Pola Riot – Lenny Laserdisc Mixtape (The Austrian Tapes 01)

Just when everyone thought it was safe to say that electro has its home in France, a bunch of Italian artists proved everyone wrong a few years ago. Today the situation is even more fragmented, with lots of new epicenters of electronic dance music popping up all around the world – and while countries like France or Italy (or of course also Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK or the States) are commonly known for having an active electronic music scene, one sometimes gets the impression that it seems to be a well-kept secret that Austria has been growing a strong, vibrant scene over the past few years.

The Austrian Tapes are a new series of monthly mixtapes on discodemons.net with the ambitious goal of showcasing the best in Austrian electronic music, featuring DJs and producers who I think are not only talented artists but are also making an active contribution to actually move and push things forward in Austria’s musical landscape. And as interesting artists tend to have interesting tales to tell, each mixtape will be accompanied by a short interview, letting the artists get a word or two about themselves and their music – but also about brostep, Falco or Skrillex’ brother.

It’s not without pride that I announce the name of the first guest: Pola-Riot, known for hosting some of the best parties in Vienna, for their excessive DJ sets and of course for a steadily growing number of successful releases, including tracks like Superpimpin and Brazza, to name just a few. Enough praise – let the music speak for itself!


[ Interview + Tracklist after the jump ]

They don’t call you Pola-Riot for anything: For the past few years, there have been lots of tracks and remixes coming from your way – all of the heavy and hard-hitting, but always different sounds and styles. What musical direction are you heading at the moment?

Pola-Riot: That’s hard to say … Basically we get bored quite quickly, so we always keep on trying out new approaches to producing. This isn’t really the easiest way as many music listeners rather prefer that one trademark sound you can easily recognize an artist by. Back when our track Superpimpin gained some kind of popularity, it would have been the most obvious thing to do more tracks of that kind – except we tried some very different things. As for the near future, I guess we’re focusing on rather techno-ish productions. But one never knows what’s next … maybe disco dubstep?

What do you think about the “future techno” movement, with lots of young producers bringing old acid techno sounds to new life again – just a quick hype or a new trend in electronic dance music?

Pola-Riot: There have been so many trends and micro trends in electronic music that we’ve stopped counting. And some of these hypes were over before many people even noticed. We really like much of the stuff associated with the so-called Future Techno, especially the guys from Bad Life as the name givers (I guess?) are doing an excellent job. Whether Future Techno is going to stay or not: it’s definitely nice to see a counter-movement to all this complex and brostep boredom that’s so annoying at the moment.

2012 has seen the release of Brazza so far, a massive tune receiving nothing but love and support from names such as Etienne de Crécy, Kissy Sell Out, or Foamo. What are your plans for this year?

Pola-Riot: We’re planning on at least one more release this year. There is some interesting stuff in our pipeline, it might even be a pop tune. We try to be very careful with our business/label decisions now as we’ve already had some rather uncool experiences regarding these things in our early days. That said we’re really thankful for all the excellent label work Mähtrasher and Etage Noir Special have done on our recent two releases.

If you could do a collaboration with one artist of your choice, dead or alive, who would you pick? Why?

Pola-Riot: We’ve heard that Skrillex‘ brother is now also producing, that might be a good guy to work with. No, just kidding. Truth is: There are simply too many outstanding musicians out there, so we don’t wanna offend anybody by not mentioning him or her. As for the already dead ones: might be most credible to say Johnny Cash or John Lennon but we’d rather go for Falco. Riot Me, Amadeus!

Besides producing and Djing, you guys are also known for hosting some of the best parties in Vienna, constantly inviting artists who are right on the edge of getting really huge. Without disclosing your next guests – what artists are you personally keeping an eye on at the moment?

Pola-Riot: Many of the artists we like nowadays can be found on this very mixtape, you should check every one of them out. In more general terms you can’t go wrong with releases form labels like Lektroluv, Bad Life, or Boys Noize Records these days.

And as it’s not all about techno: what are your favorite non-electronic artists at the moment?

Pola-Riot: We really dig the new Santigold album, which was partially produced by brilliant Mr. Switch again. Amazing tunes. HipHop-wise the Death Grips LP is quite a blast, a noisy one, however. If your ears are bleeding from that we recommend Bloom by Beach House: the perfect soundtrack for your lazy Sunday afternoon.

Tracklist:

01 Surkin feat. Ann Saunderson – Lose Yourself (Brodinski Remix) – Marble
02 Jaguar Trax – All I Dream (Hard Edit) – NON-Records
03 Shaved Monkeys – Morphosis (Shameboy Remix) – Techno Changed My Life
04 Pola-Riot – Brazza – Etage Noir Special
05 Casino Gold – Leveler (Henzel & Disco Nova Remix) – Crux
06 Mustard Pimp feat. Ze – The Amazons (Casino Gold Remix) – Dim Mak
07 autoKratz – Splinter (Modek Remix) – Bad Life
08 Clockwork – Hulk – Dim Mak
09 Zero Gravity – Haze – Plattenpussy Records
10 Destructo – Technology – BNR Trax
11 Mustard Pimp – ZHM (Pola-Riot Remix) – Dim Mak
12 Jagerverb – Mozzarella – GND Records
13 Nom De Strip & Bones – Yo! – Nitrus Records


The Austrian Tapes are a series of exclusive monthly mixtapes on discodemons.net, showcasing the best artists in Austrian electronic dance music – without sticking to any genre boundaries.

Disco Demons Guest Mix II : CLOCKWORK

February has come – and it’s colder than ever: time for another Disco Demons Guest Mix to shake off the cold! After a great start into this series of exclusive guest mixes (mainly thanks to my man Attaque) it’s time for the second episode now!

This month’s mixtape is brought to you by an artist who has been a regular name on this blog from day zero until now, an artist whose tunes I’ve been dropping regularly in my DJ sets as secret peak-time weapons: Clockwork, 20 years young, based out in Los Angeles, currently one of the fastest rising names in electronic dance music. After having been all over the music blogosphere for some years, he recently got massive attention from the likes of Steve Aoki and Felix Cartal, resulting in a mind-blowing EP soon to be out on Dim Mak Records. Most definitely one of the names to keep an eye on in 2012 – preferably from a safe distance.

[Tracklist after the jump]

1. Clockwork Intro
2. Sex, Drugs, Rock N Roll (Instrumental Mix)- Tommy Trash
3. Dutchness (Moska Remix)- Mata
4. Mr. Pink (Clockwork Edit)- Clouds
5. Dynamite (Nicky Romero Remix) (Clockwork Edit) – Sidney Samson Ft. Tara McDonald
6. Original Don (La Sape Remix)- Major Lazor
7. Traffic (Original Mix)- NT89 & Burns
8. Crush On You (GTA x LA Riots Remix) (Clockwork’s ‘Crushing’ Edit)
9. Up All Night (Botnek Remix)- Buraka Som Sistema
10. Emergency (Clockwork Remix)- Steve Aoki Ft. Chiddy Bang & Lil’ Jon
11. Be Strong (The Loops of Fury Mix)- Elite Force
12. Polis (Kid Kaio Remix)- Surfing Leons
13. Squad Up (Original Mix)- Clockwork w/ Hello (Acapella)- Martin Solveig & Dragonette
13. Ivory (Original Mix)- Congorock
14. Yo! (Original Mix)- Nom De Strip & Bones
15. XXXX- XXXXXXXXXX
16. Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix)- Major Lazer


The Disco Demons Guest Mixes are a series of exclusive mixtapes, handcrafted by artists that I’ve blogged about a lot, artists that have influenced me as a DJ, artists whose music I simply love.

Disco Demons Guest Mix IV : AEROTRONIC

A month can be a long time when waiting for a new Disco Demons guest mix to drop, but the wait is over now and I’m more than proud to present Disco Demons Guest Mix IV, compiled and mixed by two nice guys from Belgium who also happen to be one of the most interesting producers around at the moment called Jordi and Laurens – better known as AEROTRONIC!

And as if that wasn’t enough, the boys are giving away a free 320kbps download of their latest track Argus, beloved by the likes of Modek, The Oddworld, and Noize Generation!

Disco Demons: Aerotronic used to be known for much harder sounds not much more than a year ago. At what point did you decide to sort of re-invent yourselves towards techno, and why?

Aerotronic: I think it’s because of several reasons, but the main one being that we feel there is not enough innovation anymore in the rougher electronic styles. And also, we’ve been playing this kind of music for almost 3 years now and we aren’t so punk anymore. Actually come to think of it, we’ve always liked techno a lot. But especially now we are into the darker techno sounds.

[Continue reading + tracklist after the jump]

Disco Demons: 2012 has seen the release of some remixes and your Sputnik EP (featuring Gmorozov) so far. What are your next plans for this year?

Aerotronic: Next up is a release on the French label Boxon Records. This release is planned in June and it features 4 new tracks from us. I think it’ll give people a good
idea about what direction we are trying to go. In many ways that are. The first track of this EP will already be available real soon on a compilation of the label selves. After this release we have more new tracks coming up, we hope to confirm them soon!

Disco Demons: Which upcoming artists do you guys personally keep an eye on at the moment? Who are the real key tastemakers out there?

Aerotronic: That’s an easy question, Gmorozov of course. We were very glad to have a collaboration EP with him! In fact, we’ve already planned another one in the future since working with him went so smoothly. I think he is a very versatile producer, he both makes quality drum ‘n bass and very good dark techno sounds. We also like Oblast a lot, very strong debut EP from these guys. I’d say it our favorite upcoming new artist at this moment.

Disco Demons: What do you guys think about “future techno”? Just a quick hype for buzz blogs or more?

Aerotronic: Future techno has gotten a life on it’s own now. For me, it’s a mixture of many genres, from deep house to acid techno. It stands for techno anno 2012. I think it has come from very far and unlike genres as moombahton, this one has a lot of meaning to it. Slowing down a fidget track does not make you a new genre you know.

Disco Demons: If you could play one single song to the entire world, which one would it be?

Aerotronic: I think it’s one of our new tracks called XYZ. I can’t tell you much about it yet, only that Jordi and I consider this one as our baby. But so does the rest of that EP (coming soon). I think it’s our strongest work so far, so you can definitely share that with the world!

Bonus: Aerotronic – Argus (Original Mix)


Tracklist:

01. Intro
02. XXXChange – Scrying Over You
03. The Sexinvaders – Metropolis (The Sneakers Remix One)
04. Mickey Moonlight – Close To Everything (The Marvin Brothers Remix)
05. SCNTST – Highfield (Dunjinz Remix)
06. Shadow Dancer – Second City
07. Surkin Feat. Bobmo – Harry (Strip Steve Remix)
08. Costello – Solstice
09. Mumbai Science – Chemistry
10. John Lord Fonda – What’s Going On? (TWR72 Remix)
11. Crookers – Hummus (Botnek Remix)
12. Aerotronic & Gmorozov – Sputnik
13. Night Symmetry – Moon
14. Polydor Feat. Gustaph – Future Past (Monstertune Remix)
15. Destructo Feat. Oliver – LA Funky (BS1 Remix)
16. Mason – The Kickoff
17. L-Vis 1990 – Video Drone / Surkin – Piste De Ski (Acapella)
18. Oblast – Gravity
19. Aerotronic & Gmorozov – Hijack On Acid
20. Aerotronic & Gmorozov – Hijack


The Disco Demons Guest Mixes are a series of exclusive mixtapes, handcrafted by artists that I’ve blogged about a lot, artists that have influenced me as a DJ, artists whose music I simply love.

Disco Demons Guest Mix III : AUTOKRATZ

After a big room electro mix from Clockwork last month, the third Disco Demons Guest Mix is all about future techno again, coming from some of the pioneers of this new style: autoKratz, without doubt, one of the most exciting producer duos currently around and founders of Bad Life Records, the no. 1 source for the freshest stuff in electronic dance music.

Both their collaboration with Lee Mortimer, Faith, and their latest track Splinters received massive attention all over the globe – and with some exciting new stuff coming up (more in the interview below), the future is looking more than bright for autoKratz. Enough talk, here’s Disco Demons Guest Mix III!

Disco Demons: autoKratz (and Bad Life Records) are without a doubt amongst the key tastemakers of this exciting new movement in dance music commonly referred to as “future techno”. What does future techno mean to you?

David: Cheers for that. We’re having so much fun with the label at the moment. We’re really happy that we’re getting to work with such amazing music and a group of artists that are really different but strangely fit together.
Russell: For me, I’d say Future Techno takes some of the sounds and sensibilities of techno but presents it in a youthful, perhaps more electro way. It just seems right to describe these producers that are doing this sound, and it’s amazing that people get it and feel the same as we do. There’s too many sub-genres in electronic music, but it’s kind of emerged naturally, but we don’t want to take it too seriously, as soon as you limit yourselves to that sound, how can the label ever progress?

[Continue reading + tracklist after the jump]

Disco Demons: Which upcoming artists do you guys personally keep an eye on at the moment?

Russel: After seeing Night Symmetry live the other night, I was absolutely blown away. They’ve got an A/V live show which is sensational…like a thoroughly modern Chemical Brothers. Can’t wait for more new music from D/R/U/G/S, the new Shadow Dancer on BNR is classy as fuck, and Dems of course – a stunningly good band – can’t wait for their album.

Disco Demons: 2012 has seen the release of your tracks Faith and Splinters so far, receiving both massive love and amazing feedback. What are your plans for this year?

David: We’re working on a collaboration with Shinichi Osawa, which is turning out pretty cool, and he’s really nice to work with…then some remixes and more banging stuff throughout the year. I’m just loving making banging records at the moment.

Disco Demons: I’ve been talking to a lot of producers who said they would never listen to their own music (or dance music in general) at home – how about you? What are your favorite non-electronic artists at the moment?

David: We definitely listen to dance music at home – it would be impossible to run the label without doing so! We’re super passionate about it and love it outside of the club as well as inside. But we will listen to everything.
Russell – Nonelectronic wise, I’m forcing myself to have a break from the Django Django album as I was listening to it too much, and in danger of ruining it for myself. It’s a wonderful record!!!

Disco Demons: If you could play one single song to the entire world, which one would it be?

Russel: An autoKratz song? Splinters smashes it every time so I’d go with that. There’s also an Attaque track called Flow too that I love right now, probably out in a few months. In terms of non-electronic tracks, Django Django’s Default, and for an old one Neil Young’s From Hank To Hendrix. So that’s 4!


Tracklist:

Attaque – Shadows
Bart B More & Rubix – Ari (Attaque Remix)
Keith & Supabeatz – Grip
Les Petit Pilous & Rynecologist – Calculator
autoKratz – Heart Attack Man
Greg Churchill – Da Biz (Ditto remix)
Sound of Stereo – Opal (TWR72 Remix)
autoKratz – Splinters
Zoo Brazil – New York
Mumbai Science – Alchemy
MAO – Harken


The Disco Demons Guest Mixes are a series of exclusive mixtapes, handcrafted by artists that I’ve blogged about a lot, artists that have influenced me as a DJ, artists whose music I simply love.

Disco Demons Guest Mix I : ATTAQUE

With 2012 probably being the world’s last year, it’s time for breathing new life into this blog: Let me introduce to you the Disco Demons Guest Mixes – a new series of exclusive mixtapes, handcrafted by artists that I’ve blogged about a lot, artists that have influenced me as a DJ, artists whose music I simply love. And as people who make good music usually have interesting stories to tell, each mix will be accompanied by a short interview.

I’m more than proud to announce that the first mix comes from no one less than Attaque, an incredibly talented producer from Essex, UK, who within just a few months has managed to draw the world’s (and Bad Life Records’) attention towards his amazing tracks, receiving love and early support from names such as Tiga, Erol Alkan, Fake Blood, and Brodinski. Enough praise, let the music speak for itself:

Disco Demons: Your name is often to be heard in connection with a new movement in electronic dance music commonly referred to as “future techno” – and while everybody agrees that it’s all about crisp and clear techno-influenced productions, everybody seems to have their own ideas of this expression. What does future techno mean for you?

Attaque: I guess there isn’t a distinct sound that sums up Future Techno which is why it’s exciting for me. It’s all about the mood and production of a track, I guess it’s having a techno aesthetic and then putting your own twist on it. If you look at the top 10 Electro House tracks on Beatport they all have certain sounds and rules they follow, whereas if you listen to Gesaffelstein or NT89 they completely have their own style. It’s an exciting time as producers are coming out with their own signature sounds rather than following the masses and making tracks that sound like everything else.

Check out the rest of the interview + tracklist after the jump!

DD: Speaking of future techno: Which artists do you personally keep an eye on in 2012?

A: I’m always blown away by everything that TWR72, Gesaffelstein, NT89, and DJEjOTRONIC do. I’m also loving Julian Jeweil and Boddika’s output. There are also some exciting artists coming up with their own sound too like Ego Troopers, BS1, SCNTST, Borussia, and Vakkuum.

DD: Where do you draw your musical influences from? Which artists got you into electronic music in the first place?

A: It wasn’t necessarily artists that got me into electronic music, it was more the parties, raves, and clubs – from that you start to seek out who’s playing and making those records. People like Tom Middleton, James Lavelle, Jon Carter, Chemical Brothers, and Underworld would be a few of the early influences.

DD: I’ve been talking to a lot of producers who said they would never listen to their own music (or dance music in general) at home – how about you? What are your favorite non-electronic artists at the moment?

A: I don’t often listen to dance music at home apart from listening to promos and sorting tracks for gigs, although I’ve been listening to the Jesse Rose “Made For The Night” compilation and The 2 Bears album recently.
My favorite bands at the moment are Stay Plus, Peace, Planningtorock, Errors, and Suuns.

DD: If you could play one single song to the entire world, which one would it be?

A: That is a good question and also the hardest question in the world ever, but today’s choice would be Looper – Mondo ’77.

DD: With early support from the likes of Tiga and Erol Alkan, airplay in Fake Blood’s BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, and lots of love coming your way from the entire scene, things have been looking more than good last year. What are your plans for 2012?

A: Firstly I’m going to be out touring and doing a lot more shows both DJ’ing and live. I’m also going to release a mini-album on Bad Life – it’s not so much an album, more a collection of my E.P’s with some new tracks and some remixes, it’s a way of putting everything I’ve done in one package and saying “this is Attaque”. I want to develop a live show to go with this release and build it over time into something I can really be proud of. I’m currently working on a track with an amazing vocalist which I’m excited about, as long as I’m always moving forward then I’m happy.

Tracklist:

1. Attaque – Sensor
2. Kolsch – Opa
3. Justin Martin – Lego
4. BS1 – Nothing But You
5. Museum – Afraid
6. Borussia – Baronage Suits
7. Clouds – Articles (Vakkuum Remix)
8. Tony Senghore – Go Tigers
9. Tony Senghore – Go Tigers (Style Of Eye Remix)
10. NT89 & Burns – Traffic (Attaque Remix)
11. Obi Blanche – 72 Hours (NT89 Remix)

Vitalic (Interview)

I’m more than proud to announce an exclusive interview with one of my all-time favorites, an innovative and artistic pioneer in electronic music: Pascal Arbez, better known as Vitalic. His second studio album Flashmobproves beyond doubt that he’s still one of the big names guiding and influencing the whole scene by further developing his unique trademark sound. Enough talk, here’s what the maestro himself has to say about human emotions in dance music, vocoders instead of real singers and Major Lazer:

Disco Demons: I think what makes your music stand out against the endless flood of new electronic music releases is the unique emotional touch (I’m especially thinking of tracks like Second Lives or The Pasthere) that most other electronic dance music tracks are lacking. How is it possible to use machines (=synthesizers) to communicate emotions?

Vitalic: Machines are designed to make whatever you want them to make. I suppose that, if electronic music may lack some emotion, it’s because the musicians behind just don’t want to make this kind of music. As far as I’m concerned, I like both cold and robotic music, as well as deeper tracks, and I make the music I need to make at the precise moment I’m working on the track.

DD: Speaking of emotions: Compared to OK Cowboy, it seems as if you’ve been in a completely different mood during the process of making Flashmob. Obviously, you were experimenting with new sounds and techniques. What was it like creating something entirely different, while keeping your own style?

V: It is maybe riskier and time-consuming to make the choice of not producing follow-ups and focus on redesigning your sound banks and production tools. But I really wanted to change a few things, to feel like I’m evolving. I didn’t try to keep my style really, I just tried to make songs that would please me when I was doing them. It was the same after Poney EP when I worked on OK Cowboy. I really don’t see the point of making several times the same track.

DD: Â As everything in your music, even the vocals are mostly synthetic. You have a very unique way of working with vocoders, resulting in interesting and weird sounds. On the one hand, you’ve been using Mac’s default voice, Brigitte, on the other hand, you even included your own voice. What makes you pick a vocoder instead of a real singer?

V: Â I like the result. Making the choice of using technology instead of a real voice, I achieve something strange, between reality and synthetic. It’s kind of fragile voice and also I can make things that a real voice couldn’t do anyway.

DD: Â Then again, there’s Linda Lamb singing on One Above One – why did you choose her for his certain track, and not a vocoder?

V: Â Because for that peculiar track, I wanted a real voice. It really depends on what I want to achieve instead of getting stuck in a concept, just for the concept.

DD: Â Apart from your favorite singer Brigitte, what other equipment do you bring to live shows?

V: Â I bring a Virus, a Roland XT1, a mixing desk, an Aka vocoder, and Ableton Live with a big sound card to have many outputs.

DD: Â What I like about DJing is the ability to pick an artist’s best track and condense it into a single, intensive performance along with other artists’ best tracks. Is there a certain reason why you don’t like playing other people’s music?

V: Â Now, I do DJ sometimes. I started for fun and little by little got into it. I think it’s fun. I use Ableton again, cut the tracks, change them, just use the parts I like. Also, I like farting around on sites and buy new stuff before I go to take the flights. It changes a bit from the live set…

DD: Â I know lots of DJs and producers who would never listen to their own records (or something similar) at home. What music do you enjoy at home, in the evening?

V:  It depends on the mood and the time. I listen to things like MGMT, Midnight Juggernauts, Empire of the Sun, old dub disco from the 70s and 80s, trashy Italian disco stuff, Crookers, Major Lazer, La Roux… anything I like. And no I don’t like it when someone puts my tracks when I’m at a party…

DD: Â What was the last song you listened to before we talked?

V: Â It was a track on the new album of Crookers, featuring Yelle.

DD: Â You once mentioned Jean-Michel Jarre as a major influence. I would even go so far as to say that electronic dance music in its current form would not exist without this pioneer of electronic music. Do you agree?

V: Â Of course. Newcomers use sounds and effects they think are new, but were created 30 years ago. So yes, the modern electronic scene is based on the work of the pioneers.

DD: Â Projects such as Major Lazer or Buraka Som Sistema are bringing a completely new style into the electronic scene. Do you think this is just a short-life phenomenon, or maybe the future of electronic dance music?

V: Â I love them. I do think that they bring some new flavor but you can’t say it’s totally new. Its based on styles that existed before sounds that existed before also. All the current chicken music with the pipipiiiiip comes from the 90s. The way it’s all mashed up is fresh though.

DD: Â I once asked Dada Life what songs they would pick if they could only save five records from their burning house, and they told me: “Records? I’ll go to the computer to save the whole collection! We aim for the future.” What do you think about the quarrel between vinyl lovers and laptop DJs?

V: Â I have seen all this blabla in the 90s about CDs and vinyl. Who talks about that old querelle now? I think people go for what’s convenient for them. I love CDs, but I’d go for the computer too. I’m too used to it now.

Fan question (by vmorbit): How can you hold that passion in your music for such a long period without getting dull?

V: Â It’s 13 years I’m making music. I don’t think it’s such a long period, and I don’t see the time passing by either because I changed my style, because I work with new people on new concepts. I have to keep it exciting…

DD: Â Last one: See The Sea – blue or red?

V: Â Blue.

DD: Thanks so much for the interview!