Friday, December 30, 2011

December chart

Wow, didn't 2011 pass too fast? I simply can say that when looking back... well, I also can say 2011 has been an amazing musical year... I'm really happy because I've discovered a lot of new music and I feel like my mind is a bit more open after the last months.

I know I always say it's very hard to choose ten records per month but that's for real... This month has been even harder for me, I had 15-16 records on my list during the last week and today I felt like some kind of executioner when deleting some records from my list.

I start my December chart with BCR Boys' (Ninjatechno) release on Nachstrom Schallplatten. It looks like 2011 has been the most productive year for these boys. This reference, is a four tracker fully produced by BCR and plenty of bass techno on the so called Berlin way. I'm really feeling the A side.

Deeper and dubber comes Eduardo de la Calle with his 12th Ánalog Solutions (and not Analogue Germany as Juno states...). This record contains two delicate music pieces that I strongly recommend to check.

I love to find new names, this is my main purpose here, and I really find a cause for celebration when amazing and original music comes with it... Lakker is my new name of this month and Killerkill my new label to follow from now on... great one!

A bit more easy listening but full of dub comes Tacito with his last release. Soft and warm techno for those special moments on A side. And a G.Gigli remix with a playful track on B side, both still filled with well selected chords.

Antonio de Angelis, another new name for me, looks like another name to follow coming from Italy. He has a couple of releases in Safari and another two releases in Gynoid. One of them is the one I'm charting this month (Gynoid 07). A side starts with a remix by our favourite red beard, a pure club oriented techno track followed by the original track by de Angelis interpretation, which has nothing to envy from the previous one, I really don't know which one I'd choose if had I had to choose one of them. The original track  on B side is a bit darker and more mental than the two on A side, filled with some scary textures that really do the job in my opinion. Arnaud Le Texier's remix goes further with the interpretation of the track and I love how he took it to the other side, the dark one.

Well, Semantica did it again... This label never stops impressing me, this is pure music. Soulful, well done, original, varied but still following a thread. I'm talking now about the fourth release on their 5 year compilation. I really won't say much more about this release although it deserves a full entry on my blog. Please, let me just advise to listen to it and ask you to come back to me if you don't like it...

Another pretty young label, Abstract Acid, has released the 5th reference. As soon as I started listening to this one I thought: "Come to meeee!". This record has taken me to my very first techno years. Pure classic acid techno is what you can find here. But REAL acid techno, you know what I mean?

Dettmann has given the chance to Wincent Kunth this time and I'm pretty sure he's not dissapointing anyone... dark Berlin techno at it's best from a Swiss guy this time. I really like this record because every track is very different from the others but maintains the dark berlinesque atmosphere I said before. I really see this guy on OTON.

Delsin, my loved Delsin, has served another full of love and good music release. Morphosis has made a great job this year and Delsin has proved it. Arabic feeling and dark filling on the original track that fixes every dj set, even if it's not a techno one. Same for both re-definitions, coming from Marcel Dettmann. Both are really deep but the second one is, maybe, a bit more housey... I think this is one of those "love it, or hate it" records. I love it, I love it so much that I think my wife could feel a bit jealous... 

And the last one, is a new edition from one of my all time favourites. James Ruskin's "Work" (sorry, I didn't find another version for the original one youtube). Both tracks on this record are recorded live. I must admit I've charted this one because of "Work", but the other track is a very useful piece too in my opinion.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Aryz: graffiti and illustration

My weekly visit to Juxtapoz magazine has led me today to find the great talent of Aryz. He's an amazing muralist and illustrator that has gained worldwide attention along many years of originality and good work. When talking about his illustrations, graphit and photoshop are his main weapons. And when talking about graffiti, it seems the bigger the wall is the better and more expresive his art is... Last month, he had an individual exposition at Montana Gallery in Barcelona and Aesop Rock made a simple but great introduction of this exposition:

"On canvas, paper, or a wall you thought was too big to conquer, Aryz's creepy palette and wonderful characters seem to breathe just above the surfaces they sit on. The graceful-if-grotesque subjects and environments offer a strangely comforting space while keeping all the guts and teeth in the right place. Aryz is making some powerful work at an important time, and I look forward to watching what he does next." -Aesop Rock

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New techno label: SCKT

Great news again. This time one of my best discoveries of this year, Markus Suckut, has announced he's starting a new label and, very good point for me, he'll be releasing only on vinyl.

The first reference comes with three pure class tracks produced by Mr. Suckut, and it looks like it'll be the usual: only tracks produced by Markus Suckut to express his most personal point of view when talking about techno music.  A perfect way to start this new adventure that makes me want to ask a lot of question about the plans he's got for the label. I just can't wait to put my hands on this record...

Check his presentation:


Release/catalogue number: SCKT01
Release date: Jan 25, 2011"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November chart

 Last month before Xmas distortion and good stuff keeps coming out. This month it's been quite hard again to choose ten records that every techno/dark electronics lover should have (in my honest opinion, of course).

I can luckily say that the first one on my list is already on my hands. It's been a long time since I bought my last Drumcode reference, it was DC43 if I remember correctly so we're talking about more than three years. This time, I'm buying the second DCLTD edition served by Nihad Tule and Bauri, two swedish producers coming with two strong minimalistic tracks. I love the beat and the atmosphere they apply in both tracks.

The second reference I've chose this month is Liber Nox a limited edition 12" from The Black Dog. What can I say about the Black Dog? I think it's all said about them. Just check this two tracks they are bringing through they home label: Dust Science. The first piece it's an orchestral electro track that I think can perfectly fix every dj set when looking for "that special climax". Second one, much more British techno, makes the listener travel to haunted inhospitable places. It really reminds me that old Birmingham stuff that I miss lately...

There's a lot of Dubstep going out. It's been like that for the last two-three (?) years. It's hard sometimes to find the good stuff between all the amount of ... well, maybe I shouldn't use any adjective when talking about something that depends so much on musical tastes (respect!). The fact is I've found the B side on TKR's new EP on Paradise Lost nr. 16 just amazing. A side is OK but B side is great. I'm talking about "Breath" and it's Twisted Flying Carpet remix. The beat on the first one makes me inmediately look for a dancefloor and a strong soundsystem to play it. Pretty clean track where the rythm is filled with some tribal elements and a soft dub melody that perfectly does the job... Same as the remix, coming with a very simmilar beat, without all those sounds that put you in the middle of the jungle on the previous one, and adding some extra claps on it making the track a bit more energetic, if possible.

One of my favourite labels, Times to Express, has just released the 18th reference. I never get tired of T2X sounds... I must admit this is the first time I see the name of this artist: SP-X but the track he's serving on the A side is one of those tracks that will come to my mind when someone ask for the definition of techno. I think this time Mr. Hoesen and his amazing techno mind had an easy job to do the remix. The third track is also a pure techno track, please listen to that beat bringing all those Purpose Maker classic tracks to your mind... just delicious! SP-X a name to watch.

Let me approach this November chart to some, let's say, more ambiental and full of vibrations sounds. Synkro is a very special artist. For me, correct me if I'm wrong, he's in the middle of Scuba's and Burial's style. Two of my favourite non techno producers to define another artist, that can only be good... The three tracks on this release are calm down music. Maybe too far from the rest of the releases on this list but hey, I think it's a dj's job to make very different tracks sound good together if needed!

And here we go with the third and fourth Innertia compilation releases! I made an entry to speak about these amazing MUST HAVE compilation. I won't spend to much words again although I think this compilation deserves many of them, all positive of course. Let me please just mention my fave on each one... or... you know what? I won't do it, I'm feeling all the tracks from the first sound until the last one goes and leaves place to the static... because I'm always talking about vinyl, I hope that's clear huh?

Why do all Mike Paker's tracks sound so similar? And why do I like them so much? If you make that question to me, is because you didn't listen to him or, at least, not enough... I'm a big Geophone fan and I'm a big Semantica stuff lover too. Believe me: If we talk about abstract techno we can't leave all these names out. This time, Parker releases the 32nd reference from this Spanish Label owned by Svreca who's serving on this EP a very effective remix too. Go and get it before they're gone, because that's what uses to happen with Semantica releases... I can say that's been my own experience several times...

Can I say Sir Ruskin and Sir Broom to refer the two masters of good techno who have just released an album? One of those albums containing tracks that don't need to the mixed on a set to be properly listened to? One of those techno albums where techno is the less important part of the definition because we're talking about pure music? Where every track is an amazing track to the best electronica that only could be made when two specific minds put together all their wisdom? Of course I can, all these words are not enough to refer the incredible album James Ruskin and Mark Broom have released on Blueprint records, under the name of The Fear Ration (I love this alias). Please, go and have a listen. I've listened again and again for the samples on Juno and I just hope this is not sold out before my next order...

I'll finish this month's chart with Oscar Mulero's new reference on one of his labels Pole Recordings. What a relief! Mulero has been one of my biggest influences for me and I've been feeling the need to see him renewed for quite a while now... Listening to this EP made me happy, I was sure he was able to do it and he's perfectly done it! He's adapted his personal sounds to the actual needs and I'm really satisfied with the way he's done it... There's still Mulero's essence on this EP no doubt, but he's come out from the loop in which he was, this is a personal opinion. The opinion of a big Mulero stuff lover, not just criticism...

Check my November chart HERE

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sigur Rós: INNI

I still remember that night, about three years ago. It was one of those nights you are not awake nor sleeping in front of TV watching everything but watching nothing at around 2 a.m. trying to find a reason to get up and go to bed. On one of those many times your eyes are closed and open again and again, something made me keep them open and focus on the screen again. An amazing staging that reminded me some kind of "Cirque du Soleil" spectacle and a mixture of sounds I had never had the chance to listen to until that moment, made my eyes and ears open widely and suddenly feel awaken. At the beginning I was a bit confused, because that concert took place at FIB Benicassim Festival, and although I always tried to avoid prejudice at that moment I didn't like at all that indie/pop/neo-hippie way of life FIB represents, at least for the ignorant people like me. I'm still not a fan of all that movement but at least, I want to show my gratitude to FIB and that channel playing that show that night because on that night, my mind opened a bit more and, since then, my musical hungry is even more voracious, or maybe we could say I was just eating meat until then and now I also like vegetables and fish (even sushi sometimes!)... I think I love even more every form of emotional music (which is almost all of it, except mainstream music of course) and I take even more time trying to find new and different sounds. I also think with Sigur Rós I've learned that electronica and acoustic music can go together as far as they express a common mood. And Sigur Rós' music, uses to be close to my mood...

" 'inni' is either the first-ever sigur rós live album, or second live film (and follow up to 2007's acclaimed iceland tour film heima). in fact, it is both: a 75-minute film and 105-minute double live album of the band captured in full flow at the close of their last tour in november 2008, here housed within one single fat package.
filmed at alexandra palace over two nights by director vincent morisset (arcade fire's 'miroir noir'), the movie 'inni' could best be described as the anti-'heima'. whereas that film took a band about whom the world knew little, and placed them in the cultural, social and geographical context of their homeland, (with winning and humanising results); the new film strips away everything save the raw performance of the four musicians themselves. where 'heima' was widescreen and open, 'inni' is close and single focussed.
this is intentional. for while 'heima' was successful at "explaining" sigur rós, it was less so at conveying what it feels like to actually watch sigur rós play. that is the job of 'inni'. in order to accomplish this goal, morisset has taken his time and employed a number of different analogue post-production techniques to create an emotional understanding of being in the room with the band and going 'inside' the music. ("inni" literally means "inside").
unlike many concerts, watching sigur rós is seldom a communal experience; it is instead intensely personal. by almost entirely removing awareness of the crowd and any sense of place, morisset brings you closer than ever to the players, using multiple camera angles to reveal in sometimes minute close up the concentration and effort involved in delivering such a powerful rock show.
originally filmed on hd digital, 'inni' was first transferred to 16mm film and then projected and re-filmed once, sometimes through glass and other objects to give a strong impressionistic look, a feat accomplished with the help of godspeed you! black emperor visual collaborator karl lemieux. the film was then meticulously pieced together by 'heima' editor nick fenton, who chose to break up the flow with unexplained archive footage, including interview and concert material from before the band's exposure to the wider world at the tail end of the last century.
it's worth mentioning also that the film has only one song in common with 'heima' (the closing 'popplagið') and that it draws for the most part on the darker end of the band's material. the double live album by contrast, covers the entire sigur rós spectrum over its hour-and-three-quarters, the songs played in the same order as on the night. mixed by sigur rós house engineer birgir jon birgisson, 'inni', the live album, stands as the definitive sigur rós live recording.
the performance captures the band playing as a stripped down four-piece for the first time since they were joined by string section amiina at the start of the decade. this fundamental 'boiling down' makes 'inni' a more forceful and primal proposition, much at odds with the popular misconception of the band as purveyors of instant emotional heft for film-makers in need.
the album features 15 tracks, with songs taken from all five sigur rós studio albums. there is also the bonus of an unreleased studio track in the form of 'lúppulagið', which is used both over the credits of the film and as the final non-live track on the album. the dvd/blu-ray, meanwhile, also includes four extra songs from the night. "

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ballistic Records

 Today I'm celebrating the launching of Ballistic, a project by Delusions from Barcelona city.

Everytime a new techno label is born it's a reason to me to be happy. But when the label is from Spain, and its first release is a vinyl including tracks from Casual Violence, Agony Forces and Delusions and Deep's Edayar, I must say I have something to celebrate.

This label is strongly influenced by the Industrial techno sounds and the Birmingham scene as most of us are. But what generated more interest in me is they also declare a dedication to a more dub and berliner side of techno, on wich I'm pretty focused lately. Of course, I never forget my beginings but well, this is what I'm feeling lately and that's why I'm sure I'll be watching this new project I'm talking about. It looks like Triplevisions will take care of the distribution.

The first reference was published at the end of September and it starts with a strong industrial track served by the owners (Delusions) followed by Casual Violence, bringing a dark atmosphere industrial tune too. On the B side, Agony Forces has recorded a very energetic track, as they normally do, but it has surprised me that they seem to make a nod to something a bit more dub including some different chords in it. I think my favourite tune is D. Edayar's track, the last one on this release. Maybe too different from the rest of the record but it makes this release fixing perfectly with their statement of principles: Industrial & Birmingham / Berlin & Dub.

Let's see how this difficult days affect to this label but from here, I want to show my full support to my neighbours and wish them a lot of music and good vibes...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inertia compilation: Resisting routine.

It's been a while, although not as long as I should, since I've been following Delsin Records and all his family. I've got to say this is one of the most respectable labels I've found during these years of music investigations. It's main focus is traditional detroit oriented techno but the thing I like most of them is they don't fear to release anything that sounds special and deserves to be part of the dedicated dj's collections... My September mix includes some of them.

But well, the reason that made me start this entry is more specific. Delsin's beautiful sister, Ann Aimee, is releasing a 4 reference compilation called inertia and, although I only have the two first releases, I can already say the series is already an important part of my collection.

Inertia #1 was released on October 14th, 2011 and includes cuts from Time to Express Chief Peter Van Hoesen and Fachwerk’s Roman Lindau as well as fellow label recruits Delta Funktionen and Sawlin. I'm not a big Delta F. fan but I'm really feeling this track, a very deep one this time. Van Hoesen's cut maintains the level he's used to serve. I love his hability to put severe and strong beats together with a well ridden dub feeling but well, who doesn't love him this days? Lindau's coming with a heavy stomping beat too, I think I'll be playing this one a lot. And finally Sawlin offers a quality trippy techno track. For me this one could be the best of this release. I simply love it please: have a listen. The cessation of motion is due to the opposing force...

Inertia #2 was released together with the first one. I don't understand why they decided to do this but I'm sure there's a reason for that. First track is from Marcelus, a new name for me, who offers a heavy house and techno fusion, I love the classic feeling on this track. One of the men of the moment, Sigha, goes deep and ominous with a track that, honestly, I think is one of his best ones. Redshape, well... I've never liked his sounds I'm sorry... this is too electro-techno-ish for me but I must admit that if I had to choose a track from him, it would be this one. Area Forty_One close out the package with a really useful track, pretty oringinal! If there is no opposing force...

Inertia#3 has been released this week, yesterday to be more exact. What could we expect from a release including four names like Lucy, M. Bradley, M. Dehnert and Ozka (another new name to me, thanks Delsin Recs.)? Exactly : perfect compressed dub, a perfectly driven techno track, a pure class club banger and a perfect darker and deeper textures track... what can I say? I just find this release perfect! The Motion Will Never Stop

Inertia#4 released also November 11th, closes this series that I think will be one of those that will mark an inflexion point of techno evolution... Filled with four contemporany big names, 4th Inertia starts with Skudge's "Pollution" a simply constructed but effective track as they've us used to. I really like Skudge and I'm always watching out for their newest stuff, which I'd like to be more frequent! Next track comes from Conforce and I could define it as the beauty of deepness, really recommended too. A bit more dubby comes Cosmic TRG, check this out, I think it'll be a name to follow too (at least I'll do). Fachwerk co-founder Sascha Rydell gets a little spaced out on his kinetic and melancholic effort, a really well chosen closing for this great compilation... I just can't wait to put my hands on nr. 3 and nr. 4... Stand out on its own, but peerless when paired with the other three parts, Inertia 4 ends a special project indeed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wesley Allsbrook: illustration.

Today I've been checking Juxtapoz magazine. I like to check it once per week because I think they have a very interesting view of the contemporany art. A very modern and open minded concept that it's very close to what I like when I'm looking for inspiration coming from a visual source.

I'm not a great connoisseur of the illustration art. I've always been next to really talented graphic designers and I think I've been lucky for that, but I simply like it and I have my own taste but I insist: I have no clue about that. Anyway, today I've found an illustrator that really caught my attention. I'm talking about Wesley Allsbrook:

Wesley Allsbrook was born and raised in the verdant piedmont region of North Carolina. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, she settled into life as a freelance illustrator. Give her a ring. She'd love to hear from you.

If you have the time, please check her site to find her illustrations, some of her comic works and even her blog. I love the old 50's comic touch filled with a very actual criticism on her works.Allsbrook's illustrations are plenty of hidden details that have captivated me from the first moment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October 2011 techno set

This week I've recorded and uploaded my fall mix. This one is not an experiment like the set I recorded in September, plenty of downtempo and even some ambient sounds. This season, as I use to do in every season, I've tried to pour my feelings about fall. This year it's being a late fall, because we're living some kind of sunny spring instead of the cloudy and bit colder weather we should consider as normal. But we can't escape to the days going shorter and the nights being colder* so I think that's why this set keeps going from hot to cold and to dark to bright (all the brightness I can give, I know that's not too much) continuously.

Compressed dub, that's a definition Lucy used to talk about SA sounds and that I'd apply to this set too. First, because it's plenty of SA stuff and second because the rest of the tracks are really dub too... The set starts with an intro I built with two tracks from Surgeon and it's followed by two SA tracks by Dadub and I think that's where the main part of the story begins... This time I'd like to highlight, in addition to the SA stuff, the Sandwell District because I think this is the first time I felt comfortable playing a SD track... You'll notice too that James Ruskin is always present on my mixes... and I've just realised that this is the first time I'm not playing any Token! I promise I'll solve this one the next set, I'm sure because Token 19 has just come out and I'll be buying it this week. You can check the rest of the tracks under these lines. I'm not quite happy with mixing this time, but I think the great stuff on it, really worths a listen or two. Listen to my set on the link below and feel free to leave any comment:

01.- Surgeon - Presence
02.- Surgeon - Transparent Radiation
03.- Dadub – Metropolis
04.- Lucy & Ercolino - So The Nothing Grows Stronger (Remix – Dadub)
05.- Reeko - Inroad (Remix - Ben Sims)
06.- Jeroen Search - Hybrid
07.- HU – Čaj
08.- O/V/R - Interior
09.- Forward Strategy Group - Token Ring
10.- O/V/R - Descending The Left Corner
11.- Lucy - Bein (Remix - James Ruskin)
12.- Sandwell District – Grey Cut Out (Version)
13.- Frank Martiniq - Dark Star
14.- Dimi Angélis & Jeroen Search - Jupiter
15.- Lucy - Dub Man Walking
16.- Orphx - Vapour
17.- James Ruskin – The Outsider (ME Remix - Luke Slater)
18.- Mike Dehnert –Discrete
19.- Jonas Kopp – Alkitran
20.- Ben Klock – Compression Session 1

   humo - late fall - october 2011 set by humo

*(that reminds me that Fink lyrics... fuck! today he's playing in Barcelona and I was supposed to go but finally I couldn't be there at because of family affairs... frustrating because it's the only music with a singer on it I've been listening to this year, well, Fink and Emika)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October chart

Another month has passed and another barrage of good releases has made it hard to me to select ten records between all the amazing music coming out. It's a bit frustrating for me because I made an order simulation with the records I'd buy this month if I could afford all of them and well, it was around 300 EUR... impossible... 

First of all, I've found a label I'll try to study carefully. I say that because it's new for me and, mainly,  because seeing the names on the first releases and listening to this 8th release I've charted, make me think this is one of those extremelly eclectic labels that use to hide some musical jewels that don't get the attention it deserves. I'm talking about Idle Hands, a Bristol based label that has just released this amazing two tracker produced by AND.

This month has been really productive for me, I've made several findings and I'm really happy to see new labels that still believe in vinyl and it's charm, and more if it's a Spanish one. First because it's my country and second because it looks as the only European country that's not being refreshed with the new sounds wave that floods all the continent at this moment. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good producers and some really strong and respectable labels, but I didn't see any evolution for the last 2 or 3 years, unless certain exceptions. Eleve records, from Spain, is one of them in my honest opinion. It has released his first reference and I want to express my full support to this project, started some years ago and focused in the most ambient/dub side of techno music, have a listen to this EP and feel this special sound they have. And keeping the dub feeling, I've also found very impressing the last Echocord release by Skudge. I've still so many things to learn... I found Skudge like a new name for me and they have even their own label! Well that's the beauty on life, isn't it? This time I found a still dubby release but more dancefloor addressed release than what I'm used to find on Echocord... another useful record to put your hands on, if you can.

Julien H Mulder is the responsible of Färden nr. 3 and it looks like this release is his master piece. This is a very personal opinion but I think at this moment the best acid is coming from Sweden. A clear proof of it are these three outter space acid tracks that in some moment could have some millesque reminiscences. This is the kind of techno that really touches my brain and makes me want to be on a dark dance floor somewhere in Mars... very good one!

Nachtstrom Schallplatten 042 (42!), by Tex Rec. Well... I think they don't need any presentation. The great job this label has done since it came out in 2008 and the great evolution Tex Rec has made during the last years, only can provide a highly effective EP on which I'd specially recommend the third track "Androlium" ... supertrack! Supertrack is also "Pretend" from Emika on every one of the versions they've recorded. I have a special feeling for the Brandt Brauer Frick version, just sublime. Seeing it live is just a gift.  You'll also find two versions of "Professional Loving" on this release. Emika has her style, and I simply love her stuff.

It was a big and welcome surprise when I saw another producer that's raising the roof lately publishing in one of those labels you think, in your intimacy, that only you and few people follow... I'm talking about Apotek, I have some releases from this label and I have to be sincere: if you asked me if Xhin could fix on Apotek my answer would be "NO". But this time I'd be wrong again. 

I won't commit demagogy and I won't repeat what's everybody already said and it's obvious so, if you didn't yet, GO AND BUY NEW P.A.S.' ALBUM ON O-TON! Even if you don't spin records anymore... I think this is the perfect definition for "a must have", even if it's only for collectors motivations.

For collectors too and if you don't believe me, just come back to me in a couple of years, it'll be this new Inertia series from Ann Aimee. I hope I can get the four of them before they are sold out! For the moment I've charted the first one but the second has come out too and I think it's amazing too. My advise is to keep an eye on this Inertia series.

And finally, my loved Token Records label has released its 19th reference. What can I say... I'm in love with Token from the first release and I have all the releases and keep them as one of the most important parts of my vinyl collection. Token + Inigo Kennedy = pleasure for mind, body and soul. I really don't know the reason why Iningo could need a "Revenge" but if this is some kind of punishment, I'm a masochist...

Check my October 2011 chart here

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steffi: that's a dj.

 In these days of digital invasion where even beatmatching is not important anymore because the machine will do it for you, Steffi appears to me as what an authentic dj should be. I've been listening to the few sets I could get during the last weeks and I must say she's becoming a source of inspiration for me. I'm not a big tech-house (if a style classification has to be done) lover but I think not so many people can put the deepness she transmits to her sets. Clubby, deep, natural and skilled are the words I personally would choose to refer to this dj. I recommend to check her profile on berghain's booking section while you start to listen to her amazing set @ boiler's room:

Embracing to music, art and counter-culture, Dutch born DJ and producer and label owner Steffi has become an important figure in the realms of contemporary club music.

With the experience that comes with promoting underground parties for over a decade, and running two successful labels - Klakson, and her new Dolly imprint - Steffi has also developed a natural and professional balance between DJing and producing.

As a resident of Berlin's Panorama Bar she forged a growing a relationship with the club's label, Ostgut Ton. Building up her production knowledge and collection of gear since her move to Berlin in 2007, she now has a fully fledged studio in which she has created a very respectable sound indeed.

Her warm, classic-inspired and analog-proud productions have featured as various singles on the label and her first full-length artist album, „Yours & Mine“ plants her firmly on the map as a deft hand at song writing and production. Tracks like the unmistakable „Yours“ featuring Virginia, or pumping warehouse moments like „Mine“ and „Nightspacer“ are undeniably impressive, as is the entire album; an emotional journey reflecting her love for real, uncompromised club music.

Steffi also collaborated with the dedicated Restoration Records as „Third Side“ alongside Lucretio and Marieu, offering up a raw and historic 4 tracker. Also branching out on US label Underground Quality, her smooth night-driving „Reasons“ EP again features Virginia's wonderful vocal encouragement. Steffi's productions explore the many channels of her love with house music, just as you will also hear when you see her controlling the sound system in the club.

Always presenting a rich, versatile selection with her skillful, creative mixing style, Steffi continues to distill her huge knowledge and love for this music into her DJ performances. With increased touring and world-wide appearances becoming more and more regular, while also maintaining her residencies in Berlin and at Berns Salonger in Stockholm, Steffi is a talented, passionate and aware member of today's music culture. A culture whose very strength relies on dedicated artists such as herself.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

September inspirational set: manipura

Manipura (Sanskrit: मणिपूर, Maṇipūra), called "city of jewels", is the third primary chakra according to Hindu tradition

This is something I recorded before my vacation but I didn't post it here until today. So here I go:

Inspired by an intense yoga class the day before and feeling the need of having a good time with some of the records I don't usually put on my sets, I recorded this some days ago.

Totally freestyle and not looking for perfection. Anyways, I think the result was acceptable. Some kind of ambiented downtempo sometimes dubslowstepping... just to try to make a definition, if possible. I also wanted to include a Sigur Rós track to close the set. It suddenly came while playing an immerse cut and then, I felt the set was finished:

01. Deepart - Nice Light
02. Deepart - Thought Processes
03. Deepart - Citybound
04. Alter Ego - Brom (Alter Ego Dub)
05. Newworldaquarium - The Force (Alternative Version)
06. Kode9 – Konfusion (Dub)
07. Shackleton – The Branch Is Weak (Geiom Remix)
08. Anstam - Untitled
09. Kontext - Hometown Swamp
10. Sigur Rós - Ára Bátur

check it here

Friday, October 14, 2011

September chart

It's been a while since my last post in here... I've been offline the last three weeks but I won' regret: I've been out for vacation!
Just before leaving, I prepared my September's must have list, although I must admit I didn't find the time (translate it to "the money") to make an order. Soon or later I'll put my hands on all these beauties so I think it's still fair to publish it.

Some of those releases were published during the summer but, as I said before, this summer has been really prolific and well, unfortunatelly I'm not rich of time (translate it to "of money" again...). Even one of them, was out on March: Dimi Angeli's and Jeroen Search's EP on the first Balans reference. We all know the deal with this duo, pure class techno served on every track and this release doesn't disappoint.

Also from Mr. Search but next to Markus Suckut this time, comes this Figure Special 6th release. All the three tracks are pretty deep and minimalistic. 4.3 is a great track in my opinion, it might sound really close to Sandwell District stuff but I see a better construction of the track itself. 2.0 is the track I'd choose from this EP and the one that made me decide to buy this release. I love the dub in it...

I've also selected the new Perc Traxx as I'm really feeling th B side on it. And well, I'm still surprised because Radial is back...

I think my favourite of this month is CLR 48 from Tommy Four Seven... oh my god what a nice release! Terence Fixmer's interpretation of Sevals is one of the best tracks of this year for me. I'm pretty sure I'll mix it up with some SA's several times... I can even mentally imagine some of those mixes without having it yet... Both original tracks from Tommy are great. Deepness and darkness are words that are used pretty easily these days (so do I) but please, listen to those tracks and later tell me wich are the words that come to your head... Again, amazing release. AMAZING, with capital letters... keep them coming Tommy!

Who's Tobias? I really didn't know until I saw his LP on O-Ton and well, that was my fault. He's got a very personal sound that I'm really enjoying... this is a quite eclectic release but I think there's a continuous mood on it that, I dare to say, reflects a very original style that mixes calmed down structures but still tense sounds that I think fix perfect... One of those LP that you could listen to track by track, not necessarily on a DJ set.

From Italy, it comes Zooloft, a label to follow. I'm really impressed with the good stuff coming out from lately from "the boot". It looks like there's a lot of inspiration there and this is a great proof of it.

Cio D'Or has  published on Prologue a record that I think is her master piece. Please, have a listen to it. Every track on this release has been carefully drafted to bring you down to hell and feel comfortable on the trip... A must have, believe me.

More clubby but following this feeling too, comes the 4th Darknet release. I would like to remark Logotech's B side. I'm becoming a big fan of this guy.

Aftertaste... I think it needs might not be a easy listening release but I have a special love for this label. I celebrate it's still active. Maybe too different compared to the other releases I've just comented but if you listen to my sets, you'll see I always use to mark a turning point in them and this is one of the releases I'd use for that. And well, the last two years my style has been changing a bit but this is the kind of stuff I used to play when I started to mix other people's tracks in order to tell un-fairy tales...

Check my September chart here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cicuta Netlabel

A new interesting label has been launched. I'm still a vinyl defender but it'd make no sense to deny that the digital scene is growing day by day and there are a lot of serious people working behind some of this labels.
My last thoughts about this situation and the facts I'm seeing lately make me rethink about this digital vs vinyl discussions and well, I'm seeing my mind changing because of (in my honest opinion) some obvious facts: I think vinyl has become a platform for not risky projects. I mean, it looks like the last vinyl releases only publish tracks that sound like a safe product in order to be saleable. Opposite to this, I find some interesting digital labels that dare to publish really interesting, original and more risky stuff that most of the traditional (vinyl) labels wouldn't release because they maybe won't sell as much as needed. There are a lot of exceptions of course, classics (Blueprint, O-Ton, etc) and newcomers (SA, Dub Chronicles, etc).
I fully understand both positions. Vinyl releasing needs an investment that, unfortunatelly, most of the labels can't afford and netlabels look like a cheap alternative to let really good artists release their music... Well, this could be a never ending discussion. So let's go for bussines and let themselves present a new label with a very interesting first release.

After most of two years involved in netaudio scene, and even more after the sad demise of 2 of the most respected labels in the Creative Commons scene, like Antiritmo and Offaudio, from Drugstore felt that we had to contribute to try to return all the satisfaction that this community has given us. This is the beginning of Cicuta Netlabel.
Cicuta Netlabel is a project focused on bringing quality techno music throughout the world, for free, without prejudice. Our differentiator is that we want to have well-known artists, those that are not typically seen in the netaudio scene, and combining its proven quality with talent and drive of those artists who are growing and only need the world to discover your work to seduce.
Our intention is to publish a monthly EP. These EPs will always be licensed under Creative Commons, and will can be downloaded for free from
To complement the aforementioned, we also want to have the best mixers of the techno scene, providing a regular podcast to all our supporters.
What kind of music can you expect on our releases/podcast? The response is TECHNO, in upper case, and with several shades: dark, hard, industryal, melodic,…. We don’t want to lock ourselves in a unique style. If its techno, and we like it, we will publish it.

Big respect for Cicuta Netlabel, specially because they offer their releases for free, and we're not talking about one of those people offering for free tracks that no one would play, not at all. A big proof of it is the tracklisting on their first reference:

01. Kike Pravda – Quantum (04:55)
02. Vegim – Librium (06:19)
03. i1 Ambivalent – Home (05:21)
04. Mootiv – Work ‘Em Out (07:18)
05. One D & Edrian Sailing – Growing Shadows (06:13)
06. Drugstore – Udayan (06:17)

If you're not thinking in downloading it yet, you can also look at the feedback some artists have already given:

Excelente pack de techno inteligente y maduro. Me ha sorprendido en especial Vegim y como no mis favoritos Mootiv, One D & Edrian, creando dos tracks espectaculares!
Dosem (Sino, Soundfate, ES)
Cool EP gentlemen!. This label will definetly fill an empty void of techno netlabels. As for this first release, I really like Growing Shadows but the others are nice as well. Mastering sounds proper too!
Mattias Fridell (Mastertraxx, Planet Rhytmic, Audio Assault, SW)
I1 ambivalent & Kike tracks for me
Kr!z (Token Records, BE)
Geniales todos los temas!!! Un gran comienzo!!! Con la desaparición de Antiritmo y Offaudio hace falta un poco de buen techno en la escena netlabel española!!
Hermético (Inoquo Netlabel, ES)
The work from Vegim, i1 Ambivalent and Drugstore is really resonating with me at Darkfloor on this compilation EP. Of the 6 tracks that constitute this netlabels inception release these 3 are the darker and fit our vibe well. Expect support for these on air and in my sets.
DVNT (Mantis Radio, UK)
We like Kike Parvda track very much. Support for this project from Drugstore.
Concrete Djz (Armatura Records, RS)
I will play Home and Quantum!
Andreas Florin (We call it Hard, Planet Rhytmic, Subsequent, Take More Music, DE)
Congrats for the first one. The playlist looks great. Much diversity of techno inside there. My favourite track it’s he first one by Kike but it’s a solid release in general.
Peter Arendt (Heaven To Hell Records, UK)
Some great sounds on there. My personal favourites are Kike Pravda and i1 Ambivalent, they will be on the playlist for sure. And also full support for the label.
Doryk Aka P.C.M.N (Audio Exit, HU)
Really good sound. Nice to hear great techno on netlabels!! You’re the worthy “followers” of Antiritmo & Offtechno.
DJ L’embrouille (Mixotic, Loopzilla, FR)
El promo EP es bastante completo, lo usaré en mis sets en directo y radio Shows (DI.FM) New York y Spanish Wave ELECTIONRADIO.FM (Argentina)
Lady K (Nxt, Phrenetic Agency Sevilla)
Muy bueno el EP, me han gustado todos los tracks pero me quedo con el de Drugstore. Gracias por compartir.
Kill Minimal (Offaudio, ES)
Great tracks!. Vegim,Drugstore and i1 Ambivalent are my favs!
Stefano Infusino (Gynoid, HTH, Parallel 125, IT)
Some good driving techno tracks on this release! Good tracks for the modern techno floor, especially for the peak time hours at the club!
Patrick Krieger (M_REC, Elektrax, Sonntag Morgen, DE)
I support and I’ll play Kike Pravda’s track!
P.God (Prototypes, IT)
My favourites is i1 Ambivalent followed by Vegim. I will play both their tracks in my personal sets. I will also put the rest of the tracks in standard rotation on Fnoob Techno.
Daz Furey (Fnoob Radio, AR)
It is really amazing and good quality techno I found in this release !!!! Kike Pravda,Drugstore and Vegim are my favorite there. You did good job and I really hope some day I could join one of your releases!!!
Po (Ante-Rasa, Limetree, Afterstate, LV)
YetTken: Muy buen EP. Se nota muchísimo la influencia de Drugstore en todo el lanzamiento. Mis tracks preferidos son “Librium” de Vegim y “Growing Shadows” de One D & Edrian Sailing.
Armida: Me encantó. Excelente primera referencia, muy bien balanceado. La segunda parte del Ep es la que más me llamó la atención. Mis elegidos son: “Growing Shadows” de One D & Edrian Sailing y “Work ‘Em Out” de Mootiv.
Sound & Motion Netlabel (SV)
I find it amazing… There is no better way to start a Netlabel…As for the songs… I like the “heavy” beats (but you already knew that)Also nice to see Udayan on this… Unreleased song from the Drugstore podcast on 1MC.
Steve (1MC Radioshow, UK)
Awesome release! My favs are kike pravda and drugstore! Lovely stuff
Steve Pain (DE)

For me, One D and Edrian Sailing's track sounds pretty interesting but all the tracks are very nice.

A special name for me: Kike Pravda. I was a teenager going to highschool when I was infected by techno virus and I think that he's guilty for that. I remember Sunday mornings dancing on the little underground club that has given the name to Kike: Pravda club in Vitoria city... great, great, great stuff he played. I'd love to rescue some of those sets he used to play.

Well, this is their presentation. Let me mention a couple of words before I finish, that I think could describe Cicuta: eclecticism and professionality. And repeat the biggest point that has made me make the decision of making an entry for them: they'll serve quality techno for free... some other labels could learn a lesson...

Friday, August 26, 2011

August chart

Well, the last hot month of this 2011 is coming to its end and good music keeps being released. As far as I remember, normally this is not the best month for record labels but well, I think 2011 has definetely been an exception. I hope I can say the same on January 2012... we'll see...

That new Figure by J. Search and M. Suckut is a delicious plenty of dub record. Specially on B2, a track I think I'll be playing as much as I can. The new Perc sounds great too, it's one of the most interesting releases on this label, B side is my side. Really deep tracks, not normally my style but this time I'm feeling them. I also would like to mention there's a Radial remix on A side, welcome back Mr. Liebregts and Boyconstrictor. It's been a while since was waiting everymonth to get the new AAR and ARMS stuff. Well, maybe those were another times...

New Echocord is one of the best in my opinion and also another pure dub present on wax format is the 2nd Dub Chronicles... Long life for DUBCNS!!! And long life for Semantica too. I've charted two of them... I  must admit I don't have them yet, but they release such an special music that I felt the obligation of putting them on my list.

I was waiting to put my hands on that Orbis since it was posted on souncloud, it reminds me all good times and I'm pretty sure it has been created in the old way. Dolly 7 sound pretty different but makes me feel "oldie but goldie" too... and oldies but goldies are also the heavy weights I've selected this month, I think The Black Dog's release on DUSTV is going to be my favourite release this year. Broom's and Ruskin's ? Yes, nothing new on A side and maybe on B1 but pure class sounds and useful tracks are included on BEARDMAN 11 and B2 is a really beautiful piece in my opinion.

Let's see what comes in Autum, really inspiring season for me.

August 2011 chart

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Smoke Machine Podcast 023 Obtane

It's been a long time since I'm following this quality techno podcast series and everytime a new edition is out I think  should talk about it... maybe I didn't before because they already have their own blog.

Smoke Machine Taipei is for me a synonymous of good taste. I won't explain much about SM because you can check their blog but I want to talk about the great, classy, moody, serious music they serve. If you look at the previous editions, almost all the artists are part of, if I you let me repeat Lucy's words, the so called compressed dub sounds that's being released lately. Names like Xhin, Donor, Giorgio Gigli, Edit Select (amazing podcast he served)... etc all, with no exception, have been great.

Maybe this one I want you all to check is a bit different. A completely new name for me, but a well known and experienced dj and producer serves the best SM Podcast edition I've been able to listen to so far... Obtane/QuitQuiteQuick is a techno artist, owner of Zooloft, involved to electronics since the mid 90's. He's released in Synewave and Sonic Groove among other and, after this podcast was out, I've been checking some stuff from him and I got to admit I was missing an original artist that serves really useful material on which I'm going to put my hands as soon as I can...

Back to this top quality set he's recorded for SM, I must say I've listened to it four times now and I've perceived different shades on every listen. I think this is one of those kind of sets that you listen to back to from time to time...  It starts with a terror film intro followed by an amazing track that makes you get into the set and don't leave until it wants to let you go. And that's when it finishes of course. Amazing, deep, dark, serious, some times outer space tracks follow during around 85 minutes. Technically, is also one of the best sets I've listened to lately. So what else could I ask for? Pefect music, perfect mixing and a new (for me) and interesting artist to check.

Only as a cheesy anecdote: humo means smoke in Spanish...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stroboscopic Artefacts - 1 to 10 in a row

I woke up this morning and I checked twitter after breakfast. What I found is some great news for me, I've got no excuses now to not to add to my vinyl collection the whole catalogue so far of one of the best record labels at this moment... and this is my opportunity to mention SA in my blog too.

Well, it's known by all of us the great work Lucy's label is doing. In my opinion, easy to say if we just look at the facts but still true, they are making all of us keeping the faith in techno music future. I think the unique sound this people is bringing to the scene shows there's still a lot of techno to discover and we are not into another repetitive loop as a lot of people think.

For many, the embedded craftsmanship, sonic superiority and tangible artwork of vinyl captures a singular musical vision. Stroboscopic Artefacts' exploration of the sonic dialect is helping reshape how we dance, listen and percieve music. We now celebrate our tenth release, a story of evolution told by ten inspirited flowers, each blossoming and evolving among an otherwise dystopian order. Focusing on substance, Stroboscopic Artefacts' complete vinyl catalogue is now available to purchase as a whole via a 10x12" shipment. Stroboscopic Artefacts invite our fans to cherish in a legacy and own a concord time capsule of the labels' fledging music evolution.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 2011 techno set

I always try to record at least one set per season and here it's what I could call a "trendy summer mix".

When I say trendy I think I should explain myself: I want to mean it's pretty easy to see on this set that I've been seduced by all the stuff coming out lately, mainly that Berlin sound that we all quickly identify.  I've been infected by the Berghain virus too and I feel really ill... I find on it a deep, serious and dark feeling that really inspires me.

I would like to highlight O-TON 42 by Ben Klock and Mike Wall &Tex-Rec –Unknown EP on PlusEins as my favourite records on the set. Special mention of too for Orphx's release (see my post below) on Sonic Groove, my fave on 2011 so far.

Of course, as every artistic expression, the author's personality makes it go its way. So maybe it's not exactly what you could expect after reading my description... As I said some time ago, let's let the music speak, so have a listen and judge by yourself:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July chart

There's so many stuff fixing my mood lately that I can't buy all the amazing records. I use to choose 10 MUST-have every month and put it in a chart on Juno, so I've decided to post my charts here as they'll be a great representation of what I'd be playing again and again on that moment...

July 2011 chart

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orphx - Traces EP

Richard Oddie and Christina Sealey are Orphx, a really experienced duo and, in my honest opinion, a clear example of the kind of sounds that will always fix on any of my sets. They sound quite classic and modern at the same time and they maintain the darkness and the dub on their productions just in the right balance. So they're really close to perfection for me, specially their latest stuff.

This EP that I can't stop playing since I got it, around two months ago, has been published by Sonic Groove, a Berlin based (but Brooklyn born) label owned by the well known DJ Adam X. I've got to say SG is one of those labels that have always been there (founded in the early 90's) and that I feel really happy when I see they're still publishing records on these hard times...

I think this three tracker perfectly keeps SG and Orphx essences in a good point, more than the previous one (Division-EP). A side, comes with a track sounding a bit like those recent Blueprint EPs but with a more analogic, even xylophonic, touch which I really dig. "Vapour", the first track of the B side, is a track full of bass with a martian ambience around that sounds pretty useful track for me. It softly comes and goes to you while you don't even notice. The last track "Density Current" is the best for me. Starting with a growing melody that also suggest a martian invasion, it suddenly explodes to bring you to a broken beat that calls the rest of the elements of the track to come back in order to show us the real power inside of this track.

Again, that's what I'd call a great release. Thanks to Orphx and thanks to Sonic Groove.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

what and why?

I've decided to start a new blog. This is the first time I feel the need to do it, and I don't know if this will last enough to be considered by other dark and inspiring electronic music lovers like me or not. The fact is I've been watching lots of blogs and I like some of them but most become repetitive and too subjective (maybe partisan?) in my opinion. With this words, I'm not saying I'll create the most original and objective blog ever, of course I'm not. But, at least, if has to be a repetitive and subjective blog, I want it to repeat and reflect my thoughts. I don't have many friends doing electronics, running a label or a club so I think I can be more objective. I mean, I will use it to reflect just my feelings regarding what musicians and artists are creating these days, trying to look deeper and to select those sounds that, in my honest opinion, most of the people should listen to (if not as much as I will) at least once on their lifes.

I will focus on music and specially into electronics, as I've been deejaying techno for some years but I will show some other artwork too. My main focus will be to underline the sounds I find on the net, the records I buy or get or any recommendation I could have, and that I think I should share or show here in order to me to be able to make a follow up of everything in the future. That's another of the main reasons that made me create this blog: I want to have all the relevant things in one place to me to be able to come back to it in an easy and useful way. I will try to show anything sounding / looking / feeling like an inspiration for me or whoever.

I don't see necessary to show my influencies at this point. I could be writing about it for days and days... I think the entries of this blog will show what is passing through my ears, in front of my eyes or touching my soul on that moment and that's also a great definition of an influence in my opinion.

And, what did  inspire me for such a long name? Light is nothing but the shade of darkness... well, I must admit I saw this sentence a lot of years ago, when I was a teen, on an abstract hip hop tape and I'm sorry but I really can't remember which one at this moment. The music on it wasn't the best in my opinion. But that phrase has been on my mind since then. Some of my friends have listened to it and had to read it a lot of times because I really appreciate the power on it... I think it explains all by itself, so I won't continue talking about it for the moment... The blog will do it for me.

Some days ago, I found another phrase that explains very well my way of thinking. When I saw it, I thought: "Damn, those are the words I was looking for. That's one of the reasons why I play music." I saw it on Mr. Boex' (Dynamic Reflection) twitter and it was something like: "where words fail, music speaks..."

I think no more words are needed at this point, so I'll let the music speak...