We have neglected our podcast series for way too long and are more than happy to bring it back with an interview and guestmix from Berlin-based Canadian Mike Davis, a young producer we got to know through his release on the Sector 12/12 label.
Hello Mike Davis. You released your first EP on Sector 12/12 last year and that’s pretty much everything I know about you. Why don’t you start introducing yourself to our readers?
Sure, I’m Mike, an unknown electronic musician, who moved from Toronto to Berlin in 2012 to study in the Humboldt University and also find out what electronic could really means to me. I was DJing in Toronto as part of a crew & party called the Deep North, and decided Berlin was where I’d like to grow musically, rather than wait (or hope) for a big release or something before coming here, like many artists do. The three year anniversary of my arrival was just the other day actually, and I’ve since finished studying, put out a couple records, a tape, and co-founded Carousel and a label of my own, Brenda.
How long have you been making tracks and how did that all come together on Baniza?
For only four or five years, maybe two years or less in a serious way, and even less in a relatively calculated way. Only recently have I developed a technique from which I can, to some degree, truly realize ideas. It terms of that coming together for Baniza, it exists early in that process, the tracks are all around two years old, experiments with limited resources and techniques, simply exploring sound and writing some music along the way. The alternate versions of all the tracks on the EP might better illustrate it, but the project is a mess. I think even my old computer failed at some point and I had to remake some of it, I was just pleased that Sector12/12 wanted to release it. It was completed after a bike journey from Berlin to Sofia. There I became acquainted with the baniza, a traditional Bulgarian pastry. It’s not really nice looking, quite messy, wants nothing but to fall apart, but tastes good… so I believe that EP is a baniza.
Do you remember what sparked your interest to make music?
It originated pretty early, I suppose due to my parents. They put me in piano lessons as a kid, and I remember making terrible music on my dad’s Yamaha CS01 and MR-10 drum machine maybe around 8 or 9 years old. High-school in the late 90s brought all that was 90s and my first guitar, a birthday present from my dad. In college I played drums and bass in some punk projects, but nothing too serious. Eventually I became disillusioned with bands. Between jamming and beer drinking, creating was often challenging, so I was drawn to electronic music. I could produce on my terms, ideas and execution are completely up to me, I like that.
Having moved from one continent to the other, how has that influenced your image about electronic music? Are there still that many differences in culture in this globalized world?
That’s difficult to answer, as the move was still quite early in this budding career, I suppose it played a more developmental role than an influential one. Berlin has shaped me more than Europe, outside of Toronto I’ve only played in Germany and France, so there’s still much I need to experience. The accessibility here in Berlin has continually been a motivator, being a more vibrant and tangible scene has made it easier to reconcile the energy input. It’s not just felt at parties… record shops, rehearsal spaces aren’t 90% rock bands, even the small bars and cafes have decks, [ebay] kleinanzeigen is full of gear, albums and events are advertised in public transit, it’s hard not to feel it being part of the social fabric.
What are you future plans for the record labels and your own music in general, is there anything we can look out for?
Well Owen and I are currently working out details for CRSL002, hopefully will be out in 2015. We’re at the same time growing Carousel into a record shop which will soon be operational as an online shop, with the plan to go physical once it makes sense. It will be carefully curated music, nothing we plan to take over the scene with, of course. The second Brenda record, another 12″ from CNCPT, just came out a few weeks ago and I believe is pretty much sold out everywhere it was available, which is good. The third will also come out before the year is over. Personally, I’ve got a couple of collaborative projects actually. One with Owen on his other label Shades later this year, and another with part of my Deep North family Dan (as Jerry Riggs), I’m in on two tracks on his upcoming Run Out Run release.
Tell us about the mix you made
Yeah, as you know, it was not the first one I sent you, but the delay between recording and releasing had me always tiring of what I recorded. Anyway what I’ve settled on are some recent finds and some older stuff selected spontaneously while recording. Nothing so deeply planned, very Baniza.
01. Michael Holman – Gauntlet of Wriggly’s
02. Steve Moore – Logotone
03. Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit – 124 0 09 (played at 33rpm)
04. Chra – Landmine
05. Dorisburg – Splade
06. Devianza – I Droni A Torvijanica
07. Vakula – Life Internal Sounds
08. Green Gums – Zozomono
09. Beat Detectives – Somethin’s Rippin
10. Bookworms – Exotic Auto Boutique
11. Broken English Club – Glass
12. Mistake Made – Loaded Memory
13. Charlie – Spacer Woman
14. Hiver – Vorticism
15. Obtane – Tericore
16. Johan Hansson – Vassvik
17. Jatoma – Helix
18. Roll The Dice meets Pole – Echo Hands (played at 33rpm)
19. Lena Platonos – Love in Summer
20. Moon B – Moments in Slank __
Lukid keeps the “old ivories tinkling”, with this piano music mixtape for Blowing Up The Workshop. Debussy, Ravel, Cage and everything you’ll be looking for on a Sunday.
Not only that the new Solid Steel website is nothing but a disaster in user experience, it appears their mixes are no longer available for download. Fortunately, there’s still the Mixcloud option to listen to their mixes, which makes it more bearable. This week, you can listen to mixes from Anthony Naples (above) and Four Tet.
Stones Throw also has a bit of a weird podcast policy, since there’s no way of listening without iTunes. However, I suggest you give latest episode a try, since it was compiled by the label’s very own Mndsgn.
And since we like to end the selection with and oldie, here’s a Kemistry & Storm mixtape, originally recorded in 1995.
Since I figured that I haven’t posted a mixtape in quite some time, here’s one I enjoyed a lot recently. How about you, do you figure out the Hashman/Bluntman connection? Same guy I presume? Whether it’s the producer behind last year’s brilliant Sandopolis album or not, this is taken from Bake‘s show on Rinse FM and is brilliant on its own. Available for free download!
Mmmh, that’s interesting. I heard this Mo Kolours track before, but it has such a classic feel to it that I expected it to be and old Theo Parrish or maybe a Kenny Dixon Jr. tune. Instead it’s the title track from his latest EP, available digitally and on vinyl from his Bandcamp store. You can probably tell the video is the work of London’s animation studio Plastic Horse, who you might know for their work for Paul White, The Heliocentrics or Nochexxx.
Yesterday on March 29th, Berlin’s composer, producer and pianist Nils Frahms introduced the world to what should now be know as “Piano Day”, a holiday to celebrate this very instrument. On the occasion, you can download a new album entitled “Solo” on the Piano Day website. Erased Tapes also sells physical releases on CD and vinyl in order to provide funding for a unique instrument, the Klavins M450, a 4-meter high piano construction by David Klavins. All music on “Solo” was performed on an early prototype of the M450.
I suggest if you like the music, you consider a small donation to the funding of this wonderful project.
I probably haven’t heard about German DJ and producer Lena Willikens before this year, but when Ben UFO first played her unsettling track “Nilpferd” on his radio show, the name stuck with me. Since then she has released a fantastic EP on Matias Aguayo’s Cómeme label and appeared on the well-known XLR8R podcast series and guested on the Hessle Audio show. However, my favourite mix with her name tag on is taken from last week’s Beat in Space radio, in which she plays nothing but quirky electronic music. Unusual, but great selection!
Like many hip-hop producers, MF Doom sampled countless movie scores and television series. French audio-visual group Now Futur pays tribute to the masked rapper and producer with this montage of these movies. Apparently, this was used as an opening for one of Doom’s shows. You can also listen to the mix on SoundCloud or grab the download here.
It’s been quiet about Dim Grimm (aka Dimlite) for some time, and so far I blamed the recording of his Cite album for it. However, only yesterday I found about his new Dym Quell Holo alias, but then again that’s a different story. Today, the official Dim Grimm is back with an interpretation of Dorian Concept’s “The Sky Opposite”, taken from last year’s Joined Ends album.
Anthony released his debut album Body Pill this week, a record I haven’t listened to enough to make up my mind yet. What I did enjoy tremendously is his guestmix for the Resident Advisor podcast series. Music from Led Zeppelin, Tim Hecker, Terry Riley, into a proper selection of house and techno.
Press play and read the interview on the RA website, where you can also grab the download.
01. Theo Parrish feat. Steve Spacek – Chemistry
02. Beat Spacek – I Wanna Know (Seven Davis Jr Remix)
03. Mark Pritchard & Steve Spacek – Turn It On
04. Black Pocket – Boungie
05. Sun Ra – When There Is No Sun
06. Africa Hitech – Light The Way
07. Africa Hitech – Too Late
08. Spacek – How
09. Space Invadas – Way We Feel
10. Steve Spacek – Take Her Away
11. Troubleman feat. Steve Spacek
12. Steve Spacek – Smoke
13. Black Pocket – Al Softly
14. Steve Spacek – After Beris Step
15. Beat Spacek – Search N Development
16. Kingsbread feat. Steve Spacek
17. GB – Simply So (with Steve Spacek)
18. Spacek – Eve Demo
19. Spacek – Eve
20. Spacek – Eve (Jay Dee Remix)
21. Spacek – Getaway
22. Spacek – Act For You
23. Harmonic 313 feat. Steve Spacek – Falling Away
24. Steve Spacek – Thursday
25. Spacek feat. Mpho Skeef – La Bougie
26. Steve Spacek – Dollar (Let The Dollar Circulate)
27. Steve Spacek – Dollar Live (Breakdown)
28. Raphael Saadiq & Steve Spacek – Pookie Blue Room
Needless to say that the whole reason for this musical celebration is the release of the Beat Spacek album Modern Streets, available now from Ninja Tune. Also read Laurent Fintoni’s article on Steve Spacek in Fact Magazine.
Three years after the release of his mixtape “1999”, Brooklyn-based rapper Joey Bada$$ celebrates the release of “B4.DA.$$”, his long-awaited and first proper album. But that’s not the only thing to celebrate for Joey this week, as today marks also his birthday. On the occasion he shares a free download, another track produced by Statik Selektah.