Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Berlin techno star Shed and DFA newbie Babytalk.
Listed: Shed + Babytalk
Rene Pawlowitz is Shed, the Berlin techno producer behind what many believe is the genre’s defining statement of 2008, Shedding the Past. Pawlowitz spends his days working in his hometown at techno haven Hard Wax and his nights running the Soloaction label. He grew up in East Berlin during the first wave of rave music in the early 1990s, absorbing the pioneering sounds of Detroit, London and, of course, Berlin. In 2004, he started Soloaction and released his first Shed release, the “Egotism” 12”. Since then, he’s released more than 15 foot-longs, but Shedding the Past is his first foray into LP territory. And what a debut. Dusted’s Jon Dale wrote that it is “an album in service to its history while making for the front – ‘the future as the past a little later.’” TIP! Pawlowitz reveals some of that history in this week’s Listed.
1. The Future Sound Of London - “Papa New Guinea”
For over 10 years, I hummed this track without knowing whom it belonged to. Then, in 2003, I saw a documentary on television and heard it again. I eventually came to a point where I had to figure out whose finger was in the pie.
2. Circuit Breaker - “Trac-X”
This track reminds me of the first rave parties I visited. I will never forget my first time at Die Halle at Weißensee. Everything was different, huge and weirdly loud. Already wearing a Sabotage shirt and a Stussy cap. At that time, techno was written with a "k" and not with "c." Rave on!!
3. D & F - “Buzz Click”
This record is one of the five “must haves” when you start DJing in your spare time. I was tape recording the "Rave Satellite” radio show and noted the names of the artists and labels. At the same time, I was ordering it for 14,90 DM at my favorite record store.
4. Cyrus - “Enforcement”
I call this a tough sell… (Eds. Note: He’s joking, it’s the first record ever released on Basic Channel.) Lo and behold, it’s hard to believe these guys (Mark Ernestus & Moritz von Oswald of Basic Channel and owners of Hard Wax) would become what they are now. Ha ha, I think I’m fired now. By the way, this record includes a “Killer Mills Mix” done by the master himself.
5. Vainqueur - “Lyot”
This represents the many hours we spend on the streets of Berlin in order to get in the clubs. I should start to digitize my dusty tapes. It was a great time.
6. Cristian Vogel - Infra EP
Summer ‘95. The "Last Love Parade" that I remember. My Ostbrandenburger rave colleagues and me spend the whole night at Elektro. This club was total toughness. It was so small that you could run through the club in five seconds But it was also a place where you could look over the shoulder of great DJs.
7. Surgeon - “Pet 2000”
The best time of techno and one of the best records of this era. Killah! But from this moment on, everything went downwards for me. I stopped buying records. During that time, I left my hometown – went to the west side and thought I could experience something new. Big Mistake!!!! It took me five years to understand this!! The people from the west side don’t have any good taste in music. Power to the Eastside!
8. Portishead - Roseland NYC Live
Portishead is still overwhelming me. It always helps you when you’re in a bad mood, but also when you feel good. After a gig in Bristol this year, I was very pleased to pass the same-named place. I wonder how someone can get on this deep stuff, because it didn’t look so sad/dark. Bristol is a city of good music.
9. Burial - Burial
These songs remind me of the drive on the highway A2 near Hannover. I heard Burial in the following situation: the engine of my car was burning, I only had air pressure on two wheels of my car, and the catalytic converter was filled with burned oil. Fortunately it was raining. And from that moment on - Burial was forbidden in my car!!!!
10. Toasty - “Knowledge”
It was clear that there would be a period of time where techno wasn’t able to surprise anymore. And if there was something new, it would came from the island (U.K.). But why dubstep? It wasn’t that cool, and the sounds move from one break to the other. I also didn’t understand the rewind thing! But, eventually, I heard it all in conjunction with this monster track, and suddenly everything started to make sense to me again.
Brooklyn producer Eric Broucek is the impresario of the vinyl imprint Stickydisc Recordings, a nascent disco/house label that might as well be an unofficial subsidiary of DFA Records. As Babytalk, Broucek recorded two 12”s during the past two years: 2007’s “Keep On Move,” which was featured on James Murphy and Pat Mahoney’s all-killer-no-filler Fabric mix CD, and 2008’s “Chance,” which featured an excellent Hercules and Love Affair remix. Why all the DFA love? Eric was the label’s in-house engineer/assistant for five years and contributed to records like LCD Soundsystem’s debut LP, the Juan Maclean’s Less Than Human and Hercules and Love Affair’s candidate for 2008 album of the year. Broucek recently built his own studio in Brooklyn to continue producing and recording for Stickydisc, both as Babytalk and as one-half of Watussi, with friend and DFA piano player Morgan Wiley.
Albums I Was Psyched To Hear Again After A Peek Through My Records:
1. Bill Withers - +’justments
What a buttery sweet voice! I even love the ballads on this record, but it’s the tight-as-shit grooviness on jams like “Heartbreak Road” that propel my email productivity through the roof and get me singing along. Absolutely killer Wurlitzer action and string section - just a great era, all-around, for recordings.
2. Idris Muhammad – Turn This Mutha Out
Jazzy dudes taking rhythm and disco to an absolutely artistic, special place. “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This” gets so funky and beautiful, I want to cry. Somehow it manages to move so well even without the cliché disco hats storming in and taking over. These guys didn’t care about rules much anyways.
3. T Rex – Futuristic Dragon
The guys in Hockey Night brought this in to studio when we were working on their upcoming record. It kind of blew us all away. There’s a pretty classic Bolan boogie tune on it called “New York City” that rules more than usual. The main lyric of the song is: “Did you ever see a woman / Coming out of New York City / With a frog in her hand” Yes!
4. Parliament – The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein
I’m not THAT big of a Parliament fan, but I forgot I had this and gave it another listen. Man, they were weird great people.
5. Iggy Pop – The Idiot / Lust for Life
I actually picked out The Idiot first but got bummed out listening to it so I just put on Lust fof Life instead. So So good. Iggy looks nice on the cover and “Some Weird Sin” and “Tonight” may be the best Iggy/Bowie moments ever. Be glad they got away from the darkness.
6. Prince – Prince
There was a weird collection of cassettes that ended up in a drawer at the DFA studio. This was one of them and I might have been the only one who ever listened to it there. I put it on only for “When We’re Dancing Close and Slow.” It will surely get your girlfriend all starry-eyed, as it did mine.
7. Jorge Ben – A Tabua de Esmerelda
I go to this record store in the East Village sometimes called Tropicalia in Furs. The guy in there will play you some incredible music of the funky brazilian variety – just ask. It’s dangerous because you might walk in with $60 and leave with an empty wallet and maybe just two records. Jorge Ben is a sexy beast and “Errare Humanum Est” on this record will melt you.
8. Syclops – I’ve Got My Eye On You
The Syclops record was released this year on DFA, but there’s still so much mystery about it. Maurice Fulton, officially the writer and producer, wouldn’t do any press, nor would he say much at all about who the musicians actually were in this “band.” His is a very original voice in electronic music, to be sure.
9. Yura Yura Teikoku – Hollow Me
Here is another upcoming record from the DFA camp – Death From Abroad, actually. These guys are outrageously cool. I saw them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg a few weeks ago. It was only their third time playing outside of Japan, where they’ve been making killer psychedelic-tinged rock for way longer than most anyone. They are masters, for sure.
10. Penguin Café Orchestra – Penguin Café Orchestra
This is a record that came out on the Editions EG label in 1981. You can find it for like $2 in record shops – a sweet deal. Simon Jeffes, the main man behind this music, seems to be after creating the most absolutely pleasant music imaginable. It’s extreme in its gentleness, if that’s possible.
By Dusted Magazine