junk-E-Cat Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty. You have just performed at Melt Festival. What was that experience like? And can you tell us about the team of people that assisted you and their roles in the performance? 

The experience was quite overwhelming. Getting the opportunity to perform three sets at such a special festival and getting such an amazing response was something the creature will never forget. 

I feel so privileged to have a team built out of people who are friends and partners in crime rather than hired hands. They have joined one by one over the last three years and have seen the operation grow from just a crazy idea to what it is today. 

We played two of the days at 5am with the creature performing on top of the moving vehicle luring people from the festival area to the so called sleepless floor – a bit like a new age pied piper. 

For this operation you need a driver you can 100% rely on while performing, a sound engineer to check levels and some helping hands to set everything up and to escort the truck during the performance – to make sure that everything goes down safely.

The last set was played with the truck stationary and an 82“ screen to the side of it with a live camera feed and visuals. The show itself is run by three people. The creature on the roof, one camera operator and live VJ putting all the images together. 

And finally you need a manager who makes sure that everything runs smoothly with the festival and I must say that the MELT team treated us really well. 

We set up a camp with the fire truck behind the main stage and I think we added a nice vibe to the backstage area 🙂

Credit: Yvonne Hartmann 

Can you tell us about the set-up of keyboards and instruments you like to use playing live? What can ‘real’ instruments give you that electronic ones can’t, and vice versa?

My setup is a hybrid of electronic and acoustic instruments. In the center of the electronic side is a Maschine MK3 which allows me to perform and produce beats and patterns in real time. A Maschine Jam controls the arrangement and manages different patterns and effects. The horns – bass clarinet, soprano and alto sax – add a natural and special texture to the music and allow me to also play freely on top of my tunes whenever I feel like it. The main challenge is to merge both worlds in the most natural way possible. It creates a beautiful symbiosis where the result becomes bigger than the sum of the electronic and the acoustic elements. 

From the technical side, everything comes together in an Ableton session with the Maschine software running as VST with two looper plugins for the horns. Additionally there are some knobs and foot controllers to trigger and control effects, filters and transitions on the fly. 

From the musical side, I feel like the journey has just begun and I will keep exploring the boundaries of both worlds.

What does wearing a mask signify? And what does that feeling of anonymity give you?

The mask frees the creature from the performer’s doubts and original background. It eliminates facial expressions and therefore emphasizes gestures and movements.

The creature’s mask is a Venetian Bauta which allows whoever wears it to speak their mind. In junk-E-cat’s case, the mask enables him to create and play the music he always wanted to make. 

You recently released the excellent KREATUR EP containing the track Levitation, now backed up by a series of remixes. Can you talk us through how you produced it? 

KREATUR is the result of two years of touring and creating beats and performances in special locations. Last autumn it was about time to take some of the live tracks to the studio and to produce them properly. With the help of Antonio de Spirt – a Berlin based producer and sound designer – we took the stems based on the live performances and added textures and transitions to five of the tunes. The EP was finally mixed by Martin „Lucky“ Waschkowitsch – a Berlin based producer and mixing engineer at BeWAKE Studios who not only mixed the latest Parcels album but also has his roots in hip hop beatmaking and a profound knowledge both in the electronic and acoustic world. We clicked instantly when we met. Lucky also helped translating the newly produced sound back into the live performances and the BeWAKE Studios became junk-E-cat’s musical home in the process.

After an all-important and highly skilled mastering session from Zino Mikorey, the recordings were ready to be released into the world. 

Therefore KREATUR is not only the EP but also set the path for long term allies and friendships for the project. 

buy/ listen http://smarturl.it/junk-E-cat_KREATUR

Jazz obviously figures highly in the creative process for you. Where did that influence originally come from, and who for you are its most important players?

I love Jazz music and young junk-E-kitten listened a lot to Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Michel Petrucciani. While my project could not really be labelled as Jazz, there are some specific sounds and chords that I use that have their roots there for sure. I always wondered what would happen if you play this music in front of a dancing / clubbing crowd and junk-E-cat is the experiment whether this could work… 

Outside of music where do you take inspiration from? Any favourite writers, painters etc?

I take a lot of inspiration from comics – the dark aesthetics mixed with a dry sense of humour. I’m a fan of street art and love the idea of artists showing up really special places and leaving their own unique mark.

How do you see club culture developing over the coming decades? Will clubs as spaces to express yourself still exist, or might it just become about the festival experience in the future?

We’re living in such fast-moving times so it’s pretty impossible to make a long term prediction for such a multi-facetted culture. Both club and festival cultures have historically been places where acceptance, diversity and togetherness can thrive. I feel in these increasingly politically difficult times we need those spaces more than ever and I hope we can find yet more ways in which they can be even more accessible and welcoming.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My four favorite instruments are the bass clarinet, the alto saxophone, the soprano saxophone and the Maschine. And hell yes – I own all of them.



Your recent video’s feature industrial landscapes. Are these an inspiration for you? And what is it about them?

The creature feels comfortable in urban industrial environments. These landscapes represent the technological progress of their time but also the decay and transience. For some reason these sites have a magical aura. 

And finally. What comes next for junk-E-cat?

After playing a couple of new tracks that I’m really excited about at MELT, the creature can’t wait to get back in the studio and record them. 

Junk-E-Cat Socials
https://www.instagram.com/junk_e_cat
https://www.facebook.com/junkEcat
https://www.youtube.com/c/junkecat
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qhSGJyEHb6plhGsjaYxAV

Mutterkomplex Socials
https://www.facebook.com/mutterkomplex
https://twitter.com/mutterkomplex
http://label.mutterkomplex.media

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Ossaim – Trickster – Get Physical Music

Escaping the mindless boredom generated induced by the modern dilemma of tech-house is this set of three finely tuned productions from Ossaim. It takes a curious mind to create music that engages on all three levels but mind, body and souls are equally quenched via imagination plus illuminating flair. You can hear the influences seeping throughout the 90’s inspired Trickster, yet it also feels defiantly contemporary too. The excellent, No Way Back perhaps answers that call moving forward with an electrifying array of fiery keys and evocative, haunting sounds expanding the horizon. But back to the beginning with the chugging beauty of the aptly titled, Happi which loops tantalising voices alongside a reassuring rush of warm synthesizers.

Release: August 16

https://www.facebook.com/ossaimmusic
https://www.facebook.com/getphysicalpage

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Dennis Quin – Burnout – Madhouse

In a sense this couldn’t really be on any other label apart from mad-house. As the duo of words entice and demand certain attributes which Dennis Quin certainly delivers in abundance. The title track, Burnout contains that brilliant intensity in which you can lose yourself in all to easily care of its succession of banging, brutal kick drums alongside timely organ hits, while an atmospheric voice adds the human touch to it all. Next, Eastern Market highlights the influences more readily via 90’s punctuated keys plus a series of swinging rhythms seeking out salvation, though not necessarily in church.

Release: August 16

https://www.facebook.com/dennisquinofficial
https://www.madhouserecordsinc.com

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jOHNNYDANGEROUs – Clear My Mind (Remix) – Nite Grooves

Resurfacing via fresh remixes by Berlin based DJ/producer Dilby is this jOHNNYDANGEROUs gem from a couple of years back. And as you can’t keep a good thing down here we go again. This sparkles and sizzles with pumping rhythms adding extra juice to the self-prophesying voice-over that never fails to tease and excite. Party music with added sass, at a guess. An Instrumental version accompanies, as does the harmonious Acapella so there’s no excuse not to.

http://blog.kingstreetsounds.com

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Delos Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Marc and Denise. Tell us about how you first met and decided to create music together?

It was a very natural happening since the start. Marc and I have known each other for over 20 years and we met thanks to music. Marc was producing music and I was a regular party-goer who highly enjoyed his music! The 90s in London were, to me, a precious time for the underground music scene so when I arrived in the city, a 20 years old girl who searched for like-minded people. We both were part of a community of people that were involved, more or less professionally, in producing electronic music. I also did engage in the process of experimenting with music but my life took a different direction. That didn’t stop us from being friends and growing around the same music and parties. Only a few years ago I found my voice while picking up a string instrument and as Marc heard my voice during that time and he felt that we could create something together. In no time we were at his studio in Hackney. It was actually a rather rough time for both of us right then and before we decide to collaborate musically, Marc had written lyrics to express in words what he was going through. As Marc started producing the music base for our very first track ‘I Forgot My Family’ to be released on Echolette Records later this year, I naturally came up with a melody for his lyric on the music that totally made sense. The whole process of producing that first track helped us both on so many levels and as our artistic compatibility felt genuine we knew it was the beginning of something exciting.

What is the idea behind the title, Life can change in just one minute. And why is that philosophical thought important to you?

The title and lyrics were inspired after Denise had a dream the night before coming into the studio to work on this track. I wrote down the synopsis as she was telling me about the dream and the lyrics were formed out of that.

Saying that, it does have a deeper meaning as sometimes things can happen in life that really plays with your emotions and being so it is important to stand tall and hold your head up, chase your dreams and don’t waste any time to achieve your goals as life can change in just one minute…

buy https://www.beatport.com/release/life-can-change-in-just-one-minute/2657203

Talk us through how you produced the single, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use? And what are your thoughts on using vocals in Dance Music today?

In all our tracks we like to use live recordings, not just everything coming out of the box, I feel this gives a certain characteristic to the end result. I used a bass guitar to record the bass in this track and the vocals use a vintage Neumann microphone and vintage mic preamplifiers which I find work so well. I also like to bounce things through my desk to give an analogue feel. Vocals are important in all music, not just dance music all depends if you have something to say.

Obviously, Life can change in just one minute comes steeped in past influences. Can you tell us about what in particular attracted you to the post-punk and funk sounds which inform it. Which artists from that era mean the most to you?

It was the whole vibe and transition of the post-punk area that inspired this track, it was a time of musical experimentation and change and at that time there was a lot of new technology being introduced that eventually formed the sound of the 80s and beyond and the crossover into the whole disco scene, so it’s the whole concept of the feeling of experimenting with a new sound which so many of those artists had the opportunity to do. Bands like Joy Division, Talking Heads, ESG, PiL and The Cure were inspirational as they were influential during this experimental period of music.

In contrast, Marc. Can you tell us how you are able to express yourself differently as an artist via your Darc Marc guise?

Quite easily really, I’m into all sorts of music electronic, metal, punk, ambient, jazz whatever takes my fancy. And I find it really rewarding to work on different sounds rather than getting stuck into the same thing all the time. It’s more important to me that I am doing music all the time.

Given the direction that politics and the world is moving towards. What role and influence do you think Dance Music can play in shaping people and the future?

Dance music and all music and people in general really in all walks of life. Music is a great platform for spreading a message to help reduce the hatred in this world and the more that can be done to reduce any form of racism and hatred, then all the better.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans for 2019 and beyond?

We are working on new material and already have the next release on Echolette coming out later this year. Also, we are planning some DJ shows to incorporate elements of live performance in our Delos style. We like to experiment with our sound so expect some new sonic gems coming your way.

https://www.instagram.com/delostime

For info about Darc Marc view https://www.facebook.com/darcmarc909/

https://www.instagram.com/echoletteandechoe

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Berkson & What – Keep On feat. Robert Owens (Tim Engelhardt Remixes) – Poker Flat Recordings

Does twenty years feel like a long time to you? Perhaps not if you’ve reached a certain vintage, but in the end it’s all about the music and how it survives exposure to the ticking clock. Celebrating that timespan then is a series of remixes with this from Tim Engelhardt beginning the sequence in two parts. Saluting, Keep On and featuring the unmistakable time honoured voice of one Robert Owens, Remix A highlights all of the vocal goodness on offer, alongside its timely message, over a bed of electronically charged rhythms feeling that bit loser with an addictive, shuffling funkiness very much in evidence. Remix B injects a little extra energy rearranging the song over brisker drums and freshly squeezed sounds. Although, either way this is a classic moment to add the labels already robust canon.

Release: August 16

www.facebook.com/tim.engelhardt.artist
www.facebook.com/berksonwhat
www.pokerflat-recordings.com

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Deaf Joe – Love Stories LP – Church Ceilings

Another outstanding piece of music for you to absorb during the remainder of 2019. Love Stories not only inspires a sense of wonder at your surroundings but also poses more introspective questions about what lies beyond. Maybe the most telling hint at this is, Taal Lake which begins the album with a sense of trepidation fuelling its undulating impulses. Beautiful, exciting yet also something else too. It’s not all beat-less as tough rhythms inform the proceeding, Havnegade and likewise, Ocean Beach. However, it is the moments reflecting an ambient nature which prove to be the most captivating. Although not afraid of shying away from the sometimes controlled, violent intensity defining the outstanding Cambodian Sirens either. Phnom Bakheng, returns to the location leaving the short and sweet message of Cut The Hate to inspire you in definite directions as Love Stories finally escapes you.

Release: August 2

buy http://deafjoe.bandcamp.com/album/love-stories
buy https://music.apple.com/gb/album/love-stories/1456055984

facebook.com/deafjoemusic
instagram.com/deaf_joe

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3TM – Abyss (A prelude to Lake) – We Jazz Records

It must be something in the air. Or ether. But have you noticed just how prevalent the ambient (for want of another word) genre of imagining landscapes of sounds, ideas and motion has become. It’s all over Dance Music, perhaps ironically, and the need to explore other aspects of what music can do is an exciting one, for all the right reasons. This beautifully crafted new album from drummer/producer Teppo Mäkynen acts a precursor to his band 3TM’s next album but in the meantime plays with notions of how atmospheres and moods shape the world we live in. At times the music meditates and reflects such as the illusion of running water which caresses the opening, Dream Of Crossings. While darker colours infuse the haunting, Slow Fall. Each of the ten numbers is exhilarating in itself and perhaps ambient isn’t even the most fitting description to apply here, as there is much more going on in terms of the scope and timbre of the sounds utilised. Maybe it is more about the blurred impression ambience itself leaves….

Release: August 9

Buy/ listen https://wejazzrecords.bandcamp.com/album/abyss-a-prelude-to-lake

https://www.facebook.com/teddyrokofficial
http://www.wejazz.fi

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Manuel Rodriguez – Needle and Thread EP – MYR

In a world of knowing exactly what to expect next in music. Isn’t it wonderfully exciting not to. And there is no way that you can guess what you are about to experience when listening to Faded, existing in its short lifespan of weird, fuzzy ambience. Next comes, The Preface – One Summer’s Morning complete with funky, shuffling drums while combining a fresh sense of perspective as punctuating sounds, organic or otherwise, unfold. The title track, Needle and Thread completes via tough, almost eerie, synthesized lines of enquiry that shiver and excite the levels of communication with seemingly dangerous voices stretching out the imagination. Strange and otherworldly, yet compelling brilliance. Watch out for that bassline too.

Release: August 2

Pre-Order ☛ https://bit.ly/2O9l4GJ

http://www.facebook.com/Label.MYR
https://www.facebook.com/ManuelRodriguezArtist

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Alex Dimou Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Alex Dimou. Let’s begin with your excellent new single for Crosstown Rebels: What Keeps You There. What was the inspiration behind the track and can you tell us about the notable vocal which features so beautifully?

Thank you so much for having me! I think that the main inspiration behind the structure and the sense of the track was s summer festival i played a couple of years ago. I imagined a track like this. About the vocals, it’s all on Vili! She wrote the lyrics and she did a great job with her vocals. I really believe that her talents will take her far in the industry!

pre-order/ listen: Alex Dimou – What Keeps You There https://lnk.to/CRM222

The release comes with two remixes by Cevin Fisher and Avidus. What informed those choices?

Cevin is an artist I really admire! And i am lucky enough that we have the same manager, Christian! Christian was the one suggested it and the result was more than great! Avidus was Damian’s choice. And I believe the Avidus remix has a new vibe in it. The structure and the idea behind it is perfect!

Can you talk us through how you produced What Keeps You There, including any favourite software/ hardware to like to use?

I am not into hardware. I never was. I know most of the producers really love hardware but that’s not the case with me. I believe that with the right knowledge and the right software you can have amazing results. I use Ableton as the main DAW and my favourite plugins are Kontakt for sampling, Soundtoys for vst and Sylenth for vsti.

Songs and vocals aren’t as prevalent as they once were. Do you think that is something missing in Dance Music, or can the same message be conveyed via rhythms instead?

I do enjoy both. A nice song with a beautiful vocal can take you places. A weird and clever rhythm can loosen up your body. I believe dance music has to make you express yourself through dancing. And I think both can do that!

Can you share with us any forthcoming plans for playing live this summer? And what are your thoughts on the culture of festivals which seems to be taking over from weekly club nights?

I’ve been trying to “buy” myself more studio time for the last couple of years. It’s something I really enjoy and when i’m in the studio I can express myself more than when i’m playing somewhere. Now, about the festivals and the weekly club nights, I think its two different things. When you have a weekly residency you can actually shape the audience and the impact you have is stronger. On the other hand, festivals are like big celebrations. You can go on stage and show the world why you deserve to be up there.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My favourite instrument is definitely the classic piano. And i’m lucky enough to own one! Not a great one, but it gets the job done! Almost every track I make, has to go through the piano first!

There are lots of different styles, moods and atmospheres in your music. Can you tell us about your main influences both within and outside of Dance Music – any favourite writers, artists etc?

Yes they are. For years I thought that this is a bad thing. Like, you have to have an identity and I believe that mine was missing. But as the years passed and I saw my music growing, I understood what my identity is. Every track I make has a cinematic feeling. I really get inspired by movies. I have imagined all of my tracks as a part of a movie soundtrack. My favourite artist is definitely Philipp Glass.

Given the direction that politics and the world is moving towards. What role and influence do you think Dance Music can play in shaping people and the future?

I strongly believe that dance music bring people together. People can dance with their eyes closed. It can almost feel a bit pagan! And when you find yourself in that situation it’s easier to meet other people, to talk to them, look at them. People at a festival have the privilege to be together for a couple of hours, without their phones. And that’s important. It gives the message that we can all be together, enjoying ourselves, conversing and smiling, away from the loneliness we experience almost everyday in, out everyday lives.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans for 2019 and beyond?

I used to make plans. And when I did and thing didn’t turn out as I planned, I got really frustrated. So I actually try not to make plans regarding music. Hopefully the record does well, hopefully people will like it and hopefully I will get inspired to make another record that speaks to me first, as this one does. Other than that, I have no plans.

https://www.facebook.com/alexdimouofficial
https://www.instagram.com/alexdimou
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4xrRlNWnUnlkYoAyQLXaNj

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