The German powerhouse, renowned for his long list of productions over the past 19 years which have challenged the word ‘normal’ in the house world time and time again returns on his Poker Flat label with “Noir”, an exploration into the world of deep, dark and dirty house.
Ten of the finest tunes on the scene at the moment…
With so much great music out there Guerilla Sounds decided to put together a quick top ten mix of the finest. The GS Select mix is not just about the 10 most popular underground tunes out there, it’s about the most inspiring and dynamic music there is, whilst demonstrating and supporting some of the futures freshest artists. Not an easy task, but we feel that this June mix does exactly what we have set out to do. Especially as we have manage to incorporate not only new artist on the scene, but also new label standing alongside a couple of the pioneer labels of underground house music.
01. Maya Jane Coles – Focus Now /// 2020 Vision
02. Lo – The Cross /// Bigger Deer Recordings
03. Gianni Amoroso – Conga Plus /// Morning mood
04. Geshe Ewing – I play House /// Smiley Fingers
05. Genetikal Twins – Blast (Afrilounge Acid House Remix) /// Indepth MusicRec
06. Gianni Amoroso – Daily Mistake /// Morning Mood
07. Alex Niggemann – SmashYourFace /// Poker Flat
08. Chris MiMo – Right Result /// Bigger Deer Recordings
09. The Pushamann – Rhyme or Reason (Mitch Davis Remix)
10. Manuel ‘de’ Lorenzi & Giammaria – R.I.P. /// Indepth MusicRec
Ralph Lawson and Steve Bug took centre-stage at this 12-hour marathon
As we enter the ‘business-end’ of what has already been an enthralling year for the UK’s underground music scene, the abundance of fresh and eclectic sounds continue to break onto our air-waves and into some of London’s most exhilarating party venues.
With Bank Holidays in the Capital long renowned for bestowing adorned ravers with an exciting array of some of the World’s most endearing DJs, playing at some of the City’s most sought-after venues, the year’s record-breaking 6th Bank Holiday weekend proved no different.
On Sunday 29th May, a weekend dubbed by many as the ‘gateway’ to the summer’s clubbing season, East-London welcomed 2020 Vision Recordings into the nouveaux setting of Shoreditch underground tube station.
Headliners Ralph Lawson and Steve Bug took centre-stage at this 12-hour marathon, which lured a capacity crowd of 750 revellers into the terrace-style venue from 10am until 8pm…Playing host to just its second party since the station’s closure in June 2006, 2020 Vision’s label Boss and Berlin’s Poker Flat Recordings front-man, were flanked by none other than local boys Jozif and Ewan Pearson.
As the day drew on, the quintessence of the venue agreeably complimented the endless flow of spirited house music, and with its cutting-electro-funk-edge, the enjoyment of the day’s proceedings was unanimously apparent amongst a diverse crowd of young and old deep tech house aficionados.
Needless to say, 2020 Vision Recordings are more than accomplished in organising and delivering some of the industry’s most invigorating parties, and Guerilla Sounds will undoubtedly find themselves wholly immersed at their next such London event.
As for Shoreditch Underground, there are a further 10 parties planned to take-place here over this summer, so make sure you check-back to Guerilla Sounds and find out which infamous DJs will next be gracing the venue’s Funktion One sound system.
Alex Niggemann goes deep, dark and a little dirty with Poker Flat…
Alex Niggemann’s “Lately EP” is a change from his recent funky Latino sound that has been infused into his latest releases. It follows a more deep and darker sound, which is just perfect for Poker Flat. When we recently spoke to Alex he explained that he “always wanted to do a whole EP with such dark synth- influenced techno-house” and that “Poker Flat always seemed to be the perfect platform to release it”. But where did this darker sound come from? “When I started playing records 11 years ago, I only had these kind of records as I first played the vinyls from my brother. So in a way, I came from this and always was into that kind of electronic music”.
Alex pulls off this change in sound exceedingly well, and definitely seems to recreate that influential sound of a decade ago.
The self titled track, “Lately” has a deep eerie feel to it like it’s a view inside Alex’s mind. It’s intriguing electronic bass is designed of deep thuds and a brief rising sequence, accompanied perfectly with a rhythmically sequenced xylophone sound which is constantly drifting in and out. These sequences are masterfully blended together to give the track its deep eerie feel and to top it all off, the vocal laid through out really does make you feel like you’ve just delved into Alex’s mind as he tells the story. “Madness” focuses on the bass, strong electro tech-house bass, the kind you that you would associate with the first sounds of Cirez D or Tiefschwarz. The odd sounds here and there, along with the vocal cuts add some quirkiness to the track, but here, it’s all about the bass madness. “Smash Your Face” follows the deep and dark theme of this EP but with a slight deep progressive tribal feel to it. But don’t fear, it’s not all sinister, as this track has some great sounds and lighter tones flying in and out adding a strange swing and groove to this piece. Yes it’s deep and dark, but this one is a real mover./span>
It’s refreshing to hear a release which delves backwards into the recent past of house music. The title track “Lately” clearly is the predominant piece here with its perfect choice of sounds to create an ideal setting. You know this is going to be a hit on the dance floors.
But it has to be said that “Smash Your Face” is sheer class, drawing from the old deep progressive tribal sound and injecting it with plenty of swing is bang on the mark!
Alex Niggemann had been building a name for himself with some very stable music until summer 2010, which saw the release of his impressive “Jewels”, with its distinct Latin feel, followed by and a string on remixes along the same lines, such as Gorge’s “Mi Vida” and Helmut Dubnitzky’s “My Sweet Peewee”, which seem to have really put Alex Niggemann on the map. Apart from Alex’s “Trippin” track with its deep vibe, recent releases and remixes seem to have focused on that Latin influenced vibe. Until now!
With his latest EP due out shortly on Poker Flat, it was likely that his sound would be different to that of recent. The sound that comes through on his “Lately EP” definitely seems to align more so with that of “Trippin” so we asked Alex where he got his ideas and inspiration from… “When I started playing records 11 years ago, I only had these kind of records as I first played the vinyls from my brother. So in a way, I came from this and always was into that kind of electronic music. So I always wanted to do a whole EP with such dark synth- influenced techno-house. Poker Flat always seemed to be the perfect platform to release it!”
“There’s a story behind it, which you will get to know, when having a listen to the text of the wired vocals. It just mirrors what I have been going though mentally in that time I produced it.”
In light of his forthcoming release we thought we’d ask Alex Niggemann on his musical preferences…
Who were you listening to when you first got into electronic music and how has your taste evolved?
It evolved a lot in the meanwhile… I got into electronic music, when I was at a techno party where Ken Ishii was playing. He was definitely the guy who gave me a push. I really enjoyed the stuff of Derrick May, Kevin Sauderson, Jeff Mills, etc. That was the music I was listening to and which inspirited me a lot, even if the first record I ever bought was Armand van Helden’s “The Funk Phenomenon”.
What are you listening to at the moment?
If you wanna know, what kind of music I listen to in my free time, then I would answer, mostly not to house/techno music. If you work in this business and everything you are working on has to do with house etc., I think you are happy to listen to some different music. Luckily my girlfriend loves rock music, soul and jazz! I listen to radio a lot as well, while having breakfast and being in the car. So this is the music I prefer while being off the job.
Who are your favourite producers at the moment?
Some guys I always did, like Steve Bug, Jimpster, Martin Buttrich, Ame, and also new artists like Benoit & Sergio, Andre Lodemann, James Teej, MANIK, Lee Curtiss or Terje Bakke.
Best club you’ve played in and why?
There are a few… Watergate and Panorama Bar are definitely some of them. You have a great sound combined with lovely people in there. You always get into the right mood in there. This is what I call enthusiastic partying!
I was also booked to a party in Panama City late February. The place is called Villa Augustina. An open-air location of an old factory with huge sound and the crowd screaming and partying their arses off. It was definitely one of the best gigs I ever had outside Germany!
One record that you just can’t get enough of?
Late Nite Tuff Guy – I Get Deeper
What record labels really stand out for you and why?
There are a few. Poker Flat always releases solid stuff as well as Freerange, Rush Hour, Tsuba or Visionquest.
What DJs do you hold in high regard, both established and up and coming, from a professional perspective?
If you mean besides producing I would say Steve Bug, Jimpster, Marc Poppcke, Superlounge, Ken Ishii, Glimpse, Henrik Schwarz and Ame.
What has been a priceless tool for you as a DJ?
What do you have coming up in the near future?
There’s also a remixed EP on Soulfooled out now, with great contributions of Fritz Zander, Salvatore Freda and Roberto Rodriguez, there will be a new Supernature EP in late summer, I’m working on at the moment, a remix on Get Physical and I will continue working on my album.
Gig-wise Ibiza madness will start soon… I’ll be playing at Space and at the new Sankey’s, which opens late May. Another US, South and Central America tour as well as gigs in Asia.
Don’t miss Alex Niggemann’s deep and dark “Lately EP” due out on Poker Flat. As well as catching him in action at the following…
28 May @ Sankeys, Ibiza, Spain
29 May @ Shindig, Newcastle, England
29 May @ The Arena, Middlesborough, England
01 Jun @ Watergate, Berlin, Germany
02 Jun @ Westelijk Handelsterrein, Rotterdam, Netherlands
25 Jun @ Supernature, The Nest, Dalston, England