Tresor at 25 set to prove it’s anything but a museum

Berlin’s Tresor club turns 25 this year, celebrating with a four day festival next week. And the lineup is just completely and totally insane. If you took, say, the Thursday night program out of context, you might be excused for believing it was the headliners for an entire festival.

The festival says as much about the healthy state of techno as it does about Tresor – but Tresor is without question one of the venues at the center of that world.

The timing comes just days after the revelation that Tresor founder Dimitri Hegemann will open a museum in the same cavernous power plant that’s home to Tresor, Globus, Ohm, Kraftwerk, and his other venues.

Now, as Mixmag reports, Hegemann “prefers the Living Archive of Electronica as a title for the venture, stating that the term ‘museum’ denotes “something that belongs to past.”

But that might as well be watchcry for Tresor in general. On any given week, Tresor is indeed a living archive – this is a place where the Detroit – Berlin axis thrives, where classic records can still pound away in the basement. Regulars tell me that the experience inside is very much as it was in the original Tresor.

That might tend to “museum” territory were it not for a lively ongoing set of programming. There’s a consistent balance between old and new on the weekend Klubnacht. There’s support for ongoing innovation in live sets and quality DJing. There’s Wednesday night’s “New Faces,” which might stretch the emerging artist moniker a bit far (some of the lineups are reasonably well established), but does at least pull together music on a weekly basis around curators who are able to push their vision ahead of what’s likely to create a queue, and indeed help develop some new talent or talent that isn’t as well known in Berlin. And that’s to say nothing of programming like Berlin Atonal festival or oddball emerging parties at Ohm (the power plant’s former battery room).

I still haven’t gotten to the festival lineup, but I think it’s important that it’s against that background. So Tresor 25 will accordingly take over all the venue’s major spaces – the impossibly huge cavern of Kraftwerk (the main power plant space, several times larger than Berghain), Ohm, Globus (the wooden-floored upper room), and Tresor (the one with the blinky lights and classic cage).

Into that vessel pours a who’s who of techno precisely because Tresor has been such a healthy patron to so many techno artists. It’s safe to say Detroit mainstays get a warmer reputation in Germany than they do in their own city. Berlin locals are there alongside artists from around Europe.

Tresor 25 Years Festival Poster 2

Highlights for me: Daniel Bell, playing live as DBX, represents one of the best specimens of live techno around. Robert Hood is back with his own unique sound. There’s Dasha Rush and Donato Dozzy, too, some of the artists who have most inspired me down in the basement (and Dasha has also provided some of the highlights of the past years there with her own takeovers).

The home team: Tresor Records artists Pacou, Bill Youngman, Zadig, Claudia Anderson, residents Mareena, Refracted, and Marcel Heese. Actually, there could easily be a couple more weeks of programming here – that only scratches the surface of the record label and residents.

Plus you get Fumiya Tanaka, Objekt, Acronym, Patrice Scott, Ocar Mulero, Blake Baxter, Dj Deep, Roman Poncet… and more.

You get the likes of Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald as Borderlands, DJ Pete and Sleeparchive as TR-101. But you also get pioneer Gudran Gut, people like Helena Hauff, Magda El Bayoumi, Psyk, Reka. This is a diverse lineup of men and women from the scene, suggesting techno that’s expanding, not contracting.

Ellen Allien and DJ Tanith close in a Sunday marathon, in case you’re still alive.

And this isn’t just about big headliners on big stages. Part of what I think will create a unique atmosphere is that legends like Juan Atkins and Daniel Bell will also be found in the intimate environs of Ohm.


Side note: when the museum of techno does open, I imagine it won’t be anything like this.

Gallery o’ inspiration:

Tresor under construction.

Tresor under construction.





Daniel Bell, playing live as DBX. Can't wait for that one.

Daniel Bell, playing live as DBX. Can’t wait for that one.



The post Tresor at 25 set to prove it’s anything but a museum appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Germany to Detroit: Good Listening from DJ Koze, Juan Atkins [Mixes, Release, Reading]

if your summer needs heat, you could do worse than starting with Juan Atkins. The techno legend is warming up New York this weekend, hot on the heels of another epic collaboration with Moritz von Oswald. Flying Berlin to America is still a trick, but at least the musical connections are nonstop. Photo courtesy the artist.

if your summer needs heat, you could do worse than starting with Juan Atkins. The techno legend is warming up New York this weekend, hot on the heels of releasing an epic collaboration with Moritz von Oswald. Flying Berlin to America is still a trick, but at least the musical connections are nonstop. Photo courtesy the artist.

Switch off that negative talk: vibrations between musical scenes continue to resonate and grow. Here we have two artists, each somehow evergreen and still blossoming, making the link from past to future feel secure. And speaking of good vibrations, I can think of no better way to get the summer vibes going this weekend than warming up with this warm up and mix.

So, we turn to Detroit’s Juan Atkins and Hamburg’s DJ Koze to set us straight. They demonstrate that channels between Germany and Detroit remain open and live, that maybe the best days of cross-pollination are ahead, not behind. Have that summer musical fling and see where it leads. (Uh… creatively. Come on, it’s Friday, and any words I write are a distraction from this great music. So on with it.)

DJ Koze.

DJ Koze.

Let’s start with Juan Atkins. The results are out, and the collaboration with Moritz von Oswald may be some of the best dance music out in 2013. It’s all beautifully engineered, endlessly economical, but deeply soulful music; strongly-felt music that emotes effortlessly. Borderland is out this week on Tresor Berlin (the label that shares the name with the long-running club).

Once again, to crib Atkins’ words, “jazz is the teacher.”

Description from the label:

After more than two decades of behind the scenes collaboration Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald present Borderland – their debut collaborative album to be released this summer on Tresor Records.

The album – made up of 8 sequences, which seamlessly blend the styles of both masters – was recorded at the beginning of 2013 over various studio sessions in Berlin and will be released as a series of three 12″s and a CD album. Limited to 500 units, pressed on heavy vinyl and packed in hefty sleeves, the three part vinyl series, gathers all but one title present on the CD format.

Together with a series of live shows debuted in May at MUTEK festival, with follow-ups in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris – the record gives common voice to two independent yet mutually supporting musical journeys, achieving a singular expression of club-orientated electronic music and the freedom of organic musical experimentation.

FACT Magazine did a nice retrospective on how this collaboration came about – you can hear that relationship all over the record, but if you care to know where those fingerprints came from.

And Brandon Bussolini, writing for XLR8R, I think goes deepest into the significance of this release.

Deep Inside: Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald ‘Borderland’ [XLR8R]

Tresor and Hard Wax have become sort of name brands, and in that sense risk being stand-ins for real musical activity. But here, the Berlin landmarks did have a hand in forging the connections that made the musical collaborations happen, as Bussolini tracks their evolution. Note words like “funky” and “natural” – making something feel like second nature is no small matter, when overactive brains can too easily overthink a musical expression. And Bussolini wrestles with the dangers in techno, that it become so industrial it turns into a “meat grinder,” or that it loses its connection to lightness or jazz. It’s a nice read – or maybe I’m just a sucker for Messiaen references. As Bussolini summarizes the appeal of this record:

This combination—Atkins’s practical mysticism and Oswald’s ductile minimalism—makes Borderland feel earthy and enchanted at once, playing off the misty forest pictured on the album’s sleeve art.

Moritz and Juan apparently don't want to talk about technical details of their production method. (Guys, don't worry. The rest of the music scene is demonstrating quite well that they don't know how to rip you off. Ahem.)  But CDM has a theory. We believe knobs and faders were involved somewhere, possibly with mixing. Image courtesy the artists.

Moritz and Juan apparently don’t want to talk about technical details of their production method. (Guys, don’t worry. The rest of the music scene is demonstrating quite well that they don’t know how to rip you off. Ahem.)
But CDM has a theory. We believe knobs and faders were involved somewhere, possibly with mixing.
Image courtesy the artists.

If you can read German, there’s also a wonderful review by Thaddeus Herrmann that reflects on the cyclical meaning here:
Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald: Beton, Brache, Berlin [De:bug]

Actually, you can probably follow it even if not:

“Ich habe ein Déjà-vu. Berlin, Detroit, die Express-Autobahn … In Michigan: die Originators. Mensch, Maschine, Automation … In Berlin: staatlich subventionierte, aber nicht weniger verbrannte Erde. Mensch, Maschine, Mauer.”

Meanwhile, in America, New York City is again enjoying their terrific Warm Up parties at PS 1, bringing together local Queens residents and culture snobs and club kids and families to sweat together at an art museum. And Juan Atkins is part of a dream lineup this weekend that includes some of our favorites from genre-bending label PAN – Lee Gamble, NHK’Koyxen, and Bill Kouligas, specifically.

If you aren’t near the 7 train, you can still enjoy the podcast:

And head to podcast host FADER for an interview with Maestro Atkins himself (the interview isn’t embeddable, but you can download it past this link):
FADER/MoMA PS1 Warm Up Mix: Juan Atkins

Straight Outta Hamburg: DJ Koze

If Atkins and von Oswald represent a still-fresh, still inspiring look to the past, DJ Koze might take you into the future. Stefan Kozalla builds on German dance music traditions (on KOMPAKT, about to celebrate their anniversary in a big way), but has done more than almost any other to lead new sounds (on Pampa). Like the duo above, he’s also back after a long hiatus, with PAMPACD007 – Amygdala.

Resident Advisor reviewed that instrumental epic when it came out earlier this year.

And here’s Koze on FACT, with a terrific mix. Mixes have become so commonplace that some seem lifted from iTunes or Spotify playlists – and do little more than those static playlists might. This is a proper mix, by contrast, beautifully weaving one track to the next. And the track listing itself is thoughtful, spanning Koze’s best and the good stuff on Pampa, but also pointing to some music now you’ll want to keep hearing again and again. (With certain, cough, summer jams somehow inescapable, it’s about time you take what’s on repeat into your own hands, no?)

FACT mix 387 – DJ Koze (June ’13)


Child Of Lov – ‘Call Me Up’
Jono McCleery – ‘Painted Blue’
Sohn – ‘The Wheel’
Enja – ‘To Go Beyond’ (Dntel Edit)
Harry Belafonte – ‘Mo Marry’
DJ Koze – ‘Don’t Lose My Mind’
Bibio – ‘You’
Dürerstuben – ‘Freiherr In Der Wall’
Recondite – ‘Felicity’
Dj Koze – ‘Nioces Wölkchen’
JaKönigJa – ‘Be Kind To Be The Shape’
Herbert – ‘You Saw It All’ (DJ Koze Remix)
Matt Karmil -’Reverse Peephole’
Westbam- ‘You Need The Drugs’
Christian Löffler – ‘Eisberg (Hemal)’
Bibio – ‘You Won´t Remember’

The new Bibio I’ve been thoroughly enjoying, and I’ve loved the music of Sohn – hoping to work up an interview with that emerging artist, so let us know if there’s anything you want to know. (Maybe Sohn is also using these knobs and faders Borderland did? Or other questions, too.)

Have a great weekend, everyone.

And stay cool.

The post Germany to Detroit: Good Listening from DJ Koze, Juan Atkins [Mixes, Release, Reading] appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Vladislav Delay, In Nearly an Hour-long Live Performance, Demonstrates Laptops Have Soul [Video, Tracks]


Perhaps part of what you need for laptop music to evolve into an appreciated live performance art medium is simply time.

Finnish artist Sasu Ripatti is a good candidate for mastery of the form. Honing his production and performance skills since the late 90s, he’s become a maestro of digital music. Moments in his music stretch out into shadowy industrial landscapes, as if painting the mysterious worlds that lie between the beats. Others crank the machinery of the dance floor back into mystical frenzy.

Now, I believe the best way to experience a live performance is in the same room as the artist – whether they’re armed with a laptop or a mandolin. But the next best thing is proper documentation, and surely as scholars of music practice, we should sometimes review the tape. In this nearly one-hour HD capture, you can see him tease out a recent live show, armed with mixer and Faderfox controller. This is waveforms and mix as instrument, stuttering journeys through architectural realms of sound. There’s not any noticeable virtuoso performance to look at, necessarily, but in some sense I think you get an impression of him feeling his way through the music, and travel along that walk with him.

Watch, and see what you come away with:


Details. has done a series of these live performances — too many to mention. Enter only at the risk of getting nothing else done for a bit. I love their brilliant moniker: “mistake television.” Hey, that’s why it makes sense to record live shows.

There’s more news from the artist’s hideaway in the north, too.

He’s in the studio now, with releases promised this summer. (Yes, if you visit his site, you know this, too, but it’s good news worth mentioning.)

And specifically, he’s teaming up with another high priest of archaic sound arts, the terrific Mark Fell.

And, nicely enough, there’s a preview. This is what happens when the dance floor glitches. I dearly want to see people dancing to this / want to get to dance to this myself:

I don’t know why they’re bundling a pencil with the limited release, but they are. (Crayon would have been my choice, but then, okay, the sound design here is a great deal more precise. But, still, crayons are cool. Sharpie?)

For something completely different, this is what a “Wedding Mixtape” sounds like from Sasu and AGF:

Great stuff is also happening when he teams Sasu with Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer for the Moritz von Oswald trio:

And I love that you can find a tightly-curated selection of music that directly supports the artist at his Bandcamp store:

It seems worth spending the money to suspend your iTunes and spending it there, instead, for things that really matter.

We’ll be watching for more.

Image courtesy the artist.