Throughout the history of dance music, as with any other genre, there have been record labels that stand apart from the rest and carve themselves a permanent place in the memories of collectors. Dance Mania; Transmat; Peacefrog; Prescription and Warp are the titles that swiftly slide to the front of the queue for me and, I suspect, most others. Today though, if pressed to choose from the enormous wealth of exceptional imprints (and there are, in spite of what some may say, a lot of them) one that I think deserves a place in this illustrious list, it would have to be the one curated by our latest podcast contributor, Jens Kuhn aka Lowtec’s prestigious, buy on sight without bothering with the listening post, Workshop Records. So far, Jens himself, Even Tuell, Kassem Mosse, Move D (David Moufang - himself, of course, a former Warp contributor), with Jonah Sharp, Madteo (Matteo Ruzzon), Marvin Dash, Gal Aner and J Czamanski have contributed, for me, the most consistently interesting, stimulating and challenging body of electronic music since the heyday of Sheffield’s Warp. So, given that I believe Jens to be making history, and Workshop to be the defining electronic label of our time, I’m honored to present this typically tasteful set on Chipped Antiquities.
Roger Reuter aka Roger 23 is a DJ and producer who I first came across via Ata’s prolific Playhouse imprint. He has a noticeably broad taste range, which can be heard throughout his productions as well as in his track selection - in our brief discussion we touched upon Cabaret Voltaire, Brian Eno, 52nd Street, K Alexi and Blake Baxter amongst others. He also has a great appreciation for the physical form in music, and is a vinyl purist (when I requested this mix, Roger insisted upon posting it to my home in physical form rather than via the usual file sharing mediums. A move that drew a smile from me at the mail box when it arrived).
In this 2 hour podcast for Chipped Antiquities, Roger, digs in to his extensive record collection and delivers an eclectic and deftly mixed set that takes in Balearica, Dub, Techno, Chicago House, 80s Pop and more.
Body & Soul Festival - Ballinlough Castle - Westmeath, Ireland
Track: John Talabot - Afrika - Permanent Vacation
A charming characteristic of great festivals - a title I think Ireland’s Body & Soul truly deserves - is that any attempt at a blow by blow account of the weekend’s shenanigans is, inevitably, going to be in vain. At least if, like myself, you choose to really immerse yourself in the given magic.
So, in no particular order, I tip my proverbial hat and give thanks for meeting the following people and gaining the following memories:
* A sausage sandwich and a mug of tea on Sunday morning * Joints in the belly of the wicker dragon * Pie, mash and gravy from PieMinister * The slightly phallic rum-laced ice pops people kept giving us for free * Dancing around with the beautiful blonde girl with the beaming smile and circus hat * The Herbaliser * St Vincent * A stunning red haired mother dancing around with her kids near the main stage * The hilarious dance off in the Havana Club Tent between some guy and a girl with great facial expressions (she made herself look like a giant, blonde dancing duck. It was priceless) * Donal Dineen (who showcased exceptional taste) * The forest parties * Watching a drunk guy navigate the muddy campsite like a new born foal on Sunday morning. Top shelf viewing * The wonderful friends I went with, and the new ones gained * Pepe Bradock - Deep Burnt while basking in the sun with mojitos * John Talabot * The great things I can’t quite seem to recall *
I don’t remember when I last came away from an event feeling as fulfilled, and I find it reassuring that, in the face of over-priced tickets, dodgy crowds and a surplus of boring and commercial events, such a complimentary meeting of venue, artists and likeminded people can be arranged. That really was a proper party. Many thanks, Body and Soul.
More Chipped Antiquities interviews and music recommendations can be found at the archive link above.
Soul Capsule - Lady Science (NYC Sunrise) - Trelik 1999
Though some may yawn a little and deem the inclusion of this a little trite, its perfection being anything but a secret amongst the underground dance music community, I love this composition and must include it within the developing vaults of Chipped Antiquities.
When Peter Adshead, aka acid house luminary, Baby Ford and minimalist house and techno craftsman, Thomas Melchior sat down to produce this impeccable record, released on Ford’s Trelik imprint, they must have been in a very very good place in their lives. If you’ve already had the pleasure, you know exactly what I mean and, if this is your first time listening…..well, I envy you. Enjoy.
Maurizio - M4 - M 1995
The influence of dub / techno elder statesmen, Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald, on electronic music, especially the minimalist, less is more variety, is quite immeasurable. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that without their vast sonic contribution to music over the last twenty odd years, the world’s clubs would sound quite different today. It took me a while to get in to the Basic Channel sound, which is nothing if not spartan, but once I had they taught me to appreciate subtlety in dance floor composition as much as any Robert Hood or Daniel Bell production. This, M4, is probably the one I love most. Funky, deep, dubby gold-dust.
Chipped Antiquities Podcast Number 4 - XDB (Metrolux Music, Sistrum Recordings)
Kosta Athanassiadis, better known by his DJing and record release moniker, XDB, runs the excellent, dubby house and techno label, Metrolux Music and over the last few years has become one of my favourite DJs on the planet - so it really goes without saying that I’m immensely proud to be presenting this excellent mix from him. As usual with the Chipped Antiquities podcasts, there’s no track list, so just press play, enjoy and read on for a little insight in to Kosta’s life.
Kosta, you’re originally from Greece and moved to Germany. Is that correct? How long ago did you move?
My parents moved to Germany in 1972. One year later I was born in Göttingen, the place I still live nowadays with my family. Not the best timing but my parents moved back to Greece recently and they live now in Thessaloniki.
Haha ok, I was close!
How long have you been coaching tennis? Were you a player before a coach and do you still play now?
I used to play soccer for many years in a club but at the age of nine, tennis also became a big part of my life. To be honest I cannot remember what my motivation was but it was great to spend hours and hours with friends at the tennis courts of our university. Only students were allowed to play there and a guy came several times a day to check the verification cards of everyone who played. When we saw him coming, we jumped over the fence to hide ourselves behind the trees. Minutes later he was gone and we came back to play for a few more hours again. At the age of twelve I told my parents that I would prefer to play tennis in a club instead of soccer. They accepted this decision and right up until now I’ve had many years of fun with this sport. I used to play league games and a few local tournaments. At the age of twenty-two the club told me they need new coaches. They even pay the fee for the license school. It was a good idea to agree and since then I’ve been coaching, mostly kids. Music in conjunction with tennis gives me a good balance.
Kosta, you’ve been DJing since the early 90’s. In what way has your sound altered since those days? What kind of music were you playing back then?
I always preferred to spend my money on records, and the result was that until the late nineties I never had enough money to purchase my own Technics turntables. But when I first ever had the chance to mix two records with a mixer at my best friend´s apartment in 1992, I brought half of my record collection to his place. We started to mix our favourite tunes on his turntables day by day and it was an exploring expedition. To mix the US-imported house and techno stuff amazed me most but also European labels like Warp, R&S and so on. It is still lovely to play old house, electro, EBM, synth-pop and techno records and combine them with the powerful new releases. Back then I pitched them faster than normal but nowadays I prefer to slow them down.
The gorgeous Escap EP on Sistrum was the first of your productions that came to my attention. How did that release come about? Did you know Patrice beforehand?
Patrice Scott contacted me and asked for some tracks for his quality imprint. I loved his label from the beginning and was glad to become a member of the Sistrum family. I gave him my two favourites and he signed them both immediately for the Espac release, which came out February 2008. A few months later I met him for the first time in person. He performed at a Smallville party in Hamburg. Excellent track selection and one of the tightest mixing DJs I have heard in my life so far. I’m looking forward to playing with him in a few weeks again - June 7th 2012 at Cookies in Berlin.
Your first release, the Jackintosh EP, was on your own Metrolux imprint. Was it always your intention to release your first tracks yourself?
After producing music for more than five years I just wanted to bring out some of those tunes. Who knows, maybe they will like them out there and who knows what will happen? The Jackintosh EP featured Ainama, Mystic Vibrations and Sweet City and they fitted perfectly together for a first release. It was mastered at the Exchange and I decided to press 500 units stamped with the issue number on each copy. I contacted Diamonds & Pearls in Berlin for a possible distribution. They liked it a lot and we brought it out in November 2006. The follow up, the MLM002 Descap EP, came out in 2007 and Francois Kevorkian licensed two of the tunes for his Deep Space Media imprint. I guess those releases plus the Espac EP on Sistrum in 2008 were a good starting point for many forthcoming things.
The last Metrolux was in 2009. Are there plans for a new one soon?
Yes, of course. I already waited too long with the follower and I’m sorry for the artists on this EP who are also waiting for a long time now. I wanted to bring it out last year already but anyway…
The new one will be the MLM 06 V/A Edition 2, featuring tracks by the super talented Jitterbug from London, who also brought out some exceptionaly good music on Uzuri Recordings; Naoki Shinohara, who is a DJ / Producer I met in Japan. He has been releasing tracks on Panrecords and has a forthcoming release on Fred P´s Soul People Music; and Markson, who’s an excellent DJ and long time friend of mine from Hamburg City. When I listened the first time to his tune “Skyrocket” it blew my mind. He played this tune from CD at a gig we played together and I knew this one fits perfectly in to the compilation. The 4th track will be a new XDB track called Cielop. Tracks are gone for mastering and pressing and the release date is June 2012.
Can you tell me a little about your influences, both old and current?
Many things have influenced me in my life. Good things and bad things. Everything resulted in something positive at the end though.
Currently my daughter is a big influence. She makes me laugh and amazes me in so many situations. It is a great feeling to be influenced by children.
What are your favourite clubs to play in and why?
No name dropping but those who are run by lovers and not mainly for the money are the best ones. When they give you a warm welcome and you feel that they do it with passion for the music and for this special moment during a club night. Those are my favourite clubs to play in.
Of all the places you’ve visited through DJing, which was your favourite for reasons not related to music?
Jerusalem’s old town impressed me a lot and I guess Copenhagen is a beautiful place to live.
You mentioned that you used to play soccer. Do you still support a team?
Yes, I used to play soccer each and every day when I was a kid.
Borussia Mönchengladbach was the team I supported ever since. The 1970s were the most successful in the club’s history with 5 national championship titles. Lucien Favre and the whole team did a good job recently and the result is that we are qualified for the playoffs for the UEFA Champions League 2012/13.
Can you tell me a little about the mix and how it was recorded?
This mix was recorded late night at home while my family slept
For bookings go to the following link: http://uzurirecordings.com/uzuri-management-and-bookings/xdb/
More podcasts, interviews and electronic-music related goodness: http://chipped-antiquities.tumblr.com/archive
Patrice Scott - Orbital Bliss - 2012
As I said before - I’m not generally one for buying new records. However, that’s not to say I don’t buy any! I’ve followed Patrice Scott’s Detroit-deep imprint, Sistrum Recordings, for a number of years now and its releases never leave you feeling short changed. Expansive, emotive and tenderly crafted house that envelops you from the moment the needle hits the groove. Highly recommended club music for an adult dance floor.
Genesis - That’s All - 1983
A bit of a departure here from the usual four to the floor business. This Beatles influenced Genesis track, number 2 on the band’s 12th studio album, Genesis, is possibly my favourite from the 80s and rarely fails to draw a smile. Great band, great record and great album.
Pile - 1 Of Those Days (the youtube link is wrongly titled) - Perlon 1999
Pile are Thomas Franzmann (Zip) and Markus Nikolai, founders of Berlin based super-label, Perlon. Though it’s rare that a Perlon record catches my attention these days, I still hold many of the releases between the label’s 1997 inception and 2002/2003 in very high esteem (and I’m also still a great admirer of Zip’s DJing). ’1 Of Those Days’ is an idiosyncratic piece of techno that sounds like a sexy, tongue-in-cheek ode to Basic Channel. Highly recommended for fans of quality, stripped-back club music.
TUFF LITTLE UNIT - Join the Future - Warp Records 1991
Produced in Sheffield by two of Warp co-founder Rob Gordon’s school friends and Sean Maher of Forgemasters (responsible for the Warp classic, Track With No Name), this is an inspirational and emotional slice of early U.K house music, loaded with an inviting, hopeful (and self-aware) vocal, a deep and dirty bass line and the infectious bleeps that became synonymous with the northern English city’s output. All produced to the demanding levels of Warp captains, Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell. A truly great record. I also own the only other release from this trio - the equally sublime, Inspiration - but there’s no youtube link for the tracks. Trust me though, it’s a cheap (copies go for just a pound or so on Discogs), buy-on-sight record that doesn’t even slightly disappoint.