Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Give us a little background on IF? Records and how you came to be a part of it.
I think that this was having a negative impact on creativity and freedom which in turn had an affect on the the electronic music scene. In the last few years I think things are changing again and ordinary folk now know what they want and don't care about all the bullshit, they are just going for it. It would be good to get a more liberal and forward thinking mayor for this city who supported peoples right to party and do what they want, when they want. I mean how long are they going to bang on about licensing laws and binge drinking. It is pretty obvious that given freedom of choice, most people make the right decisions. If you try to cage people in they have to let the pressure out one way or another. Place a little more faith in humanity and get rid of all the silly rules. Having lived in parts of the world where you can go to a corner shop and buy a beer any time day or night, it really frustrates me why we can't do that in this country?
It doesn't make any sense. That is Sydney I'm talking about, I don't really feel like I am qualified to comment on other places in Australia as I spend most of my time hrere. The electronic music scene looks pretty healthy everywhere to me, especially, as always Melbourne. Also, while we are on the topic, I get a bit tired of comparisons between Australia and overseas and even different cities in Australia. There is cool stuff going on all over the place, I think people should just try to have more fun, feel more and think less. I think some of what I just said sounds like a bit of a contradiction? (laughs), oh well, life is like that. To sum it up, we have got it pretty damn good here and it's important to realise that, but we should always try and strive for more.
- 88uw - The Purple Rays [IF? Records] (Unreleased)
- Enclave - C-Sin (Sebastian Bayne Remix [Gynoid Audio]
- Steve Lorenz - Overlock (Damon Wild Remix) [Absolutive Records]
- Go Hiyama - Post Modern (Lucy Remix) [Perc Trax]
- 88uw - Communication Offline [Slap Jaxx]
- Cari Lekebusch - Tenacis [H-Productions]
- Hans Bouffmyhre - Demon Within (Pfirter Remix) [Perc Trax]
- Shlomi Aber - Groove Mechanism (Chris Liebing Remix) [Ovum Records]
- Krenzlin - Infusion (Original Mix) [IF? Records (Unreleased)]
- Emptyset - Altogether Lost feat. Cornelius Harris (Ben Klock's Glowing Clap Mix) [CLR]
- Jeroen Search & Markus Suckut - JSMS 4.3 [Figure SPC]
- Luke Solomon - From Rhythm Into Light [6ONE6]
- Dave Tarrida - Damage (Angel Alanis Remix) [Gynoid Audio]
- Deepchild - Suffering Ones (Tim Xavier Remix) [Thoughtless Music]
- Russ Denman - White Knights (Flavor Aid Mix) [6ONE6]
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Amongst bleating cattle I boarded Easy Jet flight 5415 to Berlin to take part in Tobias Rapp's Berlin and the Easy Jet Set (plus a few extra days). As I stared onto the concourse I found myself conjuring up excuses of how I could exempt myself from Rapp’s cliché, I am staying for 6 days, I do have friends in Berlin, I’m not just going to Berghain, I can count to zehn in Deutsch... A slight delay had me land at Schoenefeld Airport around 10:00pm and thanks to some touristic errors I made my Frankfuter Tor destination by 11:30pm-ish. Bags dropped and two (novelty size if your Australian, the norm if your German) Weißbier’s later I was on my way by foot along Karl Marx Allee (excitedly poster spotting along the way) to Weekend to see Ed Davenport and Oliver Deutschman.
Up the elevator with not a word spoken to the hazy lift attendant I entered Weekend unknowingly walking straight through eight friends arm in arm posing for a photo, not exactly Berghain. I looked on as Davenport banged out some hard hitting house with some trademark E-D bottom end to boot. El Carlsberg flowed and before I knew it was was nigh on 5:00am and time to make tracks back down the Karl Marx.
TV Tower en route to Weekend.
Friday morning saw a shower, coffee, croissant and trip Weinmeisterstraße for some new threads with old mate Fred Perry. Feeling almost dapper with my three new purchases a late lunch at Monsieur Vuong’s Indochina cafe called as I indulged in a light Vietnamese laksa and some green tea. Feeling human again I made the short trip south to Gneisenaustraße for some record shopping at Space Hall. Around 2 hours and fifteen records later I was U-Bahn-ing it back to HQ for some rest, pizza & biers and rest before hitting Henning Baer’s Grounded Theory 12 with Ben Klock, Delta Funktionen, Vault Series (Live) and Mr Grounded Theory himself Henning Baer.
Arena Club just south east of Berlins Mitte near Treptow was originally designed and built in 1927 for the intention of housing the omnibuses of Berlin’s public transport services, but was then re-assigned as a weapon’s arsenal for the Third Reich. Arena Club is tucked in amongst a barrack of industrial framework and was unusually quite on approach, leading me to think had I come to the right address. Those thoughts were quickly dispelled as lowly muffled throbs pulsed through Arena’s brick walls. A hushed line up consited of some whispered conversation where not surpringly the only distinctive voice to be heard was a group of American’s, their saving grace being a conversation about DJ Harvey. Nothing beats the feeling of entering a club when the night is young and this time I entered Arena to Henning Baer playing Conrad Van Orton's - Shattered, an artist I had funnily enough been telling friends about that day. Arena’s club was already quite full and a packing a friendly vibe, even when the bar ran out of beer. Beers were soon flowing again and so were Subjected and Moerbeck performing live as Vault Series and as to be expected were heavy on the four four German-ness to the rampant applause of Grounded Theory.
Rubbing shoulders with many of the artists whom have featured on TEA and the enthusiasm of Arena in general was a nice lead up to the start of big 'n' bustling Ben Klock's set. Oozing techno, Klock kept his first half very melodic, with comparable sounds to his Compression Session EP. The second half had Ben bring it home to the delight of one patron swinging his shirt swing above his head for the greater part of his set. I'd be lying if I said I didn't experience a Ben Klock moment like so many of us have. I took respite from a more crowded part of the dancefloor and pushed my way to the rear where I managed to find a small stepper elevating me above the dancefloor. What I saw next turned me from stoned face techno obsessive blogger to blushing prepubescent school boy as 3 german girls exchanged heats of passion, which to be honest it was a welcomed change from the usual same sex debauchery seen on German dance floors.
I took further respite on Arena’s viewing deck as Klock finished off his set to the cheers and hurrahs of a party not close to finishing. Delta Funktionen took over from Klock with some heavy hitting, deep and "Nu Skool" electro easing in from Klock’s thunder and lightening. Calling it a night I was handed a copy of Vault Series Vol.7 by Subjected a former interviewee and podcaster for TEA capping of night two of my Easyjet Set adventure.
Talk of Berghain at the moment is about as worn out a screen print T-Shirts of Kate Moss sold at Camden Market, so I'll keep it brief. Disappointingly missing out on Shifted's set I caught Planetary Assault Systems bang out Rip The Cut, Kray Squid, Bell Blocker (A DJ's favourite) and Wriss, followed by some loopy James Ruskin techno. High fives all round to Ruskin for dropping Thomas Bangalter’s - Outrun. Nearing my 8th hour inside Norman Nodge lived up to the reputation of what a Berghain resident should and his mix of Blawaan’s What You Do With What You Have was certainly a work out.
My remaining three days in Berlin essentially only consisted of rest, record shopping, donor kebap munchings und eine kaffe’s. This was my fourth trip to Berlin so I can confidently say that I had seen enough of the cities touristic attractions to not feel guilty about dusting up the knuckles for three days. Hardwax was my first port of call and I arrived at 11:00am, a little too keen, let's say one hour too keen as Hardwax opens at 12:00pm. I took a stroll along the Spree and made sure my return to Hardwax was at 12:15pm, don't want to look to keen right? gimme gimme gimme.
Two hours later I was mechanically and unemotionally processed at the register with what was close to 150 euro’s worth of records. Next up was the very friendly OYE Records located just off Schonhauser Allee up from Senefelderplatz. Listening to some records at my listening booth I was politely interrupted by a woman who explained to me that a German news crew were filming in the shop and that I would be in the background whilst the presenter did her thing. If any one reading this happens to see a German news story on OYE Records please let me know as I'd love to see it. I remember listening to this during filming. Last stop was Mitte Musik just off Warschauerstraße, a bulging bag full of records had me telling myself to relax and not buy everything on sight but the Mitte Musik guys had me at hello with their impressive Fachwerk selection, sold.
Weighing in at?
Wednesday I managed to quickly catch up with Henning Baer for a quick coffee and was treated to a sneak peak inside K209's studio, it’s no lie when they say techno made in a Berlin basement. As I hopped the S9 headed back to Schonfeld I huffed and puffed breaking into a small sweat lugging around what was in total close to 50 records. I packed light for Berlin knowing I would be bringing back some records, only I didnt expect my binge to be as big as it was, or at least I told myself that. I made my way to counter to check in my bag and attemped to casually lift it on the weigher, I wasn’t fooling anyone as I no doubt looked like an olympian weight lifter about to buckle, pulsating vien in the middle of the forehead is always a good too. I ended up checking in at 19.6 Kg’s, 0.4 Kg's under the limit, not bad going considering I had more in my hand luggage.
Friday, 18 November 2011
I boarded one of Qantas' gleaming new Airbus A380's and was blessed with a 21 hour bump free flight to London. A 45 minute stopover in Singapore was enough to stretch the legs before being rounded up into holding pen C23 to be filed back on to QF9 bound for London.
Wedged between two seats in 86F, a constant power struggle over armrest territory was waged for the duration of the flight, me loosing ground on both east and western fronts. During the downtime of battle I took to transcribing and recent interview I did with a speedy talking Glaswegian, not the easiest of tasks but respite nevertheless.
A quick skim through Qantas' impressive in-flight viewing options saw me chose (for some reason) a two part documentary on the trails and tribulations of making it into the Australian Army's SAS (SPecial Air Service) - Australia's ultimate problem solver apparently. Half way through part one I new I had made a bad decision but like the troops I was watching I soldiered on and saw it through to the end.
It was a typically cliche flight of short sleeved and overly camp air stewards complimenting customers on their selections of chicken over pork, 3 Aussie lads championing the efforts of David Boon's infamous 52 VB can binge, DVT prevention exercises and people wearing noise cancelling headphones, I eventually touched down at Heathrow Airport and 2 hours later found my way to my final destination of Bow in the east end, home for my time in London.
A cup of lemon and ginger tea followed by a quick 2 and half hour power kip and I was ready hit London, the first time I had been back since my 2 living stint in 2008. First stop was lunch in Camden with a old friend followed by my first purchase of the trip. From here the Northern and Central lines rattled me into Soho were a trip to Vinyl Junkies saw me purchase 5 or 6 R&S classics at two or three quid a pop. Next up was the short hop, skip and jump to Phonica where I wasn't greeted by a lethargic and typically uninterested record store clerk, seems to be prerequisite these days. I walked out with XBD - Bakfom still yearning for the day I engage in a friendly conversation about music with a record store employee.
Vinyl Junkies - Soho
A date with some more friends at my favourite old haunt The Carpenters Arms capped off day 1 of my first visit to London in close to two years. Tomorrow I was boarding a flight to Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event where the opening parties of Planet E's 20th Anniversary with Carl Craig, Moritz Von Oswald, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Ben UFO (plus others) at Melkweg and CLR's label night with Chris Liebing, Terence Fixmer, Tommy Four Seven, Monoloc (plus others) at Studio 80 were waiting.
A 4:00pm rendezvous at Liverpool St Station carried me north of London to Stansted Airport bound for Amsterdam. After a hastily made decision of shepherds pie and a pint of Amstel (Dutch beer innit) I was politely reminded by a friend that we were soon to board and was forced to down my shepheards pie in the same fashion as my beer. After taking off from Stansted, the seatbelt sign had barely been turned off before we were told to prepare the cabin for landing, arm doors and cross check, touching down in Amsterdam a nifty 35 minutes later. Specks of rain accompanied our trek into the southern part of the city but it wasn't enough to deter our childlike bemusement of the cities coffee shops and a regrettable flake out Wednesday night quickly ensued meaning we missed two of ADE's impressive opening parties.
Thursday started with a coffee, cream cheese bagel and very berry muffin, served by the sweetest of Amsterdam locals. Walking around the canals after breakfast I noticed bit by bit my wardrobe was slowly falling apart, the hole in the crouch of my jeans was getting bigger with every step, water in the streets from rain the night before informed me of a newly formed hole in the front of my right shoe and the pin securing the left arm of my sun glasses was still at large. Time to hit the shops.
Red Light Radio - Amsterdam
New trousers and shoes purchased and I was now ready to hit ADE. That night I was invited along to a Red Light Radio broadcast, a radio station which operates out of a pre-owned workers booth located in the heart of Amsterdam's red-light district De Wallen. The Dekmantel lads kept things sweet and moody with a touch of sleaze whilst plenty of beat spotting, track championing and back slapping was had inside, confusing the window shoppers passing by.
From there we took off to the Fachwerk label night at the bitter sweet Sugar Factory. Upon entry Sascha Rydell had the club shuffling to a typically Fachwerk template of dubby low end beats and flaky hats buried deep within the mix. Roman Lindau took the reigns from Sascha Rydell indicating to me that this would be a Fachwerk threeway and I was soon proved right as Mike 'the don' Dehnert took over and round 1 was complete. Round 2 saw Rydell keep to his previous low end theory before swapping with Lindau who punched out a personal favourite of mine Can't Fix It giving the night some needed momentum. After some more warped vocals and shackling percussion Sugar Factory stepped up a gear as Dehnert straddled the building vibe and brought a close to round 2. The night didn’t end up being as late as I expected but I do remember walking out with big fat Fachwerk smile on my face.
Late Friday morning we set of to the same bagel house as we had been to the previous morning, only we weren't greeted by the same sweet little lady as before, but a Goldmember-esque bagel warden. On top of that we were attacked by a squadron of pigeons who were all to used to human contact closing the book on our bagel and cream cheese chapter. As the afternoon turned into night we did sushi and devoured a varied selection of sushi rolls, wagyū beef whilst tipping back warm saki. We then headed to the Rush Hour All Stars party at Cafe Cox where props go to JuJu of JuJu and Jordash fame for donning a Scott Ferguson T-Shirt. Scott Ferguson FTW.
Rush Hour All Stars Party - Cafe Cox (Pic Courtesy Tony Poland)
All Star Line up
After JuJu and Jordash’s set we caught the first few tracks of Awanto 3 but were forced to hop a cab to Amsterdam's super club Trouw, Dutch for trust I was told by the cabby. The first thing I noticed when walking into the Trouw (minus the Berghain looks and intimidation) was the clarity in sound and impressive Funktion 1 rigging. I managed to catch the last half an hour to forty five minutes of Julio Bashmore's set where a very receptive crowd responded well to the MK's Dub of the 1995 R&B hit Freak You by Jodeci and Bashmore's own Battle For Middle You. I parked myself up, above and next to the DJ booth but far away enough to not be considered a groupie, fan boy or hangers on. I watch intently as Martyn introduced his set with some fresh cuts from his new album Masks as well as some sprinklings from Great Lengths. Once they were out of the Trouw was served a typically eclectic set of drum n bass, jungle with the accompanying Amen breaks, house and garage and techno.
Colors - Trouw (Pic Courtesy Trouw)
The Man The Martyn (Pic Courtesy Trouw)
The Battle For Middle You, Julio Bashmore (Pic Courtesy Trouw)
Addison Groove (Pic Courtesy Trouw)
Trouw Peak Time (Pic Courtesy Trouw)
Next up was Addison Groove who if I had to guess was pushing 140bpm at +8 for the entirety of his set. AD’s milkshake brought all the boys to the yard and the rest of the night was high-powered to say the least as the baseball capped Bristolian finished off the night with some teasing spin backs and a nostalgic if not cliche closer. The next day a toasted ham and cheese melt and short espresso macchiato brought back my Fachwerk smile from the previous thursday night and conveniently across the road from where we had breakfast was Record Mania, housing a incredible array of anything from Classical, Jazz and Funk to Post Punk, Rock N Roll and Avant Garde records. Still yet to burst my Amsterdam record shopping cherry I indulged in an Art of Noise picture disc, Talking Heads Stop Making Sense live album (thanks mum), Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghost's as well as John Cage’s Nova Musicha featuring a reinterpretation of Cage's seminal 1952 piece 4'33”.
Saturday afternoon was full of more record shopping as I made my way to Rush Hour. Like an excitable child asking are we there yet? are we there yet? I arrived to a packed out store full of out of town record shoppers (such as myself), so much so there were cues for the listening stations. A sift through their second hand section (one of the most exciting parts of record shopping) had me come across John Heckles Life On Titan EP on Mathematics. I put myself on the Dutch artist and label tip seeing I was in the country and picked up a JuJu & Jordash remix of Cloud's What You Want on Exceptional Blue as well as Mike Dehnerts - Before Framework EP on Delsin. When waiting to use a listening station a beefy house rang through Rush Hours having me look over at mate to which he mouthed Aard--Vark. It turned out to be (Just Washed) That Pig (Extended Mix) released on Rush Hours new Vault Series. After some other quick pick ups I made my way to the counter and was on the verge of paying when the friendly clerk put on Blawaan's epic R&S cut Vibe Decorium/What You Do With What You Have, yep throw that one in as well.
Record Mania Mania Mania Mania!
Listening Booth In Rush Hour.
Rush hour at Rush Hour, get it?
Feeling content we left Rush Hour a few Euro down and a few records up and stopped past yet another warm looking freehouse and debriefed over our purchases clinking Leffe Blondes and gobbling up two rounds of a traditional dutch bar snack Bitterballen. Saturday nights cards turned up with Theo Parrish and Kyle Hall at Toko MC and RA's X party at Trouw. Out of all the ADE nights to flake out on we may well have picked the best one as Theo was reported to clear a lot floor space with his 100bpm grovellers and RA's X secret X artist was Sascha of Sascha and Digweed fame. Awakening the following morning as bright as Daisy's or erm..Tulips we started the day with a Shmoke and a Pancake which soon lead to a food coma thanks to the gluttonous pancake and waffle menu available to me. I walked off breakfast over 3 blocks where we made our way to an Irish pub to sink a few Guinness's whilst watching Man United get dragged through the mud by Man City 6-1 at the theatre of dreams.
Bitterballen, Dutch For Beer Nuts.
We Got Waffles, We Got Pancakes.
From here I made tracks to the Ostgut Ton Party at Toko MC, an old Cinema space and caught the end of Nick Hoppner's set which was neither deep house nor techno, but a pleasure to listen to nevertheless. Next up was Marcel Dettmann who opened with some light chords and ambience slowly introducing some streamlined kick, snare hat combo’s, nicely done. Behind the decks Dettmann gives off a presence of complete control and his precession mixing is a absolute pleasure to listen too, his mix of Planetary Assault Systems Bell Blocker was definitely a moment.
The World Wide Phenomenon That Is Ostgut Ton.
Next up was Marcel Fengler disappointingly not wearing his two tone suit seen on the cover of his Berghain 5 mix. I was under a time constraint to get back to Trouw for their closing party and to say goodbye to a friend who had looked after us during our stay in Amsterdam. Reluctantly I left the Ostgut party and hopped a cab to Trouw where I was surprised to walk into Seth Troxler banging out Ben Klock's remix to Martyn's Is This Insanity. Maybe this wont be so bad I thought but my doubts were confirmed when (piss weak in comparison) tribal percussion and african chanting aka tech house was mixed over the top and remained the theme for the rest of the night. We said our goodbyes and like true tourists hopped in a cab and got ripped off, maybe telling the cabby to take us to the Heineken Brewery was enough of a reason for him to do so. I pushed through a 6am rise and boarded a flight back to London where the Stansted Express rolled me back into Liverpool St Station at approximately 9:30am. A short tube ride further east saw me find my way home back to Bow where a day of rest, pizza, cherry coke and Lious Theroux capped off what was a very memorable trip to the land of the super friendly, Amsterdam.
I also managed to make a quick 1 hour Ableton mix on the first leg of my journey from Singapore to Melbourne. Enjoy.
- Efdemin & Kassian Troyer - Blount [Curle]
- Conforce - Vacuum [Delsin]
- Mikkel Metal - Cassini [Tartelet Records]
- AnD - Hydrothermal [Idle Hands]
- Chevel - Portego [Stroboscopic Artefacts]
- Dark Room Alliance - Stige (Deepbass Remix) [Archetype Records]
- Northern Structures - Bolts [Sonic Groove]
- Mattias Fridell - Indicating Absence [M_Grey]
- Luke Slater - Lurchers Dub [Mote Evolver]
- Henning Baer - In Transit [K209]
- Conrad Van Orton - After Smoke [ANG Records]