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Sonja Moonear at modernity

23. November 2015

After studying classical music in her youth, Sonja Moonear set aside the piano in favour of the turntables and bought a Roland R8.

Surrounded by the Swiss mountains, Sonja immersed herself in the Geneva underground before finally infiltrating the ranks of the Weetamix residents in 2002. From that point on, participating in ever more ambitious projects, she was tapped by an international agency and started the road trip.

Moonear slowly began collaborating with artists – friends and crews – like Luciano or Cosmic Chile Zürich, along with Dandy Jack as Junction SM. She has acquired an impressive international reputation, playing in clubs and festivals worldwide.

In the last couple of years she’s been releasing her own tracks and remixes on renowned international labels such as Karat and Perlon. She runs the label Ruta5 and organises various events in Switzerland aswell as the ever growing Kiss Me festival. On top of that, she is a sound designer for the swiss-french TV.

This artist from Geneva evades easy categorisation however: her sets reflect an enormous wealth of ideas and creativity and lead her to perpetually redefine her style. Her musical background, eclectic tastes and enviable record collection have made miss Moonear a much sought-after DJ.

Sa 19 dec 15 / modernity at Schatzalp Davos

Virgina im Kapitel Bollwerk

26. October 2012

The talented DJ, Singer, Songwriter and Producer, Virginia has been deeply involved in electronic music for over a decade. Growing up in Munich, the energetic and dedicated artist quickly found her feet in music. Her career kick-started in the late 90s thanks to a wave of early hit singles, and she soon began to tour as a DJ, discovering a real passion for life in front of the crowd.

A world-wind of live shows and international Djing ensued, with Virginia finding many a follower, thanks to residencies like the cult club Flokati, Tobi Neumann’s famous house heaven, or her longstanding nights at Sven Väth´s Cocoon club in Frankfurt, which ran for over 3 years. Inspired by the warm and analog tracks of the 80s and 90s, her DJ sets combine this sound with modern records in an exciting fusion, layered with spontaneous live vocals adding a unique third dimension. With a careful mixture of peaks and also moments of reduction, she commands attention in her hybrid DJ / Live performances.

Her song-writing and production projects continued to grace the charts and hold her in great respect in the scene. Her full length album, ‘Twisted Mind’, was released in 2008 on Rough Trade, co-produced with Eye- Q Records’ Steve B-Zet; a wonderfully musical cross-over album that found its way into Film and TV airplay. The album was a positive blend of electro-pop, a project which saw Virginia touring live on stage with a 5-piece band.

Viriginia co-wrote a wealth of productions and guest appearances, alongside the likes of Steve Bug, Butch, Abe Duque and most recently with Panorama Bar resident Steffi, on her album ‘Yours & Mine’. Beginning with a vocal-led collaboration, ‘Reasons’, on Jus Ed’s acclaimed label Underground Quality in Oct 2010, they have since gone on to produce some very exciting results. Steffi’s album focuses two tracks around Virginia’s vocals which she feels really reflect her true musical direction – the tracks ‘Yours’, a rousing hit in the making, and the touching ‘You Own My Mind’ (both released on Berlin’s Ostgut Ton in Feb 2011).

Virginia’s rich, colourful and vibrant voice has brought a golden touch to her widespread and highly respected release catalogue, and she continues to collaborate with some of electronic music’s key players. Always developing her own production skills, she is currently working on her first solo productions which is due late autumn, 2012.

Fr 30.11.2012 23:00
Kapitel Bollwerk Bern

Virgina im Kapitel Bollwerk

Heartthrob in der Pfingstweide

19. September 2012

Jesse Siminski, Aka HEARTTHROB was born in 1976 in Northern Michigan. He discovered dance music through a musician father and relative who owned a record store. Early Prince, Kraftwerk’s ‘Tour de France’ and Laid Back’s ‘White Horse’ were three of Jesse’s childhood favorites. As a teen in the early nineties, he discovered the Midwest Rave scene, traveling to Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Milwaukee to hear the unique sounds of the area. This is where he first hear and connected with the music of Richie Hawtin, Drop Bass Network and Communique Records-pioneer of minimal acid and techno. Their dynamic and challenging aesthetic had an impact. Shortly after Jesse became determined to make his own music and started collecting gear and recors. In 1999 Jesse moved to New York City where he continued to experiment with music as well as contemporary art. New York’s small minimal scene brought him to Magda and Troy Pierce, who would become friends and sources of inspiration (musical and otherwise). Shortly after Richie Hawtin moved into the neighborhood and a friendship with the Minus family was established. The first public exposure of his music was during Magda’s seminal dj set at Mutek 2003.

Jesse uses his productions to explore the intersection where tradition and innovation cross as much as aesthetics and concepts. Where the ideal is function and entertainment as well as experimentation and emotion.

Jesse has releases and remixes (past and forthcoming) on Minus, Underline, Contexterrior, Alphahouse, UnFoundsound, Mos Ferry, Get Physical, Wagon Repair, Tora Tora Tora, Phonocult, Esperanza and Stock 5 amongst others. He has been hosted to play at venues such as, Mutek New York City, Fabric (London) Popkomm at Watergate (Berlin), Volt (Amsterdam) and Batofar (Paris).

Jesse now lives in Paris and is working full-time on music production and live performance.

Sa 13.10.2012 23.00
Pfingstweide Zürich

Heartthrob in der Pfingstweide

Robert Hood in der Zukunft

11. September 2012

Robert Hood makes minimal Detroit techno with an emphasis on soul and experimentation over flash and popularity. Having recorded for Metroplex, as well as the Austrian Cheap label and Jeff Mills’ Axis label, Hood also owns and operates the M-Plant imprint (including the two sublabels Drama and Duet) through which he has released the bulk of his solo material. Hood was a founding member, along with Jeff Mills and Mike Banks, of the Underground Resistance label, whose influential releases throughout the early and mid ’90s helped change the face of modern Detroit techno and sparked a creative renaissance. Infusing elements of acid and industrial into a potent blend of Chicago house and Detroit techno, UR’s aesthetic project and militant business philosophy were (and remain) singular commitments in underground techno. Hood left Detroit (and UR) with Jeff Mills in 1992, setting up shop in New York and recording a series of 12″ EPs. Through the mid ’90s, Hood has focused on his solo work, setting up M-Plant in 1994 and releasing singles such as “Internal Empire”, “Music Data” and “Moveable Parts”. Although his desire to remain underground has been replaced by an urge to reach a wider audience, Hood remains fiercely critical of artistic and economic movements destructive to inner-city communities and has combined his musical enterprises with outreach and social activist ends. His debut Peacefrog album “Point Blank” took Hood’s hypnotic minimalism to entirely new depths and territories, whilst his latest album “Wire To Wire” takes his productions onto new levels of musicality and sophistication within the world of electronic music.

Fr 26.10.2012 24.00
Club Zukunft Zürich

Robert Hood in der Zukunft

nd_baumecker im Kapitel Bollwerk

18. August 2012

Having lived and worked in Frankfurt/Main, Heidelberg and Mannheim, nd_baumecker eventually moved to Berlin in 2004, leaving lasting traces at every of his stations. He started djing in 1991 in a bar called „Romantica“ in Frankfurt’s area around the main station. It was run by Hans Romanov who later operated other venues like the Intimbar, where ND played as well. That’s where Ata and Heiko M/S/O from Playhouse started noticing him. Soon after they hired him as a shop assistant for their record store Delirium and offered him a residency at their seminal WildPitchClub at the Club Nachtleben. After Baumecker played at every club in Frankfurt regularly (Box, XS, Music Hall, Dorian Grey…), he moved to Heidelberg, where he started promoting a club night at HD800 together with Dirk Mantei aka D-Man. After a short stop in Mannheim, regular guest DJ sets at the old OstGut Club and running his own label Freundinnen Audio, ND finally came to Berlin in 2004, where he not only picked up a residency at Panorama Bar but also started a job as in-house booker for the club.

Stylistically, ND never limits himself to only one sub genre. Instead, he constantly looks out for new ways of expressing himself. „A well known ballet choreographer once said: ‚Surprise is important.’ I think this approach describes my style best. I’m oscillating between Disco, House, Techno, Electro, Broken Beats and Pop. I’m always open to anything between the brute and the tender. The dance floor is a field for experiments. If you manage to get the crowd, you can almost do anything with them.“ Even more so, if it’s well presented, ND’s mixing is among the best you will ever hear in a club and brings together completely different tracks in a surprisingly conclusive way. „Anything that somehow manages to sound ‚new’ really gives me a kick. It’s really hard to describe. Dance music should have a good portion of Funk and for me it always needs to sound like Disco, whatever the style. I like vocals a lot. In my opinion they are the most important and significant bits you’re taking home after a good night out, because they’re simply very memorable.

Since 2010 ND also produces with his new partner Sam Barker as Barker & Baumecker. They have released two 12“es and an album on Ostgut Ton, musically they touch upon everything from House, Techno and Trance creating their own unique sound. Apart from Barker & Baumecker live sets ND continues to concentrate on his DJ sets as nd_baumecker and his residency at Panorama Bar.

Sa 01.09.2012 23.00
Kapitel Bollwerk Bern

nd_baumecker im Kapitel Bollwerk

Steve Rachmad im La Graviere

17. August 2012

After more than a quarter of a century involved in electronic music, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Steve Rachmad has been integral to the development of the scene in his native Netherlands. Most often associated with Detroit techno, its warm pads, rousing strings and powerful grooves, Steve is the producer, remixer and DJ who one of the first championed such sounds in his home country.

Amongst his earliest achievements was releasing the full length Secret Life of Machines back in 1995. A definitive techno album that was very much an instant classic from Rachmad (under his Sterac alias), 2012 sees it getting touched up, slowed down and remixed by the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Joris Voorn and more, ready for release on influential Dutch label, 100% Pure.

Alongside that work, a strong line of singles and EPs litter Steve’s discography, often under weird and wonderful aliases. Forever exploring his own take on techno, electro and deep as well as techier house, releases and collaborations have come on imprints including Soma, Music Man Records, Truesoul, Delsin, Figure SPC and Get Physical. As remixer, too, he is much in demand having re-worked Joel Mull, Nina Kraviz, M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade, Sam McQueen and many more to devastating effect. What’s more, late in 2011, connoisseur Dutch imprint Rush Hour asked Steve to contribute to their Amsterdam All Stars compilation, with his ‘Boogie Moogie’ track one of the eventual stand-outs.
As a DJ over the years, Steve has constantly evolved, most often spinning heartfelt techno, but also weaving in formative influences like disco and electro. He has played everywhere from Fabric in London to Berghain in Berlin via D-Edge in Brazil as well as at festivals like Awakenings, Creamfields Australia and Time Warp Holland – not bad for someone who started out cutting and pasting on his parents’ reel-to-reel back as a 12 year old.

Most recently, Steve has been installed as resident at leading Amsterdam nightspot, Studio 80, and has also been touring the world to celebrate the re-release of Secret Life of Machines, stopping off in leading venues all over the planet. Still as devoted to his musical love as ever, Steve’s acute production ear and true-school values are what have kept him as relevant as he his, despite so many years in the game.

Taking into account his 25 year career, Steve Rachmad is known by everyone by now. His discography counts more than 100 releases, and we all heard him some time tearing the roof apart. He can be, justified, stamped as a real techno legend, who can count on fans in every corner of the world, but also has numberless colleague artists which he inspired with his music.

In the beginning days of his career, he was considered as a European answer to the classic sound coming from Detroit after his debut album “Secret life of machines” which came out in the early days of 100% Pure label. The album was a milestone of the techno scene of that time. Labels like Tresor, Fragile, M-Plant and Sino followed, and he soon established his spot at the Belgian Music Man institute. He developed a typical pumping and hypnotic production style with records as Organa, Chios and Virton, one by one big time classics which are still, more than 10 years later often played in clubs and festivals.

Steve Rachmad as a DJ built up a lot of experience too. His technique is of an unprecedented class (he was one of the first DJs who played with the 3rd deck into perfection), but he is above all a DJ who time after time knows how to bring the public on a hypnotising trip, thanks to the intelligent way of programming music during his sets. During his career, he explored techno into extents; with the same ease he also conquers the areas between deephouse, 1980’s synthesiser music and Drexciya-inspired electro as he explores the borders of the darker and more raw sound with tempo above 130 beats per minute.

Sa 20.10.2012 23.00
La Graviere, Geneva

Steve Rachmad im La Graviere

Tiefschwarz im Cabaret

16. August 2012

Ali and Basti Schwarz – brothers and music lovers, created Tiefschwarz out of a passion garnered since 1990 from their first experiences as DJs at the now legendary clubs that Ali ran in Stuttgart “ON -U” (1990 – 1993) and “Red Dog” (1993 – 1997). These experiences and their obsession with the music they were hearing from within and across the German border, encouraged them to make the step from DJ to producer.

In 1996 Tiefschwarz was created and they began working together with acclaimed producer Peter Hoff in Stuttgart. After a few remixes, their first single “Music” was released in 1998 on Benztown and “Wave Music” NY. The success of the single motivated Tiefschwarz to record their debut album “Ral 9005” which came out on Four Music in 2000. “Ral 9005” was then seized upon by Derrick Carter & Luke Solomon for their Classic Recordings label in the UK in 2002. The album and the subsequent 4 singles (Thru a Little Window, Hello Again, Never, Nix) were received enthusiastically by both the English and international press, not to mention a growing fan base of music aficionados.

In 2002 Classic also released Ali & Basti’s mix album “A Little Help For Your Friends” and their DJing career reached new heights with tours in Australia, the USA as well as gigs as far afield as Brazil and Russia

2003 saw the brothers up sticks and move to the creative capital of Berlin where they set up a new studio along with new producer & friend, Jochen Schmalbach. Continuing their burgeoning career as remixers (with previous greats such as their reworks of Masters at Work, Ultra Naté, Boogie Solitaire, Freaks, Isolee, Groove Armada) Ali and Basti went on to remix the likes of The Rapture, Cassius, Spektrum, Micatone, Lost & Alive, Lopazz, Osunlade, Minimal Compact, Trüby Trio, DJ Hell, Kelis, and Missy Elliott.

Their last single on Classic; “Nix” was the grand finale to a very special relationship and from there they joined and helped create ‘Fine Records’ in London (a division of Four Music, their former label in Germany). The first single was ‘Ghost Track’ accompanied by a Black Strobe remix followed by their fantastic ‘Misch Masch’ album which not only showcased their talent as DJs but also their remixing prowess on a double CD release.

The majority of 2004 and 2005 was spent juggling a high profile DJing career, whilst writing and producing their second and long awaited album ‘Eat Books’. The first single from the album ‘Isst was released in 2005 and was voted one of the best singles of the year by Trax and DJ magazine. After that came ‘Wait and See’ with vocals by Chikinki, Morning Siren’ with vocals by Matt B.Safer from the Rapture followed by ‘Fly’ with a Steve Bug remix and then ‘Damage’ with Tracey Thorn and accompanied by a brilliant Mandy remix.

2006 was a big year for remixes, amongst other things. Three high profile mixes of Depeche Mode ‘John The Revelator’, Madonna’s ‘Get Together’, Roxy Music’s ‘Rain Rain Rain’ and Booka Shade’s ‘Darko’. Additionally, they released 2 mix albums – one for the outstanding Fabric series and the other in conjunction with the Time Warp festival in Germany.

2006 was also the year that Tiefschwarz began their own label – SOUVENIR. The project that Ali & Basti had excitedly planned for years with old friend Arthur Velasquez, finally came to fruition. The first release of course was a Tiefschwarz track called ‘Hey’, under a different moniker of ‘Ichundu’ which prompted fellow DJs and the press to conclude that Tiefschwarz were once again at the top of their league. The label has also carved itself a definitive position in the dance record industry of today by offering a continuous release of stand out tracks from artists such as Phonique, Riton, Tom Mangan, Ziggy Kinder, Ruede Hagelstein and The Psychonauts.

Sa 13.10.2012 23.00
Cabaret Club Zürich

Tiefschwarz im Cabaret