Tuesday, August 31, 2010

submerged voices

people might have noticed i've been getting a bit obsessive about electro recently, and especially the vast catalogue of james stinson and gerald donald, who together formed drexciya. after not listening to electro for a long time, i've found myself listening to it more than probably any other sound in the last couple of months, especially the collective and individual output of the drexciyans. both of them steered clear of the media, preferring to let their music do the talking. but RBMA has just published a 'fireside chat' with gerald donald, who now goes under the name of heinrich mueller. it is a collection of his music spliced with exerts from a rare interview with the man. unsurprisingly, some interesting thoughts in there. worth checking, even if only for the selection of sublime mueller-related records.

and if you haven't heard it before, i strongly recommend listening to this very rare radio interview with james stinson recorded in may 2002, not long before his untimely death. some very powerful and inspirational words here from a true musical visionary. many artists today would do well from following his words, and his example.

i should add: i just realised it is a very appropriate time for this post, as the anniversary of stinson's passing will be in a few days, on 3rd september. much respect. his legacy is still felt today, and will be for a long time to come.

Monday, August 30, 2010

cio in japan

just a quick post for all our friends in japan: cio d'or is here this week! she is playing wednesday night at dommune, friday at unit tokyo, saturday at club jule osaka. i'll be going to the dommune and unit parties, and if you are in tokyo, i hope to see you there! this is the perfect warm up for labyrinth, which is fast approaching...

in case you missed it, here is the extended mix of cio's recent RA mix. really love this longer version:

RA219: Cio D'or - Panorama 33 Extended Mix

and if you haven't bought your tickets for labyrinth, i'd suggest you hurry up and do so...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

ssg special - roger23

we've been having a good run with these ssg specials. and this week roger23 has made sure the streak continues with a delightful, slowburning mix. roger23 is someone i've had on my radar for a while, after hearing a few very nice mixes from him online, and also receiving some recommendations from people that i trust. it was only recently that we connected up, as a result of a fantastic session we posted of roger23 mixing it up with eli verveine. these two spinning together makes perfect sense. both are warm, friendly people and they really convey this in their music. just like eli, what appeals to me about roger23 is that it is all pretty simple: no fancy tricks, no big egos, no silly hats (or techno ponchos), quite simply: no bullshit. roger just plays quality records from the heart. you can really hear the care and passion in the tracks he has chosen, and the way he has constructed the mix. roger is a real selector. and this is what makes the mix he has prepared for the ssgs. great music, lovingly chosen, for your enjoyment. sounds good to me.

roger23 - ssg special mx
*tracklist to follow

for more info on roger23, check his myspace and RA page. big thanks to roger for the mix. it has been putting a smile on my face. enjoy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

being from another planet

i do not understand jamal moss at all. i have no idea where the fuck hieroglyphic being came from. i am just glad he exists. his sound is startling, powerful, distinctive, dirty, and incredibly raw. while he is working with rather traditional machines and genres, the way moss presents his music gives it a particular, unique finish. whenever i listen to something from him, i get the feeling that it must have gone through a special hieroglyphic being box which makes it all gritty and fucked up. moss has done a remarkably good job of creating a trademark sound.

what moss shows is that even when working with established sounds and genres, an artist might not be able to create something completely new, but they can give it a very distinctive sound signature, they can make it their own.

this is a long introduction to a simple message: download this mix. and listen to it immediately.

hieroglyphic being @ RTS.FM Chicago 15.8.10

thanks to the constantly worthwhile d*ruffalo mag for unearthing this gem.

Reflections from the midst of a journey: on board Shed's The Traveller

"We are embarked." - Pascal

What follows are some reflections on Shed's new album, The Traveller, which is just about to drop.

The method here is simple: we've been listening to this album for a few weeks now, on high rotation.

Chris and I started emailing about it, then decided that we'd each write our own reflective piece on it. It's not really a review.

So Chris wrote his and sent it to me; this morning, I had a coffee and then began writing, with nary a glance at Chris' piece. I wrote quickly, getting it all out, without as much regard for polish as would need be in a publication.

What follows is, thus, both the product of our respective dialogues with Shed, our dialogues about Shed with each other, but also our internal monologue on Shed with ourselves.

Pete's polite request: Please take the time to read us carefully, I don't want to get into stupid conversations with people who haven't bothered to read me. It's the one or two more minutes that makes all the difference.

Chris goes first:


Some thoughts of the new Shed

Things do move quickly in the world of techno… Shed’s first release came out in 2003. Slowly he plied his craft, developing his sound, but it was not until his album blindsided everyone in 2008 that people woke up and really noticed Shed. When we asked Shed for a mix, we had no idea quite how talented he was, and the first we heard about his new album was in his interview with us. Just two years later and it is hard to imagine techno without Shed. He has become a central, essential figure. Compared to his last album, which arrived with little fanfare (until people heard it, that is), ‘The Traveller’ has been eagerly awaited by all. I must admit, I was incredibly excited when I managed to score a promo copy of the LP about a month ago. Since then I’ve listened to it a lot and here are a few thoughts about it. This is not really a review, I’ll leave that for RA, LWE etc., this is just some reflections.

For those who wanted/expected ‘Shedding the Past’ Pt. 2, there will be some disappointment, because this is a different beast. It is much less techno and more open and exploratory. After producing under a range of different guises – Shed, EQD, Wax, Panamax etc – here it feels like Rene hasn’t bothered trying to distinguish between different sounds and just made a bunch of tracks he likes. Where there is real consistency between the first album and this one is in the focus – the sense I get is that Shed doesn't make music for you, he makes it for himself. We are just lucky enough that he decides to share it with us. Like ‘Shedding the Past’, this is Rene exploring sounds, reinterpreting difference experiences and techno traditions into something that is uniquely his own. The album is neither mindblowing, nor revelatory, and it doesn't have to be. It is just Shed doing his thing, and doing it very well. It remains interesting and cohesive throughout, and stands up well on repeat listens.

Probably my biggest complaint about the release has nothing to do with the music itself. For some reason unknown to me, Ostgut decided to include part of the press release for the album on the back of the CD case. It reads:

“Does techno music really need the album format? Let‘s put it differently: can techno work outside the established boundaries of the 12“? A look back into history shows little convincing examples. Dancefloor tracks, made for DJ’s, follow a structure which require a damn perfect dancefloor in your living room in order to adequately absorb that very energy. A good album must offer more than a couple of dancefloor anthems, mixed with some ambient interludes and the obligatory downbeat experiment, has to be more substantial than a paint-box for your euphoric memories of perfect nights long gone.”

I would rephrase the opening question by T.H. (who wrote this):

“Does an album like this really need to justify itself with a shitty promo write up?”

I’ll give you an answer for that question too:


The beauty of Shed’s music is that it speaks for itself. There is no point inflating it with bullshit promo spin, or trying to push long answers out of him in interviews. Just listen to his music, and look at what he does: I think most, if not all, of what Shed is trying to express can be found there. And as far as I’m concerned, the most important role Shed plays in techno comes not from his releases, even though they are of the highest caliber. It is the example he sets:

Don't try to ride trends, don't try to be something you are not, don't worry about pleasing everyone, don't follow. Be true yourself and your own sounds, forge your own path.

Take soloaction.

PC's wandering thoughts on The Traveller:

Shed’s music makes that of so many others sound incomplete, malnourished, and colourless by comparison. He is one of the few who combine a deep, abiding, committed wisdom about the grooves of house, techno and 90s-based breakbeats with the technique and musicality to weave all those well known, well worn tropes into interesting new material.

But they are old tropes now, well mined, maybe mined out. It takes a brave soul to say, in 2010, that the best way to the promised land of interesting house/techno is via house/techno. For me, the interesting explorations seem to be about getting back to the groove by going out of the groove, by abandoning it, by focusing on other things, by going freestyle, by going punk, by going musical, by psyching out… indeed, by getting the fuck away from house/techno, just for a while. Or by just capitulating to formula, enjoying genre, and lowering any expectation of innovation, or even renovation. Maybe. My general advice is a cliché, but true: a change is as good as a holiday. Time for a break, or some exploration.

Over the past few years, through Equalized, Wax, Panamax, etc, Shed has made several extraordinary EPs that, apart from being amazing floor bombs, also exhibit a flitting, fretting restlessness that’s worries its way away from conventional sites and sounds. The grooves don’t just judder and shuffle, they squall and roil over the 4, and by so inverting and mutating (still, always in reference to the archive of the old, the known, the classic) they open up, or want to open up, new emotional tonalities, new rhythmic landscapes. That his music can do all that and still work as 'tracks' is testimony to his brilliance.

Such restless movements are in abundance on The Traveller. The difference on this album is that, though the former journeyman is now one of the masters, the journeys are less and less epic, the monsters smaller and less scarily amazing, the treasure less buried (or less abundant), and the traveller himself, it would seem, appears less deeply committed to the whole thing. The adventures are not as adventurous, the travels are not as wide ranging, and the discoveries aren’t as rewarding. Where are the wild things? At worst, we appear to be where the wild things were, or where the mild things are.

Having situated himself squarely and firmly at the heart of the evolution of the groove, The Traveller feels, at times, overburdened with needing to re-prove old ground, but tired of this kneading ‘needing’. ‘Go re-stomp your own same dancefloor,’ he seems to want to say, but is too obliged to do so. Why obliged? Too polite? Tell us to fuck off, please. At such times the movements are overburdened with the burden or representing of ‘Shed music’, and the earthquake is reduced to rustles and murmurs of the new. At others the real travels are taking place elsewhere – daydreaming, distracted, or perhaps just relaxedly doing their own thing. These are my favourite moments, and there are many of them. I just wish they were longer: imagine that Gemini had gotten half way through ‘Crossing Mars’ and hit the stop button.

And yet, two things: firstly, you would be ill-advised to compare The Traveller to Shedding the Past. More than anything, The Traveller is a restless search for new directions, not the ‘shedding’ (sloughing off and ‘putting in the shed’) of older ones. Though it doesn’t decisively discover them, it is restively searching for future shores, new soundscapes, new ways of building-dwelling-shedding. Secondly, and this returns me to the beginning, this is Shed music, and so while it never delivers the promised land to a famished, fed up audience (if only he and we realised none of us needed to receive what nobody could either deserve OR have!), it is still much, much better than most of what passes muster as good enough.

Shed appears to be unsure if he wants to innovate or renovate: does he wanna re-build house (and techno) from scratch, or just paint his apartment? Third possibility: maybe he just wants to go fishing. Well then, he should allow himself to do so, without the burden of needing to build for all of us what we could (and should) be making together. It’s not up to once musical overman to save the mediocrity of the music from itself. Rene, relax – we love you. Give yourself the freedom to follow your thoughts far, far away from our kneading, needy needs. Or just to go fishing.


Friday, August 20, 2010

RA219: Cio D'Or - Panorama 33 Extended Mix

The other week Cio D'or delivered one of the best mixes of 2010 with her stunning podcast for RA. Part of the reason it is so good is that Cio put so much time and effort into it. Something like this was not just 'another mix' for her: it was a document, it was a record of something. Simply put, it mattered. Cio put a huge amount of care into creating something special. As part of that process she created a number of versions of the mix. The one that was decided upon was 1 hour 16 minutes long. Lucky for everybody, Cio is now making available the extended version of the mix, which clocks in 1 hour 42 minutes. There are two main differences: (1) You get an extra half an hour of peak time. Cio really goes for the jugular on this one, and (2) It is 320kbps. Having listened to both versions, I much prefer the longer one. I'm super happy Cio is letting everyone hear it. Thanks!

RA219: Cio D'or - Panorama 33 Extended Mix

sendspace mirror
* Fairtilizer has rebranded itself as Official.fm & is buggy right now, will get a link there when it is working. 

Cio D´Or _ Autumnwinds _ (RA mix exclusive)
Murcof _ Rostro _ The Leaf Label
Xhin _ Seed _ Stroboscopic Artefacts
Milton Bradley _ Somewhere Bejond My Illusion _ Prologue
Heartthrob _ Valentine _ Minus
Monolake _ Zero Gravity _ Monolake
Walk At Night In The Misty Woods _ C_Olvrin _ Unreleased
Monolake/Robert Henke _ Infinitive Snow _ Imbalance
Margaret Dygas _ 37 min to 7 _ Non Standard Production
Milton Bradley _ Uncontrallable Desire _ Do Not Resist The Beat
Monolake/Robert Henke _ Observatory _ Imbalance
Terrence Fixmer _ Electric City (Function Rmx) _ Electric Deluxe
Perc _ BGG (Milton Bradley / Beyond The Silence Mix) _ Perc Trax
Xhin _ Key _ Stroboscopic Artefacts
Murcof _ Memoria _ The Leaf Label
Milton Bradley _ Sector X _ Unreleased
Cio D´Or _ Organza (Milton Bradley Rmx) _ Prologue
Monolake _ Ionized _ Monolake
Milton Bradley _ Last Flight To Cologne _ Do Not Resist The Beat
Donor _ Remainder _ Stroboscopic Artefacts
Marcel Dettmann _ Silex _ Ostgut Ton
Sleeparchive _ Infared Glow _ Zzz
Xhin _ B_Link _ Stroboscopic Artefacts
Sleeparchive _ Hospital Tracks _ Zzz
Aubrey _ Dark (Mike Parker Rmx) _ Mox-005
Claudio PRC _ Svart 1/ Black Moon Part1 _ Upcoming release in Autumn 2010 on Dark Beat Records
C U 1 _ C U 1 _ Cub Records
Planetary Assault System _ Deep Heat Vol.1 _ Mote Evolver
Perc _ BGG (Milton Bradley Critical Level Mix) _ Perc Trax
Obtane _ Twilight Observer _ Unreleased
Mike Parker _ Puls Trader _ Unreleased
Johannes Heil _ Product Of Dealing _ Kanzleramt
Carlo Passamonti _ Mako 0078 (Mike Parker Remix) _ Intermission Ltd
Nuel _ A1/ Ltd 001 _ Aquaplano
Dino Sabatini _ Scylla _ Prologue
Fuse _ F.U.2 – Re-Edit _ Plus 8 Classics Vol 1 (1990-1992)
Cio D´Or _ Goldbrokat _ Prologue
Cio D´Or _ Goldbrokat (Donato Dozzy Ambient Rmx) _ Prologue

(mastered by manes at salz-music.com)

The other good news is that the next mix Cio does - whenever that is - will most likely be for the ssgs, so that is something for us all to look forward to... And for all our Japanese readers, Cio is coming back to Japan and is very excited about her visit. She is playing Club G, Okinawa on 27 August; Unit, Tokyo on 3 September, and Club Joule, Osaka on 4 September. More info on these and other gigs on her myspace. Massive respect to RA for supporting quality sounds, and to Cio for delivering such a high quality mix. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You? Again?! PC goes To and Fro once upon an August evening, 2010

Once again it's me (Pete, the supposedly more silent of the SSGs) and Dave doing our thing on RRR's To-and-Fro.

This time, the loose theme was the vinyl EP, one of my favourite soon-to-be-redundant, soon-to-be-even-more-fetishizable formats.

The medium is the message, and the massage in this case canvassed a range of topics: my jilting my Michael Mayer, MCs (should be strangled at birth), track selection, the 2010 fetishization of the compact cassette (who'da thunk it), boom mics and the future of the past of the past of the future of the future.

Yes, all these temporalities and so much more, all at roughly 120 bpm. A delicious diachronic layer cake, for your aural delectation.

Tracklist is here; To and Fro can be subscribed to here; and can be DL'd here. Enjoy!

I am happy to enter into correspondence with anyone who wishes to comment - unless you were the MC at the Ramadanman gig... ...actually, yes, please justify yourself to me...


Thursday, August 12, 2010

ssg special - john osborn @ panorama bar

august has accidentally turned into panorama bar month at mnml ssgs. first, a mix from prosumer, now a live recording from the venue, and still one more p-bar related mix to come... given this, it is rather appropriate that i began the month dancing to steffi at panorama bar, and next to me was john osborn, the man responsible for the latest ssg special mix. rather than me trying to explain it, i asked john to say a few words:

"This mix, for me, is special as it loosely represents various streams of my life meeting up in one lake. I've being DJ-ing for over 15 years now, and the most important of those years have been in Berlin. Naturally over the years I have traversed many different sounds and genres. During this time I've developed and changed as a person, and my ‘sound’ has always reflected these life stages. Looking back, I've always leaned to the darker, deeper sounds of electronic dance music -  even in happier times of my life and probably the most prevalent sound has been a dub sound.

Playing at Panorama Bar is always special, and being given the opportunity to play at the Sub:stance second birthday party for 3 hours before SCB is incredible - so I knew I had to get it recorded [1 hour of the SCB is here]. This was the first set I'd ever played knowing it was to be recorded, so I really took my time in the weeks leading up to the gig planning the direction I was going to take. I never wanted to plan this set so meticulously that every track and every mix was irrevocable for the entire three hours - as I like to allow myself the freedom to change direction if it is needed, but I did get on my decks and plan a sketch of the set in a condensed time format of around an hour. Through this sketch I decided to represent as many of the sounds possible that have meant so much to me in a coherent way, without it sounding ‘eclectic’. To do this I used that thread of the dub sound that could be found in all the styles that I have enjoyed.

Unfortunately the recording of the actual night lost approximately the first 30 mins. I started the night off with Sign Of The Dub, HYP001, and slowly took it up to end it with Omar S 004. So the starting point does give a clue to the entire mix idea and some of the vocals that are played in the mix are purposely played in this order to have a meaning. It’s a kind of William Burrows cut and paste thing but in a more subtle flowing audio form. Of course this meaning is very loose and I’m the only one that really knows it is there - but this doesn’t really matter - make out of it want you want, but some clever folk out there may piece it together.

I’d like to thank Paul Spymania & Paul Rose for having faith in me and letting me do this gig, and mnml ssgs for continuing to offer such an invaluable source of inspiration of important dance music and giving this mix a platform."

ssg special - john osborn @ sub:stance 2nd birthday, panorama bar, 9.7.10

if you happen to be in/near berlin this weekend, i would strongly suggest checking out the latest edition of the 'jackoff' parties john organises with elie eidelman. this saturday they've invited two longtime friends of the ssgs: falko is playing live and eli is on the decks. what a great combo! should be a very fun night. definitely get down there!

as john explained, this is a special set for him, so we really appreciate him letting us share it with you all. enjoy, it's a goodie...

labyrinth disk union promo mx: SCB

good news! tomorrow our latest collaboration with labyrinth and disk union will be hitting the shibuya disk union store. the new limited edition CDR promo is mnml ssgs mx 37 from SCB aka scuba aka paul rose aka someone who makes and DJs awesome electronic music. like the previous CDRs from marcel fengler and peter van hoesen, the SCB mix comes in lovely lossless format for your listening pleasure. to get a copy all you need to do is buy a ticket for labyrinth or spend at least 4000 yen on electronic music at the disk union shibuya store. seems like a good deal to me, because you should be doing that anyway! more info here. big thanks to scuba, labyrinth and disk union for making this happen. super excited to see the labyrinth of scuba vs SCB!

SCB aka Scuba ノベルティーMIX-CDRプレゼント!

● 開催期間 :
2010.8.13 (Fri)~配布終了次第終了

● 対象商品 :

● 交換方法 :


orange16_i.png  ご注意


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

prosumer tracklist

here is the tracklist for the fantastic mix prosumer put together for the ssgs. remember he is playing tomorrow (wednesday) at dommune with shed live. tune in to dommune 9pm japan time for the live video stream. he is also playing friday night at eleven tokyo with tama sumo, then shed and dettmann on saturday.

prosumer - ssg special mx

The Love Unlimited Orchestra - Welcome Aboard - Unlimited Gold
DJ Braxton - Hey DJ Play My Record - Vanpower Records
Urban Tribe - Program One - Mahagony
Mr. Oizo - Klum - F-Com
Traxmen/Alvin Carr - Poison Mind - Dance Mania
The Mole - Nervous Disid - New Kanada
Soul 223 - Manifest - Soul Jazz
Juju & Jordash - Deep Blue Meanies - Dkmntl
Bizzy B. - The Night Calls- Jack Street
Scrappy feat. Wet Boxx - Love Motion - Cthru
C.F. Noel II - Une Douce Surprise Du Funk - Moto
The Sanctuary Project - The Music Box - House Jam
Dark Comedy - Without A Sound - Transmat
Dream 2 Science - Liquid - Power Move Records
Tyree & Tina Renee - Do Yo! Thang - Supa Dupa
Rodney Bakerr - Time & Space - Rockin' House
Unknown - Chicago Underground 6904
Toronto Track Symphony - Livin In Da Projects - DNH
MD - A1 - Morris Audio
The Other People Place - Let Me Be - Warp
Jared Wilson - Lap Jack - Lux Rec
Harmony Funk - Can't Let You Go - Clone
The Love Unlimited Orchestra - Welcome Aboard - Unlimited Gold

Friday, August 6, 2010

ssg special - prosumer

i've always thought that the album prosumer did with murat tepeli should not have been called 'serenity', but 'sincerity'. for me this is a much more accurate description of prosumer's music: there is a real honesty to it. it is genuine, it is pure, but not in a doctrinaire way. it's from the heart. there are no gimmicks or fancy tricks with this guy, it is all quite simple: prosumer has a bag of great records that he likes to share with people. recently i've been getting quite dispirited with many of the people i've been seeing and dealing with in and around electronic music. most people seem more worried about taking a piece of an ever shrinking pie, the beauty and joy of this music is increasingly lost in people more worried about promoting themselves than about creating and sharing something special. what i love about prosumer is that he gives. he deeply cares about the music and he shares that with others. what he does so well is connect with his audience and lets people get lost in the beauty of house music. rarely have i seen a DJ as successful at simply making people happy. this is the magic of prosumer.

PC and i have been long term admirers of prosumer's work and since the blog started we've hoped that at some stage we would be lucky enough to get him to do a mix for us. the fact it has happened now is something we are really thrilled about. prosumer is a great example of the kind of DJ we are about, and it is a pleasure to feature this new mix from him.

prosumer - ssg special mx
*tracklist to follow

the occasion that prompted this mix is prosumer's upcoming visit to tokyo. i saw his debut here last year and it was a fantastic night. he is super excited to be coming back to japan, and so are we! he is playing as part of a special doubleheader at eleven (formerly club yellow). on friday 13 august, there is the 'sound of panorama bar' night featuring residents prosumer and tama sumo. on the following night, it is the 'sound of berghain' with residents marcel dettmann and shed. if my memory is correct, the lineups are reversed in nagoya (berghain on the 13th, panorama on the 14th). also it looks like prosumer and shed will be playing dommune on wednesday 11 august, so make sure to tune it for that. to everyone in tokyo, definitely come down to eleven on the 13th and 14th. these are going to be two great parties!

big thanks to prosumer for this mix. hope to see all our tokyo friends next friday night at eleven for some quality house music!

現在、世界のダンス・ミュージック・シーンをリードするベルリンにおいて、その頂点に君臨するクラブ、〈Berghain/ Panorama Bar〉。彼らが独自に運営するレーベル、〈Ostgut-Ton〉はレジデント・アーティストを中心に厳選された作品を世に送り出し、ここ数年で最も重 要なテクノ・レーベルに成長した。

Prosumer: プロシューマー
シカゴ・ハウスとデトロイト・テクノをこよなく愛する。ザールブリュッケン にあった〈Hard Wax〉の支店のスタッフとして働き、90年代の良質なハウスに触れる。プロダクションも開始し、[240 Volt]や[Playhouse]からEPをリリース。[Playhouse]のレーベル・ナイトで〈Panorama Bar〉でプレイしたのを機に定期的にプレイするようになり、ベルリンに拠点を移して以降はレジデントに。2008年にはプロシューマー&ムラート・テペ リ名義でアルバム『Serenity』を発表、国外でも人気のアーティストとなる。