Review: Various – Fünf

December 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

The fascinating (and, when you think about it, wholly appropriate) concept behind Ostgut Ton’s fifth anniversary compilation was conceived by British born, Berlin based artist Emika. In a recent interview she revealed that on a night out at the label’s affiliate club Panorama she noticed the “metal panels on the walls resonating and the motors from the lights making noise”. And so, at that moment, Fünf was born. Some discussions with Ostgut Ton label manager Nick Höppner followed, and soon after Berghain and Panorama Bar’s family of artists were given a host of field recordings taken from within the club after hours – be it humming fridges, creaking doors or unseen footsteps – and asked to make a track using these sounds as their sonic foundation. The results are stunning, with a disparate yet inexorably linked sonic tapestry that ranges from subtle soundscapes (Emika’s “Changing Room” and Marcel Dettmann’s beatless “Shelter”) to dubsteppish techno (Fiedel’s “Doors To Manual”), minimal house (Dinky’s “Twelve To Four”) and straight up bangers (Shed’s “Boom Room”); indeed the latter reminds us how good Rene Pawlowitz is at making no-nonsense, unadulterated club tackle.

[Full review at Juno Plus]

Interview: Nick Höppner

December 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

2010 is the year that Ostgut Ton came of age. The record label celebrated its fifth year in existence with a compilation entitled Fünf, which saw the Ostgut family of artists make tracks using field recordings gleaned from within the walls of its associated club(s) Berghain and Panorama Bar. It capped a fine year which began with Scuba’s Sub:stance mix and was followed by stellar 12″s from Steffi, LB Dub Corp, Marcel Fengler, Tama Sumo and Prosumer, plus albums from Marcel Dettmann and Shed, as well as Ben Klock’s impressive Berghain o4 compilation.

The man at the helm of the good ship Ostgut is Nick Höppner, who has been in charge of the imprint since it launched in 2005. A former resident DJ at Berghain’s predecessor club (which was called Ostgut), Nick is also a producer of considerable repute – he chipped in with a 12″ on the label back in March – and was until recently one half of My My with Lee Jones, although studio time is at a premium these days. Juno Plus caught up with Nick at last month’s Amsterdam Dance Event to discuss Ostgut Ton’s past, present and future, the art of label management and his passion for UK bass music.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Review: San Soda – Immers & Daarentegen

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Red D’s We Play House label has put itself on the map in 2010 largely thanks to a steady flow of immaculate retro house 12”s primed for club play. However, San Soda’s debut opus Immers & Daarentegen showcases musical passions and influences that reach far beyond the sweaty confines of a dancefloor. San Soda (aka Nicolas Geysens) and WPH boss Red D (real name Bart Van Neste) became friends while playing for amateur Belgian football side FC Leiejongens, and when Geysens handed his team mate a CD containing some early demos, Van Neste was suitably enthralled to put into action previously unrealised plans to form a label: and so We Play House was born.

[Read full review at Juno Plus]

Interview: Squarepusher

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Music thrives on mystery, and Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher has provided it in spades since his early singles in the mid 90s. His esoteric appeal is almost unparalleled, thanks to his 20 minute bass solos, Amen-sampling end-of-the-world drum and bass and excursions into ambient jazz. His fan club includes Andre 3000 and Thom Yorke, while Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers once declared Jenkinson “the best bass player in the world”.

His new project, Shobaleader One, was formed when a troupe of musicians – who, true to form, shall remain anonymous – approached Jenkinson to put into reality a daydream about watching a “crazy, beautiful rock band play an ultra-gig” that he mentioned in the sleeve notes of his 2008 album Just A Souvenir. The Shobaleader One album is ostensibly his most accessible work to date, but it still came as a surprise to many when the debut single was released not on Warp, but on Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger. The French imprint is best known for its electro club tackle, although it does harbour its own small stable of leftfield thinkers (chiefly Krazy Baldhead and Messer’s Flash and Oizo). Indeed it was the latter who provided a suitably off kilter remix when the Cryptic Motion EP hit the shelves in September. With the full album, entitled D’Demonstrator, set for release on October 18 – this time back on Warp – Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate caught up with one of electronic music’s most revered characters.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: Jeff Mills

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s easy to go over old ground when interviewing legends. Discussing past glories, what it used to be like, you know, back in the day, is a trap fallen into by journalists and artists alike. With Jeff Mills, this is simply not a concern, so relentlessly driven is he by a desire to push boundaries, to create, to never stand still. Now 47, Mills has seen and done more than most, from his early days growing up in Detroit and his influential role in the nascent Berlin scene that still resonates today, to a life travelling the world to preach his vision of techno as true art. Aaron Coultate spoke to Mills to discuss his new film score, his ambitious projects for 2011 and taking Axis digital.

[Full story at Juno Plus]

Interview: Flying Lotus

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Flying Lotus – aka Steven Ellison – is about to release one of the most anticipated records of 2010. Cosmogramma, the follow up to the much-vaulted Los Angeles LP, is “more dynamic, bigger in scope and more textured” than his previous work, according to the man himself. The Warp-signed producer grew up in auspicious musical surroundings – his great aunt was Alice Coltrane, the acclaimed pianist and composer, who he cites as his biggest inspiration. As such he brings a fluid, jazz-like style to his futuristic hip-hop tinged electronica – an incredibly unique and fascinating combination.

[Juno Plus Link]

Review: Ace & The Sandman/Jamie Principle – House of Trax Vol 3

October 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Does Jamie Principle get the recognition he deserves? In short, no. The man essentially paved the way for two generations of producers from Chicago with “Your Love”, essentially a blueprint for Chicago house. Officially released in 1986, it had made an impact on the Chicago club scene long before that, with Jamie handing a tape recording to Warehouse DJ Frankie Knuckles in ‘84. “I thought he was a millionaire in Europe somewhere, I didn’t know he was a kid in his bedroom somewhere,” reflects Marshall Jefferson on Principle. “That shit was bumpin,” adds Derrick May.

[Full review at Juno Plus]