Following on from their room-crushing, latin-afro-infused El Matematico EP on Katermukke in 2013, seasoned veterans returns Holger Zilske and Kai Preussner (aka Smash TV) return to Tiefschwarz’s consistently exceptional Souvenir label and get down to business with three brawny, burning-hot grooves infused with their signature flavour on ‘Robogeisha.’ An undoubtedly familiar name to any followers of dance music from the past 10 years, Smash TV have amassed an extensive repertoire of releases on various house and techno labels and rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names including Miss Kittin, Raz Ohara, Daso, Richard Davis, Dave DK, and remixed the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Kiki, Adam Freeland, Toktok and Marco Resmann. Oscillating between smooth and rugged, techno and house, dubby and in-your-face, Smash TV’s assured and organic style has earned the enthusiastic support of legendary producers and DJs alike. ‘Robogeisha’ brings their hybrid of sounds back once again, combining thumping kicks, cosmic stabs, stuttering percussion and Geisha vocal samples all into the one pot. ‘Fluffer’ directs its attention straight at the dance floor with a no-nonsense, head-down stomp. Final track, ‘I Won’t’ brings equal destruction with pitched down samples pinned down by tight percussion, and a wandering bassline that won’t let you stay still for long.
Whilst 2013 was another exceptional year for Tiefschwarz’s ever-consistent, no-nonsense Souvenir imprint, also marking the year in which they inaugurated their new NAU sub-label, 2014 promises no compromise in quality output yet again.
This time, Souvenir turn their attention to a split EP, calling on the combined talents of familiar names, friends and new faces. Nicson is a promising London talent is making new steps in the electronic scene with his releases on Upon You, Tim Green´s imprint Disc Over Music, Get Physical, Flumo and Holic Trax. Phil Stumpf & Reynold aka Sam Rouanet, and Fischer & Kleber (aka Robert Fischer and Niklas Kleber) are, well, quite honestly just amazing.
Nicson opens up proceedings with ‘Pretty Womens’ – warm, moody, acid tones and funky vocal cuts lie over a woozy bass line. ‘Mojar’ by Fischer & Kleber takes things a little deeper and darker with striding, live percussion, enveloped in pianos and haunting vocal slurs, constantly pushing up-slope, while Reynold & Phil Stumpf round things off with a pulsating, understated groove on ‘On The Move.’
These producers embody the spirit of free-flowing creativity that runs through much of the label’s output, presenting a wide and always unexpected palette of sounds and tempos – distinctive bass-heavy grooves, informed composition allied with a sharp-edged ear, and never lacking in a cheeky, natural sense of humour.
01 – White – Prompt Live Band
02 – Anyway (Rampa Remix)
03 – Make Some Noise (Radhow Remix)
04 – The Bad Guy Feat. Greg Turner
05 – Blue – Damien K. Sahri
06 – Le Borgne 007
07 – Elbow Grease – Dubfound
08 – Wrung Door – David K
09 – Distant Minds – Death on the Balcony
10 – Tears&Fears – The Jaydees – David K’s Frisco Mix
11 – Come up from the Darkness – David K’s Snowball mix
12 – Middle Age Romance – David K
13 – A Hymn to him – The persuaders
14 – Secret loop
David K represents something that’s all too rare in electronic music today: an artist who makes music first and club music second. For him, emotion is paramount, melody is important, the pop format has its perks and original material is always better than a sample. Late at night and early in the morning he dances alone in his studio, tapping away on his keyboards and throwing together arrangements on the fly (a pianist by training, he can’t bear to make music slouched over a mouse). His only goal is to make something that will keep himself dancing. David K’s roots are in Paris, where he lived his entire life until 2011. He started DJing in the late 80s on a makeshift set of gear, complete with a radio and tape deck, but once he hit his first rave in ‘91 he went straight for the Technics 1200s. He was making a living as a teacher and graphic designer, but like some invisible cosmic force, the life of the full-time artist kept drawing him in. His first record came out in 2002 on Sismic Music, a small Parisian house label, and not long after that he fell in with some key figures in the Paris’ underground club scene, such as Dan Ghenacia, who brought him into the Freak n’ Chic stable, and Phil Weeks, who put out one of his earliest 12-inches, Yo Chicago, on Robsoul Recordings. Cocoon, Guy Gerber’s Supplement Facts, Tsuba Records, Visionquest, and, more recently, Tiefschwarz’s carefully curated Sounvenir and sub-label NAU. His new single, alongside Italian-born house and techno producer Francesco Farfa for Souvenir sees the pair draw upon their unique, shared skillsets. Initially Farfa contacted David to enlist him for remix duties on one of his tracks.
Whether he is headlining at nightclubs or playing a marathon set for an underground afterhours event, Elon has a key asset in shaping New York’s vibrant underground music scene. And with this new EP, Stab the Slab, he effortlessly showcases the sophistication in the style and sound which has earned him this central positioning in both NYC and beyond. Since his first release in 2006 on Made to Play, Elon has produced several successful EPs and remixes on labels such as Get Physical, Clink, Dumb-Unit and Metroline. His releases, like Bummalo with Maceo Plex, Noose and Fuck Cuba EPs have received global support which led to the launch of his own imprint, ReSolute Label in 2011. On ‘Stab the Slab’, Elon has laid down layers of pitch-bending cow bells, wandering arpeggios – building to crescendo – bright chimes and energetic percussion, undercut with grooving basslines that venture to the deeper, dark side of his sound. The slabs are there to be stabbed.
As a thank you gift, we have a 60mins mix from our releases this year. Please feel free to stream or download to have a listen.
With love & best wishes,
Hot off the heels of mixing the thirteenth instalment of Berlin nightclub, Watergate’s long-standing mix series, Ruede (real name Tobias) Hagelstein returns with an Alien-invasion, space-history themed three track EP for Tiefschwarz’s ever-reliable imprint, Souvenir Music. Hailing from the rural surroundings of Berlin, Hagelstein is a longtime fixture of Berlin’s music scene, arriving in the capital in 2000 and kicking off a DJ and production career soon after. In addition to his own releases through labels like Souvenir, Output, and Kitsune, he’s released music with Fraenzen Texas as The Cheapers, a staple of the Upon.You label. Besides his keen and consistent release schedule, Ruede DJs regularly at Watergate, playing as a resident there since 2006. Ruede’s new EP for Souvenir keeps in line with his unique, interstellar sound; three quirky, eccentric cosmic cuts which stand unparalleled by other producers right now. Step on board and prepare yourself for an interplanetary journey, expertly produced and navigated by Mr Hagelstein.
It’s becoming a rarer and rarer thing nowadays, especially in this fast growing, overcrowded world of music, to find well educated musicians with the ability to read music and play instruments. Kenny Leaven (real name Andreas Braun), however, is one of the few. Besides running his own label Elenore Records since 2009, founding and organising Erfurts Bayou Festival, he is still producing quality music. Kenny’s new EP for Souvenir keeps in line with his unique, interstellar sound; two quirky, eccentric cosmic cuts which stand unparalleled by other producers right now. Both tracks on the single recall something of the Balearic euphoria of Todd Terje’s recent output as well as making humble references to the pumping analogue bass of Italo and more rigid early 80s electronic explorations. Step on board and prepare yourself for an interplanetary, cosmic journey through music history, expertly examined through a modern lens.
You come from the Mannheim Area, there is a charasterictic “Mannheim Sound” that blew up big a few years back, how could you define it and do you feel being a part of that scene?
Yeah always good times, group of friends with same thinking and music taste. The oslo gang is doing the music for passion, not for the fame. Still “underground”. These day is all about promotion and branding and its going really fast, it`s good to have that base!
Ali and Basti fell in love with the track “Sent The Money Back” when you played it live, could you tell us a bit about the way you play a live set, what equipment you use and how you prepare a track to fit in your shows.
Yeah I split of the track in parts: kick, snare, hihat, bass, sound1.. and so on. I change, or rearrange parts, use the vocals with a different beat.. It`s a open system. Sometimes I play tracks with complete arrange when there was no time to split of and jam along with my machines.
When I read the title “Give The Money Back” for the first time, I was wondering if there’s any story behind. So maybe you can tell us what you wanted to say with it.
No big story behind, I just reversed the vocals and the result is sounding like “sent the money back”. If u know backspin the vinyl you can hear the original famous song.
You are traveling the world permanently with your music, can you tell us a special story about one of those trips?
Oh lot`s of stories. The most u already heard and the best you can`t
tell for some reason.
“As an artist, Christian Burkhardt, is not content with existing within the realms of House and Techno, but is determined to further stretch its limits with his signature sound Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, he has carved out his own unique path in production, something which perfectly evident on ‘Send the Money Back.’ His earliest productions found there way onto Oslo, Raum, Musik, Deep Vibes and Area Remote; all regarded as contemporary go-to labels for quality House music. Over the years his productions have surged through the speakers of main floor events and fueled after-hour paries across Europe and beyond. His masterful use of technology meshed with the warm sounds of analog gear and over 13 years of music production experience. His success is measured only in the pleasure that he finds in making music. A feeling that may start in the club, but never ends there.”
You are a trained musician with a proper musical education, how does it help you to understand techno and house music and how does it help to produce it? I heard of people who had a hard time with the dissonance at first.
I think the traditional, academic approach to a musical education is mainly useful in terms of naming things for people. Giving notes, harmonies, rhythms, and other musical structures names, and therefore some sort of distinct identity, is really useful for beginning to develop some sort of deeper, personal understanding of them, which I believe to be absolutely necessary in the creation of great music (whether the names are known or not). So, having these concepts introduced so clearly and distinctly from a very early age is especially helpful. But, the process of ultimately developing an individual and deeper understanding of them really has so little to do with that in the end. The language is just a framework. Someone’s musical education is really a sum of their entire life, and everything they’ve heard during it. As far as my musical education is concerned, my understanding of and approach to house and techno has much more to do with the part I received through my parents’ incredible record collection, and my early experiences DJing at B-boy battles and producing hip-hop. I’m all about the dissonances. I have much more of an issue with the consonances!
You were born in the USA (like Bruce Springsteen), how do you see this EDM invasion that happened the last year? Especially from a country that never considered anything else than rock, hip hop, jazz, pop or country music.
All repetitive, unoriginal music is equally unnecessary and bad to me, whether it’s an EDM track or a more ‘underground’ one. But, the reason it’s popular is because people genuinely get some sort of fulfillment out of it, so I’m completely supportive of its existence and fans, even if I can’t imagine a greater misfortune than personally having to listen to it. I also really like this idea of a movement that was born in the underground in the USA finally reaching people there on a wider scale. Regardless of how much less profound the musical content is in its new popular form, people hedonistically dancing together is unquestionably a good thing, I think, and something that I’m positive is happening on a much wider scale globally with the rise of EDM.
When did you decide to move to Berlin and did it affect your musical views and lifestyle?
I decided to move to Berlin after I got kicked out the Royal Academy of Music in London. I was actually sort of a refugee, I guess, because I couldn’t stay in London without a visa… Anyways, because of the circumstances especially, the whole moving experience definitely shaped my musical views. During my two years at the Academy, my ideas on art and music making underwent a serious transformation, mostly in reaction to and in spite of the institution. So, moving to Berlin marked a consolidation of all of these ideas, and the beginning of a new chapter for me personally and musically. Basically, one in which I can do whatever the fuck I want! Not being a full time student is, of course, a huge lifestyle change as well.
What are your plans for the next months?
Now that summer is ending, I’m going into hibernation mode. Going to hide away for a few months, work on lots of new music, practice piano, read, and hopefully progress further in the infinite struggle to learn German (and Max/MSP). I’ll pop out for a dance now and again when I can’t bear the solitude any longer, and hopefully play a few DJ gigs as well.
Following on from highly regarded releases on DeepControl Records, F4T Music and Lokee Musik, Virginian-born producer Adam Longman Parker aka Afriqua makes his debut on Souvenir with ‘INSERT EP TITLE.’
His entire musical life has been shaped by an exceptional interest in music, through his obsession with his parents collection of Michael Jackson records as a young child, to his piano lessons at the age of 5, and then his progression to his first set of turntables at the prodigious age of 10.
It was not until he graduated and moved to London to continue his study at the Royal Academy of Music that he discovered the house and techno he’s dedicated to today. His approach is stylish and sparse; teeming with mood and groove, crackling and expansive – an approach and technique which surely goes some way to asserting his rightful position amongst the top producers working in electronic music right now.
I first met you almost 20 years ago when you were part of The Advent, How did your music evolve now that you produce as Mr G ?
I learnt my art and got deeper into what I wanted to do and found my own sound…..
I also saw you play live with only a MPC2000, how do you like the sound of that machine and what made you decide not to use more stuff on stage?
Mmm, I’m ole skool if everyone does it then I don’t want to, I think limiting your self makes you work harder, is ultimately more fun………..but dangerous…..haha.
You don’t do a lot of remixes but we had the chance to have one from you on this release. What was your impression the first time you heard the original track?
I do a lot of mixes you just have to hunt for them, many different sounds and style too, with this one I loved the feel and groove of the original, although it was tough to take it to another place, but I got there……..
You live and work outside London, does it help your inspiration behind outside the craziness of the city?
Pose so, I love the calm, as the music is the madness, still go to london every week though so no pipe and slipper just yet.
Since 2004 Chris Wood has been working as a successful producer and remixer for labels including Souvenir, Below, Moon Harbour, Pressure Traxx, Kindisch and MurMur and in 2009 he started working with his long-time friend, fellow producer and co-owner of Freebase Records in Frankfurt, Meat (Carsten Schuchmann). Coming just a short time after the release of his collated singles collection, Retrospective, the first track on this new 12” from Chris Wood & Meat comes courtesy of deep house don, Mr. G. His remix provides a sparse take on the original ‘Cock Robin,’ jacking straight ahead into a hardhitting house rhythm, complete with finger-clicks and vocal stabs. A definite dance-floor roller. On the flip, the duo have provided a brand new cut, ‘Tony’s Pipe,’ which rattles with drilling percussion and soaks itself in a modulating, acid-tinged synth line, all built around emerging, muffled vocal samples.
Hi Jules & Moss, hope you’re doing well. Trying to classify your new song “My Brain Says Two” is incredibly difficult – the single’s title track leads off the release with a deep kick and some cosmic chords. Is there any reason you chose this song in particular to kick the EP off?
The title of the track resumes well the whole EP. We’ve worked on a style a little bit hybrid, mixing difference influences, for this release. Also, this track means a lot of emotions for us, and so a good start for the EP.
‘Borse’ is contemplative and deeper fare than the first track. The beat runs on, hypnotising the crowd.. (tell us a little bit more about..)
This is the kind of production that we like to do. Involving emotions, hypnotizing lines any remaining dancefloor. On this one, we’ve chosen not to have a too simple loop, so we’ve tried to cross influences.
‘Joke Poesie’ is more ‘tech-house’ oriented, throbbing with a deep bass pulse and confusing vocal samples. Are Jules& Moss the kind of artists who like chaotic and confusing music?
Actually, we have dancefloor direction but we want atypical and original music that mixes different inspirations, while dancing. It is also why we have a great pleasure to work with SOUVENIR which has this identity we’re looking for with artists who drain this kind of philosophy.
‘Poupie Flak’ rolls on a steady disco bassline, where gorgeous chords emerge like an oncoming dawn. How did you manage that? What is your studio set-up?
We wanted to produce something deep, intense once again mixing different styles of music. We use for this as much as possible recordings we do by our own hands : acoustic instruments, vocals, electronic machines, … but also some vst or samples to complete our production.
The EP ends on a strong note with ‘The Chichonnade’ which fits perfectly to a dance-floor. Is this kind of solid deep house beat coming back to the French sound?
We don’t think about the question to compose a french sound or not. But yes, actually we appreciate a lot this kind of deep house.
Anyway, hope you enjoy it to !! :)
More important than the parties, the plane rides, the magazine covers or the money, every great DJ is first and foremost, a collector. A discoverer of music. A traveller weaving through a sea of new sounds and honing down the multitude of records to those that matter most. It’s this drive for sonic exploration that’s responsible for Souvenir, the Berlin label spearheaded by Tiefschwarz and their french partner Arthur Vélasquez. In little over a year the label has...