Originating from a live performance by Peter Van Hoesen at a Time 2 Express label night at Tresor in July this year, Life Performance captures the energy that often evades techno artists when they sit down to record a studio album. Attribute it to the fact that Van Hoesen was toying with a new live set-up on the night or put it down to the Belgian producer’s general ability to push the techno envelope, but whatever the explanation, Life Performance teems with fresh ideas and glistening, futuristic rhythms, all segued on the fly and in direct response to his audience’s needs.
Fourteen years and 145 releases since Savvas Ysatis first appeared on Tresor, the Greek producer returns to the seminal techno label with Archiv #08.
For his latest Separate Mind column, Richard Brophy traces out the path and music that make Terrence Dixon one of Detroit’s last true enigmas.
Kern 2 is the ultimate crate digging exercise. Tasked by Tresor to come up with a mix that united old and new house and techno, DJ Hell retreated to his bunker – in reality, a basement full of tens of thousands of records – and began his search. There are references to modern-day grooves on the mix, the most notable of these being Jonas Kopp’s tracky “X” and the huge droning bass-driven “DRGN” by fellow Bavarian Recondite.
Time changes everything and everyone. That’s the message behind Borderland, the first true collaborative release between Von Oswald and Atkins. It’s exactly twenty years since these two iconic artists – surely they are among the very few electronic producers who are deserving of that description? – first appeared together on a record. It was an auspicious opening salvo too, with Von Oswald teaming up with Thomas Fehlmann as 3MB in 1993 to go head to head with Atkins’ Model 500 project for the high paced, hyperactive rhythms and epic melodies of “Jazz is the Teacher” and the loose drums and lush electronic warbles of “Cosmic Courier”, sometimes known by its German name “Die Kosmischen Kuriere”.
The veteran DJ is next in line to mix the Tresor showcase compilation.
Last month’s Separate Mind column focused on the enduring influence of a specific location. As this month’s releases show, great electronic music no longer needs to have come from one inspirational home; it merely has to be going in a compelling direction.
Tresor will release a new collaborative album from Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald under the Borderland name.
Tresor has reanimated its dormant Archiv series of reissues for a fresh instalment featuring two classic Juan Atkins tracks.
The word ‘Kern’ in German means seed, nucleus or core, with the last translation providing a particularly fitting one-word description for DJ Deep’s approach to the first mix in this new series from Tresor.
“Today, kids want to be more Kerri Chandler than Kerri Chandler,” says DJ Deep, his words accompanied by a gentle flutter as he leafs through his enormous record collection. A man whose two-decade career has seen him forge a close personal and professional relationship with New Jersey’s house pioneer, he’s in a good place to judge. “Just because something sounds like Kerri Chandler doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to put it out,” he continues, “because Kerri already did it 20 years ago.” His voice lilts gently down the line from his Parisian office. He doesn’t sound upset by the sudden re-emergence of the Chicago and NY house sound he’s been obsessed with since he was 16. Instead, he’s fascinated at its cycle. When it comes to music, Cyril Étienne des Rosaies is always fascinated.
Anyone with a firm grasp of the law of averages would understand that in a month where there was far too many good records, a fair proportion also came wrapped in excellent sleeve art.
A great remix can be as memorable as an original production. There are numerous examples of remixers using their unique signature to turn an original composition into a classic - think the never-ending snare-led climax on Hardfloor’s version of Robert Armani’s “Circus Bells” or the ecstatic pianos, rave whistles and carnival drums that make David Holmes’s version of Sabres of Paradise’s “Smokebelch 2” an acid house anthem. In both instances, the remixers became the story, turning the adequate originals into classics. But what happens when remixers rework classics?
When the first instalment of From The Far Future was released 12 years ago, it sounded unlike anything else that came before it. There were some pointers, including Juan Atkins’s more introspective work like “Starlight” or the unflinching repetition of Rob Hood’s minimal techno, but these were mere reference points. From The Far Future saw Dixon carve out his own space, a location soundtracked by hypnotic, pointillist rhythms and layers of abstract sound. Appearing at the end of techno’s golden 90s period, a time when the grim heads-down conformism of the loop sound prevailed, it was and still is a landmark release, a collection that follows in the proud tradition of Drexciya and Red Planet by veering away from the pre-ordained co-ordinates and charting largely unknown waters.
The resurgent Tresor imprint have announced a new mix series, the first of which will be helmed by Parisian DJ Deep.
Shadowy Detroit techno outfit Scan 7 will return to Berlin label Tresor for the first time since 1999 with the Resistance EP, which will precede a ‘best of’ compilation slated for release later this year.
Detroit second wave artist Terrence Dixon will return to Tresor and the themes of his album From The Far Future with a forthcoming sequel, naturally entitled From The Far Future (Part 2).
If you were asked to reel off the most revered clubs in electronic music history on one hand, you’d get to Tresor well before you reached the pinkie. The club, originally situated in the vaults of a disused department store occupied around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, helped shaped the sound of contemporary techno. The likes of Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Robert Hood and Blake Baxter left their Detroit homes to become part of the musical revolution; many more were to follow. Berlin of course remains a bastion for techno, thanks in no small part to Tresor’s ongoing legacy, and this year the club’s record label celebrates its 20th anniversary. To celebrate they enlisted Detroit’s Mike Huckaby to curate and mix a compilation showcasing some of the label’s finest moments, with some of the aforementioned Motor City luminaries featuring alongside other Tresor stalwarts such as Surgeon, acid legend Bam Bam and Drexciya. To mark the compilation’s release here at Juno Plus we called on two of Tresor’s most influential figures – club founder Dimitri Hegemann and in-house record label chief Carola Stoiber – to select their five favourite Tresor releases, in no particular order, and discuss the stories behind them.