Women in techno are a hot topic at the moment within a scene that for years has been dominated by men. One thing that still remains true as more and more women join the ranks that blatant misogyny becomes more vocal.
Currently I’ve been putting a lot of focus on the 90s in the playlist because I feel it was really such an important time for the underground sound. Not only was it when I personally got into the music, it was also a time where Europe really helped to propel it into the limelight.
This week I decided I wanted to dig a little deeper into some of the great techno classics from the earlier days of techno. Immediately Joey Beltram came to mind, one of the early heroes of techno, his most famous track “Energy Flash” continues to be a staple in many DJ sets today.
As I quickly approach the seventeen-year mark of being a DJ I often look back at my musical evolution and find myself rediscovering old favorites that I hadn’t forgotten but they were just stored away on the shelves of the musical library in my mind....
When I first started listening to house and techno in the 90s, I was lucky enough to have the Internet to help me to discover new music. During that time the Internet was still relatively new to everybody and I remember when Napster first came out and it changed my life,...
This week it’s my absolute pleasure to feature my dear friend Öona Dahl on the Music To Go Underground playlist. Öona and I met back in San Francisco in 2012 a long over due meeting since we lived three times in the same states and knew all the same people. A chance meeting on Facebook of all places would bring us to meet in person for the very first time.
Every week I share with you all stories throughout my journey as a raver and DJ that includes music that inspires me on this path. However this week I’ve decided to share with you all something even closer to home by presenting you a track from my label Occultists.
Always on the hunt from fresh music to play in my DJ sets, I find myself rediscovering some old favorites all the time and being reminded of their immense talent. There are very few artists who seem to keep up their momentum up by making solid releases time after time. I can safely say that Vinyl Speed Adjust from the Romania capital of Bucharest always seem to get it right. True masters of the Romanian sound I constantly find myself putting their records in my bag for pretty much all of my gigs.
When people hear about the Berlin based techno club Berghain, they automatically make a connection with techno and hedonism. However many might not know that apart from being a club they also have a very successful record label called Ostgut Ton. The label has produced high quality techno releases for over 10 years and has become a staple for many techno DJs around the world. The label named after the original club that would birth Berghain is an outlet where the club residents can present their artistic vision.
When I first heard Cassy back in my Miami days in the outdoor area of the Electric Pickle, a downtown staple of house and techno in the city I wasn't expecting much. The name was very familiar to me as I had heard of her before during my early love affair with Germany’s booming electronic music scene. Having actually never heard her DJ before I had very low expectations as I wasn’t the hugest fan of house music at the time.
I was a techno purist in the beginning of my electronic music journey and house music was the last thing on my mind. However I truly became a fan of Cassy that day. She absolutely blew my mind rocking a solid two-hour all vinyl set that ended up not being strictly house music. Cassy had a few techno tricks up her sleeve and after that day Cassy became one of my all time favorite DJs.
Every DJ has an artist who inspires them to do what they do and for me that artist is Ellen Allien. The Berlin based queen of techno has been on the scene since the early 90s and there is not one person in the techno scene that doesn’t know her name. Ellen’s music spoke to me as a young boy growing up in a city where techno wasn’t popular and I just happened to stumble onto her by accident at the time. She became the driving force behind the beginning stages of my passion for underground electronic music.
As a techno DJ I’m constantly on the hunt for new gems to play at my upcoming gigs. Right before my upcoming label party here in Berlin I stumbled onto “Attack At Titan” from EarToGround founder Gareth Wild.
This week I’ve featured my dear friend Julie Maghilano on the Music To Clean House To playlist. Another Las Vegas kid Julie and I met through a mutual friend from our hometown. The friend in question kept telling me about her friend Julie and showing me her music. I was certainly surprised to hear she was making music that I was into. Eventually we would meet in Las Vegas during a shared gig on New Year’s Eve. From that point on we became close friends and she was my support system when I first moved to the other side of the world from San Francisco to Berlin.
This week I’ve chosen a lovely techno track from Matrixxman and Echologist that takes me back to the feeling that originally sparked my interest. The track funnily enough is called “Mainframe” and it certainly makes me feel like I’m stuck inside a computer but I really don’t mind being stuck here because it’s so interesting and fun. I hope your imagination will also run wild with this one because it reminds me of my youth and what lead me to become a DJ in the first place. Turn it up loud!
When I first visited Berlin from San Francisco I had a very different idea of the underground sound of electronic music that completely changed after my visit. I was hearing for the first time a sound that I can only explain as a fusion of minimal and deep house that really got me excited for the first time in a while. When I returned home I began spending hours finding more and more of this kind of music. It was during this search and through a DJ mix from a DJ named Anthea that I would discover Oshana.
A few years ago I happened to stumble across the music of Evigt Mörker a techno producer based in Sweden. I instantly fell in love as soon as I heard his music, one thing that is important for me is that the music really takes me on a journey and gets my imagination running wild. Evigt’s music does just that, he has a techno sound like no other, the music sweeps you away into another world that is full of color and beautiful melodies.
During my weekly hunt for new music to play in my upcoming sets I stumbled across a new artist that I never had heard of before. Justin Cudmore’s track “Moment” is a track that is meant to be used in those special moments in the club where as a DJ you know you have the audience at your finger tips and it bring you nothing but joy to keep building it up to the delight of the audience.
How perfect that this track is named "Dishes & Wishes". If I had to rank all my household chores from best to worst, washing dishes would always be at the top of my list. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my legs are free to dance to whatever Deep House track is currently bumping out of my laptop speakers.
Since today is International Women's Day I thought it would be most appropriate to feature one of my favorite DJs, Lady Blacktronika. She was one of the first friends I made when I arrived to Berlin and also the first person to ever tell me not to refer to "Techno" as "Electro." When I asked her why, she said, "just don't." Duly noted Lady Black.
I really love this remix of Dugong’s “What May Come” because Öona Dahl really transformed the original song into something completely different. Bringing it straight to the dance floor she enhances it with dream like soundscapes but still brings enough punch to keep it super friendly for dancing. She stays true to herself as an artist while still respecting the original version. It’s a truly perfect remix and you can tell a lot of passion and heart went into it.