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The label say 'Canadian born, Berlin based producer Aquarian debuts on Dekmantel Records’ UFO imprint with "Mutations I & II", a series of two EPs following his debut album "The Snake That Eats Itself "and his collaborative records as AQXDM. The series marks his return to club focused solo material for the first time since 2017.

Originally written as inflection points for his typically boisterous and genre collapsing DJ sets, "Mutations" deftly splices the foundational DNA of his earliest productions - electro, hardcore and broken beat techno – with new and vital influences.

"Mutations I: Death, Taxes and Hanger" finds Aquarian gleefully contorting mid-2000s dnb tearouts, wrong footed IDM and progressive trance euphoria into thrilling new shapes. Fast techno, hi-tek jazz, amphetamine-addled filter house and breakcore join the fray in "Mutations II: Delicious Intent" as he pushes intensity levels past breaking point. Whichever the touchstone, the results are clear: distinctly modern, highly-propulsive body music with an unapologetically emotive core.'

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Bunker busting techno-bass-jungle hybrids that are breathtakingly fresh and insanely strong. I'm loving these accelerated tempos that Dekmantel and Rush Hour seem intent on exploring. We're gonna have to expand our bass section at this rate!

TRACK LISTING

Death, Taxes & Hanger
Rene Likes The Steak
Sam Handwich
Dead Whale

Jondo's Little Princess EP sees Cologne's finest producer/DJ debut Dekmantel with a 4-track set of expansive atmospheres and reconstructed club tunes, alongside double bassist Maxwell Sterling and Australian producer DJ Plead.
Each track draws elements from the bass music trajectory, but effortlessly reassembles them in song-like arrangements that work just as fine in any headphone or home listening scenario.

The A-side has Jondo and Sterling team up for two dynamic pieces called "Dunkelziffer I" and "Dunkelziffer II". Whereas A1 serves drumless, RPG-like atmospheres reminiscent of Sterling's long-time collaborator James Ferraro, A2 is a full-on club joint packed with icy synths and complex rhythms that slowly eases into comforting ambient. On the B-side's "Whowhuwho", Jondo creates a powerful piece of instrumental-grime-turned-quasi-jungle with DJ Plead. For his remix, Russian techno prodigy Moa Pillar warps the already minimalist lead synth into an even more sparse yet effective dancefloor weapon.

Just as his celebrated DJ sets, the Little Princess EP proudly exhibits all of Jondo's musical roots – but instead of sticking with one style, tempo or formula, he innately trusts the music to let it take us into unexpected territories, time and time again.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: This Dekmantel drop sees Phillip Jondo team up with Maxwell Sterling and DJ Plead to produce the next wave of bass heavy electronics. Grime, UK Funky, Warp electronics and future glitch all smashed together like they're at CERN.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Phillip Jondo & Maxwell Sterling - Dunkelziffer I
A2. Phillip Jondo & Maxwell Sterling - Dunkelziffer II
B1. Phillip Jondo & Dj Plead - Whowhuwho
B2. Phillip Jondo & Dj Plead - Whowhuwho (Moa Pillar Remix)

Dutch psych-musicians Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauskovic create a new take on no-wave, post-disco with their debut LP as Bruxas, Muscle Memory. It’s their third work for the Dekmantel label, following up earlier EPs Mas Profundo (2017) and Sirocco (2018). Immersing themselves in a world of bohemian synth, the duo experiment with vintage machines and cosmic effects, swimming in rhythmic grooves and psychedelic tones. It’s a style that reflects their respective musical backgrounds, and long partnership, one in which that has strengthened their collaborative, musical muscle memory.

After playing together in the revival tour for Zamrock band WITCH, Gardner and Mauskovic struck up a partnership centred around poolside antics, cocktail hours, and a mutual love for late-60s, German kosmische musik. Through their particular style of alchemy, the duo embarked on a quest crafting soundtracks to imaginary forgotten moments.

‘Cógelo, Rápido’ a disco-noire thriller, ‘Mountain Cruise’ playing on an upbeat Jodorowsky beat, while ‘Minitrip’ takes the listener through new, psychedelic planes of existence. Unsurprising then that there is a little bit of Patrick Cowley in this record. A pioneer whose own Muscle Music soundtracks also lent themselves to leftfield synth explorations.

Outside of Bruxas, Gardner and Mauskovic have both found success with their respective careers. Gardner, with his unique take on baroque pop, and Mauskovic with his rhythmic post-punk group solo-project The Mauskovic Dance Band. Together as Bruxas, they found a synergy full of youthful exuberance, that looks to recapture a vintage left-of-center, wave-scene feel. Recorded on a minimalist setup, Muscle Memory is full of such improvisation and psychedelic sound experimentation, proving that with time the subconscious can take over, creating patterns within music that the conscious mind would have otherwise been unable to perform. What one would call, true Muscle Memory. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Emily says: A marriage of squelchy Cowley-esque synthesis with slinky afro-latin grooves and dubbed out vocals. A tasty dose of Menergy best served with an ice cold spritz!

TRACK LISTING

1. Muscle Memory
2. Red Pillows
3. Bodywarmer
4. People
5. Cogelo, Rapido
6. Mountain Cruise
7. Minitrip
8. Crazy Spacey
9. Salt Water Pool

Following 2020’s debut album ‘Zoom’, upsammy returns to Dekmantel with a dualistic four-tracker called ‘Bend’, incorporating familiar sonic palettes and novel paths carved out in times of isolation.

Where Zoom channelled upsammy’s conceptual depth, Bend leans into artistic intuition, juxtaposing the floral and martial, propelling along her signature sound of textured electronica. Lilac chimes rise and fall along the melodic Flutter and Metallic, while the sinister creeps from Spat and Worm’s spacious cracks. All in all, Bend discloses upsammy’s versatility yet again, ever-shifting as the ambiguous modernity she continues to wander - an artist able to shift through the complexity of modernity with rare grace. Early support comes from Ben UFO, Lena Willikens, and CCL.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Flutter
A2. Spat
B1. Worm
B2. Metallic

Frits Wentink & Erik Madigan Heck

Safe Passage

It is often said that the best art comes out of adversity, and so it is that producer Frits Wentink, photographer Erik Madigan Heck and actress Tilda Swinton have collaborated on Safe Passage, a fascinating audio-visual project born out of loss. Consisting of classical, choral, and electronic music in three movements, the gatefold album presented with a 40 page booklet of additional photographs and paintings.
Dutch producer and renowned innovator Frits Wentink helms the Will & Ink and Bobby Donny labels, builds synthesizers and beautiful controllers, and puts out always experimental, left of centre house music that pushes at the boundaries. This project initially started out as him attempting to musically illustrate the photography of American visual artist Erik Madigan Heck. The internationally renowned Heck is known for a lavish and experimental use of colour that has won him the prestigious International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award as well as make him a regular contributor to high profile media such as The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Midway through the project, Eriks mother was hospitalised due to breast cancer complications before also contracting Covid-19. By her bedsides and as a means to ease her passage, he repetitively played the first portion of the score, and then, once she passed, he decided to commemorate the music's function as a soundtrack for her transition to afterlife by naming it Safe Passage. The involvement of Academy Award–winning Scottish actress Tilda Swinton has lent the music an extra dimension of spirituality: throughout the album, she interjects whispered fragments of Heck’s poetry, blurring the lines between one phase of music and the next.

The music has three movements across two sides: Side A, Safe, has a sense of hope and reflection as it undulates from minimalist string and brass arrangements to ambient and dissonant classical piano. Side B, Passage, then depicts the start of the transition into the afterlife as the voices of a choral madrigal ensemble gradually diverge, then break down entirely before a grand tonal expansion leads into a frenzied crescendo of choral vocals, hardened dub techno and anxious rhythms that convey the violence of the soul’s exit from this world. Finally, a cathartic Epilogue resets and bids farewell with the gentle sounds of a piano.

Because of the global on-going loss of life as a result of Covid-19, Safe Passage has become a soundtrack in which many people will find solace as they remember the sad transitions made from this life to the next during this unprecedented time in history.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Movement 1
B1. Movement 2
B2. Movement 3

For Dekmantel Festival 2019, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision’s RE:VIVE initiative and Dekmantel teamed up for the third time to invite four artists to bring fresh music to a curation of Dutch archival films. As debuted live in Amsterdam’s Eye Filmmuseum, 2019 featured new scores from Safe Trip eclectic left-of-centre DJ / producer, Max Abysmal, 80s pastiche, keyboard wizard duo, Lamellen, Italian contemporary composer and saxophonist, Laura Agnusdei and heavy-hitter, Identified Patient. 2019’s films were as diverse as the invited artists. Three of the films come Academy Award winning Dutch producer, Nico Crama whose collection is held by The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision while Comeback (Poppenfilm) was made by amateur Dutch filmmaker, Otto Laan.


TRACK LISTING

A1. Identified Patient - Comeback
A2. Max Abysmal - Quod Libet
B1. Lamellen - De Stuiter
B2. Laura Agnusdei - Fuga

Bufiman

Rhythm Trax

    Bufi-Jan locks into serious percussion mode here, translating the technicolour breaks and progressive wormholes of a sextet of 'Albumsi' tracks into bonkers and bubbling drum dubs.

    In his own words: “Hi, my name is Bufiman and I do drum music for world peace and dance music for frogs. I recently released a longplayer called ‘Albumsi' on Dekmantel. While doing the mix-downs for ‘Albumsi' I realized how much effort I had put in it and how it might even seem overproduced in comparison to other records of mine. This was the result of ‘Albumsi’ being in the first year after quitting all other jobs to focus completely on music. It was the first time I had a studio, some gear and time all at once, at the same moment. So during the mixing process I realized how carefully and loaded the drum tracks were, I even had unused leftover drum material… I also just found a Dutch record heavily inspired by the classic Jive Rhythm Trax with the name 'Mix Your Own Breaks - Construction in Music' with an accompanying text that inspired my idea to do some of my own rhythm trax versions: "The compositions on this LP only consist of rhythms and sound effects. They can be used as: a transition between two records, to be mixed as a break in between and for the production of jingles. Have a lot of fun with these breaks!" Or in Dutch, as originally printed on the record: VEEL MIX-PLEZIER MET DEZE BREAKS - Een multifunctionele LP voor Discjockeys, Thuismixers en geluids-amateurs.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Stripping back some of the choicest cuts from his Albumsi, Jan lets us luxuriate in his outrageous drum programming, break surgery and comic book boings on this EP of phat rhythm tracks. Perfect for playing in the mix, or enjoying at high volume in the comfort of your own home.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Galaxy (Rhythm Trax)
    A2. News From The Treetops (Rhythm Trax)
    A3. Blow Your Head (Rhythm Trax)
    B1. Apo-Calypso (Rhythm Trax)
    B2. Hoolock Rock (Rhythm Trax)
    B3. Under Control Now (Rhythm Trax)

    Bufiman

    Peace Moves - Inc. DJ Normal 4 Remix

      Piccadilly favourite, video game fanatic and former breakdance champ Jan Schulte makes his Dekmantel debut with "Peace Moves", an EP of percussive soul, that captures the Salon Des Amateurs resident in full, tribal swing. Blasting out the A-side with tough body moving breaks, rasping vocal idents and skewed synth riffery, the main mix of "Peace Moves" harnesses the 5 a.m. insanity of a mushroom fuelled romp, deploying a Tri Atma style 12 string riff to totally trip the hippie dancers out. Breakbeat king and previous collaborator DJ Normal drops by on the A2, taking the intensity up a notch with a 'back to the oldschool', 'carpark in North Manchester', 'pocket full of pingers' 'ardcore mix complete with nagging bass, synth strings and more energy than a whizzed up all nighter at R&S HQ, 1993. Over on the flip, Bufi brings the euphoria with a medicated, manipulated dream-house flip on "Peace Moves", infusing the OG with doped up sequences and sultry incense tinged pads. Saving my personal favourite til last, Jan hits us with "Graffiti Moves", a kaleidoscopic vision of cut up funk breaks, tribal percussion, ring modulated leadlines and well wonky fx abuse. Expect to hear this on the Talking Drums dancefloor very soon.

      Now for a trip into an impossible land, generated on a hacked copy of Populous, wrought out of melting circuitry and bootlegged YMO LPs, projected on early green screen and filled with failed CGI from the Waterworld era. Panagiotis Melidis and Stathis Kalatzis are Territroy, the newest member of the Dekmantel family, and the creative insanity behind the newest UFO release, "Skulls & Plants". Now, I don't recall taking a massive dose of 4-AcO this morning with my cornflakes, but that may well have happened, as this is one trippy listen. At various points EBM, tropical house, machine voodoo and shamanic breaks are twisted, warped and frazzled, all achieving the demented sound signature of this lunatic Grecian duo. Rhythms collapse, stutter skip and slur, crispy distortion coats otherwise healthy melodies and oddly exotic idents flutter across the landscape, though you could never be certain they were there. Highly psychoactive electronics and primal rhythms for fans of Helena Hauff, Detlef, Lena Willikens and the Silk Road.


      TRACK LISTING

      Delirium Vivens
      Wax Smiles
      Non Sayers
      Sleeping Fury
      Instar
      Upside Down Sinner
      I Meant You, Not You
      Their Menads
      Bold Like A New Sun (Ft. Olympia)
      Prosopagnosia

      Randomer

      Slicing

        UK DJ and producer Rohan Walder, aka Randomer furthers his exploration into deep, spatial techno on Dekmantel’s UFO imprint. Fusing together two-step rhythms, cavernous beats, distortion, layered kicks, and an attentive detail to sound design, Randomer delivers an uncompromising array of abstract and destructive techno tracks.

        Randomer’s approach to techno has always maintained a bassier, obtuse approach to sound, with polyrhythmic beats that have helped set his sonic identity apart from his peers. Having released the "Running Dry EP" on DKMNTL UFO in 2016, Randomer is firmly establishing himself as one of the label’s favourite artists, with a resounding appearance at the Dekmantel festival in São Paulo, and a prime slot awaiting for him in the UFO tent at this year’s festival in Amsterdam (happenin' this very weekend! - ed)

        Kicking off with "Van Pelt", which skips along at just over 130bmp and textured with kicks that sound like two robust, metal dumpsters being hit together. Littered in the background are gongs, random percussive sounds, and something very alien, making it the perfect track for the UFO tent. "Shadow Harp" is quintessential UK techno, with yet more thudding, dark-kicks layered against a syncopated plucked and jarring bass. Birmingham would be proud! "Dissolve" drips and oozes with a sunken undercurrent of dystopic-melancholy, driving in ruptured reverb with a tribal percussive foundation. Final track "Slicing" dares to take things a little further, as the rounded-hollow kicks punctuate against more metallic, and analogue sounds - like a war of machines, set to a rhythm of abstract, free-flowing gust of techno cuts. Throughout the four-tracks, Randomer showcases his innate ability to excite and surprise with dynamism, and cutting sounds, with a technique that has been well-honed throughout the years. As he stated in an interview with Resident Advisor in 2016; 'Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.'



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