ON A QUEST FOR LEGENDS Chapter 2 TonElite_670

Tonelite_X_WitnessThis_SUP5402-Photography by Saskia Uppenkamp-


“On A Quest For Legends” is our 2015 summer podcast series. We scout for electronic music DJ talents in collabo with our friends at KENTAUR Podcast Sagas.

Episode 2 is brought to you by TonElite from Dresden. TonElite aka Martin Saupe turned a passion into profession when becoming full-time DJ in 2011.

With the “Escape The Silence” events he and his crew have become important part of the party scene in Dresden, Germany. In Berlin he is represented by the OpenAirToGo collective.

In 2014, Martin won the DJ contest of our dear colleagues at JedenTagEinSet. Check out the mix he put together for “On A Quest For Legends” – brought to you by KENTAUR and WITNESS THIS. You can read on below for an interview with this DJ talent.

Witness TonElite in the mix for WITNESS THIS and KENTAUR Podcast Sagas.

WT: Did you have a moment when you realized you wanted to be a professional DJ or did it just happen?

TonElite: There were a few moments in my young DJ career that really motivated me to keep going. For example winning the contest of “JedenTagEinSet“ in 2014. But also the energy of the crowd after each successful gig is motivation enough. I am living my dream right now and this is really hard to believe sometimes – I just have too much humility for the whole thing.

WT: What role has Soundcloud played in your success?

TonElite: To me Soundcloud is one of the most important platforms on the Internet. On the one hand I can present my sound to people around the world and on the other hand I am able to get in touch with my listeners, booking agencies or event managers.

WT: Do you have any advice for young DJ’s just starting out?

TonElite: I think most important is to never lose the trust in yourself and your music – even if it is not going well at the beginning. You just have to have enough endurance. Principally, I believe that if you are doing something with all your heart, passion and dedication it will turn out to be successful. Sooner or later quality will come out on top.

WT: You’re living in Berlin now, right? How does living here influence your work?

TonElite: Actually, I am living in the lovely city of Dresden. But I’m visiting Berlin quite frequently and I’ve got many friends there. So in some way – and with a subtle irony – I would call myself a “little Berliner”. Berlin and the people living there have a special spirit. The electronic music scene in Berlin affects people and clubs worldwide – so it would be just presumptuous to believe that it hasn’t any influence on my work, too.

Tonelite_X_WitnessThis_SUP5290

WT: Can you describe your music community in Berlin? How important is this to your work?

TonElite: I feel very grateful to be part of the “OpenAir to go” crew in Berlin. It is a collective with already more than 20 artists and everything is represented – from beginners to popular club DJs. The project is getting more and more popular and it is a very important network for me.

WT: What was the path that lead you to this genre? What kinds of music did you play or listen to in the past?

TonElite: I am listening to electronic music since my younger days. As a teenager I started with classic techno of the 90s. Being influenced by Westbam & Co I got in touch with classic Electronica. Generally, I love dark and driving sounds and I’m always searching for special and extraordinary tracks.

WT: Is there a venue or festival or place that you’ve always dreamed of playing?

TonElite: There isn’t a specific event, but I would love to play in exotic countries such as Thailand, Brazil or Argentina.

WT: As an audience member, what’s one of the best show you’ve ever been to? Electronic or not…?

TonElite: I am a huge fan of the live performances by Andreas Henneberg. He is a fantastic artist I really admire.

WT: Please describe your studio and/or practice space…

TonElite: I have a small home-studio with different hardware. There are classic midi-controllers, a midi-keyboard and some good studio monitors/speakers.

Tonelite

Hear more from TonElite on his Soundcloud or follow him on facebook.

Listen to Chapter 1 of our QUEST FOR LEGENDS series by Beth Lydi HERE.


TRACKLIST On A Quest For Legends Chapter 2 by TonElite:

Ruede Hagelstein feat. C.A.R. | Footprints
Olaf Stuut, SQL | Lithograph
Marc Houle | Demor (Genevieve Marentette Edit)
M.A.N.D.Y. | Gizmo
Francys | Different Shapes
Kyodai | Marea
Damian Lazarus | Different Now (Art Department Remix)
Hug & John Dahlback | Fluteorgie
Krink | Wrong
Lopazz | Share My Rhythm (Isolee Remix)
Freakme | Cornelius (NiCe7 Remix)
Amount | Voice And Girls
Siopis | Hand In The Sand
Soy Mustafa | Return Of The Anunnaki (John Tejada Remix)

KENTAUR and WITNESS THIS present... ON A QUEST FOR LEGENDS Chapter 1 feat. Beth Lydi_670

beth lydi dj mixes-Photography by Saskia Uppenkamp-


In collaboration with KENTAUR Podcast Series, we bring you Beth Lydi, the first featured DJ in our series, ‘On A Quest For Legends’ as we scour the globe for the best up and coming new electronic music DJs.

Describing herself as a ‘workaholic with a butterfly image,’ Lydi’s world is multifaceted and jam-packed. She’s currently touring as a DJ, co-owns two labels and even manages various artists. Known to her quickly growing fan base for her infectious energy, her sets are super high-energy, hypnotic, dark and minimal and yet she still manages to infuse her own playful nature into them. More on Lydi, her perspective on Berlin and why she’s chosen the butterfly symbol to represent her below…

But first, listen to Beth Lydi’s new set exclusively on WITNESS THIS in collabo with KENTAUR podcast series.

WT: What brought you to Berlin? A love affair? A job? Solo mission?

Beth Lydi: Haha, I think it was a good mix of everything. Isn’t Berlin a love affair in itself? Joke aside though, yes to all! Job, love, life!

WT: Imagine you’re explaining the DJ scene in Berlin to someone who’s never been…what is it like there right now as a working DJ?

Beth Lydi: Well, it’s a tough business, no need to sugar coat it, but at the same time I wake up every day so happy to do it! Berlin is special, it has to be the city in the world with the highest density of DJs in one place. But it’s a good thing, you meet a lot of interesting people, and you get lots of inspiration.

For me Berlin has some of the best clubs in the world, and it is such an excessive and ecstatic party scene here. The city just never sleeps. I think part of the fascination of the scene is the intense focus of the here and now, but this goes for all over the world. The people, the music, the atmosphere, everything comes together and creates this great energy.

WT: Are there a lot of other women on the DJ circuit in Berlin right now? Europe in general?

Beth Lydi: The number of female DJs is constantly growing, and we are definitely moving away from the man-dominance that used to characterize the scene. Which is a very good thing, I’m all for diversity!

WT: What’s it like being a female in a male dominated industry? Do you think being female is an advantage or a disadvantage?

Beth Lydi: I think it can be a bit of both every now and then, but i like to think of it as unimportant what gender I am. It should be about the music, and how this makes you feel. If it is good music it shouldn’t matter what gender the DJ is.

beth lydi dj mixes

“The butterfly represents me. It is said that the butterfly counts not months, but moments.”
– Beth Lydi

WT: A lot of your music has almost a primal feeling… it’s intense and raw and yet you manage to bring a level of innocence to it…what was the path that lead you to this genre?

Beth Lydi: Haha, I think it must be my Norwegian roots coming out there. But it’s true, I have a soft spot for a bit raw, really groovy sounds, but at the same time I am a very happy and positive person, so maybe this shines a bit through.

My musical background is classical music, having played both piano, violin and sung in a choir, but I have always listened to all kinds of music. Rock, rap, techno, jazz, you name it. It think, as in many parts of life, it is important to let yourself embrace different experiences, often I find sounds in songs from other genres that really inspire me for my own tracks.

Music is such a beautiful kind of art, where you can create so much feeling, and this is what I love about it. Making people feel the way I do when I hear the music I play – excitement, ecstasy, happiness.

WT: What does the butterfly represent?

Beth Lydi: There is a wonderful quote from a Danish writer: “Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” The butterfly represents me. It is said that the butterfly counts not months, but moments, may sound a bit weird, but that’s exactly how it is.

WT: Is there a venue or festival or place that you’ve always dreamed of playing?

Beth Lydi: No, not like that. I am always just very excited for my next gig and what awaits me! Every place has its own charm and character.

WT: As an audience member, what’s one of the best show you’ve ever been to? Electronic or not…

Beth Lydi: Oh, this is a difficult one. It is usually connected to so much around it… you know, the people you are with, the venue itself. But i think it must have been a few years ago when me and some friends saw Nicolas Jaar with his entire orchestra. It was my first time hearing the songs live, and it is such a big production with everyone, this was a very nice show.

Follow Beth on Soundcloud and facebook.
Listen to more great music in other guest mixes HERE, HERE, and HERE.


TRACKLIST On A Quest For Legends Chapter 1
01. Alex Banks | A Matter Of Time (Frank Wiedemann Remix)
02. Christian Arango | Poison
03. Groove Armada | Look Me In The Eye Sister (Audiojack Remix)
04. Danny Serrany & Eppu | Above
05. Beth Lydi | Rincon
06. Matthew Codek | Jumper
07. Marc Miror & Andreas Henneberg | Faces
08. Beth Lydi | Kaminda
09. Christian Nielsen | Foxy Foxy
10. Kevin Knapp | Audiojack – Stay Glued
11. Beth Lydi | Supersize
12. Ilario Liburni | Crapkin (Reset Robot Remix)
13. Luca Lento | Poema (Mendo Remix)
14. Lowboys, BDJ & Markomas | Raw Deal
15. Beth Lydi | Ego Trip

Tummetott Guestmix April 2015 Cover

Tµmmetott Jonas Panizza-photography by Saskia Uppenkamp-


Jonas Panizza, age 22, a.k.a. Tµmmetott serves us the fresh Mix Of The Month April, and it’s 120 bpm full throttle.

In contrast to this rather fast-paced journey, Jonas had caught our attention a while ago with an amazing slow-house set that we loved so much that we asked him if he would like to release his next work with us – and here we are.

Jonas was born in Munich where he received a collection of 200 old-school hip-hop records from his neighbor at the age of 15, which made him buy his first record player. He learnt scratching before he knew anything about mixing or electronic music. His first big FUSION festival experience one year later made him fall in love with House and Techno.

Jonas is part of the WANNDA crew, a party ensemble from Southern Germany that throws wild electronic music parties in the style of a traveling circus. Jonas now lives in Berlin where he studies computer science. He is also member of the Berlin KOPFÜBER crew.

We acknowledge the skill in Tµmmetott’s sets. At his young age he already knows damn well how to curate mixes with seamless transitions that really keep you on your toes.

Enjoy his fresh mix he put together exclusively for the WITNESS THIS readers.
You can read on below for an interview with this young talent.

Witness Tµmmetott in the mix for WITNESS THIS.

Tµmmetott Jonas Panizza

“My musical style varies from day to day. But most of the time I’m really into slow house, although I just recorded a rather fast set for this feature.”

WT: Jonas, what influences do you quote for your musical style?

Tµmmetott: My musical style varies from day to day. It depends on many different factors like the side of the bed I get out in the morning, the mood of my friends I’m hanging out with, the meal I had the day before and of course the humidity! But most of the time I’m really into slow house, although I just recorded a rather fast set for this feature.

WT: You uploaded your last mix six months ago, what kept you busy during this time?

Tµmmetott: Yes that’s true, it has been a while that I came up with a new set. The reason is that I directed all my attention to my own productions. Since Christmas I’ve set up a small studio in my room in which I’m training my Ableton skills day by day. There is still a lot to learn but I’m more than motivated to invest time and energy in it. Just yesterday I got my first track released on the internet which I produced together with Oscar B. As a basis we used a sample of the Libanese violinist “Claude Chalhoub”.

WT: Which recent musical developments have caught your attention and why?

Tµmmetott: To name three artists: Ninze, Dwig and Midas 104.

Half a year ago Ninze released his live set “Mind Journey” and ever since I’m a huge fan of his productions. The Genre could be described as “Slow House” or “Down Pitched House” at about 108 BPM. He is mixing laid-back-beats with melancholic pianos or strings and a clever devised percussion set ensures high recognition. The set “Mind Journey” gives the impression that each track is produced out of the previous one. Most of his tracks are still unreleased but I believe his big breakthrough will come very soon.

The first time when my friend Julian showed me a record from “Die Wiese im Garten” – or just Dwig – I was pretty jealous about it. The Track “Orange Evening” inspired me a lot. It is and will remain one of my favorite songs. Furthermore I highly recommend his now released Record “From here to there”. Not my first choice for the club but perfect for afterwards. Now I got my own LP from Dwig in my vinyl collection.

Midas caught my attention at an incredible live Gig at Ritter Butzke in Berlin. With his “Eos EP”, especially the track “Dance on the Tightrope”, he totally got me. Each song is telling a different story. You can always discover new elements and details in it; you never feel that you’re caught in a loop. I think that in addition to his talent, his strong studio experience plays a major role.
There is probably no other artist whose tracks I played more often lately.

WT: Thanks Jonas, awesome inspiration! Keep it up.

Tµmmetott Jonas Panizza

TRACKLIST Tµmmetott – ‘A Very Strange Paradox’

Bob Moses | Interloper
Gottlieb Scheppert | ? (Unreleased)
Helms | Neverminds (Andreas Henneberg Remix)
Edy C. & Juri Paik | Sunshine in Hvar (Jonas Saalbach & Tschoris Remix)
Dave Seaman & One Million Toys | Everything Comes In Threes (D-Nox & Beckers Remix)
My Favorite Robot | The Waiting Rain (Mano Le Tough Remix)
NTFO & Karmon | Metropolis
Venzio, Nu Media & Sourge | Keep on Trying
Dahu | North
Marcus Meinhardt | Karati
Max Jones | Slow (feat. Mijo)
Enola | Words In A Bottle (Rodriguez Jr. Remix)
Dirty Doering & Sascha Cawa | Curry
Krink | Wrong
Stefan Z | No Words
Kotelett & Zadak | Tizia


Follow Tµmmetott on Soundcloud | facebook.
Listen to our past guest mixes HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Arkadiusz Cover Art by Mat MacQuarrie

Arkadiusz-photo with friendly courtesy of Planta Baja Bar-


Arkadiusz Dmytrow aka ‘Arkadiusz’ is a polish musician and blogger.

His DJ career began 2010 in Frankfurt am Main where he frequented the famous former Vinylshop Pro Vinyl and legendary electronica institution Robert Johnson in Offenbach am Main. Both had in retrospect the most influence in his decision to start mixing and for sure in his style of music.

During his studies in Würzburg he and his crew started their own event series called ‘PIKNIK’ (2012). Its mantra was to play music that they like, as opposed to what the people like. His biggest gig so far has been 2014’s Brüxsel Jardin Open Air where he has played alongside Acid Pauli, Couer, Sushiflow, Dka and Nathe Oye in front of some thousand ecstatic people.

From the beginning Arkadiusz has been more focused on deep hypnotic and experimental electronic music with a touch of melancholy, quoting as influence the likes of Lawrence and Nathan Fake. Arkadiusz tries to overlook trends and focuses strongly on little known genres that represent his merits.

As part of the crew of online magazine Das schoene Leben he started writing in 2012 supporting newcomer musicians and sharing his taste of music with the world.

Arkadiusz now lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, with his wife.

Witness our Mix of the Month March 2015 by Arkadiusz.


-cover art by Mat MacQuarrie-

This mix is released on WITNESS THIS with friendly courtesy of KENTAUR podcast series. It is also the teaser for our upcoming podcast collaboration with the guys at KENTAUR.
Stay tuned for A QUEST FOR LEGENDS – a podcast saga in 16 chapters coming up on WITNESS THIS starting April 1st. So long, folks!

KENTAUR deep house podcast

Visit Arkadiusz Soundcloud or the KENTAUR Soundcloud for more great electronic music.
Catch Arkadiusz live at one of his next stops:
Mar 07, 2015 TBA (Guadalajara/Mexico)
Jul 18, 2015 Weinerei (Nuernberg/Germany)
Jul 24, 2015 TBA (Berlin/Germany)
Aug 01, 2015 TBA (Prora/Germany)
Aug 02, 2015 TBA (Berlin/Germany)


To listen to our past guest mixes check this awesome Trap-Mix by KALI or Sebastian Porter’s latest Tech-House set.

Sebastian Porter

Sebastian Porter
interview by Alex Kralikas, photography by Saskia Uppenkamp.

Here at WITNESS THIS the style of one DJ is much appreciated as of late – Berlin’s up-and-coming Sebastian Porter. 2014 was a big year for Sebastian, who produced some quality releases and landed on the radar of many new fans – all of which being no surprise considering the quality of his output.

Sebastian’s Dirty Dolores EP, which we featured back in October, had a deep groove and sexy vibe, the result being a dancefloor hit. In his past life Sebastian was building a successful career in Finance, but he decided to take a different path by putting the suit away and pursuing his goals in music production.

Sebastian’s professional path is an encouraging and inspiring example that taking a 180° turn in your career sometimes is exactly what’s needed. “It was a slow process”, Sebastian says when reminiscing about his work as a financial consultant, “during course of which I increasingly felt that it’s not the right place for me. It started to feel like a masquerade.

Identification got less and less, and at some point I knew ‘that’s not me’, and that shall not be my future. Naturally, without identification I got worse in my profession, the fire inside of me wasn’t burning anymore.

At the same time I had started with music, and completed my first tracks, and I immediately felt it had potential… it is something that fulfills me. And I knew if I put all my heart into it, then it can be something to make a living out of, because I never lacked ambition or endurance.”

Witness Sebastian’s talent and endurance in the podcast he put together for WITNESS THIS, and read on below for an interview if you want to know more.

Tune into Sebastian Porter’s SOULWORK exclusively on WITNESS THIS.


-cover art by Mat MacQuarrie-

WT: What’s the inspiration behind this mix?

Sebastian Porter: With my tracks I always try to tell a story and it’s the same idea when I am doing a mix. I like very deep and sexy melodic stuff with a meditative character, which is produced complexly – music that touches my heart, as well as dirty faster stuff with massive pressure just for dancing.

I tried to combine all of this in this mix. But it’s not so easy to tell this story in an 80-minute podcast. Finding the right tracks that are cool enough and worth it to be part of it on the one side and fit to each other in this way on the other side. Normally you have 3-4 hours for this development in a club.

WT: You seemed to be on fire in 2014 with both your Dirty Dolores EP and Good Times EP both making waves. Are you on a mission to be a big name in electronic music and what’s your inspiration for making music?

Sebastian Porter: Yes, Dirty Dolores EP is going very well which is nice to see. Also my two Lebensfreude Releases last year got some good feedback. Of course there are lots of ideas musically that are waiting to be realized. I have a big output, and I wish to share this with more and more people.

Only when you have someone who receives your music it completes you as an artist and the more there are the happier I am because music is love and love is something you want to give without sparing with it. What goes around comes around in life – that’s enough reason and motivation. Quite simple!

WT: What are your goals for 2015?

Sebastian Porter: I want to hold my high output activity. Even better I want to top it with lots of new stuff. I am looking forward to realize all my ideas and to reach more people with my music and hopefully generate more gigs through my music.

WT: Do you have any upcoming releases you can share with us?

Sebastian Porter: Yes, I do! Last December I got two requests for remixes. One of which is for the next release on Yellow Tail for their new artists Discase, which will be come out on February 6th. The second is for the Label Mischpoke for Timo Veranta and vom Feisten, which is coming out on February 28th.
The first track is also featured in the podcast.

The second release is actually quite fast compared to the stuff I’m used to doing, but the files from the original were very suitable to do a faster track and so I can show another side from me, which is not only chill-melodic stuff. I like to have a balance in my production between tracks for the heart, enjoying with closed eyes and tracks that focuses on the dance floor. It’s my plan to produce in this way in 2015.

Sebastian Porter

Only when you have someone who receives your music it completes you as an artist. Music is love and love is something you want to give without sparing.

WT: You made a track called Ayahuasca. Have you tried it before? If so, what was the experience like?

Sebastian Porter: Yes, I did but this is my private experience and nothing to talk about publicly. But what I can say is that it was massive. Can be a struggle, can be beautiful, but whatever it is it opens you and gives you a strong hand to find out where you are, realizing your feelings, to accept them and to trust in yourself and in life even more. It helps you become aware of all of your energy and attention.

WT: Besides yourself, who are some other artists to look out for in 2015?

Sebastian Porter: When I talk about upcoming artists I definitely want to mention Samuel Fach who is an excellent producer and does lots of cool tracks – tracks that I also play in my sets. Further I would say Freiboitar from Cologne who is a very talented guy as well that has achieved so much considering how long he has been making music.

I’d also like to advert to my Lebensfreude-artist-buddies Stereofysh, who will release their first album soon. I haven’t listened to it yet but I saw them playing live once and I can say that their work has a high musical worth and they are real stage hogs.

Last but not least, there is my friend Markus Wesen who will also release his first album this year on Ohral Recording with a very experimental note. Watch out for these folks!

WT: What’s your favourite club or festival in Europe?

Sebastian Porter: Mmmmh… there are lots of cool clubs in Europe and every club has it’s own way. It also depends on my mood and the people I have around me to make a good party. But in the summer I would say I prefer Sisyphos in Berlin.

WT: Any predictions for major world events that will happen in 2015?

Sebastian Porter: A spectacular Berlin summer with high energy and lots of fantastic happenings. Trust me!

WT: Thanks for coming to meet us today!

Sebastian Porter: Thank you, was a pleasure.

Sebastian Porter

Visit Sebastian Porter’s Soundcloud or follow him through facebook.

Tracklist SOULWORK podcast:

Darkside | Gone Too Soon
Agoria | Under The River (YokoO’s Above The Clouds Live Edit)
Mihai Popoviciu & David Delgado | Early Bird
Monkey Coops | The Bad Guy feat. Greg Turner
Sebastian Porter | Kellerlegenden (Carsten Rausch Remix)
Mario Aureo | Passion (Mihai Popoviciu Remix)
Debal Sommer | Fugibeat
Snilloc | 800 Lesbians
&ME | After Dark
Cari Golden, Bambook & Mennie | Slip Away (Olivier Giacomotto Remix)
Discase | Intension (Sebastian Porter Remix)
Hector & Pablo Cahn | Jills Tool
Gabriel Ananda & Maceo Plex | Solitary Daze
Royksopp | Sordid Affair (Maceo Plex Remix)

Room Service Nightcrawler

Room Service Nightcrawler

Words by Lindsay Colip / Artwork by Nik Atkins

A mix inspired by nightcrawling our way thru deep Brooklyn, NY…

they say that we should get back together,
i remember.
and if you could stay high for me baby
and make me feel again
you’d push me out to survive
and i’d fall in love just in time.
that’s the sound of the rain
it’s 3 o’ clock in the morning
i can’t sleep.
nobody seems to care,
amazing grace is falling down.

 

Listen to Room Service’s latest delivery here (FREE DOWNLOAD available):

Tracklist:
Vonderstrav – Rico Puestel
Your Darkness – Benoit & Sergio
No Panties – Kill Frenzy
Sincerity (Lars Moston Remix) – Anton Ishutin & Leusin
Raindrops (Markus Homm Remix) – Mario Aureo
I Remember (Simon Mattsons Mix – Sandy Rivera
Stay High Baby – Maceo Plex
What $ Love (Supernova Remix) – Romanthony
Nobody Seems to Care – 16 Bit Lolitas
Shells (Hannes Fischer Remix – Laurel
E1 – Rico Puestel

FIND MORE GREAT MUSIC FROM ROOM SERVICE HERE AND HERE.
For Room Service’s Soundcloud this way.

Trap music artist KALI podcast cover

Trap music artist KALI

interview by Julia Dalia Amenyogbo, photographed by Saskia Uppenkamp

The name Maral Salmassi aka KALI resonates an impressive echo within the music world.

Most of her fans are particularly thrilled by her musical output as a first-class provider of electronic sounds. The work of the multi-talented Iranian-born artist entails the creation of the three labels Konsequent, Art Of Perception and Television Rocks which are home to long-established techno artists like Cari Lekebush, The Advent, Electro-Jazzer Jimmy Tenor and The Sexinvaders.

KALI is the new Pseudonym, “Pussy Drop” her event, and Bolly-Tech her new sound which promises “a combination of Trap, Hip-Hop, Baile Funk, and Ghetto-Tech influenced by traditional Bollywood and Maghrebian music”. The outcome is a fusion slightly ahead of the times, and made us so curious that we had to chat with the woman behind the KALI project.

What I found was a woman with a reflected perception of herself and others. A woman who supports other sisters in their struggle for womens’ rights and an integration of ethical values in Islamic countries. Tune into her latest Bolly-Tech podcast that she publishes in collaboration with WITNESS THIS, and read the interview below that touches on her new EP, music, life, love, god, modern feminism, and other aspects of existence.

Tune into KALI’s new Bolly-Tech podcast – premiering exclusively on WITNESS THIS.


See bottom for tracklist.

WT: KALI, can you tell us about your roots and your current whereabouts?

KALI: Originally I’m from Iran and left the country in 1986 during the Iran-Iraq war. Currently I live in Berlin.

WT: What is your first memory of music?

KALI: My first memory is the record collection of my parents. Their record collection is huge containing a wide range of music reaching from Middle Eastern and Classical over Pink Floyd, The Doors, Beatles, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash to Kraftwerk.

WT: Which decade is musically the one you are most inspired by and why?

KALI: I’m not really tied to a particular decade, but a lot of Bollywood music from the 60s to 80s has been a big inspiration. The crossover of this period is incredible. A huge part of the music from this period mixes latin, western or African elements with Indian music with amazing results and genius arrangements.

WT: Your new EP “Sahara” has dropped last Friday. You are very popular in the Electronica scene and most of your fans don’t know you as Trap DJ yet but your musical output is now shifting to Trap. How did you get the idea to do this and what made you do it?

KALI: I simply got bored doing the same thing over and over. I can’t see any noteworthy development in todays house and electro music and just felt like if I had continued producing house and electro I would have been participating in mediocrity. A lot of artists even go as far as to say it’s dead. I wouldn’t necessarily say that. It’s not dead, it just smells funny.

WT: You are raising your voice against violation of human rights, especially misogyny, homophobia and racism in Islamic countries like Iran. Do you believe that in Iran there is an understanding of the meaning of the human rights?

KALI: Well, it depends of who in Iran you mean. If we are talking about the Iranian people there is a clear understanding, yes, mainly by way of what they don’t have. The government on the other hand probably understands as well, but as a Western principle that they mock and refuse to give to the Iranian people. This regime, who during the Green Movement protests shot and raped their way to near-absolute power in Iran, is certainly one of the most aggressive dictatorships ruling a country on this planet.

WT: What does today’s women’s rights movement in Iran look like?

KALI: Over the last years members of the women’s rights movement or any other human rights activists have been forced to end their activism in order to protect themselves and their families from being prosecuted, arrested, raped, tortured and even killed. Many have fled the country.

WT: Why do you think people should take the risk and fight for their human rights in Islamic countries?

KALI: The situation in these countries is best described as Orwellian: Government intrusion of privacy, curtailment of freedom through systematic terror, oppression, and human rights violations. The individual has no rights under a regime that demands absolute devotion and obedience to a totalitarian terror system based on pure superstition. In order to make change, we have to put pressure on oppressive regimes and continue to educate people. The old patterns must be replaced and human rights have to be culturally internalized in order to move forward.

WT: What would you say to someone who doesn’t have support of his/her surrounding environment, family or friends when chasing their dream?



KALI: Not to care too much about what people think or whether or not they would support you. It’s ok if other people don’t understand our behavior and needs, but if they demand that we have to be rational to them or believe in their dogmas, they’re basically rejecting our freedom and the courage it takes to be ourselves. If they aren’t pleased with who we are, so be it. Just do your thing and don’t care!

Trap music artist Kali

“I have always been fascinated by the mystery surrounding darkness. It can be breathtakingly beautiful, just as the light can be horribly grotesque.”

WT: Do you believe in God or in a superior power?



KALI: No, I don’t and I don’t understand why people claim that he has always been around, while they refuse to consider the same for the universe. God is man-made. Hitchens said it well: “The gods that we’ve made are exactly the gods you’d expect to be made by a species that’s about half a chromosome away from being chimpanzee”.

WT: That sounds as if you were an atheist. Where do you believe our souls go after we die? What’s your concept of afterlife, existence and creation?

KALI: I’m definitely an Atheist! Choosing dogma and faith over living in the here and now is not an option for me. The universe is bigger than our imagination and frankly I think that it’s quite arrogant to believe that it was designed as part of a divine plan constructed just for us. If there is something like an afterlife, fair enough. I like to be surprised.

WT: Your clothing style can be very extroverted and out of the ordinary. When it comes to your style who, what or where gives you the inspiration?



KALI: I get a lot of inspiration of traditional tribal clothing from all over the world. The fabrics, jewelry,…etc, I love to mix them.

WT: The cover artwork of your trap mixes shows heroic women with demonic figures. Can you tell us a little about the dark side of KALI?

KALI: I have always been fascinated by the mystery surrounding darkness. It can be breathtakingly beautiful, just as light can be horribly grotesque. I think we can rise from the darkness we are in if we don’t shrink our experiences into fear. The strong, mysterious women displayed in my artwork may feel a little dark, but not necessarily evil. They are mysterious and wild beings that represent power and freedom.

WT: As a modern feminist, what’s your stance on sexuality and gender roles? In other words: what’s your definition of a modern feminist in the context of heterosexual relationships, and which place or role do men have in that ideal world?

KALI: I think the gender identity as we know it is quite antique. The ideal would be if we could say that we don’t see gender differences anymore, or at least pay less attention to them. If we could treat each other as we do with our best same-sex friends, regardless if in the context of a relationship, family, job, etc. The message of a lot of female anti-feminists is that they don’t recognize gender stereotypes, but this doesn’t mean that society has reached that point. I’d say it means that many of them live in denial about what it means to understand oneself without identifying too strongly with the limitations of gender. In other words, a lot of women claim to have moved beyond gender roles, but in fact many of them operate in a typically masculine way. They’ve adopted the male role to assert power and control and gain the respect of men. This of course only entrenches the classical, outdated definitions of masculinity and works against a more unified future. We still have a long way ahead of us.

WT: If you could pick 3 artists to work with, which 3 would it be?

KALI: There are so many amazing artists… It’s very difficult to say, but Indian producer Ilaiyaraaja, Aphex Twin or Missy Elliot would be on top of my list.

WT: Do you remember a most embarrassing moment on stage?

KALI: In 2011 I was touring with “Die Boys” who were members of the German Hip-Hop combo Deichkind. It was a back to back DJ set with them… unfortunately they got super drunk and started a crazy fight with another guy on stage which ended in a brawl. It wasn’t really embarrassing for me, but kinda sucked.

WT: If you could interview one person from the past who would it be?

KALI: That would be one of my heroine Rosa Luxemburg.

WT: Any future projects you’d like to talk about?

KALI: There are a few collaborations among other with Australian producer Swick and Italian producer Anubi in the works right now, but for the most part musically I’m focusing on the next KALI releases and videos.

WT: Thanks KALI, and keep it up!

Follow KALI on Soundcloud | facebook | Twitter | Instagram or visit her website.

Trap music artist KALI

SHEITAN’S TRAP 4 Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Kali – Amazon (Mace Remix / Kali Vocal Edit)
3. Yellow Claw – Dancing Soldier (Ape Drums Remix)
4. Party Favor – Bap You
5. Pound Pound Pound & Footwork – Booty In the Pant
6. Tropkillaz & Meaux Green – Pump Up The Volume
7. Mykki Blanco – Wish You Would
8. Hands Solo – When The Last Time (Doobious & DJ Sweap Remix)
9. Partyzona – Badass In Dandy-Seth
10. Yellow Claw – Kaolo Pt. 2 (Angger Dimas Remix)
11. $yrup – Amazon
12. Sudden Beatz – Bring It Back Now (feat. DJ Craze)
13. Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode (San Holo Remix)
14. Outcast – Ms. Jackson (San Holo Remix)
15. Labisch – Get Twerk
16. Lil Troy – Wanna Be A Baller (Bird Peterson Remix)
17. Redinho – Playing With Fire
18. Sophie – Hard
19. Machinedrum – Back Seat Ho (Rustie Remix)
20. DJ Rashad – Come On Girl (feat. DJ Spinn)
21. DJ Funk – Move That Butt (Ape Drums Doggy Style Re-Mix)
22. French Fries – What To Do
23. TDY – Chainzzz
24. Kali – Sahara (R-ASH Remix)

WITNESS OUR PREVIOUS GUEST MIXES HERE and HERE.

Bass Sekolah Lighthouse

A new release has been spinning on our Macs this week that shall release you into your weekend musically this Friday.

The track is the debut work coming from BASS SEKOLAH, a duo that produces their music out of the jungle of Malaysia. Check their studio in the Youtube link embedded, and you’ll agree with me that there is not many offices on this planet that can match that view. Who would not be inspired by that beauty of nature? Consequently, their studio has hosted the likes of Modeselektor, Africa Hitech, Daedelus, Perera Elsewhere… and we now have a reason more to visit Asia again VERY SOON.

Bass Sekolah promo cover for Lighthouse.

photocred: Jason Tan Highway

DJ/producer Telephones, aka Henning Severud

Telephones
words by Alex Kralikas, photography by Saskia Uppenkamp.

In a somewhat strange juxtaposition, the most popular music to come out of Norway in the last decade has mostly been heavy metal and disco. For a country known for its cold landscape and conservatism, it might be easy to perceive why a harsh style of music like metal would be popular. However, despite the former of the two fitting the mainstream stereotype of Norway better than the latter, Norwegian dance music is doing big things right now.

Any fan of electronic music can’t have missed the wave of Norwegian house and disco producers taking the world by storm. Their music is anything but cold and conservative – it’s layered, eclectic and spacey. Just listen to tracks by artists like Prins Thomas, Lindstrøm, Todd Terje and Skatebård. Prins Thomas’ latest album, Prins Thomas 4, is a really interesting, experimental disco album and Todd Terje’s first full-length album It’s Album Time, released earlier in 2014, is one of dance music’s biggest hits of the year.

We wanted to further explore this concept of eclectic Norwegian dance music and what better way to do that than to speak with a Norwegian DJ/producer. Henning Severud, aka Telephones, is a Berlin based DJ-slash-producer who is talented and creative in his own production style. He met with us to discuss personal influences and the electronic music scene in Norway, including the musical history that has helped shaped the scene that it is today. The former journalist has had a huge wave of success in 2013-14, releasing original tracks on Gerd Janson’s Running Back Records and Berlin record label Love On The Rocks, as well as touring Europe and playing regular gigs in Berlin.

DJ/producer Telephones, aka Henning Severud

“I’m kind of suspicious about DJs that don’t like to dance. I think if you want to make people dance you have to want to dance yourself.”

WT: You describe the genre of your music on your Facebook page as “disco-proto-balearic-house-tropical-technokraut-multiwave-confusion”. How do you come up with this stuff?

Telephones: A lot of that stuff isn’t really even genres. It’s just a combination of different things. If I only wrote disco or house, it would be really open and could be interpreted by people as minimal house or as if I’m making disco with horns. So I just wanted to be more specific and not just use one term which is kind of limiting. I’m inspired by a lot of different music.

WT: What kind of music is Telephones currently inspired by?

Telephones: I like a lot of Balearic music, old techno, old Chicago house, and Italo-Disco. I also like Krautrock. But, I kinda wrote that about my music style partially for fun.

WT: Norway has a pretty cold climate, I hear, although I’ve never been there. Where does the inspiration to make Balearic and tropical sounds come from?

Telephones: I guess it’s kind of a type of dreaming or escapism. Music is one of the most powerful forms of imaginative stimuli we have and it’s a good way of escaping wherever we are or whatever we’re doing. I dream myself away to different places.

WT: Is there a good music scene in the town that you are from?

Telephones: I’m from Bergen which has a really rich music scene. It’s not really so cold there but it’s always raining. There are only around 260,000 people there and considering there’s a small population people often ask why the music scene is so rich there. I think it’s because the weather is so bad and there isn’t really anything to do. People just have to sit inside and make up their own extracurricular activities.

WT: It’s hard not to mention Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, Lindstrom, etc, when talking to a Norwegian electronic music producer. Can you say something about the roots of the Norwegian disco sound for those that don’t know much about it?

Telephones: There is a lot of different music from Norway as well but within that house/disco/electronic stuff there are a lot of influences from original disco, house and Italo-Disco – music from the 70s and 80s, and tropical stuff. It’s been like that for a while though.

I had my first proper gig in Bergen 2001, and around that time there were a lot of British DJs coming to Norway like Idjut Boys, Maurice Fulton and artists from Nuphonic Records. The Bergen-godfathers Bjørn Torske and Erot had a lot of international connections – early nu-disco artists before nu-disco became the more typical cliché genre it grew into today. Nowadays if you say you make nu-disco, people already have a clear idea how that sounds – like big, powerful and melodic. I’m a little bored with that style to be honest.

I personally like all of the early music from all of the original genres which today are concrete genres with very defined sounds. I like all of the early, or proto sounds from these genres when people were still experimenting.

WT: Do you come from a musical family?

Telephones: Not really. I mean when I was 2 or 3 years old I was listening to whatever music my parents were into, ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Dire Straits. My mother even had some Black Sabbath records. But my mother is an artist and my father is a writer so I guess that has influenced me a bit. I started playing guitar when I was 7 and was into heavy metal and thrash metal.

WT: Metal is popular in Norway, isn’t it?

Telephones: Yeah definitely. I was into Iron Maiden, Slayer and Sepultura. I also got into punk music, mostly through skateboarding.

WT: You often tour with Massimilliano Pagliara who is really popular around Berlin and just released an album on Frankfurt label Live At Robert Johnson. Do you guys make a good team when you play at the same parties?

Telephones: Yeah I think so but we’re also different in terms of playing. We have our mutual ground, I think. We both enjoy a lot of old stuff. Normally when I DJ I play 70% old stuff and 30% new stuff. Whereas Massimilliano plays more new stuff. The touring thing was because I featured on his album. He collaborated with a lot of people and I was one of them so we did gigs together.

WT: You also played at the infamous Panorama Bar recently. What’s it like to DJ there?

Telephones: Really nice! I think I didn’t have that kind of feeling for a very long time. Soon I will have been DJing for 14-15 years, and normally I get some butterflies in the stomach before every gig but I don’t think I’ve had that kind of feeling for more than 10 years.

I think it’s because it’s an intimidating venue to walk into and start playing. It took the first hour to get into it but the last two hours were really fun.  It was my birthday the next day and I had some friends in town so it was probably one of the most fun gigs I’ve had. Also, it was a good feeling afterwards when I finished the set and six strangers covered in sweat came up to me to hug me.

Telephones

“It’s a good feeling to see hundred people dancing to something that might have taken one year all alone in a ten square meter room to produce.”

WT: I once read a post from a DJ who was thinking of quitting but then was re-inspired to continue his career after playing there.

Telephones: I’ve never been short on inspiration to keep going, but when there’s 200 people there and you’re communicating with them and you get a relationship with the crowd, when it’s going back and forth between you and them, it’s a very good feeling.

I was there one or two months before and I can’t remember who was playing, but the DJ was playing one of my tracks that I just released. It’s a good feeling to see 100 people dancing to something that might have taken 1 year all alone in a 10 square meter room to produce. It’s a really good feeling to see that it works.

WT: It sounds rewarding.

Telephones: Yeah. There’s always the discussion, does it feel good in an egotistical way because you’re doing it? Or does it feel good because you’re making other people happy? I think the best feeling is when you can see that you’re making other people happy.

WT: You’ve got a very impressive moustache! Can you tell us the story behind it?

Telephones: That’s a funny story. I think it’s been there now for 12 years and I only took it away for two times during those 12 years and only for 2-3 months in total.

It started as a joke in Norway in 2001-2003, I was going to university then with 2-3 of my best friends. We moved to Trondheim, which is a city quite far North in Norway.The cliché there is that all the guys there wear leather vests and have a moustache. We all moved up there and when we were going home to Bergen for Christmas every one was supposed to come back with their Trønder bart (Trondheim moustache).

Everyone chickened out but me, so I had this pathetic patch of fur and I just kept it. Anyway, so it stayed and now I feel really naked without it.

WT: Nice! If there’s some up-and-coming disco and house DJ/producers out there reading this, what advice would you give them about building a successful career in your field?

Telephones: DJ vs producing is like two different worlds. If you’re sitting alone and making music in the studio, it’s different to playing out and being able to read a crowd. But my advice would be, if it’s only DJing, then people who aspire to do this should be going out and listening to different DJs. I’m also kind of suspicious about DJs that don’t like to dance. I think if you want to make people dance you have to want to dance yourself. It’s about passion as well, if you have that passion you’ll spend all your money and time trying to find the right music to go out and play to people.

At the same time, it’s a little bit the same with producing. People that are doing it well are putting a lot of time and energy and money into it. It’s about picking the right machines and synthesizers, or plugins for that matter, to put the right ingredient on your palette. It sounds cliche but it’s like for painting a picture you need different colors. For producing you need different aesthetics and frequencies for different parts of your song. I picked all of the things in my studio to build the palette to make the picture. For me it’s a really good way to make my own sound.

WT: To finish off, apart from Telephones, who are your favorite Norwegian producers, past or present?

Telephones: There’s a lot to pick from. Bjørn Torske and Erot have been my long-time musical heroes. Prins Thomas has also been a steady DJ favorite during the years. On the more current tip I would say DJ Sotofett and DJ Fett Burger from the Sex Tags Mania crew are favorites, as well as the unmistakable style of Skatebård. Looking through the years there’s a lot of great sporadic tracks too. I collected some of my all-time Norwegian favorites and stuff that’s frequented my DJ-bag.
WITNESS THIS readers, you can check out the said playlist in the link below!

Telephones

Follow Telephones through his socials on Soundcloud | Facebook | Resident Advisor.
Berlin underground event CONTORT

Berlin underground CONTORTby Kyla Callista. Photos courtesy of Sheena Veerapen (Mindpirates) & Camille Blake (Contort@Atonal).

The Berlin underground is blooming.

Hayley W. Kerridge and Samuel Kerridge both are the minds behind CONTORT event, which is a Berlin underground day time party that focuses more on the experimentation of music and sound, serving as a platform for experimental and electronic artists and as a space where all the “let’s get lost” people hang out. Hayley is also a member of the Boiler Room family in Berlin. As I personally got to know her from Boiler Room, she’s really lovely and totally fun to be around with. So, I jumped to her and threw up some questions.

WT: I’d love to just go back a little bit and understand about what the concept is, and how it all came together?

HWK: The idea stemmed from a desire to explore music outside of the usual club environment and seek out something that wasn’t so readily available in Berlin. For example, in the UK after-parties are quite common practice as all the clubs close relatively early, in comparison to Berlin of course, and they have a different atmosphere to night time events. So we wanted to create something with an after-hours feel, somewhere that you could come into off the street or directly from the club.

As you mentioned, musically CONTORT is about experimenting with sound. Our goal initially was to give upcoming experimental artists a platform as well as give more “well known” artists free reign to play what ever they felt like, something that they don’t usually get to play. The music itself was more often than not teetering into the darker side of electronic music. We’ve had techno artists play a jungle set, house artists play experimental techno sets and so on.
It’s also pretty irregular so you have to keep your ears peeled to find out when they’re happening.

Berlin underground event CONTORT

“This is not ‘just another’ techno party.
We want to keep people on their toes.”
– H.W.K.

Berlin underground event CONTORT

WT: How long has it been running and who are some of the people that have come down and played?

HWK: We began the project in early 2012 at the Mindpirates venue, which is a great location next to the river spree. After a year of hosting events there we had to look for a new location which was actually pretty heartbreaking as we had made our CONTORT nest. There were a couple of hairy instances when so many people turned up we were just too overcrowded, so after much deliberation we thought it would be best to expand and find a larger location. At this point I should probably mention that we’re a nonprofit event, we have a jar on the bar system, meaning people could give a donation which is then later divided equally between the artists playing. So moving to a larger venue wasn’t money orientated, it was solely about the safety and comfort of others.

WT: What’s it like for you to work in this industry and how did you get started?

HWK: I thoroughly enjoy working in the music industry, not many people are able to combine their passion with their work so in that respect I feel quite fortunate.

I actually started out organising events in Manchester back in 2009 (again with Samuel) which in all honesty weren’t quite as successful as we might have liked, I mean they didn’t totally suck but it wasn’t the packed out party we had initially envisioned, but it was a starting point. In 2011 I then began working for a London based PR company and not long after spotted a Facebook post on the Boiler Room page for a Berlin based intern. I wasn’t living in Germany but decided to take a chance. I applied, and got the job.

Turns out the position was a real mixed bag, working with BR host Michail on events such as Leisure System, Not Equal and of course Boiler Room. It was great because they were all rather different events and I got first hand experience. After the internship finished I stayed with the Boiler Room team and at the same time took on a separate role as a music publicist working on an album, events, and artist promotion. Most recently I’ve worked with artists such as Jeff Mills, Adam X, Cristian Vogel, and on Berlin underground events like Berlin Atonal & Bloc.

Contort_underground music event_Berlin_2_670

WT: Tell us when is the next CONTORT Berlin underground event? So we know when we need to contort ourselves.

HWK: The next Contort is on November 23rd. It’s actually the first CONTORT that I’ll be playing, which is rather nerve-racking.

WT: Anything exciting in the pipeline?

HWK: There is something very exciting brewing but I can’t actually give too much away right now but keep your ear to the ground for CONTORT news in the next couple of months.

WT: Cheers for your time K, any final shout outs or words?

HWK: I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has, does and hopefully will support Contort.


Feel the Berlin underground rising with the next CONTORT #11 event live in Berlin with this line-up:

Burma Camp (The KVB) LIVE
+ special guest TBA

Honzo /w. Fax LIVE A/V
Moopie (Jealous God)
Shaddah Tuum DJ/LIVE
Subkutan
Mogano /w. Fax LIVE AV
Hayley Kerridge

Berlin underground event CONTORT Logo

Berlin underground event CONTORT

TRUANT Mornings In Shoreditch – A WITNESS THIS Guestmix album cover by Tilman Zitzmann

“This set was inspired by my time in England, and the afterhours we had there. That music bangin’ in your head for another two days… Places close down around 2 a.m. in England, and while putting together this set I was reminiscing of the feelings I had back in those nights. We were just walking around London, totally chilled out. It was a great time.

So MORNINGS IN SHOREDITCH is dedicated to all those peeps who are searching for more after a really good gig before the Monday comes. Enjoy.”

TRUANT for WITNESS THIS, November 2014


Cover artwork with friendly courtesy of Tilman Zitzmann.

Tracklist:
1) Dense & Pika | Wandering Hands (Original Mix) | Hotflush Recordings
2) Anton Pieete | I Hold From You (Original Mix) | Rejected
3) Aerea Negrot | All I Wanna Do (Efdemin Remix) | Bpitch Control
4) Makam | Family Reunion (Delano Smith Reconstructed Remix) | Sushitech (Purple)
5) Konstantin Sibold | Nils (Original Mix) | Snork Enterprises
6) Trus’me | I Want You (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix) | Prime Numbers
7) Agoria | Under The River (YokoO’s Above The Clouds Live Edit) | Web Release on WITNESS THIS

DJ Patryk Truant Szulc from Warsaw, Poland.

Connect with TRUANT through Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Mixcloud | Booking Agency.

And make sure to check out our previous Guest Mix with Stalvart John HERE.

YokoO_Interview01

YokoO_Interview05
Words by Alex KralikasPhotos by Saskia Uppenkamp


Do your dreams ever have a soundtrack? I know mine usually don’t. But what if they did? What kind of music would be playing? I guess it depends on the type of dream and of course your own personal music taste. But to me, it’s still easy to imagine deep or minimal house music playing, with its soft harmonies and elevating ease; it already conjures up different emotions while awake, including nostalgia and melancholy. Dancing to really good music can also give this feeling of dreaming. You can lose yourself during a great set at a club or a festival, and your mind gets transported to another place or time, or to nowhere at all except right where you are but still making you feel like you are dreaming and not even awake.

YokoO, real name Julien Beltzung, has been dedicating his career as a DJ/producer to creating and playing deep and melancholic sounds, and he’s been getting attention from the best labels within that field. After a handful of releases on world famous labels, including Moodmusic, Plastic City and Kollektiv Turmstrasse’s Musik Gewinnt Freunde, he’s about to release an EP on All Day I Dream, the label spearheaded by house pioneers Lee Burridge and Matthew Dekay.

YokoO is a cool cat – he’s happy and super easy going. When we met him for this shoot and interview the sun was shining on a brisk Berlin autumn’s day and he strolled up to meet us relaxed and smiling. His smile and laugh are contagious and he never stopped being laidback while we were in his presence. During the shoot we cracked a joke about using Photoshop to touch up the pics, should there be a blemish, but he simply responded saying, “I don’t need that, I am who I am.”

YokoO_Interview02

The native Frenchman, turned Aussie, turned Berliner agrees that great house music can have a connection with the feeling of dreaming. “Through its warmth and intricate melodies, house music stimulates the subconscious and eventually leads to deep introspective feelings and thinking” he says. “It’s quite a strange thing to say and may be difficult for some to visualize but if you could make the warm hazy feel of a dream a sound, this is pretty much what it would be like”.

It’s no wonder YokoO has been invited to release music on All Day I Dream, with their label described as “an exploration of beautiful, gorgeous, & melancholic shades of house and techno”. Both YokoO’s production style and his attitude make a seemingly perfect match for the label fronted by house visionary, and Burning Man regular, Lee Burridge. Just listen to YokoO’s releases or to one of his sets live or on his SoundCloud and you can hear the connection between the two.

In collaboration with WITNESS THIS YokoO is releasing an exclusive new track today – an edit of fellow Frenchman, and house legend, Agoria. Download the track for free and read more from our meeting with YokoO below.

ADID_670

Download YokoO’s new Agoria remix of ‘Under The River’ for free here on WITNESS THIS. Click the download button in the Soundcloud link below.

YokoO_Interview06

“Our experience as human beings is far too short and wonderful to waste time surrendering to negative energies. I am learning how to embrace whatever happens and appreciate the good out of all situations. In the larger scheme of things, every experience is part of the journey and should be considered with objectivity.”

WT: YokoO, what have you been up to lately?

YokoO: So much, yet so little! After traveling most of last year and relocating here to Berlin at the end of April, I have been focusing on getting my flow back in the studio, settling in, practising yoga, as well as playing a few gigs around the place. I’ve also been getting my bearings right and preparing for the year to come.

WT: How are you enjoying being now based in Berlin?

YokoO: As much as I miss Sydney – the Australian family I have built there over the past 9 years and the unbeatable lifestyle the East Coast offers, I am very grateful for living in such an inspiring, open minded and cheap cultural hub. Several of my friends from around the world have been relocating here, too, not that I spend much time being social these days, but that surely helps making me feel like home. I have no doubt I’ll be staying here for many years.

WT: Can you explain to us the meaning behind your name YokoO?

YokoO: YokoO (pronounced Yoko) has been my nickname since I was a teen. My friends named me after a cartoon character Yoplait had created to promote their brand. We looked alike, hence why the name stuck.

WT: I like your track ‘Spiritual’. Are you a spiritual person?

YokoO: I like to think so. I am not religious though. I do not believe in gods, rather in physics, the knowledge of nature that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force.

WT: What are your spiritual routines?

YokoO: Over the last year, I have been practicing meditation and yoga for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours almost every day, questioning everything, reaching towards a higher state of consciousness. It seems the more you learn, the more you realize the quest to knowledge has no end.
I am currently very interested in and dedicated to getting a better grasp of my brain capacities by being as healthy and gentle to myself as possible and restraining the consumption of goods which in term limit my spiritual growth.

WT: Is there a key moment in your life which made you become a spiritual person?

YokoO: I’ll always remember reading the Alchemist when I was around 15. That book triggered some feelings that changed my outlook on life forever. Even 14 years later, it keeps on delivering new messages every time I read it. Also, studying philosophy in high school initiated the expansion of my consciousness and helped me connect to the energy surrounding me.

WT: How do you do approach hard times in life?

YokoO: Meditation has proven to be really effective. Our experience as human beings is far too short and wonderful to waste time surrendering to negative energies. I am learning how to embrace whatever happens and appreciate the good out of all situations. In the larger scheme of things, every experience is part of the journey and should be considered with objectivity.

WT: ’Amazonia’ is definitely a pretty melancholic track and it takes me far away, especially giving me the feeling of being in a rainforest, do you feel a connection to nature?

YokoO: I am glad you feel that way; that was the idea when I wrote it. I do feel a connection to nature and I find it would be strange not to. Aren’t all living beings, including humans, and their creations, the extensions of nature itself?

WT: You recently played alongside Lee Burridge and the ‘All Day I Dream’ crew at their party in Brooklyn. How did you team up with the crew at All Day I Dream and get on the bill for their parties?

 YokoO: What an outstanding event that was! I feel really blessed and honored to play with Lee, Matt and the other artists who are part of the All Day I Dream family. Matthew originally noticed me in the summer of 2012 after he heard some of my music at a house party. We’ve been getting to know each other since then, and have become friends. In September 2013, he invited me to play at the launch of his baby label Für Die Liebe at Oval Space in London. Following the success of the party, he introduced me to Lee as someone who should be part of All Day I Dream. It was very natural for Lee and I to connect, and Matthew knew this.

WT: In your professional field, what can a young DJ learn from a guy like Lee Burridge? What is it that separates the good DJs/producers from the excellent in your opinion?

YokoO: Not only is Lee an amazing DJ but also an incredible role model for those that want long-term professional careers as an underground artist.
There are many factors that differentiate excellent DJs/producers from the rest. Talent, above all else, comes first. But what is talent without true passion, commitment, love, focus, dedication, self-confidence, belief, humility, and respect for others?

WT: Your productions fit into the style of dreamy house music; can you explain to us what the connection is between house music and dreaming?

YokoO: There is no explicit connection between house music and dreaming, although I think great house music inspires dreaming and dreams encourage creating amazing house music. I would say “dreamy house” inspires one to feel slightly deeper than other types of house; its main purpose being to evoke specific harmony related emotions within the listeners.

WT: What is your plan for the rest of the year and for 2015?

YokoO: Most of all, I’d like to be able to levitate, stop time, and master teleportation.
Besides that, I am going to keep on working in the studio as much as possible, since I’ve got my flow happening. I’ll be traveling to North America at the end of October, and Central-South America around Xmas/NY through until the end of January. After that, I will fly to Australia for a month-long tour, stopover in Bali, and then head back to Berlin to make music in the studio again. All super exciting stuff really!


Check YokoO’s website | facebook | Soundcloud and the
All Day I Dream project: facebook | Soundcloud