Snippets

Being Conxi Sane

February 9, 2017
Snippets

Black Rock City

August 26, 2016
Snippets

Rounds of Z@p Beats

August 9, 2016
Snippets

#NightlifeMatters

August 9, 2016
Interviews

Davy : Futurepast

April 19, 2016
Interviews

Sentimental Seuil

November 23, 2015
Interviews

Ajtim : Buffalo Nuances

July 19, 2017 • By

Yesterday we sadly said goodbye to Ajtim aka Mitja Del Bono, who recently left London to pursue opportunities abroad. He closes this chapter with a musical send-off.

On first impressions a seeming introvert, Mitja has values in all the right places combined with a positivity that underlies his playfully intricate sets. This recording represents the last stages of his journey through London, the city where he sculpted his own sound and cultivated what can only be described as one stylish “buffalo” collection (derived from a made up Italian slang imbufalito = ‘one who is mad for digging records’). Exhibiting his unique selection, Mitja takes you on a perfect trip; he plays on emotions, moods, grooves, vocals and sounds all the while keeping the bass rolling and the aliens in check.

If you were to visit London’s Vinyl Pimp, he’d typically be one of the first people you see. Sorting through boxes of records, recommending releases behind the counter, opening and closing shop…

Vinyl Pimp © Lawrence Carlos

How long were you at Vinyl Pimp? Tell us about the typical day…

I’ve been working at Vinyl Pimp for the past four years. A typical day – I’d arrive in the morning, check what our customers have ordered, pick and prepare the records the orders, pack it up and ship it out (occasionally feeling like Santa Claus :p). Then there’s dealing with the customer service, but also mainly grading and logging new collections. For me, Vinyl Pimp has been central to my personal development, it’s helped me to integrate into the London community and develop a handful of valuable friendships.

Did you deal with all “categories” of electronic music or focus in on particular styles? You must have found so many records for your own collection!

Musically it really depends on what comes through the door. Sometimes you’re stuck grading 5k of terrible 90s’ pop, although they have the best “trash” sleeves that I love to take pictures of. Other times, 24k of electronic music comes in and you feel like you’re in heaven. All I had to put in was the time for listening but I really enjoyed it so boredom was never an issue, especially when I’d find those unexpected obscure gems. The shop gave me the chance to discover music but more importantly, it refined my taste in music and opened me up to other genres that I now appreciate and listen to.

90s’ Pop Covers – Vinyl Pimp

For those that don’t know, Vinyl Pimp is situated in Hackney Wick, home to London’s warehouse community, and a place for art, music, theatre and nightlife. Mitja – what are some of your favourite stores/spots/hangouts?

A great deal of Hackney Wick has changed lately and people are struggling because they’ve been kicked out of their warehouses. But recently I see people giving a lot to it, they’re now organising talks, walks and events with the aim of maintaining the vibrancy of Hackney Wick. What makes it special is also the diversity of arts, cultures and people that you find there, so I couldn’t say that I have a single favourite spot but… finding myself dancing in a forest on a Sunday afternoon, playing some records at Crate or Grow (two of the best local places), climbing a tree too early in the morning or attending a Japanese audio/visual performance all form part of a day in Hackney Wick and it’s these things that I’ll miss about London.

Illustrations by Mitja

I am sure Vinyl Pimp and their customers are sad to see you go! Tell us, what’s next for you?

A few months ago I started working for a music distribution company based in Bern, Switzerland. In September I’ll start a course specialising in cultural economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. I’ve been told really good things about the Netherlands – hoping also to find a good music scene and secret spots for digging too!

Speaking of travels, you were recently in Asia… if you could share a track that best describes your mood whilst there?

Japan – I found some crazy obscure Japanese stuff but there aren’t any videos online, so here’s a classic good find:

Philippines –  A karaoke contest (but that’s a another story :p):

Edited by Kaajal Shah.

[Cover Image Photograph © Lawrence Carlos]

Snippets

May Day: Politics won’t divide us

April 28, 2017 • By

In 1910, Herr von Jaegow, the Berlin police president, attempted to prohibit demonstrations on workers’ May Day, and threatened to proceed against the demonstrants with arms if necessary. He was answered when hundreds of thousands of workers poured into the streets. Von Jaegow did not dare go through with his threat. But that which even the minions of the Kaiser did not dare to do, was left to be accomplished by the German social democracy. Shortly before May 1st of this year [1929], Von Jaegow’s successor Zoergiebel issued an order prohibiting public demonstrations or meetings of any group in Berlin on May Day. The order was aimed directly at the Communists, and the answer of the Communist Party was a call to the workers of Berlin to fill the streets on May Day.

Translated from The MilitantVol. II No. 11, 1 July 1929, p. 7.

May 1, 2012 Berlin. By Sean Gallup

Berlin May Day 2014 on RT

Presently, the origins of Berlin’s Revolutionary May Day are associated to some 30 years ago – the year of 1987 – when police apprehended a street festival in Kreuzberg, using batons and tear gas in response to an overturned vehicle and several construction cars being pushed out onto the street. Inhabitants and activists quickly mobilised to resist the police attacks. Barricades were set up, police cars set alight, an urban uprising that forced the police stealth out from the confines of the district. Whilst the Revolutionary May Day demonstrations between The Left, the “Autonomen” (autonomists) and the police have become somewhat of an annual tradition, in true Berlin fashion there’s also a party to be had…

1st of May 2013, Berlin. By Katja Avant-Har

“With the rhythmical formula you can convince anyone in the whole world of dancing, just dancing. It’s a universal language of music, an anti-Babylon, it doesn’t matter from which culture you come, which political background or opinion you have… We all belong together – this is what music is able to show – that there is a culture uniting us, that we can communicate with one another, love one another, dance together without having any problem.  All these people are dancing to the same songs.

(Ricardo Villalobos)

“Our movement is a bubble, a still accepted bubble that has no political meaning… that means that they leave us in our bubble. We should protect our bubble, be happy that we are able to make our parties and have that time where we are able to do what we want to do: dance and be together, this is something that we have to be very happy for. You have to work very hard to create that bubble, maintain that bubble and defend that bubble, to not let it become an instrument of political meaning.”

(Ricardo Villalobos)

In the name of peace, international understanding and socialism, let’s dance!
Club der Visionaere 2017

The Perlon heroes, billed each year as “Die Üblichen Verdächtigen” (The Usual Suspects) will grace the decks of the infamous Club der Visionaiere, bringing the sounds of minimal, electro, dub, techno and house for family, friends and dancers united by a passion that arguably makes up the heartbeat of Berlin. This year expect no less.

Whilst two causes – one of protest the other of rhythmical formulas – will and do characterise the capital, common themes of conviction, solidarity and revolution essentially underpin both, propelling the heartbeat of the city even further and deeper for the Summer months to come.

“The revolution is cool, everything else is Quark (cottage cheese).”

(Rosa Luxemburg)

Interviews

Ettore : Contemporary Motions

March 14, 2017 • By

Listen to Ettore play and it’s obvious that he has a style of his own. Like a true music aficionado, however, he never forgets to acknowledge musical movements from past to present. With a record collection specialising in dancefloor material but spanning way beyond, it’s evident that he’s explored – studied – absorbed to profound depths to arrive at where he is now.

Snippets

Binaural : Beyond Expectations

March 7, 2017 • By

Following the release of a number of EPs by the young talents of today – Harry McCanna, Etienne, Nicola Kazimir – respected by the electronic music sphere as we know it today, Undersound starts the year with something a little different. In January came the announcement of their fourth release, a Prisms LP by little known Binaural aka Jasper De Jong. A double EP split between techno and electro, the eight tracks exhibited are quite something, and something more considering that he had only officially released three EPs since 1998. But as electronic music has proven time and time again, it is not so much the quantity of labels a producer has under their belt that really counts.

“Just a little snippet of me taking my Perfourmer out on a walk on a rainy november 16th”

Jasper De Jong has been producing music since the 80s. It started when he saw his cousin playing Roland synths back in the 90s in the Netherlands: “pure magic” as recalled by him. Already a pianist, it wasn’t until “that magic Sunday” that a raw inspiration was cultivated inside of him. So he bought a synth and an Atari and continued to feed his passion through solo productions without affiliating himself to any one particular scene until he felt those all-important musical connections, surprisingly “through pre-internet bulletin boards”. One of which was with Random XS’s Sander Friedman, who introduced him to a scene that he barely knew about. “Legowelt Danny was there too, it was a special time. Everybody seemed to just do their stuff, in isolation more or less”.

Sander took Jasper under his wing after listening to a tape that he had made, not strictly in terms of production but music discovery too. “He showed me the real stuff – Detroit techno, Drexciya, Basic Channel”. Jasper collaborated with Random XS (Frank De Groodt – Sander Friedeman), notably on ‘Errant’, released many years later in 2015 as the Return EP on Dutch label Shipwrec. Sander also introduced Jasper to DJAX-UP-BEATS. Shortly after, in 1995, he released his first EP, Unison, on the legendary imprint. In the following years he went on to explore D&B and electro. His experimentations are very present in his productions, say his Switch EP released on UK electro/IDM label SCSI-AV in 2002.

Jasper has since remained under the radar. With a day job and a family, he retreats to the studio after putting his children to sleep – his passion for music clearly standing the test of time. Interestingly, he admits:

As much as I love listening to other people’s music, the tracks that are most dear to me are the ones where I can switch off influences and my own expectations. Like in the old days where a crappy D-10 and a sequencer were enough to let you wander off and follow intuition, pretty much goalless. I was very surprised and honoured that Undersound picked out some of those tracks that are very close to me.

Cover image by Keewah

Edited by Kaajal Shah

Snippets

The Rise of The Vinyl Market

March 1, 2017 • By

London. A city with a thriving electronic music scene.

England. The birthplace of music styles, record labels and thousands of obscure records spanning the spectrum of electronic music.

Yet, despite this history and substance, second-hand record stores in London that are as equipped as let’s say Berlin and even Paris, Brussels and Rome, are but a few. Do we owe this to the high rents, the “laissez-faire” approach or even the lack of interest in our small bubble of a scene.

A reaction to this apparent lack has manifested itself in the vinyl markets that have been popping up in our scene and over London as of late. For example, last September, Koncept Music hosted a second hand record fair headed by Niff, involving local DJs coming together to sell their second copies and/or records too valuable to give away but simply not suitable to play during a set. Some DJs wanted to sell to buy more, but perhaps they didn’t foresee spending most of their earnings almost immediately on other records at the market. What ensued was a reciprocal exchange, part of the magic in getting a group together to collaborate.

Second Hand Record Fair @ Koncept Music 25/09/16

Vinyl Market Place, Rome 2016

Libertine & Slow Life Open Air Vinyl Market 13/09/16

Coming up this Sunday it’s Cartulis’ turn, at The Brewhouse. As well as selling their own records and merchandise, they’ve involved other collectives from around Europe: the likes of HardWorkSoftDrink, Seekers, Sleepers, distributor EFD Tokyo and Doctor Vinyl who will be making it over here from Brussels. And of course, a market wouldn’t be a proper market without second-hand goodies. This is where the “Discogs” sellers come in, such as Cartulis residents Unai Trotti and Raphael Carrau, Junki Inoue, Isherwood, Voigtmann, Jacopo, Galvin, Lorenzo Stucchi and others. They won’t stop at records though, as there will be plenty of clothes with independent sellers and a stall by NDN, a clothing brand launched and dedicated to dancefloor moments.

So, as for the soundtrack, it’ll be provided by Miro Sundaymusiq, Isherwood and Davy, each playing non-dancefloor sets that will be broadcast and streamed live via KMAH Radio. And once the sun goes down, Cartulis resume their Sunday VA dance in the main arch of The Brewhouse. For this VA edition, there comes the invitation to a DJ born and bred in the UK, with an extensive yet rare record collection, most would say a masterpiece in itself. The perfect guest for this event, guess who?

 

Edited by Kaajal Shah

Snippets

Being Conxi Sane

February 9, 2017 • By

Albert Einstein once said “Creativity is intelligence having fun” – a life theme wonderfully underpinned in this comic drawn for us by the talented Conxi Sane [Ivvoki Studio].

We look forward to more of her art, characterised by an acute perception of the darkness that strays amidst the rhythm of our daily lives. 

 

 

Interviews

Zuflucht: For Your Body, Mind & Soul

January 25, 2017 • By

In our first interview with Jus-Ed back in 2015 where we first sat down to talk about music and things, he told us that he and his family would be making the transatlantic move from the States over to mainland Europe, from the state of Connecticut over to the city of Berlin. That was also the year that saw him officially tie the knot with his now wife Jenifa Mayanja, after “12 years of togetherness”. Let’s fast-forward to today – Ed’s chatting to us from his Berlin home, together with Jen and it so happens that they’ve just celebrated their second wedding anniversary.

Snippets

Merry Christmas: Re-issue of ‘The Other People’s Place “Lifestyles of The Laptop Caf锑

December 22, 2016 • By
It’s no secret that Warp fans have been wanting to get their hands on the vinyl issue of The Other People Place‘s infamous LP Lifestyles of The Laptop Café. A petition to re-issue the 2001 Warp Records classic was launched in 2015 following incredibly high prices on Discogs – at the time (June 2015) the highest price in the marketplace was a whopping €25,000. 
  

For the 1,167 supporters, the campaign was short of just 333 signatures to make a difference. But perhaps Warp did listen to “the people”… over a year later, the label has today announced that a re-issue of the double vinyl edition is available for pre-order on Bleep.com, hitting the stores as of February 10, 2017 (unfortunate news for the handful of secondhand sellers on Discogs…). 

Merry Christmas!
   
For old time’s sake, here’s a video of Nicolas Lutz playing “Let Me Be Me” back in 2 0 1 4 :
   

 
*Cover Image from Warp
Edited by Kaajal Shah
Interviews

Recording Reflections with Pjay

December 13, 2016 • By

Our latest podcast features PJAY. Not only is the Belgian selector behind the Kontrast concept and record label, he also recently started Futurepast with fellow DJ pals Davy and Laprade. When not engaged with the aforementioned, or digging the countless stocks at Wally’s Groove World, he’s spinning records at some of the best clubs and party destinations around Europe. In the past year highlights include Closer for Reset, Ibiza for Seekers, not forgetting Kontrast and Futurepast. Having recorded a great podcast, we were delighted to sit down and have a little chat with him…