BUTTECHNO is Pavel Milyakov, music producer from Moscow’s suburban district and one of the leading voices in the local rising underground scene. He is one of the founders of Johns’ Kingdom, a label and self-described “group of pretty unknown artists” from the Russian dancefloor avant-garde advocating anonymity (“untitled united”) and an anti-ego approach to music as fundamental principles of creativity.
Milyakov makes spacious, dystopian, and wonky reflections on techno that mirror the expansive barrenness and desolation of his highrise-dominated environs. Despite keeping a relatively low profile, Buttechno still manages to attract significant positive attention, whether providing “spastic electronics and fireball ballistics” in one of the local Boiler Room event or creating soundtracks for European fashion shows. He has close ties to the area’s design and fashion scenes, and his own artwork fleshes out a singular aesthetic.
Milyakov’s debut album SPORT, released on Johns’ Kingdom, followed a pair of 12” singles and was produced for hyped Russian fashion designer Gosha Rubchinsky’s AW15 runway show. In its tracks, the appearance of rhythmic cells ranging from strict to rubbery lend direction, for occasional stints, to the blue, ruminating, and post-apocalyptic voids that are constant throughout. Whether DJing or playing live, Milyakov pulls audiences into a self-reflective, transfixed state.
With one foot in Berlin and another in Bristol, Cera Khin’s rise is emblematic of the scene’s collaborative and cross-over instincts. Whilst Khin maintains regular slots on Noods radio and NTS, her primary project is her label, LazyTapes.
The imprint’s debut release, ‘Guided Meditation’, is a genre bending experimental journey into the darker sides of ambient. Further releases followed, with respected ambient-jungle artist Christoph de Babalon compounding LazyTapes’ status as having some of the most forward-thinking approaches to electronic music. The label’s most recent release, and its first 12”, ‘The Screws That Hold The World Together’, comes from Peder Mannerfelt, who manages to distil the essence of LazyTapes into a trio of head-banging, club ready tracks. LazyTapes’ sonic universe draws from all elements of electronic and dance, refracting the familiar into spaced out, anaesthetised constructions for uses in the club and its resulting hangover.
LazyTapes’ intelligent application and deconstruction of a wide range of sounds is reflected in the range of Khin’s energetic and eclectic DJ sets. These frequently taking a winding approach to genre, a journey through dub, dancehall, jungle and techno. With the approach that she will play ‘whatever the fuck she wants'.
Most people probably associate Chris Farrell with Idle Hands, the label he started in 2009 while working at Bristol record store Rooted with buddies Peverelist and Kowton. It probably didn’t come as much of a surprise when Chris also opened Idle Hands the record shop in 2011 after Rooted closed. Farrell has been an integral part of the Bristol scene for many years, together with his friends he has helped shape the sound of the city - such as through the label Brstl that he runs with Shanti Celeste since 2011.
As far as DJ’ing goes, to say Chris is diverse behind the decks is an understatement; only a strong confident DJ dares to move between house, disco and soul finding a bridge to fragrant dance tracks of the 80’s, going further into UK punk rock heading into techno. Ingredients like one and a half decade of vinyl handling and coming from a musical home clearly shines through. Adding further to his credibility, Chris is also a well-experienced selector in the reggae and dub field.
Chris Farrell is available for DJ sets and label showcases with Idle Hands.
Florian Meyer has been DJing since the mid 90s and still enjoys it in the long nights of his residencies in Salon des Amateurs and Mother’s Finest as well as parties all over the globe. He is an avid long time music collector and runs the critically acclaimed DISK and SEXES labels. DON’T DJ-sets are known for their eclectic yet energetic and clubby dance floor delivery and long immersive journeys in the chillout - always surprising and refreshing!
He has released music since 1996 in collaborations like the IFF, The Durian Brothers and many others - his production activity as DON’T DJ started only in 2013. The highly recognisable style of this project features polyrhythmic (/ multimetric) rhythm excesses and curious atmospheres in a unique way that refuses categorisation.
DON’T DJ live shows range from ambient or experimental moods to full on club and stage sets. Every performance is unique as Florian recomposes his tracks while adding live experiments with prepared turntables on stage. A special collaboration with visual artist Marco Buetikofer is also available for shows: Marco plays a video game specifically crafted for this purpose which’s parameters are partially controlled by the live sound.
Florian has been giving workshops and talks since his time as a snowboard teacher in his late teens. He has spoken and taught in schools, universities, museums and festivals like Unsound and Intonal.
On offer are live-sets (with or without visuals), dj-sets, lectures and workshops, don't hesitate to ask for more detailed informations.
Starting to DJ in 1992 Even Tuell (aka Paul David Rollmann) found out that he is not scared of going deep. He describes his style as a “constant balancing act between grounded deep house and innovative techno”. These fine skills brought him a residency back in 1999 at Robert Johnson in Frankfurt, a collaboration that continues still to this day.
Even Tuell co-runs the acclaimed label Workshop with Lowtec, responsible for shedding light on some of the most interesting and “dare to be different” artists in the electronic field today. If you have seen fans wearing Workshop gear in the club – Even Tuell is of course responsible for this too: he founded his fashion brand Airbag Craftworks in 1995, starting by making record bags.
Out of dusty sounds and grim basslines Even Tuell manages to create hypnotizing productions – drunk and dizzy, yet bouncy and danceable at the same time. His well-selected discography includes releases on labels such as Out To Lunch, Latency, Kann and Meandyou, as well as his own Workshop of course. Since his bright studio space in Kleestadt is his favourite place to spend time in, there will surely be more coming from this artist in the near future. Although as the name Even Tuell indicates, you can and you should always only expect the unexpected.
Born in Kiel, Germany, in the late 60's, Finn Johannsen started collecting records since he was a kid, with a focus on anything danceable from Disco, Soul, Post Punk, to Synth Pop and all points in between, and entered the nightlife as soon as he could. He spent his formative years dancing in some legendary clubs in Hamburg and started out as a DJ in the 80's on the Rare Soul circuit, then later fell in love with House and Techno and the styles that followed suit. Over the years he played a vast array of national and international gigs, and his widely acclaimed mixes and radio shows are all over the web. He is also a well respected and prolific writer for numerous print and web media publications (and there are rumors that he is affiliated with the mysterious D*ruffalo collective). He lives in Berlin, where he operates the Macro Recordings imprint with Stefan Goldmann. He used to work for the legendary Hard Wax store.
Forest Drive West is a new producer from London, whose sound neatly, often edgily, cuts across the hardkore junglisms of the UK capital, Bristol’s low-end hauswerk, and the permanent 4/4 throb of Berlin. It’s no surprise, then, that in the space of just a handful of bumping, techy but always dubwise releases, he’s worked with Peverelist (Livity Sound), Felix K (Hidden Hawaii), Al Blayney (Appian Records) and south London’s finest, Rupture – wrecking heads, moving dancefloors, and, just maybe, keeping the continuum creeping forwards in the process. One fears this is just the beginning...
GRAMRCY is a British-born DJ and producer currently living in Berlin. His productions draw elements from the UK’s rich rave history while pushing towards a resolutely forward-facing sound. EPs on cult UK labels Ancient Monarchy and FTD established a restless, anything-goes approach to music-making, while his latest release - a collaboration with Hodge on the Singapore-based label Midnight Shift - displays a tougher and more upfront side. This approach extends through to his DJ sets - a fluid and stylistically diverse selection that skilfully weaves between genres and eras while maintaining at its heart a fun and carefree approach to dance music.
Well received mixes for Crack Magazine, Boiler Room, Uncanny Valley and Ceramics (which Thump named their No.1 mix of 2015), as well as guest slots on NTS and Rinse FM have cemented his reputation as an exciting and diverse DJ, as comfortable with well-considered warm-up slots as he is playing peak time sets.
Besides running the longstanding Housework parties in Bristol and Berlin alongside Shanti Celeste, Golesworthy and Daisy Moon, he’s played a number of well-respected clubs, venues and festivals across Europe, including ://about blank and Tresor in Berlin, Simple Things Festival in Bristol and London’s Dance Tunnel. 2018 looks to continue this trend, with a number of exciting releases and shows on the horizon.
In 2007 Kassem Mosse’s first release appeared via the label Mikrodisko (which is also a queer party collective he belongs to). His signature style of dusty, smothered, foggy productions were a sound most people definitely did not expect at the time. Seeing Mosse’s discography is impressive and the more part consists of respected labels he is closely affiliated with. In 2014 Workshop presented his praised debut album “Workshop 19”, and since then Mosse has released two more full-length albums: 2016’s “Disclosure” via Honest Jon’s and “Chilazon Gaiden” on his own Ominira imprint in late 2017. Each album has clear roots in its predecessor, yet the sonic image has been continually stripped bare, revealing a wilder, more raw sound.
Perhaps not known to all is that Kassem Mosse is as much of a well-seasoned DJ as a producer. His style lies somewhere on the sharp edge between house and techno: Jackin’ beats, Acid and Dance Mania-style trax interlaced with more abstract choices all fits in here. He is as selective buying records as he is playing them, focusing on quality rather than just filling up empty space.
Mosse also collaborates with various artists in the studio as well as on stage. Together with Mix Mup he forms the duo MM/KM - a project bringing thoughts to improvised jazz and jamming sessions. Dillon Wendel is another, consisting of experimental UK artist Beatrice Dillon and Kassem himself. Furthermore he also composes sound work for visual artists, such as German Hito Steyerl for whom he has created performance- and video scores.
Laksa’s innovative brand of euphoric groovers have been making an impact on dance floors since his early EP’s on Beneath’s Mistry and Batu’s Timedance back in 2015/16. He has now garnered support beyond London and Bristol, landing himself a place on Munich’s Ilian Tape with two essential 12"s - Camo and Delicates. 2018 is looking bright for Laksa with further EP's planned on respected UK labels such as Whities.
His hybrid sound effortlessly blurs the lines between breaks, techno and bass, a skill he translates directly into his DJ sets, regularly playing alongside respected DJ’s and producers – such as Surgeon, Pangaea, Jane Fitz and Batu.
With all this achieved in such a short space of time, Laksa is definitely one to watch.
LEIBNIZ is like all these tabs you have open in your browser for months, the ones which you sometimes forget about but then open arbitrarily one day to find some pretty nice surprises inside. Like Moritz Paul’s debut release on Fourth Wave, in 2013 whose wonky house grooves greet you like the Facebook profile of an old friend you wanted to write a while ago because you felt like you two should totally catch up. Or his subsequent records for labels like Uncanny Valley’s shtum and Rat Life series or Ortloff from Leipzig, where he used to live before relocating to Berlin. They were all a bit rougher, more technoid even, but all very much influenced by what you can read about in that comprehensive history of the hardcore continuum that you’d stumbled upon a while back when you had that »phase« in which you said »massive« way too often.
Eventually, you will open this one YouTube tutorial for something Ableton-related and recognise the voice talking about drum beats - you’ve totally heard that one before. Perhaps on Leibniz’s »Online« EP, the first release on hundert, the label he co-founded in 2017 with his partners in crime from DJ bwin and DJ OK. They draw from exactly the kind of theoretical ramblings about the internet, modern life and interpersonal communication in this age that you usually click around 4am, but then can’t get yourself to read because life’s too complex as it is already, isn’t it? Meanwhile, Leibniz himself is sampling all those bits and pieces, these alien human voices and sound artefacts from around the web to draw connections between people and things. He’s a bit like that kooky guy who sends you links to extensive political commentary, always shortly after six in the morning for some reason. You appreciate that, though, because who else is so consistent like that these days?
But finally, there’s Leibniz’s Soundcloud profile in which you can get lost more easily than if it were a constant stream of tumblr memes. There’s his more belting live sets, there’s his slew of remixes for other artists, his many B2B sets with friends and family or some teasers for the Fier nights he puts on with the hundert and PH17 crews at Berlin’s ://about:blank club. It’s as if you’d incidentally beatmatched three different tracks that started automatically after you accidentally clicked them - it all comes together here, it all suddenly makes sense. And you know what - you could just leave those running and close all other tabs, get on with your life and maybe, finally, take that shower.
LOWTEC got involved in electronic music as he started DJ’ing illegal raves in the early 90’s on the countryside of his hometown in Germany. A few years followed and he started producing his own material as well as getting into the label business. His first label Out To Lunch was started in 1996, to date its catalogue contains close to 30 releases from artists like Lynx, Even Tuell, Kassem Mosse and himself. Even Tuell is also Lowtec’s label partner at his second imprint Workshop, founded 2006. This is where the close network seems to be most apparent. Aside from Lowtec and Even Tuell’s own recordings, the label also frequently houses artists like Kassem Mosse, Willow, Move D and his projects Reagenz and Magic Mountain High, and newer, or perhaps lesser known artists like Schweiz Rec., Ozel AB, 808 Mate and Marcellis to name a few.
As unique as his work as a label curator is, so is also his own sound as a producer. Lowtec’s kind of house has a somewhat “dented” feeling when it comes to the sounds appearing; low-slung basslines often creates deep grooves with glitched funk elements. Experimental ideas and rhythms are explored here, and always somehow in the most natural sounding way possible, the flow is there. To date his discography spans two full-length albums, over two dozens of singles/EP’s and almost the same amount of remixes - some of these released through his own labels, others on recurring labels like Nonplus, Laid and Playhouse.
With residencies and label nights for Workshop at Corsica Studios in London, Robert Johnson in Frankfurt and Soup Kitchen in Manchester, Lowtec continues keeping himself and the collective around him busy. For the beginning of 2018 there is a mixtape set for release on label Avenue 66 where he previously released a 12”. Also a release on Workshop is scheduled, where the plan is to explore more of the collaborative project started in 2016 with Kassem Mosse.
MADTEO, known to his family and friends as Matteo Ruzzon, is at once a single-minded producer and a voracious DJ. Now residing back in his Italian motherland, it was his move to New York in the mid-90s that shaped Ruzzon’s musical world. The grim beauty of NYC seeps deeply into his being and by extension, the music he makes. Slowing the city’s relentless pace down to a crawl and amplifying the results, strange apparitions of melody and voice (often his own) swim to the surface. His dense, blunted production style draws as much from his love of dub and reggae as it does from the subtle maximalism of Italo and the cut-ups of The Bomb Squad, while his career-spanning work with rapper Sensational further expands upon NYC’s unique hip-hop heritage.
Besides providing the first 12” on Joy Orbison and Will Bankhead’s Hinge Finger label, his broad discography includes EPs for the likes of Workshop, Latency, and Meakusma alongside standout albums on the Sex Tags affiliated Wania, Sahko Recordings and The Trilogy Tapes (a cassette-only release later given a full vinyl reissue on FIT Siegel’s Est. 83’ Records label).
His self-styled $treet Wax DJ style is as wide-ranging as his label affiliations, and draws heavily from the bargain bins of the worlds’ record shops and thrift stores. His musical palette is bought clearly into focus behind the decks, as overlooked vocal heaters trade off against scuzzy box jams and raw acid workouts, all with the singular intention of rocking the room. As with everything Ruzzon does, it comes with an honesty that’s impossible to ignore.
MIX MUP aka Lorenz Lindner is an artist, musician and DJ who is persistently adapting and twisting the established rules of musical genres and demanding the extraordinary. Still Mix Mup stands for Techno and Funk, especially in his livesets. He started to produce music at a very early age in the 90s and soon got interested in the techno scene. In 1999 he worked in Munich DiskoB and Gigolo Records and got heavily involved in the scene around Ultraschall. In 2001 he moved to Leipzig and became a close friend of the Homoelektrik collective. Since 2001 he released several records on labels like Mikrodisko, Hinge Finger, The Trilogy Tapes, Meakusma and Erkrankung Durch Musique, and each release increased his international audience for a reason. He collaborates with his friend and studio partner Kassem Mosse in the project MM/KM, which saw its first release in 2012 on UK label The Trilogy Tapes (TTT). He was also involved in remix projects for John Beltran, Paul Woolford, Mistakes Are Ok, Kowton, UD, Si Begg… In addition to this, he moderates and curates a monthly radio show on Berlin Community Radio and runs an audio Pre-mastering service.
The sonic result of various roadtrips by musical auteurs Mix Mup & Kassem Mosse. Together they go on journey to engage in experiments with wider perspectives, as they slide across scales, inching towards mileage. In their work as MM/KM they look at each others' ideas and strategies, taking their music beyond their solo work. Their first release is a LP on Will Bankhead's label TTT (The Trilogy Tapes) with 7 tracks of great variety. Both have collaborated extensively in the past on radioshows and podcasts, as well as their chill-out project "chilling the do" – by now they have come to know each others do's and dont's rather well and every once in a while one of them finds a way to push the other to some adventure on the edge - while they're trying not to loose their minds and keep their gear from falling apart. Usually they prefer meet in each others anechoic chambers, but if you're lucky - they might come out at night and throw it down in some nightclub near you.
Birmingham-born, Dorset-raised and South London-based re:ni's appetite for deep rhythmic sounds is informed by her teenage years spent listening to drum & bass, dubstep and garage. As a selector, re:ni is drawn to off-kilter rhythms playing an energetic blend of UK techno, breaks and electro which have placed her on line-ups alongside Objekt, A Made Up Sound, Minor Science and Bruce. As well as regularly guesting for Nic Tasker's Whities show on NTS she has helmed acclaimed mixes for Electronic Explorations, Inverted Audio and Happy Skull.
RELAXER emerged from NYC in 2016 as the new project from Daniel Martin-McCormick. Over five EPs, he has explored lush techno with a feral punk spirit informed by two decades of innovative sidewinding in the US underground. Lithe, contagious bassline-driven grooves are a platform for a psychologically charged atmosphere -- humid with creeping paranoia, evocative melancholic melodies and themes of toxic masculinity. Relaxer’s hardware live set premiered at Berghain in 2017 and since then has been performed De School, Sustain-Release, Institut fuer Zukunft and more. He lives in New York where he runs the label Lovers Rock Recordings, collaborates with Aurora Halal as Halal & Relaxer, and co-directs the Sustain-Release festival.
London born and bred, Whities founder Nic Tasker has been djing for over a decade. He is one of NTS’ longest-standing residents, hosting his weekly show on the station since its first year of broadcast. He started Whities four years ago – a label which, in its short existence, has built a solid global following of its idiosyncratic musical output, parties and artwork.
Nic fell for dance music early on and got his schooling at Phonica, where he worked for many of his younger years. He went on to become a booker and host at Boiler Room, before joining Young Turks (where Whities originated as a sub-label). Taking Whities independent in 2017, Nic has continued to grow the label with both cohesion and variation, this year starting a dance-floor dedicated sub-label, Whities Blue, and a mixtape cassette series under the heading 88T. All focus predominantly on supporting the work of lesser-known contemporary artists.
This approach to music, combined with his experience across all corners the industry, gives his sets a diverse, neoteric sound grounded in the traditions of techno and dance culture. His djing has taken him worldwide, to Berghain, Robert Johnson, De School, Fabric, Sub Club, much of Europe and further afield in Tbisili, Tokyo and throughout the United States.
тпсб (tpsb) is an abbreviation of "темное прошлое светлое будущее", which translates to “dark past bright future”. тпсб’s debut album Sekundenschlaf (BLACKEST067) has been released on London label Blackest Ever Black in early 2018. Live shows can be sweaty or sweet.
Whities is a London label run by Nic Tasker. What started with the intention of providing a platform for off-kilter techno has, in its four years, morphed into something looser and more eclectic while remaining committed to dance music.
The label has been lucky enough to find a space deviating between the compelling, floor-friendly offerings of Avalon Emerson, Lanark Artefax, Minor Science, Giant Swan, Tessela, Kowton, Terron, Koehler and SMX, and distinctive sounds of Jules Venturini, Quirke, Reckonwrong, and Coby Sey. Connecting all of them is a sense of musicality and peculiarity, and a commitment to emotion and rhythm. Whities has formed lasting relationships with many of the artists, working together on events and projects in art, film and fashion. Designer Alex McCullough, the man behind most of Whities artwork and beyond, has been equally as intrinsic to the label’s identity.
Records aside, Whities has been known to throw a good party. Establishing a solid grounding at The Yard in Hackney Wick, the parties have since gone worldwide, with DJs including Vladimir Ivkovic, Call Super, Bambounou, Courtesy, Skee Mask, Rroxymore, Galcher Lustwerk, John Talabot, Beatrice Dillon and Willow joining the regular label artists.
Workshop has been going strong for over a decade now, set up in 2006 by dear friends and colleagues Jens Kuhn aka Lowtec and Paul David Rollmann aka Even Tuell. Together the pair had previously worked together on releases for Lowtec’s other label Out To Lunch, as well as simply sharing a passion for the music they grew up with on the scene. And of course the music they felt they wanted to create a base for. The label heads have stated in the past their aim is to release music “We will not need to be ashamed of in 10 years”, summing up the 12 years that have now just passed – it seems like they are doing fine.
Rarely has a record label been so connected with its look and feel, representing to the actual music on the disc to its fans. A diverse collection of music is to be heard, whether it is warm non-commercial-commercial disco funk to open up with, or a moody dark offbeat moment for an open-minded early morning dancer. The common denominator seems to be that the funk is there in almost every record - even in the releases often labeled as “leftfield house”. Of course this does not mean things do not change from release to release or might sound widely different in the future, or already do. The majority of the tracks appear unnamed and are translated and presented visually in understated thick recycled paper covers; the label logo embossed on each cover; the center label of the actual vinyl often in a natural earthy shade with a graphic stamp featuring perhaps an aquatic creature, a sphinx or a moustache clad man, accompanied by the name of the producer, the number of the record, and of course its distributor, Hardwax.
Workshop is being pressed at vinyl plant R.A.N.D. MUZIK in Leipzig, a company Lowtec also has been involved in since the start. They, like most of the people associated with the label, have a personal relationship with the owners. If they were not close from the beginning, they have become family over the years. Workshop means home for Kassem Mosse, Move D – including his projects Magic Mountain High and Reagenz, Willow, Ozel AB, Madteo, Midnightopera, as well as Even Tuell and Lowtec themselves. Label nights showcasing its talents are also being regularly arranged with selected steady partners around the globe: Corsica Studios in London, Robert Johnson in Frankfurt and Soup Kitchen in Manchester.
When being asked what the manifesto or plan for the label is, the answer has in the past been “All is just music” - everything is possible”. Taking this into account and that their release pace is so far maximum three records per year, one understands Workshop was not created to be a vehicle or a commercial success for any of the involved. Maybe that explains a lot about the continuously high quality of their output.
Chris Farrell’s Bristol label Idle Hands, started in 2009, is described by its founder as a “wide range dance music label”, something that becomes very apparent as you go through the imprint’s vibrant discography. Looking deeper into the label’s history you will find it is built through a close community, personal relationships and recognition.
A strong core family consisting of Shanti Celeste, Rhythmic Theory, Parris, Andy Mac, Kowton, Peverelist, The Kelly Twins and about 20 more respected artists are all vital in shaping the Idle Hands sound, serving up wobbly dubby bass sounds, soulful vocals, deep techno, gritty basslines – all firmly rooted and molded with that specific UK twist. Idle Hands is Chris Farrell’s personal view of what the sound of Bristol is and the effect it has had on underground dance music. Weather you are a long time fan or a newcomer to the label, it couldn’t be more of a thrilling catalogue to discover.
disconnect - transmissions from the basement
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