Producer, DJ & Destroy All Monsters boss Zuckermann talks us though his favourite late night, ‘Back To Mine’ tracks. Check out this selections below!
Tangerine Dream – Origin Of Supernatural Probabilities
Growing up with the sound of these synthesizer pioneers made my very young mind (SF fan) go to other (and better) worlds. Listening to it today makes me still think of beauty, the promise of technology when it was still perceived to be innocent (in spite of the A bomb), and… well, new age. But we shouldn’t judge the past by the misuse of presets that sound like someone coded whale songs right into them, or, should we? Even with these considerations in mind, still one of the great period masterpieces in early electronics.
When do I play? As last song of a long night or a not so young morning anymore.
Zuckermann – Waking Sleep (Studio Kreuzberg)
Disclaimer, yes, I know, self features are a rampant plague that even very big names in our cosy little industry think of as a necessity… But it’s true that I play a lot of my own productions out lately, stuff from when I started to produce in 2008 included, often to my own surprise…This one is no exception as it has been in my crate for 3 years now, ever since I finished my 2nd album ‘Solenopsis‘ that just (…) came out now. It served me well in afterish situations when the party seemed to be almost over but no one wanted to go home – an intricate moment in a party’s long (or short, depending on one’s perception) life span, since when you bang it, it might just dissipate the energy for good, and when you take it too slow, it might make people fall asleep standing. So, this starts with a very relaxed synth breathing, in a late night mode that has a hidden tension though, and then imperceptibly transfers into a beat that suddenly re-opens the possibility to dance just a little bit longer. When do I play? When I’m afraid to go home.
Negativ Dekadent – Assault for Nothing
Another disclaimer (while we’re at it): this is taken from the upcoming album ‘Noise as Value‘ of my label partner Negativ Dekadent. Together we run imprint‚ Destroy All Monsters‘ and have been labeled (sic!): “young, vehemently underground and always fascinating“. Wow…To speak in normal lingo after that marketing assault (for nothing) again, this one is a strange beast, mixing lyricism and dub with the occasional unforeseen outburst of weirdness. It takes a late night/early morning dancefloor through a rollercoaster of emotions (yes, emotions!) and hence, it is a weapon of choice for those who like their selection to be surprising and impactful. Uh, is that too much marketing speech or am I just a victim of John Cage, who so famously said: “Once anything happens, it authentically is“ (quoted out of context, what else?).
When do I play: When I feel, er, authentic.
Studio Pankow – Zoologischer Garten
From that fantastic one-off of a project as an album called ‘Linienbusse‘. Has a recurring role in my crate rotation, since it truly is timeless (well, let’s wait another 12 years and then see). This is one of the more beat oriented tracks of the album and just has that … magic, that is a rather rare affair when it comes to electronic danceable stuff. Probably because mostly producers (and DJs) these days think too much about ‘big room breakdowns‘, ‘how not to lose people on the dancefloor‘, and ‘functionality‘. All of which is fostering a neo-liberal consumerist attitude right on that floor. But then, bankers need their ‘underground‘ escapism too, if to not feel too bad about themselves.
After this little polemic, let’s talk some more about the music, shall we? Zoologischer Garten (listen up you Berlin Easyjetset ‚ravers’) is greatness manifested in digital (or, so it sounds) dub, ingenious graininess full of weird noises, and a mix unfriendly loooong intro that culminates in a “bla bla bla“ sample – and with that we are right back in the realm of politics. But wasn’t dub always political?
When do I play: When I need to kick the bankers out…
Zuckermann – Afternoon Island (Benjamin Fehr Remix)
Benjamin Fehr – one of the great, uncompromising producers and DJs (attention: eulogy!). Someone who is all about the music, the party and no second thoughts (no – second – thoughts). A real romantic artist attitude I wish I could live up to at times (and sometimes I don’t). Anyway, his remix for the opener of my first album ‚Serendipity‘ truly drives the song home. An after after after contemplation between black and K-holes (not much of a difference but since we don’t know what happens beyond the event horizon, I should’t speculate – maybe?) that deconstructs the serene jazzy vibe of the original into fluid but frozen moment in time, that nevertheless stay connected to form a (w)hole. How this is done? I have no idea, and if I had, I might even be less famous.
When do I play: when I feel a Derrida flashback is coming.
Dr.NoJoke – aaa –
Another uncompromising artist, ok ok, ok, by now you understand what I like and can start to put unsolicited ads in front of me (unfortunately, products I might like mostly have no money for ads, so, I obviously do not talk about NI here…). Dr.Nokoke has been around for some time, performing quirky live sets using plastic toys with minimalist bravura. Other than that, he is a steady composer of peerless and stoic (but oftentimes groovy) dance music. And this is his masterpiece and a pure stroke of genius – so we just had to bring it out (available on Destroy All Monsters))). Although starting out with an afterish groove, the vocal sample (taken from a Marina Abramović and Ulay performance) drives the track forward with an intensity that almost is too much for the late early hours, but then, this is essential lunacy – and if an after party is not that, it’s not worth playing it there.
When do I play: When there is ecstasy in the, uhm, air…
Below Surface – Suspension (Original Mix)
Below Surface runs Be Sure, a label that is a steady and reliable source of techno goodness you want to play. Not to forget their ambient output that simply is greatness sometimes. ‚Suspension’ is a rare Be Sure example of a techno attitude rather than a techno sound. It’s a great exercise in electronic dub that comes in the disguise of a Club der Visionäre vibe but essentially is – techno. In other words, a spirit, that is interesting to juggle along with, since often DJs stick to one genre and one genre only. So listen up you lazy bastards, if yo really want to only play one genre all night long, then at least choose one that is not so monodimensional. Peace and here is your blueprint.
When do I play: When Janus’ spirit is coming over me.
Zuckermann, Simbad Segui, May Segui – Georgina
Conceived in South America when my label partner and I payed a visit to the “Sven Väth“ of Argentina and his sister on their incredible finca. Produced in between Berlin and there, since after our tour on that continent, Gunne aka Negativ (Dekadent! I don’t want to sound negative) and I decided to make a compilation with all the incredible musiscians we had met, and this was one of the results of ‚Miti & Halp‘ no. 1 (others were to follow, Japan, China…). It’s a trippy dark House thingy (rare) with a spooky vocal that the Seguis threw into the mix, among many other goodness and darkness and hence a perfct afterhour track. I played it at Club der Visionäre once to much acclaim of the moment, our host (Benjamin Fehr!), and the darkness (outside and within).
When do I play: When I feel a Groove Noir building.
MIIIA – Cloud Speak
Another disc…ok, it gets boring. So MIIIA is one of China’s most talented techno producers and DJs and we often shared decks at China’s best (imho, as always), ‘Elevator‘ club in Shanghai when I was living there and became a resident (thanks to MauMau for all the good times and our always crazily great B2B sets to end yet another night!). Which brought about this release on Destroy All Monsters (remember this label that I have been authentically promoting throughout here?). As often with MIIIA, this is a very trippy track that nevertheless drives a crowd forward. With a solid remix by our old pal Douglas Greed and a monster techno rework by Vincent Vidal (a great producer in his own right) we couldn’t even hesitate to make a very limited vinyl (10 copies, yes, that’s ten copies) that no one paid much attention to (I guess because it’s transparent vinyl?). Digitally it was one of our bestsellers though, sign O’ the sticks DJ times (pleading mostly guilty myself your honour…).
When do I play: When I feel it’s time to play a record that no one even on Discogs has to sell.
Mathias Schaffhäuser – Skin of the Night (Original Mix)
Sometimes it’s hard to understand why someone like Mathias is not on par with let’s say a Sven (you know who). After all, he had been in the electronic music scene almost as long and even appeared on Cocoon once. Maybe because his music is too, well sophisticated? Certainly, didn’t Stendhal already end one of his few novels with “To the happy few“? Whatever the reason, Schaffhäuser’s music is outstanding and this more ambientish piece where (modular?) syntheziser bells sing along in perfect disharmony is yet another proof. To be played with caution, or, only in front of that happy lot.
When do I play: When I feel fewish.
Zuckermann – Solenopsis is out now on Destroy All Monsters.