Tuesday, June 30, 2009

mnml ssgs mx31: giorgio gigli

and back to italy we go... mx31 comes care of giorgio gigli. for the ssg mixes we have a couple of lists: (1) 'people who have agreed to do mixes', (2) 'people we plan to ask to do mixes', and a much longer list of (3) 'people we asked to do mixes and declined or never replied'. gigli was on the 2nd list for quite a while, though i hesitated about contacting him because i didn't want this to become an all italian affair! but after starting up a conversation with the excellent label prologue music, on which giorgio has 2 new releases, it felt like the time was right. luckily we got it sorted and giorgio put together this mix for us.

one of the most interesting things for me about this series is hearing the way different contributors structure their mixes. what i really love about giorgio's mix is the way it builds - it starts with deep, ambient soundscape and goes from there, gradually raising the tempo. in some senses, it reminds me of the way one of my favourite mix cds - tobias thomas' smallville - is composed.

this is what giorgio had to say about the mix:

"this is a vinyl-only dj set (i like to specify i’m a vinyl lover and collector).

i did it without any digital process, so i think that if someone finds some imperfections it must be considered a quality and not a defect, this is the difference between a man to a computer machine: it is the exact proof that we are humans.

this is a trip through dark scenarios, rarefied and disordered moments, where sometimes there is a ray of sunshine that illuminates our face. i like to think that, with the noise of the turbines that hypnotize you, trying to find a way out."

these feelings are not only reflected in his dj'ing, but also in his productions. his recent release on prologue music, 'magnetic field', was appopriately described in a RA review as 'music that evokes the dawn of time as well as the end of the world... an intriguing balance of the abstract and controlled.' and while this is very strong, i must admit that i prefer his forthcoming 'observation document #1' also on prologue. it is a really incredible release that goes further and deeper than 'magnetic field'. keep your eye out for these... and following on will be 'observation document #2', which i am sure will be equally hypnotic.

mnml ssgs mx31: giorgio gigli (direct dl)

for more info, make sure to check giorgio gigli 's myspace and his webpage. thanks to prologue for helping make this happen - keep an eye on them as they have some really excellent releases in store, which i know many ssg readers will be interested in. and, of course, much respect to giorgio for taking the time to put this mix together.

Monday, June 29, 2009

sunday special

move d & benjamin brunn livepa @ between us 14.4.07

their two albums have probably been amongst the things i've listened to most in the last 12-18 months. truly special, unique sounds. this is the first recording i've found of a livepa they've done.

and when grabbing the picture for this post i found on their myspace the video for their track 'vorhaus' from meakusma's rüts dvd. you can download the video here.

enjoy these special sounds.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

mx30 - silent servant: tracklisting

hope everyone has been enjoying silent servant's 'la segunda'. this is definitely one of the best techno mixes i've heard so far this year. and here is the tracklisting for all those interested:

1. Kim Rapatti (Mood EP/ Untilted II)
2. Decimal (Spatial Remedy)
3. Levon Vincent (Early Reflections)
4. Dave Hughes (From The Beginning)
5. JD power tools (B2)
6. Frozen boarder 01 (A)
7. Redshape (The Box)
8. Ben Klock (Grasp)
9. Planetary Assualt Systems (Mark Me)
10. N/A Variance (Marcel Dettmann edit)
11. Edit Select (Restrained)
12. Radio Slave (Neverending...)
13. Shena (T++ rmx)
14. Technose district ( killer record!!!)
15. Redshape (Plonk)
16. Abuser 1 (b2)
17. Silent servant (Violencia/Kalon mix)
18. Sleeparchive (Elephant Island)
19. Christian Morgenstern (Spiegelkerker)
20. Mark Broom (Black Russian)
21. Norman Nodge (Native Rhythm Electric)
22. Kirk Degiorgio (I Do Not Exist)
23. Maurizio ploy (UR mix)
24. CH-Signal Laboratories (Regis Edit/Sandwell District 12 )
25. Electromagnetic Dowsing / synth 1(Deepchord/Mike Huckaby mix)

next ssg mx, care of giorgio gigli, will be up on monday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

set ups

figured it has been a while since i posted some sets, so i thought i'd share some of the stuff i've been listening to/found. to be honest, i've been spending most of my time listening to either the recent ssg mixes or eps/lps (i'll post my new charts in the next day or two). there hasn't been that many good sets floating about (if i am wrong, please correct me in the comments section) anyway, here are some mixes for you all:

g-man livepa @ level 6: do you realise how rare this? i am pretty happy with myself for finding this. in my opinion, gez varley (aka g-man) is one of the most under-rated producers out there. a truly amazing talent. his force inc. releases especially had a tremendous impact on me, so i was very happy when i discovered this treat. enjoy.

donnacha costello @ rts.fm: another amazing producer who deeply influenced me around the same time as gez varley (and continues to do so). a point pete has made recently - which i think is spot on - is that the early 2000s was really an amazing time for electronic music. force inc., how i miss you... anyway, times have changed and so has donnacha. well, to a certain degree at least. much of the same aesthetic and care is still there. not much more i need to say about this. essential!

milton bradley @ tweak.fm: the man behind 'do not resist the beat!' proves he can spin too. a nice set in typical berghain style, which gets more interesting the further it goes along, with a particularly nice surprise around the 45 min mark (i wont spoil it for you).

nuel @ classic club 18.11.07: after some really good responses to the last nuel set i posted, he kindly sent through this one for all the ssgs to enjoy. further proof that the aguaplano releases are definitely coming from 2 talents. donato played some tracks from the upcoming 3rd aguaplano, which are just from nuel - wow! great stuff. looking forward to the release.

redshape - house mood dj set: only listened to it once, but figured there'd be some people out there who might be interested in hearing this. there is nothing too amazing about the mix, but just some really nice records. i have a feeling this will grow on me.

LWE'cast 22 - portable/bodycode: do yourself a favour and head over to LWE and check this special live recording out. abrahams has a very unique sound. what appeals to me especially about this mix is the way he reworks and edits tracks live. essential for anyone who liked his RA'cast.

tinman - wasteland mix: been meaning to post this recording for ages, but kept forgetting. finally remembered because i've been listening to tinman's stuff quite a bit recently. purist acid mixed with ambient soundscapes and powerful vocals... i have a feeling we will be seeing some really excellent stuff from him in the 2nd half of 2009 and into to 2010. he's going somewhere very interesting.

kettenkarussell live: sherbs recently brought these guys some attention in his pitchfork column and was right to do so. they definitely have something. what? i am not sure exactly, but damn it sounds cool whatever it is. this is how pete described them in an email: "minimalist, trippy, cool sound design.... so good!". that's better than anything i can manage. just have a listen!

ok, there you go. a nice cross selection. and i won't give any details, but some of these mixes are from people who have agreed to do ssg mixes for us in the coming months...

Monday, June 22, 2009

mnml ssgs mx30: silent servant presents 'la segunda'

without doubt, one of the strongest mixes in the mnml ssgs mx series to date was #11 care of silent servant, who delivered a serious set of straight up, no nonsense techno. it has been one of the best received mixes we've had and rightly so. and just to prove it wasn't a fluke, he has done it again for us... 'la segunda' is quite simply techno at its very, very best: raw, powerful, dynamic, rhythms for your mind and body.

when trying to describe silent servant's sound, both as a dj and a producer, i kept on thinking of marcel dettmann's take on techno:

"happy music is easy to consume, you can just put yourself in the music and see what happens. it's passive, you don't have to do anything for it. with techno, it is not only dark but also very subtle and intense. it can make you lose your mind, make you freak totally out." (from RA)

"there’s no real definition of a good techno track – you just feel it : character, soul and a kind of hypnotic, industrial feeling. ... for me purism means clarity, deepness and simplicity – that’s what techno stands for. " (from boing poum tchak!)

for me, this sums up silent servant perfectly: raw, powerful, genuine. techno. no need to say much more about the mix, it speaks for itself.

mnml ssgs mx30: silent servant presents 'la segunda' (direct dl)
(sendspace mirror)

keep an eye out for two new silent servant records coming out, both which build on his strong string of productions from last year. there is the 2nd historia y violencia release, which is again a split ep with one track from mendez and one from salazar. and there is also a new silent servant ep, 'negative fascinations', on sandwell district (#15), which is scheduled for release late july/early august 2009... all i can say is 'watch out'! these are some very high quality cuts that take up from where he left off with 'violencia'. in particular, 'discipline' from the new sandwell is one of the best techno tracks i've heard this year. these remind me a bit of the harder edged basic channel stuff (phylyps trak etc.) combined with post-force inc. sensibilities, all put in a techno blender to create something unique and very powerful...

thanks to silent servant for delivering this killer mix and doing some seriously nice artwork (sure beats my usual efforts). clearly a very creative individual. for more info, check his myspace and the sandwell district blog, where next?. i am guessing some people after hearing this mix will be interested in booking silent servant, if so you can contact him at: silentservant00@yahoo.com

as usual, tracklist to follow. next week the mission continues with giorgio gigli. until then, enjoy some red hot techno care of silent servant.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

report: scion versions

while i am in tokyo for the next few months, i thought i'd do some write ups on the parties i am going to. god knows, once i return to wales there won't be much to report on... my welcome 'home' party was scion at unit, which has become tokyo's best club since the unfortunate closure of yellow. unit is a nice club - quality sound system, a well sized dancefloor, almost always a good crowd and it is nowhere near rappongi (tokyo's equivalent of hell on earth). when we got there yoshiki - one of the op.disc crew - was warming things up nicely. was very impressed with his set until he dropped the koze remix of 'mango' and then decided to mix out of it way too early. i am not sure whether he should be congratulated for playing that track out, or hated on for cutting it out early... next up was rene, making a rare performance dj'ing. i thought he had pretty much stopped dj'ing these days, and i think that may be the case because literally all the records he played were old. it was very enjoyable, but not mindblowing. what i did like was that he was a real old school mixer - lots of mixes where he let both tracks run for quite some time and make something new in the transition. he finished up with a rhythm & sound record, with pete starting off the scion live set by expertly mixing across. a nice start and a taste of what was to come. rene joined pete and scion went at it. unfortately they only played for an hour (last year at labyrinth it was 2.5 hours!), but what an hour it was. wow. very different from last time i had seen them, more 'clubby' and perhaps a bit less dubby. what i found interesting is that while their productions roughly stick within the basic channel sound, when live they really construct something wholly unique and distinctive. the set had an amazing fluidity and life to it, the sounds constantly morphing and changing, with remarkably little repitition. in this sense, it was very hard to grab hold of, but precisely also what made it so special. definitely one of the best live acts i've seen. to finish off the night, pete jumped behind the decks. while i was a bit worried - his track selection is always spot on but his mixing is sometimes a bit patchy - on friday he was in fine form. my only complaint was that he started slowing things down at 5am, and the party finished surprisingly early at 5.30am. i was wanting more...

so my trip to tokyo started excellently. the only problem was the next night i had a nap at 7pm, only to wake up at 12.30am discovering i had missed the last train, and so i would not be getting to see thomas melchoir play live and dj. disappointing, but scion was definitely worth it. also melchoir was playing at a club which supposedly has a poor sound system, and he is exactly the kind of artist you need a high end system for. annoying i over-slept but i'll deal with it. next weekend i have a double header at unit - tama sumo on friday night, then a chaos party on saturday with fumiya tanaka and audio werner live. should be fun...

*edit* found these videos from the night, care of tokyo cult club.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

mx29 - delta funktionen: tracklisting

here is the tracklisting for delta's excellent ssg mix. fittingly it includes the classic record 'dead eye' by baby ford, which was co-produced by ian loveday, aka eon, who sadly passed away this week.

sven weisemann - rootless [essays]
tony allen - ole (moritz von oswald remix) [honest jon's]
cv313 - dimensional [echospace detroit]
ribn - ctrl [styrax leaves]
ben klock ft. elif biçer - ok [ostgut tontrager]
plastikman - spaz [plus 8 records ltd.]
eqd - equalized 002 [equalized]
mike dehnert - one [fachwerk]
kassem mosse - untitled [workshop]
mlz - onestate [modern love]
baby ford - dead eye [ifach]
t++ - audio1995#8 [apple pips]
pom pom - untitled [pom pom]
the subliminal kid - to the south [off-key industries ltd.]
maurizio - domina (maurizio mix) [maurizio]
len faki - bx 3 [ostgut tontrager]
various artist - 8 (ae mix) [fatcat records]
hardfloor - the thrill acid theme (e.r.p. remix) [hardfloor]

enjoy this mix for a few more days before mx30 comes on monday...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Post Post Mortem on Minimal: undead (and loving it!)

(NB: fast forward to the bottom and hit play on the embedded clip for the PC-preferred soundtrack).
In 2002, Alex Petridis made his Twain-like report of dance music’s death to the bemused readers of the Guardian. By 2006, minimal itself had become greatly exaggerated, colonising the consciousness of House Nation and the dancefloors of Eye-Beef-Uh and forcing almost everyone I was interviewing at the time to say ‘something’ about the dreaded schminimal. Even Alexis Petridis went to Berlin to have a crack. But mostly, if you were making/playing/remixing/discoursing about minimal at the time, being minimal amounted to disavowing it. Never in all those years did I actually ever interview any minimal artist who openly avowed minimal. It was so reliable, but so weird – weird ‘cos it would seem ridiculous in the context of any other genre: ‘No, we don’t play drum’n’bass.’ ‘House? Nup, never did, don’t know what you’re talking about…’ ‘…Blues musicians?! Not us…’ Etc.

2009: now we know minimal blew up, then blew over the cuckoo’s nest – but not before everybody denied being in the midst of it. The rhetorical after-effect has been a triple ‘nothing’: a movement with no adherents, a genre with no claimants, a sound with no landmarks, no legacy, and no mourners. Minimal… any takers? Going, going, gone… never was.

But no! This is only for those who are over it. What remains is much, much weirder. In 2009, not only is everybody who was never into minimal over minimal; not only was nobody ever minimal (the most minimal least of all). In 2009, for the others, for those who must have missed that twitter… minimal is also more popular than ever before.

For those stalwart, still excited boom-click/plip-plop devotees, minimal isn’t dead, it’s undead. Undead and loving it. And how.

Indeed, how? Why for the love of god? And yet it is so. But before I tell you about why this is undeniably, enjoyably, profitably so, we need to ask: just what the fuck was/is minimal? Because to throw down a smokebomb of obfuscation before drawing a cape of disavowal across our minimal selves (before vanishing) would be to repeat what was already an extremely irritating gesture – so I’ll spare you.

So: minimal, in the sense in which I am going to talk about it - which is not the sense of minimal qua Studio Eins, Minimal Nation, or Plastikman – is music predominantly made on laptops using software sequencers, based on the structures of house, but with its sound palette drawn from the loops, synthesizers and (above all) the effects units of said software suites. Statistically, it is Ableton music, and sociologically, it is made by geeky boys in the first half of their probable adult existence in order to win recognition, label-mating, gigs and remix opportunities from other geeky boys who have the names, labels, and releases to justify (or at least prove) the extraordinary amount of hours they’ve spent looking at LCD screens and occasionally touching USB-connected knob-articulated control surfaces (all of which their pets, and even girlfriends, find enduringly inscrutable). If you subtract the content of what they are making, it is an activity that has more in common with World of Warcrack than with the Summer of Love.

In the early 00s, in the wake of clicks, cuts, and glitches, minimal was new, and fun. It was digital, it was networked, it was young, free and full of the devil, Pluggo, and its own importance, especially after the collective bandwagon decided, for combinations of the above reasons, that it was also… cool. And anyone could play. Trust me, the Warcraft parallel holds true right the way down.

Minimal was a subtractive synthesis, not least of all because it removed the history-bound, sex, drugs, colour and identity-obsessed genres of the 90s: house as house couldn’t, wouldn’t stop being black and gay (Terre, shhh, no more AIDS talk and Madge bashing, okay… ); while techno couldn’t, wouldn’t stop getting all paranoid-schizoid – am I black, am I white? Do I originate from Detroit, Berlin, Roland, Poland, or just amphetamine abuse…?! Golly, the confusion was enough to make you attack people with layer upon layer of snare loops… minimal's response was to wiggle its bassline-driven skinny boygirl ass out of this impasse by borrowing ‘as little as necessary’ from both: the boom click, the bassline (thank you, house), the sci-fi, and the mainroom dancefloor (thank you, techno/Richie). It was newly minted, fresh-faced, exciting: eighteen year old kids with laptops who didn’t know (or care) who DJ Derrick Jackmaster Levant was could send clubbers on down, down, down! past Fred Schneider and the Rock Lobster, right down into the k-hole, the coked hell, the e wasteland, right back into the emptiness of Berlin bliss, Tuesday 4pm: you could move to Berlin, get a Hitler Youth inspired haircut (vicious fade on the sides, long, asymmetrical fringe in front), start a label, print t-shirts, and be cool.

But the zeitgeist, followed by the bandwagooneers, hearts all aflutter, moved on: ‘cos there was a soul revival going on - somebody black/authentic said so - and dubstep was cooler. So was funky house. And bassline. ‘Cos the kids were even younger. And knew/cared even less about DJ Derrick Jackmaster Levant; either that, or they were now religiously collecting and possessively cherishing his Levant's records, and every DJ who played them. DJs no longer even felt the need to disavow minimal anymore. Now it was:‘I’m just so glad that, you know, people are listening to music that’s just much more soulful and funky than a few years ago… yeah, that was a bad period…’

But meanwhile, far below the Desolat planes of the commercial takeover of minimal by prog house, a fertile, stable community of laptops had taken hold of the imaginations of our impressionable youth… and, without ever strictly avowing minimal, they, now that those cool clouds had passed over, established a commitment to Rave Unto the Plip-Plop Fantastic - for as long as it took, by all beats necessary.

The plug outlet for this kind of minimal in Melbourne have been the Lab boys, who’ve been putting on small, well-organised parties in diverse locations in Melbourne for the last couple of years. A few things strike you about Lab: they know how to throw a party (in a good venue); they care about the sound quality; they recognise their own kind (and routinely book the acts that are the best reflection of their sound); and they couldn’t give a fuck about what’s happening outside their own network.

One side of this is excellent, ‘cos it means you can be guaranteed that if it’s a Lab party, you know exactly what you’re going to get: minimal, minimal, and more fucking minimal – with no alibis, no apologies, and no concessions to the fickle winds of fashion. The Lab guys that I’ve met are all excellent people, and they’re doing a great job at representing the sound they believe in: in other words, they’re dogmatists for all the right reasons.

Having said all that, they are dogmatists: and the sound they’re pimping is exactly the sound they were pimping three years ago. It barely changes, not over the course of an evening, nor over the course of years. And the impression I’m left with from going to these parties recently and speaking to the fans who dig it is that they’re actively, even aggressively, un-curious about the broader currents going around. It’s almost an anti-curiousity.

I’m not laying all this at the feet of Lab. This isn’t Lab’s problem, and I’m not here to diss one of the few crews that just gets on with doing what they’re doing with passion and commitment.

~ SSGs and other quiet grumblings from party-goers in NYC, London, Berlin, and Tokyo all report same or similar goings on, going on and on ~

Point is, it was bound to happen to anyone who was going to invest, and stay invested, in minimal as I’ve defined it above. This is minimal’s problem.

Why is it a problem? Well, maybe it’s not. Maybe, like goa trance, what we have here is a stable set of formulas that perfectly suits a dedicated community. Party on, partly people. So let’s be more specific and just say: I, personally, have a purely subjective/partisan beef with all this, which is that, when a group of people close in on themselves and stop being open to the possibility of opening themselves to new modes and forms of sound, they suffocate themselves and the music. What we have here is something between a choke hold and a cul-de-sac (which can be a form of foreplay, if you, like the person gripped by your sac, is also a likeminded pervert). Jiu Jitsu, performed with a full Brazilian. Great, if you like that kinda thing.

I’m not going to say I’m not a pervert in my own way – everyone who is passionate about particular, peculiar styles (as SSGS most definitely are) is practicing, as well as preaching, to the perverted.

But I’m going be even more partisan and particular and say, I don’t like minimal. So maybe that’s it. No, that’s wrong. I like it, I’ll dance to it, but I can’t love it. It’s not beautiful. It doesn’t quicken my spirit, stir my soul. It’s functional – it makes me nod my head, and if I’m off my face, it also makes me shake my arse. It does this, but that’s all it does. ‘Cos it’s one dimensional – and here’s the nub of the sac.

What was great about minimal is also what killed it, which is also what is keeping it undead. Minimal can’t die, because it can’t get old. And it can’t get old because it has no sense of history, no sense of (or desire for) movement, for transformation. It is, in the truest sense of the word, repetitive. And also, therefore, boring. Which is why everyone else got bored, and moved on. Except everyone who’s into it. Who’ll still be into it in five years: undead - and loving it.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

london: dozzy-style

last year during dozzy's legendary labyrinth set he dropped one of my all time favourite records, and one that i had never heard out before: 'consumed' by plastikman. on friday night, donato did it again. this time it was 'upekah' by son.sine. it is moments like this that you feel the full force of techno. everything else fades away, life is momentarily in balance, all you can hear and feel is the music. moments like these are so rare and beautiful that each one should be treasured and remembered. i now owe donato for providing two of these two me. this is why dozzy is - as far as i am concerned - pretty much the best dj about at the moment. he is someone who deeply cares about the music and wants to share that feeling, and this comes across in the way he plays.

the night started off with donato warming the place up with ambient sounds. while the records were lovely, it wasn't quite working - the volume levels were too low and people talking were way too noticeable. ambient is often most powerful when up loud. just because it is ambient, this should not be an invitation to keep the volume down. the sound guy definitely made a mistake on this one. shame, it prevented an excellent idea (donato opening the party slowly) form working properly. at some point early on i found myself in a conversation with derrick may, who happened to be in london and came down to check out the party. i must admit, i did not have too much time for his opinions on politics which he decided to share with me, as my full-time occupation is to research and write about politics i am not a fan of being told 'how it is' when it comes to politics... saying that, i was impressed that still after all these years someone like may would come out to a party he was not playing at just to check things out. also, he was very interested and impressed with dozzy, despite it is being quite different from the sounds may would normally spin. it often seems that the detroiters themselves are much more open-minded than their sycophants...

after about 90 minutes or thereabouts, the volume got turned up to an appropriate level and things got going. i should also add that corsica studios is a great little venue with a lovely funktion one system and a bit of a warehouse vibe to it. definitely a good environment for headfuck techno, which is exactly what donato was serving up. dozzy's set was exactly what we have come to expect - deep, tripping techno that puts your mind in a blender. by the last hour he had control of the crowd and used another monsterous track from emmanuel top (i think it was him) to tear the place apart. by the time he finished at 2am, i don't think anyone wanted him to stop, he could have easily played a couple more hours, something i would have been very happy with.

it was time for omar s to step up, however, so donato handed things over. i should also say, i had a brief chat with omar earlier on in the night and my take is that he is a cool guy - friendly, relaxed and very helpful when i asked him for some suggestions for future ssg mixes. anyway, he began his set with either 'french kiss' or 'how's your evening so far' - i dont know, i was outside in the smoking area before i could find out. i needed to recover a bit from all the dozzy-ness. after a while chatting with people i decided i should go check omar. he was playing quality house sounds and the crowd seemed to be loving it. unfortunately my mind was still in headfuck techno land. i just couldnt get into omar's sounds. it had nothing to do with him - his set was definitely very good from what i could tell - but i was not able to shift from donato to omar. it was too big a leap for me to make, despite repeated efforts to have a dance to omar. in the end i spent the rest of the night talking shit with donato and other people i had met, which was most enjoyable.

i think the pairing of donato and omar was a brave one and had mixed results. both delivered high quality performances that were enjoyed by a full (but still comfortable) dancefloor throughout the night. still, they play very different styles and i am not sure how easy it is to transit from one to the other. for me, at least, the distance was too far. this could have been my failing, however. regardless, what i would say is that the bleep43 crew put on an impressive party. to date, i have had (putting it mildly) very mixed experiences going out in london. this was by far the best i have been to - top notch music, excellent venue, quality sound system, a warm friendly crowd, and a great vibe throughout the night. these guys really care and it shows. big thanks to bleep43 for doing it right.

i'd also like to say a big 'thanks' and 'hello' to all the people i met during the night. it really was overwhelming all the positive feedback i received about mnml ssgs. myself and the other ssgs really appreciate it. it is things like friday night that give me great motivation and energy to keep going with ssgs, pushing deeper and further. thanks so much for the support and encouragement. and, of course, much respect to donato for delivering the goods again. dozzy-style = true.techno.music.

Monday, June 15, 2009

mnml ssgs mx29: delta funktionen

photo by boris bunnik

here you go. i know quite a lot of people have been waiting for this one... mx29 comes from delta funktionen. after hearing a livepa and a dj set from the man a few months ago, and subsequently seeing how much interest and support there was for his sounds, i felt that delta was someone who really belonged in the ssg series. luckily for us, he agreed, and here you can find the result. his records on delsin's excellent sub label, ann aimee, can be found in a lot of DJs' cases, and for good reason. despite being a relatively new producer, his productions display a real depth and maturity. these traits are also reflected in his mix, which brings together new records with some great classics. for me, the real strength of delta's set is the track selection. he has picked some lovely records and ordered them in just the right way. this is what i prioritise in a dj - get the records right, and the rest falls into place. delta does a great job of building things up and finishing really strong. i found that this mix really grows on you - with each listen (and there already have been a lot), i find myself liking it more and more...

mnml ssgs mx29: delta funktionen

and here is what delta had to say:

This month a V/A EP will be released on the Dutch label Field Records on which I contributed a track, 'Floating Away'. In September this year 'Electromagnetic Radiation Part II' will be released on Ann Aimee. Currently I'm working on a Delta Funktionen album. This will be pretty different compared to the singles I have released. I can't say too much about it right now as it will be a pretty personal document and there's still a lot of work to do...

For the mix I made a selection of some tracks from the present and the past. I tried to find a balance between darker & lighter moments and body & mind things. The mix is done with two SL1200's and a dusty old mixer.

I would like to also mention another mix I recently did. It was recorded at the most lo-fi radiostation in my hometown so it's not all that smooth, but it was all about playing some all-time favourites and a little bit of talking (in Dutch) about why these tracks are my favourites and how they inspired me. Including tracks from the likes of Kraftwerk, Charlie, Model 500, Drexciya and Robert Hood amongst others. You can download it here.

Enjoy :-)

Niels / Delta Funktionen

so two mixes for the price of one. not bad, eh? big thanks to niels for the mix. if you want more info, make sure to check his myspace. as usual, tracklisting to follow. anyway, at least you might be able to recognise a few of the classic records on this.

next week, we've got a very special treat for you . i am not going to say who the artist is, but the mix is entitled 'la segunda' and it is from a ssg favourite. lets see if you can guess who it might be. all i will say is, watch out, the mix is a killer. for now, enjoy the quality sounds of delta funktionen.

mx28 - yuka: tracklisting

here is the tracklisting for yuka's ssg mix. delta funktionen's will be up tomorrow, and we have a few more bombs in store after that...

mnml ssgs mx28 - yuka
  1. Traversable Wormhole vol.1
  2. N/A – Variance III (Marcel Dettmann adit)
  3. nAX_acid – Synthetic Nature
  4. Sebastian Altstadt – Under A Killing Moon (George Jupiter rmx)
  5. Volker Dornhagen – Kunst Mit Astrid
  6. Edit-Select – Aurian
  7. Rose&Ulysse – Vanda (Edit-Select rmx)
  8. Ulysse – Sometimes
  9. Rose&Ulysse – Myosotis
  10. Edit-Select – Bantu
  11. nAX_acid /Giorgio Gigli – Depth Perception
  12. Brando Lupi – Modular Unit
  13. Chaton+Hopen – Life Is Wonders (Donato Dozzy reconstruction)
  14. From Karaoke to Stardom – Here Is A Fruit

Monday, June 8, 2009

italians do it better?

i don't know if italians do it better. but they do it very well, without a doubt... what is 'it'? in this case, techno. and to be specific, deep tripping techno. what the ssgs call 'mindfuck' or 'headfuck' techno.

dozzy in london

donato dozzy makes his long awaited debut in london this friday night at the bleep43 party (it is funny that for me, at least, a dj as good as omar s has basically been an afterthought). very, very excited about this... if you are at the party, feel free to say "hi". i'll be up front and centre for all of donato's set dancing my ass off. i'll probably be wearing a white t-shirt and you can get a rough idea of what i look like over at my twitter page. and donato is playing 10-2, before omar is on 2-6, so i'd strongly suggest getting there nice and early to hear donato warm the place up in style. hope to see some ssgs there!

team italia

while donato might be at the vanguard of pushing deep, headfuck techno, he is certainly not the only one. there is a group of talented producers and djs continuing to push really distinctive sounds (a few of which have already been featured here). so i thought this would be a good opportunity to feature some sets worth checking from 'other' italians. instead of describing the mixes, i'll let you discover for yourself. while there are some points of overlap and reference, each mix is definitely doing something different and i'd recommend giving them all a run.

dino sabatini (modern heads) - #2# mix, 2009

nuel @ classic club, june 2008

rossella - net28 promo set, may 2009 (link fixed)

giorgio gigli - minimalismo italiano mix

natural/electronic.system. - electronique.it mix, may 2008

neel @ neo club, 2008

obtane promo mix may 2009

i know there are others (like brando lupi), but haven't been able to find any mixes from them. so if you have any similar mixes or suggestions, please post them in the comments section.

enjoy these and hopefully i'll be seeing some of you on friday night at bleep43 for what should be an awesome night of techno!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

mnml ssgs mx28: yuka

mx28 comes from yuka, a russian dj and producer associated with the excellent fullpanda records. after being blown away by the sounds of her labelmate, dasha rush, when i saw yuka was tied to fullpanda i thought she was definitely worth checking. i downloaded some of her mixes and was all set to give them a listen. then, for whatever reason, i got distracted and they got buried and i didn't give them the attention they deserved. until a few weeks ago. after playing at a fullpanda party in berlin, cio d'or said yuka had played a great set and suggested i check her out. a recommendation from cio goes a long way in my books. so i immediately put on the mixes i had from yuka. and then spent the rest of the afternoon rocking out to them. unsurprisingly cio was right. yuka can definitely spin. after that, the rest was ssg history. lucky for us yuka agreed to do a mix and what she came up with is exactly what i was hoping for - some quality deep, tripping techno. what i really like about this mix is yuka keeps a careful check on the BPMs, never getting too fast, but she still gives it some power with the whole set having a really nice drive to it. yuka has provided us with a carefully built mix of quality sounds.

mnml ssgs mx28: yuka (direct dl)

sendspace mirror

if you want more info about yuka, check her myspace. she has had 2 releases with fullpanda so far, and her most recent track is on pro-tez records. together with ryba she is running a series of nights in moscow called 'habits die' and is also a regular at fullpanda parties.

as usual, tracklist to follow. next week mx29 will be from delta funktionen. until then, enjoy the sounds of yuka...

Saturday, June 6, 2009


today i've been in the mood for some tough techno and i decided to turn to o/v/r. wise move. if you haven't heard of them before, o/v/r are regis and james ruskin collaborating. they've been dj'ing together on and off for a while, and have recently released their first ep, 'interior', on ruskin's reformed blueprint label. anyway, here are a couple of dj sets i've been enjoying today. great energy and power, and they make sure to include some old school records, which is an easy way to keep me happy.

o/v/r @ motor 10.10.08
o/v/r mix vol. 1
o/v/r mix vol. 2

two vets showing how its done. i keep finding myself going deeper and deeper into techno these days...

Friday, June 5, 2009

bits to pieces

ssg mixes

glad everybody has been digging the koss set. really lovely sounds... next week we've got a great mix of deep techno sounds from yuka. if you want a taste, head over to her soundcloud page and grab a few of her old mixes there. after that, we'll see. i am very, very excited about the people who have agreed to do mixes for us. get ready for some serious music!


i've decided to give twitter a go. if you are interested, you can follow me here. random musings and so on. i will also try to post any good sets as i am listening to them.


i really should give a full report of the erosion party i went to the other week, but i dont quite have the motivation to. but in short, i had a great night out. unlike pete who is a bit sceptical about heading to clubs these days, i still have a real need for them. nothing beats hearing the music on a big rig in a dark room and just being able to let loose and dance... seldom felt were quality, but it was marcel fengler who really owned the night, pulling out a couple of hours of perfectly weighted techno. it was great not only dancing to his sounds, but also getting to meet him. as expected, lovely individual. i'm expecting his star to continue rising. i hope so. he deserves it. on the whole, what was really nice about the night was just meeting up with people and connecting over a common bond, namely, a love and passion for techno music. i'm back in tokyo for the next 2 months, but on my return i am hoping to get up to manchester on a semi-regular basis. i really liked what i saw.


if you haven't read this new interview with donato dozzy posted over on the RA feed, i strongly recommend you do. i really find his whole approach to music and life very inspirational. while we are on RA, i'd also suggest having a read of pete's thought provoking piece on the relationship between DJ'ing culture and environmental issues. as usual, a great piece of writing by PC.

set up

dozzy & nuel - aguaplano sessions: the first two aguaplano releases by donato and nuel have been causing a stir, and for good reason, both are awesome. my only complaint is that they are vinyl only. anyway, no need to revisit that argument here! this is a live recording of donato and nuel playing tag. exactly what you'd expect from them - deep, tripping techno at its very best. excited about seeing donato spin in london next week.

adam x - big apple bites berlin mix: while on the techno tip, this one is also worth checking. been keen to hear something from adam x for a while, so i was happy when this appeared. quality stuff.

petar dundov @ oldiest goldiest: this is dundov playing an old school set. jam packed full of classics. a really fun listen. have trouble concentrating while listening to this, too many memories...

surgeon @ the shelter: head over to the media/audio section of his site to grab this beauty. reports are that he killed it in tokyo recently, and i am not surprised if this set is anything to go by. sometimes he bangs it out a bit too much for my liking, but this set is much more restrained and better balanced.

raster noton @ the bunker: wow. the bunker boys deliver the goods again. i think this alva noto set is equal with the speedy j/george issakidis gtc 'cast for the best mix i've heard this year. amazing stuff. essential. there are also recordings from frank bretschneider, byetone and signal, which are all first rate and should be listened to.

ok, think that's all for now. if you've come across any good sets, please share them in the comments. have a good weekend!

Monday, June 1, 2009

mnml ssgs mx27: koss

SSGs is proud to present its latest podcaster, Sapporo’s Kuniyuki Takahashi, aka Kuniyuki, aka Koss. To the unfamiliar, Kuniyuki is a sound designer, musician and producer, most of whose works have appeared on the mule family of labels. He’s worked with (or been re-worked by) YMO’s Haruomi Hosono, Terre Thaemlitz, Theo Parrish, Heinrik Schwarz, Cobblestone Jazz, Tony Lionni, Chateau Flight, and a Mountain of One (among others). He’s also released three extraordinary albums in the past few years: with pianist Saiko Tsukamoto as Saikoss (somewhere between nsi’s play’s non-standards and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s solo piano work); with various collaborators as Kuniyuki for All These Things, which stretched effortlessly between ambient, jazz/house and techno; and, finally, as Koss. The 2006 Koss album Four Worlds Converge as One is, to me, easily one of the best ambient albums of the last few years. As with Kuniyuki’s other projects, the hallmarks are of a highly developed sense and sensibility, including an incredible ear for sonic detail and beauty and an intuitive sense of flow, backgrounded by a strongly ‘elemental’ aesthetic, where each element, left in its naturally expressive form, interacts (coolly, calmy, cosmically) with the others.

For this SSG set, Kuniyuki appears in his Koss guise, building and blending layers of looped elements into a gliding, grooving, elegant house assembly that floats like a butterfly, and kicks like a mule. It's a beauty, and it's here


Playing Catch-Up, Without Sinking

Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing catch-up with a number of 2009 releases (mostly ambient, I should add). It’s actually a difficult thing to do without getting the feeling that you’re sinking. I’ve gone through quite a few albums, but there are three releases that have definitely floated to the top, and which I keep returning to.

Fans of the neo-classical sound are strongly advised to check out Hildur Guðnadóttir’s mournful yet moving ‘Without Sinking’ on the Touch label (who would like to take this opportunity to remind you that they are, in fact, not a record label). A classically trained musician who is also extremely comfortable in the experimental and electronic worlds (having collaborated with Pan Sonic, Throbbing Gristle, and BJ Nilsen), Guðnadóttir has crafted the ten tracks on the album around the rich resonant tones of her preferred instrument – the cello. The tracks show the hand of an artist that is both deft and restrained – Guðnadóttir allows single notes the space to sing sweetly, gliding solitarily before diving into deeply layered pieces. On her website she says the inspiration for this came from staring at different cloud formations during plane flights:

"My aim with this record was to create a feeling of breath with a bow on string. I wanted to create a sky and cloud-like feeling in the compositions. I wanted to have open space for single notes and let them breath, like single clouds in a clear sky. As a contrast I also wanted create denser and heavier compositions which were more thundercloud like. I like the way clouds form, how many tiny droplets can form such dense forms and then slowly evaporate into thin string-like ones."

Readers concerned that an entire album of cello compositions may be in danger of repeating itself need not worry – much like the many-shaped clouds drifting by, there’s a surprising amount of variety here. There are moments of drama, such as on “Erupting Light” with strokes that rapidly slide down the register underscored by insistent low notes that quicken the pulse; moments of gentle beauty, such as on “Aether” which introduces a zither and clarinet that hang in the air; and moments of melancholy, such as “Ascent” with its sweet yet sorrowful notes. Of course, the sound of Guðnadóttir’s cello is the thread that ties everything together, taking us deeper (higher) into her world of wintry skies, creating a listening experience that is utterly involving and moving. Highly recommended.

Andreas Tilliander’s latest album under his Mokira name, ‘Persona’, is something I keep describing to people as, “kinda like the lovechild of Vladislav Delay and William Basinski.” Although I really should think of another way to describe it, because it sounds like I’m being critical when I don’t intend to be. ‘Persona’ is an incredibly hypnotic album that combines the headfuck reverb and delay of Vlad (and I mean “headfuck” in a nice way) with the decaying loops of Basinski (particularly on the opening and closing tracks) – true, the influences are pretty clear, but that makes the album no less engaging. It reaches deeply, and I find it a nicely meditative listen.

Of course, if it’s Basinski-esque sounds you want, then you can skip straight to the man himself with his latest album of tape-loop genius, ‘92982’. The title is actually the date that Basinski recorded three of the four tracks live in his studio in Brooklyn, on September 29, 1982 (the fourth track is a newly recorded reprise of the first track). It’s absolutely astounding that the vast majority of stuff that Basinski has released in the past ten years was actually recorded in the 1980s – why did he sit on this material for so long? The boys over at Boomkat ask a particularly insightful question: You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point?

It’s a question I’d like to know the answer to. But regardless, these recordings haven’t dated a day – they sound incredibly fresh and vital (dare I say timeless?). For those looking for an entry point into the world of Basinski ‘92982’ is highly recommended, as each of the three main tracks touch on different parts of his extensive back-catalogue. The third track is an extended version of a piece that appeared on ‘Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive’, piano notes pinging and bouncing off each other and spiralling endlessly. The second track is an absolute triumph, recalling the faded grandeur of the monumental Disintegration Loops albums. A melancholic loop repeats for a little over 20 minutes, the tape sometimes warping, as sounds from outside the studio intrude on the recording … a gentle tapping … a peal of thunder … police sirens … helicopters …

The sound of Basinski’s world is absolutely absorbing – a world of transitory beauty, standing on the edge of decay. For those wanting to take their first step into that world, or those who are already there and wish to stay a little longer, ‘92982’ is highly recommended.