Even Drones Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Even Drones. Your debut album Ethics for Freund Der Familie is an explosive ride through the sights and sounds of everything you love about music exploring influences from across the spectrum. How important is it for you as artists to carve out your own individual path while not sounding like everyone else?

Chris: Hey there, thank you for showing interest in our work. We really believe that if you look hard enough, you will always discover parallels between what you accomplish and the earlier works of other artists.

Paul: Eclecticism is somehow the essence of art. In terms of music, we believe that everything is already present and just needs to be discovered.

Chris: We simply attempt to find a sound that completes each piece we are working on and improve our sets of skills and knowledge. The more from others we can learn, the more we can incorporate our own ideas into our art and are able to leave out stuff we don´t like.

Paul: As most children, we began by listening to music rather than by creating it. The simple preferences we developed in this period are the foundation we now use to create our own music.

The musicianship is exemplary. Can you tell us about who played what on the album?

Paul: Our band doesn’t have any set roles. We like to stray from the traditional method of fixed roles and teach and demonstrate to one other as we learn. Being ‘not so comfy’ with an instrument might be really interesting in order to produce something unique.

Chris: On one of the songs on this Album (Bad Memory Overwrite), Paul provided the bass.
He believes he is a terrible bass player, but for this track it was perfect.

Tell us about your introduction to music growing up and which artists still influence you today?

Chris: Together, we have been making, playing, and listening to music for a very long time.
We have been friends from the early childhood. Thus, this unavoidably leads to the development of similar tastes, although both of us as individuals are constantly looking for something new to discover.
We enjoy to impress the other band member with obscure or new kinds of tracks we discovered.

Paul: Maybe one of us started listening to Rap or Electronica when we were little, and the other to Jazz and Alternative a bit earlier. However, for us, this situation was cool because we could share what we learned in this specific styles within our band.

Paul: At the beginning we were teenagers and didn’t have a wide variety of instruments to choose from. So we were both constantly attracted by sampling from old, inexpensive vinyl. This forced us to learn about strange music, B+C movie themes, weird recordings, cheap cassette tapes from the trash bin and ridiculous spoken word recordings. The influence of many current and past musicians and producers, including Rick Rubin, Raymond Scott, early Warp Artists, Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Herrmann, Miles Davis, Bob James and Morton Subotnick still has an impact on us

Chris: I think we never really had any – Idols – in music, art or poetry. We always were more interested in the subjects, not so much in the personas. With so many new songs being released since the emergence of streaming services, it is more challenging to find new music we enjoy.

Is too much contemporary music built around clique and nostalgia? What are your feelings on social media and how people engage with it?

Chris: We believe that a large portion of contemporary music is composed using “tried-and-true ideas”, old ideas are “interpolated”; sometimes only a tiny portion of freshness is incorporated into the majority of current contemporary music. Mostly modern production techniques are used to squeeze proven concepts into modern shapes.

Paul: Regarding social media, we hold very different perspectives.

Chris: In my opinion, social media is beneficial because it has made it incredibly simple to communicate and exchange information. The majority of platforms are very easy to use, but because of this, they are also very vulnerable to misuse and manipulation. Paul avoids social media, he uses his time more for more offline stuff.

What are your favourite pieces of hardware/ software? Do you have a valued instrument?

Chris: Every track is a new beginning because we use a variety of techniques and instruments. I have so many favorites instruments and software that making a complete list of them would take forever. If I would only be allowed to bring three instruments to a deserted island I would choose: my kitchen modular system, a bass, and the Symbolic Sound Kyma system!

The limitless potential of a modern DAW is incredibly appealing to both of us and allowes us to create complex arrangements that we later rebuilt, resample and mix. The hardware we still use since the early days: Korg MS20 and MonoPoly, Yamaha Recording Custom Drums, Fender Jazz Bass , Fender Rhodes, Sequential Prophets 2000 (Prophet 6 since it came out), Akai VX600, Ensoniq Synths and Samplers, various Akai and Emu samplers, Elektron Octatrack and Analog Rytm, Eurorack modules and many oddities. And more modern stuff like Waldorf Iridium.

Paul: We both love the Ensoniq ASR-10, it is the only instrument we have in each of our studios.

Are atmosphere and rhythm as important as words in music, particularly in today’s world? Do you feel music can change the world or more simply just connect with the individuals experiencing it?

Paul: I don`t think that any contemporary music has changed anything.

Chris: I fell that music is THE universal language. We place a lot more value on sound, rhythm, mood, and feeling than on words. The human voice is a beautiful instrument by itself, regardless of the language spoken. And to be honest, most lyrics can sound good, even if the words have no meaning or are totally nonsense. However, words can easily injure others and be highly detrimental.

Paul: Maybe in specific genres lyrics could persuade those who are closed to new ideas to listen. This might be cool if the lyrics empower a citizen’s movement or a noble cause. Like Blues, Soul or bands like Public Enemy for example did with their lyrics. Unfortunately, this is a very rare phenomenon in modern music culture.

(Album Artwork by Bureau Experimental / Eliot Orphen / Anscorm / Angry Button)

How would you describe the albums artwork and what it represents for you?

Chris: The artwork inspired us to consider the ethical and cultural transformations happening in our globalized, networked, business-dependent society which is currently dominated by just a few worldwide operating companies. How will “homo sapiens” evolve if artificial intelligence becomes considerably more prevalent in all facets of society? How will ethics change or kept alive when most AI platforms are controlled by a few commercial projects? Is it possible that AIs may eventually be able to evolve on their own initiative?

Paul: We have always aimed to a Moebius-inspired artwork that provokes while also allowing simple enjoyment and exploration.

How do you see the future for artists/ musicians in terms of survival and generating income from their work?

Paul: Very dark. Very, very dark.

Chris: In the long run, we think that live performance, human-made music that is distinct from AI-generated music, and perhaps combining those two things with an enjoyable live experience can be a survival strategy.

Outside of music which artists, writers, cinema etc. influence your day to day the most?

Paul and Chris: Isaac Asimov, Frank Miller, M.C. Escher, Jean Giraud, Hayao Miyazaki, Ted Chiang, Goef Darrow, Kurt Gödel, John Romero, Tim Sweeny (Epic), Shigeru Miyamoto and many more.



Sasha Scott Q&A

Photograph by Raphaël Neal

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Sasha. Your work encompasses an impressive array of contemporary and classical sounds. Who inspired you to fuse the world of electronic sound together with more traditional instrumentation? And can you describe what you have learnt about how the two styles interact and feed off each other?

Hello Magazine Sixty, thank you so much for having me and for your kind words. I started learning contemporary music composition when I was 10 years old at The Purcell School with a composer called Simon Speare. When I was about 16, I became obsessed with exploring electronic music. When I first started to explore that scene, I was really inspired by artists such as Shiva Feshareki, Massive Attack and Aphex Twin. I’ve always been fascinated by the way Shiva samples her own pieces with more traditional instrumentation into huge electronic soundscapes on her turntables. I really love this concept of recycling and flipping your own instrumental music to create new electronic sounds and tracks. It especially helps me when I’m in a position of where I’ve written a piece and I decide after I really don’t like it; I can then use all that audio to play with and sample to create something completely new.

Personally, I try to not treat writing for traditional instrumentation vs creating music with electronic sounds as being different styles. I like to treat the two approaches as more of different sound palettes instead of styles, otherwise I think there’s a danger of creating music that’s expected in the general stereotypes of each medium.

Listening to your debut EP: Spiral and its deep intensity, how would you describe the way your music reflects the world around you? I was also wondering about your thoughts on how instrumentation works on its own terms without the use of words?

I’ve been working on this EP for a very long time, and every time I was making the music, I really wanted to create a different world that someone could be transported to. Writing music has always been the only time where I’m not thinking of anything that’s happening in the world around me, and I like thinking of the music as an escape from real life and having the ability to just immerse yourself in a strange new world and pause reality for the duration of a track.

I’ve always loved improvising, whether that was on violin, keyboard or playing around with creating new sounds on my laptop. I’ve always felt that improvisation on any instrument is as much your own voice as it is when you sing. I’ve never actually wrote a track with words, but it’s something I’d be intrigued to explore in the future.

The artwork to Spiral is particularly striking. Tell us about it and how you see it representing the accompanying music?

When I finished this EP, I knew immediately that I wanted Julia Soboleva to create the artwork. She’s one of my favourite artists and I’d been following her work for years. I really relate to her as an artist too. I read in an interview of hers that when she creates her art, people often perceive it as being very dark and scary at times, yet it feels really intimate and personal to her, and I feel exactly the same way about this EP and my music in general at the moment. We chatted, and I told her that I wanted the artwork to feel other-worldly, hypnotic, and electric. I sent her the music, and I completely trusted her vision and let her run with what she personally felt represented the music. I really loved what she created and how it feels like a kind of supernatural snapshot from a strange planet.

Looking back what are your feelings on winning the BBC Young Composer Competition? And more generally how the BBC supports new artists?

When I won the BBC Young Composer Competition I was really shocked. I’d previously entered around 5 times and I felt like it was so out of reach. In my previous submissions I always had a feeling in the back of my mind of having to submit something purely instrumental and ‘contemporary-classical’ sounding to fit in. Then when the deadline was around the corner for 2019, the only piece I had ready was my first electronic track Humans May Not Apply, which I had created mostly out of sampling myself playing lots of glisses on my violin. I entered it but thought that this cannot be what they’re looking for. When the results came, it was almost a confirmation to me to just trust your gut, write the music you want to write, and don’t be conformed to any style of writing, and it definitely taught me to never write music you think people are expecting to hear.

I also think that the BBC are fantastic with supporting new artists through the many schemes and radio shows they do and they have been incredibly supportive of me over the recent years.

Do you feel enough attention is given to more creative/ radical forms of music? How do you see life as being an artist in ten years’ time (in terms of income and the ability to play live etc)?

I definitely feel like there is not enough attention given to this kind of music. However I’d much rather write music I feel like and not think about conforming to a specific genre, than write music that clearly fits into a box, even if that means receiving more attention or streams/listeners.

It’s very fair to say that life as an artist now, or in ten years time is extremely terrifying as it’s becoming much harder and less possible to sustain, especially with the downfall of support towards the industry, but I wouldn’t and couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else. At the moment I’m still a student studying composition for an undergraduate degree, and my ultimate goal is to be able to create and perform music for a living when I finish my course. It’s very scary and hard to imagine doing that with any kind of secure income, but I don’t want that to put me off. There’s so much uncertainty in the music world right now and who knows what will happen in ten years’ time, but I’m determined to try.

Tell us about your involvement with the Britten Pears Young Artist programme?

The BPYA programme was one of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had. I was one of six composers on the scheme, and we all stayed together in Aldeburgh for a 10 day course in November 2022. We all had the opportunity to try out whatever sounds or music we wanted with a large chamber ensemble made up of extremely talented and exciting instrumental players every day of the course. It was so freeing to be able to try out anything we wanted, and have that time to try and create sounds we hadn’t heard before, and I’d never had that time or chance to explore that with musicians. The environment was probably the most supportive and encouraging one I’ve ever been in; I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to write for acoustic instruments in a chamber ensemble.

How have you found the process of self-releasing your own music? Has anyone given you a great piece of advice?

Honestly, it is a completely new world to me. I’ve wanted to release music for a long time, but I was truly terrified of putting music out into the world. It can be quite a self-doubting process, as nagging thoughts come up like will I regret this? Will I still stand by this in a month, or even years? But I think it’s really important to trust your gut as an artist, and for the first time I feel like this EP represents the musician I am currently and what I’m aiming to create. The best advice I’ve had is from my great friend and extraordinary electronic artist ‘GRANDAD’, who encouraged me to not be scared to send your music to musicians you love and who really inspire you, and to also make sure you’re writing the music for yourself first and foremost.

Tell us about your favourite instrument to play and how you came to own it?

My favourite instrument to play is the violin. I can’t actually remember a time where it wasn’t a part of my life, as I started playing it at 4 years old; it was the start of my whole musical journey. I was completely obsessed with the cello, because my older brother played it and I remember loving to hear him practise at our home in Wembley, but my mum thought there would’ve been too much sibling rivalry there, so my parents got me a very tiny violin which I’m extremely grateful for. I still play today and love playing in orchestras and also recording myself at home to sample for my music.

Sasha Scott – Spiral EP is released on February 24, 2023.


Photograph by Roberto Romito

Saytek Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Joseph. You have been performing and producing music for a considerable amount of time now. I wanted to ask, given the sometimes fickle nature of dance music, what you feel has enabled that longevity as you have remained integral to dancefloors? Luck, hard work, being in the right place at the right time, people who have helped / supported you along the way, or all of those things?

I think two things. One is determination and never giving up and two is not conforming to trends or fashions and creating my own sound. Its meant I have never been the latest trendy act but a lot of acts that I see jump on the latest bandwagon normally last 18 months to two years and they are gone. Obviously hard work, support and a bit of luck have also played there part as well!

How would you describe the act of live performance? Has it to do with spontaneity? What do you think it achieves between you and the audience that is unique rather than by playing other people’s recorded music?

For me the definition is simple, its got to be music I have created and its got to be arranged live with no pre-recorded tracks. There is also room for improvisation as well. I think because the arrangement is live and it’s just me I cannot conform to music conventions such as 4 bar loops or only dropping things in on the 16th bar. It gives me the element of surprise and the ability to respond to the crowd in real-time. I think in a lot of ways it sounds quite different from a DJ set and people like that.

Can you tell us about the setup of equipment you use when playing live. Is there one thing that you couldn’t live without?

Novation Peak, Roland MC707, Pioneer V10, Novation Impusle 25 Korg Kaos, Pad , Macbook Pro, Ableton, Focusrite audio interface REM MIdi Clock, Pioneer RMX1000

How long did it take you to amass all of the hardware you use? Do you have a particularly fond memory of acquiring any one item in that process?

Some bits I have been using for years and my set up evolves over time. About 2 years ago I swapped from Elektron Analog Rytm and Analog Four to the Roland MC707 and Novation Peak. I am not someone who buys a lot of gear and I keep my set up for a long time. Once I find something I like I learn to use it like the back of my hand and its only when I feel my creativity with that bit of gear is beginning to wane I think about replacing it!

Yeah I wanted to avoid techno in this playlist and the only thing that connects these tracks is that they all give me goose bumps when I listen to them. Its music I have discovered over the years. A good techno record or DJ mix has the same effect on me. I am sure all this music goes into my brain and has an effect on my creative output how though I couldn’t tell you as it’s all such a visceral, in the zone, experience for me!

Can you tell us about how the video for IYNDUB01 (Live) came about. It’s a lovely piece of work?

Well firstly I was hugely surprised when Renaat from R&S contacted me about the live track, after he heard it on a live stream in lockdown, and then he told me it was going onto INTD 4.0 which is to celebrate 40 years of R&S. Then he told me it was going to be released as a single with a video I was over the moon. Its a really cool 3D animation made by Pierre Plouzeau. I think it goes with the track perfectly and I love it!

buy Saytek – IYNDUB01 (Live) https://fanlink.to/RS2213

Your music utilises history as much as it does contemporary sounds. How do you feel about electronic music’s current creativity more generally speaking? In what ways do you think dance music has changed culture since the late 1980’s?

Yeah the sounds of Chicago and Detroit massively influence me still and the UK/European electronic music of the 90s! There is a lot about electronic music I don’t like particularly the commercial fads that come and go that bastardise good underground genres. But there is also a lot of positivity in terms of inclusivity and awareness and willingness to fix problems in the scene. I think a good underground party is amazing now as it was in the late 80’s for the young people attending. I have played a lot in Berlin and the lesser known clubs with no photo policies that are open for 72 hours non-stop still epitomise hedonistic underground culture. Kids at festivals are also having a lot of fun and probably closer to 90’s raves than acid house culture.

Is social media a good or not so good thing for creatives? Likewise is how people now consume/ access music on line positive or negative?

It’s both! Personally as a live act its helped my career no end! I can show people what I do live. For me its allowed me to connect with fans and make new ones. But it’s also very toxic, I hate the men of my generation constantly putting down women who DJ online. There is a lot of infighting and bickering and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been drawn into that. It’s also super competitive and false you never see a DJ showing a video of that empty show they did for example!

Is the music the answer?

100% its given me so much joy and helped me through hard times! I am honoured I can give that back! When I see a dance floor going crazy to my music or have a fan saying my music gave them goosebumps it makes all the hard work worth it!



Joe Strong (Manager at Dingwalls, Ministry of Sound and Home Nightclub) Q&A

Tell us about how you got into music growing up and some of the sounds/ artists that helped shape your love of records?

I was brought up on the outskirts of Wigan where there was an active and varied music scene that offered everything from Northern Soul to Pop and heavy rock, Wigan was actually a buzzing town back then compared to the dilapidated wasteland it has become. For live music we had to travel to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester to see people like Lou Reed, John Cale and Mott the Hoople. In 1976 I absconded to Israel to live on a Kibbutz for a year just as punk exploded and the Pistols were creating havoc, this is when I started DJing and singing Bowie songs with Israeli musicians. I was also playing Football in the Israeli second division.

Before moving to London tell us about your experiences of DJ’ing at various venues across the city (the types of music you were playing) and being part of a band?

By the time I returned to England the whole economic landscape had changed, suddenly there were no jobs which prompted me to seek out accommodation in Manchester. I moved into the Crescents in Hulme in 1978, in fact one floor below we had Big Flame and below them the Inca Babies, in the next Crescent we had The Passage and Frantic Elevators. Hulme, at this time, was a hive of creativity and music supplemented by free rent, electricity and dole money. Plus, the original Factory was just about to open right on our doorstep and we had the best independent Cinema in the Country at the Aaben Multiplex.

My first DJ job was at The Cyprus Tavern, very near to what we now call Fac 51, it was opposite Legends Club, one of Manchester’s first high glitz clubs with lasers and the works. The Cyprus was an old Greek Tavern type place with a dance floor and overcooked Greek food. These were the days before mixing and the music I played was a strange combination between bands like The Fall and Iggy, Reggae and Soul Disco.

In 1981 I was voted in by Manchester Polytechnic Students Union to become the Social Secretary for one year which just coincided with the move into the new building on Oxford Road. Elliot Rashman was my partner in crime and Mick Hucknall would perform and DJ.

(Care of Manchester Digital Music Archive)

At this time The Hacienda was being built just around the corner. The big night at The Poly was on Friday night, sold out every week with over 1,000 proper Manchester people. Dance music was beginning to come to the fore around this time- Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Valentine Brothers and the Peech Brothers. Believe it or not, we also had quite a Goth following, Ha Ha. I would also play old punk records along with Glen Miller.

Bands we had on that year were The Fall, Culture Club, John Martyn, Aztec Camera, REM, Killing Joke, etc.
I had also just been bought by Southport Football Club and was playing football twice a week, I suppose my Football career is another story.

The Hacienda meanwhile, was empty, and was actually losing vast amounts of money each week by opening every night. Saturday would be busy but other nights depended upon bands. It was also a cavernous sound that took years to rectify due to the vast ceiling and acoustic echo.

(care of Manchester Digital Music Archive)

In 1984 I met a man named Roger Eagle who offered me a resident DJ job at a new Manchester venue called The International. Roger was already a music legend having begun Manchester’s Twisted Wheel and Liverpool’s iconic Eric’s. The International barely gets a mention in the Manchester music history but it was incredibly influential in regenerating live music in Manchester; Roger’s booking policy was so eclectic and so successful he made a fortune for other people – as was always the way with Roger. Bill Drummond will tell you all you need to know about the legendary Roger Eagle.

Early 1988 and I’m suddenly offered a job in London for no other reason than Roger Eagle’s insistence, how he pulled this off I will never know. My mate Bill Sykes wrote a book about Roger and his legacy (Sit Down! Listen To This! – The Roger Eagle Story), here is a review from The Liverpool Echo that sums Roger up better than I ever could.

What drew you to London and Dingwalls in 1988? And what are your recollections of Talking Loud and Saying Something and the Jazz scene in the capitol?

Taking over Dingwalls in early 1988 was quite a task, at this time the club was losing a lot of money and their motto was THE HOME OF RHYTHM AND BOOZE. The only thing that was happening was on a Sunday afternoon at this remarkable small gathering of dancers and hipsters all freaking out to really fast Jazz. The first thing I did was take him out for lunch the next day and give him a big pay rise.

Saturday afternoons were also fabulous, local Rockabilly Legend Mouse spinning Rock n Roll with all these young girls dressed to the nines flying around the dancefloor.

Monday night we had PANIC STATION which was a launchpad for so many indie bands such as Pulp, Blur, Shamen, Mondays, etc.

Apart from this, the whole club needed a clear out, a bit of a re- brand and new blood in the shape of local Pirate KISS FM. We soon attracted the likes of Trevor Nelson, Norman Jay, Paul Anderson and many more from Kiss but the 2 sessions that re- launched the club were Talking Loud and High On Hope- which may have been one of London’s first garage nights. After this we brought in Joey Jay to do Sunday nights which were dark and heavy dub style – Jah Shaka was a regular guest.

Dingwalls was never really suited to the Acid Scene, we were just a tiny 400 venue with a low ceiling so our options were limited. Our favourite DJs were Tony Humphries, Norman Jay, Gilles, Andy Weatherall, Paul Anderson, Mouse, Frankie Foncett, Joey Jay, Jah Shaka, Judge Jules, Trevor Nelson and many I’ve forgotten for the time being.

We also had some quality live acts at Dingwalls- Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott Heron, Stone Roses, Mongo Santamaria were 4 nights in particular that stand out for me during this period. At a recent Dingwalls re- union, that are still taking place twice yearly, a journalist from back in the day informed me that Dingwalls was the only Club in central London that didn’t have a racist door policy back in the late 80’s London- that thought had never occurred to me until that moment and I realised it was true, the mix between people at Dingwalls during this period was the best I’ve ever experienced.

Culturally, I think Dingwalls represented a brave approach that opened the door for so many of London’s aspiring DJ’s: it was also well known as a venue that was co- operative, supportive and always ready to take a gamble on promotions.

All great things come to an end and in 1991 a major refurbishment of Camden Lock saw our rent quadruple so we had to call it a day. By this time Kiss FM had gained a license and was suddenly run by loads of white professionals; it was time to move on.

How did you become involved with The Ministry Of Sound? And how would you describe its legacy from your time there between 1991- 93?

I’d heard that a new club was developing in the Elephant and Castle, a big 2,000 capacity operation with no alcohol. I took over at the Ministry of Sound in April 1991, around 5 months before we opened. Everything done a shoe string really except for the giant sound system contained within an isolated dance floor where the bass would dis- assemble your core.

To begin with no one could find it but very soon the queues would develop and give the location away, it was all very mysterious. As at Dingwalls we had a superb security outfit who were on the ball and I remember one night only when there was even a hint of trouble.

The Ministry was built as we went along and the building, an old Bus garage, was freezing in the winter. Opening at Midnight and closing the next day at Noon is the kind of thing that takes its toll eventually.
To see how the brand has developed over the years doesn’t impress me in any way, just another well-oiled Company making money out of trawling back catalogues. Clubbing back in the day was so much more improvised, spontaneous and also involved lots of real money- now everything seems to be owned by 02 and run by University graduates.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience at The Ministry, somehow after Dingwalls it seemed impersonal, disjointed and somehow insincere. An opportunity to get involved in a brand new club already being built in Manchester proved too enticing and the thought of opening up a new club back home seemed like a dream.

You returned northwards in 1993 to run Home in Manchester until 1996. How would you describe the city during that period and the club’s rightful place in the cities club culture?

The club at this time was named Juicy and would open in September 1993 to coincide with the Manchester In The City Festival, here was an opportunity that could not be resisted. We kept the opening low key but immediately we opened we were swamped and totally unprepared. The Security “operation” was to be run by a combination of a Liverpool and Salford team that were appointed months before I got the job. While I had been away in London it seemed as though every door of any Club, Bar or Restaurant had been taken over by either Cheetham Hill, Salford or Moss Side and therefore every outlet was compromised in one way or another.

I had heard of the Manchester gangs and the disruption they were causing for Manchester’s Club scene but I had no idea as to the extent of the troubles and it’s indiscriminate nature. Within 2 weeks a Doorman from the Hacienda was shot inside the Club and within a month we had surveillance cameras stationed on the roof of a nearby high rise, filming everything that was going on. There is a book by Peter Walsh detailing this period in his book on the history of Manchester gangs (Gang War: The Inside Story of the Manchester Gangs) and this period between 1993 and 1995 was one of the most violent and unstable period in the history of Manchester gangland. The 2 major outfits were at each other’s throats and there was betrayal in the wind, some members were switching sides and paranoia was all around.

The Club should have been a wonderful hub for Manchester music to develop with a very varied menu based on a diverse experimental programme that explored everything from Luv Dup to Rare Groove and Acid Jazz, but within 3 months our reputation was in tatters and the club wasn’t safe- even the Police were shit scared and refused to help us. The vibrancy of the Manchester music community seemed to have disappeared and replaced with a fear of jeopardy. Madchester indeed!

Following 2 years trying to contain and survive I had to abandon my dream Home, in retrospect maybe I should have called it JAIL.

I was pretty traumatised by the time I resigned and headed back to London to lick my wounds. It was at this point that I decided to explore working with vulnerable Teenagers and retire from the music world. I enjoyed a 25 year career working with some of the most vulnerable young people in North London- far better than running a Club.


Hot City Orchestra Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Arno and Simon. The music you create as Hot City Orchestra occupies a refreshingly, unique space in electronic music. In terms of your musical history growing up how did you arrive at this point?

Thanks a lot for your kind words and we’re really happy that you like our music. Our musical journey started in the early 90’s hay days of Drum’n’Bass and Jungle in Frankfurt am Main. We were both quite active in the scene around that time. Organizing Parties, starting a label (Art Of Rollin Records) . We even had a Tv Show called Rinse Out Tv where we would invite DJs to play. Our paths crossed quite early and since then we never really stopped making music together. Our latest release captures a more experimental side of things, while our previous releases have been more dancefloor oriented.
If this is now the more grown-up version of us? We don’t know, to be honest. But it felt to be the right time to do less club music and focus more on experimental stuff, interesting rhythms, and unique sounds. But the next Album might be 130 Bpm Techno. We really just do what we like.

Thinking about the inherent power of instrumentation and rhythm which you explore so readily do you feel they can convey more meaning without the use of words and melody, or are those things you would like to develop the use of in the future?

Part of our approach in making music is not to exclude anything. The selection of tracks on the album reflects around 2 years of making music together. Our next album might feature a singer, other musicians or singing dolphins. The selection on the album grew very organically and the concept was formed by the tracks that we felt needed to make at this certain time.

We always had and have a passion for minimal stuff and reduced melodies. Cheesy hooks, huge build ups and stuff like this was never our thing. An interesting or groovy Rhythm is always the foundation of our music.

Outside of music which writers, cinema, or Art inspires your day to day?

“Inspiration exists but it has to find you working” (Quote by Pablo Picasso)
Especially for this album, the dialogue with our machines, synthesizers and all the hardware in our new studio was a major inspiration. But daily life is a great and most needed inspiration as well for us. Arno’s wife and daughter, Simon’s love, are highly responsible for the outcome. Also, the interaction and the vibe that we both have in the studio is key. All that makes the difference for us. It’s not that we go to the museum, watch a film, or read a book and then get into something. It’s more a vibe, mood, and interactive kind of thing. The love of creating something (hopefully) special and unique. For Simon, there are especially four tracks inspired by a very special person to him. As you might have noticed, there are no lyrics or cheesy melodies. But For him these are nevertheless love songs that wouldn’t have been created without a special person in his life. Arnos’ daughter is the newest member to the family, and she inspires us every day. You can also hear her on one of the tracks.

Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks from the album from the where the initial idea came from, to how that was arranged as a piece of music and then produced? Any favourite software / hardware you always like to use to create or treat sounds with?

6 Tracks one Bottle: The track was recorded during a period of rearranging the studio. As it was Simon’s birthday, we still wanted to Jam a bit, so we grabbed a bunch of machines and got going. We each had three channels on the Boss-Km 60 Mixer. Simon had three channels of Modular. Arno took the other three channels for the Roland Tr-808 as well as the Emu- Proteus going through the microcosm fx pedal. On the send channel of the mixer, we routed the Sony V-77 Effect unit and started messing around. We recorded one take and decided to put it on the Album. Other tracks were much more constructed or thought about which again shows that we don´t have one approach when it comes to make music. We are just servants to the music and do what we feel is needed and also not needed.

What are your feelings on how club culture has been shaped by social media and how festivals have become the dominant force in dance music, rather than establishing residencies? Are these positive or not so positive things for the future?

Let’s cut this question. IIO is not about Club Culture and an answer here could fill a whole book.

What are your views on streaming and how artists are currently able to generate money from music?

Generating money from music sales has been difficult for independent artists for quite a while. Basically, the internet came a long and all of a sudden people think it´s normal that music is for free. Which has had a profound impact on the value of art for its consumers. Sure, you have a few nerds that go to the record shop and now it´s en vogue again to buy Bon Jovi on vinyl but if you ask any teenager how much they spend for music the answer will probably be zero. Of course, we miss those times where vinyl sales were stronger than they are now. Of course, it’s disappointing when we generate just a few Euros from thousands of Spotify plays. But hey: Music is now accessible to everyone in the world, who is interested in it. We have to deal with new habits in consuming music and try to make the best out of it. We really love the idea that everyone can consume as much good music as they want to. You’re not dependent on record stores or your budget. The accessibility of culture and music is at the same time inspiring but overwhelming. So, when people tell us to boycott Spotify it doesn´t really make sense. For us Spotify is promotion and a way that many people (including us) consume music. And we want to make sure that everybody who wants to listen to this weird music can do so as easy as possible.

Is it important for music to constantly strive to move forwards? What are your feelings on nostalgia and the re-edit culture?

To be honest: We personally don’t really feel a lot of the stuff that is hyped (in the clubs) right now. No patience just bangers and funny haircuts with Hawaiian Shirts. That being said many clubbers don’t understand what we’re doing at the moment or with this current release. We just want to make music that feels important to us and hope that more or at least some people will like it.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one? Who do you most admire with their ability to play it?

Simon: For me it’s not really an instrument that I could point out. It’s more what you do with it and how to become creative and unique with it and finding your own “voice”. Some examples for me are Steve Reich in writing Scores, Moodyman in redefining the Detroit Sound while still heavily relating to the history, Devin the Dude for still creating that old-school vibe over and over again and not getting boring with it and some more.

Arno: My favourite instrument in a classical meaning would be the voice as we all have it and there is not much that touches me more than a person singing from the heart. Piano would be second as it sounds nice to begin with compared to let´s say a violin. When it comes to synths and drum machines, I don´t care so much. I collected a lot during the years, but I could start from scratch again tomorrow and I don’t think it would make too much of a difference. Your ears are the most important instrument for any producer.

buy https://hotcityorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/i-almost-danced-the-ultimate-collection


Samuel Rohrer Q&A

photograph by Camille Blake

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Samuel. Let’s begin with the art of drumming. Who inspired you to start playing the drums, how would you describe the process of learning to play them and what is your favourite drum kit to play on? 

My father took me to Jazz concerts and festivals from a very early age. I heard lots of great drummers which were my first influences, like Max Roach, Paul Motian, Elvin Jones or the African master drummer Adame Drame. Later on I was influenced by Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette or Jon Christensen, Jaki Liebezeit or Tony Allen.

I got in touch with improvisation from the very beginning and I had a great teacher as a teenager, who challenged me from the beginning and shaped my taste and flexibility. He was also the one introducing me to Billie Brooks, who was teaching at the Hochschule für Musik in Bern at that time. I was lucky to have people around me who were able to challenge and inspire me from the very beginning.

Regarding the instrument: there is no such thing as a favourite instrument to me. The great thing with drums is, even though the few main elements often remain the same, you can create your very personal instrument. I created some kind of hybrid electro-acoustic drums over the past couple years.

Tell us about the meaning behind the title of your tantalising new album: Hungry Ghosts? And tell us about the cover art?

I was looking for a poetic way to name the forces who nourish the behaviour of our sick capitalist society, drowning ourselves in greed and materialistic foolishness. Now we have to deal with a globalist elite on top, who wants to control everything. 

Making us believe it is for the good. How can it be good if only a few make all the profits? It is all getting extremely out of balance.  I like the idea of ghosts sitting on our shoulders and make us repeat our unreflected behaving. The majority of people doesn’t choose, they follow. People are obsessed by ideologies of a sick system they’ve learned from, from an early age, to then judge and silence those who want to help us to think independently and critically. My best teachers in school were always the rebels, those who didn’t give a fuck about the system, and probably lost their job at some point. Those who told us stories about real life out there, those who helped us to become self-thinking beings. There were not many of those storytellers, those people who expressed themselves through experience and not only from books. I could go on forever… everything becomes more and more distant from our nature and from real experiences. It all leads towards becoming a fully scannable consumer, easy to control and manipulate. If standing up and being critical is treated as a crime by the majority of people, this alone should be the final call to understand that we are completely on the wrong path.Being a critical thinker is only tolerated in a certain frame, whoever steps out of this norm is pushed into corners. This is very dangerous. Give people the feeling they have the right to speak up, but only to a certain degree and only when it fits the narrative. I´m very much into simplifying life. Less of everything, slowing down, wondering, exploring, going deep, cutting down our needs. I don’t mean to take away peoples rights to do what they feel is right for them, it’s the opposite. To go into awareness and away from running after an outdated idea of living means to give people the possibly back to choose again what really matters.

Since about seven years I work with Ian Anderson/The Designers Republic for the artwork of my label. After a while I understood to fully trust him, he always creates a small piece of art for each release. I love how he creates a high quality overall picture of the label and still gives each album a very unique character, which tells a little story of its own.

Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks from album? Where did the initial idea come from, how those ideas are translated into musical form and arranged as a finished piece? Do you have a set routine for making music, day or night?

Most of the tracks on the album were recorded in a “live” setting, so they were finished the moment they were played. The sounds were chosen carefully beforehand, the rest is improvised. The outcome and character of each track then really depends one the moment.Even though I wanted to make an album of mostly live performed tracks, a piece like Oxygen Beat was reworked, after I had only a skeleton of a song. How a piece normally becomes what it is in the end, is a process of cutting and editing. I have 100s of hours of music, from there I choose the parts I like and decide if it needs more work or if it´s finished the way it is. Something feels finished or not, asks for more work or it goes to the trash bin. There is a moment where I get obsessed with ideas, from that point on I work day and night. 

Do you feel music has (or has lost) the power to change society in broader political ways or does it just effect the individuals who encounter it? Should music seek to do that in the first place? Does musical atmosphere have as much to say as music with words?

People can only change themselves, music can inspire and empower individuals to create space for that change. It can support a movement. But since everything becomes a big business for a few, music can easily become empty. I think everything which becomes an industry over time is losing its original power and meaning. Music as an art form does shape a society of course, if this is cultivated, but I am not sure if this is happening right now. Rather not.Music without words is a nonverbal language. I know we don’t need words to speak through music, to be understood and even heard. Of course words can easily lead a direction. I guess good lyrics are naming something without making it small, to leave space for imagination. Same goes for sound.

Electronic music you can also dance too can often feel over programmed and clichéd. What does the physical act of drumming drum bring to the creative process of music for you?

In terms of production, I guess since I always have this idea in mind, that I will play drums or percussion on top of a baseline or a melody, I need to feel it physically, besides hearing something interesting in terms of sound or intellect. I have to feel it really, it has to inspire me to play with it and it has to generate ideas.

If we talk about the recent album, I am looking for combinations of sounds which inspire me to play with. Something that could stand alone but also works in combination with acoustic drums and cymbals.

Should music always aim to move forwards? How does nostalgia fit into your thinking about music culture and the idea of continuously re-editing old records?

Life is about change. So is music. Now is always the sum of everything. If we are able to create something that is truly coming out of all we are and all that surrounds us, we create something which is timeless. I guess the mysterious is what makes music unique and interesting, no matter the tools or where it comes from. 

You can´t create something now without including all what happened until here. No matter your awareness. Everything is part of the sum. So yes, I’m kind of nostalgic, but not to recreate but to be aware of what surrounds us here and now, which would not exist without the past…  

Arjunamusic Records has been here for some ten years now. How have you seen the music industry change since that time both in positive and negative ways? How do you see the future for recording artists?

I think it’s extremely important to keep on going and do what you need to do, whatever that is. But I am absolutely aware that it will get more and more difficult. I think many don’t want to realise where we are heading and they pretend that everything is ok. We stand in front of extreme challenges as humans and this will affect everything, worldwide. We are in the middle of that process. The digitalisation started to do extreme damage to the music market a long time ago. Now we can see the same happening more and more in many other sectors as well… it is important to stand strong and insist, but it will be a challenge for sure. 

As long as you make music for the sake of it, nothing can get into your way.

photograph by Julius Gnoth

And finally. Is music a never ending journey?

In my opinion yes, if you transform and reinvent yourself. It’s absolutely crucial to me to do that, otherwise I just start to repeat myself at some point. The pool of music and ideas is endless, but you have to move around and look at it from different standpoints. To move away from the established helps me to reach out to different ideas and get inspired again. The difficult thing is to create that space where you can allow the unknown to take more space than you usually would. It is often uncomfortable. But I think being an artist means actually exactly this to me, to remain open and create space.

Buy – Hungry Ghosts https://arjunamusic-records.bandcamp.com/album/hungry-ghosts


Apnoea Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Apnoea. Your new single was in part inspired by Frankie Valli’s ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’. What is the story behind how you first encountered the words – and which version of the song did you hear?

The lyrics of ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ were, and still are a big inspiration for many international musicians. Due to the romantic meaning, it’s a great fit to our style and the type of beats we produce. On the other hand we wanted to try something new with vocoder effects on computer voices, which gives these words a mystic and unusual vibe. On top of that we tried to match the feeling of the original song with our live recorded percussion, instruments and effects, which you can listen to in our ‘Deep Dive Edit’ – the original and first mix we made. Of course we know several songs using the words, but we think that nothing beats the original version.

Talk us through how you produced the track which has a particularly wonderful sound. Are there any favourite pieces of hardware/ software you always like to use?

In our two studios we use 90% analog gear, like drum machines, synthesizer, external effects, outboard gear, sequencers, and of course our collection of microphones for live recordings. We both use Ableton Live 11 as our DAW, which controls all studio equipment. Our favourite hardware is a Moog Voyager, otomachines bim, bam & boom, Roland TR-909, Roland Jupiter-4 and many more. Software-wise we like to work most of the time with Fabfilter, Softube and Arturia plugins.

Do you have certain speakers you value most when producing? Do you have a regular pattern to working, day or night?

Oh yes! We both use Adam S3H monitors in our studios, which are amazing. The positive thing is, that if we meet each other, we do not need to reconfigure our ears. As a second pair of monitors we use the small Avantone Cubes. They help a lot in finding harsh frequencies and bad resonances. And we use some headphones and our hifi system in our cars as a reference too. We do not have a pattern, because of our jobs and family. So we use all free time to do music in our studios.

How does the collaborative process work between you as you create music?

As we both have our own studios, which are about 500 km from each other, we usually work alone in our caves. But we regularly speak by phone or Facetime, and exchange projects, sounds, recordings and ideas via our Dropbox. So in the end we remix each other, send song feedback back and forth – we love that way to create new music! Sometimes we meet at a studio for a week or two to dive more into sound design and starting bigger projects together.

As DJ producers your collective careers have spanned decades. What has remained inspiring about club culture? Has the rise and predominance of festival culture been an entirely good thing?

Good question… Of course is clubbing for us is a big part of our lives and is important for our creative process. But the electronic music business isn’t that cool, exclusive, innovative and outstanding anymore, as it was decades before. That’s a pity. Nowadays it’s so easy to create, finalise and release new tracks, build up new labels and start a DJ career. This means, that there are so many new faces and songs every day, so that it is much harder to find and collect good music. Second thing is that this culture is becoming more and more commercial. We have to deal with it – and that’s why we try to create and produce cool, outstanding and timeless music.

How do see the future for recording artists in terms of generating music from streaming etc?

We already had several changes in the music industry and music business: vinyl – cd – mp3 – now: streaming. We do not want to criticise this modern way of spreading and presenting new music. It’s part of our life as a musician. Of course it leads to less income from royalties, but on the other hand it is a nice marketing tool for us. Sometimes people from several countries write messages to us, that they’ve found our music in a Spotify playlist or Apple Music recommendation. That was absolutely not possible in the vinyl and CD era.

Outside of Dance Music who inspires you most in terms of artists, writers, thinkers, cinema etc?

We like to listen to Massive Attack, Depeche Mode, Yello, David Bowie. And we love to listen to the words of our friend and poetry slam mastermind Ursula Rucker.

And finally. What are your hopes for 2023?

No war, no political incorrectness anymore, no unusual viruses floating around – and more acceptance to underground music culture.

Buy Apnoea – I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/ Empty Streets – Stripped Down                   https://www.beatport.com/release/i-cant-take-my-eyes-off-you/3845029


Local Suicide Q&A

photograph by By Tibor Bozi

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Local Suicide. Your debut album, Eros Anikate, has just been released. Can you tell us about the influence the play written by Sophocles, ‘Antigone’ had on the title, where and how you first discovered it?

Vamparela: I am Greek, so I’ve been very well acquainted with Sophocles’ works since I was a child. ‘Eros Anikate’ is a phrase I’ve always felt deeply connected to because it entails the meaning of life; that love wins. When we decided to finally produce our debut album, Brax said, “We need a title, maybe something Greek?” and somehow, the first thing that came to mind was Eros Anikate. Nothing is more important than love, and the album is a product of our love for each other, the music and our audience, the scene and the artists we collaborated with.

The album features a wealth of collaborative artists. How does that process work in practice – are you all in the same studio, or are ideas exchanged online? How long did it take to make the album?

Local Suicide: Every case was different!

High Buildings began with Lee Stevens in his home studio in Vienna. We were visiting Vienna for a gig and ended up jamming at his home.

We started Whispering at our studio in Berlin with Curses. We originally wanted to do a Nine Inch Nails edit but made the basis for Whispering instead. We then worked on it from a distance during the lockdowns, with Curses adding guitars and vocals on top and us adding some production elements.

Moustache was created at our studio with Skelesys during the first lockdown. He was the only person we saw for quite a while, and we ended up making many tunes together that will hopefully be seeing the light of day soon.

Jam Bounce Release was produced with Theus Mago at our studio during his last visit to Berlin. He works super fast, so the main part of the track was done in two days.

Like Follow Subscribe was produced by us during a lockdown call with our friend Begum Karahan. We asked her to say “Like, Follow, Subscribe” in Turkish and English and just recorded it over the phone. In September, we met Hard Ton while visiting Italy and spontaneously asked them if they’d like to do some disco vocals on one of the tracks. We sent them a few, and they chose Like Follow Subscribe, writing some fantastic lyrics about digital love.

We collaborated with our friend Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras for Homme Fatal. We have been big fans of his music since forever but only properly started hanging out together after meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Spain. We wrote the lyrics together and recorded Joel’s vocals at our studio.

Cobra Wave with Kalipo originated when testing a new VST plugin that allows you to collaborate and create music in real time in different locations.

Agapi was produced by us, and our friend Sissi, whose voice is like a siren (humanlike beings with alluring voices), wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals in her studio in Athens.

Finally, for the title track Eros Anikate, we contacted Lena Platonos, an artist who has heavily influenced our sound and whom we admire a lot, asking her to contribute to our album with a vocal feature. We were stoked when she said she liked the album and agreed to do vocals on one of the tracks. She recorded the vocals reciting a section of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, from her studio in Athens.

Local Suicide have a very distinctive sound. Who has inspired you most as artists both within music and from outside of it (any painters, writers, movies etc.)?

Vamparela: We both listened to many different genres while growing up. We loved new wave, italo, synth-pop, alternative rock, indie rock, dark wave, and EBM, the amalgamation of which somehow gave birth to our sound.

If I had to pick a writer, it would be Jack Kerouac and his novel ‘On the Road’, although when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Greek mythology, Jules Vernes, sci-fi fiction, books about vampires, paranormal phenomena and Agatha Christie. These themes keep coming up in the lyrics I write.

In terms of movies, my favourite directors are Tim Burton, David Lynch and Tarantino. I’m trying to add their surrealism to our music and our music videos. Also, one of my favourite painters is Dali, and Moustache started off as an ode to him and his moustache. Others are Hieronymus Bosch, Van Gogh, Monet and Malevich.

Brax Moody: While recording the album, I read a lot about 20th-century architecture by Le Corbusier & Bauhaus and USSR architecture after studying Frédéric Chaubin’s photo books. I have also been a huge fan of Andy Goldsworthy since childhood.

Talk us through how you made one of the tracks from the album – do you work from a vocal idea, or a bassline etc.? Do you have any favourite hardware/ software you like to use to achieve your sound?

Local Suicide: We usually drafted the tracks on this album with a simple kick-snare-hat combination before recording a bassline with either the Sub 37, 303, Arp Odyssey or Jomox MBass. We then added melodies with a D50, Minilogue, Prophet, Juno or VSTs, followed by vocals and then going back to more drum elements, pads and other fillers. Once we had about 30 elements, we usually started cutting them out one by one and then went into the final arrangement, fine-tuning and mixing etc.

Have you seen any lasting effects of the Covid epidemic, either positive or negative, on club culture when you have been DJ’ing recently?

Local Suicide: We feel that people are more hungry for clubbing than before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the prices for club entry fees and drinks have also increased a lot. Still, the overall atmosphere has been very positive in all the places we have played.

The downside is that many concerts and festivals were less busy this summer due to the price increases and because everyone is currently touring. Also, the fact that you can get covid at any time means people aren’t planning as much as before and take last-minute decisions.

Many people looked for jobs in other sectors, so clubs have also been understaffed. The same happened to the aviation industry, which has caused huge flight chaos with delays and cancellations in the past months.

How would you describe the importance of DJs in today’s world, given the amount of technology available where anyone can become a DJ?

Local Suicide: For us, being DJs in the electronic music scene was never about the technical aspect. Of course, a DJ should be able to mix, but it is much more than that. DJs should have broad musical knowledge, not only of the current trends and charts but also of music history; the quest for new and old gems should never stop. Apart from that, a Dj should be able to read the crowd and find the line between pleasing and educating them. They need to keep people on the dancefloor with music they enjoy while sneaking in more difficult tunes to get acquainted with or that the Dj personally likes. It’s also great when a Dj is interacting with the crowd. We love DJs who dance and look at people instead of just staring at the decks. If it was just about the perfect mix, we wouldn’t need DJs; a computer could do it for us.

How do you see the future for artists in the ways they will be able to make a living with streaming and so on?

Brax Moody: Especially in the last 30 years, the music industry has undergone enormous changes each decade, but I think streaming will stay for a long time. It’s already helping loads of labels by finally generating a decent income from their back catalogues, which they can use to help grow new artists. It’ll also be much easier for artists with many releases to make a living and hopefully guarantee a nice pension. Still, streaming services (and collecting royalties) need to switch to a pro-rata payment system as soon as possible to make it fair. Streaming services must also ensure they help all music be heard by setting up and pushing more niche editorial playlists so that the music productions don’t get more streamlined.

And finally. Do you think music has the power to change the world (or society) or just people as individuals?

Local Suicide: Totally! Music has a huge influence on everything. It can affect our actions, moods and emotions and even help build our personality. Especially young people, they are very easily influenced by their favourite artists. Music has the power to change our mood, make us happier or sad, more pensive or active at any time of our lives. A song can remind you of specific times and make you feel nostalgic, the lyrics can help you escape a difficult situation, like depression, and the music itself can make you dance, move and let those endorphins take over. For sure, music is our life, a part of our everyday life and the soundtrack of our life.

Magazine Sixty proudly present the premier of the video of Cobra Wave by Local Suicide & Kalipo. Directed and produced by French artist Jade Prevost.

buy Local Suicide – Eros Anikate – Iptamenos Discos https://bfan.link/eros-anikate


Cook Strummer Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Cook Strummer. What struck me about the music you have released to date is just how varied it has been starting with Memories back in 2014 and more recently this year’s club fuelled, Atmosphere. How important is being musically diverse for you as an artist?

Thanks for having me, Sixty ! About the variety of styles I released so far, my music journey has been quite a ride. I started more than 20 years ago, playing rock’n roll with bands and touring. I moved to Berlin 10 years ago, that’s when my music changed, and slowly switched from live recorded productions/sets (with a band), to analog live sets, and finally to a hybrid setup. 

Musical diversity in my case is a synonym of adaptation. Adapting to a momentum, a time frame, in order to reinvent myself. I have respect for everyone out there who has the guts to express its individuality, no matter what type of music. That’s my current mindset. Respect, assimilate, adapt.

Do you feel that modern electronic music can lack the power of voice and words to convey meaning, given that they are so often not used in favour of instrumentals? Tell us about the process of how you write words for music – do you have a particular microphone you use to record vocals? 

Modern electronic music is so vast ! Business techno tracks often include just a couple of words, while house music is sometimes built around meaningful vocals. I personally come from Rock music, singing and writing songs represent the core of my musical journey. When I start a new track, very early in the process, I spontaneously drop words / sentences and most of the time these are final, defining the main story line. Each song I write is inter-connected with the others, like a big puzzle. But I have been writing songs since I’m 14 years old, and the topics I approach (spirituality, self-development, clubbing, etc.) are part of an ongoing lifetime’s work. I record most of my vocals at home with a Rode NT2-A.

Your forthcoming selection for Get Physical’s, Berlin Gets Physical series begins with For Berlin. Can you talk us through how this track was created (or another one from the album) including any favourite hardware / software you like to use?

‘For Berlin’ is a track I’ve made to pay my respect to the city I’ve been living in for 10 years. It’s about partying, being in a club with friends and not being able to leave. ‘Last round’ refers to the ‘last drink’ before leaving, leading automatically to another dance, then another drink. And in Berlin, the clubs usually stay open for days, so it can be an endless circle if the party is good 🙂

I produce mainly with VSTs and Ableton these days, except for the basslines (I record my Fender Rascal bass), guitars (Fender Stratocaster) and vocals (Rode NT2-A) 

What is the story behind the stunning cover artwork?

Glad you like the cover ! This collection will come digitally but also as two different vinyl versions – one will be available publicly, the other is a special edition. The artwork has been produced in collaboration with the Belgian gallery, Mazel Galerie. The cover art for it was designed by Lyon-based street artist Brusk and the original will be auctioned by the same gallery in Brussels. 

Do you think Dance/ electronic music is in a healthy place creatively? What effect do you think nostalgia has on the creative process? 

I think there’s never been SO MUCH music out there. I find it amazing. The way we can find music instantly, look back, trace the evolution of micro genres… So many references, it became like a huge melting pot. My recent releases are representative of this momentum, digging in many references, creating something new, with a hint of nostalgia for cold wave / post punk. Nostalgia to my point of view is analogic reasoning, being self conscious about references that shaped personal musical backgrounds, and embracing these. 

What are the origins of OBSOLET? How was it set-up and what is the philosophy behind it?

OBSOLET is a crew and record label from Berlin, composed of Max Joni, SoKool, Mukkimiau, Dan Buri, Marvin Jam, Modshape and myself. Nothing is OSBOLET, everything is. 

When did you first start playing guitar and who influenced you? Which guitar is your favourite to play?

I started playing guitar when I was 13 years old. Before that, I played piano from 6 years old till 12, classical and Jazz. My parents told me that if I keep up till I become 12 years old, I can choose my instrument. I used to be obsessed with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, the songwriting and the atmosphere they managed to create. I also was influenced quite early by The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Joy Division, Black Sabbath, Motor Head… 

The Telecaster was my first fancy guitar, I played it for 10 years, then I switched to the Stratocaster due to its sound versatility. 

Cook Strummer – Berlin Gets Physical – Get Physical Music is released September 23
buy https://cookstrummer.bandcamp.com/album/cook-strummer-berlin-gets-physical


Vinny Villbass Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Vinny. Your new single, Trust is released on Oslo label: badabing diskos. Tell us about what the tracks title means for you?

Thanks. «Trust» is an interesting thing. One thing is the importance of trust between people, both geopolitically and socially. But one question that has become equally important after the isolation during the pandemic is: Do you trust yourself? Who are you as a person without the collective safety net? And do you need to trust yourself in order to trust others? Trust is quite a rabbit hole if you have too much time thinking about it.

The title is my hope for a little bit more «Trust» in this world. It’s a fine thing!

You also provide the vocals, how important do you think words are in Dance Music given the amount of instrumentals around?

This track was made in the darkest time of the pandemic, so this vocal is more a scream for help and anti-social frustration (HELLO… IS ANYBODY OUT THERE), then any (if any) importance of including words in dance music. But I definitely mean that vocal in club music should be more on the poetic side than some kind of concrete meaning. The meditative part of dance music is fragile, so better to leave it up to the clubber to define an actual meaning to the lyrics. Also, the voice is the most intense instrument that we have, so it should only be used with love and care. Not sure this scream for attention is though, so you are more than welcome to skip to the instrumental version.

The label was set up this year and this is the third release. How have you found the experience so far? Have you discovered any particular positives or negatives to running your own label?

I have been involved in a few labels thru the years, and there are 2 important things running your own:

  • You don’t have to wait forever and ever to get the tracks out.
  • You can involve your favorite people and create a collective of likeminded.

We are already a colorful bouquet of house music enthusiasts in Oslo releasing on badabing.diskos in near future, and playing at our monthly badabing nights thats been running for 10 years. Sommerfeldt, Frifot, diskJokke, Boblebad, LAFT, Sounds of the Suburbs, etc..

Talk us through how you produced Trust. Do you start with a single idea or can it be inspired by something outside of music? Do you have any favourite pieces of software / hardware you like to use?

I am very analogue when I produce. I don’t use sequencers and play everything by hand on my synths to get a human groove to it all. I usually start of with creating a loop of synth layers that should sound warm, but also driving. After that I start filling in with drums sounds and percussive synth sounds that enhance the groove. Then I layer out the structure of the track and start with the details. Well, for this track anyway. I try to do it differently every time. Repetition has never been my strongest side. I enjoy detailed changes over time.. It is way too much boring loops in club music these days. But luckily you have people like Four Tet, Bonobo, Bicep etc pushing boundaries of sound collages.

How would you describe the club scene in Oslo? Any recommendations for bars, restaurants to visit also?

Oslo is still a very small city, but a lot has happened the last 5 years. Its turned more international in many ways, with its fantastic restaurants, food courts, bars and cafe’s. But the clubs are still very restricted by governmental laws about closing hours and alcohol restrictions. We might be the only country in the world where we have governmental nightlife spies going undercover to make sure the clubs follow the rules. I definitely think that a government undermines people’s ability to develop their own moral if you introduce too many unnecessary laws. In that sense I do miss Berlin and the community-driven freedom aspect you experience there.

Outside of club music what are your most important influences/ (any painters, writers etc)

Nature expands my senses. I love to be at my 300 year old cabin in the mountains and smell the fresh air, feel the wind in my face, while practicing some meditative outdoor carpenting.

How do you see the future in terms of how artists, musicians will be able to make money regarding streaming etc?

The club and concert scene is going to be more local in the future. More local residencies on clubs, which makes sense also in an economical way, because you reduce the unnecessary costs of flights, hotels etc.. and the impact on nature. So stay true to your local crowds!

When it comes to selling music, bandcamp and new sites alike are going to take over for todays horrible income distribution from sites like spotify. SHAME! And also, the best labels today earn more money on selling merch online than on music. So watch out for badabing coffee mugz and organic tooth picks.

You play guitar in diskJokke. How did you learn to play and what is your favourite guitar?

Diskjokke is my dj partner since 2000, and when he released his first album, we got our heads together to perform his music like a band. At the moment I could only play «nothing else matters» by Metallica, but luckily we toured enough for me to learn how to play properly.
I bought my Fender Telecaster in Hamburg when I visited to DJ for the Minimal Anders guys in 2010. Loads of fun, I wonder if they are still throwing parties in this super harbour warehouse… 🙂

Tell us about your involvement with Osloclubcast and the importance of radio in 2022?

I started OsloClubCast back in 2012, as a promotional channel for the Oslo club scene, first internally in Oslo, but the later years thru international concert videos to promote Norwegian club music. I now run OsloClubCast together with my man Daniel Vaz, and we have a youtube channel with more than 50 000 views. So the importance of radio is still huge, but FM transmitters has been replaced by youtube, soundcloud and spotify playlists.

People need music more than ever. The importance of a hug has never been more relevant. So please go out, dance, hug your friends, and find your inner rhythm. This is why our slogan for the badabing club nights is: «Come alone, come together»