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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)

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. 

 

 

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
Snippets

fabric is safe for now, but is London’s night culture?

November 24, 2016 • By

Monday 21st November saw Islington Council, the Metropolitan Police and fabric come to an agreement to re-open the fabric nightclub. Hailing a bitter sweet victory for the London establishment dancers worldwide rejoice. 

The decision comes at a crucial time for the city of London that has seen the loss of 50% of its nightclubs since 2008. BIGGER THAN FABRIC – curated by Nathalie Wainwright – explores the demise of a once vibrant club culture, beyond that of a single club and asks the all-encompassing question of whether ‘it’s too late for London’?

Insights are brought from Irvine Welsh, Bill Brewster, Kate Simko, Sacha Lord-Marchionne, Debonair and a number of experts with specialities ranging from harm reduction to club promotion.

“It’s fantastic news that Fabric has its licence back but there’s an awful lot more work to be done to support London’s night time culture and the people who contribute to it”. 

[Matt Gooden – Who Wot Why]

“It’s fascinating to explore what’s really going on in London as well as meeting some of the people trying to keep their culture alive in a city that’s changing beyond all recognition”.

[Wayne Holloway – Director]

“Clubland contributes hugely to the culture and economy of London. It’s important that we look at what’s causing its demise, to find a way to protect its heritage and to see it thrive as part of London’s cultural landscape.”

[Nathalie Wainwright – Producer]

Video created by Matt Gooden, Sean Thompson and Ben Walker of Who Wot Why, directed by Wayne Holloway, edited by Spenser Ferszt at Marshall Street Editors, sound design by Wave and post-produced by Absolute.

Producer Nathalie Wainwright tragically lost her brother to an ecstasy overdose in 1997.

Snippets

My Mental Madness [CV001]

November 3, 2016 • By
The talented Saverio Celestri is back with a new EP My Mental Madness for the newly created music label CLUB VISION.
 

The acclaimed producer grew up in Treviso, moving to Berlin 4 years ago. His sound has been deeply influenced by his Berlin experience, with a style ranging between dark and emotional techno and electro. After some strong digital productions, he’s gone on to collaborate with Imprints and most recently Berlin label/party/collectif Slow Life – one of the pre-eminent labels attributed to pushing our scene forward – with EPs Vortex and Toxic.  

Another Berlin entity that has seen success is Libertine. Not so long ago Saverio joined Yoshi and Sbri on their journey to emerge a sound and concept across the city. Its ever-increasing presence in this subset of electronic music is demonstrated by the reach of its parties, now held across Europe; with the label side most recently attracting the production qualities of Etienne and Onur Ozer for its fourth release (also featuring a collaboration by Saverio and Yoshi).

It’s not unusual to see Saverio Celestri’s name at the top of the DJ charts on underground electronic music outlets Decks.de, Juno and the likes.

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Snippets

Lize: The Last Summer

September 29, 2016 • By

The Lize collectif celebrated some final Summer moments on the wooden decks of Club Der Visionaere last Saturday. Patrick Specke, Bruno Schmidt and Ettore joined Sebastian Rudolph and Patrick Poitz for a near to 24 hour marathon.

Here’s a snapshot of Ettore’s set, a first set in Berlin that won’t be forgotten in a hurry!

 

After solid releases by Isherwood, St. Joseph and Levat, Lize Records is on its way to releasing their fourth release very soon! Keep and eye out…

Snippets

Belgium: More Than Just Popcorn

September 28, 2016 • By

Cities within our reach that offer great venues, music and vibes…

Belgium – a country known amongst electronic heads for the birth of Popcorn music, R&S techno, stealthy record diggers and highway parties. Even though the country had its heyday back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the scene today has evolved and most would say it’s definitely back on its feet.

Brussels and most recently Antwerp are now considered in the same line of thought as the exploding scenes of Kiev, Ljubljana, Tbilisi and the more established Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London. The Belgian collectives are throwing parties and giving a place to DJs straight out of the club “archeology scene” – diggers that play the old (and new) gems – rave, breakbeat, electro, deephouse, techno, minimal, UK bleep all included!