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.


Dallas Acid – The Spiral Arm – All Saints Records

When music reaches that state of knowing, you intimately react. This new album by Dallas Acid digs into feelings in ways like no other as their infinite expansion of melancholy, yet blissful sound, on the opening title track testifies. Linda Beecroft’s vocals breathe the relaxed intensity of Nico over the swirling, cinema inspired atmospheres on this heavenly opus as moods and notation then expand across the listen. The unnerving night-time of Circuit Jungle contrasts this via movements of a stranger kind, while the whispered psychedelia of Zavana eases your mind off in other more contemplative directions. As time haunts and then elevates you while listening to the full scope of what’s in store here, The Spiral Arm touches upon the European underground, referencing traces of arthouse history, and a seemingly vast array of influence, which is then channelled feeling sublimely contemporary in uncertain times.

Release: November 1



Dana Ruh – Still Vause – Slices Of Life

I love this release of sound. Not only does it vibrate with forward thinking energy but it also celebrates its own awareness of musicality and vitality. My Friendly Fire opens with additive hi-hats, treated stabs which undulate in truly funky ways, plus an immediate sense of the moment. Next, Takes Time again serves up evocative percussion this time married to deep, pulsing bass leaving To Convince to explore the interplay between the rhythm of live instrumentation and the expression of electronics perfectly.

Release: November 15


We Are The Lords – Discoland

I guess you either love it or you don’t. And I have always loved this sound. Hot Hi-Nrg in the shape of Discoland has it all going on from the sassy synthesized riffs, and beautiful Bobby O percussion, to the bold bass syncopation across some six plus minutes of decadent pleasure. One mix.

Free download.

Release: November 8


Nark – Do You See Yourself? – Bottom Forty Records

This sounds like everything at once. Obscure, dark, and temptingly rich, and yet absolutely entertaining as the treated statement Do You See Yourself works its way into warped dissolution. Dissolving time right before your eyes as Nark sequences trippy, evolving synth lines against a funky shuffle of drums which combine to heighten a tense sense of ecstasy. A wonderful, deliberately radical exploration of what’s possible. Remixes contrast the trepidation as Thomass Jackson works up the rhythms, adding commanding bass and fuzzy keys, while the Ali X and Palomo version casts a fiery breath of electro over the arrangement, again tripping out on danger levels. The liquid low-end of The Playing Field contrasts as Acid informs the equation over ever expanding Eastern voices to complete.

Release: October 30


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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Unknown7, Sessanta6, Armando (PT) and Dani Siciliano – Sweet Cherry Inside – Desolat

Diving headlong into sublime yet resolutely tough territory this rendition of beats, bass and intensity is furiously realised via the energetic production skills of Unknown7 & Sessanta6 on Sweet Cherry Inside. Its brutal fusion of deep, rolling rhythms trips easily off the tongue as Dani Siciliano’s sampled vocal from “I’m the Question” (Circus Company) neatly contrasts the vigorous arrangement with soulfully charged emotions. Next its Unknown7 working alongside Armando (PT) on the effervescent Inside which grabs attention, punctuated by kicks and snares creating a blaze of movement amid commanding voices and unrepentant basslines.

Release: October 25


Hermanito – Romance – Ad Hoc Records

Hermanito’s heavy brew of curious samples, jazzy inflections and tough, shuffling beats all go to make up a vital, tantalising listen. The undulating layers of bluesy sound build around pulsating drums as evocative instrumentation lifts and falls on the opening Caliente. Next the blissful, Romance feels warmer on reflection as deeper echoes of melancholy traverse this beautiful arrangement, and is complimented by a remix from Joaquín Cornejo. Further originals are the breezy West Coast styled harmonies of Zod, plus the equally chilled, sumptuous piano of Dawn Breaks which compose the listener’s faith in musical experience all over again.

Release: October 25


Proudly People – Spotlight – Roush Label

Ancient Aztec circular design

Gabriele di Natale and Antonio Cosentino aka Proudly People ignite the airwaves with this brilliantly, energetic workout of feverish proportions across three tracks. In one sense it’s all about the fiery percussion that never fails to bump and grind, or for that matter the bass which does much the same thing. I guess the words I’m looking for here are, irresistibly funky. Spotlight is the dynamite opener, while the equally invigorating charge of the Acid informed Module One follows suite. Last but certainly not least is the very excellent That’s Right which closes with an array of contrasting, devastating intensity visiting atmospheres, moods and a deeper understanding.

Release: October 25


Lagardere & Roxane – Dancing Around Me – Vanina Hänin Digital

Cover art by Lydia Frost

There is something deliciously sleazy about this new production that proves too tempting to resist. Unforgiving beats, fuzzy bass and the excitable whir of electrical impulses inform the arrangement as Roxane’s smoky vocal only adds to the sizzling tension. It almost feels 1980’s in the very best sense of the term, although is clearly rooted in the technology of here and now. Remixes come from Sergei Eiland and Fanatic Funk who both provide sterling versions injecting extra energy and sparkle into the rhythms, although the stripped down nature of the original has a particular appeal.

Release: October 25