start to our week this week, with some listening and a peek inside a studio. This is what’s so exciting about being in music now: we get to hear those new artists find original paths.

Apart from being a sci-fi movie addict and teenage veteran of a hip-hop band, Sofia is an obsessively hard-working DJ, now turning her style to a more minimal, restrained approach in her own music. And in those productions, you’ll hear the chime of toys and lo-fi flea market finds alongside more – innocence and experience. That mix of styles finds new clarity in her single, “Killa,” which to my ears is a strong indication this is an artist to watch, in advance of a release coming soon. You can check in later to see if I was right.

In the meantime, I was curious to talk to Sofia a little about how she works.

Your setup is built around Ableton Live, right? What will find in your production toolkit?

I use also an MPC that I found in a German flea market, old Casio keyboard synths [a Casio PT-1]. I sample a lot of children toys – triangles for children, mini keyboards – and sound that I record from the streets.

I love the sounds of old tapes; I just recorded some of those.

I’ve found myself talking a lot lately about how people learn. How did you go about learning production?

I learned by doing. I have a good friend of mine that is musician and help me out with some details and teaching me how to use Ableton Push.

studio2

studio1

And DJing, what’s your tool of choice?

I use vinyls and and old Casio machine and an MPC.

Your voice seems to me the most essential part of your productions. Tell us about that a bit.

My voice is the line in between my productions. I create the beats sometimes out of it, by sampling just some bits of it.

You’ve been really active as a DJ and touring. Can you tell us a bit about where we’d find you, and what you’ve been working on?

I’ve been working on my first EP, called “This is It” — the first Single is “Killa.” I had been playing in New York lately, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and New Zealand — I love doing it.

For more:

sofia1

Give a listen to the darker tunes that came before Killa and the upcoming EP, spooky sounds and ephemeral drifting voice in the mist:

It’s also worth listening to Sofia’s mixes, giving you a sense of the threads of her musical influence:

Local Suicide did a great interview in their LSD Faze Time series.

German speakers, Thump DE has also done a profile.

And you can follow her here:

Sofia Kourtesis * MissSofie* [Facebook]

https://soundcloud.com/sofia-kourtesis

The post Groovy, Moody Songs, Flea Market Sound Design Finds: Meet Sofia Kourtesis appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Groove Armada curate their top eight club cuts

Delivered... Jason Black | Scene | Thu 11 Sep 2014 9:00 pm
Groove Armada's Andy Cato and Tom Findlay have hand-crafted the kind of long-standing electronic-music career that most dream of—and many might (metaphorically) kill for. Since the London-based dance duo first surfaced on the scene with 1998’s well-received debut album Northern Star on Tummy Touch, they’ve churned out quality house music year-after-year spanning across seven albums.

Groove Armada curate their top eight club cuts right now

Delivered... Jason Black | Scene | Thu 11 Sep 2014 7:00 pm
Groove Armada's Andy Cato and Tom Findlay have hand-crafted the kind of long-standing electronic-music career that most dream of—and many might (metaphorically) kill for. Since the London-based dance duo first surfaced on the scene with 1998’s well-received debut album Northern Star on Tummy Touch, they’ve churned out quality house music year-after-year spanning across seven albums.
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