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Audio: Listen To Previews Of null+void’s Inaugural Release From Shinra

You will have heard tracks from this on our null+void radio shows but today we’re excited to announce that Shinra’s Ball & Chain EP will be released on 23rd November on vinyl & digital formats. Pre orders are available here at Juno.

Clips are now available to stream and we’ll also be celebrating the release at East London’s Powerlunches on 19th November with Datassette and Junq both lined up to play. More information on that here.

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null043: Brokntoys

Heading up the 43rd edition of the null+void podcast series are the two individuals behind one of the most interesting electro focussed labels to emerge over the last few years. Setting their agenda for dark edged, high grade releases leading with Pip Williams Mode#7 EP back at the tail end of 2013 they have followed up with other quality editions with Marco Bernardi, Scape One and Koova and gaining DJ support from the likes of Dave Clarke, Truss and Helena Hauff.

Here we chat about Kris and Anwar’s initial motivations for starting the label, its aesthetic and future plans set alongside a mix recorded by Kris which shares some of his recent vinyl purchases and some cuts from the label that are currently in circulation.

Take me back to that moment when the idea came into your head to start up Brokntoys? Like what was your motivation to set up a label?

Kris: It was Anwar’s idea to do a label. It took maybe a year before I felt confident it could work. We started work on getting ideas together early 2013. Our first release by Pip Williams came out November that same year. I’m a bit of a pessimist, so I was worried we would launch the label and it would fall down after a couple of releases. The main motivation for me was have my favorite artists on my label. I’m not really a massive networker and prefer to stay in the shadows, so it was a great way to be involved in the scene on my own terms.

Anwar: I was gradually getting bored of reliving the same weekend over and over and at the same time I was discovering all this amazing music so I thought I could either feed the collector’s compulsion hoarding records for myself or give something back to the scene and make records for others.

I’m a latecomer to electronic music, and Kris’ marathonian sets really shaped my taste, so I thought it’d be a good idea to do it with him

Brief us on your backgrounds how else have you been involved in music?

K: I have basically been a punter in clubs and buying records for the last 15 years. By day I work in an office in the city.

A: Very little. My brother has always been in bands so at a very young age I was introduced to a lot of great music, punk, garage, rock, 60’s stuff that kickstarted an obsession that has never stopped since. As my collection grew I was asked to play in a few local nights, mostly soul and r&b. Moving to London I fell under the spell of machines…

Who’s responsible for the artwork?

A: I do all the woodcut and a friend helps me with the screenprinting. I really like the vernacular, homemade, private press stuff so I thought it’d be great to do everything manually.

How important is it to you to have a cohesive aesthetic across your releases?

A: Stating the obvious, aesthetics only come second to the music. So, relative importance. The artwork adds character to the releases and to me is a way of thanking the producers. Also the white label, handstamped aesthetic, which I love, has become so prevalent, that we tried to detach ourselves from it. I don’t think I could have added much to the science fiction genre either since it’s been well exploited and it’s not really a visual influence for me.

How did you go about curating the roster are these artists you’ve already been connected to or is it more of a case of reaching out to individuals whose whose work you dig?

K:We basically approached artists we liked. We really did not have connections before we started the label apart from Alex Smoke, who connected us with Marco Bernardi.

Your current release is by Marco Bernardi – I’ve loved both records you’ve put out by him always puts a slightly unsettling edge on things – what do you appreciate most about what he does?

K: Marco has a unique take on electro and techno. I don’t know sometimes where the fuck he gets some of his ideas from or what goes on in his head, but he sounds completely different from any other producer I have heard. It always feels natural and not contrived. Getting Marco on the label was our long term plan, so we were over the moon when he started sending over tracks. I really hope Marco will be a regular feature on our label for years to come.

A: He seems to be reinventing himself all the time, he has such an angular take on things. Capable of doing both the sublime and deep (Octogen’s Journeyman is one of my favourite tracks ever) and the rarefied and alien. His label Take the Elevator is releasing all this unorthodox material, excellent stuff.

You hinted at a bit of a change in direction over the next year integrating a bit more four four material into your electro output – can you talk a bit more on what exactly you have planned?

K: We want the label’s output to represent us and what we like, so we are doing a couple of VA’s split between electro and more 4/4 tracks. Echo 106, Crystal Maze, Dez Williams, Junq, Albert Van Abbe, Microthol and Etcher are all confirmed. Electro will always be our core, but it’s nice to mix things up to keep things interesting.

A: Since day one, we’ve had the discussion about what we wanted the label to be, there’s been always the fear of becoming too all-over-the-way-the-place versus the comfort of sticking to an aesthetic that was narrower than our interests. It’s nothing we haven’t done before anyway, from the second release with Scape One, with tracks like Planetoid and Right Ascension. Only this time we’re reaching for producers outside the electro world.

I think my favourite track on the label that always comes out in my sets is Obergman ‘Rosetta’ I’ve never actually come across this artist before, can you shine a bit of a light on him/her?

K: Ola Bergman is a very talented producer from Stockholm, he is part of the Stilleben crew. He has also done a couple of great mini LP’s for Abstract Forms. He is doing a full EP for BT08 what will be released in a few months time.

A: Agree, such a great producer. Instantly recognisable sound.
I just love how he blends the dancefloor with emotions, all those groovy basslines with heartbreaking synths. It’s really worth tracking down his New Speak releases too.

What’s been the hardest aspect of running the label, it’s never really seen as an easy job?

K: I suppose fitting in all the admin around a day job, we are lucky to have Athene our unofficial intern to help out with admin and posting on social media etc.

A: Sometimes you work on a release for over a year and once it hits the shops it has such a short limited life span. Dance culture is pretty hysterical when it comes to consumption, a record is deemed old after 2 weeks… so if a release is overlooked can be pretty disheartening. Also there are a lot of menial chores like accounting which I can’t say add much excitement to my life.

Can you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve put together here, can we expect to listen out for any upcoming releases?

K: The new VC-118A record from Klaus at AC records arrived in the post that day, I really liked all 4 tracks from it, so thought that record could be a good basis/start for a mix. It was recorded in 1 take really with just what records were to hand. Sadly there are no forthcoming tracks from the label on it.

Brokntoys Bandcamp // Brokntoys Facebook

Radio: null+void with Kirsti KMAH Radio Show 18/08/2015

Here’s the archive of August’s show for KMAH with material from Robert Logan, Cygnus, AFX & more. The next show is this Monday night 10pm to Midnight and will feature a section of our next podcast from Kris and Anwar who run the excellent electro label Brokntoys before we publish the full podcast and interview here on the blog. Also on the show expect to hear new tracks from NHK yx, Helena Hauff, Christoph De Babalon & more.

The latest KMAH news is that the crew have updated their website to include a blog and nice news story on null+void plus thy’ve announced that Glasgow’s brilliant Dixon Avenue Basement Jams have also joined the ranks broadcasting weekly from 8pm-10pm on Friday nights.

Appleblim – Aubern Blaze [Tempa]
Robert Logan – Phrack [Forthcoming Slowfoot Records]
Rob Clouth – The Galazy Collapsed Into A Point [Forthcoming Leisure System]
Cardopusher – Morning Traffic Dance [Forthcoming Turbo Records]
Duke Slammer – Just Drums [Cosmic Pint Glass]
Little Birds – Oberon [Filter Label]
Cygnus – Radical User Interface [Forthcoming Central Processing Unit]
Andreas Gehm – Control Ur Mind [Forthcoming Super Rhythm Trax]
Andrea Parker – Undercurents [Touchin’ Bass]
Tengui – Mutation [Broken 20]
Anodyne – Overwatch [Acroplane Records]
Batu – Collate [Forthcoming Mistry]
Scott Robinson – Things People Say [Forthcoming Fun in the Murky]
Warlock – Break Bones [Balkan Vinyl]
Milos – Reconery Flight [Forthcoming Away Days]
Chris Moss Acid – Righteous Acid Beat [Forthcoming Computer Controlled Records]
Bebop & Rocksteady – No Way Know How [Forthcoming ???]
Ceephax Acid Krew – Zarch (Zenotronic Cider Twerk iiiv) [Waltzer]
Robert Logan – Straighten [Forthcoming Slowfoot Records]
AFX – Simple Slamming B2 [Forthcoming Warp Records]
Stingray – Dentridte [Lower Parts]
Leggett – Harp [Soundcloud]
Vai – Get Away From It All [Forthcoming Holger]
Flatland Sound Studio – Windy Day [Bedroom Research]
Synkro – Changes [Apollo]
Senking – Millers Meadow [Forthcoming Raster Noton]

p.s. Soundcloud is turning bad please follow the null+void Mixcloud

Video: Cygnus – Electronic Slave [Central Processing Unit]

To announce their fourth EP from Dallas based Cygnus, Central Processing Unit have just shared a new video created by Sheffield based design agency Human, the same visual collective responsible for their binary derived artwork concept. The video is sound tracked by ‘Electronic Slave’ the closing track on EP Radical User Interfaces, slated for release on 9th October on limited edition vinyl and timed around Cygnus’ supporting slot on Autechre’s forthcoming North American tour.

Radio: null + void with Kirsti, 20-07-15

The first episode of null+void on KMAH is now available to listen back to, love to all who listened we’ll be back on Monday 17th August 10pm to midnight kmah-radio.com.

01 Aïsha Devi – Kim and The Wheel Of Life [Forthcoming on Houndstooth]
02. The Black Dog – Control Needs Time [Forthcoming on Dust]
03. Rob Clouth – Deep Field [Leisure System]
04. Perc – Change To Win [Forthcoming Perc Trax]
05. Yaporigami- Lunar [Stray Landings]
06. Martyn Hare – Zero Tolerance [Forthcoming Don’t]
07. Pessimist – Untitled [Forthcoming Electronic Explorations]
08. 214 – Pickles & Mints [Shipwrec]
09. Andreas Gehm – Your House [Forthcoming Polybius Trax]
10. Laksa – Draw For The [Mstry]
11. HVL – Away From Everything We Know (Reflektor Remix) [Organic Analogue]
12. October – Head 4 Phuture [Forthcoming Brstl]
13. Modini – Romance [Forthcoming Dixon Avenue Basement Jams]
14. G 23 – Mountians Acid (Jerome Hill Remix) [Forthcoming Super Rhythm Trax]
15. DJ Haus – Need Sum Time [Forthcoming Unknown To The Unknown]
16. Nonima & Stormfield – Rolling Thunder [Combat Recordings]
17. Shelley Parker – Catch [Opal Tapes]
18. Cristian Vogel – Dirt System (2015 Remaster) [cristianvogel.bandcamp.com]
19. Human Stain – Pain (Part II) [Acre]
20. AFX – serge fenix Rendered 2 [Warp Records]
21. Cylob – Concrete Corporal [Power Vacuum]
22. Beatwife – Cullinghord Kisser [Love Love Records]
23. Marco Bernardi – Magic Night [Brokntoys]
24. Shinra – End Game [Balkan Vinyl]
25. Koova – This Is Not My Future [Forthcoming Central Processing Unit]
26. The Exaltics – Instinct (Dopplereffekt Hubble Constant remodel) [Forthcoming on Solar One]
27. Sync 24 & Morphology – Phase Crush [Cultivated Electronics]
28. Pev – Edges (Steevio Re-interpritation) [Forthcoming Smorgashboard]

News: null+void Radio Show Gets Regular Home On KMAH

We’re excited and delighted to announce that we have found a permenent and regular home for the null+void radio show on Leeds burgeoning station KMAH joining the ranks of their already great line of presenters with Happa, BMO, October and more all part of their programming.

Starting tonight (20th July) from 10pm – midnight we’ll be broadcasting every four weeks and have tracks to come from Brokntoys, Solar One, Central Processing Unit, Electronic Explorations, Houndstooth and heaps more.

Tune in tonight live at http://kmah-radio.com/ then the show will be archived on our soundcloud channel.

Shouts to Rinse for giving us the opportunity to launch the show back in 2014, you can listen to the archive so far here:

null042: 214

Stateside based artist 214 may have grown up in the home of Miami bass and but his own take on the bombastic electro sound draws much more from Detroit’s Drexcyian school of production and finds his support strongest among the headsy electronic outposts in Europe. His releases have been homed on Andrea Parker’s Touchin’ Bass, Rotterdam’s Frustrated Funk and most recently Amsterdam’s own electronic ambassador Shipwrec, where 214 has presented his first full length album since 2002, North Bend which is out now.

Now relocated to Twin Peaks country (yes the actual spot David Lynch based his cult series) the album draws from the artists surrounding misty panoramas in its own deep electronics, the same vistas that form the release’s stunningly presented artwork. Here we got to chat to 214 about the release as well as present his 1 and a quarter hours long podcast, recorded exclusively for null+void.

You were raised in Miami but your music definitely feels like it’s had more influence from Detroit is that a fair observation?

Both Detroit and Europe (specifically Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK) have influenced and shaped my music.

You also seem to be tightest with European based labels – were there never any home imprints that were supportive of your sound?

There just weren’t many electro labels in the states, and there’s even less now. When I started sending demos out, I sent them to labels who I thought fit my sound and they all happened to be based out of Europe.

What sounds coming from the EU have you been enjoying of late?

The majority of my mix is EU artists so that’s a good representation of some of the sounds I’ve been into.

You moved recently to a pretty beautiful spot in the country in the USA – sometimes the cities feel like the centers where producers should be but what do you think has helped your production the most or can you feel how each inspires you differently?

I’m about 40 miles outside of Seattle now in North Bend (aka Twin Peaks). While I may not have the conveniences of city living, I’m also not too far to venture back every so often. Every artist takes inspiration from their surroundings and processes it in different ways. I’ve been just as productive in both locations.

I think the difference now is things are more quiet, remote, and reserved out here. I feel I can take my time with things and not rush. I spend a lot more time outdoors taking in the scenery. There’s a lot of wildlife out here. The one big perk to living in the country is volume. Sound complaints are not anything I need to worry about now.

Can you tell us a bit about the artwork for the album?

The album artwork goes hand in hand with the album title and vibe of the tracks. I guess you could say it’s a product of moving out to the woods since a majority of the album was written after the move. The title is named after the city I live in. North Bend is where the show Twin Peaks was filmed. I feel the tracks have a similar mysterious vibe to them that the scenery portrayed in the show had. The main sleeve artwork is of Mt Si, which we live at the base of. The artwork on each of the label stickers are various shots of within the mountain. I had a local photographer take shots for me to use.

Can you tell us a bit about your the production process for the tracks on the album? how do you go about building a track and what were your main machines pieces of software that you used for it?

I used a mix of both hardware bits and digital for the album. My process for building tracks is almost always the same. I start with a blank slate and just let the mind wander. For this album I did think more about the flow of the tracks and what kind of vibe I wanted to go for.

How did you connect with Shipwrec?

The Shipwrec connection happened from Klen, who runs Frustrated Funk. I’d been sending him lots of tracks and he thought it was time for an album. He had already been working with Ferdi (Shipwrec) through Clone, who does their distribution.

Tell us about your plans to tour the album this year – are you taking a full live set up with you? can you run us through the live set?

I’ll be taking my live set on the road this September to Europe promoting both the LP on Shipwrec and EP on Frustrated Funk. Making my debut at Berghain Sept 18th, then a Rinse FM slot (Hypercolour show) for a dj set on Sept 25th, then directly after that show I’ll be playing another live set in London. Trying to finalize a couple of other EU dates while there in September. The first test of the live set is happening in the states in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 7th. My set will consist mostly of a couple of Elektron boxes, a Blofeld and Miami.

What else have you got coming up this year?

I’m working on a few things, but right now I’m just looking to play some live shows and test out some new music.

214 – North Bends is available now via Bleep here and all good record stores.

Follow 214 on Facebook // Soundcloud

Photo Credit: Ben Sandall

Video: Mogwai – Helicon 1

Marking the seminal band’s 20th anniversary celebrations director Craig Murray has created this video of one of the Scottish bands many seminal tracks.

“The film you see is made from 100% 35mm stills which I shot off the screen: I used about 100+ rolls which were all individually scanned. All effects you see in the film are physical workings of the negatives (scanner compositing, scratching, liquids etc.).

Given the logistics of shooting everything discreetly and also in the sea, the original footage was all shot on an iPhone and a go-pro, with some addition animation using 35mm.” – Craig Murray