Monday, December 21, 2009

go live

i have managed to catch some fantastic live techno this year, and the trend continued last weekend when i got to see atom tm vs tobias. for just over 90 minutes the two masters jammed on their machines, delivering a seriously awesome set of organic techno. what made it all the more impressive was how it was composed (or not as was the case): it was basically all improvised. atom told me they were using hired machines and all they'd prepared was the opening, the rest was on the fly. and they said about 2 words to each other across the whole set. there were some messy moments, but i found these enjoyable. and when they hit, wow. and like when i saw tobias. live earlier this year, no laptops at all. totally analog. nice. and to top it all off, it was an evening party. they had finished shortly after 10pm and i was home by 11pm. that made it so much more enjoyable. if there is one thing i wish there'd be more of, it is daytime and evening parties. i dont know why we are only supposed to enjoy techno and dance at ridiculous hours...

this impressive performance from atom tm and tobias followed on nicely from my recent trip to belgium, where i saw sendai's first livepa, a true audio-visual feast. my crappy pic above does not do justice to the show peter and yves put on. in brussels i was also finally was able to see vladislav delay live, which made me very very happy. when i get the chance i'll give a full report on cimatics festival.

i dont really have much more to say, i just wanted to make two points:
(1) live techno is totally awesome.
(2) atom tm and tobias are techno masters. give them respect! (and track down their live recordings on logistic records, if you have heard them).


  1. liedgut is a fantastic release by schmidt. one of, if not the most, sonically and musically rich albums of the year.

    that, the SND album, the vainio ablum, and their new 12" series, and you wonder why rasternoton is being buzzed more at the end of the year.

  2. i think it'd be fair to say that for the ssgs raster is pretty clearly one of the very top labels of 2009. it has had a stellar year.

    i also forgot to add that our end of year ssg mix (#46) is a very special live recording too...

  3. @Araki: Let's not forget Alva Noto's Xerrox Vol 2, which for me was better than the first and definitely one of the best releases this year.

    and chris: you're lucky to have seen Atom Tm and Tobias. I love live volume 7. I'll be getting my live fix in February when I see The Moritz Von Oswald trio in New York during the Unsound festival. Details of that festival have finally been posted for those planning to attend:

  4. shoot... completely forgot about that one! either i thought it came out last year, or it's been way too long. better than the first one for sure.

    and the unsound lineup is super sweet. i hope to catch groupshow, mvo3, vlad, radian, nsi, the detroit and dubstep dudes... basically, anyone else who kicks ass. it's great that bunker and dub war are getting repped.

  5. i realized the way i described things above is retarded...

    it should be said how smartly curated the festival is, considering the great combinations of acts across the venues that week.

  6. i've made some little films at the cimatics festival: dozzy, function, peter van hoesen, sendai, eaves, sensu... they're all there:

  7. i get the moritz trio first week of january at the new liquid room. super excited.

  8. Like I mentioned in an earlier discussion on those taking Techno forward, Tobias knows what it is all about. I know he is long established, but his productions always demonstrate a masterful understanding of techno. I have yet to see him live, but I can fully understand what an awesome experience it must be.

  9. "if there is one thing i wish there'd be more of, it is daytime and evening parties. i dont know why we are only supposed to enjoy techno and dance at ridiculous hours."

    You're not the only one ! I think it would be a good point to see more electronic artists performing at a decent hour. We need that to get more credebility against people who think techno (/electronic music) is just a mood to drink, make gymtonic and try to kiss girls in dark rooms at night.

    Moreover there are a lot of people who can't make efforts to stay until 3am to see the artists playing live in a club (because everything is expensive, you are not necessary good at ease, if you live far away you need to take a cab or waiting long time for the first metro or bus at 6am, whithout saying that if your friends are not available during the evening sometimes you have to wait and wait until 1am to go to the club). You need to be well prepared !

    And enjoying a real concert with people who focuse only (or better focuse) on the music, without being surrounded by drunk guys or something else is a real pleasure and definitly more comfortable.

    Maybe it's time for artists (and promoters, club managers..) to think a bit more about this.

    + combinating music and visual art (like Alva Noto & Sakamoto did with the mindblowing _utp, for example) is the way to evolve.

    What's your point of view Chris ?

  10. I disagree. The history of techno is tied to that of nightclubs and nighttime. To me techno is what it is because it was made for nighttime experiences. And as for removing it from the club environment, nightclubs are what gives electronic music its charm and underground appeal.

    Yes we are often surrounded by undesirable people pursuing alternative sources of excitement who couldn't care less for the music. But I wouldn't want to be at parties where only sane people intellectualizing over the music are present. It would be boring.

    For me, part of the whole experience is being thrown in a dark room with a bunch of people some of whom I wouldn't dream of meeting or speaking anywhere else and having a party, which means experiencing the music in the context of the club and the party.

    There's a lot of almost academic discussion on this blog about the scene, which is wonderful, but perhaps we need to remember that what we are discussing is physical music that we feel in our bodies as well as our minds, that we dance to and sometimes even get a bit crazy to.

  11. With regard to Tobias Freund - I wish he would take me as his young apprentice. He's unbelievable.

  12. @ martin: dont worry, i completely agree with you. getting crazy late night in a dark club is absolutely essential to techno. i wouldnt give that up for anything. i am not suggesting that. what i am saying is that i dont think this has to be the *only* way you can experience and enjoy the music. i love doing that sometimes, it keeps me sane. but i also think you can enjoy the music during the day and in the evening, and i think there'd be some real advantages from having more parties at these times. and in this regard (and in response to what Pierre-Nicolas said), i think it more comes down to what promoters want to do than artists.


    Video clip of Atom TM + Tobias. Taken on my iPhone so it's not great but you get the idea...

  14. Found more

  15. " but i also think you can enjoy the music during the day and in the evening, and i think there'd be some real advantages from having more parties at these times."

    Yeah agreed, I also wish there were more spectator type events such as the ballet collaboration they did at berghain for shut up and dance - the music that came out of that for me showed the true potential of electronic music as a medium. More than any dancefloor-constrained music could. It showed what could be done when some of the restrictions of our music were removed. More events such as this could really push things forward...

  16. Thanks for the videos, they look like bodiless heads, protruding out of the dark.

    I wonder how long it will be before we have a genre of music based upon the distorted sound of a mobile phone?


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