Thursday, May 20, 2010

ssg special - finn johannsen

back with another ssg special, this time from a good friend of ours: finn johannsen. for my mind, finn is one of the most important voices in electronic music right now. finn is truly a renaissance man, expertly juggling a number of different roles. he is a music journalist, regularly contributing excellent, thoughtful pieces for a range of sources, including RA. he is also one of the people behind macro recordings, a consistently challenging and worthwhile label. and he is just quietly a really fantastic DJ, consistently demonstrating a remarkable breadth and depth in his sets. i must admit, i tend to prefer DJs that pick a constant groove / sound and really pursue it in a set. normally a DJ like finn i would struggle with, as he covers a lot of ground and his sets can be quite diverse, even unsettling at a times (this is not necessarily a bad thing). finn manages, however, to consistently weave a coherent story and narrative in his DJ'ing. and as an added bonus, you normally learn a bit along the way, discovering gems old and new.

i genuinely believe finn is one of the most interesting and worthwhile DJs about right now, so i am very glad he was able to put together these two mixes for us. and because he is an able scribe, finn was able to tell us a bit about the mixes:

"I have DJ'd for a long time now, since the mid 80's, and all the music that went through my head since then is still part of what I do now. I often play sets with obscure Disco, Synthop and Post Punk records, I often get asked to dig into my archive for some house and techno rarities. When I do nights representing Macro I tend to combine older records I think have stood the test of time with new records that I think might will. Thus the mixes reflect some personal favourites I still carry around, and some current music that impressed me. I have the reputation of being somewhat unpredictable as a DJ, which is not really something I actively support, it more comes out of the fact that I do not want to focus myself on a particular style when there is so much other interesting music that would be left out in the process (and I also think that individuality is important). I'm just interested in a wide variety of sounds, and I see music as chronological process, where it is challenging to connect different eras and sounds to illustrate where what came from, and where it led or might lead to. It is some kind of referential system both informed by being close to the subject for a long time, and my very own perspective. I'm often drawn to producers that follow their own path (to the verge of being eccentric), and I included some here, plus some records that add up to a certain mood I had in mind (it was a rainy night I recorded both mixes, and it probably shows). Of course these are home recordings, but they were done in one take with no subsequent editing and so they are pretty close to what I do in a club context. At least if I would play the same set twice, which I rarely ever do. As the mixes where recorded one after another, you may as well listen to them that way. That I concluded the sets with a disco edit is a bit odd, as I much prefer to play original versions, but this one is special to me. I played it at our first Macro night at Panoramabar, I had the last shift of our lineup until noon, and I was slowly running out of steam. When the lyrics set in I was quite surprised that the floor went absolutely nuts, and at first I didn't really understand why the reaction was so immense. Then I realised that the bar stuff had opened the seminal shutters, it was broad daylight, and here was Loleatta Holloway singing "We're getting stronger, the longer, we stay together", to a crowd that was obviously very determined to do just that. A really impressive and lasting moment that showed me once again how powerful music can be. And it is well worth taking some risks to achieve that, even if does not always work. Well, I hope these sets work."

finn johannsen - ssg special mx1

Rydims – Rydim#2 (Version) (Nu Groove)
Mike Shannon Feat. Fadila – Under The Radar (Ricardo Villalobos Mix) (Cynosure)
Soylent Green – Low Pt. 1 (Playhouse)
The Prince Of Dance Music – E-3, E-6, Roll On (City Limits)
Badawi – DstryPrfts (Shackleton Remix) (Cargo Records)
Hertsi – Oodi Sähkölle (Sähkö)
Da Sampla – The Rider (Moods & Grooves)
Wax – 30003 B (Wax)
DJ Duke – Escape From New York B2 (Power Music)
Never On Sunday – Urban Rains (430 West)
Laurent X – Drowning In A Sea Of House (House Nation)
Keith Tucker – It’s A Mood (Seventh Sign)
Dettmann – Vertigo (Vincent Kunth Remix) (Ostgut Ton)
Nature Boy – The Major Enemy (Black Label)
4th Measure Men – The Need (Henry Street Dreams Mix) (Multiply)
Foremost Poets – Reasons To Be Dismal? (Instrumental Version) (Not On Label)
Buzzin Cuzzins Feat. Romanthony – Let Me Show You Love (Approach To Temple) (Azuli)
Raudive – Sienna (Macro)
Instra:mental – Let’s Talk (Naked Lunch)

finn johannsen - ssg special mx2

FCL – Let’s Go Seven (We Play House)
Ramadanman – Glut (Hemlock)
Scuba – You Got Me (Hotflush)
To Rococco Rot – Fridays (Shackleton’s West Green Rd Remix) (Domino)
Monolake – Alaska (Substance Remix II) (Monolake / Imbalance Computer Music)
Low Res – Amuck (Sublime)
Oni Ayhun – OAR004A (Oni Ayhun)
Julia Decay – Untoward (Scandinavia)
Rhythim Is Rhythim – Kaos (Juice Bar Mix) (Transmat)
DJ Bone – No Sleep (True To Da Roots) (Sect)
Mr. G – Life (One Dark Late Saturday) (Moods & Grooves)
The Oliverwho Factory – Rain 5th Wave (Madd Chaise Inc.)
Moodymann – Analog:Live (KDJ)
Grand High Priest – Mary Mary (We-Ze Records)
Shake – Psychotic Tango (Frictional)
Spencer Kincy – Don’t Stop (Cajual)
The Closer – Strong Meets The Weak (KMS)
Bim Marx – Stronger (Stilove4music)

if you want to catch finn spin, he is regularly playing around berlin and other parts of europe. check his RA page for upcoming gigs. you can find out more info through his homepage, myspace, and macro recordings.

that's it. big thanks to finn for making these. in the coming weeks we've got new ssg specials from kevin gorman and october. plenty to look forward to. for now, enjoy these two treats.


  1. downloading now...if this is anything approaching the quality of his Promo mix i will be a very happy man, i mean, er...ssg.

  2. I'm really enjoying the mixes. Some beautiful tracks in there!

    Thanks :)

  3. wow, i'm going to make a bold statement and say that this (part 1) might be the best mix i've heard this year. the combination of original selection with wow factor and faultless mixing is a sure winner. really impressive stuff. thanks for bringing this guy to my attention.

  4. i didn't mean to say 'wow' twice in that last post. i mean, it's a good mix, but not sure it needed two 'wow's. apologies for any offence.

  5. can't wait to hear both of the mixes
    10xs again. as usual you are full of supprises

  6. enjoying the first mix a lot...

  7. Great stuff.

    The new Instra:Mental is a sick piece of production.

  8. this is just absolutely usual....big up to Finn!

  9. One of the best and most original mixed I've heard in a long time! Feeling a bit embarassed that I haven't checked Finn out before.

  10. @ Nick

    Apology accepted. I was DEEPLY offended by your over use of "wow"

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. >Nick: How DARE you!
    ha ha.
    No offense taken. No worries.

  13. This is such a great set. Anyone know the track with the Clint Eastwood dialog at [33.35] in part 1? Would love to pick up whatever that is. I love it!

  14. @MLAT - that's kurt Russell from Escape from New York, not sure of the track though.

    Once again MNMLSsgs and the artists that contribute to your site, a heartfelt THANK YOU for some great music. These 'special' sets are truly awesome, up there with the rest amongst this great series

  15. original post updated with tracklistings.

    glad people are feeling these mixes. i really think finn is such a special DJ. such a unique and distinctive voice. respect!

  16. Great stuff, wonderfully diverse, lapping it up!

  17. The first one loses me a bit after the Keith Tucker - a little too heavy on the tech-house for my tastes - but you can only applaud the technique and intuition. There are some absolutely stunning segues and a refreshingly open-minded attitude to selection that nonetheless never feels like tracks have been shoe-horned. The man knows his dance. On mix two now. Cheers lads.

    Ps Special mentions to the Shack and Villalobos re-mixes. Jaw-dropping.

  18. fantastic... even when the mixes go out slightly some mad style of his just seems to make the mix that little bit more 'wonky'... and adds tension rather than the usual opposite. he is a talent for sure... question is is he gona be the wildcard at Labyrinth this year? he would be my choice for sure...

  19. Love the second part, insanly how he keeps it under control yet threatens to burst out all the time.
    Some amazing tracks, but i think theres mays nude photo looped somewhere in the back around 50th min, not listed tho

  20. Really appreciate these, just listened to them for the first time and will be recommending them to all my friends, brilliant stuff.


  21. Love both of these, selection and mixing are impeccable in both instances. My only disappointment is in the way he included the Instra:mental tune (which is an absolutely stunning piece of work). When I saw it at the end of the tracklist, I was really hoping for a mix which started at around 125-8bpm and gradually worked its way down to 110. I've been playing around with that idea myself and was very curious about how someone else might execute it. However ultimately I can't blame him for tacking Let's Talk on at the end- I've certainly been tempted to do that just for the sake of having it on a mix, since it's just an incredible tune...


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