In Interview with Ellen Allien

There’s no other artist able to distinguish themselves quite like Ellen Allien has. No one else has been able to obtain such notoriety with the unique style that she brings. Ellen has been able to differentiate herself from the rest, making her a legend in the techno community. Ellen is your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ; the influence to many artists that we look up to today. Ellen has not only started one label, but two. Besides her widely successful label Bpitch, Ellen also launched her new label UFO. Inc. last January. From having residencies across the world to being one of Berlins biggest acts, she was able to cement her presence in the techno realm.  

That unique style mentioned is blatantly intentional in order to make sure she distinguishes herself from the rest of the herd. She has mentioned that she wouldn’t play songs that are popular. She likes to play music that no one else is, make music no one else is, and cultivates projects that no one else is doing. She’s personally involved with everything she does, there’s nothing industry about her. From her own tracks, to the festival stages she curates, Ellen has full creative involvement. Obviously, she’s had help, but she only works with close friends that understand who she is. For example, the graphic designer for Bpitch has been the same since the beginning. 

If you have had a chance to listen to Ellen’s sets, either live or on YouTube, you are able to tell how innovative she can be. The way she chooses her music is interesting, because she’s enthralled by weird unpredictable music. She doesn’t focus on the high points or the popularity of a track, which is common among DJs. Instead, she likes music that’s more about intensity. As long as a track is intense, obscure, and unpredictable, it’s one for the collection. Her style of innovation has led her to a very successful career that has no signs of slowing down.  

There are a lot of interesting things about Ellen that go beyond her music. Playing around the world, Ellen shared some of her interesting experiences as well as perspectives being one of the most respected names in the techno world. There’s plenty to talk about, and what really captures people’s attention are Ellen’s roots in Germany.

In our interview, we take a deep dive to discuss her music, her culture, and her legacy.      Read more

Presenting The Phase 3 Roster for Kappa FuturFestival

After months of notable artist reveals, Kappa FuturFestival has completed the lineup for their 2019 edition with an epic phase 3 roster. Returning to the mechanical framework of Parco Dora in Torino, Italy, July 6-7, these latest additions take an already-diverse lineup even deeper into the realm of underground dance music.

Once again drawing from every corner of the globe, phase 3 includes heavy-hitters from house, techno and everything in between. The vinyl maven Ricardo Villalobos is listed alongside the LA event mogul Destructo. Keinemusik residents Adam Port and Reznik will spin a joint set. The Black Madonna will bring her unmistakable talent on the turntables. Swiss taste-maker Luciano. Detroit legend Motor City Drum Ensemble. A live set from Johannes Brecht.  With such a broad range of sounds represented, this last phase defines Kappa FuturFestival’s mission to welcome dancers of all preferences and inclinations.

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Ten Fantastic DJ Quotes: Dixon, Marco Carola, Sven Väth, Maceo Plex and more

ricardo villalobos

It’s not easy to talk about electronic music, and especially so when the genres in question are house and techno, mostly instrumental and oftentimes devoid of lyrics.

The lack of vocals make it easy to get lost in a sea of technical adjectives and meaningless explanations. We should let the music do the talking, sure, but what about the producers and DJs… what do they think?

We have collected ten of our favorite DJ quotes from some of the best producers, DJs, record label owners and promoters in the game:

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Andrey Pushkarev Picks The Top 5 Records From His 7,000 Plus Vinyl Collection

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Andrey Pushkarev has made a name for himself as a DJ thanks to his extensive 7,000-plus record collection and the uncanny ability to pick the right track for the right moment during his well-structured architectural performances. We asked him to peruse through his entire selection, a portion of which you can see above, to pick his favorite 5 records to share with his fans:

Andrey Vinyl

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#TBT Series: That One Time The BBC Told Us How to Get Into Berghain

 

Two weeks ago we got into Berghain on a warm September Sunday afternoon, exactly 24 hours before the club was granted “high culture” status by a German court and allowed to pay at a lower tax bracket than pure entertainment venues.

But what makes Berghain a high culture venue? BBC’s Lisa Ludwig explores the venue’s door policy and morefor “The Cultural Frontline” programme. Listen to the clip in full below or via the BBC iPlayer.

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Otherwordly Photos of Burning Man Courtesy of Victor Habchy

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

Note: Photos from 2016

The temporary world of Burning Man is nothing short of spectacular on the eye. Impressively unique, impactful and interactive, the artwork at the annual gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert becomes the subject of dreamlike photography at the hands of amateur and professional photographers alike.

One such professional is self-taught Victor Habchy, who has been attending the festival these last few years, capturing the scenes before his eyes in ways only he can. The outcome is beyond dazzling, a series of photographs that immortalize ethereal scenes worthy of the most advanced Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster.

Ensure you connect with French colorblind photographer and videographer Habchy via his Official Website and Facebook Page to stay up to date with his art.

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

How to Survive Burning Man: The 6AM Guide

Burning Man

We published this story a few years ago, ahead of Burning Man’s Carnival of Mirrors in 2015. Yet, our guide is still applicable this year as it will be in years to come. Enjoy it in its entirely below!

Another year has passed, and another year has arrived. We have departed the nomadic realm of the Caravansary last year and have entered the spectacular kingdom of the Carnival of Mirrors. This year’s Burn will indeed be the Greatest Show on Earth with 60,000 wandering souls descending upon The Playa at Black Rock City. The Man will stand atop a circus tent in all its glory, and we will see the effigy cycle through birth, death, and a grand rebirth in flames again.

Burners new and seasoned must follow the fundamental Ten Principles to utilize the true transformational potential of Burning Man. The Ten Principles are the foundational ethos in a community that values creativity, inclusion, and liberty. With Burning Man fast approaching, here’s our comprehensive survival guide to this year’s Carnival of Mirrors.

Surviving the Burn

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Passion, Purpose, Intent with John Digweed and the release of Bedrock 20

As we continue down this path of electronic music journey throughout the years, one begins to wonder what does this all equate to? Most of the worlds most respected and well sought after DJ/Producers in today’s scene have put in years (we’re talking 2+ decades easily) of work to persevere through waves of ups and downs while defining purpose with what they have devoted their entire lives to.

When we speak of longevity and those who have remained in the forefront of electronic music culture one name certainly comes to mind and that is John Digweed, a true pioneer in the progressive house genre that has cultivated a mass amount of followings both in music fans and artists that ultimately re-wrote the script for one of the most defining and influential electronic music sounds of our time. This relentless will and vision of staying consistently passionate towards his sound that caught global attention did not happen overnight as today’s culture of instant gratification and putting deadlines on goals have shifted the mindset of a pure and genuine artist at heart.

We caught up with John Digweed shortly after his main-stage Movement Festival set in Detroit this past Memorial Day Weekend to discuss the deep-rooted issue with today’s artists’ mindset and the key in turning passion into something much more meaningful than what is purveyed on the surface.

6AM: Hey John, hope you’re doing fine today. How did you enjoy your set just now? The crowd responded well from what we saw and heard earlier.

John: It was good! The weather was a little bit hot at the start of my set so I kept it cool because the Sun was just beating down so I wanted to keep up with the deep-energy but once the sun had gone away everyone kind of livened up a bit because the heat can be so oppressive at times haha. But no, I loved it – it’s always great to come and play here the vibe is really nice the people are friendly and the organizers do a great job so really happy to be here this year!

6AM: What can you tell us based on your own experience the growth of Movement Festival and the type of impact the city of Detroit is getting from this annual event?

John: Well I think most importantly is that having this festival in Detroit is really really significant because it’s the birthplace of Techno so I can’t imagine it being anywhere else. But I think for the city, in general, having this influx of people with all the hotels, taxis, restaurants, everything it’s a massive injection into the economy here but also it’s a real nod in the hat to this city as this is the place now known for people to come and hear the best in electronic music and techno……this is one the best festivals for it in the world to give people a taste of true history of our scene. 

6AM: You have had a long and quite successful career as a DJ/Producer both performing and in the studios. Many of your peers, colleagues, and those who wish to be like you are often amazed by your work ethic, what keeps you motivated and inspired that allows it to push you to continue to do what you love most.

John: Well…. I’ve wanted to be a DJ since I was 11 years old so the fact that after all these years I’m still enjoying what I do, playing the big festivals, still playing the best clubs it’s because I love it….I don’t have much else to say…..you know it’s not a job it’s actually something I really “really” enjoy. I spent a lot of time researching my music going through making sure that every time I show up I give 100% and I think if you didn’t do that, people would see it and they’d be like “ah John’s not really that bothered now you know he’s playing the same records and he didn’t seem that bothered”

I mean I’m not the most animated DJ, but what I lack in animation I think people see the passion and I absolutely think they would much rather hear good music than see me jumping around (chuckles).

6AM: Haha yeah speaking on behalf of our community we would much rather hear your music as well though we believe you got the moves ready if and when you’re ever in need to bust it out! Well, that follows up into our next question.

Festivals such as Movement and all the ones you have played around the world truly does inspire a wave of people wanting to be a John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, or Diplo etc because they have finally found their “passion” for something in life. There are pools of festival goers (young and old) wanting to get involved with the scene whether to be a DJ/Producer (aka the gateway drug) or be involved as a promoter/event organizer/event staff….whatever it may be. 

What advice can you give to the next generation of industry people (DJs, Promoters, Agents, Label Owners, etc) for them to understand what it is they are deciding to do, what they are sacrificing, and putting on the line because we feel like a lot of people are very lost in this journey, most of them all want instant gratification that takes away the integrity. What is your best advice or theory behind this?

John: I would say you got to look at it like a marathon, not a hundred meter sprint….because it’s not… there’s no short– I mean there is a shortcut to being successful but do you have longevity, purpose and intention with that? and I think the difference is if you take your time and don’t rush it you can maintain a music career that lasts many many years if you’re willing to put the initial hard work.

Anyone can find their passion, I mean look at these festival-goers…..they’re passionate about something whether it’s the music, their friends, the energy thrill, or whatever they are here for, but it’s purpose and intent behind that passion that keeps the fire burning which allows us to continue to do what we love for as long as we possibly can.

I think sometimes it’s like as you say “instant gratification” aka I want to be successful now and it’s got to be now now now and as you know as quick as you rise you can fall if not equally fast and hard, and I think  building a steady fan base and keeping that and maintaining it and being humble and original all the time is definitely one the key to success. I mean I’ve known Carl Cox for 30 years and he’s the same now as he was when I first met him and he’s down to earth….he’s just such a great guy and that’s testament to why he’s the biggest DJ in the world because he’s passionate about what he does but there’s no ego there, he’s just so genuine which is what most people want from others.

6AM: We love how that truly applies to the industry-at-large and a lot can be learned by the testaments of Carl Cox which is ultimately being a cool and down-to-earth human being. 

The engine never seems to be slowing down for you, we’re halfway through the year already and we’re sure you got some big projects you’re working on what can you tell us about and what can we all expect?

John: We are releasing Bedrock 20 on June 22nd and celebrating 20 years of my label and we’ve got some amazing artist Josh Wink, Paco Osuna, Ruede, Haggleston, Monkey Safari, Guy J and many more… there’s 21 artists on there and they’re all original brand new tracks and we’re doing a box set for the first time so it’s literally real honor to sort of mark this landmark album with a five vinyl deluxe box set so that’s that’s the big project. The last track I played tonight was a collaboration I’ve done with Simon Barry and Luke Bankacha along with Nick Muir that’s called “close your eyes” which is all part of this release which I’m excited to share

Order the release via www.johndigweed.com/bedrock

30 Essential Underground Dance Music Venues in the United States

 

After featuring 25 essential clubbing destinations for house and techno in Asia, it’s now time to highlight our very own underground dance music scene here in the States.

While we originally narrowed down our list to 23 essential underground dance music destinations, we recently expanded it to a total of 30 venues you should take the time to visit for techno and house here in the United States. Here they are in alphabetical order by city:

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Celebrate Black History Month with These Iconic DJ’s

Note: Originally published in February of 2016 and republished in 2017, this article is being republished today in honor of the amazing never-ending list of iconic DJs that have graced our scene with their illustrious art and careers.

Since the beginning of time there have been countless individuals who helped shape the music landscape. In celebration of Black History Month, we took some time to honor some of the most iconic DJ’s of recent times:

*Artists are listed in alphabetical order

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