Blog Archives

Michael Mayer – The Horn Conspiracy

K7348_Michael-Mayer_2500x2500px

Following last year’s full-length LP, ‘&’, Michael Mayer is set to contribute to the legendary DJ Kicks series. Spanning sixteen tracks, the mix finds Mayer is just as generous of a mood, composing a musical journey that spans his ever-expanding record collection, and above all, his defining instinct to share the beauty of music with others.

Now he has shared ‘The Horn Conspiracy’, a brand new track made especially for DJ-Kicks, with Red Bull Radio.
He combines tribal percussions with eerie melodies creating a perfect mood to build upon and proving once again balance is key.

Pre-Order here and find all Michael’s DJ Kicks tour dates here.

Michael Mayer: DJ-Kicks

K7348_Michael-Mayer_2500x2500px

Following last year’s full-length LP, ‘&’, which saw him extensively collaborate with an impressive host of contemporaries and friends, including Joe Goddard, Prins Thomas and Agoria, Michael Mayer is set to contribute to the legendary DJ Kicks series. Spanning sixteen tracks, the mix finds Mayer is just as generous of a mood, composing a musical journey that spans his ever-expanding record collection, and above all, his defining instinct to share the beauty of music with others.

“On an abstract level, the approach was basically the same for both projects”, observes Mayer. “For & I put together a group of people that are close to my heart. For Kicks it was a group of records that are like friends to me. All of the tracks I used went through heaven and hell with me. They’ve become true companions. Circling in on and bringing together these friends was the only criterion for the making of this mix. I wanted it to be as personal as possible.”

Perhaps unnervingly to some, fifteen years have passed since the debut edition to Mayer’s breathtaking, scene defining mix trilogy, Immer. Not that it’s legacy – Resident Advisor’s #1 Mix of the 00s, one of Rolling Stone’s 30 Greatest EDM Albums Of All Time – has disturbed Mayer’s formidable workload. A catalogue of no less than 23 EPs, 4 albums and 170 remixes informs a near constant level of international touring. Exhausting as this can be, even after all these years, it’s a ritual that informs the delicate construction of Mayer’s contribution to the DJ Kicks series.

“Kicks has turned out to be a pretty international affair, especially if you compare it with Immer 1 or Fabric 13, which consisted almost 100% of German productions”, highlights Mayer. “At that time, there were such incredible things happening in my direct neighborhood and all over Germany. In the meantime, that spark has traveled a lot since then. The sound I’ve been pushing is often falsely described as “minimal”. Minimal used to be a thing in the pre-Kompakt days, mid 90s. After that I took much more interest in an eclectic way of playing music.”

Alongside this consistent, all-embracing attitude to music, ‘Emotive’ is still perhaps the term best associated with Mayer’s leanings as a DJ, and as the man himself once observed, “there is room on the dancefloor for emotions other than euphoria.” Certainly, DJ Kicks delivers on this expectation, balancing wistful passages with frequent bursts of high energy aimed squarely at the dancefloor.

Mayer’s own reliable talent and golden touch for remixing the likes of Kasper Bjørke, Dreems and CSS provides much of the mix’s atmospheric backbone, supported by dispatches from the contemporary underground from the likes of Jon Hopkins, SAVE! and Boreal. Resolutely a forward thinking affair, the Cologne master nonetheless takes a trip to revisit his timeless love of Throbbing Gristle, slides back over a decade for the electro euphoria of Mekon and Royksopp, as well as his good friend Roman Flugel’s Alter Ego persona.

“I’m constantly scanning my record collection for older tracks that could make new sense in a contemporary context”, reveals Mayer. “There’s no system behind it. My record collection is too chaotic for a systematic approach. As much as it annoys me having to search for a particular record and often not finding it – during the search I’d always find 10 other records that deserve to be revisited.”

Pre-order here and find all Michael’s DJ Kicks tour dates here.

19 May 2017 / !K7

01. Peter Zummo – The Tape Is Chill
02. Michael Mayer – The Horn Conspiracy (DJ-Kicks)
03. Bvoice,Anrilov, Danilov – Papas Groove (dOP & Masomenos Remix)
04. SAVE! – The Darkness (I:Cube Remix)
05. Justus Köhncke – Feuerland
06. CSS – Honey (Michael Mayer Remix)
07. Alter Ego – Gary
08. Kasper Bjørke – Apart feat. Sísý Ey (Michael Mayer Remix)
09. Lionheart Brothers – The Drift (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
10. Mekon feat. Marc Almond – Please Stay (Röyksopp Remix)
11. Dreems – Mirages (Michael Mayer Remix)
12. Boreal – Canopy Target
13. Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love (Ratcliffe Remix)
14. Death In Vegas – Consequences Of Love (Chris & Cosey Remix)
15. Idioma – Landscapes
16. Jon Hopkins – Abandon Window (Moderat Remix)

Michael Mayer, Joe Goddard – For You (DJ Koze Remixes)

ArtworkDJkoze.jpg

DJ Koze comes up to task for the next re-construction of Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard’s ‘For You’, following up from the re-interpretation by Diynamic’s Solomun and Pachanga Boys.

The maverick of flawless productions develops two narratives for this remix package: The first is a club mix composed of layered, floor-raising chords while ruffling up the original vocals gradually and elegantly. The second is a Mbira remix, filled with African-inspired percussive inklings and sprinkled with effortless melodic flourishes. With two accompanying instrumental versions, DJ Koze takes us to the final curtain, closing the end chapter to Michael Mayer’s acclaimed ‘&’ project.

24 February 2017 / !K7
1. For You (DJ Koze Club Mix)
2. For You (DJ Koze Club Instrumental)
3. For You (DJ Koze Mbira Mix)
4. For You (DJ Koze Mbira Instrumental Mix)

Video: Evvol – Comfort Fit

evvol

Shot on DV Cam, Evvol’s new video for ‘Comfort Fit’ was inspired by fashion photographer Steven Meisel’s notoriously uncomfortable and subsequently banned Calvin Klein ad campaign from 1995. They wanted to create a video depicting their own community and exploring the idea of what comfort means to them. Shot over a day in Autumn and produced alongside regular Berlin based collaborators Wilkosz&Way, the pair invited a group of friends from the Berlin queer scene to discuss what puts them at ease and equally, what makes them feel awkward. Here, the band’s Julie Chance, who directed the video, talks about the project:

“We wanted to create a video depicting our own community and exploring the idea of what comfort means to us. Filmed over a day in autumn, we invited a group of friends and acquaintances from Berlin to create a video depicting our own community and exploring the idea of what comfort means to us. Ranging from topics of identity and social acceptance to moments of humour and humility, the video is a selection of outtakes from that day which encompasses everything the song is about”

Formed in late 2014, Evvol released their debut mini-album ‘Eternalism’ via !K7 Records in the summer of 2015. After European live runs with Peaches and YACHT later that year, the pair holed up in their Kreuzberg studio writing their ‘Physical L.U.V’ EP of which ‘Comfort Fit’ belongs. Remixes from Panorama Bar’s first lady Steffi (Ostgut) and Dexter are set to drop next month, and details of a new album will be announced in due course.

Audion – Brines (DJ Kicks Exclusive)

dj-kicks

Accomplished DJ, producer, vocalist and instrumentalist Matthew Dear kicks off 2017 with his DJ Kicks episode out on 27th January. But before then we are treated to ‘Brines’, a track from the mix produced under his Audion guise.

Thump magazine said ‘Brines’ is a “creaking thing of dark beauty” while Matthew Dear himself said it is perhaps the best he has ever made – “Brines is one the best techno songs I’ve ever made. The whole thing was done live, on my modular equipment and captures a raucous session in it’s purest form. In a perfect world, this one would be remembered as my ‘Spastik’ or ‘Windowlicker’.”

A man of many musical hats, Texas born, Detroit raised Dear has a wide reaching discography that takes in face melting techno as Jabberjaw, dark avant-pop under his own name and intricate minimal as Audion. Often with a gothic slant and full of curiousness, his pensive but playful music is an intoxicating distillation of many different influences, often with his own stylised vocals at the centre.

As co-founder of both Ghostly International and Spectral Sound, Dear has also been responsible for some of the underground scene’s most exciting new music, plenty of which appears here. Now more than 15 years, five albums and 20 EPs into his esteemed and always evolving career, Dear is exactly the sort of fascinating character that makes the very personal DJ-Kicks series so special.

Marcel Dettmann – DJ Kicks

dettmann.jpg

Marcel Dettmann has mixed the latest edition of the highly respected DJ-Kicks compilation series.

Whilst Dettmann is well-known for his incendiary sets at his residency at Berghain – the legendary Berlin techno mecca – his DJ-Kicks mix is crafted for listening, and displays a more reflective side of the DJ and producer. The mix explores a wide array of selections from various subgenres; ranging from a new vocal-led Stnuff Trax release, to rapping on Clarence G’s 1991 release ‘Cause I Said It Right’, recently reissued by Clone Records.

As Dettmann explains, this mix is a “lost and found story – I can draw from 25 years of collecting records, digging deep, revisiting, researching.” Whilst he has previously spoken out about the need to escape home production and using different studios, “when it came to the DJ-Kicks mix, I was sitting for weeks in my music room at home listening to records, sometimes together with the kids, editing, researching, playing games… it turned out as a good combination to be at home with the family whilst working on this music project. I was listening to a lot of music which is great, music that I hadn’t listened to for ages and certainly wouldn’t have played in a club set.” The result is a mix “that doesn’t conquer itself to trends.”

Over the course of the mix’s duration, Dettmann reveals multiple new original productions; most notably a collaboration with Levon Vincent, ‘Can You See’. The pair have collaborated before in the past, releasing ‘Vengeance’ on Levon’s own Novel Sound label towards the end of 2015 to critical acclaim. “Five years ago we sat in the studio and were just jamming, and started to work on some tracks… we met in Munich last year before playing together and suddenly he handed me over a test pressing of one of these tracks – I was surprised because he hadn’t said a single word about it to me before then. ‘Can You See’ was still in the drawer, so we started working on that track again, sending sound back and forth, and the result is what you can listen to now.” ‘Can You See’ sees the duo venture into darker territory; a stripped back, sub-bass laden affair, the quality of this production immediately stands out in the early stages of the mix.

Dettmann also collaborates with MDR affiliate Wincent Kunth on ’Possible Step’: “(Wincent) is a close friend of mine, we had loads of fun producing this track but we never released it. But now felt like the right time and I couldn’t think of any reasons not to show it to the public.” In addition to four brand new original Dettmann remixes and edits, there’s also an unreleased remix of Marcel’s ‘Let’s Do It’ from Ostgut Ton labelmate Rolando.

Having first entered the scene in early 90s Berlin, Dettmann was influenced by the Chicago, Detroit, Belgian and acid house sounds that institutions like Tresor and E-Werk were championing. His DIY, entrepreneurial approach – selling records from his own home, and playing at self-organised parties – quickly earned him recognition, and in 1999 Dettmann began to work as a resident DJ at Ostgut, Berghain’s predecessor. Shortly thereafter he received a job offer from Hard Wax. Since then, he’s founded his own record label MDR, released two albums on Ostgut Ton – as well as numerous EPs across both labels – and has mixed the respected fabric London and Berghain compilation series. As a DJ, he’s internationally in-demand, playing the best, tastemaking clubs and festivals across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Dettmann takes inspiration for this mix “out of my personal music history, which could be described with the terms Berlin, Berghain and Hard Wax. It’s music that has accompanied me for decades… it is not a mix of brand new tracks, it’s a mixture of of all the music that shaped me over the years and of all the things that still move me today, aesthetically and acoustically.”

Designed to be enjoyed by both the critics and more casual listeners, this mix is the latest in a long series of lifetime achievements over the course of Dettmann’s career – and with so many new unreleased original Marcel Dettmann productions included, this is a landmark release for the producer. “This mix is not the picture that other people take of me, it is the picture I’d take of myself.”

Released on October 14th on !K7 Records. Pre-order here.

Tracklist
01. Cybersonik – Technarchy (Marcel Dettmann Third Mix) ***
02. Orlando Voorn – At Last
03. Levon Vincent / Marcel Dettmann – Can You See (DJ-Kicks) ***DJ-KICKS EXCLUSIVE
04. Infiniti – Skyway (Marcel Dettmann Remix) ***
05. Mystic Bill – U Won’t C Me
06. Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia – War Chant (Marcel Dettmann Edit) ***
07. Das Kombinat – Waschmaschine
08. Clarence G – Cause I Said It Right
09. Sandbenders – Defekt
10. Vex – Vex-1
11. Dan Curtin – Paradise Lost
12. N.A.D – Everything Seems Different
13. Violence FM – Perspectives
14. Sterac – Intersphere
15. Nukubus – People Move On (Marcel Dettmann edit) ***
16. Push/Pull feat. Lady E and Niqué D – Africa
17. The Residents – Kaw-Liga (Nightmare Mix)
18. Wincent Kunth / Marcel Dettmann – Possible Step ***
19. Marcel Dettmann – Let’s Do It (Rolando Remix) ***
***PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Wendy Bevan – Rose & Thorn LP

rose

Wendy Bevan will release her debut full length Rose & Thorn on September 16th via Kwaidan Records/!K7 Records. The album was produced by Marc Collin of Nouvelle Vague. Recently she shared the video for “In Ghosts We Trust,” you can watch below. Rose & Thorn is currently available for pre-order here.

ROSE & THORN LP – TRACKLISTING
01. Sweet Dedication
02. Rebel Rouser
03. Rose & Thorn
04. Lover
05. In Ghosts We Trust
06. Be Gentle
07. Love From The Moon
08. Bad Manners
09. Twin
10. Porcelain
11. Black Kat
12. Romance
13. What Kind Of Woman (Bonus Track)

Wendy Bevan is a British musician, visual/performing artist, and photographer. Her work spans an array of media including musical performance, film, visual imagery and immersive, experiential artworks. She strives to maintain a multidisciplinary approach to her work, and believes in creating a universal language and balance in the crossover of these disciplines; known for her surreal, etherial and theatrical, aesthetic Wendy has developed a unique cinematic world and style of her own.

Michael Mayer – & LP

Artwork_MichaelMayer_.jpg

Michael Mayer is one of the leading German tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans.As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated to DJing, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer.‘&’ is his third full-length,a passionate and personal album that speaks as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

‘&’ – the title says it all; Michael Mayer collaborated for every track on the album. “All of those involved are good friends of mine and not random choices selected from someTop 100 list.These people mean a lot to me – and by that the music we produced together is heart driven and emotionally powered. I felt we had a mutual privilege to share time together in the studio creating what you hear”.

‘&’ follows a long phase of solitary studio work, but Michael is returning to a pattern of collaboration that’s been significant throughout his career. From his early band Forever Sweet (with Reinhard Voigt and Tobias Thomas), Zimt (with Matias Aguayo) or most recently Supermayer (with Superpitcher).This new wave of partnerships can be traced to the series of back-to-back DJ sets he played throughout 2015. “In the past, I would always take the safe route and DJ with those I would also want go to bed with”, he says with a grin. “Then I found myself opening up. I got this desire to share the decks with DJs who may not share the same records in their crates but who shared a sense of adventure and challenge in playing together”.The most inspiring moment that comes to mind were his sets with Seth Troxler. “We challenged ourselves without borders, a purpose that lead to what ‘&’ is all about”.

Opening track ‘We Like To Party’ finds Michael (finally) producing with old friend Roman Flügel – a tribute to an era of music that shaped them both. A high noon bloomer inspired from the late 80’s / early 90’s. It comes with a wink…and scratch.‘Disco Dancers’ is produced with his KOMPAKT brothers in arms Jörg Burger,Wolfgang and ReinhardVoigt. Old friends holding hands for a colourful dance so deep you feel the heat of the night in their heart, and it delivers the most insane breakdown you’re likely to hear this year. Brazil’s leading techno force, Gui Boratto brings a dramatic change of atmosphere on ‘State of the Nation’ – the lights go on as Michael and Gui bridge a blusterous paradigm to the dancefloor.

‘Mind Games’ is the first song with vocals, by Friendly Fires Ed Macfarlane, that are a declaration of sadness and search for acceptance in a relationship’s demise.The collaboration with Kölsch ‘Gemination’ brings a hypothermic drop to the senses. ‘Voyage Interieur’ with Miss Kittin reflects current world politics.The original idea was to produce a track that breathed the classic ‘80’s sound of Miami freestyle, but the attack on Brussels happened shortly before the session started and in a spontaneous reaction,Miss Kittin’s words found a perfect fit with the bittersweet melancholy of the track.An intense dance on the thin line called life.

‘ForYou’ is a modern ballad for the dance floor and bedroom.A true love story sung by one of the best,Joe Goddard of Hot Chip / The 2 Bears. Over the course of Michael’s career remixing the likes of Rufus Wainwright or Pet Shop Boys, he has been able to bridge song writing and dance music in an extraordinary way and they both unleash the best of their talents and shine as if someone turned on every light in the world for a love that is meant to stay.‘Blackbird Has Spoken’, produced together with talented French producer Agoria, is about taking all the time on the world, filling the room with a pop ambient flavour of modern club music.A track intended to go on forever… ‘La Compostela’ with acclaimed musician Hauschka is an unlikely collaboration that exhibits Michael’s adventurousness. “We both didn’t expect this to happen. I expected an epic trance track or something totally abstract – not this baroque rave whopper”.

“Listen to the silence inside of you, when all is said and done” are the first words you hear on ‘Comfort Me’, the threesome of Michael Mayer, Prins Thomas and vocalist Irene Kalisvaart. It resonates an era of pop music gone by but not forgotten. A sweet temptation as much as a moment of inner truth, the song captures those hours on the dancefloor when one forgets that others are around. An album highlight is ‘Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen’, built around a vocal sample from a long lost East German band Stern Meissen. “I bought the record because I thought the cover was interesting.Then I heard this one line that fitted perfectly to this idea of mine”. Barnt was the only candidate to make this idea come to life. “The trick was to bridge something that sounds sincere and deep with a delicate balance of craziness”. The outcome breathes a groovy spookiness, likened to the Giallo works of Dario Argento, where the borders between reality and fiction are not clear.

‘&’ comes to a tranquil close with ‘Cicadelia’, a long distance team up between long time Pop Ambient / Kompakt producer Andrew Thomas from New Zealand. ”This is the kind of music that I would like to hear under the most brutal sun with my tongue sticking to the palate. It’s the musical equivalent of an ice cold Cuba Libre.”

‘&’ is the rare manifest of an established artist who is willing to risk it all and challenge himself, and the world around him. 12 tracks, 12 single narratives coming from a group of very individual minds orchestrated by Michael Mayer – the DJ, artist,A&R but most importantly, obsessed music lover. Michael describes the process of curating and creating ‘&’ as a constant battle between his three alter egos but “the obsessed music lover has had the final say.”

As diverse as they are, all the tracks that result from this long and winding road create a cohesive story and present the elasticity of Mayer’s musical galaxy. Michael gladly leaves it to the rest of the scene to discuss the different grey shapes of club culture. For him there is only one club culture – a playful and open-minded one that’s easy to comprehend after you hear ‚&’.

~ Thomas Venker, Cologne, 2016

Out October 28 on !K7

Tracklist:
A1 Michael Mayer & Roman Flügel – We Like To Party
A2 Michael Mayer & Burger / Voigt & Voigt – Disco Dancers
A3 Michael Mayer & Gui Boratto – State Of The Nation
B1 Michael Mayer & Ed Macfarlane – Mind Games
B2 Michael Mayer & Kölsch – Gemination
B3 Michael Mayer & Miss Kittin – Voyage Interieur
C1 Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard – For You
C2 Michael Mayer & Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken
C3 Michael Mayer & Hauschka – La Compostela
D1 Michael Mayer & Prins Thomas / Irene Kalisvaart – Comfort Me
D2 Michael Mayer & Barnt – Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen
D3 Michael Mayer & Andrew Thomas – Cicadelia

Michael Mayer, Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken

Cover_MichaelMayer_Agoria

Michael Mayer is one of the leading tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans. As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated behind the DJ decks, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer. His own productions are always passionate and personal, while speaking as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

Agoria one of the leading French electronic producers and DJs. Co-founder of InFiné and Les Nuits Sonores Festival. In recent years, alongside his DJing in clubs and high profile events like the Cannes Film Festival, he’s also written scores for film and is working on his 5th studio album.

For those who like to read song titles as a part of a bigger story then “Blackbird Has Spoken” is the perfect reflection to that. Agoria and Mayer team up for a track is about taking all the time on the world. It’s a track with that fills the room with a distinctive pop ambient flavoured twist on modern club music. It’s a track intended to go on forever.

Agoria writes “Michael was one of the first artists I asked to remix one of my songs (“Sky is clear”) when I began making music.We are on the same boat, sharing miles and smiles all over the world since years, I’m so happy we finally managed to sit down together making our first common piece of music: Une eau de Cologne de Paris”.

The Living Gods of Haiti – Bone Dry LP

haiti.jpg

This August The Living Gods of Haiti, the duo of singer, poet and visual artist Rebekah Dobbins and Parisian producer Marc Collin (Nouvelle Vague, Yasmine Hamdan), will release their debut album ‘Bone Dry’ on Kwaidan Records/!K7. Bringing together a powerful fusion of esoteric imagery and ethereal electronic music, The Living Gods of Haiti have already been hailed by London’s Metro paper as “one for Tricky and Bat For Lashes fans” and by Clash for its “darkly enticing electronics”.

Taking their name from Maya Deren’s documentary film on ritual dance and voodoo, ‘Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti’, the duo set out to create an all encompassing aesthetic, one that drew as much from the writings of EE Cummings, Aleister Crowley or the Zoroastrian Avesta as it did from the music of Dead Can Dance, David Bowie or the Cocteau Twins and with ‘Bone Dry’ have managed just that.

Featuring 13 tracks of atmospheric electronica, sounds taken from around the and beguiling leftfield pop, ‘Bone Dry’ is that rare thing in the music world today, an album that creates its own world. In an increasingly risk averse and controlling industry constantly chasing faded copies of the last big thing The Living Gods of Haiti offer up a much needed alternative, a chance to peer behind the curtain and maybe find that magic still exists in music after all.

Album teaser:

Killing Lotus video:

Pre-order link: https://Kwaidan.lnk.to/BoneDry