This Sunday at Jaded, we’re celebrating the latest release on Monnom Black with a morning of extended play from Dax J and Stranger. This will be the first time playing in the UK for Stranger, and we’re anticipating a 90s rave tinged daytime techno masterclass from our heroes! We caught up with the artist Dax has been seriously bigging up to find out more about his journey so far.
Hey Mitchel, thanks for taking time out to chat to us ahead of a busy weekend in Germany followed by your London debut! We wanted to ask you firstly about your label, Self Reflektion. Can you tell us about your motives in setting it up?
I’ve been really shy to send music out to other people, even when I first started making music back in early 2000’s. The first thing I did before I could even make a decent track was starting my own netlabel/trackergroup so that I wouldn’t have someone else deciding over my music. So having full control over the concept of the label is definitely been a motive for me to do things on my own.
At the time I started Self Reflektion, I definitely felt the urge to contribute my share to the local techno scene, and I still feel the same way. I definitely look up to people such as Bas Mooy or Speedy J who have been around for ages obviously and are still doing alot to make something out of the local scene, but I can mention names for two days straight of people I respect because they do something to make the music live around here. It was definitely a motive for me to start this label, I wanted either to be someone making a difference as well or to be a music lover, but nothing in between.
How did you discover your label mates?
Either I already knew them and asked for music or Soundcloud. I always liked to sit behind my computer browsing Discogs for hours just reading about artists and labels, and the same goes for discovering new music on Soundcloud; just by looking at users that share similar taste and seeing what they were reposting I found Herman Gonzalez and instantly fell in love with the track that became the A1 track on REFLEKT003. Same goes for Hiroaki Iizuka, who I knew from his past productions on Theory and several other labels. Remco Beekwilder I think also came along this way. It’s different for my partner from Paling Trax Lenson, who lives in Rotterdam as well. I met him during a concert of Jan Smit (for those who know)…
Mate Panic’s art for the label is glorious, how do you decide on the theme for each release?
I’m not really into visual art myself but when I first saw a work from him I was just overwhelmed. I’m really thankful im able to collaborate on the label artwork with such an extraordinary artist since the label started! The themes accidentally come to life most of the time, I think the techno sound I’m aiming at with the label just matches really well with his drawings. I think he’s just as much a part of the artists as the producers are.
You are celebrating the release of your Highest Sense EP with us at Jaded which Dax is putting out on Monnom Black. What’s it like to DJ and work together?
It’s going to be the first time DJ’ing together actually! Dax has really surprised me alot over the past year with his choice in records during his sets, but I was even more impressed with the productions he had been putting out on Monnom Black. We came to talk somewhere along the way, and it didn’t take long before we started working towards a stranger EP for his label. His patience and ongoing support means alot to me and I’m looking forward to working together much more this year! We both share similar taste in oldschool techno/jungle/rave vibes while playing completely different records during our sets. So I’m looking forward to see how we connect during a dj-set. With Jaded being the first night where we’ll be meeting up, I have invited him to Rotterdam in March where we will be playing together, solo, b2b on and off… Exciting stuff!
You’ve both just been announced for Awakenings and you played Gashouder on New Years Day. Can you tell us about the experience?
The Gashouder venue was a special place for me as a visitor, where I met some of my best friends and during my visits to the numerous Awakenings weekenders over the past few years. So it probably speaks for itself that i was nervous as hell… But it was an amazing experience. To play at Awakenings is something i would never have dreamed off, especially not this early in my career. For me they have proven more than ever that they still stand tall after all those years. Not just in their shows or production, but in supporting the local techno scene guiding young producers and providing a stage for debutants.
Your love of 90s Rave is reflected in your Warehouse Memoires EP, we understand you made the track whilst living in disused warehouse; tell us more about that period…
It was the most intense time I’ve experienced. At time of writing all of that stuff for my first release as well as writing the music for the release, I was definitely full of inspiration from all that I saw and heard while living there. And obviously I was enjoying all of the space I was able to use while living there. But just like my girlfriend felt earlier on already, in the end I started to feel more and more isolated being the only one living in the area. I worked day and night on music and with few people attempting to intrude my home, truck drivers sleeping in front of the house and illegal raves being held in warehouses like the one attached to my living space… I felt like I was slightly moving towards paranoia. When listening back to the tracks I made there I hear a huge difference between my euphoric moments (like when I did Picklehead) and moments of anxiousness (the original mix on Warehouse Memoires). And since I’ve started living in the ghetto streets of Southside Rotterdam, my sound has definitely developed to be ghetto booty-proof!
Finally we’re thrilled to be hosting your UK debut this Sunday. Do you have a warning for the children of Jaded..?
A warning? Yeah if you ever get the chance to live in an empty warehouse in Rotterdam make it quick and get the best out of it musically, hah! I’m looking forward alot to visit London for the first time and we’re going to make it a morning to remember. Thanks for having me and see you on Sunday.
Nice one Mitchel!
Dax J and Stranger will play Jaded this Sunday morning. Get on the list and check out the timetable here.
This Sunday 24th January, Jaded reopens for 2016 with the UK debut of 138, the duo behind TXTRL. Whilst their sound evokes the all presence and power of their LA heritage, it has a raw and energetic spirit all of its own. We caught up with Nathan and Billy to find out more…
Billy and Nathan, thanks for taking time out to chat to us ahead of your next European tour. The legend of you two first reached our Jaded ears following Katharsis and what was by all accounts a mind-bending party – can you tell us more about what went down – will you be returning this year? For your fans who’ll be hearing you play on UK soil for the first time, can you tell us the story of how you first started producing and performing together?
B: The way we met was actually through music; I was in a hardcore/punk band in high school and I was starting a sludge/grind band with my drummer. He told me he knew of a guitarist that liked all the same music as I did and that he wanted to jam with us. Our first band practice was the first time I met nathan. Months later we went to our first “rave” together and it began to escalate from there.
N: Katharsis was insanity, brilliant insanity. We had never played to such a big audience. Billy and I will be the only ones to know what really went down behind the scenes during our set at Katharsis… Besides the winter tour that’s just about underway, we may or may not be back overseas during the months of May/June… Yes, the way we met was through music. Raw, hard, fast, blaring music. And I guess you can say we’ve kept it like that, just in techno form. Although, we are now beginning to take a different approach to our music, or at least we are trying to.
How about the rest of the TXTRL crew, how has your label and movement developed since 2012? Tell us about your influences and inspirations.
N: Well, in 2012, it was only an idea. We hadn’t put out any music until 2014 with our first record/ep. TXTRL has always been about the DIY ethic. Our best friends, Josh Wilmarth and Kyle Galindo, are also behind the label’s vision. I believe we are all on the same page and have the same vision we want to present. Josh does all the visuals/videos, and Kyle helps with the artwork/visions and pushing the label’s aesthetic. Punk and simplicity will always be our main influences.
B: Well said. I think this label will always be our outlet not only to showcase our music but our ideas & moods in general; whether it is our own music or artist we can relate to. We dont see this label being tied down to one specific sound; it is about pushing our vision and having people feel the attitude behind the projects through the artwork and of course the music.When we met we were mainly listening to Hardcore/Punk music and its almost like we graduated and started fucking with more grind, 90’s crust punk and alot of the stoner shit simultanously – Dystopia, Converge, Sleep, and Electric Wizard. Its those sounds that made making distorted Techno somehwhat of a natural thing to us.
My obvious influences when it comes to Techno – Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Regis, Paul Birken, Rob Hood. Personally I am highly influenced by alot of early Chicago Ghetto House/Hard House stuff as well as Detroit Electro and Booty music. Music about smoking weed, big butts and all things provacative pretty much sums it up for me. One of my idols is David Bowie and I listen to Future on a daily basis.
You’ve been throwing some serious parties in your home city, could you describe the scene? Where should we head to find LA’s seedy underbelly..? Good bets for dancing, eating, record shopping and analogue gear?
B: I think we have a small, very tight knit scene; it’s a lot more condensed when compared to overseas. But in a way it is good. Droid Behaviour is definitely responsible for building somewhat of a mini techno empire here in Los Angeles, and more specifically the San Gabriel Valley. Since most parties here in LA have to be illegal you can be certain the Droids will deliver something special. As far as gear goes I think we both pretty much spend most our money at Analogue Haven. Record store – Mount Analogue. We live about 30 minutes from downtown LA in a town called Whittier – luckily most of my favorite food joints are pretty local. Four Bricks Restaurant, Azabu Sushi, Izakaya Honda-Ya, and when it comes to tacos I prefer to hit the dodgy cuts of Los Angeles.
N: I’ll agree with what Billy said, but I can tell you a thing or two about dancing. You can catch me at a small venue called Complex. That’s the spot when it comes to club nights. Droid Behaviour and some other techno crews throw some solid parties there. It’s in a city called Glendale, which is about 10-15 minutes from Downtown LA. They’ve got a great sound system there, Function One, and a great beer selection to compliment it.
Sounds like our kind of place. Finally, could you tell us what’s next for you guys and for TXTRL? Do you have a warning for the children of Jaded ahead of your set on 24th..?
N: We’ve wrapped up our 3 tracker EP for TXTRL and we are currently waiting on a remix from another duo, who are a couple of gentlemen. Warning? Naw, not at all. Come say hello, introduce yourself. Let’s be friends. But, most importantly, let’s dance and have fun.
B: Also look out for a few digital releases in the coming months. First up will be our mate Casper Hastings from Ireland w/ remixes by Nathan’s solo project and a smashing remix by Interferon.
Thanks Nathan and Billy, excellent warning!
138 will play a 2 hour live set for Jaded alongside Raymundo Rodriguez, Chris Stanford and The Subterrain crew (Ronin, Ainsley x Doppelate, Asuka, Cv4) this Sunday at Corsica Studios. Get your name on the guest list and check out the timetable here .
All eyes will be on Ayarcana this Sunday as he flies in to play his UK debut at Corsica Studios. Hailing from Italy, he’s been wowing crowds at home, in Paris, and we predict, imminently in London with his raw and brutal sound.
Hey Anthony! First let us say that the excitement for your UK debut is building, and that we’re very pleased this is happening at Jaded and on Corsica Studios sound system… X P N G N was posted in the Techno Scene group earlier this week; one of the comments from another of your very passionate supporters was “sometimes I feel he would like to kill some people with his music.” Can you give us an insight into the source of the angst that resonates so clearly in your tracks?
(Laugh) no I do not want to kill anybody, these days it’s not safe to say such things. However, I come from a different background from electronic music. I played and listened for many years in the bands post-hardcore / doom metal etc. So my approach to techno music could not be more different. Try to imagine a metalhead producing Tech-House.
Hmmm… It all becomes clear! Now let’s listen to this. Thanks for sharing your new track with us!
You’ve been working with PLS.UK crew and we hear that the guys are coming down to support you this Sunday. Tell us how that came about?
The guys from Pls.uk contacted me almost a year and a half ago to collaborate on a remix and on a release (which will come out really soon). I am very happy with the work we have done for my remix for Ansome both for the release coming out next months. Ah and also to meet them Sunday.
Can you give us a glimpse inside the techno scene in Rome? Where might we head to find Rome’s seedy underbelly?
There is too much individualism in Rome between the artists, or rather there are many artists who propose techno music, but there is no connection between them. I could open a very long debate…
Sunday will be your first time playing London, what have you got in store for the Jaded people?
Can’t wait, I have always loved the English people and how they react on the dancefloor! So I expect a lot from the crowd. I have a lot of new stuff to try!
Finally what’s next for you? When will you be releasing more of these devastating tracks?
I’ve two EPs signed for the beginning of 2016: both with great remixers inside. But I can’t tell you any more..!
Thanks Anthony… Catch him at Corsica Studios alongside residents Raymundo Rodriguez & Stephanie Sykes this Sunday. Timetable here.
Ritzi Lee makes his debut at Corsica Studios this Sunday. He’ll play a 3h set, backed up by the forces of Jaded residents Raymundo Rodriguez and Chris Stanford.
Ray grabbed 5 minutes with the Dutch techno master ahead of what promises to be a visceral journey through the deep and dark all sewn together with effects from his trusty 909…
We know you have had a lot of experience in making music, could you tell us at what stage or release did you start to feel really comfortable and confident in your production process, and what was the main thing that that cultivated the change i.e. hardware software or studio location etc ?
Hey Ray! I would say around 2008 was a real turning point for me when I had the idea that I found a real signature sound. This happened during producing my first EP for Ben Sims his Theory UK label. The way the tracks sound and where arranged kind of draws a big red line through all my compositions till now. I think using a real 909 in my techno music did pulled it to the next level. I’ve always tried to reach that type of sound with the most difficult sounds and situations, but with the 909 it all came together. From there on my studio slowly transformed from a 90% digital studio to a 80% analog situation now. The last 2 / 3 years really setted my trademark sound with releases on Theory, Belief System, Tortured records etc.
Your Underground Liberation label has been running since 2003, can you give us 3 standout moments that have given you the most satisfaction from all the hard work you have put into it?
Underground Liberaton started as an idea to put pure timeless techno sounds back on track in a situation where the market was 99% minimal music. I can say that after many years my wish came true. I can look back at a catalogue with masterpieces and collaborations with artists that I really respect and like.
Techno is a vast and varied beast, what in your opinion makes a good track, is it all about the production or just the vibe it creates on the floor or both?
There is no formula to define a good track really. I always look for the core or the soul of each track. And try to get the best out of it. Of course tension, suspense, something different is always welcome. And like any artform to create something that is never created before, that is the challenge.
How about the Techno scene in general in the Netherlands and globally, what do you think of the direction it’s heading in? Do you still feel the excitement you felt when you first started?
In general I think the techno scene is getting better. Anyway better then 3 years ago. At the same time I have a feeling some people are focussing to much in a negative way to other (EDM) scene’s. Better spend your energy making good music and playing good gigs every time when you have the chance. In the end people really just want to get lost in the sound. We as techno artists have a big responsibility. It as always like that and it will stay like that. Like next sunday. I will start with an empty mind and let me guide myself with the vibe of the party. 🙂
And finally what is coming up for you, releases, projects, gigs etc?
I’m having material coming up on Tommy Four Seven his new 47 label. I’m working on an EP for Klockworks. And there are 2 more high profile labels where I planned something for this year where I still am not allowed to announce the labels yet.
Thanks Ritzi… Catch him this Sunday at Jaded at Corsica Studios. His set time is 0930-12:30.
This Sunday, Jaded celebrates the release of EarToGround 015 ‘Descendants Of Sinners’, Dax J’s long-awaited EP. He’ll be playing a 3 hour finale in Room 1 after ETG cohort Gareth Wild. Dax’s background in Jungle & Drum & Bass is something he’s already addressed with Stray Landings. We asked him to delve a little deeper and select some of the tracks that shaped his path. Over to Dax…
Goldie terminator (1992)
Some of the 1st DnB and Hardcore tracks I ever heard were from Golide. It’s hard for me to pick a favourite Goldie track as he has made so many classics which I love, but this is definitely up there. Terminator, revolutionary pitch shifting drum patterns, killer samples from the classic T2 film and pads that come from another galaxy. During my pirate radio days, a DJ called Mr T introduced me to this, back at his flat one night after my show. I still can vividly remember that moment staring at the vinyl spinning, listening to it for the 1st time.
Garden of Eden – Garden of Eden (Serpent Mix) (1988)
Discovered this some 20 years after it was originally released in 1988, but loved it instantly all the same. Solidified my love for Acid! So simple, yet impossible to replicate. A few years ago, I even tracked down the person who made it, a guy called Mark. I managed get his number and speak with him on the phone about the track, I wanted to know more about it, and where the vocals and pads had come from! He told me he had been completely out of the scene for a long time, but he was helpful and happily suprised when I told him that acid was still being played in the clubs!
Devil Fish Man Alive (2000)
Rave anthem. Whenever I hear this track I think of Carl Cox. The 1st Techno DJ I saw to completely rip apart a club. The track samples the classic “Good Life” riff, and comes complete with amen breaks chucked on top. Raw drum patters, 140 bpm, the track has so much energy. Doesn’t really get much better, just unbeatable. Been playing this constantly for years now.
Here’s the big man himself dropping it 15 years ago at Love Parade 2000 Berlin. A truly epic video, seeing this track played at the Victory Column to thousands and thousands of people still blows my mind.
(track plays at 3 min)
Prodigy – Your love (1991)
UK dance culture innovators! Everything from the Prodigy up to their “Fat of The Land” album was just incredible. And growing up constantly hearing their tracks coming out of my sisters room, at school discos, and over the national radio in the UK through the 90’s definitely helped to ignite my love and passion for rave music even before I knew what it was. I played this at Glastonbury Festival last month and it tore the roof off!
Kevin Reece Saunderson – Just Want Another Chance (1988)
A 1988 classic from Saunderson which helped in the creation of the whole Jungle and Drum n Bass scenes, the classic “Reece” bassline stems from this track which was sampled and re-made into countless Jungle and Drum n Bass tunes. Truly visionary and futuristic. Ironically I discovered it years after I heard all those Jungle tracks that had sampled it! But that just made it even more special when I did.
Marcus Intalex & ST Files – How You Make Me Feel (1999)
I had this on a tape recorded off Kool FM from way back. Everything about it is just perfection, the pads the vocal, the bass. Noises from tracks like these still inspire me today in the music that I write. I used to listen to this at a time when I was just a young teen at school, and when the most important activities of the day were hanging out, getting stoned and listening to tapes. Great memories!
This will be Dax J’s last Corsica Studios appearance until December 2015. So beware Jaded transgressors, his set this Sunday should not to be missed.
Emika flies into London to play two important gigs this weekend. The first, is a live showcase of her new album this Saturday. Jaded couldn’t permit her escape without first bringing the underworld a sequel of their own at Corsica Studios… Earlier this year, we were passed a secret recording of Emika’s techno set, and were blown away by the force of what we heard. Emika’s rider requests smoke, red light and a mic, so the Children of Jaded can expect intoxicating vocals alongside their kickdrums from her set (midday to 3pm).
To win a copy of ‘Drei’, 2 x tickets for Jaded with Emika, and a Jaded unisex pendant, answer this question:
Emika was responsible for gathering the field recordings and created a track for which Berghain compilation?
Our winner will be notified this Friday morning and announced via the Jaded Fan Page.
Update: Entries are now closed, congrats to our winner, Chris S.