words by Jorinde Markert. Photography by Saskia Uppenkamp.

I like to hear a stranger’s song, it shows me where they’re coming from is a line from Vindan’s song Satellite.

In Australian musician Vindan’s case, he would have to sing us many, many songs to cover every homeland he has lived in so far. Born in the early 80’s in Sri Lanka, he has moved between cultures and continents more often in the past 20 years than most do in a lifetime. When Vindan was about two years old, he and his family turned their backs on civil war-torn Sri Lanka and left for London.

From there they moved on to Brunei, soon back to London and then finally to Sidney, where Vindan was raised for most of his life and started his musical path, playing guitar and singing in different bands, such as The Zion Band and Duppy. The frequent moves were gift and burden at the same time, shaping his music as well as his lifestyle.

Regardless of his rather nomadic past, he seems to have grown some roots in Berlin – a city he has adored and explored for over a year. When I meet him for the interview at his producer Martin J. Fiedler’s cozy, old-school Studio close to Ostkreuz, Vindan already knows the best place for to-die-for french sandwiches I never even heard of. Citizenship test completed!


“I think seventy percent of my songs come from a sad mood.”
– Vindan Manomohan

Musically and personally, Vindan had a smooth start in his new Berlin home and describes having found a sense of ‘youngness’ and innocence, the likes of which were notably absent in other metropolises. “In London for example, you have this aura of cold sarcasm that was a little bit of a culture shock sometimes.”

Maybe my irony detector is defected after reading Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy for the 5th time but I don’t notice any trace of that attitude in Vindan’s manner. What I do notice is his sophisticated, British politeness and modesty. After two minutes of chatting, it’s already obvious that the musician seated in the armchair across from me is truly ‘one of this country’s last gentlemen’. Not even a year of enduring Berlin’s public transportation could damage his natural courtesy.


With his patchwork biography and the ‘obsessive phases with most genres of music’ he has gone through, he has an affinity for the diverse spirit of this city and its music scene. Influenced by his frequent globetrotting, anything from 90’s grunge to classic Reggae, that is difficult to categorize him into one genre. Just as he he hesitates to entirely settle in one single country, he hesitates to settle in one musical genre. Unsurprisingly, restlessness is a theme reappearing in many of his songs.

Listening to his songs which are hybrids of sadness and joy, full of strong rhythms and soothing melodies, I still can’t decide if this is music to dance or cry to. When I ask Vindan which of this two reactions would be more meaningful to him, he takes his time to reply. “They are both great reactions. I think it is harder to make people cry though, which is why I would be more impressed by that.”

Maybe he can relate better to that reaction, because the emotional soil in which he plants most of his songs is of a rather melancholic disposition. Throw me some numbers? “I think 70% per cent of my songs come from a sad mood”, Vindan says with his open-hearted smile, that implies the opposite.

However, none of his songs impose any distinct impression on the listener. They are sad songs if you want to hear sad songs; they are good mood tunes if you want them to be good mood tunes. When his vocal style changes from his sedative, melodic singing voice to fevered, furious rapping, it is unclear if he increases dynamic and speed out of excitation, rage or because that one guy in the audience looks a little bit sleepy.

VindanVindan and his producer Martin caught in a moment of flow.

He keeps a certain distance from the listener, by letting just enough of his personal tales shine through the lyrics to arouse interest. The bigger part remains concealed, somewhere between metaphors and subtext and leaves space for the listeners self-interpretation. He surrounds us with his Song to surround me without making us feel claustrophobic, he touches us without getting close to us, he leaves us breathless without taking our room to breathe.

There is no malice in my chalice, Vindan assures in Satellite, and I believe him. Although some key words in his lyrics have a strongly negative denotation, the playful way in which he composes his rhymes takes off weight from the dying embers of our beliefs and leaves the listener with the uplifting feeling, offering shelter against the things that destroy us.


But what about the religious references he makes in his songs? I won’t do shit if it’s on the Sabbath is an attitude that I support a hundred per cent. But I would call it ‘lazy sunday’ or ’24-hours-couch-conference’ instead of ‘Sabbath’. Vindan answers my question about his intention to deliver a religious message through his music with a laugh: “People often ask me this question. I don’t intend to deliver any political or religious message. Actually I consider myself rather spiritual than religious. But from an objective perspective I can see why people believe to see religious motives in my lyrics, I guess they’re just not so obvious to me when I write the text.”

It seems to surprise him when people examine his music so thoroughly and analytically and dig for hidden meanings he didn’t bury consciously. When Vindan starts singing, there was really nothing analytical about it. Weaving a musical web of devotion and dreaminess, he shuts his eyes, opens his mouth and loses himself completely in the music. Considering the uncompromising and hedonistic passion absorbing his stage presence, it is all the more surprising to me when Vindan tells me about his other job, still considered one of the most dignified and sober professions – being a doctor.

As dissimilar as medicine and music might seem, they go hand in hand and complete each other well, Vindan tells me. He experiences his job as a doctor to be grounding in contrast to the eccentric music scene and rewarding him with a different sort of elevation. “You also need something else to be passionate about”, is his short comment on walking the tightrope between two jobs. And maybe that is exactly the recipe for not becoming bitter and burnt-out working in the music business in the era of candy-colored umbrella-ella-ella pop.


Vindans optimism and light-footed way of walking his path as a musician was also decisive for the process of his album Songs To Surround Me, that will be released in 2015. He describes the work on the album as a very fluent and instinctive procedure where all songs came together quite naturally and feel a hundred per cent authentic and pure to him ‘although the aesthetics are heavily Martin’.

Shaping and modifying this record has ‘truly has been a labour of love’, induced by a series of lucky coincidences, since Vindan stumbled upon several vocalists and instrumentalists at different jam sessions in Berlin.

When Vindan performs a few songs for us after the interview, it is obvious that he doesn’t need a stage, spotlights and supporting instruments to catch an audience. His guitar, his voice and the intensity present in his performance are enough to fascinate and captivate – even Martin, who has probably heard Mary, Barrel Of A Gun and Vindans other songs already a billion times, can’t stop his foot from jiggling along with beat. The tunes are catchy without sounding mainstream, the sort of music that stays on your mind immediately and stays on your Ipod until it breaks.

When I leave the studio I am still humming the melody of Satellite, and it stays with me the rest of the day along with the certainty that this earworm will bite a lot of other people, in the most pleasurable way.

Witness Vindan’s MICHAEL THE ANGEL video premiere and download the song for free from our Soundcloud below.

“I wrote the song while staying with my grandfather in California during the time of his passing away. It’s a song about the fragility, transience, uncertainty and stark beauty of life.”
– Vindan Manomohan

Follow Vindan on his musical path on Youtube | facebook | his website.
His debut album SONGS TO SURROUND ME is due 2015 (release date not confirmed by the time of this post).

Video for MICHAEL THE ANGEL directed by Elvira Bukowski.

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)

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)


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.

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.


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.

French newcomer YokoO 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.


“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.”

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 in lossless quality for free, and read more from our meeting with YokoO below.


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.

“It seems the more you learn, the more you realize the quest to knowledge has no end.”


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

Tenzi FM resident DJ Stalvart John guest mix

“The inspiration behind this set originally came to me after seeing the beautiful illustration of Amaryllis by Tori Wheeler, which also happens to be the same design I used as the artwork for the set. In this set, I am trying to explain the blooming process of a flower through music. Each bud goes through a very complicated transformation during the blooming process. Flowers are something which I have always considered to be magical, and it has never failed to amuse me.

Science of Blooming will feature tracks from Acid Pauli, Mooryc, Apparat, Aphex Twin, Jon Hopkins, Douglas Greed, Kadebostan, Nu & Christopher Schwarzwälder, No Accident In Paradise, Hidenobu Ito, Thom Yorke, Mind Against, Moderat, Max Cooper, Dirty Doering, and many more.

Hope you too will enjoy the magical evolution of a bud to an astonishing flower.”

– Tenzi FM resident Stalvart John for WITNESS THIS, October 2014

>> YOUR WITNESS THIS GARDENER SAYS… >> Use headphones to experience music blooming inside your head.

Indian-born Stalvart John found his home in electronic music about a decade ago.
He started out playing for pirate radio stations based in the UK, and became resident DJ of Club 1100, Ramada Resorts, playing leading venues like Ava Lounge Dream Hotel Cochin, Lagoon Le Meridien Kochi, V Bar Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum, and Pebble – The Jungle Lounge Bangalore.

Stalvart’s latest podcast goes by the name “In A Mind Place“. Its concept is not bound by the restrictions of genres. Instead, Stalvart’s idea is to take his listeners on an hour-long journey of sounds. You can listen to it on Tenzi FM every second Saturday of the month.
Other projects include ‘Civilization Of Sounds’ through which he tries to promote home-grown talents, and ‘Odyssey’ which curates pure chill-out, lounge, and experimental electronica sounds.

Connect with Stalvart on Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Mixcloud | Twitter | Tenzi FM website.




“Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” – Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Inspired by shorter days, intimate gatherings and transitions felt both within and around us – this compilation remains playful and upbeat yet takes into account the tenderness of cooler weather, waning sunshine and longer nights spent beneath the sheets. Enjoy this September’s mixtape, KŌZĒ.

adjective a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.
“A cozy cabin tucked away in the trees.”

Listen here:

Compilation by: Nissa Rhodes
Album art by: Dersu Rhodes
Image by: Théo Gosselin



Nico Stojan is one of our Berlin-based absolute favorites. He grabbed our undivided attention with After the Hour which is just one amongst hundreds of unbelievable sounds from this producer/dj.

Katerholzig liaised with Bachstelzen (a BRILLIANT artist/DJ collective, you can find their page here on fb) and organized a very intimate techno festival in Garbicz, Poland, August 16th thru 19th. Bachstelzen are infamous for their decoration and light installations, creating surreal sceneries, when for example placing two massive authentic Chinese gongs around a camp fire next to above seen piano in the middle of the woods.

The set was played by Nico Stojan in the after-hour on Monday, Aug 19th at the lake-side dance floor in the middle of a beautiful forest. It was praised by everyone who witnessed it live as absolutely enchanting. We are so very proud to share this special set, please enjoy.



Musikalisches Strandgut essentially translates to: music that is swept to the beach and remains on the beach because the sea has brought it there. SystemFEIND aka MRschlott brings us a vibrant, motivating soulfoul, happy mix, laden with deep house rhythm and vocal hooks that will most surely get you moving at your desk or singing along. Play it all the way through and then head on over to MRschlott’s soundcloud to download the set for free! Happy Music Monday!


Todd Terje_WT
You’ve all had a few too many beers in the sun and you’re about to stuff your face with fresh food off of the barbeque. You’re slightly sunburnt, dehydrated, exhausted but you’ve never felt better. You’re enjoying that beer without a concern for what happens next. That’s when you put on this set.

It’s totally weird, unexpected and noticeably different. Spanning a huge variety of genres and generations of music, Todd Terje’s newest BBC 1 Essential Mix takes you through it all. You might not love every moment and there are certain segments you may even feel adverse to, but just when you might want to switch it off, the set switches gears and you’re hooked back in. You’re bound to connect with something hidden deep within it, making it all the more rewarding to hear it in its entirety. You can’t skip to the middle to hear it either – you’ve gotta let it play through the first second to the very last.

And if nothing else, at least let it play through the first hour and you’ll be rewarded with a style of remixing you may never have heard before. One hour and 59 minutes long, it’s a bit of a commitment but trust me, it’s well worth it. Without launching into a theoretical perspective on the future of music (and making really bold statements), this will mostly likely be it.

Listen here.



Eli Thomas who makes music under the name Balue is one of the standout bedroom artists of this year.  Residing in Denver, CO he is a one-man hit factory – creating a vivid, surfy summer dream-inspired collection of songs. As with other bedroom acts, the themes of youth and adventure play deeply in Worry Toobs and Paradoxical Intention, two stellar releases that both came out this year.  This is lo-fi perfection and we’re right next to Eli soaking up the sun on the beach with a tasty beverage in hand watching the waves roll in.

Youth I don’t know what you are anymore 
Youth I don’t know what comes next or what’s in store 
Youth I just hope that you’ll meet me down on the shore 
Youth that was the place that you and I did adore 

The waves are like opiates 
Like ultimate pleasure 
They hit my face like opiates 
If I open it, what a treasure

I don’t ever want to grow up 
I don’t want to give up my drugs 
Like movies, and music and traveling gets hard man

– from Youth Waves



Previous Witness This post on Balue here.


Another week is upon us and it can be difficult to get to the office Monday morning and get crackin’. We’ve sourced an f’in sick new mix to start Monday morning out right. No stranger to the DJ circuit, Hamburg based H.O.S.H. has spent the last 6 years touring the world and mastering the art of remixing, blending and splicing. Check out his additional 30+ tracks on his soundcloud – one of my favorites, this particular set builds slowly revealing a plethora of funky, unique elements to perfectly compliment that much needed Monday morning brew.

Image courtesy of