Airaboi - Gemini

Dear Aitor, Thanks for taking your time and recording this amazing mix for us!

• First of all, can you introduce yourself a bit? Where did you grow up? Where did you spent the most time of your youth and where are you living at the moment?

Hey everyone! Thank you for the invite to the RIOCAST series. I hail from Spain originally, growing up in a small town near Valencia where I spent my childhood and early teenage years. It was a tranquil place, surrounded by orange groves, nestled amidst mountains, and with the sea just a 30- minute drive away. Despite I believe it was a good environment for growing up, it could become rather dull during my teen years as there was not so much to do, or at least that I found interesting for me at that age. I relocated to the city to pursue a degree in business administration at university, but that didn’t work it out at all. This led me to Barcelona where I studied audio engineering, before I moved here to Berlin where I've been residing since April 2017.

• Did the music scene in your hometown has a special influence on you? What kind of sound you were listening to as a teenager?

There was a huge and vibrant music scene in Valencia (La Ruta) in the 80’s where my parents meet, more specifically in a club called Barraca that (fun fact) 30 years after I played too. This movement had the characteristic sound of post-punk, new wave, synth pop, gothic and electronic rock. Even if my parents were not playing that much of these genres at home, certainly left an imprint on me. I started to be interested in electronic music and go clubbing in my early teen years and recording some mixes to pass around to my friends and colleagues in the school, but I’ve never thought of DJ somewhere as I was quite a shy guy and felt more comfy and safe recording stuff in my room. Later on when I moved to Valencia, I got in touch with an old friend from childhood and we start DJ together as we shared similar interests.
At some point, we got introduced to some people one generation older than us and they were running a club called “Excuse Me”. I can tell that this place was a big influence to me, where I discovered loads of leftfield and underground genres. There you could hear from space disco to kraut, EBM, mutant dance and more. The club was a formerly beautiful old boîte from the sixties ... truly genuine space. We got a monthly residence there and they gave us total freedom to invite guests and other like-minded friends to play. Sadly, the club shuttered around 2012 or 2013 and shortly after I relocated to Barcelona, so I wasn’t really following much what was going on in Valencia anymore. Since then, significant changes had happen and there are really nice things going on right now when it comes to new creative spaces and music scene. I am not fully aware of them, or taking part since im living in Berlin, but I can see some of it on friend’s socials and I got a glimpse myself as I recently spent some time in there. It felt really good.

• When did you start to do music? Was there a special incident/ moment/artist which motivated you to do so?

I am not a skilled musician but I always was interested to be in a band or involved in a musical project, perhaps influenced by acquaintances' rock bands during my early twenties. Although I never took the initiative to learn an instrument back then, the moment that I’ve decided to start with Ableton happened when I was DJing, as I wanted to do tracks that I could play and mix with. Gradually, my interest shifted towards music production and live performance. Can’t remember a particular artist or incident, I think was just a need of creating my own music.

• You released one track called „Resilience Transmissions“ on the second part of our „Risks Issues Opportunities“ compilation. How does your working routine look like when it comes to producing music? Is there some gear you really like to work with at the moment?

I don’t have a particular routine - inspiration may stem from a drum pattern, sometimes a sequence, sometimes a chord progression. For “Resilience Transmissions” everything started with the sampled spoken word that followed with the drums and the baseline. At that time, I bought this Moog DFAM and I remember that I passed some sampled organic percussion audio through it so I could use the filter and the step sequencer doing this “gate” effect, while at the same time I was running an internal sequence with the oscillators that only appears at the very last seconds of the track. I really love the DFAM, is just instant gratification! Just how easy and fun is to do a sequence that sounds interesting brings so much joy to me. I bought later on the Subharmonicon to pair them together and both can do nice things. Ah, the Roland D-05 too, i always use something from it when Im looking for a lush digital sound. In the track you can hear it in the very first seconds, like a high reverberated voice, emulation some sort of radio transmission.

• Concerning your mix. Can you give us an insight on how you prepared the mix, recording technique, aesthetics, mood etc? How did you build up to this mix? Is there a key Track you’ve started with?

It was recorded last fall, when daytime is really short and the city is really gloomy and moody. I wanted to put together some tracks that reflected this atmospheric transition. The key track was “Across The Hemisphere” from Joey Beltram - for some reason this one always comes back to my mind every fall, I don’t know why, but it’s like a perfect soundtrack for that scenario and time of the year to me ... I really love it and I wanted to include it in the mix since the beginning. For starting, I tried to set the tone of a mysterious, ethereal aura before transitioning into more percussion-driven and naturally it ended up slightly more melancholic. The whole thing was recorded in Ableton Live.

• Do you have any future projects you want to talk about?

Last years I've collaborated on the Carolco project with my homie Al Pagoda, first recording the EP and then preparing the live show. It was a bit challenging for me as I was not performing live at all since before the pandemic (last solo one was in Dec 2019 in Arkaoda, to be more precise) but I’m really happy with the outcome. It has been pure joy. There will be more Carolco stuff and I am slowly diving back into my own solo project to start working out some new music. Besides that, I am thinking to take drum lessons this year.
And finally please complete the sentence. My current most favourite Album is... “Faire Ça” by Meril Wubslin.

TM Solver - Live at Arkaoda

Hello Thomas, we are very happy to welcome you to our RIOCAST series and are thankful for your allowance to release your live recording from our R.i.O. night at Arkaoda back in 2022! We still joyfully remember how you hypnotized the whole place and took us on a long and deep space travel to unknown land.

• How did you set up this live show? And what did you use for the liveset?

3 tracks from the record "Additiv Subtraktiv" were played and 2 tracks were freely improvised. The tracks were all played live and over those freely improvised. All of them are long takes and are orientated towards the style of the Berlin School and Krautrock of the 70s. However, with the help of modern synthesizers, they are transformed into the present day. To set up the live set, I used a Macbook Pro as a midi clock including midi backing tracks in order to have a secure live sequence.

The live equipment used consists of the following synthesisers.

  1. Korg Wave State for the sequences
  2. Roland JP 8000 for bass and pads
  3. Behringer Deepmind 12 for pads and bass
  4. Roland SH 2000 for effects and lead sounds in combination with Roland SDE 2500 Delay
  5. Novation UltraNova for vocoder and lead sounds in combination with Strymon Blue Sky
  6. Memotron Rack for choir and vintage sounds
  7. Behringer RD8 drum computer

• Did it go as planned?

The concert went very well and I was overwhelmed that so many people came to see me.

• Can you give us an insight about your current studio set up? Is there a favorite gear you prefer to use lately?

In my studio I'm currently programming sounds on the Korg WAVESTATE  when you use the editor software to create sequences and insert other wavetables. The newly composed sounds open up a completely new sound horizon. I am currently discovering the Solina from Behringer with its 70s pads, which will be used in future productions. As TM Solver Solo, the CD DIVIDUUM was also released by Syngate in March 2023 and was very well received by my fans. Ursula and I (DUEtt Your Self) work in the field of spoken words. Ursula speaks her own lyrical texts, which in turn are recorded with effect devices such as" TC Ditto X2" and "Leaf Audio Microfon Sound Box" and or brought into a rhythm. I play the electric bass with a cello bow. The sound now also goes through a hardware effect chain "PCM 80 from Lexicon; Roland SDE 3000" and is changed.

• You also play live together with your partner Ursula, What are you exactly doing together and how does it differ to your solo project “TM Solver”?

We played in July 2023 at Galerie Oqbo; in September 2023 at Haus der Kunst München; in October 2023 Kunst Bunker Nürnberg and in December 2023 at Stadtmuseum München to various texts. The project at the Stadtmuseum München is not yet complete and there will be a film and a documentation in the form of a booklet.
Greetings and thanks Thomas (TM Solver)

Philipp Otterbach - ..Is A Little Bit Disturbed By The Silence Here

• Hi Philipp, for those who don’t know you yet. Where did you grow up and what were the biggest musical influences back then? How did this place influence you?

Hello beloved R-i-O, thanks for having me!

I grew up in Krefeld / Germany, North Rine Westphalia, however the influences were quite manageable.
Imagine influences not as an passive source, it was one of the advantages that I learned to dig and find influences from a lot of cities close by like Düsseldorf, Cologne, Essen, Venlo (...) its all there. I had a pretty isolated life as a child constantly painting and listening to music, inspiration came from artbooks and galleries and a compact but diverse record collection by my father. Starting to visit concerts and record stores regularly by the age of 8-9, a friend who became my mentor and later on a healthy circle of friends to exchange music - this might have been an inspiration.

• Luckily we know you since a couple of years and are very proud and happy to be able to say that you released your first LP „Everything Else Matters“ in 2020 with us. When did you start producing your own music and what were the driving factors to do so?

Thank you again for opening the R-i-O shrine & putting so much effort in my album. It was a great experience and amazing to work with you and I still get warm Feedback for my first album.

I was reminded this year that I finished my first track / remix in 2009 by Nukubus from Syncom Data (they were later risky enough to release my first EP in 2018) While design became my job, I had capacities to work on music as a compensation. Which is luckily still the case. There might be also a technical aspect as I dealt with 3D and Video software during the day, so playing with Ableton felt like vacation after work.

• Can you give us an insight on how your production routine changed over the years (if so) or how does the process look like until one track of yours is finished?

It hasn't really. There might be a bit more co-productions (which can be refreshing), there might be a bit more overhead / managing my music (which is not always feeding creativity) and more friends contributing recordings but in the end its just me sitting there hours for hours, mostly every evening and really having fun. Not being stressed and feeling comfortable in mostly every state of production till I hold the record in my hand is something that I am very thankful for. Musicwise I just try not to get bored. It's that simple..

There are signs of production routines, which feels weird, but I accepted that. First sketches are done very quick, I love to work pretty fast. But it takes a hysteric amount of time afterwards to test out things - mostly coming back to the idea of my first sketch, which is the most honest feeling I could transport or present. It seems time wasting, but it seems to be my workflow. But the advantage is that I also reworking and questioning the sound design constantly during these long periods and taking care of sound arrangement, effects & reverbs.

I also found some helpful habits over the years which help me to stay focused, to handle the song & being able to be playful with parts and not to get stuck. If you see me somewhere walking outside with headphones, I mostly listen to my own demos. It´s a bit embarrassing for me, because it feels narcissistic, but it really helps. It feels crystal clear to me what I have to rework, which sound is too loud or what kind of total different part is needed - things I would not realize in front of ableton.

• Gear/software you don’t want to miss at your studio at the moment?

Its also part of my production routine: I keep my setup / plugins strictly limited since the beginning (in my non existing studio, haha). One or two, if any, machines and a handful of plugins. I might exchange one item or plugin over the years because of version problems or I get bored, but I am into long relationships with gear. Too much gear can produce sometimes the opposite of creativity for me, and I always felt more freedom with less options. But its also a clearly a lack of studio knowledge. For example: Being invited to this amazing R.i.O. HQ Studio in Wedding to jam a bit - its not easy for me, haha.

So the Lyra-8 is a perfect match for me, I have no idea how it works and its just there for the moment. Another constant gear is the Roland SPD, because I was a pretty bad teenager drummer. I never used apps but had some nice experiences with the Endless App by Tim Exile, perfect for working further on tracks while traveling or doing music with friends collaboratively.

• Besides producing music you are also a very experienced DJ and music collector. About your mix, how and where do you collect music from?

It might be the usual healthy mix of certain sources. I recently force myself a bit to get back to the record store routine like I did. Finding amazing records while traveling might be one of my favorite things to do. A continuous reorganizing of my record collection brings always back hidden tracks and its interesting to put them in a temporary context. I am not an archivist, i like to keep the collection vivid. I am dealing with a wide spectrum of music genres and love to dj pretty quick and playful, so a saddle-proof file structure & organization is also mandatory for me, I put a lot of effort into this. This also helps for B2B Sets, one of my favorite things to do. I don't use record box, because I can´t stand the UI/UX and I never used demon software like soulseek. Even though I got a lot of promos - I like to pay for the music as an appreciation.

• Do you have any future projects you want to share? Can be anything not necessarily music.
Thanks a lot for taking your time and preparing this excellent mix for us!

I will have some personal changes next year to challenge myself for a more sustainable life and to get more sensitive for the bigger changes that will come in the next years. Also my girlfriend and me will hopefully (and finally) team up with the squirrel association in berlin to help baby squirrels. Some new remixes are already finished, I am working on a new Grand Optimist EP and one other EP which currently leading to a more electronic approach. And I am working to get an idea to play this madness in a band context on stage. Or not..

KXB - Areas Of Uncertainty

• How did your collaboration started? How did you meet?

[Sam] We found ourselves sharing an office cubicle at a corporate job about ten years ago and bonded immediately — spending most of every workday trading tracks and laughing our heads off. 

In retrospect it’s funny that it took us so long to start making music together; and that we only had the realisation once we lived on opposite sides of the planet. But I’m so glad we did. 

• What does KXB stand for?

[Wes] I once found an incredible pair of military-style vintage desert boots. Impossible to identify, other than the markings "KXB" on the heels. I've done a lot of research into them and the most likely origin story is that they’re Polish, where they were once issued to secret police.

• Can you give us an insight on where you grew up and how the music scene in your city influenced your music taste?

[Wes] I grew up on an Alpaca farm in a small country town called Yea, a couple of hours outside of Melbourne. The music scene was kind of limited / isolating, but I got a drum kit when I was 14 and started messing around on that. I used to play along to Moe Tucker’s Velvet Underground beats – as they were simple, powerful, awesome. Through that I discovered that I loved repetitive, experimental music and got into more electronic stuff from there. 

• Can you name a record or a certain instrument/gear that changed your musical production/perception in a significant way?

[Sam] It’s not specific, but we love the tried-and-true Can approach to recording — banking a tonne of improvised material and piecing it together. Like filling the cupboards with ingredients and figuring out the recipes once you’re ready to cook. 

It’s something we did out of practicality at first - not having much time in the same place together - but now feels like the fastest way to avoid thinking too much and just enjoy playing around together. 

[Wes] My favourite piece of gear is a 12" x 7" snare drum made by Australian drum maker Chis Brady. Brady is a legend, he's made drums for Mick Fleetwood, Charlie Watts, Steve Jordan. For decades he used to drive from his shed in Perth, deep into the West Australian desert, find rare trees that had fallen, chainsaw them up and make them into the most incredible drums in the world. He's reclusive, but just before he retired a few years back I tracked him down, called him up, and convinced him to make me a snare. This thing makes everything sound good. 

• Do you have any future projects you want to share? Can be anything not necessarily music.

[Sam] We’ve just finished an album with Thrush (a close mate and brilliant artist, musician and filmmaker who plays in Concentration), which was a ball to do. Making some music videos from material we shot together while she was in Melbourne over the summer will be next on the agenda. 

• Are you performing live together as well or considering it in the future?

[Sam] We have a live show that we've taken out a couple of times - sometimes featuring Nick Brown on bass who plays in the sick Australian band Cable Ties. Hoping to do more live shows later in 2023 along with Thrush, Pogson and anyone else we can convince. 

Timnah - Fenna

Thank you Timnah for this mental contribution to our mix-series!

• When did electronic music hit you? Was there a specific Band or Artist encouraging you to play music for other people? Let us know how you found your way to what you do today because we know you´re doing this for a long time now.

Basically my older brother brought me closer to electronic music. When I caught interest my brother was already Dj and had a quite a big record collection. Beside that he did parties and festivals. His whole familiar environment and the people around had a huge impact on me. So it wasn’t really necessary a particular band or artist. It was the whole package I guess.

• You once told me that your parents had a jazz bar in basel, did you hang out there from time to time? Could you connect with your parents music?

Exactly, they ran two jazz clubs in basel. At that time I was still pretty young, around 4 until I turned 10. Nevertheless I can recap some bits of those times. For example when they decorated the club, or did the soundcheck. Those big industry halls where the clubs were based felt like a huge playground for us kids. Apart from the Venues, music played a big role at home as well. It was really nice when I look back to the importance and effort my parents put into all that.

• About your mix, how and where do you collect your music from? Do you have a certain routine or ritual for preparing a Mix or Djing at a club?

It doesn’t matter if I record at home or play in front of other people. Following my routine: I’m trying to make myself aware of matching the music to my inner setup first. The second step would be to check out the other artists, the venue and the time I´m supposed to play at. And the third step is focusing quite a while on a logical selection of my repertoire. I like when there´s a connection between the beginning and the end of a party. You probably won’t find me doing an ego-driven „this is me now djset“

• Do you have any future projects you want to talk about? ( Can be Anything and must not necessarily be about music)

Currently I take things slow. I´m preparing another podcast for friends & collecting new ideas. But first of all I´m having a little break at my parents place in costa rica.

Felde - Birkenhain 8AM

Hello Felde, first of all thanks for taking your time and preparing a mix for us.

• Can you introduce yourself a bit to the people who don’t know you.

Yes, I'm Felde from Chemnitz. I have been a passionate music collector for as long as I can remember and I always look forward to introduce this music to other people. Either as a curator at our own events or as an invited guest at external events.

• Where did you grow up, where did you spend the most of your youth?

I grew up in small town not far from Chemnitz. Most of the time I was with my friends in parks, forests, youth centres, clubs and from time to time also in Chemnitz. I define my youth until I turned 16 years old.

• Did the club/music-scene in your hometown influence your music taste in a special way or was there a special artist or band that you kept in your mind?

When I first started getting actively involved in the club scene, I slipped through pretty much every scene. I was always fascinated how music connects people and recognized the peculiarities of it fairly quickly and tried to live through it. I started playing music for other people quiet early and wanted to convey the connecting characteristics. I was most impressed by a series called "dark electrics" in the club "zoom" in Chemnitz and my first visit to "E-Werk" in Berlin when I was about 16 years old. I found it very interesting to supplement the listening levels with substances and thus transform everything into a physical experience.

• When did you get more involved into music and djing? Was there a key moment for you to dig deeper?

I actually started playing songs from cassettes at the school disco. that was in the 8th grade and soon I did a music evening in the club of the youth center "UFO" in Flöha. I wanted to play other music back then. mostly dark and alternative music which I listened to in "zoom" and which inspired me to collect more of it. After I was in the "e-werk" berlin, I felt the need to play club music. As I got older, my collecting became deeper and the window opened to research into every genre.

• About your mix, how and where do you collect your music from? Do you have a certain routine or ritual for preparing a Mix or Djing at a club? 

I collect music in every way. I'm happiest when the music I'm interested in is available on vinyl. If my financial situation fits, then I usually buy the records. I also have many tracks on CDs, Tapes or digital files. When I do a mix for a podcast, I first try to find out who is behind the platform and what the intention of the podcast is. If that suits me, I usually find associations in myself, with two or three songs I would like to include. The whole thing rests for a few days and I'm looking for more songs. There are usually far too many. After that I start mixing sketches and listen to them in different situations. In the car, while walking, in the office or on the side. The final selection and the story are usually formed from it. Regarding your Riocast I listened to different songs from the R.i.O. label and somehow found pieces that fit without playing R.i.O. pieces myself. I hope that's okay. Once the Mix is ​​recorded I normally want to change it again but then I made a decision. It's never perfect. In clubs I never played before I will bring far too much music with me to always be flexible. I try to get a feeling when I'm in the audience and then I know what could go well. If I have the feeling beforehand that my actions could destroy the audience, I prefer not to play there.

• You are an active figure in the cultural scene of Chemnitz and beyond. What is the driving force and can you tell us something about current projects you are working on at the moment?

Thanks for the compliment. Looking into the eyes of others is a driving force when music and culture connects people. That's healing. Being able to be a part of it drives me and makes me happy. I am currently taking care of formats such as "Konzertreihe" and "zum Kuckuck". These are formats that dig pretty deep into musical culture. In addition, preparations and transformations for the "Cosmic Gathering 2023" and "Kosmos 2023" are pending. I also play at various events.

• Do you have any future projects in the pipeline you want to talk about?

Everything is in flux, passes and arises again. It's beyond the scope to talk about it here. Fact is I want to and will continue to be active. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please get in touch. I would also like to play some records for you.

• And finally please name 3 Records , that totally turned your life upside down.

Unfortunately I cannot answer this question. Music as a whole turns my life upside down.

Thank you!

Pieter Kock - It's Raining Toothpicks

Hi Pieter, first of all, thanks for taking your time and preparing a mix for us.

• Where did you grow up, where did you spend the most of your youth?

Lichtenvoorde Achterhoek in the Netherlands. Achterhoek means Behind Corner, so that gives a bit of an idea: Lots of little and bigger villages and no cities within 60 km, which is in Dutch terms a lot. Lichtenvoorde had about 15.000 inhabitants. The size and demography of the town was quite relaxed, and mostly non practicing catholic.

• Did the club/music-scene in your hometown influence your music taste in a special way or was there a special artist or band that you kept in your mind?

The music scene in a place like the Achterhoek is very eclectic and grassroots. There are 4 metal bands, 1 reggae band, 5 wave bands, 10 blues bands, 10 punk bands, lots of fanfare, 1 experimental guy. They all hook up at the same little festivals, and there was a very open atmosphere because of that. Very including. There was a great disco too, in the village where my high school was and where we were going out, called PAMPAM. The deejays there played Sonic Youth, Neil Young, Early Acid House (i’m talking 1987 here), Iggy Pop, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, the Velvet Underground, the Pixies, French Disco, a little Italo, some pop music like Madonna. Pretty good mix and evolving over the years. I had a great time in the Achterhoek. I’m thankful to have grown up there.

• When did you „start" playing as a DJ ? Was there a key moment for you to dig deeper?

My love for music started early. As a very young child really. I actually remember John Lenon being shot and cried. I knew the Beatles and the Rolling Stones by heart by that time. My first Velvet Underground record was bought at age 12, and not so long after I started making mixtapes with radio stuff with my best friend Dennis on a simple ghetto booster tape recorder. Deejaying started at little parties that my new best friend Marloes and I organized at her parents house. We played everything from Right Said Fred to Lou Reed; Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix, the Fall etc . My way of digging deeper was going to the local record stores and trying out the cover that I liked. On top of that was Radio VPRO that had an hour of John Peel every week. When I was 18 I lived a year with the founder of the legendary De Fabriek and here I learned a lot about underground music and the whole international tape scene. Not long after I got infected by underground tekno and acid and deejayed for about 6 years for a free party Sound System called Wirwar, which was also a place where I dug deep into the underground music scene..

• When did you come to Berlin and how were the first years in comparison to today?

It's hard to not be nostalgic about the first Berlin years. In 2008 I moved here. It was still a little wild west. I lived the first year without the internet, later with cole heating etc. Winters were very cold a few times, 15 cm of ice on the sidewalks. I loved it. Neukölln was mostly ‚empty‘, we with Tannenbaum were one of the first music /art driven places that opened here, and we literally had no idea what would follow. I imagined it to stay like this, as I had never experienced gentrification before actually…. which turned out to be naive. I was more empty on the streets, more second hand stores that were real trödels and not vintage shops like now. You get the idea ;)

• You are running O Tannenbaum , a well known bar located in Neukölln, together with a close friend of yours. Can you give us a bit more information about the space?

We’ve transformed a few times, and i feel that's gonna happen probably again in the future. The core has always been music, and art in general. Creative people, but also people who just appreciate creatives or can tolerate them with pleasure. For me it's, for a large part, about energy, compact, explosive energy. And not just for insiders, although there are many insiders and stammkunden and scene people there. But we have this mix of people who have no idea, or have little idea, up to those who have very special wishes and find that in the Tannenbaum. We always tried to create a place that gives you nights to remember in joy and splendor. Sometimes the opposite happens too of course haha. We have done countless screening nights, concerts and weird events, and soon we’re gonna pick up again live concerts, which were hard to do the last two years of course.

• You also started to produce your own music. When did you start? Was there a special moment that motivated you? And can you tell us a bit more on how the procedure looks like when you are doing music?

I have been making music since I was 12 with my first band called Moving Waves. I played guitar and sang, sometimes played a bass or drum part. I wrote the songs, and we were heavily influenced by Joy Division, the Velvets, Sonic Youth, the Fall and the Suicidal Tendencies.
What motivated me, the reason why I started, was when I bought this Velvet Underground & Nico album on a flea market in a school fancy fair.
I bought it because I remembered seeing the cover somewhere and I had vaguely heard some Velvet tracks coming from my brother's room. I brought it home, put it on my little plastic portable Philips player and I could hardly believe the excitement that came over me. That sound of those guitars, Lou Reed's snaring voice., the topics they were singing about… All tomorrows parties, Sunday Morning, Heroin, Femme Fatale, Run Run Run……every tracks was a bliss. I soon called two friends and asked them to start a band. And within a week we started. Ever since I have made lots of music, and since a couple of years on computers too. In between i made music with radios, a kraakdoos, spanish guitars, etc etc. Made a techno record, songs, all kinds of music really, with an experimental approach mostly, but not always. Now I make music with Traktor and samples, mostly found on youtube, but not only, sometimes I make the samples from online synths, or drum computers and I sample my own guitar and bass playing too. I make loops, change the length while playing again and then again. (4/4, 6/4, 3/4 etc) add layers, loop them, use effects to change the rhythms (with beatmasher, beatslicer, delays, etc) Make breaks by beat jumping or otherwise, all on 4 active decks. Then I take what I like and keep working on it the same way. There is no editing. It's always live in a way, because Traktor, at least the way I use it, has no edit option. I like it that way, because it gives me a live feeling; I'm making music in the moment, making decisions that are spontaneous and can’t be undone.

• Your first release came out on Musikii label by Oscar der Winzige and Matas Aerobica. It’s a tape incl. 12 tracks. Can you tell us a bit more on how your relationship looks like with the two and how the process of doing this tape looked like?

Oscar and Matas are doing a radio show called Radio Musikii, that offered people to send in anything soundly as long as it was from the heart, and they would play it. And I really liked that approach. I sent in some music and they played it like they said they would, and it seemed Oscar liked what he heard. We started talking about the possibility of a release, and things went really fast. I sent in 60 or so tracks, and Matas and Oscar selected their approx. 20 favorites and looked at which tracks they both had selected. This became the basis of the tape. It was all very painless and fast. I proposed a designer (Meeuw from Meeuw Muzak, my favorite designer who has an amazing 7“ label Called Meeuw Muzak) . Then Oscar was responsible for the order of the tracks. I’m very happy with the result! Oscar lives in Berlin, so he plays at the Tannenbaum a lot more than Matas who lives in Vilnius doing his project/venue The Empty Brain Resort there, but they are both always welcome to do. Their way of selecting music and deejaying is quite unique. The pandemic unfortunately caused that haven’t seen each other that much, but we’re all picking up the pieces!

• Your first record is coming out this month on our R.i.O. label which makes us very happy! We also had to make a selection from the (hundreds) of tracks you have sent us. Seems like you have been very productive during the pandemic! Do you have any future plans you want to share with us?

Yeah, it was and still is a productive time, having lots of ideas, which also includes working in the studio with adding instruments and voice. I especially like playing and adding bass and guitar, and Rory Lavelle is involved now to add keys. There are a few releases on their way too. Three if I count right, hopefully all this year. A tape, a 10“ and another 12“. Exciting times in the middle of these crazy times.

Thank you!

Marijana Croon - Tanzverbot

Hello Marijana, we are very happy to have you on board for our RIOCAST Mix Series!

• About your mix, how and where do you collect music from? Did the way of discovering music changed over the last years for you? 
Do you have a certain Routine or Ritual for preparing a Mix or Djing at a club? 

Hi Nadia! Thank you for the invite :)!
I have to say I was on a “music fast” before preparing this mix. Lately I was not so motivated to listen and look for new stuff and was only coming back to my personal “evergreen” sounds. But then I sat down for one or two nights and checked what has been on my “not listened yet” playlist and combined it with some already known sounds. The ritual has been pretty much the same for me always, some music you get from friends or artists, some you scroll for on Bandcamp, some you just discover by links, some is just algorithms, some you really try to dig for because once you heard it somewhere or sometimes you just wanna educate yourself and listen to different artists. For the gigs I usually don’t prepare, but for radio shows and podcasts I really try to put some thought in and make a story out of it. 

• Can you give as an insight on where you grew up and how the music scene in your city influenced your music taste?

My formative years I spent in Belgrade, where at that time, now very established music scene, was just at the beginning. I remember going to the boat 20/44 for the first time and thinking it is the best place ever, just on the river where you have a nice overview of the city and the best crowd. Slightly afterwards, the crew behind famous Drugstore club started experimenting with locations and different kinds of “house bars” where all the magic was happening. I remember also hearing Nenad Markovic aka 33.10.3402 in early hours of not yet officially existing club and just being thrilled to have found people and places like that in the city where I was living. I do still owe to Belgrade for those, sometimes, bleak sounds I carry in my sets.

• Through your analogue photography we’ve seen some of the atmospheres and the scene of salon des amateurs. 
How would you describe the current situation in the düsseldorf/cologne music and art scene? 

The scene here reminds me a lot of the Belgrade one, because it is kinda small but also big for an alternative one. I really like Salon, it is almost like a school, especially because everyone knows about its legends, but 'the kids' are also alright. It is not an obvious club, covered all in glass, in the very center of Dusseldorf, very exposed, but still nobody cares, because people are so open and usually the vibes are very special. Also the residents such as Frank D’Arpino, Jan Schulte, Lucas Croon, Phaser Boys, Jules etc. keep it a good school of sounds. Cologne on the other hands is much more versatile and has its inclination towards house and minimal techno sounds, with couple of more alternative bays such as Acephale and recently opened Jaki club. Art scene wise, Dusseldorf is richer and there you also find a lot of more happenings, while Cologne is poorer, but I would say warmer and more creative. There is some kind of animosity between these two cities, like Springfield and that other town. I find them both great, but I prefer to stay in Cologne :)).

• What is behind The Croons? 

Behind The Croons are Lucas and Marijana Croon, freshly wedded couple who got tired of putting Lucas & Marijana Croon on the flyers :)) Haha, well it is also a bit more than that. We just realised how we enjoy playing together and how we sensibly complement each other. Apart from being my favourite person, it is also my favourite DJ partner :)

• We heard that you are working in a Lab mostly. Can you give us an insight on what your working on? And do you listen to something whilst working?

Yes! I am working as molecular biologist by day (well, lately also by night).That is also the reason why I moved to Cologne 8 years ago. My research is based on mitochondria, they are those little energy factories in our cells that keep us alive and paradoxically bring to our end. They are so multifaceted, they even have they own DNA, that you are getting only through your mom. So I am this little freak who devoted her life to very abstract work, but I really enjoy it and actually most of the days I listen to music while working. For my most common experiment,  I need to put a very small amount of something into 384 mini holes (twice) on a plate and it is in a way very annoying but meditative. Some people would find music very disturbing in these situations, but it really helps me not to be bored and also focus. I can spend a day at work while listening to music for like 6 hours and still do ‘important’ things (well, I hope) for this world, and I find this combo great :)) 

Garçon - Flimmer

• Hey Denis, first of all, where did you grow up, where did you spent the most of your youth?

I was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland and spent all of my time here so far.

• When did you „start" playing as a DJ ? What was the key moment for you to go after this profession ?

My older sister got me into electronic music when I was around 11 (2001). A friend from primary school and I tried out ‚Virtual DJ’ on our computers back then and we had so much fun playing tunes. It was in january 2004 when I first tried out ‚djing' in a youth center with these very old cd players without a pitch. There wasn’t really a key moment but i was going out a lot with my siters and I was always fascinated by the dj’s playing music in these huge rooms. But hanging out in the youth center with my friends and playing music was definitely an important time for us.

• Do you know how the club scene in basel started to evolve in general? is it known for some music style in particular?

I can’t really tell but I know from my sister and older friends that in the 90s there were quite a few important clubs here in Basel. Basel had also a very big Drum & Bass scene here but it disappeared some years ago as far as I know. After that, around 2006 / 2007, the so called „Minimal“ was very big here. It was also the time we went out a lot and it was very vibrant and a lot of big names played here in Basel which was important for us. For some years there were also a lot of Dubstep nights at Kaserne and the old Nordstern for example which were very inspiring for us and really opened up a new world to us. When we started to do parties here in Basel around 2009 we booked a lot of Techno dj’s and it needed some time to evolve again after the „Minimal Wave“. I guess right now techno is quite big and accessible for a lot of people. But i wouldn’t say there is a „Basel Sound"

• Name 3 Records , that totally turned your life upside down.

Burial - Burial / I listened to that while driving to school (after downloading it on a shady website the night before bc I liked the cover artwork) and I needed some time to understand it but I didn’t know music could hit me that hard. It still does when I hear that album or „Untrue"

Basic Channel - Phylyps Trak / Mehmet Aslan always mixed this track with like three decks in the youth center and we always freaked out when he did. That’s a good memory and he was very inspiring for us as he’s a sick dj and still is.

Shackleton - Massacre / New Dawn / I heard Villalobos playing this record for the first time and Shackleton hasn’t left my bag since. Definitely one of my all time faves producers.

• Your running a label together w. Agonis that represents kind of mental-molecular-electronics. Where did you meet each other and what are your future releasing plans ?

Dominic and I met through a local social media plattform called „“ (around 2006 i’d say) as we both posted shitty dj content, met at parties etc. and our friendship evolved from that and he’s one of my closest friends and fave human since then. We started ‚amenthia recordings‘ in 2015 with his debut release called „Panspermia“. Our next record (AMEN011) is coming out in march, it’s a collab between Konduku and Aa Sudd (Vector Trancer) with an artwork from Maren karlson. We’ve got some ideas afterwards but with these long waiting times at the pressing plans it’s so hard to plan anything.

• Thank you for your time and the music!

Philip Berg - Mountain Goat Mix

• Hello Philip, You live and work in Frankfurt am Main, did you grow up there as well?

I grew up in Stuttgart in a very calm area that gave the perfect surroundings for being a kid. When I was 16, I moved to Sigmaringen, a small town in the south of Germany and spent three years at a sports boarding school. I was usually quite busy with training but also got my first turntables and already started collecting records. A year later, I visited a friend in Frankfurt a couple of times. I liked the vibe of the city from the beginning and decided to go to university there.

• How did the club/music scene in your city influenced your music taste?

The music scene in Frankfurt during the 2000s was very vivid, I enjoyed it a lot! Usually my friends and I spent our weekends going to record stores, playing the new tracks to each other at home and then dancing at Robert Johnson or one of the numerous off-location parties. I was fortunate to listen to many really good DJs and tried to absorb all the music while dancing. Soon after my first gigs, I started to host off-location parties myself and invited DJs from other cities. This was perhaps the biggest influence and opened a whole new world for me. We invited guys like Tako Reyenga, Vladimir Ivkovic, Phuong Dan and had a very open regular crowd where we could experiment with many different sounds. We later moved the parties to Robert Johnson. The clubs’ soundsystem and the whole vibe of the place is something that will stick with me forever I think.

• As you are a vinyl collector, what was your craziest find?

For some years, I used to go digging in second-hand records stores a lot. Discogs was not yet all over the place and I was lucky to find some great records for very little money. The craziest find was probably "Nyrabakiga - Cor Corona" and "Saâda Bonaire - You Could Be More As You Are". In both cases, I loved the cover and was even happier when I listened to the music.

• A Band you’ve tried to like (because of their cool reputation) but couldn't?

I’m not so much of a band person but I really tried hard to like minimal/tech-house for a while. It was quite big and cool in Frankfurt in the 2000s but it never clicked with me.

• When did you start to DJ. Was there a special incident/moment which motivated you to dig deeper?

I had my first gigs in 2006/2007. Around that time I dove into old mixes from I-F on the CBS radio station and was super hyped to dig through tons of older records and different styles.

• You are actually a personal trainer and familiar with all kinds of sport activities. What advice would you give lazy people how to start. And what type of sport is best for beginners?

The most important aspect when starting with sports is to find out what kind of movement practice and environment truly nourishes you rather than stressing you. Human bodies naturally like to move, sport is a playful way of feeling your body, your power, yourself. Too many people get put off by thinking that they need to look a certain way or go to an expensive gym or compete with others. Movement should be a positive and rewarding experience, but you need to put in the effort to make it a habit. It helps a lot to train with a friend or a group and make regular appointments. Train to sense what your body needs: a run, a strength workout, some yoga or dancing in the kitchen? After each time you moved, take a few minutes to close your eyes and feel the difference in your body.

• Your favorite workout music?

To be honest I am super random with my workout music. I can listen to anything I like and often use the time to check out new albums or DJ mixes from friends. But if I really need a kick in the butt, it is stoll I-F's mixes that deliver the energy.

• Thank you for your time and the music!

Roelien - Folly

• Roelien! thank you for your contribution to our mix series. We’ve always appreciated your dj sets and especially your musical approach. Can you introduce yourself a bit? Where did you grow up, where did you spent most of your youth and how did your environment influence your taste in music?

I was born and raised in the city of Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands. When I was 15 years old I started going out to concerts almost every week, mainly (punk) rock, because a lot of friends were in those bands. Soon after that I started going to the club or bar/dancing. The clubs at that time mostly played a dull kind of house music which I didn't like. The bar/dancings had more variety in music. Groningen was the only city in the Netherlands where the nightlife didn’t have closing times. I took advantage of that a lot.

• Was there Music in your childhood/youth you were only secretly listening to? Or do you remember a Band you’ve tried to like because of their reputation but never really got it?

Not really. Because of my father I’ve been listening to classical music since I was a child. I’ve never been secretive about this but none of my friends were really into classical music so I didn't listen to it together with them.

• When did you start to DJ. Was there a special incident/moment which motivated you to dig deeper?

It started when befriended bar owners asked me to play. This was about 7 years ago. There isn’t really a specific moment that I started digging deeper, but playing music for people and their reaction to the music excited me to look for more new things.

• Your plan was to move to Berlin in early 2020. This did not happen out of obvious reasons we assume. Do you want to give us an insight on how the pandemic situation had an impact on your initial plans and your daily life?

Obviously I had to stay in Amsterdam but I realized I was lucky to still have a job that allowed me to work from home. It has been essential for maintaining a routine that kept me kind of sane during the lockdown. Due to an energy overload I started running. I even have now registered for the Berlin half marathon. I’d never have thought that my next visit to Berlin would be for running half a marathon, rather than one at the club.

• As we already started talking about the pandemic and it’s influences. How did this affect the way you are discovering and listening to music. And do you think it had a big influence on the style of music you are enjoying at the moment?

I’ve always listened to many different styles and mainly non-club music. That hasn't really changed much. But I tuned in to online radio a lot more. I’ve had moments I wasn't feeling super motivated or inspired. I need to have impulses and influences from outside of my own musical bubble. But continuing making mixes and doing radio shows kept me digging for new music too.

• Concerning your mix. Can you give us an insight on how you prepared the mix, recording technique, aesthetics, mood etc? How did you build up to this mix? Is there a key Track you’ve started with?

At first I usually have a clear idea of which direction I want to go with a mix and the selection kind of comes together quickly. But then the puzzle begins: I always have tracks of different genres that I want to make fit together somehow. This puzzle can take a long time and in the end there are usually only 2 or 3 tracks left from that first selection. I recorded this mix at home (while I had Corona).

• And finally please complete the sentence. My most favourite Album of all time is...

I don’t have an all time favourite but I’ve been listening to Ongehoord’s Deadline Paranoia series a lot again since the last of three came out.

• Thanks a lot for being our Guest! And hopefulle meet again very soon on a cozy dancefloor..

Benedikt Frey - Do Easy

Benedikt Frey, Co founder of R.I.O. and Serious Trouble will give you some insight about his mix and some little anecdotes about his younger self in music.

• First things first what recording Technique did you use?

I did that mix in Ableton. Using acapellas in between the tracks, just the way I did back in time with 14 and my first computer.

• How did you build up to this mix? Is there a key Track you’ve started with?

It was supposed to come out on tape for a "club support“ campaign. So the time format needed to be compressed regarding time limits. Furthermore it was „lockdown situation" and I wanted to change routines.
I built it up with productions that entirely we´re done in the studio, including Cooperations such as INIT or Dolphins, Remixes and so on, flirting with the concept of D.E. (Do Easy) / Smoking Marijuana.

• Did the mix turn out the way you’ve planned it ? Any surprises that changed it’s outcome?

Yes, it just turned out the way I wanted it.

• You grew up in Pforzheim in the South of Germany, how did the club scene in your city influenced your music taste?

We had a big Drum & Bass Scene there hitting hard on me. I fell in love with dancing my ass off and with the energy & mystery behind electronic music.
There was no Youtube but a very active network around drum&bassarena ( and of course we had a nice skate & record shop run by Steve (Sonair). That´s where I met local people in this community.
I was super happy playing one of my first „official“ gigs at the event series „Mescolanza“ founded by "Eichhorn Crew". Running parallel at that time were also really heavy Dub Events by Ganja Riddim.
So these three were my local town influences that shaped early music experiences inviting artists like John B, King Shiloh, The Green Man or Subfocus for example.

• Did music influence your life in an existential way, like moving to a different city, your style of clothes, quitting something like sports, or starting something...?

Sure it did, that´s why i´m here for. Music really is defining my life. MTV did the start i guess. And since Music & Fashion goes along pretty coherent, yes I did the baggy thing (age around 10-15). I had coloured hair (but mostly because I loved Dennis Rodman) a looot of colors.
I also had dreadloks and a little earplug (age around 13 until 15). Glad this one came out before it was too late. And yes indeed I quitted basketball that was my really big first obsession from the age of 5 on to 16.
Also left my skateboard aside after an injury. This gap was naturally filled with E-Sports & Music then (haha).

• Is there any Music you were only secretly listening to in your childhood?

I can remember one situation when I woke up in the middle of the night going to the CD player in the living room. Putting on some Instrumental track from „Phantom der Oper“ ,dancing in the dark (I guess I was around 6 y old) . I scared the shit out of my parents that night. On my next birthday they were cool enough to give me a little "Kompaktanlage"(tapedeck+Cd+Radio-thing). So I mostly was allowed to communicate music in an „open" environment. Back then I was very happy to be able to record the music that was playing on the radio, especially (jam fm) or some "country" music, unfortunatelly I dont remember the name of the radio station anymore.

• Thank you!

Mad Lubi - Peculiar Time Chariot

• Hello Jan, thank you for being our guest. Can you introduce yourself a little bit? Where did you grow up, where did you spent the most of your youth?

I grew up in Itzehoe, a small city 50 kilometers north from Hamburg. Most of the time of my youth I spent around Itzehoe, Hamburg and Kiel. With friends we traveled nearly every summer to Westerland/Sylt, sleeping on the beach, having fun, enjoying life.

• How did the club scene in your city influence your music taste?

A lot as we had a very vivid club scene with many interesting collectives going on at that time. So as a teenager I was mainly looking for Psychedelic Rock, Funk, Jazz and achieved quite a wide knowledge in these fields. Also mainly through my record dealer and my football trainer who had a big impact on me. As in these days the Psychedelic Trance scene was very aspiring and I already was quite familiar with the term ‘psychedelic‘ I got my first contact with electronic music. Also cause there were some collectives who were deeply connected to many main protagonists of that scene. I can surely say it was big fun.

• Did music influence your life in an existential way, like moving to a different city, your style of clothes, quitting something like sports, or starting something?

Yes, that‘s why I came to Berlin because of music as I felt I couldn‘t develop in Kiel anymore where I lived before. In the nineties, my friends and I wore very colorful clothes, flares, fur coats from the ’70s of course with faux fur. Also, nearly every one of our group of friends had long hair. I guess that was also strongly influenced through music. We organized festivals, events and broadcasted radio shows. All in all it sometimes influences too much as the money‘s always gone because I am constantly looking for new music.

• Can you tell us something about the mix you did? When did you record it and is there a special idea behind it?

This mix is very special to me as it contains music I was listening to back in the days when my friends and I were deeply rooted in the psychedelic trance scene. It was an impulsion for a long time to record a mix with music that had been played in the chill-out areas at these parties back then. I also felt that there’s a link to the R.I.O. label and it had been so much fun to select and record this podcast for you.
It was recorded during the summer days with a perfect setting at my home. I have a good view into the distance and when I began the sun started to set. During the recording the colors of the sky changed with the music. A magical evening.

• There are quite a lot of podcasts from you floating around the web. Can you give us an insight into the process how you prepare and how the recording situation looks like?

It depends. Sometimes I‘m very spontaneous and just dig records out of the shelves, listen to what happens. If I plan a podcast with a special topic most of the work is just listening to records for a long time to get an idea of what fits. My recording situation is a mixer, two Technics record players – so most of the podcasts are all vinyl mixes. I also have an old CD player which I sometimes include.

• You are a dj with a broad musical interest. What is important to you when it comes to music in general and what is important to you regarding buying a record?

The style is not important, the music just has to catch my attention. When I buy a record I really like to find records which are more less under the radar. I also highly value when the record and cover are well preserved except it is rare as hell. As my collection has increased a lot over the years I try to listen a lot before buying a new one. But there are still some I immediately buy as I see them…

• And finally please Complete the sentence – One of my all-time favorite Records is…

‘CAN – Soundtracks‘ as this record / band changed my life so much until today. I knew the group through my record dealer and on my first trip to a record shop in Hamburg called Zardoz I discovered this gem and was completely blown away.

Thank you for your time and the music –