@ Nightflight x Macro 10 Years

Posted: December 11th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs, Macro | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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@ Soulweekender Nürnberg

Posted: December 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , | No Comments »

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@ Macro 10

Posted: December 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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Finn Johannsen – Johnicked

Posted: December 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


Anthems: Aufschwung Ost / Stammheim, Kassel (1994-2002)

Posted: November 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

If Kassel is known in Germany for another cultural contribution besides the art fair Documenta it is the legacy of the techno club Aufschwung Ost, and its renamed successor Stammheim. Both clubs were located in a former textiles factory building called Kulturfabrik Salzmann that served mainly as an art space. When Aufschwung Ost opened in 1994, it quickly established a national and international reputation that exceeded those of clubs in similarly middle-sized cities. The main resident DJs, the late Pierre Blaszczyk aka DJ Pierre and Mark Pecnik aka DJ Marky, built a dedicated local following with their state of the art techno sound, and managed to pull in every main guest DJ important in the techno scene, propelling the club to the level of famous clubs in Berlin or Frankfurt, until its lease ran out in 2002 and it had to close. We asked DJ Marky to recall some of the tunes that ruled the floor in both clubs.

.xtrak – Facc (Peacefrog, 1995)

This bleep track by Todd Sines, who regularly collaborated with Daniel Bell, was played a lot at our club. It is had a minimal sound but a maximum impact on the floor. The hi-hats coming in at the first minute are just a dream.

Jiri.Ceiver – Osiaic (Vogels Funky Sola Mix) (Harthouse, 1995)

It is very difficult to develop an own signature style. But what Cristian Vogel and other artists such as Neil Landstrumm, Dave Tarrida, Si Begg and Justin Berkovi released in the 90s was definitely new and not existent before. This track stands for the Brighton sound and its wonderful playfulness which was very influential over the years for the resident DJs at Aufschwung Ost and Stammheim.

DJ Hyperactive – Venus (Missile, 1996)

Chicago techno at its best. A peak time banger that never failed to work on the big floor. You still hear it in the sets of well-known DJs.

Daft Punk – Rock ‘n’ Roll (Virgin, 1996)

You just could not pass by Daft Punk in 1996, but you did not want to anyway. Their „Homework“ album included this track and to this day it is still one of the best house and techno albums for me. Either the album or other terrific releases on Thomas Bangalter’s label Roulé were constantly played on both our techno and floors.

Wishmountain – Radio (Evolution), 1996

Sven Väth played this as a white label at our club, in early 1996. It was way ahead of the official release date, so the whole crowd was unfamiliar with it. The energy this track built up on the floor in just a few minutes was just incredible. It was a miracle that the whole place did not just collapse at the last break. What Matthew Herbert created with this track is unique and it is perhaps THE quintessential Aufschwung Ost/Stammheim classic.

Skull vs. ESP – Power Hour (Sounds, 1996)

A beautiful track by DJ Skull and Woody McBride. It came out on Sounds back then, which was a sub label of Communique Records, a very popular label with the resident DJs that had several legendary releases. I liked to play it in the early morning hours.

Green Velvet – Destination Unknown (Relief, 1997)

I could have picked „Flash“, „La La Land“ other Green Velvet classics as well. The Relief and Cajual labels were essential to any of our parties. You can witness its effect at Green Velvet’s legendary gig at our club in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES0ldBe4kZA).

Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (Ninja Tune, 1998)

This is an absolute DJ Pierre classic. There was not only hard techno being played at Aufschwung Ost and Stammheim, and this is a wonderful example. Particularly in the morning the residents had enough time to experiment with different styles and we did just that. Electro, big beat and cuts ‘n’ breaks, everything was tried and tested. That was just as much fun for the dancers as it was for us DJs.

DJ Rolando – Knights Of The Jaguar (Underground Resistance, 1999)

A masterpiece by Rolando and Underground Resistance. This track on the big floor at 10 A.M. meant instant goosebumps for everybody. The light came through the windows, and together with the music created a magical vibe each time the track was played. It will still put a smile on those dancers today.

DJ Rush – One Two Zero (Pro-Jex, 1999)

DJ Rush and Stammheim was love at first sight. The residents loved his mad beat constructions. There was probably was not one set from us big floor DJs without at least two tracks by him. And on the other hand DJ Rush adored Stammheim, it was the best club for him back then.

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (Warp, 1999)

Aphex Twin was formative for his time, and „Windowlicker“ is just one example. I chose it because Pierre used to end long nights by playing this as his last record. It was always astonishing how much energy it could restore for one last time. So it is a classic forever connected to Pierre.

Stefan Küchenmeister – Soda Stream (Hörspielmusik, 2000)

Stefan Küchenmeister was one of the Stammheim residents and he delivered one of the big Stammheims anthems with this track. Fortunately it was released on „Hörspielmusik“, the label I ran with Pierre, and thus we had a home-made Stammheim hit record.

Wassermann – W.I.R. (Sven Väth Remix) (Profan, 2000)

Labels such as Labels wie Profan, Kompakt and Auftrieb developed the sound of Cologne, that us residents really cherished back then. This remix was also one of the big Stammheim anthems.

Vitalic – La Rock 01 (International Deejay Gigolos, 2001)

What can you still say about this track? Pure energy on the dance floor! And one of my all-time favourites.

Depeche Mode – Dream On (Dave Clarke Remix) (Mute, 2001)

Depeche Mode and Dave Clarke? That is the perfect combination that could only lead to a killer track. Dave Clarke knows how to transform an already great track into his own style, resulting in something even better, without losing any of the source’s original greatness. This is a rare gift. A big peak time number at Stammheim.

Electronic Beats 11/17


Clé And Finn Johannsen – Live At Power House, November 24th 2017

Posted: November 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


@ Power House

Posted: November 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Gigs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Finn Johannsen – Can’t Give Up Paul Hunter Mix

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Life At The Bottom

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Features | 4 Comments »

I would like to maintain that no music is really rare these days. It is likely just a few clicks away, and if you can afford to purchase it, it is just one click further. Nevertheless there is also a whole market built on DJs that play rare music, or who are reliably making music rare. They are often announced as DJs that dig deeper than others. Now finding music that others DJ do not play is or at least should be more or less an integral part of DJing, and to use it as a sales point seems at least debatable. Then again, a whole lot of DJs do not mind playing the same music as others, and if this special market segment injects some diversity or unpredictability, it should be nothing to complain about. The according DJs might also not opt for rarity status intentionally, often they just play out music they like, and a lot of people like the music as well, and they want to own it, too. And as these DJs are usually well documented, too many wantlists soon exceed the supply, and the music gets expensive. Well, of course a lot of DJs are also intentionally playing rare music to maintain a certain status, and in the process they exhaust the surprise potential of the music because other people learn about the music and subsequently seek access to it. It does not make the music cheaper either. Most of the DJs who trigger such chain reactions are able to do that for certain reasons though. Nearly all of them have the necessary well-developed taste buds, experience and the according deck skills to present all of it. Some are old enough and bought the music when it originally came out, some are younger and just knew where to look later on. Regardless of age all these DJs were probably spending a considerable amount of time learning about music, and they were also not afraid to invest a lot of time finding it. But once you made your name on this special circuit, finding rare music is also getting easier. You establish a network with other likeminded DJs and exchange knowledge, and when you enter a record store or an distribution office, you are likely to be given valuable information about rare music, just because you are who you are. At best, you either play enough gigs to afford any kind of music you want, or you pull enough attention to just being given it for free. Some might not even really possess the music in its original form, maybe they just have the files. You cannot really tell these days, I suppose.

But what do you do if you like the music these DJs play? Of course you can wait until some label reissues rare music you are looking for, which is actually very likely nowadays, but it is still music that was already discovered and played out by people as mentioned above, and you cannot really gain status by showing off with records that others already added to the canon of desirable items, particularly if you do not own the original issues. The other thing is that not every record you would like to have gets reissued, or you just do want to wait for it. Or you belong to the majority of DJs that simply cannot afford to buy such originals, but you still want to establish a reputation as a decksman who finds things. If your budget is limited your chance of finding that box of sealed copies or private pressings in a seedy basement or a rural shack is limited as well, because you just cannot travel to such locations. But also in an actual record store, or online, your chance of finding those for little money is near zero. Everything is connected. It is way easier to learn about records nowadays and then buy them, but it is also easier to check what they are worth. That works the same way for shop and customer, so surprise finds are restricted to stores that really do not care much about technical progress. And these are a rare species, probably nearing extinction.

At some point I decided to play less old rare records, regardless if I bought them for a regular price, found them by chance in a bargain bin, or paid a lot of money. I felt they lost their appeal if too many people in the club already knew how special they were, or if too many other DJs already had similar ideas. So I went the other way and started playing cheap records that everybody else seemed to not know, or had forgotten about. Personally, I am now not digging more than ever, but it feels like it. And I loved the reactions of dancers and fellow DJs who checked Shazam or Discogs only to realize the record that just had everybody screaming was available from plenty of sellers in numerous countries for very little money. For some the tune they wanted the minute before instantly became contaminated, inacceptable, uninteresting. Others discovered they could possibly gather a set of several hours for the price they expected a single tune to be worth.

There are a lot of ways to find those tunes. For example there are a lot of discographies by artists and labels that just have one or a few rare items. But what about the rest? Well, just check. The best way to find cheap alternatives that are as good or even better than that holy grail is to look left, right, and even elsewhere. Follow the credits, look for peculiar track titles or designs, isolate individual sounds, notice who did that dub on B3, and if you like what you hear, check what else they did, under what moniker. In the process you will learn about local scenes, sounds attached to a certain period of time, sellers that have an inventory that might offer things you were not even expecting yet. And then you proceed from there, as wherever you might find something you like, there might be more. If you think this reads really obvious, try it out. It is not as easy as you might think it is, and it requires a whole lot more time and initiative than just going with established decision makers. But it is also a whole lot more rewarding, and personal.

I am well aware that presenting some cheap finds here is a tad contradictory in that aspect. But I just want to prove what you can find, and I just can’t help telling people about certain music anyway, and some might even like it as much as I do. And if they look on their own they might find something that I did not know about, and I want them to tell me. Thus the knowledge is spread and things move forward. I am also aware that some records might get rare and expensive by being featured in this column. But you know what? It does not really matter. There are plenty more fish in the sea. And there is more life at the bottom.

Tyrone Ashley – Looks Like Love Is Here To Stay (Safari, 1977)

A lot of people still disregard Ian Levine. He started out as a collector and DJ in the original rare soul scene of the 70s, he was wealthy, gay and outspoken and he modernized (and split up) the whole movement by adapting more contemporary sounds from US club culture, thereby introducing classic disco and later Hi-NRG to the UK and beyond. He also discovered, managed and produced a lot of hugely successful pop acts, and did not mind to deform the original soul singers and tunes he started out with in the business with weird, cheap sounding updates. I quite like him for all of that, but I particularly like his songwriting and productions in collaboration with Fiachra Trench in the 70s disco era. I doubt he will ever get the respect he deserves, probably he does not even care. But listen to this gem: the right clues from the melodies he spent so much money on as a record collector, a state of the art orchestration and arrangement, and it hits all the right spots on the floor. And there’s plenty more disco ecstasy where this came from. Read the rest of this entry »


Druffalo Hit Squad – Live @ Druffaloma IX, October 21st 2017

Posted: October 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Mixes | Tags: , , | No Comments »