Archive for the 'Features' Category

The World Don’t Sing …

DJ Exile (left) and Aloe Blacc as Emanon, Berlin 2005  © JB.

DJ Exile (left) and Aloe Blacc as Emanon, Berlin 2005 © JB.

There are some people talking about Aloe Blacc these days. No wonder, he makes some great music, has plenty of style and something to say. He dropped a new album these days and is on tour, one stop was in Berlin on 2. October. I decided to better stay home due to some recreational program … But I use this as an oppurtunity to dig out an interview from the dusty cabinets of JB. from November 2005. It has been released a couple of months later in the first printed edition of JB. Magazine. Me and my pal Frede, who now runs the great German online magazine Freunde von Freunden, met Aloe Blacc, DJ Exile, BLU and MED before their live show on a typical Berlin foggy November night to talk about their music. Rewind the time and read how Aloe Blacc has already been on his path five years ago, at that time with the HipHop duo Emanon.
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Flags for Ex-Girlfriends … by Michael Leon

Michael Leon, shaded and flagged at the opening of "Vexhall"

Michael Leon, shaded and flagged at the opening of "Vexhall"

The last couple of weeks have been very hectic at JB. but I exploit this little blank to finally post the pictures that my friend Julia shot of Michael Leon’s show “Vexhall” at our beloved Pool Gallery. This exhibition is rad. So consequent. Flags all over. Sewed, dyed, hand-painted, silk-screened or printed digitally. All made out of fabric, real flags!

The opening night was fun, and it was great to meet Michael, Scott from Arkitip and all his friends too. He is a very open and attentive person. He is also a bit retiring at the same time, he seems very loyal which are all very comfortable characteristics. We really had a good chat that night and he told me contentedly about the process of the flags and that he will continue to do some more.
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London Calling For Fresh Air

Filled with an awesome selection of work — It's Nice That #03

Filled with an awesome selection of work — It's Nice That #03

That’s nice, caring for the creative and their art is what the folks of It’s Nice That from London are doing with their valuable printed good. They create an archive of work of artists they feature on their website in a bi-annual publication. They give respect and put value to the work that it deserves and giving it as well a history that otherwise could get lost in the quickness of the internet. On top of this, most of the work they feature online actually is designed for print. Their meanwhile third issue has been sent out early April and for all pre-orders, they put a black and white print by Parra to it.

JB. talked with editor and co-founder Will Hudson about the linkup of editorial content using both channels digital and print, magazine issue #03 and sustainability of graphic design. The interview will be soon online. Until then, follow their daily news on the website and have a look at the goodness inside the mag right here …
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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”—Interview with GOOD’s Editor-In-Chief: Zach Frechette

Zach Frechette, Editor-In-Chief of GOOD Magazine © Illustration by UNTLD.

Zach Frechette, Editor-In-Chief of GOOD Magazine © Illustration by UNTLD.


The Good, the Bad and the UglyInterview by J. Grabowski
Says Zach Frechette, who put his GOOD Magazine on the map by jam-packing it with arresting, relevant visuals: “There’s so much data out there in government documents and corporate reports. And it’s all so ugly!” I met GOOD Magazine’s editor-in-chief Zach Frechette and creative director Casey Caplowe at the international magazine symposium Colophon in Luxemburg exactly one year ago. They were representing GOOD as part of the exhibiting magazines of this weekend. A while back we had a chat about making GOOD Magazine, being visually compelling, rolling up ugly data and the future of journalism. That was before people were talking about the iPad …

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“That Certainly Always Leads to Change.” — Interview with Tama Sumo

Tama Sumo. Illustration: © by UNTLD. 2009

Tama Sumo. Illustration: © by UNTLD. 2009


Emotional. Rough. Funky. Dirty. All applies to a DJ set of Tama Sumo. Her real name is Kerstin Egert, she is the most cheerful and positive person you can meet in the club, both behind the turntables and on the dancefloor. She is celebrating every single track she is playing and the other way round when she finds herself dancing to the tunes of any other good DJ. It’s always nice to be around her, Kerstin’s happiness is simply infectious. Better known to the scene in the last years through her residency at the Panorama Bar (part of Berghain) in Berlin, the club that is still the most talked about these days. Internationally regarded as “the mother of all clubs” … Though she is little known for producing music. Together with Prosumer she put out two records until today, one on OstGut Ton and recently the split 12″ for the “Phantasma” series Diamonds & Pearls Music (with a Marcel Dettmann track on the flipside). But finally she did this mix CD for OstGut Ton that has been released some weeks ago, “Panorama Bar #02”, the follow-up of Cassy’s mix in 2006. Kerstin aka Tama Sumo will be known by a lot more people soon and I bet she is already traveling the globe to get the possibility to share her love and passion for music, especially Housemusic, with the dancing community and the people beyond. She has a lot to give!
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20 Years of “Be Different Or Die!”

Illustration @ by UNTLD. 2005 (from JB. Issue #03)

Illustration @ by UNTLD. 2005 (from JB. Issue #03)

Hard Wax, located in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, a pilgrimage for music enthusiasts and vinyl record nerds from all over the world, is aged 20 years now. Founded in 1989, the Hard Wax record store and distribution has been shaping the world of Techno music ever since, and especially building up Berlin as the “Techno-City”. From the outset, they left all doubt about vinyl as a threatened medium, yet a few CDs can be found, they still offer almost only vinyl records today. I know Hard Wax for more than a decade now and it is very impressive over and over again, how the store, the distribution, the inner circle of artists around Hard Wax, is always acting like a magnet for the electronic music community in Berlin. Plus all constant visitors from Europe and the rest of the world. All know where to find the store hidden in the second backyard, an industry loft on the fourth floor somewhere in Kreuzberg, it is hardly imaginable that someone is entering by accident. And not to forget to add the huge net of people that are connected through the internet store, they make a 50% of the bargain.

In a city of constant change, and a very ephemeral yet sometimes superficial electronic music scene, Hard Wax is something like your secure and reliable friend, or the parents to a child … This sounds pathetic to you? Well, it’s not! Some things just mean a lot. Hard Wax has always been up front, pushing things with relevance, putting out statements, believing in new creations and art. In times of clearly audible moanings by the music industry, their courage has always been paying off and they stay unique. I know most of the staff and the musicians around Hard Wax, which is always inspiring. To go there is yet almost a thrill as it was during the first visits. As Torsten recently said about not getting rid of the feeling he had, coming to the store in his early days before he started working there, “being a client, a fan, a Techno-freak” (by the way a nice article in Tagesspiegel, in German). Being friends with some of them, having had countless DJ nights together, the unforgettable time at the small Club Waldohreule and so on has established a special relationship for me.

So, thanks for the possibility of spending all my pocket money for a good reason and making me nervous almost every week when the news arrive! The anniversary party is going to be a very epic night … Below you find the line-up of the party and an interview I did with Torsten Pröfrock, the store manager and buying agent, in 2005 (after their 15th anniversary) that was published in JB. #03 (German language). You can download the PDF right here.

Sa. 05.12.2009 | 20:00 | 3 FLOORS | WMF Club, Berlin
HARD WAX XX

Live Floor:
Substance / MMM / Soundhack / DJ Pete & Sleeparchive / Deuce (Marcel Dettmann & Shed) / Electric Indigo (DJ) / Deuce (DJ)

Killasan Floor:
Sascha/ Torsten / Mark Ainley / Mark Ernestus w/ Tikiman and Friends / René Löwe / Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir / Errorsmith / Modeselektor Gernot

Special Interest Floor:
Shed / Prosumer / Soundstream & Prosumer (voc)
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On the Edge of Something Big and New

Illustration by untld. © 2009 by JB.

Illustration by untld. © 2009 by JB.


THIS IS THE FIRST Q+A since our relaunch in May 2009. John Osborn, who recently contributed to JB. with a mix for The Dusty Cabinets Show is now the first one in this new category. Osborn is a friendly guy from London, who has lived in Berlin for about a decade, he’s got a great sense of humor and an infinite passion for music and design. John is involved in a variety of projects, the lead singer of the post punk electro band Neon Man (Pale Music), owner of the design studio Studio Higgins. Osborn is hyperactive in a very relaxed way. I actually met him at a design agency, where we worked together on the development of a new magazine. After being out of touch for some time, our paths crossed again at work, and we found out once more that we are like-minded dudes with a large intersection in reference to music and design.

Here is a short conversation with Benjamin John Osborn. And all the way down at the end of this page is the tracklist to his Dusty Cabinets mix and a link to another DJ mix he did a few days ago!
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This Must Have Been Tomorrow

Reduction of the Available

Reduction of the Available

Undoubtedly one of the most important and distinctive techno records ever made was Robert Hood’s “Minimal Nation” in the year 1994. It was a defining moment in electronic music and now 15 years later, these timeless tracks still sound so fresh that most (minimal) records lack today. Pure dance music that has been stripped down to the essential elements, consistently arranged, with only a few sequences. Restrained modulations are the main changes, reduction and abandonment is the major effect.
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