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DJ and producer Virginia releases her second 12“ My Fantasy EP on Ostgut Ton.
After having worked on so many collaborations and feature pieces throughout the years I now appreciate producing my very own original tracks. It’s important to me to be recognized and taken seriously as a producer – and not just as the singer who also DJs. Of course I’m not abandoning vocals just to present straight instrumentals. So there wasn’t any intention behind the use of very few voices on this 12“.
This release only features vocals on “My Fantasy”, and those have been heavily edited with effects. “My Fantasy” was originally created as part of the Loch & Hill EP sessions (Ostgut Ton, 2013). I never quite knew where to go with this track, but finding a new bassline finally put everything in motion.
“Fictional” features a long build-up. It has a stretched synth line and some strings, those are the track’s leitmotifs. The bassline grounds everything, while an Acid line is slowly but steadily rising. The track’s rhythmic elements have a nice drive, and funnily it seems much faster than it really is with its 122 BPM. The strings and intertwined Acid lines give “Fictional” a more dreamy, almost trippy character.“Never Enough” features a very catchy, funky bass line and a continuously modulating, broad string arrangement. The track’s drumming is very organic and warm, its melody adds a kind of Happy Factor, and when the chords start playing the whole track opens up. I think that I’ve evolved as a producer. Since working on Loch & Hill I’ve learnt much of what I was still lacking in skills before. Now I’m capable of working more focussed – although I’m also continuing to work intuitively. Especially in regard of my upcoming album which is planned for release on Ostgut Ton at end of 2015.
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When Steffi’s second album Power Of Anonymity was released in late November 2014, the Dexter-co-produced cut “Treasure Seeking” was the record’s standout track: uplifting, percussion-driven and featuring Virginia’s seductive vocals. For the Treasure Seeking 12“, besides the original version spread over the full length of the 45rpm A-side, Steffi, Virginia and Dexter went back to the drawing board, reflecting on the album’s overall Electro sound aesthetic.
While the new “130 BPM Version” puts strong emphasis on filled club floors with twirling synth stabs and a continuous, uptempo rhythm, the “Diep Version” starts off with heavy claps and a pulsing bassline until a set of soothing strings starts altering the overall mood – from a dark space towards the light.
The Berghain series on Ostgut Ton returns with volume 07 and eight new exclusive tracks on two EPs, all taken from the Berghain 07 mix compilation by Function. Part I features contributions from Steve Bicknell, Post Scriptum, L.B. Dub Corp and Blue Hour.
Since his first appearances at the club in 2008, Function has gone on to become a monthly resident at Berghain. Now an artist on both Ostgut's label and booking agency since the release of 2013's critically acclaimed Incubation LP, he's returned to conventional DJing after years of working exclusively with a digital, DJ/Live hybrid set up.His residency at the club – particularly his extended closing set in February 2015 – combined with recent tour dates have all had a significant influence on the Berghain 07 mix. Additionally his use of the Rane MP2015 Rotary Mixer has also played a crucial role in its overall sound. Meticulously curated by Function, these exclusive tracks serve as a display of the new material used in his current DJ sets as well as hinting towards the future development of his Infrastructure New York imprint, where more exclusives will be released.
Steve Bicknell has been releasing music since 1993 through his label, Cosmic Records. From his productions to the label's output, his take it or leave it attitude and legendary Techno party series Lost, it's no surprise that he's left a huge impression on Function. “Since resurfacing after 9 years of silence, with Lost Recordings #8 & #9, I got in touch with Steve to see if he was interested in contributing to the project. He submitted two tracks, ‘Odyssey #1 & #2’ which now bookend these two 12"s. Much like the two 12"s on Cosmic, ‘Odyssey #1’ is a four minute slab of proper dancefloor hypnotica,“ Function explains.
From there it’s not far to Luke Slater – fellow Londoner and techno stalwart. Slater has played a defining role not only in Techno in general, but he has also put his stamp on Ostgut Ton and Berghain – be it through his real name, as Planetary Assault Systems or with the L.B. Dub Corp project. For Berghain 07 he’s contributed “So Much” by the latter. Function describes it as “a modern, elegant take on Deep House and Acid House – complete with vocals by Luke himself.” Heady strings and a warped bass line are underpinned by a tight 707 workout on this future classic.
“Post Scriptum is an upcoming project by an immense new talent,” Function continues. There will be a double vinyl and CD album (Post Scriptum 01 due out on Infrastructure NY) at the end of June 2015. “‘Human Timescales’ is the precursor to that album and the debut of the Post Scriptum project.” Deep tonal frequencies guide this otherworldly cut full of hidden textures and complexities.
Blue Hour is a young UK producer living in Berlin who has been releasing some remarkable music through his own imprint by the same name – and a striking remix for “He Said” by Ostgut artist and in-house engineer, Tobias. (who also took on the role of mixing Function’s Incubation album). “Parallels” has a rather primitive feeling in the most positive sense, and “the floating synths give it a timeless feel” – very futuristic on the one hand but also very familiar.
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The Berghain series on Ostgut Ton returns with volume 07 and eight new exclusive tracks on two EPs, all taken from the Berghain 07 mix compilation by Function. Part II features contributions from Cassegrain & Tin Man, Inland, DVS1 and Steve Bicknell.Since his first appearances at the club in 2008, Function has gone on to become a monthly resident at Berghain. Now an artist on both Ostgut's label and booking agency since the release of 2013's critically acclaimed Incubation LP, he's returned to conventional DJing after years of working exclusively with a digital, DJ/Live hybrid set up.His residency at the club – particularly his extended closing set in February 2015 – combined with recent tour dates have all had a significant influence on the Berghain 07 mix. Additionally his use of the (currently unreleased) Rane MP2015 Rotary Mixer has also played a crucial role in its overall sound. Meticulously curated by Function, these exclusive tracks serve as a display of the new material used in his current DJ sets as well as hinting towards the future development of his Infrastructure New York imprint, where more exclusives will be released.Cassegrain & Tin Man's “Oxide” was an early candidate for the Berghain 07 project with Infrastructure label partner Ed Davenport turning Function's attention to their new recordings. The early demos were so strong that they led to not only this track but a full EP forthcoming on Infrastructure NY, the Window Window 12" is set for release in early June. Function explains: “’Oxide’ is a classic Acid track with a modernist feel – very current, with a proper Berghain kick and Tin Man's signature 303 programming. As soon as I heard it I knew it had to be part of the package.”British producer Inland (aka Ed Davenport) and Function have been working closely on reinventing Infrastructure NY after an almost decade-long hiatus. 2014 saw the release of their collaborative Odeon/Rhyl EP and while including “Sca Fell” in the Berghain 07 mix may be the most logical step to take, it is also a significant addition of a melodic, almost joyful, uplifting piece of music to this release on Ostgut Ton.Fellow American DJ and producer DVS1 has had a consistent run of releases on his own label HUSH and Ben Klock's Klockworks imprint in 2014 and just as Inland he also knows his way around Berghain's main floor very well, proven by the subtle yet muscular drive and the warm synth stabs of “Electric”.Steve Bicknell's “Odyssey #2” concludes this package with what Function describes as “a four minute slab of pure, relentless dancefloor electronics. Since resurfacing after 9 years of silence, with Lost Recordings #8 & #9, I got in touch with Steve to see if he was interested in contributing to the project. He submitted two tracks, ‘Odyssey #1 & #2’ which now bookend these two 12"s. For me this track is the essence of proper, stark, underground Techno.”
It’s safe to say that Terence Fixmer’s track “Aktion Mekanik Theme” (Music Man Records, 2003) was as much a landmark release for Techno as the whole Aktion Mekanik compilation was for EBM as a genre. “As an artist who’s been pushing EBM sounds into the modernity of Techno it was a logical step to do the compilation back then,” Terence says. “I wanted to show my influences as a Techno artist, as Detroit sounds weren’t my roots at all, but classics by Front 242, Fad Gadget, Nitzer Ebb, Crash Course In Science or Snowy Red.I met Music Man’s Stefaan Vandenberghe through Emmanuel Top in ‘93, and of course I was a fan of his label – the label in Belgium at that time. Music Man was obviously the perfect place for this EBM project: they are from Belgium, they knew the bands, many of them were proud of this sound. So I discussed my idea of putting out a compilation with some classic and landmark tracks from the EBM direction with Stefaan, and it got made.”While the original version is simultaniously being re-released on red 12“ vinyl on Music Man, Ostgut Ton offers three versions of “Aktion Mekanik Theme” – after the original found its way into the DJ sets of the remixers. “I was surprised as – to me – this track was a kind of forgotten one from a limited vinyl compilation.”, Terence continues. “And it was a nice surprise to see that young artists such as Kobosil are into this kind of music, too. Marcel suggested to give this track a new life through remixes. The Kobosil one injects an amazing energy with a great sound, I wish I would have done such a version at that time.”, Fixmer comments.
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While the first part of Len Fakis 2013-established Basement Trax series was characterised by its vocals, spheric sounds and melodies, the Berghain resident almost completely passes on these elements with Vol. 02. All three distinct, functional, composed tracks, oscillate at about 124 BPM, reflecting Faki's experienced eye for the peak time at Wriezener Bahnhof and dance floors from around the world. “These tracks are crafted from the same mould, but they differ by their character – it's a bit like a family affair, by looking into their eyes you can tell the connection,“ says Len.“After coming home from a Sunday evening set at Berghain I felt inspired and content. This feeling and energy was still present the next day – that's how all tracks were created – in the same session with the same flow,“ he explains. “Generally speaking these tracks are slower than quite a few House or Techno tracks – but you won't realize it straight away.“ The tracks are also constructed in a similar way, yet differently: With “B-PAX” and “For Real” Faki takes his time to set the tone before adding melodic elements, bleeps or finally some hints of ambient sounds.Precisely because of the reduction of its musical elements this release gains even more momentum: “A track like ‘Hainish Cycle’ is an example for those moments of trance, of zero gravity without a sense of time at Berghain. Which is why the rhythmic hi-hat kicks in only more than halfway through. Everything's in flux and harmony already, you almost don't need it.“ But then: some more energy for the masses inside the dark room.
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Having just premiered her first ever live set at various festivals Steffi revisits her Power Of Anonymity album with three completely new versions of “JBW25” by Further Reductions and Answer Code Request.
Brooklyn-based duo Further Reductions left a big impression on Steffi with their 2014 Woodwork LP on Cititrax. Now Shawn O'Sullivan and Katie Rose turned “JBW25” upside down and inside out. The original version's hypnotic synth bleeps are still there, but rhythm-wise Further Reductions live up to their name: Their version is a stone-cold and arhythmic interpretation of “JBW25” with additional vocals, pushed to the absolute fringes of dancefloor compatibility.
Berghain resident Answer Code Request contributes two versions to this release: While his “Vision” adds a tough drum beat, percussion and a stronger focus on the Ambient textures of the original, his “Revision” is more break-heavy, melodic and dreamy while setting a darker tone and mood overall.
With the original version and its Techno and Electro drive this 12“ comes full circle – a good fit for record bags travelling to various party settings and moods.
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Following up on his latest remix of Terence Fixmer's Aktion Mekanik Theme (Ostgut Ton, 2015) the 24-year-old from Berlin is back with four carefully crafted tracks for his first regular release on Ostgut Ton.
91 sees Kobosil focussing on a more steady musical approach by presenting tracks with a similar vibe and muscular impression rather than a varied selection of styles and aesthetics: the hypnotic synth pulse and bewitching strings of “Avernian” sit atop of a ripped, dark four-to-the-floor beat; “Konvergent” features a double kickdrum all the way with lush claps and a vocal bent beyond recognition; “Per” comes with an overall unfussy feel and a dry steam hammer drum. Only the interlude “Athtar” takes on a completely different direction with Drone sounds, Noise speckles and deep black, heavily processed vocal samples.
With just a handful of records released in two short years, it may already seem as if Kobosil has defined his creative base as a versatile DJ and producer with a clear accent on dark Techno derivates as well as a soft spot for Noise, Industrial and Ambient textures. The overall tone may be set, but there's way more to come with his debut album We Grow, You Decline.
It's great to watch the path that The Black Madonna has taken lately. Chicago’s Smart Bar resident has been tearing up clubs around the world, but few nights compare to her taking over Panorama Bar after Nick Höppner's set in March 2014 – that night was Disco and House mayhem on the dancefloor. Her remix of “Relate” puts more emphasis on the kickdrum, turning Höppner's dreamy original into a sturdy, 4/4-heavy House monster. A proper hit and proof of her singularity!
A similar yet different approach comes from Berlin-based duo Liit: Their remix shines some wan and oppressive light on the album's buoyant pop gem “Come Closer”, really adding by subtracting. More unusual sounds and additional production are served with Dutch Aardvarck's treatment of “Grind Show” – a deep and mesmerizing piece of dancefloor voodoo and a classy earcatcher. Last but not least Herva jams on the brake, making “Rising Overheads” a slowed-down multi-layered offbeat deep dub with an overall sound & style of its own.
With Remixes Nick Höppner follows up on his solo debut album release Folk. While the album served as a peek inside Höppner’s musical mind, these four new versions extend the tribalist mindset of Folk to Höppner’s diverse musical agenda and taste.
Martijn Deijkers is a man of many facets: The Dutch-born now Washington D.C.- based artist started DJing in the 90s, producing in the noughties, released on labels such as Ninja Tune, Warp Records or Steffi's DollyDubs amongst many others as well as his own 3024 imprint – always with a unique, distinctive sound, nestled somewhere between 2-step, House, Dubstep and Garage. After having remixed Shed's “Another Wedged Chicken” (2009) and contributed “Miniluv” to Ben Klock's Berghain 04 (2010) we're happy to finally offer a Martyn solo 12" release on Ostgut Ton.
Falling For You starts with the almost ten minute-long track of the same title: Opening with a major piano motif and some field recordings from along the road the A-side picks up momentum through its luscious Garage-inspired rhythm, bubbling synth bleeps, organic percussion and more subtle yet stirring piano motifs.
Berliners may be familiar with Kreuzberg's ‘Kotti’ and its converging trains U1 and U8 – let's say it's a fascinating, multiculti yet rough place. The same goes for “U1-U8” on B1: a slightly darker offering with syncopated melody, hihats, claps and sampled shehnai sounds sitting atop the hollow kick. “Ahmadiya” closes this release with a rather pensive-tempered synth, string elements, beguiling piano strokes and a more break-heavy vibe. Winter may be coming by the time of release, but this record has club-meets-afterhour-meets-summer's-day written all over it.