A Guide To Sex Tags

Posted: August 29th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

When the brothers Stefan Mitterer (DJ Sotofett) and Peter Mitterer (DJ Fett Burger) decided to extend activities from their graffiti origins in their small hometown Moss in Norway to music, they founded the label Sex Tags for their own sounds and those of friends and artists they admired, either from their own country or met while travelling. Thus an ever growing and fiercely independent network came into being that by now is so complex and diverse that many find it difficult to decipher. But for the brothers it all makes perfect sense, and there is a coherence based on their own varied musical preferences, humour and attitude, and that of the likeminded collaborators they encountered along the way. There is also a vital dose of determination and conviction that ensures that the whole construct is as antithetic as it is cohesive, and as tight-knit as it is open-minded. We take a look on some choice tunes from the back catalogue of the parent label Sex Tags Mania and its leftfield offshoot Sex Tags Amfibia, plus the imprints the Mitterers run individually (Sotofett’s Wania, and Fett Burger’s Sex Tags UFO, Mongo Fett and Freakout Cult, the latter a joint venture with Jayda G). The other talents that populate the Sex Tags universe are too many to list, but we included some that pop up more frequently.

Bjørn Torske & Crystal Bois – As’besto (Percussion Mix) (Sex Tags Mania, 2006)

This joint venture of Norwegian old school don Bjørn Torske and the enigmatic Crystal Bois (or Siob Latsyrc, if you prefer) is a supreme example of how little a good house track needs to achieve magic. A deep and dubbed out chord, some improv percussion, and that is basically it. But it keeps moving floors since it first appeared twelve years ago, and will most likely continue to do so.

Acido – After Club Rectum (Crystal Bois’ 727 MANIA) (Sex Tags Mania, 2007)

An early appearance of the tag Acido (but confusingly not involving Acido label head Dynamo Dreesen himself) and Laton label head Franz Pomassl, who was to become  a regular fixture in the Sex Tags universe. Crystal Bois on remix duty, and they transform the source material into a hard jacking rhythm tool track that you can most probably mix into anything and gather all attention. Erlend Hammer provides brilliant liner notes, making a perfectly valid point that every local scene needs a Club Rectum.

Doc L Junior – Baracuda (Sex Tags Mania, 2009)

Kolbjørn Lyslo had already released fine and highly individual tracks on the prolific Music For Freaks UK imprint in the early 00s, but the sound of this track (originally scheduled for Torske’s Footnotes label, but then lost for very obscure reasons) was not to be expected. A latin and jazz tinged summer breeze of a tune that could so easily have ended sounding camp and corny, but sounded absolutely sublime instead. A reproachful echo of the days when uplifing was not yet an insult.

Busen Feat. Paleo – Stream Of Love (Wania, 2010)

The first appearance of Greek vocalist and musician Paleo, the closest the Sex Tag empire has come to an in-house diva. He delivers his trademark meandering voice to a dark hypnotizing jam produced by Busen, an alias of Daniel Pflumm, a prolific graphic designer who also released on Elektro Music Department, General Elektro and Atelier, and Stefan Mitterer. Also well worth noting for a typically tripped out session on the flip, provided by Dreesvn alias Dynamo Dreesen and SUED label head SVN, at their Neues Deutschland studio HQ.

Transilvanian Galaxi – Transilvanian Galaxi (Sex Tags Mania, 2010)

Another mainstay at Sex Tags and affiliated labels, Skatebård, who rides a psychedelic new wave take on new beat, before most even cared to remember what both were. Skatebård always manages to come across as both earnest and gleeful with every reference he works into his music, and is thus a perfect match. At Sex Tags, fun and seriousness go hand in hand.

Kahuun – Batteri (Sex Tags UFO, 2011)

A disco house gem laced with jazz-funk, originally released on the Norwegian Hi Fi Terapi imprint in 2001. It was mostly overlooked until Peter Mitterer reissued in on his Sex Tags UFO imprint ten years later. Since then a lot of people looked at it, and well-deservedly so. This track has many twists and turns, but every single one of them boosts its bright appeal.

DJ Sotofett – Sunrise Mix (Wania, 2012)

A collaborative effort by DJ Sotofett, Paleo, Bjørn Torske, Rabih Beani and Aaron “Fit” Siegel. The track rides a leisurely but pumping beat reminiscent of Robert Owens’ “I’ll Be Your Friend” until blissful synths elevate the whole jam to balearic secret beach proportions, even if mean little sound details preserve the affair from getting too slack. The record is one of the most notorious in the Sex Tags catalogue, as it was only possible to purchase it via a telephone number that was mentioned in a flyer insert of the previous release. Then demand exceeded supply considerably. Of course it would have been possible to give it a repress at some point, but that would also have taken a lot from the story. A lot of Sex Tags fans possibly disagree with the latter.

Krisp – Lovestomp (Sex TAGS UFO, 2012)

A filter house banger straight from the vaults of Bjørn Torske, originally produced in 1997. Still kicks around like a horse that you just cannot break in, and it manages to sound like a love child of Daft Punk (with more sex) and Sound Stream (before he even released anything). Result!

Frak – Second Coming (DJ Sotofett Remix) (Sex Tags Mania, 2012)

It was most likely only a matter of time before Sweden’s electronic music iconoclasts would appear on a Sex Tags label (they even had their own sub label called UFO Mongo). Of course they instantly did what they do best, raw Börft-styled jacking acid tracks, but “Second Coming” arguably outshone the rest of the EP, and Sotofett’s remix even upped the ante. He kept the sedate but fat groove, but added distorted ambient pads that seem to circle around the track as if they were preying on it, but the track keeps shooting back.

Kambo Super Sound – Tung-I Ramen (Sex Tags Amfibia, 2013)

Every year the posse gathers at Moss super market Kambo Super for a barbecue party called “Graff et Grill”, where the musical menu is dominated by a two very vital parts of the Sex Tags universe: reggae and dub. Sex Tags Amfibia is the main outlet for the according excursions, and the quality and dedication levels are so high that it is quite difficult to pick an exemplary tune. But a track like “Tung-I Ramen” contains most elements cherished in the Sex Tags dub department: tripping dubbed out digital reggae sounds, mounted on sub bass and a stepping rhythm. Play such a tune on a good sound system and you can hear that they understand.

DJ Fett Burger & DJ Speckgürtel – Speckbass (Sex Tags UFO, 2013)

You may tamper with past sounds you just love, but try to add something to the formula to make it relevant beyond mere referencing. DJ Fett Burger and DJ Speckgürtel (aka Phillip Lauer) construct a great pumping house track that has its roots firmly in the earlier part of 90s New York City, but in those years most house tracks came without a feverish clash of percussion and dub effects, and a very dominant slap bass. It is as if you are listening to a well-executed house track that was to be expected in terms of reliable quality, and then it keeps getting invaded left and right by things that at first seem to clash, but then they lend that track exactly what sets it apart from the competition.

DJ Sotofett Feat. Madteo – There’s Gotta Be A Way (Vision Of Love Club Mix) (Wania, 2013)

Another source of frustration for the Sex Tags fanbase, as it was decided to not repress the record because of some tiny glitch at the end of one track. I can only speak from my own experience but every time I listen to this I get so zoned out that I could not even find it. The track is a very hypnotic techno trip that has a slight wild pitch feel, but not a wild pitch structure. It pushes along with only slight interferences, in fact held together by a stream of consciousness monlogue that sounds a lot like Paleo, but is in fact provided by Madteo. I do have weakness for spoken words in club tracks, but here the combination works extraordinarily well. You just want to know how the story ends, while dancing to it.

Don Papa – Done (Piano) (Bass Vocal Mix) (Sex Tags Mania, 2014)

Don Papa revisits a track first released six years earlier. The original was an adorable subtle piano led deep house groover, but felt way too short. It is quite natural for a Sex Tags product that this version is even more adorable, adding a hip house vocal seemingly at odds with the chilled vibe of the music, yet it is hardly more than an almost frustrating reprise. But sometime you just tease what you have in store, and everybody knows.

DJ Fett Burger & Jayda G – Wind Waker (Club House Mix) (Freakout Cult, 2015)

Freakout Cult was obviously established to shed light on both Fett Burger’s and Jayda G’s partnership, and favoured music produced by close friends. “Wind Waker” is a fine example for the ambient house leanings you will find on most of its releases. The funk and pressure of other Fett Burger productions is reduced to a floating, and very charming quality. It might feel easier on the ear, and while the ideas are not as rampant as before, they sure still work a treat.

DJ Fett Burger – Dypfryst Pizza (Mongo Fett, 2017)

While the first two releases on Mongo Fett joined forces with Telephones, Tapes and Jonny Rock, the third release features a take on source material by SVN and SW., the SUED label masterminds. But flip the record to meet „Dypfryst Pizza“, a mellow deep house groover at its classiest, and most infectious. In fact everything you will hear on this silky tune will probably make you feel as if you heard it before, but you cannot really remember where and when. Sometimes your memory might betray you. And sometimes, it does not even matter.

Electronic Beats 08/18

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