Weekly Bits 39/2011

Don’t have much to share this week, but still a couple of things you should know of.

When I’m asked for my favourite concert, I will answer Kahil El Zabar without hesitation. I accidently came across this trailer for the documentary Be Known, which is currently in post-production. Looking much forward to this one!

Back in the day, James Pants tried to be a hip-hop producer. I’m not saying I’m happy he failed, but I certainly prefer the music he’s doing now. Anyway, he has decided to give away some of his old beats.

Juno Plus did an interview with Actress, talking to him about the DRC Music project and Clubbing in the Congo.

German magazine Groove launched their podcast series with a mix by Shitkatapult founder and now bandleader Apparat.

Another recommended mix comes from Sonar Kollektiv‘s Roskow Kretschmann, better known as Sygaire. Check his Proto Disco Pronto mixtape over at SoundCloud.

Spine TV interviewed Martyn and collaborator Erosie, and there’s also a music video for Martyn’s Viper.

And lastly, here’s one more interview with Teebs recorded at this year’s Sónar festival.

Update Due to popular demand, here’s a backup link for the Apparat podcast

Mixtape Monday #23

Here’s a micro-edition of our popular Mixtape Monday, featuring four new mixes and another we slept on before.

Let’s start this with Ital Tek‘s summer mix for Percussion Lab. The man will be on an extended tour through the United States in October. Listen to the mix and you’ll know why you want to go.

Barcelona based Cardopusher first came on our radar when he released his (highly recommended) album Yr Fifteen Minutes Are Up on Tigerbeat6. For FACT Magazine Portugal he contributed a mixtape containing music off that album as well as some unreleased joints.

George Fitzgerald had some strong releases on Aus Music and Hotflush this year. We also liked his mixes for URB Magazine and Sonic Router. He has made another one, this time for Resident Advisor!

Remember Sonar Kollektiv? They released a podcast mixed by their very own Stee Downes to promote a label night going down in September.

Lastly, here’s one we slept on before. It comes from Braille, who is one half of Sepalcure, and was released for Hotflush’s podcast series earlier this summer.

“Umod 2”

Alright, you clicked on the link, now you must be all excited. And there’s a good reason for it, as here are a couple of unreleased Domu tracks for you to download. Just don’t get overexcited, there are no plans for comeback, these are just some leftovers Domu wanted to share.

Dominic Stanton

For those that don’t know, Umod has been Dominic Stanton’s moniker for his more hip-hop paced productions. He had an album out on Sonar Kollektiv in 2004, a personal favourite of mine since day one. The tracks below are alternate versions and some demos that never made it on a proper release – and chances are it will stay this way.

Amazing Maze
deadlock demo
EDNA domu beat
Jello Yack
2001leprechauns demo
Lonely People
Maxine 1
Miracle Fish
Omega Supreme V2
Robin Instr 2
Robin Instr 4
Serene Sister
Sing a Song
Warrior Princess
The Real Real Thing

If you haven’t been familiar with music from Umod (or even Domu), this is a great way to get you started. All thanks go to Mr. Beatnick, who got these tracks from the man himself. Big up!

March 12, 2011 As Lay-far pointed out in the comments, these are only a few of the unreleased tracks that surfaced. You can the rest over here!

Jutojo

Following previous features on designers working in music business, such as Machine, Ian Johnson or Mat Design, the guys of Jutojo were on my list for a while already. The trio of Berliner based designers is probably best known for their work with Jazzanova and Sonar Kollektiv, for whom they produced countless record artworks, but also visuals for their clubnights.

Below you browse through a selection of their work, primarily their history of record covers, and read a little interview.

Jutojo

Can you please introduce Jutojo to us?
Jutojo are Julie Gayard, Toby Cornish and Johannes Braun, three cousins – two of them studied graphic design in London and one architecture in Berlin.
They formed the studio Jutojo when they started working for Jazzanova and their label Sonar Kollektiv in 2001, designing their record sleeves and doing the visuals for their weekly clubnight in Berlin.

When it comes to your influences, what are they and was there a common factor that helped you get together?
I think a lot of our first abstract film work for clubs came out of seeing Hans Richter films from the 1920s in which he filmed flat black and white shapes moving back and forth in space, created with simple means that gave the illusion of space and a sense of rhythm. Graphically we also like things produced with simple means: making objects, projecting onto them with light or a 35mm slide image and re-photographing them. Creating things in space and then moving a camera around an object, to find the best view, comes more out of curiosity rather than in reference to any particular graphic designer. Although we do like the work of Julian House/Intro for Stereolab and Broadcast, early Peter Saville Factory stuff and the way Saul Bass worked.

How do you work together? Does everybody have their own projects or do you work as a team?
Since our field of work is comprising print as well as film/projections, we tend to divide the areas between ourselves: Julie is responsible for the printed matters and Toby and Johannes for the projections and films, and making animations for video installations.

What makes Jutojo tick, the things you have in common or the differences?
We share an interest in creating visual products printed or filmed that use techniques where visual effects are often created through a physical process in a real space and where the computer is just a tool to finish the product off and make it reproducible. Be it photographing objects distorted by water, a typeface as a sculptural object or confetti on a scanner.

Before I came across your new website, I knew you primarily through your work for Sonar Kollektiv. Do you remember how that happened?
It was the starting point for us. Julie had just come back from studying in London and Alex Barck from Jazzanova, whom she knew, asked her to design the sleeves for their new label Sonar Kollektiv. It quickly went on to take it into the clubnights, since Berlin’s clubscene at that time was experimenting with club visuals a lot. It gave us the opportunity to try out various things and find a common language between print and projection.

Designing countless covers for the label, how did that usually work? How much were the musicians involved?
In general, the label heads Jazzanova had trust in our style and were quite open to anything. Most of the time the music was club orientated and concentrated on a singer, so it could be quite abstract. Sometimes the artist/musician would have an idea or photograph that we should work with. They only got really involved when the album was for a singer: then the marketing and distribution departments took over and argued that the singer “has to be on the cover” in a certain style to be clearly marketed. But we only did 3 or 4 of those.

Jazzanova Logo (2001)

I think the Jazzanova logo deserves special mentioning. Can you recreate the process of how that came about?
Jazzanova wanted a flexible logo, that could be used in any medium and that could change but still be recognizable as such. Inspired by tubular furniture, we created an alphabet made out of bent wire, so that it becomes 3-dimensional and can be photographed, filmed, hung… We first used them for the Jazzanova album cover, and also filmed and animated them for their clubgigs. A Japanese designer made a version of it in japanese letters for their Japan Tour and for t-shirts.

Is there something like an all-time favourite among your work for Sonar Kollektiv?
Jazzanova’s 12″ series that came out just before the In Between album, but that was actually for JCR Records, where Jazzanova released their own music at the time.

The first two Secret Love compilations we conceived and worked together with illustrator Maria Tackmann on.

The Off Limits 2 series of 12 inches with confetti

You also did visuals for some of the Jazzanova parties at WMF. What do you (dis)like about the medium?
The initial buzz with club visuals came by making moving images with quite primitive means in a low-tech way in our bedrooms and then showing them in a space full of people and seeing how the visuals fitted to the music and could effect the atmosphere of a room. Our first loops were things like a growing and shrinking red dot or a pulsating, slightly out of focus white line made by zooming in and out of a neon light in a subway with a super 8 camera on “auto-b”. After a few years we realised that although we got some positive feedback and invitations to big music festivals around Europe and even Japan and USA, the club was not really the place where an audience really follows the visuals – also, the club music often didn’t have a lot to do with the content of our images. We were always trying to follow and react to the music but not the other way round. Just now we have performed a new piece called “Staub” with Phillip Sollmann aka Efdemin where sound and image are generated at the same time and interact more with each other.
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You can find a lot more of Jutojo’s work on their website and of course the Sonar Kollektiv release page. I also want to point out the possibility to buy the font resulting from the Jazzanova logo design and their Vimeo page.

Weekly Bits 26/2009

Zero” is offering a free mixtape for you to download, coming from Berlin beatmaker Robot Koch. All you need is an account on the website and that code from the wristband you received at the release party.

Another mixtape is taken from the XLR8R Podcast, who present a set full of electro-funk put together my Berlin’s DJ T.

With one of the most exciting editions of the Sónar festival being over, Radio 1 host Mary Anne Hobbs has filled her YouTube page with lots of new videos. Apart from an overall impression, there are features of Martyn, Joker and The Gaslamp Killer.

Germany’s Sonar Kollektiv made a dream come true. For every vinyl purchased on the webshop, you will get the MP3s for free. That’s the way to go!

If all goes well, the new Beyondjazz website will be online later today. I’ve seen a preview and I can tell you it’s a sleek design.

At last, have you seen this Marvin Gaye inspired poster-design yet?

FACT Mix by Roland Appel

Sonar Kollektiv’s Roland Appel has already recorded under the names of Fauna Flash, Trüby Trio and more recently his own. He’s also an excellent DJ and will be playing at London’s Plastic People this Friday.

Roland Appel

Whether you need a taster or there’s no way you’ll be in London for the party, FACT Magazine has a deep house mixtape from Roland. Unfortunately, there’s no tracklist for this one, but expect to hear tracks from Henrik Schwarz, Moodymann, Nôze and more!

New Sonar Kollektiv Compilations

Sonar Kollektiv has released two new iTunes-exclusive compilations. Fans of Jazzanova should check these out, as each contains a mix by the Berlin discjockeys.

First up is Digital Gems, a collection of tracks from sublabel Digital Kollektiv. Included artists are Christian Prommer’s DrumLesson, Soulphiction, Eva Be, Stee Downes and many more. An exclusive track comes from Daz-I-Kue of Bugz in the Attic.

Based on Misunderstandings is the name of a clubnight hosted by Jazzanova’s Alex Barck, in which he delivers his personal vision of club music. Following the nite’s success, Sonar Kollektiv put out a series of three 12-inches “dedicated to hot club sound that takes you by surprise”. All the tracks are now available on the compilation of the same name, completed by three previously released tracks.

The mentioned mixes are only available if you buy the whole release, the tracks included are the same as on the unmixed parts.

Jazzanova Remix Contest Finalists

In the last few weeks, the guys from Jazzanova were busy going through more than 400 submissions to their remix contest. There is no winner yet, but the remixers have been narrowed down to 10 finalists. You can listen to them on Soundcloud.

“We were virtually blown away by the general quality of the remixes submitted. It was absolutely thrilling for all of us to listen to the variety of different approaches these remixers took to our music. And it took quite some time to sort out our personal favorites […] Besides, we agreed on releasing digitally on our label Sonar Kollektiv not only one but at least three of these remixes.” – Jürgen von Knoblauch/Jazzanova

If you haven’t had enough yet, you can still listen to the 410 remaining submissions over here.

Mar 3, 2009 The winners have been chosen, the other tracks have been removed from the player

…more SK200!

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

As previously reported, Sonar Kollektiv‘s SK200 compilation will be available on December 1st. In addition to that, there will be a download-only EP with three exclusive tracks on their digital label Digital Kollektiv.01. Daz-I-Kue – Come With Me (J-Boogie Remix)
02. Recloose – Catch A Leaf (Eva Be Extended Remix)
03. Quasimode – Last Nine Days (Slope Remix)

Unfortunately, the screwed SK website doesn’t allow me to listen to their samples, but you might have more luck. I have to say that I prefer the EP over the full compilation, as the tracks haven’t been available before. You can get the release as DRM-free MP3 (€1.29) or lossless Wave (€1.79), downloads are available from now on!

Resident Advisor Podcast by Dixon

It is a pity all the old podcasts on Resident Advisor are no longer available for download. So far, all I have been doing today was playing their podcast with Berlin’s Dixon (Innervisions/Sonar Kollektiv), who did an episode 48 back in March 2007.

Dixon

RA.048 Dixon – 2007.03.12 (download)
01. Amp Fiddler – Faith (Jazzanova Remix)
02. Alice Smith – Love Endeavor (Maurice Fulton Remix)
03. Kelis – 80s Joint
04. Owusu & Hannibal – Lonnie’s Secret
05. Kathy Diamond – Album Track 13
06. Paul Randolph – Believer (Jazzanova Remix)
07. Demba – Louder (Henrik Schwarz Main Mix)
08. Martin Landsky – Let Me Dance (Sebo K Remix)
09. Telepopmusic – Love Can Damage Your Hard (Ferrer Remix)
10. Tracey Thorn – It’s All True (Martin Butrich Remix)
11. Matthew Herbert – Moving Like A Train (Smith n Hack Remix)

You might have noticed that many of the tracks are also featured on Get Physical‘s Body Language Vol. 4, which also was compiled and mixed by Dixon. Interested? Get the download while it’s up!

Jazzanova Remix Contest

Jazzanova and Verve invite all the producers out there to participate in a remix contest to their upcoming single I Can See with Ben Westbeech on vocals. The winning entry will not only make it onto a digital release, but also receive a copy of Ableton Live and a SoundCloud pro account for a year – both companies being partners to the contest. If you are interested, download the track and its samples from SoundCloud (you will need an account!). Unfortunately neither deadline or legal modalities are mentioned anywhere.

Nov 18, 2008 Deadline appears to be December 15, 2008.

Sonar Kollektiv 200

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

Following last year’s 10th anniversary, Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label is about to celebrate its 200th release with a compilation simply titled SK200. Two-hundred releases, not bad for an independent label, but there already was a big retrospective with Ten Years, Who Cares? So instead the boys from Jazzanova decided to include tracks that were (almost) all released in the last year.01. Soulphiction – Sun Children
02. Christian Prommer’s DrumLesson – Around The World
03. Paul Bryan – Like A Rainy Night
04. The Black Seeds – Take Your Chances
05. Thief – Somewhere
06. Roland Appel – Inner Soul (Slow Version)
07. Season & Sygaire – Cowboys & Angels feat. Randolph Matthews
08. Quasimode – Object In The Mirror feat. Carmen Lundy, Masato Nakamura
09. Two Banks Of Four – Wake me 5.30
10. Lars Bartkuhn – Prayer / Dance Into The Sun

One might say that makes it just one of their annual compilations, but why would that be any bad? If you’re that critical, you can listen to the SK200 Preview, playing for about 18 minutes.

SK200 is exclusively available on CD and will be released on November 17, accompanied by a t-shirt similiar to the cover artwork.

Jazzanova – I Can See

The guys from Jazzanova have posted a video to the second single from their new album Of All The Things on YouTube.

I Can See is among my favourites from the album (if not the favourite) and features Ben Westbeech on vocals. Unfortunately the video is nothing special, in fact it’s kinda stupid.

The single is not yet out, but it will feature remixes from Holy Ghost and Mark E.

Nov 6, 2008 Release date for Germany, Austria and Switzerland is December 2nd!

Jazzanova – Of All The Things

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

There were many rumors about the new Jazzanova album weeks prior to its anticipated release. Six years after their debut In Between, the founders of Berlin’s Sonar Kollektiv would deliver a new album, produced and recorded like it’s the 1960s again. However, not everybody seemed to have welcomed that idea, some forums reacted fairly sceptical about it, pushing Jazzanova next to Amy Winehouse. Me in contrast, I was very excited and welcomed that approach.

Maybe all those rumours and previews from the last weeks made me hope for an uplifting soul album, from start to finish. The first three tracks supported that hope, but what followed was going into various directions. So it’s not exactly a concept albums in my book.01. Look What You’re Doin’ To Me (feat. Phonte)
02. Let Me Show Ya (feat. Paul Randolph)
03. I Can See (feat. Ben Westbeech)
04. Lie (feat. Thief)
05. Little Bird (feat. José James)
06. Rockin’ You Eternally (feat. Leon Ware & Dwele)
07. So Far From Home (feat. Phonte)
08. What Do You Want? (feat. Joe Dukie)
09. Lucky Girl (feat. Paul Randolph)
10. Gafiera (feat. Azymuth & Pedro Martins)
11. Morning Scapes (feat. Bembe Segue)
12. Dial A Cliché (feat. Paul Randolph)
13. Let Me Show Ya (feat. Paul Randolph – Henrik Schwarz remix)

The opener was one of the first tunes playing on various podcasts, Phonte of Little Brother scoring with his smooth soulful vocals on Look What You’re Doin’ To Me. Up next is Detroit’s Paul Randolph, who also contributes the vocals on two more tracks. I must say, though Let Me Show Ya is a tight tracks, it is also very mainstream-accessible. But it doesn’t hurt at all. Ben Westbeech raises the bar with his superb vocals on I Can See, a very joyful soul/beat track.

At this point I loved the album already, with two tracks having conquered my heart. Unfortunately the album can’t or doesn’t want to keep up with that. Thief fails on adding something to the track Lie, his vocals are simply too fragile – which I noticed from his live-performances earlier. With José James next in the cue, I thought there is nothing to worry about. But it was before Dwele and Leon Ware on Rockin’ You Eternally, the album’s next quality track. Followed by the second track with Phonte, rapping this time: So Far From Home, a funky hip hop track that would’ve worked equally as a soul number.

Well, I decided not to make a final verdict on the album yet, so I won’t give you a full review – it want to be fair and give it more time. From the remaining tracks, the Azymuth and the Bembe Segue tracks were stand out. Jazzanova will surely get the deserved attention, especially with Universal/Verve behind them. It should find a wide audience and will could well be remembered as their best album yet. However, there remains a small disappointment for myself, I want more of those retro-soul tunes!

Oh, Jazzanova also have a new website, much inspired by the Of All The Things album cover. There you will find additional information or simply buy the album. It’s supposed to be available in multiple editions, the review was for the Japanese Edition, it has the Henrik Schwarz remix of Let Me Show Ya as bonus track. The release-dates of the album differ immensely, here’s what I found out:

Oct 15, 2008 – Japan
Oct 21, 2008 – USA
Oct 24, 2008 – Austria, Germany, Switzerland
Oct 27, 2008 – France, Greecy
Oct 28, 2008 – Spain
Oct 31, 2008 – Netherlands
Nov 10, 2008 – Portugal
Jan 2009 – United Kingdom As mentioned above, the album can be ordered from Juno or JazzEcho, but it should also be available on iTunes soon!

Jazzanova – Of All The Things

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

It’s no secret anymore, the new Jazzanova album will be out through Verve Records on October 24th. The first single Let Me Show Ya is already available and features Detroit’s Paul Randolph on the vocals. Several editions, including two limited editions and a double-vinyl LP will then be available, the following tracks are probably from the standard edition.01. Look What You’re Doin’ To Me (feat. Phonte)
02. Let Me Show Ya (feat. Paul Randolph)
03. I Can See (feat. Ben Westbeech)
04. Lie (feat. Thief)
05. Little Bird (feat. José James)
06. Rockin’ You Eternally (feat. Leon Ware & Dwele)
07. So Far From Home (feat. Phonte)
08. What Do You Want? (feat. Joe Dukie)
09. Lucky Girl (feat. Paul Randolph)
10. Gafiera (feat. Azymuth & Pedro Martins)
11. Morning Scapes (feat. Bembe Segue)
12. Dial A Cliché (feat. Paul Randolph)

Apart from Mr. Randolph, there the likes of Dwele, José James, Bembe Segue, Ben Westbeech, Marcos Valle, Phonte, Joe Dukie, Clara Hill, Paul Kleber, Five Corners Quintet and Azymuth featured on the follow-up to In Between.

As you can hear from in the video above, the recordings and the production process apply schemes from past periods, especially the 60s soul and funk. Unlike their dancefloor-oriented remix production, Jazzanova take the trend the albums from Nicole Willis, Jamie Lidell or even Amy Winehouse started. As harsh as this comparison might sound, one should expect this retro-sound is playing in its own league.

Videos from a record-session (here and there) are leaking through-out the internet, and various tracks from the album have been played on podcasts such as the OFFtrack show.

This topic on BeyondJazz has more details, and of course I will keep you updated!

Oct 15, 2008 French-German TV channel Arte has another clip about the new album (French and German), along the European tour dates.

Oct 22, 2008 Review of the new Jazzanova album!