Archives for the month of: October, 2012

As you’ll read below, I got the opportunity to talk with a major influence of mine. Alex Bau overseas the evolution of the techno sound, as one of Germany’s most intriguing exports. A few years ago, Alex made his way to my ears with his End Of The Bleep release on Credo. I’ve carried those songs with me ever since, along with the absolutely brilliant Red Chromosome release on CLR. When I think of techno that gets me hyped, Alex Bau is at the top of the list. In my interview, we cover clubs to visit in Germany, his huge output of new music in October of this year, why he calls his remixes “repaints” and what “The Holy Bassdrum” means to him. Listen up..

 

DD Greetings Alex! I’m honored to have you on Disco Droppings. You are my favorite techno producer. I’m amazed by the style and energy of your productions. How’s it going? 

AB I am fine, the year comes to an end soon and it was again very exciting, time flies…

DD I’ve never been to your home country of Germany. Where would you send me for good music, if I traveled over there? 

AB Hm, tough question. 99% would expect me to probably tell you “You have to visit Berlin…” blablabla… but to be honest, in terms of electronic music there are so many nice places to visit, but also a lot of chances to end up at shitty parties – also in Berlin. I can only speak for myself, and I’ve had amazing nights in lots of places all over the country, but let’s make it short and easy to follow: if you like real techno you can find good nights at Cologne’s “Kunstpark” or “Arttheater” as well as for example at Stuttgart’s “Lehmann”, but of course, also in Berlin at spots like “Tresor” or “Berghain”.

DD During this month of October 2012, I see you appearing on 7 releases (many of these are Beatport exclusives). Three of these contain originals (Gamma Connection EP, Unsquare, No Destination EP), one showcases an original collaboration (Brood Techno002 – Brood Collaborations, “Ripples”) and the rest are remixes (Opulence Repaint). Was this huge output of releases in a short period intentional? 

AB To be honest, it went off the plan a little bit! Almost all of the stuff you mentioned was produced throughout the whole year, including some stuff to come, but it ended up being released at the same time in fall. I don’t know if this is good or bad, it’s just as it is. I am 100% behind all those productions, no matter if they’re originals or remixes. Of course, my own label Credo with the Unsquare EP as part of the Credo Black Series is my special baby somehow!

 

DD I see you calling many of your remixes “Repaints”. Does your approach as a producer call for this other kind of description? Or is this just for fun? 

AB Haha, actually you are the first to ask me this question, and I am really happy that there is someone out there thinking about it! There is a story about it! My label “Credo” stands for techno in a classic sense, which means for me to have always danceable, but at the same time interesting and emotional, colorful music. Simply the sound I believe in – as the latin name says: credo! I ended up with a subtitle for the label which says “Colors. Not Shades.”, so in this respect I always try to repaint others tracks with my personal colors. Call me crazy, but that’s the story behind it. 

DD I recently included your “Red Chromosome (Flashback Mix)” track in my set for Decibel Festival 2012 in Seattle. That’s my favorite production of yours, and I layered “Azealia Banks – Fierce” over it. This is a dark, sexy house track with some tough rhymes. Do you step outside techno as well, both as an influence and in your sets? 

AB I am kid from the 80’s, my first musical influence is the typical sound of the 80’s, and this includes a lot of early electronic music too of course! Different stuff, from Anne Clark, John Foxx, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Tears for Fears and of course also Depeche Mode and The Cure. Very dark music as you can see, but also “exotic” music from Jan Hammer, his soundtrack for Miami Vice was very influential for me. I experienced that the farther you play outside of Germany, DJ’s are more wildstyle, which can be kind of fresh, but sometimes also cruel. I have to check out the track you mentioned, I can tell you afterwards if I consider this to be innovative or cruel :-]. Even though I play techno in my sets, I am always happy when I find good tracks from other genres, though I think house became a little bit boring over the last year, due to the inflational output. All the same grooves, all the same sounds. I love good sound, so… Jack had a groove, in the beginning there was house, but there is a reason why house became techno one day! ;-]

 

DD I read this quote from you, “The search for The Holy Bassdrum drives me all the time, so be sure, it’s not over until I’ve found it”. How much of this search is a technical one, and how much of it is an emotional/spiritual one? 

AB As I said, I am addicted to sound. I love to create my special sound, always trying to make even common samples sound special. The bassdrum is the key, it determines where the track is going to, so there is no general rule, it’s a very emotional thing. On some track you better use a more soft-sounding 808 Kick, on others it has to pound and hit hard with a distorted 909. That’s what makes it that difficult! There is no “holy bassdrum”, there is only one holy bassdrum for one single track.

DD What’s helped you stay focused? 

AB I am very focussed on what I try to represent with my music, I am like a little kid as soon as I finished a new track, I can’t wait to play it out – really loud! This music comes from the danecfloor and is done for the dancefloor, so it has to work well on the dancefloor. This is what I keep in mind all the time. I also love dubby techno and even chillout tracks, but there are loads of producers who are much better on this than me. On the other side, I am getting more and more secure with what I do and the way I do it. And this is techno!

DD What’s on the way for Alex Bau?

AB Right now I am working on my second DVD, coming out in December, which includes some new music. It’s about my Australian tour in September. Very exciting film material and a truly authentic insight on the real touring life, not acted scenes, just true life on tour and great pictures from the spots I have been to. The first DVD last year was about Buenos Aires and was anticipated very well. I discovered my love for the movie stuff, so I thought Australia would be a nice opportunity to repeat this. It’s a lot of work, as I decided also to distribute it on my own; no other company involved except the label. This helps me to keep control of everything. There will be a new release on Credo shortly before the DVD, the “Austrapop” EP with two tracks “Sydney Acid” and “Melbourne Dub”. The idea came when I was standing in front of a traffic light waiting to cross the street in Sydney, and the traffic light did some really nice sounds, so… :-]

 

Alex Bau – Facebook Twitter Youtube

alexbau.de

– Jimi Jaxon 

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Switching gears completely from my last post, I’ve gotta’ share my memories of seeing Danny Brown live at Showbox Sodo on Sunday, October 21st, 2012. Right now, he’s a part of the Long Live A$ap tour, opening up for A$ap Rocky, the A$ap Mob and Schoolboy Q. If you’re interested in seeing these guys, their next stops are LA (10/26), San Diego (10/28), Las Vegas (10/29), and Phoenix (10/30) (Full tour dates listed here) . Now back to the Seattle show, after standing in line for over an hour I was anxious to see Danny, who started off the night. I was wondering how much weed I’d be smelling during his set and sure enough, once “Witit” started, smoke was billowing up from the crowd.

 

 

His performance was striking, raising the crowd’s energy higher and higher and higher. Tracks like “Black Brad Pitt”, “Monopoly”, “Blunt After Blunt” and “Radio Song” were played to near perfection. I was thoroughly impressive by the quality of his voice, coming through as clear as when I bump his XXX album. Danny Brown’s level of musical maturity and experience was evident when he finished and the other acts took to the stage. No one matched the energy Brown exerted, and no one got the crowd as hyped as he did. I thought Schoolboy Q was alright, but thought in my head “this should’ve been Danny’s tour”. My comment was the same after seeing A$ap Rocky. The beats weren’t nearly as good, nor the raps, nor the stage presence. I just saw a very buzzed about artist with his mob playing some tracks. I don’t get it. Anyways, full support to Mr. Danny Brown, very inspiring. And thanks Danny, for retweeting that live picture I took of you. Best of luck with the rest of your shows bruh bruh, but you don’t need any luck..you are enlightened.

 

I’ve included his brand new video for “Witit”, along with the Noisey video documenting his trip and performance at The Gathering Of The Juggalos 2012. To learn more about Danny Brown, here’s a lengthy interview he did with Complex. As Danny has stated, this interview incorrectly names his new album “Danny Johnson”, it will instead be “ODB”. 

Danny Brown – Twitter Facebook

foolsgoldrecs.com

– Jimi Jaxon 

 

As promised, I’m presenting this marvelous EP from Beth Ditto, released on Deconstruction. Simian Mobile Disco are flawless here; combining a slow disco aesthetic with haunting electro-pop rhythms. Ditto’s voice rests confidently at the center of these productions, speaking on relationships gone wild. This is solo effort for Beth, who spends most of her time as the head of The Gossip, an internationally adored, 3-piece dance-rock band from Olympia, Washington. I love that band, if you get the chance to see them live take full advantage and go. I remember their show at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle a few years ago. They played the main stage and just nailed it. The band was tight and Beth commanded the audience to take notice and move. Her powerhouse voice is hard to come by these days, especially in the context of a dance heavy rock group. A highlight was when she beautifully covered Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?”.

 

 

Beth embody’s an independent woman. Everything from her punk looks and style, to her lesbian orientation celebrates individuality. This is a modern day diva, going her own way.

Beth Ditto – Soundcloud

The Gossip – Facebook Twitter 

gossipyouth.com

– Jimi Jaxon

 

Thanks to Sean Horton, I’ve become obsessed with Azari & III. I know I’m late, it’s been over a year since their debut self-titled album came out on Loose Lips. Thankfully, I’m making up for lost time. This album has been playing in my car incessantly. There’s a sexy, timeless quality to this 4-piece group from Toronto, as well as a sassy strut. It’s refreshing to see this crew produce as a band, complete with original vocals, drums and funky basslines. Their track “Reckless (With Your Love)” was a mega hit, cementing a reputation for fierce individuality and classic musical expression. 

I hope that one day I’ll see Azari & III live. They are currently a part of the first Sonar North American Tour., with Tiga, Gesaffelstein, Die Antwoord and Seth Troxler among others. This tour has upcoming stops in Chicago, Toronto, New York, Montreal, Boston, Denver, Oakland and La. Head here for more details. 

Rumors of a second album have been floating around, and I cannot wait to hear what these guys do next. Now Magazine snagged this quote from Alixander Lanza III on the direction of the next record, ““We’ve grown into more of a monster,”..”We have this big, throbbing Metallica sound. The entity is now bigger than all of us. Before, it was a little more cozy; this one is thundering, spacious and cerebral. It’s an assault on the mind and body.””

 

 

Azari & III – Facebook Soundcloud 

azariandiii.com

– Jimi Jaxon

 

Governments, corporations and other entities often distort the truth for their own gain. They can be the bullies of the world; imposing ideas and suppressing free speech when it opposes their agenda. I’m glad we have Anonymous and Wikileaks to level the playing field. “We Are Legion: The Story Of The Hacktivists”, documents the birth and development of Anonymous. From meme focused jokes on 4chan, to a leaderless group of hackers protesting governments, corporations and religious groups such as Scientology.

 

The BBC recently aired this in-depth story entitled “Wikileaks: The Secret Life Of A Super Power”. This 2-part feature analyzes one collection of secret files posted by Wikileaks. These are known as the largest leak of information in human history; 250,000 U.S. diplomatic messages, apparently stolen by one of its soldiers. These cables document the American government’s intentions and conflicting goals with countries across the globe.  The highly controversial site known as Wikileaks is an international online organization which publishes classified media from anonymous news source and whistleblowers. 

 

At times, groups such as Anonymous and Wikileaks feel like our only spokespersons. As politicians seem unable or unwilling to do their jobs, their relationship to the people who elected them becomes tarnished. There is a gaping hole between what citizens see and read in the news and what is actually happening. Anonymous and Wikileaks narrow the divide. To those embarrassed by information put out by these groups, stop blaming the whistleblower and look at yourselves. They wouldn’t have volatile information to steal and share, if these secretive actions weren’t committed in the first place.

Anonymous – Site Twitter 

Wikileaks – Site Twitter Facebook

– Jimi Jaxon