Armando Mendes Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Armando. What struck me about your debut album: Parallel Universe, is the sheer depth of musicality it explores given that a lot of today’s electronic dance music lacks any real emotion or meaningful purpose. Is that a sentiment you would agree with?

Hey guys, thanks for the interview, pleasure to have this chat for Magazine Sixty.

Yes, absolutely. What I wanted to portray with this album was exactly that!
From the first track to the last track to be a truly musical experience for the listener. Cohesive, coherent, emotional and a blend of genres within the electronic music spectrum. Also my background has a musician and producer collaborating with other international renowned artists such has Robert Owens, Jinadu and Ithaka.

I believe the album took over two years to complete. Can you tell us about why you dedicated such a long time to creating it? At what point do you feel satisfied that you have completed a piece of music?

I had in mind to put together an LP like this for a while now and also it’s my debut LP and introduction to my music has a writer and composer to the world, It’s sort of a compilation of my best work.

So that’s one of the reasons that it took so long to develop. Because this album was very complex and though trough, I’ve put a lot of work and all my knowledge over the past 20 years has a musician into this album. How it should sound like, the artist collaborations, recording locations, etc…
Now looking back, it was a long process but the end result is extremely satisfying and I’m very proud of creating this LP and the people who are part of it as well.

I’m a true believer that what ever you do as an artist nowadays has to have commitment, passion and respect for the art form. Other wise if you compromise those points you’re compromising your legacy and how people perceive you has an artist. Also it’s very important to have musical integrity and make sure you reflect that in your work. I’m sure if you abide to that your work will excel amongst others.

Why did Turquoise Records feel like the right home for the album?

Paraphrasing your first question ¨ today’s electronic dance music lacks any real emotion or meaningful purpose. ¨ Since the music industry is having an identity crisis and it’s hard to filter “Good Music” these days I believe that the timing is perfect and artist who are true and passionate about their work, will always standout in the current climate.

That will always be the mission of Turquoise records when it comes to releasing music and the artist involved on the label.

Going back to beginnings when you studied music production at SAE in Barcelona in 2008, what are the most important lessons you learnt from that experience which have stayed with you since?

It was a great learning experience and I was lucky to be surrounded with the most amazing people in the industry and teachers. The most important lessons I learn was to be true to your art form, be creative and sharpening your technical skills. This will take you a long way and keep you on top of your game.

No Regrets features the unmistakable tones of Robert Owens. How did that relationship come about?

I’m blessed to have such an iconic and one of the pioneers of Deep House music. Larry Heard and Robert were a huge influence when I started to listen to electronic music.

I met Robert in Berlin doing a warm up for him and that’s when I established contact for the first time. He’s a fantastic down to earth humble person, so we started talking and we clicked musically instantly, so later on I asked him to collaborate in one the tracks for the album. And the result was the mellow and heartfelt song “No Regrets”. One of my favorite collaborations on the album.

Tell us about your studio set-up? Do you have a favourite instrument – do you own one?

I’m very analog oriented in the studio, I like to have all instruments and synths at my disposition in case I’m working an idea so I can instantly pick up a bass or a guitar, plug it in and recorded on the fly, very hands on. It’s a simple set up but very practical and easy to work with.

I think my favorite instruments in the studio are my Double Bass and the Korg MS20. I’ve used them on every track of the album.

Outside of the world of music who are your most important inspirations in terms of artists, writers, painters etc?

I get inspired by many things whether its paintings, sculptures or architecture, for instance one of the artist that inspired me the most living in Barcelona was Salvador Dali. He’s work in unique and stimulates the mind in order to be creative and approach your art with a different perspective.

How did you get into DJ’ing, who were your initial influences, and what do you get from playing other people’s music that is different from creating your own?

It was a natural process. Since I was 16 I always loved creating music, rehearsing with bands, and being up on stage. I guess it runs in my family too due the fact my grandfather use to be choir director and my dad is a drummer. So it was inevitable no to follow their musical steps.

Back in my town Porto I used to work for a record shop and I always love the fact that I could recommend and advise people music and curate music for an audience. Not only that but I was drawn to the club atmosphere and has a DJ the ability to create a mood and a vibe for people to get together and enjoy themselves.

I believe my biggest influence and introduction to electronic music was a night club in Porto called Trintaeum back in early 2000’s there I heard Moodymann, Carl Craig, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz and many others of the genre. They definitely influenced me to start creating electronic music and djing as well. Shout out to Rui Trintaeum, great dj and club owner at the time!

And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans for 2020?

For 2020 I will keep promoting my album and also do a tour around Europe and Asia. So, see you on the dance floor…


Nesker Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Nesker. Your new single: No Escape features a stunning vocal. Is it you? And can you tell us about the meaning of the words and how they came to be written?

Nice to meet you thank you! Yes I did the vocal part. Before I started to produce electronic music, I sang in a band and that’s why I really wanted to release a track with my own vocals! The lyrics go back to the time when I had to go abroad for my main job. I often felt a sense of loneliness and I kept asking myself if this is really the life I want to live for the next years. The Track was written during my time in Sweden and it tells exactly about these feelings. Sometimes it felt like there was no escape from this situation and so I came up with the title ‘No Escape’. I often went out into the woods to get a clear head and that’s where the lines were actually written.

buy No Escape

How did your relationship with Goeran Meyer happen and what was it about MYR that attracted you to the label?

Three years ago, Göran liked one of my tracks on SoundCloud and since that day we had more and more contact. Everything has developed into a great friendship! He told me a lot about the music industry, because he has been working in it for many years with his independent label. It was only a matter of time before I would release my first EP on MYR.

Can you talk us through how you produced No Escape including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

When I start to produce a track, I usually don’t have a concrete idea in my head and that’s how it was with ‘No Escape’. In 90% of the cases I first build the beat, look for a suitable bass-line and then play around with different melodies until I find the right one! The lyrics then come at the end. Most of the time a suitable line comes to my mind completely by chance at the most inappropriate moments. Fortunately you always have your mobile phone with you to record these ideas!

For this track I used the software synthesizers from U-HE, because I am a very big fan of those! These plugins appear in almost every production of mine. The drums all come from sample packs, because I’m mainly ‘in the box’. I recorded the vocals with the Rode NT2 right after getting up, because at this time of day my voice sounds different and better.

Tell us about how you first got into DJ’ing and who initially inspired you?

Back in the days I always took care of the playlists at our little parties. One part of the list was always Fatboy Slim! I watched videos of him and from that time it was clear to me that I wanted to have DJ equipment as well! At Christmas I got my first Midi-Controller and a few weeks later I played for the first time in front of an audience. I can still remember that moment when I almost threw the controller off the table because of all the excitement and trembling! 😀 However, I stopped DJing after a few years, because we then formed our band and I spent all my time on it. It was a very cool time to be on stage as a singer and to sing my own lyrics, but eventually I had to go abroad because of my job and we ended the band. I wanted to continue making my own music and so I came to produce my own music!

Where can people get to hear you play? And what is the scene like where you live?

I live near Augsburg and I’m on the road here more often! The scene is constantly growing and there are more and more private parties. There are some cool locations, be it the Kantine, the Club Paradox, or the Mahagoni Bar. But the annual highlight is definitely the Ikarus Festival in Memmingen. It takes place at an old military airport and it always has a great lineup! You should definitely check out this festival if you haven’t heard of it yet!

I have confirmed a few dates which I will announce on my social media in the new year. Just drop by and stay up to date!

Who would you say are your most important influences both within electronic music and from the world outside of it?

There are so many artists and I feel inspired by almost any kind of music! But most of all I like the music of Rüfüs Du Sol! I like almost every track and I am fascinated by their work every time!

Outside the electronic music world, it’s definitely my mother. She passed on all the creativity to me and I am really grateful to her for that! But when I’m sitting in the studio and nothing useful comes up, I grab my headphones and drive into the forest. This is the place that really gives me the most creative input! It’s really cool to have something like that right at your front door!

What are your thoughts on the current state of Club Culture in terms of clubs/ festivals, streaming and the future?

In my opinion it is getting harder and harder for the clubs because of all the restrictions! More and more locations have to close. That’s very frustrating, but it doesn’t stop electronic music from soaring! No matter who you ask, almost everybody likes to party to electronic music!

As far as streaming is concerned, I’m a bit divided. On the one hand, it has become much cheaper for you to listen to so much different music compared to the time when you spent a lot of money on CDs. On the other hand, it is anything but profitable for us artists. Sure, you can increase your reach in a very short time, but due to the flood of new music, the individual releases become more and more short-lived and that is a real pity! As far as the future is concerned, I’m really curious about what is still to come!

And finally. Can you share with us any plans moving forward into 2020?

At the moment I’m doing the promotion of my EP. Besides that I’m working on a remix for MYR and of course on other tracks of my own. I’m just at the beginning of my plans for my music and there is a lot in the pipeline!



Alex Ferrer (Deeplomatic Recordings) Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Alex. What your feelings are on the current state of streaming, downloads and how the future looks for the record industry?

Streaming is a reality for record labels, I think the way to stay relevant is to diversify the brand.

What inspired you to set up the label in the first place? And can you tell us about what the name means for you?

I used to be a former Spanish diplomat and I was travelling and exchanging ideas and points of view with many interesting people. I decided to change the bureaucrats for legendary house producers and immerse myself in the music world.

The label name is a wordplay tributing to my former career as a diplomat.

You currently have a roaster of over 300 artists, which is obviously impressive. What do you think attracts so many artists to releasing music with you?

Deeplomatic was born with the idea of unifying the best house music artists into one label. I think the reason why so many artists want to release music with us is the quality and sound of the tracks that we release.

How would you describe the process of A&R? What do you look for when signing music – is an artist’s profile an important factor?

The main factor for us is quality and style because we want that fits in with the current releases, obviously, the artist’s profile is an important factor that we take into consideration.

What are your thoughts on creativity within electronic music currently? And how do you feel about the emphasis on nostalgia?

My favourite style of music and where I take inspiration from is disco and funky, so the style of music that I lean forward to now is space disco, combining all of my old favourites with new interesting beats.

How did you first get into Dance Music? And which clubs/ DJ’s initially inspired you?

I bought a pair of second-hand 1200 Technics Turntables when I was 13, didn’t know much about what I was doing at the time, all I wanted was to experiment with music somehow…

Rick Wade, Terrence Parker, Gene Hunt and Jesse Saunders were some of the first DJs that inspired me because they were some of the original creators of house music, and for that reason they were the first artists that we wanted to release music with on Deeplomatic.

Outside of music who/ what influences most?

I like to travel to strange and remote locations, and I’m also a technology freak.

And finally. Can you tell us about the first releases for 2020, and your plans for label moving forwards?

We are currently working on another compilation album collaborating with stalwart artists in the house music scene, so keep an eye out on that.


Madota Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Behnam & Mehran. Tell us about how you first met and then decided to produce together?

We met over 12 years ago in Vancouver, Canada through a very special mutual friend who told both of us separately we would really get along due to our obscure sense of humour. From the moment we met we became brothers and from there we embarked on a whole musical journey DJing around different spaces and parties in Vancouver. Around 2011 we really became interested in making our own sounds so we found a garage space four floors into the ground and went there every night to practice and experiment.

Your track: Gilli has been included on Kindisch’s next Steps compilation. How did you hook up with the label? And what is the story behind its title?

We’ve been in contact with Philip Jung (M.A.N.D.Y) over the past year or so. We actually first got our track ‘Elegy’ signed with Get Physical (big brother label of Kindisch) coming out early 2020. A few months down the road, we had ‘Gilli’ in our hands and just had a feeling it would be perfect for Kindisch – so we reached out to Philip and he made it all happen.

The title ‘Gilli’ comes from Gil Scott Heron who was a legendary jazz poet and musician in the 1970’s – one of the true pioneers of rap music and slam poetry you could say. You can hear his words come in and out of the track as he weaves a grim narrative of Nixon and his toxic relationship with America. His words deeply resonated with us given the political climate right now and we wanted to relive the legacy of his words and the grim outlook of our future right now.


The track fuses together a diverse set of styles and emotions. How would you best describe the music that you create?

It’s hard to capture in words really. It seems like whatever is coming out of us has both elements of melancholy and color in it. Given that we are Iranian born Canadian raised German residents, we definitely feel a sense of rootlessness in that we don’t truly feel at ‘home’ anywhere. So that gives us the room to really tap into whatever styles that move us the most – soul, jazz, traditional Iranian, old school hip hop, Roma folk music and on and on.

Can you talk us through how Gilli was produced, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

‘Gilli’ came out of a series of jams we had using a lot of old school hip hop drum sampling we had done. After jamming a few grooves along with a few guitar riffs we were on a mission with Gil’s words. And what came at the end was a free improvisation on keys for all the melodies and pads to make everything make sense. We do a lot of recordings when we get our hands on synths such as the Prophet 12, Nord Lead and the Sub 37. And when we come back to regroup we make sense out of everything in Logic Pro with what we capture.

Tell us about your main influences. Both within electronic music and from outside of it. Are there any writers, painters etc who influence what you do?

Hmm this is really hard to capture in a few names but within the electronic scene there are many class acts we look up to such as Stimming, Stavroz, Apparat, Max Cooper and so on. Outside of it we tap into a lot of obscure folk music from around the world along with other artists like film directors Jim Jarmusch and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and writers such as Elif Shafak and Hunter Thompson. Really all over the place.

Your studio looks amazing. What do you consider to be the most important thing in it (apart from yourselves)?

Honestly it’s not so much a particular thing as opposed to the sense of community that we feel in and around us. Since our studio is in Holzmarkt in Berlin, we have a lot of inspirational artists like Martin (Acid Pauli), Sascha Cawa, Mario (Douglas Greed), Marco Resmann, and Paji having their studios next to us. That moment when you’re in the studio and you feel like all the walls are closing in on you, you step outside and get grounded again with these guys’ experience and wisdom.

In broader terms how do you feel about the nature of ‘streaming’ and ways to make a living as artists through music?

Honestly with the nature of our kind of music and our peers alike, streaming doesn’t really serve us in earning a living. I think like everyone, we’re secretly wishing for a more fair streaming platform where we would be paid more per stream but it doesn’t look probable.

We’ve actually been working very closely in the past two years with a dedicated team in Sweden developing a live streaming app that allows artists to monetise through either setting up their own performances or just live streaming from their studio. The app is called Whalebone and is due to launch at the end of October. We’re really looking forward to using it and sharing it with our peers.

How was your recent trip to Mexico? And tell us about your remix for Lost Desert & Simon Vuarambon – Bloesem on Souksonic?

Mexico was truly magical. We just fell in love with the warmth of the people, the beauty in the food and the hospitality we received. We see ourselves going back there more down the road.

Regarding our remix of Bloesem, we met Patrick (Lost desert) and Sandra on a sunny spring afternoon in Brooklyn on the day we were playing for the ZERO Masquerade. One thing was crystal clear from that point onwards: they are the type of people you feel like you’ve known deeply for many lifetimes. over and over. Fast forward a year and a bit later and here we are remixing his track for his newborn label Souksonic. We’re really happy with the outcome.

And finally. Where can people get to hear you DJ, and can you share with us any forthcoming plans?

Yes we’re back playing in a few shows London and Toronto in November with a bigger focus on finishing a lot of new projects. Then we’re doing New York, DC and Miami all in December. And then a few Woomoon gigs in Tulum around New Year’s leading into a Saisons showcase mid-January in Montreal during Igloo fest. We also got a few new releases coming out with Get Physical and Saisons.


Netherworld Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Alessandro. Your new album Algida Bellezza is a stunning piece of work which appears on the label you originally founded Glacial Movements. Can you recall the decision to name the imprint itself and why you choose that particular reference?

I would like first of all to thank you for this invitation and above all, thanks for the support that Magazine Sixty has always given to my label. I read your review of my album, and I must say that I am proud and obviously very happy that you enjoyed it so much. I made it with my  (icy) heart and I hope it can also reach the hearts of the public. Glacial Movements is the connection, both mental and physical that I decided to create between man, woman and the cold and uncontaminated nature. Snow, winter, ice and mountains are a refuge from everyday life, a place where you can reflect and rediscover your “inner center”. Unfortunately it’s also a very current and dramatic topic. Ideally, and with the help of the artists I work with, GM tries to restore this delicate balance. The music of my productions travels in the ether, and I would like it very much if the ice contained in the sounds can somehow restore the ice cap. It would be really fantastic!

The album was created by using a Roland VP9000 alongside various effects. What is it about the hardware that appealed to you so much you wanted to make an album with it? And can you tell us about some of the favourite affects you used to mould the sounds?

This tool has infinite potential. Besides being a sampler, it allows to adjust the pitch and time of the sound in real time and to associate it with an excellent level of effects. Three banks  effects can be activate or deactivate: different types of chorus, reverbs and a special effects section such as for example guitar and bass distortions, vocoders, delays, various types of noise, aged LP noises, radio effects and many more. Each effect has its own modifiable parameters which therefore completely distort the original sound. As if that were not enough, I connect the output of VP9000 to further effects of the Eventide series (Space and Time) that model the sound even more, making it  more abstract and undeciphered. I also love synths and in fact I have an Alesis ION and I also want to buy soon a new Waldorf.

The album was inspired by the arrival of your daughter. How did the emotional roller-coaster of fatherhood translate into creating the music?

The birth of my daughter was the most beautiful and intense emotion I have ever experienced. The first few days were obviously full of emotions. It is not possible to explain what the meaning of being a parent is. You just have to try it. After leaving the hospital we returned to home and in the evening I held my newborn baby in my arms. I felt a new energy inside me and the only way to be able to externalize it was to turn on my instruments and let my emotions go free. I composed all the loops and various sounds within a few nights. Everything happened very naturally, nothing was forced and the sounds seemed to come out of the speakers without my contribution. I was simply the link between emotions and instruments. My daughter has always been there, so this album is completely dedicated to her. Without her “Algida Bellezza” would never have been composed. I then put the following thought in this regard: perhaps a parallel exists between the beauty, innocence and fragility of a newborn baby girl and that of the flora and fauna present in the fragile Arctic ecosystems? My answer is found in the 45 minutes of the album.

Algida Bellezza features an amazing photograph by Carsten Egevang on the cover. Can you tell us about the plight of the sled dog and why the animal holds a special place in your heart?

Carsten is a truly unique and exceptional photographer. In his catalog there are some wonderful photos, but amonstg all, this photo has a very strong impact. It cannot leave you indifferent. The delicacy and naturalness of the sled dog that shakes off the snow perfectly represents the meaning of my album. The purity of the animal is enveloped by the purity of the snow which in turn can connect to the purity of a newborn child. There is a very strong bond between these images … everything has a meaning and finds the right place in my thoughts. There is also another very important aspect regarding the photo that was taken in Greenland wich holds the Arctic’s largest remaining sled dog population. Unfortunately this population is close to extinction and this phenomenon is irreversible. I would also like to add that the entire digipack design – done by Rutger / Machinefabriek is gorgeous. I always entrust him with the task of executing high-level graphic projects.

Did you find not using drums a liberating experience while making the album? Where you ever tempted?

If I have to compose a more intimate and deep album, then I can’t think of using defined rhythmic sequences (although I must say, that in the song “Somniosus microcephalus” there is a continuous percussion that I have manipulated and suffused properly). The only time I experienced the rhythmic parts was on “Zastrugi”, for the techno / dub Iceberg series of the label. This album is perhaps the best combination of abstract and dilated sounds with those typical of certain techno music.

How would you describe the experience of listening to the album to someone who might be used to a more traditional structure of music with melody and instrumentation?

Nice questions! For the poor man, it could be a negative experience, in the sense that what I do has no reference points or even a clear and foreground melody. From time to time in the first song of the album, you hear the sound of a piano entering and vanish, but it is treated by various types of effects, and it is also the only recognizable element of the whole work. It could be destabilizing but I’m sure that it doesn’t leave you indifferent. Anyone involved in composing this kind of soundscapes could seem like a non-musician. In part this is true and in fact I don’t feel like a musician, but a sculptor of sound. I believe that this characteristic is not very well understood by those who have a more classical and traditional approach.

Who are you most important influences outside of electronic music? Are there any painters, writers etc you particularly admire?

Another beautiful question that would require a very long and detailed answer. Since I was a child, I have always been very attracted by mysteries and things that had no definite answer. During the course of my life I have had the opportunity to deepen my curiosity and to look for answers through the study of the ancient civilizations which have left a really impressive amount of informations. My approach to this methodology is not the scholastic and academic one, but rather that of an adventurer and revolutionary. I have a bookstore in which there are books on the Egyptians and their mysteries, the Sumerians, the ancient peoples of Central and South America. Books on Hermeticism and on Alchemy on Buddhism, Hinduism and Gnostic Christianity. Books on the various orders of chivalry, on the various mythologies of the whole world that all have the same matrix in common cannot be missing. For some years now I have been following Mauro Biglino’s books very closely, dealing with literary translations of the Old Testament. A new story about our origins is emerging from his works, which is also confirmed by biology, genetics by science in general. Besides him, I very willingly follow H.P. Lovecraft, Graham Hanchock, Robert Bauvall, Rene Guenon, Zecharia Sitchin, Gurdjeff and all those researchers and writers who go beyond the border. Who throw themselves into the abyss of the unknown in search of a glimmer of light.

The video for Orcinus orca was directed by Uršula Berlot & Sunčana Kuljiš Gaillot. What attracted you to their work and how would you describe the refection of the music created via moving images?

I met Uršula and Sunčana because a few years ago because they made the presentation video for the “The Great Crater” by Scanner (album on GM). I really liked the organic nature of their video, and I wanted to repeat it also on “Orcinus orca”. They had a free hand on everything, and accepted my proposal with great enthusiasm. Based on my piece they have composed and made the video organic. I think it’s perfect, and that was exactly what I wanted to achieve. They are really very good and we will probably work again in the future.

And finally. Can you share with us any future plans for the label and yourself as an artist?

Absolutely. I have already planned the next two years of record releases. Towards the end of 2019 I will produce the second chapter of Machinefabriek “Stillness Soundtracks II” whose sounds accompanied the images of Esther Kokmeijer’s Antarctic travel / research. The package will contain a booklet full of wonderful images of Antarctica. Then it will be the turn of “Ten Times the World Lied” a new album by my friend and great artist Brock Van Wey / bvdub that – for the first time ever – will not contain any vocalization, but only ethereal and glacial sounds. The second collaboration between the Belgian artist Dirk Serries and the Japanese Chiehi Hatackeyama will then be produced. Both had made the beautiful and now sold out album “The storm of silence” years ago. Another great Japanese artist – Toshinori Kondo – together with Eraldo Bernocchi and myself, will be the protagonist of the “Palaoa” album which is now nearing completion. This is a very special album as the sound of his wonderful trumpet blends with the manipulated oceanic recordings from the Antarctic “Palaoa” base. It is the only hydroacoustic observatory in the immediate vicinity of the Antarctic continent. In the recordings are therefore present underwater animal sounds, the noise of ice blocks and Antarctic storms. Then there will be publications by Aria Rostami & Daniel Blomquist, Erik Levander, Serga Kasinec, Eliphas Vega and many others.

As for me personally finally, after several years of waiting, I realized my dream: to have a studio of my own where I can combine all my passions, music, record label, books and the whole collection of my CDs. On the walls of the studio I designed geometric peaks of snow-capped mountains to give them that glacial touch. I can’t really ask for much more than this!

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D.Ramirez Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, D.Ramirez. Let’s begin with your new single with Denney, ‘Raven’ for Crosstown Rebels. What is the significance of that particular bird as a choice for the title?

Thanks for having me. I live near Victoria Park in London and I walk through there every day on my way to my studio; one day I noticed that the only bird I see in that park is the Raven and there are hundreds of them, and only them. One day I saw I guy in a car feeding them and there were literally thousands of them around the car. I wondered if they come from the Tower Of London where they are kept and that’s where the fascination started, Raven being an aptly titled name for the track.

What do you think the collaborative process brings to creating music compared with doing it solo? Can you tell us about how the two of you worked on the project, and talk us through how one of the tracks was made?

Working with a collaborative partner is totally different to working on your own and as such the process is also different. I find it takes a lot longer to get the track right as you have to think about the other person you’re with and their tastes and agendas. We work really slowly and how it works is Denney will come into my studio with an idea, or a vocal, or some sounds – then we sketch it out, take it away, we play it out to a few people and then we come back. This can go on for years!

Still I Rise, contains a vocal with a powerful message. Do you feel there is enough of that in dance music today?

We have a duty as humans to bring to light the struggles and the messages of our fellow people for the sake of evolving human consciousness and the poem from May Angelou is such a beautiful message, delivered with such sass and confidence, it resonates far beyond the words she speaks. Dance music is great a tool for delivering such a message and hopefully her words will resonate with even more people around the globe.

The faceboook picture of your studio shows you surrounded by synthesizers. How long did it take to build up the collection? Which was the most difficult to get hold of, and which one do you use most often?

I have been collecting synths for around 40 years, some have been sold, others are recent and new. My favourite is my original Korg MS20 which is over 40 years old now! I have a Roland SH101 that I borrowed (and never gave back) from my best mate back in 1983 and I still have it to this day in the east same condition it was when I got it. The one I use all the time is the new Sequential Prophet 6 and you’ll hear it all over any of my tracks. It’s an absolute beast!

Outside of Club music who are your most important influences? Are there any writer’s, painters etc who have had an impact on what you do creatively?

I’m very much into spirituality and consciousness and one of my main influences is Dr Wayne Dyer who’s message changed my life back in 2006 when I was introduced to him by my ex. He himself introduced me to another amazing guy called David R Hawkins who’s book ‘Power Verse Force’ led me to another place in my life where everything changed. I live my life in a conscious, mindful way, and I no longer care what others think of me which has made working in the music industry far less challenging and I’m now free to express my creativity without worry of people liking what I do, or not.

Tell us about growing up in Sheffield and the music you encountered there? Any particular club nights you went to which left an impression?

Sheffield is an amazing place and back in the 80’s as I was growing up we had such a vibrant electronic music scene with bands such as The Human League, ABC, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 which heavily influenced the music I write today. In the late 80’s very early 90’s Warp Records started and had a club night where the DJ’s that worked at Warp Records played, the club was Occasions and the night was called Club Superman and honestly (speaking through rose tinted specs of course) was THE BEST night I have EVER experienced. Nothing has will ever come close to how good the music was there and the early Warp Records scene was and still is mind blowing!

What is the most important advice you would give to someone new to producing in terms of making their own studio, and also in terms of perseverance in today’s industry?

Quite simple – believe in yourself, don’t care what others say, don’t look for the validation of others, work hard and never give up, do it for the love and not for the fame.

And finally. Can you share with us any plans for moving into 2020?

I’m continuing to make music for the sheer pleasure of it while not putting so much pressure on myself so watch this space and let’s see what comes out. Thanks for the wonderful interview and thanks for having me.

Denney & D.Ramirez – Raven – is released October 4 on Crosstown Rebels


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

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

Mutterkomplex Socials


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…


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.

For info about Darc Marc view


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

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.


Noha Q&A

Margherita Castriota Photography

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Noha. Let’s start with your stunning release for Oscillat. Can you tell us about how your relationship with label happened?

Well, everything started one year ago, with me meeting up with Sam (S.A.M.) when I moved back to Berlin. I went to hear him play as we already chatted and exchanged some music without ever meeting. Few days later we were already becoming good friends and making some beats together at his place.

In a very spontaneous way I then started sending him lots of unreleased tracks that he eventually started to play. That’s how the other two components of Mandar, Charlie and Nick (Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie) discovered my music. In the following months I started chatting with Charlie and working on a remix for his “Time Guard Ep”, and I finally met face to face with Nick, as he was visiting Sam. When, months later, they asked me to send them something for Oscilalt, It felt it was the right thing, as I understood that beyond being friends we shared the same vision on music in general.

The title track, Nobody revolves around a series of voices. What’s the story behind them, and how important is the human voice in music for you, as opposed to purely rhythm?

For me integrating voices is a very good way of giving an intimate feeling to the track. It might be used as a percussive element, but I prefer when it also brings emotional content, a story.

The track explores an exciting series of ideas. Can you talk us through some of you influences both within Dance Music and from outside of it – any writers, painters etc who have also inspired what you do musically?

As I was finishing high school I was getting deeply fascinated by the idea of Minimalism, especially applied to architecture, design and painting. I guess American Minimalism from the 60’s became the main focus. Especially Mark Rothko. I remember that I wrote with a marker “Simple expression of complex thought” on my Wallet, taken from the manifesto written by Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb. Yes, I was young and naive. But I understood back then how I wanted to express myself.

Can you talk us through the process of how Nobody was produced, including any particular favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

I was working on this loop for days, and I got stuck with it, wasn’t going anywhere. I understood that I was trying to force a direction, not really letting my intuition dictate what to do. I suddenly felt a heavy sense of melancholy and I said to myself “ok let’s try again now”. In a few hours the entire track happened, and If I think about it, I get the feeling that the track did itself.

Regarding how it was made, like most of my track it was a mix between analog gear and software. This track will always remain an important lesson, a reminder that intuition and acceptance of where I am emotionally should guide me.


How would you describe the importance of Dance Music culture in today’s world, relevant to political and social life? As you have lived and visited different cities would you say there are there certain things which unify us through music?

This is a very controversial topic. Clubbing can be an escape from reality and at the same time a chance to embrace a primordial connection with others through dancing together. It comes down to what one wants to make out of it, it can either be a moment to get fucked up with your friends and finally let loose after working as a machine for an entire week, or the most enlightening experience. I am not here to judge anyone.

It sounds terribly cheesy, but for me Music itself is a universal language. The most interesting part of touring, apart from sharing the music you love with a big crowd, is to meet up with local djs and producers, get to know their stories, visit their studio and share experiences. We all have to thank the music for this, a common love that creates a community free of racism of any kind. And we need that more than ever right now.

And finally. Please tell us about any forthcoming plans for the summer and remainder of 2019?

Summer is going to be busy, there’s the Nobody ep coming out followed by the next Patagonia release (me and Alex Tea joining forces) coming on Panickpanick and the launch of an edit label where I’m going to finally share edits that I have been playing for the last year.

The next gig that I’m looking forward to is an all-nighter at Underbron in Stockholm, the 26th of July.

Aaaaaand, for the first time in 4 years I’m going to have a 2 week vacation, a road trip in Sicliy with my best friends. No studio time! Time to switch off.