Klockworks, the imprint run by Berghain resident Ben Klock, has announced details of their latest release, to come from drum & bass producer Marcus Intalex’s techno alias Trevino.
The third and final instalment of the Trus’me remix series has been announced, with Berghain regulars Ben Klock and Ryan Elliott appearing alongside Ukrainian producer Vakula.
Berghain resident Ben Klock will be the next person to enter the Fabric mix hall of fame, and we have a copy of the CD, as well as a pair of tickets to the launch to give away.
The details of Ben Klock’s Fabric mix have been revealed.
Belgian techno imprint Token have just revealed details of their next release, a remix package to complement Phase’s Binary Opposition, featuring contributions from Luke Slater, Ben Klock and Sigha.
Scuba (aka Paul Rose) and Ben Klock are two of Europe’s most in-demand producers; the former has exploded into 2012 with Personality, a divisive but undeniably bold third album, and an increasingly varied release schedule on his Hotflush imprint, while the latter continues to tour the world as a DJ and maintain a now legendary residency at Berghain.
With the Berlin-based pair both in London ahead of this Thursday’s Ostgut Ton x Sub:stance showcase, we asked the two producers to interview each other, continuing a sporadic series that has so far seen JR Seaton grill Milo Smee and FaltyDL lock horns with Blockhead. The results were enlightening, with everything from personal trainers to “real” instruments in techno and Berlin’s relentlessly evolving club scene up for discussion, with Klock also revealing he has a new album in the works.
Despite its many charms, Minehead’s Butlins resort in mid March is patently not Barcelona.Yet it’s here, out of season by the Bristol channel, that a musical movement is brewing to rival that of Sónar as one of the world’s premiere events catering for discerning electronic music.
Bloc, now in its fifth year, has grown exponentially since its launch and the line-up assembled for the 2011 showcase was, on paper, its strongest yet. In many ways it’s a canny move to book the event so early in the year, as it allows organisers to operate unencumbered by the goings on of the UK/European summer festivals that duke it out from June to August. It also offers actual beds to revellers, and those of us of a certain vintage welcome the chance to rest our weary heads somewhere comfy, rather than climb into a freezing tent and sleep for exactly five minutes before waking up to scorching sunshine/pissing rain (delete where applicable) and a parched mouth.
Long associated with the harder side of techno - on the evidence of his recent mix and pretty much any of his longer club sets, unfairly so – this release sees Berghain Ben Klock attempt to show a more musical flavour. Maybe his dealings with DVS1 through Klockworks have brought him to this place, or perhaps he’s just sick of being portrayed as a merciless, panel-beating merchant. Irrespective of the speculation about the reason for this sideways shift, the first version of the wonderfully named “Compression Session” sees airy, spacey Detroit chords copper-fastened to a typically dense Klock drum pattern, with both seemingly disparate elements acting in unison to create a climax that’s as epic as Berghain’s Gotham City architecture.
A similar approach applies on the second version: it features the same snappy drums and crackling percussion underpinning Klock’s previously undocumented lush leanings, but despite this, it would be wrong to assume that it’s merely a continuation of the first version. Tellingly, there are also dark, droning tones and hints of the ruthlessly utilitarian approach of his colleague, Marcel Dettmann - and these nuances are also audible on the third and final track, “Static Test”. Although there is a building chord sequence, it sounds like a distraction to the main event – a rolling, functional techno rhythm, powered by whiplash percussion and an underlying hint of menace.
The timing of this mix couldn’t be better – Berghain is currently the Most Talked About Techno Club On Earth, to the point where we can one day expect the club’s loyal patrons to remember the former power plant in the same hushed tones as disco heads who long for the days of the Paradise Garage and house aficionados who frequented the Warehouse and Music Box – perhaps not in terms of sheer groundbreaking importance, but because it has shaped a singular sound, and a vibrant scene that has built around it.
Stepping up to the task of curating the fourth instalment of the club’s mix series (following on from André Galluzi, Marcel Dettmann and Len Faki) must have been daunting for Ben Klock, but it is a challenge he has tackled with aplomb. In a recent interview with Juno Plus, Klock said there was no way he could – or would – try to replicate one of his mammoth DJ sets in Berghain 04. He’s right: far from the relentless, pounding sets he is known for, the mix builds slowly, incorporating dubstep-tinged moments, housier elements and (of course) a sprinkling of subterranean machine techno. Indeed it isn’t until Levon Vincent’s “The Long Life” crawls out of STL’s “Loop 04” that things approach fist-clenching territory. And from here on in, every time the mix threatens to get all peak-time on us, Klock reels it back in with a subtle shift back down the gears.
Most of the tracks here are exclusives, which does not, of course, a good compilation make. But Klock achieves his goal of using unreleased tracks to create a sonic journey that is at once familiar yet excitingly new. He’s called in plenty of favours, with new material from Martyn, Kevin Gorman, James Ruskin and Roman Lindau to name a few – and no doubt these producers were more than happy to oblige. (He also manages to sneak in one of his all time favourites, Tyree’s 1995 classic “Nuthin Wrong”, for good measure.)
The highlights, tracks-wise, have to be Gorman’s “7am Stepper”, an epic, broken beat journey into submerged atmospherics and spooky chords. Not far behind is Vincent’s aforementioned effort, which comes replete with the cavernous, hollow bassline that the New Yorker seems to have perfected, and DVS1’s “Pressure”, which sees hypnotic organ chimes prevail against a backdrop of subtle 909 programming, and sets the mood for the mix in superb fashion.
Like all great mix compilations, this is something you can revisit, and on each repeat listen new elements and nuances make themselves apparent in ways you hadn’t noticed before. Klock shows he is no one trick pony too; capable of fusing genres together in intelligent, creative and lucid fashion. Ultimately, Berghain 04 is as good an argument as any that this club’s near mythical reputation is indeed deserved.
Review: Aaron Coultate
A lot is said about Berghain. The venue, located in an old power station on the divide between Berlin’s Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain districts (hence the name), takes on an aura of mystery and intrigue unlike any other club. The stories of what goes on within those cavernous walls on any given weekend are stuff of legend. From the door policy to the artwork to the infamous dark room – each aspect of the club (and it’s upstairs house-friendly sibling, Panoramabar) is cause for much discussion. Integral to the club’s unrivaled reputation though, is the music. Each resident DJ is given time – and trust – to cultivate their own sets and sound. The policy has paid dividends – not least with the rise in reputation of Ben Klock, who has become one of the most recognisable faces of Berghain. Klock has fine tuned his own unique sound – hard edged techno mixed with a house sensibility – that perfectly fits his austere surroundings. We spoke with Ben via email to discuss the upcoming Berghain 04 compilation, his early days as a drum and bass DJ and sampling egg slicers on his childhood productions.
The second set of remixes of Dutch producer Martyn sees three more top names take on songs from the incredible Great Lengths album. As a digital exclusive, UK Funky star Roska takes on one of the biggest tunes from the album, “These Words”. Dropping the tempo down a little, Roska adds his distinctive beats to the track, which work well with the vocal courtesy of dBridge. The effect is funky, but still retains the ghostly and moving vibe of the original.
German Ben Klock also puts a haunting Minimal edge on “Is This Insanity?” Losing the tabla drums but keeping the husky vocal from Spaceape, Klock’s arrangement is thrillingly sparse and perfect, and a nice departure from the Martyn original. Manchester’s Illum Sphere, who’s been getting attention from Radio 1 to Radiohead of late, also does a neat job with the epic “Brilliant Orange”, adding some tastefully off-kilter and hypnotic beats to the originally dry, beatless track. Some essential remixes from an already classic album.
Review: Oliver Keens
Primarily releasing on Hefty Records and BPitch Control, Chicago-based Telefon Tel Aviv also had a track in the first Ghostly compilation which probably indicates a bit about what he sounds like.
Blending electronica with almost Mars Volta-esque experimental elements and emotive vocal points in a past catalogue of three albums (and one remix album), Joshua Eustis has, since the tragic death of one half of the production team in 2009, been working alone.
“Immolate Yourself” from Telefon’s third full-length album via BPitch has undergone a series of remixes from Berlin’s best. Ben Klock shapes the track into a mechanic techno beast with swirling pads and an almost slow-soca rhythm before BPitch’s Sascha Funke moves the vocals to create a subtle and eerily romantic piece with delicate synthy layers.
Thomas Muller’s heavy guitar riffs and rumbling sub-bass gives the track a darker turn and Miss Fitz aka Maayan Nidam on Raum and Freak n’ Chic, offers a slice of demure ethnic-tinged techno (also featured on Wolf + Lamb podcasts), breaking up the drums with an off-beat rhythm and layering the vocals to round off the package.
Review: Flora Wong
Title: Temporary Secretary (Dixon edits)
Genre: Deep House
Format: 12″, Digital
Deep house type Dixon from Berlin’s Innervision’s crew has been dominating musical proceedings of late. Temporary Secretary, his first foray into mixes since the 2007 contribution to the Body Language series, has rightfully been critically lauded across the board (including on these here pages) for its take apart and put back together approach and stands apart from a sea of somewhat one dimensional mixes released this year.
Additionally, Dixon’s sublime reimagination of Lykke Li’s Dance Dance Dance which has set closer writen all over it, finally got released on all too limited vinyl and is likely to secure him space on the end of year lists that everyone likes to make.
A musical cherry on the Dixon pie is offered up by Innervison in the shape of three edits from the Temporary Secretary mix. Those familiar with the mix will need no further incentive to add these edits to their collection but the unfamiliar should read on.
It’s a exercise in futility to narrow down the release to one definitive highlight as all three edits are of the highest quality. Henrik Schwarz’s Equinox remix is given a hypnotic makeover that builds from a bouncing bassline into a pitter patter of pads and epic synths until the piano is dropped in. The clattering drum workout on Ben Klock’s mashup with Precious System demonstrates that deep house can contain funk whilst Dixons take on Ewan Pearson’s rerub of Junior Boys contains enough starry eyed melodies to drown in.
Review: Tony Poland