Archive for the ‘Music & Interview’ Category

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[Music & Interview]: Mark Reeder

October 24, 2017
 

Music & Interview

Mark Reeder

 

Introduction:

Mark Reeder: representative of Joy Division’s label Factory in the 70ies; manager, producer through the decades; founder of MFS Records in the 90s … We already interviewed him years ago. Read here.
 

Interview:

Hi, Mark.

Nice to have you for another interview on NovaFuture Blog.

Actually this interview was planned a long time ago … with a different topic, the release of Die Vision’s Album “torture”. Unfortunately this project was stopped and the planned album is still unreleased. In the meantime you have made some very cool remixes for New Order and released the nice electronic pop album “Mauerstadt”. So we updated our questions a little bit but kept some of them. Let’s talk about the movie “B-Movie”, your album “Mauerstadt” and check out how it was working on the Die Vision album during the fall of the iron curtain.

In last interview you said that you became the representative of Factory Records, the label that signed Joy Division, in Germany because you already lived in Berlin. This story and many other funny anecdotes are portraited in “B-Movie”. The movie became very successful – a lot of international screenings etc. It also has a very good soundtrack incl Westbam feat “You Need The Drugs” and your track “Mauerstadt”. How much of the stuff of “B-Movie” is true and how much … the phantasy of the film maker? What was your part during the movie production? Was you involved in the track selection for the soundtrack album? What is the idea behind the track “Mauerstadt”?

Actually, it is all true. It’s just that we had to find parts of my story to which we had film footage for. The film is only about my time spent in West-Berlin, because West-Berlin is forgotten. Virtually everything I experienced in East Berlin had to be left out, all except the Toten Hosen gigs. Mainly, this was because we had no film footage from my escapades in the East. Some parts were changed slightly, or adapted to fit the flow of the narrative, as we had to compress 10 years into 90 minutes, so we couldn’t go into deeper detail, such as Nick Caves initial reaction to my flat, which was a 22 sq meter hinterhaus hovel in Kreuzberg, with a coal oven heater, no hot water, no shower and an outside toilet. Nick said it was like living in the Victorian age.

One huge part of my life which also had to be omitted, was going every weekend to the Metropol Theatre on Nollendorfplatz, in the 80s it was Europe’s biggest gay disco. The Berlin birthplace of HiNrg. No one filmed there, ever, so we couldn’t include it in my story, as we had no footage and so we had to make do with Westbam to represent the flourishing dance scene (who was also one of the Metropol DJs).

The selection and running order of the B-Movie soundtrack album was made by Edel and Klaus Maeck. I had absolutely nothing to do with that, I was only asked at the last minute to make a mix of all the tracks which didn’t fit onto CD1. I really wanted to have one of the Neubauten reworks I made on the album, but they wouldn’t license them to us. I also wanted Edel to make it possible for the viewer of the film to be able to access the featured songs in their entirety on the blu ray DVD through seamless branching, this would have enabled the viewer to hear the entire restored soundtrack and also everything in 5.1 surround. After all, I mixed everything (incl Joy Division, Neubauten, Sex Pistols and Malaria!) all in 5.1 surround for the film. It was a missed opportunity.

The idea behind my track Mauerstadt was to make it sound like an 80s track.

I wanted to give the track a simple, dystopian, DAFish kind of feeling by using just a analogue modular synth appregiator, a growling bass guitar and hard, straight, driving drums and a monotone vocal. I added the happy birthday sample from Knut Hoffmeisters super8 film about the Berlin Wall’s 25th birthday party, where everyone is so obviously totally out of it and because it sounds so funny. The long version was released only on the B-Movie vinyl and so I’ve put that version on the CD and the short version, which was on the CD is now on the Mauerstadt vinyl. Some people have actually told me how they remember that track from the 80s.

 
Mark Reeder 1
(Mark Reeder in the 80ies)

 
As shown in the movie you was not only a manager, producer, label head for several acts in West Berlin but also was member of the band “Shark Vegas” that was produced by New Order. Which instrument did you play? What was your role within the band? Why was it produced by NO?
In Shark Vegas I attempted to play guitar, keyboards and operate our Revox B77 which played the drum machines and sequencers. We decided to use a 4 track reel-to-reel tape, because after our illegal gig in Hungary, someone had stolen our drum machine. Our first and only Shark Vegas 12” single You Hurt Me was produced during our New Order European tour by Bernard Sumner. We had a few days off, so we went to Conny Planks legendary studio to record it. That ended up being a total disaster. Conny Plank popped in to the studio once and asked “ok lads?” then he just played table tennis outside with his kids mates, or made lunch. The sound engineer was suffering from a slipped disc and had to shout his instructions between spasms of pain from a small camp bed, which was lying below and in front of the mixing desk. The result was dreadful.

In the end, we went back to Manchester’s Strawberry Studios to finish it! New Order really liked YHM and consequently stole most of our ideas and regenerated them for Low Life. Two different 12” singles were released, one on Totenkopf (the Toten Hosen label) and the other on Factory Records, whch also had the sub-title “… but now your flesh lies rotting in hell”.

 

Mark Reeder 6
(Mark with Shark Vegas playing live)

New Order just released some nice remixes made by you (there were part of the singles accompanying the New Order albums “Music Complete” and “Complete Music” on Mute). Who came up with the idea to let you remix NO? What is your relationship to New Order nowadays?
My relationship with New Order is as it always was, they are my friends. I wanted to remix Academic for inclusion on my Mauerstadt album, but the band wanted me to remix Singularity and use footage from B-Movie for their live video. I also wanted to make a version of The Game for Mauerstadt too, as I had an idea for it. The version on their album is quite banging and I thought the beautiful lyric doesn’t really get a chance to emerge. Also on Music Complete, there are no slow or quiet songs, so my idea was to strip down The Game, half speed it and feature Bernards vocals. I added a straight throbbing bass guitar and loads of synth strings. This version was performed as a hybrid, during their Sydney Opera House gigs, where they performed with an Orchestra.
 
Mark Reeder 2
(Mark & New Order’s Bernard Sumner)
 
We already mentioned it in the introduction: the interview was originally planned for the re-release of Die Vision’s album “Torture”. It is not released yet. What happened? Who is behind the project DV and who was involved in the production of this album? What’s the meaning of the name?
The band and their management basically couldn’t agree and so the project has been shelved until they can. My idea was to release a remastered double album of Torture for its 25th anniversary. As I found my original Amiga tonstudio demo mix tapes from 1989 that I had made before the final mixdown, which took place after the fall of the Berlin wall in early 1990. The band name Die Vision (The Vision) is basically a reference to their favourite band and also a play on words.

I gave the album it’s title because it was torture for us all to make. Not just because of the power surges and restrictions, but because of the political situation. East Germany was literally falling apart as we were making this album. I also designed the album cover too. It featured a painting by Berlin-American artist Cynthia, depicting two black slaves who had each had both their hands cut off, because they didn’t meet their quota of sugar beet. I thought, the Easties all think they had it bad living in communist East Germany, but things could always have been much, much worse. I also wanted to cause a bit of controversy too, by having two black people on the cover and not the band. Who knows, maybe we will manage to make it for the albums 30th anniversary?

 
Mark Reeder 7
(Die Vision)
 

The album of DV was the last one that was produced for the GDR label AMIGA. You were in charge of the production. How did you get this job? How did AMIGA work as a record company (production, promotion)? Was it different to the work of labels you worked with or run yourself later?

I was invited by the Amiga to produce the Die Vison album in the latter part of 1989. The band were the only group in the communist GDR (German Democratic Republic) who were officially allowed to perform their songs in English. This was because their singer Uwe Geyer studied English at the Humboldt University. Now to study English there, you had to be perfect at speaking Russian too, remember, as English was the language of the enemy. Initially I was told, the band asked for me to be their producer, no doubt I thought due to my association with Joy Division (probably they thought something might rub off?). In reality, the STASI just wanted to watch over me, very closely. The Amiga had already vetted the bands lyrics and approved them for general GDR consumption, but when it actually came to singing them, they were actually quite un-singable. So I asked my writer friend Dave Rimmer (Once Upon a Time in the East) to help rewrite the lyrics and we gleefully added cryptic and subliminal messages within the texts. The A&R had no idea we had done this and accepted everything as it was, because it had all been previously approved. The Brunnenstrasse Amiga Tonstudio studio was a self-created Frankensteins monster. It was fascinating. Almost everything had been made by the engineers themselves, all except their Neumann microphones, a Fender Strat from 1968, a Steinway Grand piano and a Melotron. The Amiga label was run like a civil service. Thousands of people seemed to work there doing unfathomable tasks. Elderly women reading over the LP cover texts, sat in offices adorned with net curtains, potted plants, pictures of cats and ersatz café. It reminded me more of the tax office than a record label. The words fashionable or trendy didn’t belong within their corridors.

Yet in the studio, the basic production was the same as anywhere else really. Except that we had to deal with regular power fluctuations, which would always result in all the tracks on their self-made 24 track tape machine being erased. It was quite a nightmare. I would be biting my nails every time the lights flickered.

As for promotion, there was no such thing in the GDR. They didn’t really have product advertising and certainly not for records. The Amiga had control of all the record shops throughout the GDR and they all took what they were given.

The album did have huge pre-orders though. After finishing each song, I would make a mixdown for myself on tape, just so I could keep track. The Amiga A&R took a few of these early demo mixes and went around East Germany proudly presenting them to all the record stores, as it was the first East German album ever to be sung entirely in English. Before I was anywhere near finished, we already had 32.000 pre orders for Torture!

Naturally, the Amiga was run nothing like an indie label. They didn’t have to be anything, the Amiga were the only players in East Germany with no competition. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, they changed their name from Amiga to Zong in a pathetic attempt to distance themselves from their communist past. I thought that was a wrong move and proposed they change their name to ZONY, but they didn’t see the irony in my joke and they certainly didn’t understand the power of marketing at that point. Finally, I ended up starting my own label using their facilities – I called it Masterminded For Success. Knowing that the Germans loved to abbreviate everything, I wanted to keep the three letters associated with the official name of the STASI, the Ministry for State-security, or MFS.

 
Mark Reeder 3
(Mark in 1984 with some equipment)
 
As we can imagine the equipment in the studios of AMIGA was very different to the machines you knew working with western artists. Which equipment did you use for the album? Was it difficult for you to get into it, to understand how it works? Could you please tell us something about the equipment you used in the 80ies, GDR and nowadays?
As everything in the Brunnenstrasse studio had been made by hand, nothing was like the machines that you saw in a Western Studio. The only recognisable machine was an Otari 24 track, but even that was a deception, as it was only the Otari housing, The interior was a mix of Studer and Telefunken tape machines cobbled together. Their equipment had more or less the same functions, but it all looked self-made. It was quite fascinating. I remember their newly built remote controller that they used to stop and start the recordings on their 24 track machine. It was gaffa taped to an old snare stand and it had a horrific 5 millisecond delay from the moment you pressed the clunky buttons. The studio had a forest of East German Neumann microphones and a few Western amps, like a VOX AC30 or Marshall. All this western stuff had been bought in the late 1960s as part of some five year music production plan. Everything was kept in excellent condition though. They had a room which contained a series of metal coils and spring-like spirals and hanging sheets of metal. These were the reverb plates which could be operated directly from the mixing desk at the click of a gas-cooker style switch. As the drummer of Die Vision quit the band on the second day of recording, I was forced to smuggle a drum machine into the East, as there was only one drum machine in the GDR (a Sequencial Circuits) and that was on permanent loan to the Friedrichstadt Palast Orchestra. Otherwise we had to make do with what was available.
 
You just released the album “Mauerstadt”. It has the same name like your track on “B-Movie” soundtrack. Is there any connection between these two “things”/releases? “Mauerstadt” is full of collaborations. So you worked with The KVB, Queen of Hearts, Ekkoes, MFU or Maja Pierro on tracks for it. How did you select the collaborators? Or how did these collabs happen? Please tell us also something about the way you work with these artists on tracks we can now hear on the album.
Yes of course the title track is the same (although a different mix) I wanted to feature it more.

As for collaborating, I like to work this way. Share my ideas and thoughts. For example, I had made a remix for Queen of Hearts and then I asked her if she’d like to work on a track together. I ended up writing a couple of songs with her for her album, or I remixed The KVB’s White Walls track and then we wrote In sight together. As for New Order, that came about because I had an idea and wanted to see where it would go. Thankfully, I don’t have to fly over to the UK to record anymore, the modern age allows us to bounce sessions and mixes via the internet. If something needs to be discussed that’s easier too, but mostly the artists just let me get on with it.

 
Mark Reeder 4
(Mark playing guitar, photo by Micha Adam)
 
As said, you are from Manchester. Have you still a relationship to the city, music scene there? Any friends from the old days?
Naturally of course, I have family and friends there. I only left Manchester and came to live in Berlin. It’s not that far away, Berlin and Manchester have a strange similarity. I can’t say exactly what it is. Maybe it’s the desperation and thirst for expression and creativity. I’ve performed there a few times recently too. Once for the Manchester International Festival True Faith Exhibition opening in Manchester Art Gallery (I had everyone dancing there in the Art Gallery for the first time, ever). That was great fun and I also performed together with MFU at the iconic Tiger Lounge, (George Best’s old club). That was a wonderful gig. I like Manchester now more than I did when I left, it has become a very cosmopolitan city and I am very proud of it for being able to transform itself like that, but I could never live there again, Berlin is my home.
 
You are a music nerd. And we love it. Please name 10 favourite records that had/have big influence on your life as person and as artist. Tell us why they had such an impact and what they changed in you.
Errr, thank you Juergen 🙂 Well, that is always such a difficult question to answer. So many different things have influenced me over the decades. It’s not so easy just to pinpoint them to only ten, as it leaves out so many other great things. I will try, but please don’t judge me on this. It’s just what I can think of now…

01. Telstar by the Tornados
This was the first record I ever bought. It was 1962. They only played it once on the radio each day and I wanted to hear it again and again and again. I pestered my mother so much she dragged me down to our local record shop (Rumbelows in Denton) and made me buy it. I guess that moment started my record buying addiction. After that, we bought all kinds of records mainly 7” pop singles, by The Beatles, Shadows or Cilla Black and that tradition of buying singles followed me into the 70s with punk. In my opinion, Telstar is the first techno record. It’s dancy, melodic and instrumental.

02. Dr Who Theme by Delia Derbyshire & the BBC radiophonic workshop
This was the first electronic music I ever heard. A brilliant theme. Still mysterious and captivating to this day. As a child, I had no idea how it had been made, but it sounded so futuristic.

03. Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix
The first album I ever bought with my own money. I knew Jimi Hendrix from the telly, he was the flamboyant black guy who played the guitar with his teeth. I heard this album regularly during weekly visits to Manchester’s record shops with my elder cousin and I think I only wanted to listen to it because of the naked girls cover. Each time I heard it though, it sounded different, I wasn’t aware it was a double album. I was determined to own this album for myself. So I plotted a plan to buy it. To accumulate the money, I’d do odd jobs like getting bread, groceries or 20 Park Drive cigarettes for the old age pensioners who lived across the road and they always told me to keep the change. One Saturday, I secretly went into Manchester on my own, I remember it was a very cold day. I was a bit scared going into Rare Records on my own. I bought the album (which was very expensive for a ten year old boy) and I smuggled it home. Petrified it would be discovered, I hid the record sleeve in a box under my bed and never told anyone about it until I was about 16, as I knew if my mum saw it, she’d have certainly thrown it out.

04. Switched on Bach by Walter Carlos
This was the first record I ever heard on a Stereo. My cousin wanted to buy a second hand stereo and so one afternoon we went to some blokes house. There was this huge Stereogramme monster, like a sideboard, lumped in the middle of the room. To demonstrate the wonders of his stereo, he put on Switched on Bach. I’d never heard anything like it. I was fascinated. What was that sound? It was like Dr Who. My cousin didn’t buy the stereo, but once he got one, I would be glued to the thing listening to stereo records by King Crimson, Pink Floyd and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

05. Fireball XL5, Stingray, Capt Scarlet, UFO & Thunderbirds scores by Barry Gray
This was the music that got me into soundtracks. Barry Grays scores were always very dramatic and memorable. He mixed electronics and orchestra to create other-worldly soundscapes for Gerry Anderson’s futuristic sci-fi puppet series. It took over 45 years for the music for these TV series to be released.

06. Roxy Music by Roxy Music
Virgina Plain was the record that kicked off the glitter era for me. They sounded so different from all the other bands of the time and used a fusion of synths and rock. This album looked and sounded like no other. It was also around this time that I also discovered the sounds of German Electronic music too, like Cosmic Jokers, Neu and Kraftwerk which set me on a path to discover more music from Germany…

07.Low & Heroes by David Bowie
Although I loved the Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory albums, these two albums recorded in Hansa studios, changed the sound and image of David Bowie and I have to say, they probably influenced my decision to visit Berlin. Low was this dystopian, dark and very Krautrock sounding album, which Bowie followed up rapidly with Heroes. Heroes was a little more accessible, but it still sounded amazing. I got the German edition of the album where Bowie sings Heroes in Germanese.

08. An ideal for living/Unknown Pleasures & Closer by Joy division
More than any other, this was the band and album that changed everything in my life. After moving to Berlin, I became Joy Divisions representative in Germany. Then when Tony Wilson formed Factory Records, I automatically became the representative for his label too. The first Joy Division single actually sounded pretty dumpf and so Rob decided to repress it as a fashionable 12”, it still sounded dumpf, but now it was louder. It was only when they went into the studio with Martin Hannet did everything change for the band. They stopped being a ropey punk band and became something entirely different. Their debut album sounded like no other and with Peter Saville’s simple pusle-wave design it looked like no other too. In every aspect, it was light years ahead. Mixing synths and guitars and sound effects, all held together by Ians heart-wrenching poetry. Martin had gained his experience mixing iconic records by Manchester’s punk bands like The BuZzcocks, but realised he could do so much more with Joy Divisions music. I thought everyone must now realise that this is the best band in the world, but in reality, no one was interested. I managed to convince Rob to bring the band to Berlin, as I thought if they saw them, the Berliners would love them. Sadly, only a handful of people came to see Joy Division perform at Berlin’s Kant Kino. I was devastated, but the band didn’t care. This was normality for them, and they were just happy to be in Berlin, to finger the bullet holes and eat schweinshaxe. Of course, my friendship with the band continued after Ian’s death and still continues to this day.

09. Violator by Depeche Mode
Although I have followed this band from their inception, this album was like a revelation. I already knew Francois Kevorkian’s previous work, as I was heavily into underground dance music during the 80s and Francois Kevorkian was my favourite remixer. I tried to buy everything he made, yes, even his remix for Diana Ross! His legendary mixes for the Prelude label (such as Sharon Redd’s Beat the Street) and Kraftwerk set him above everyone else and he has without doubt been a huge influence on my own work. When he teamed up with flood and Depeche it was almost like a dream come true. And he didn’t disappoint. Violator is his masterpiece.

10. Perfect Day by The Visions of Shiva
This record was the first international success for my label MFS. Admittedly, my initial idea was to start a label as a musical platform for Eastie Techno kids, but as they all had no money, no equipment and no experience, I had to fall back on musicians from West Berlin. I had a rough idea about how I would like the music to sound on MFS, and so when I heard Cosmic Baby was looking for a new label, I met him and proposed my concept: To make a more hypnotic, melodic and emotional sounding style of Techno. I liked his interpretation and we released his first single Cosmic Trigger under the moniker MFS Trance Dance. The DJ’s loved it, but said they couldn’t play it because apparently, it wasn’t DJ friendly. I suggested to Cosmic that he look for a DJ to work with and eventually at one of his gigs, he met a young warm-up DJ called Paul van Dyk. Paul appeared to be a nice lad and so I put them in the studio together. The result was Perfect Day. This record went through the roof! Their second release How much can you take? was even more successful, but then came the clash of egos. Paul had his own success with his remix of Humate’s Love Stimulation and Cosmic wasn’t having any of it. They soon split up and eventually, after sequencing our first MFS compilation Tranceformed from Beyond together with Mijk van Dijk and his own hugely successful album Stellar Supreme, Cosmic left MFS for the allure of stardom as promised by BMG.

 
Mark Reeder 5
(Mark, photo by Katja Ruge)
 
“b-movie” including a screening tour are finished, “Mauerstadt” album released… What is coming next? Live touring? On what are you working?
Well, the tour with B-Movie is certainly not over. It’s still ongoing. There are many places that have not yet seen it. I’ve actually just returned from a two month tour of China, where I DJ’d, showed B-Movie and gave lectures about electronic music and Berlin in the 80s and I also produced two interesting Chinese bands there, Stolen (from Chengdu) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVmUZZ_2pgc and Hang on the Box (from Beijing).

Apart from preparing everything for the release of my Mauerstadt album (which is available on CD, DWLD and a limited edition double white vinyl),

I’ve already started work on my next album too. I have just finished a song with an old DJ friend from Ireland John Gibbons, and a new song with MFU, and I recently remixed Vicious Games for Yello.

These tracks will be included on my next album, which will be released early next year.

 
Thanks for this interesting interview
You are very welcome, Juergen.
 

Recommendations:
Mark Reeder album “Mauerstadt”
compilation “Collaborator”
compilation “Five Point One”
New Order’s single “Singularity” w/ Reeder remix

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Delia Derbyshire & the BBC Radiophonic Workhop – Dr Who (original 1963 theme)
02. The Tornados – Telstar
03. The Cure – Purple Haze
04. Say Lou Lou – Maybe You
05. The KVB – Fixation
06. Visions Of Excess – Object To Be Destroyed
07. John Foxx & Steve d’Agostino – Impenetrable
08. Blank & Jones feat. Elles de Graaf – Mind of The Wonderful (Mark Reeder’s Mastermind Mix)
09. Margret Berger – I Feed You My Love
10. Stolen – Copy Shop
11. Blank & Jones feat. Bobo – Loneliness (Mark Reeder’s Alone In The Dark Mix)
12. Blank & Jones feat. Steve Kilbey – Revealed (Mark Reeder’s Overexposed Mix)
13. Hang On The Box – Hunting
14. Blank & Jones feat. Bernard Sumner – Miracle Cure (Heilmittel mix)
15. The KVB – White Walls (Mark Reeder’s Stoned Wall Remix)
16. Mark Reeder- mauerstadt (RIAS Mix)
17. Blank & Jones feat. Vanessa Daou – Consequences (Mark Reeder’s Resultant Mix)
18. New Order – The Game (Mark Reeder spielt mit-edited Version)

 

Websites:
Mauerstadt Website
Mark Reeder

 
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[Music & Interview]: Georg Bigalke

September 7, 2017
 

Music & Interview

Georg Bigalke

 

Introduction:

Georg from Leipzig is the man behind the mix series “45 Minutes of Techno” and spin also some record at Distillery in Leipzig etc. He also produces own tracks and remixes.
 

Interview:

hello Georg. Let’s start our small interview with your youth. Where was you born? How was your childhood? What was your favourite music being a teenager, when you began to listen to music?

I am born in Leipzig. My childhood was relaxed, funny, and very inspiring. I was traveling through the days and played much with my friends outdoor in the neighborhood. As a teenager I was listening to NKOTB, East 17, Fanta 4, Queen, Phil Collins, Sting and Bodycount – Just to name a few of my favorites.
 
Georg Bigalke 1

 
You are known for running the nice podcast series “45 Minutes of Techno”. How did you come with the idea in general and especially in limiting it on 45mins? How do you choose the contributors?
45 minutes of your life are always free to have a little hangout while you are listening to some good music. So it’s the perfect length to listen to some musical short stories. The contributors are always artists that inspired me in a certain way, for example with a certain style of music or deejays with certain type of flow.
 
You are a DJ yourself. When did you start it? Any specific moment, a situation so you thought “I wanna be a DJ”? Who are your idols? With whom you want to share your stage?
I started Djing in 1998 – Together with some of my best friends I started to build up a little rave series one or two times a year, The series was called “imperial”. That was the specific moment to think about spinning records in front of people. There are so many interesting artists I’d like to meet – I’d say it’s more something like a “melting pot of idols” than just one certain character.
 
Georg Bigalke 4
 
You played regularly at Leipzig’s Distillery. What is so special about this venue? What do you feel when you start your set there and during the gig?
The distillery is my residency, I started playing there in October 2007. Thanks again to Steffen (Syntax), Marc & Steffen (distillery) – The guys who made this happen.

It feels very special to play there, again and again. It’s like a mystery, I don’t know why. After all this years I’m nervous every time I play there. When I start my sets I’m totally nervous – Every time, again and again. It feels like goosebumps all over my body, like hornets that take off under my skin. 😉

 
Please tell us a nice anecdote that happened during a gig/tour.
It’s very special, if people come to me to say thank you after listening to one of my sets. Actually there’s just one guy I remember: I was playing 7 o’clock in the morning and he came smiling, sweating and dancing onto the stage. He asked me, if I’d like to have some fruits. I like it, because this question shows a moment of normality surrounded by all the techno madness.
 
Georg Bigalke 3
 
Could you please name 5 techno records & 5 non techno records you love and play often?
10 favorite tracks I like to play again and again.
→ Wraetlic – Rats
→ Eomac – Angle in the Marble
→ Tommy Four Seven – Ratu
→ Aphey Twin – Tha
→ Phon.O – Twilight (feat. Pantasz)
→ Blawan – 6 to 6 lick
→ I-F – I do because I couldn’t care Less
→ Ben Klock – Journey
→ Inigo Kennedy – Aleph
→ Mathew Johnson – Ghosts in the AI
 
This feature includes a brand-new track called “Mellartant” which can be downloaded here exclusively for free. When and why did you start with producing? What’s the idea behind this track?

Mellartant describes a certain feeling, like every single track I produced – Mellartant is a certain type of groove. I started producing in 2012 with Zacharias, he is my musical mentor.

More of my output you can find here: Tracks @ Soundcloud

 
Georg Bigalke 2
 
Music business is a hard business so we guess your don’t earn enough money here for your living. So what do you do at day? What’s your “normal” job? And what about your leisure time… any hobbies that are not connected with music?
Actually I work as a project manager for the east german psychotherapists chamber in Leipzig. Most of my leisure time I spend with my family and friends – Hanging around, drinking coffee and eating some cake. 😉
 
We are already at the end of our little interview so I would like to know something about your future plans… what’s coming next?
There are some really interesting tracks that are waiting for their release…we’ll see what happens! I am anxious and fidgety ..
 

Exclusive Track:
“Mellartant”

 

Websites:
Georg Bigalke @ Facebook
Georg Bigalke @ Soundcloud

 
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[Music & Interview]: JANEIN

August 16, 2017
 

Music & Interview

JANEIN

 

Introduction:

Jan Götze, the guy behind the moniker JANEIN, was born in Leipzig 1993. 20 years later he started to Dj using the name Janein… which it is wordplay. On the one hand stands for “Jan”, his first name, plus the German word “ein”, “one” or “a”, meaning “one person”. On the other hand the artist name shall express a compromise/middle course using the German word for “yes” and “no”, but also being something raw, unprejudiced.
 

Interview:

Hello Jan, we met at a party in Berlin’s Revaler Strasse. Actually I cannot remember the name of the club, but it was just a short stopover for me – coming from another party, listening to your set and returning to the party. Not sure if you remember or ever knew why I wanted to listen to you. I was just going to start my own booking agency with two artists signed already and looking for some more. One of my artists recommended me to check you out. So I did and really liked what & how you played. Unfortunately I had to cancel the agency just before it really started so we didn’t work together in this way, but I am happy we have stayed in contact so we have this nice feature now. So let’s start with the interview. What kind of music did you listen to in your youth and raised your interest in djing? When and why did you start it?

Hey Jürgen, yes i can remember! This was at the end of 2013, when i was starting with Djing. Sadly that your booking Agency never started but i am happy that we hold the contact til now and a good music blog is even better than a agency, i think. 😉 In my youth i listened most of the time to Hardcore, Punk and Metal Music but my dad gave me a electronic influence with Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd.

 
JANEIN 1

 
You were part of a collective in Halle/Saale called “Station Endlos” which just splitted up a few weeks ago, right? How did you get in touch with them back in the days being based in Leipzig? What were the intentions of that group of people?

Yes, I am a part of the “Station Endlos” collective from Halle. We didn’t split up, we just had to close our club.. because it was not legal BUT we have now a new place and will open it soon – this time legal. 3 Years ago i met Johannes and Leo (two guys behind the collective) in Halle, they told me their vision of opening a club, connecting music and art. So I immediately said “I am in” and that’s the story how I became a resident at the Station Endlos.
 
As mentioned you are from Leipzig and for sure also played in one of Leipzig’s well-known clubs, the Distillery. Is it one of your favourites? How was it playing there?
For me it was always a dream to play in a club with a history like the Distillery Club in Leipzig, so of course it’s favourite! It’s always warm and sweaty there and the most important thing is that I can play 110% from the beginning of my set til the end – I mean the people like it hard and wild, hehe. The other great thing is that I already shared the stage with guys like Rodhad (during a Dystopian Showcase), Monoloc, Matrixxman, Etapp Kyle, Speedy J, Joel Mull and of course Distillery homie Vincent Neumann.
 
JANEIN 2
 
We had already an interview with Rebar who also told us something about the scene in Saxony (read it here). Could you please tell us what you think about it? Is there any difference to the scene in your hometown Halle or the techno capital Berlin?

I think the biggest difference here is that the parties usually don’t run from Friday til Monday. I mean you have here really good clubs and parties but it’s more selected than in Berlin.
 
You already played at several festivals. What do you prefer: club gig or festival? Do you prepare yourself in a different way if you are booked for a festival? What was your personal festival highlight? Any nice anecdote in a club?
I like both, Festivals are great but also I love to play in a club. When i prepare my set I only think about the start… about the intro and two tracks after it. I really like to interact with the crowd. You ask me for a highlight? One highlight was the THINK Festival, Leipzig in 2016, sharing the stage with Rodhad, Chris Liebing, Dixon and Ellen Allien. This does not happen often especially if you’re young artist like me. I mean I have been Djing now since 4 years.
 
JANEIN 3
 
You just started to produce a while ago. Released on a compilation. What was your inspiration to start with it? Any favourite producers?

I started with producing because I wanna get deeper with music. I want to understand the music that I play. My favourite producers at the moment are Escape to Mars, Recondite, Inhalt der Nacht and Kobosil!
 
We just heard the rumour that you are founding your own label right now – starting with a nice sampler/compilation. Why do you think the world needs another techno label? What will be your concept?

Yes I start my own label with my good friend Stigmatique and the label will be called “SEELEN”. Our first release will be out at the beginning of 2018 – a Various Artist sampler on limited double vinyl and as download via Bandcamp. The idea behind the label is to give Leipzig a new form of Techno and to give young artist and talents the chance to put out their stuff which has often a high quality – so they can show it to the established artists. Maybe it’s a game changer.

 
JANEIN 4
 
Most people in the techno world have to do a normal job or just study with the help of their parents. How does your daily life look like?
I don’t study, I work as a service provider on a part time bade (4h a day). That’s what I do from monday till friday, from friday till sunday I am a DJ 😉

I also have the option to pause the job for a couple of days, weeks or months whenever I need it. Example, in the beginning of this year i was two months on New Zealand and Australia Tour.. so I quit the job for that time and began it again when I was back from tour.

 
This feature contains the exclusive track “Σ”. Could you please tell us something about it? Was there any specific moment you got the idea for it? How did you produce it?
The track is called “Σ” what means “sum” or “total”.. so that track is the total of all what I learned til now. The track is produced with the Jupiter 80, Roland TR8, Roland System 1M , Space Echo RE-201 and some VST- Plugins. I got the the idea behind it during a jam session. The track was mastered by Nihad Tule.
 
JANEIN 5
 
We are already getting to the end of our small interview. So here comes the question about your future. What is already planned? What do you want to achieve in the near and far future? What are your dreams?
For the future I want to produce more stuff and set the focus on the label working together with some nice artists. And of course I wish to play some memorable gigs.
 

Exclusive Track:
“Σ”

 

Websites:
JANEIN
Seelen @ Facebook
Seelen @ Soundcloud
Station Endlos

 
h1

[Music & Interview]: Tempus Fugit

August 11, 2017
 

Music & Interview

Tempus Fugit

 

Introduction:

Born in 1982 in the eastern part of Germany, Tempus Fugit moved to Leipzig for three years where he began to study German and Philosophy. In 2005 he moved to Berlin to start his traning as a nurse.

Already back in the days of the year 2000 he discovered his love to dj in the gothic scene with electronic music and EBM so he became soon a resident at the Zauberberg-Parties, a famous gothic party series in the eastern part of Germany that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore.

He got in touch with the techno scene in 2010 so he tried to include techno in his sets. In 2014 he got the opportunity to play at the famous SABBAT-Parties in Berlin where he perfected his way to mix EBM and Techno. Later the influence of Berghain sound got stronger and stronger.

Nevertheless, he never forgot where he came from, having his roots in EBM and dark electronic music.

Tempus Fugit? Before this name he used “derHexer” (German for “the warlock”) being very interested in all the mystical stuff. Due to some personal circumstances he realized, that people have to remember their death and their end of life and they should enjoy every moment of your life.

The baroque quote “Tempus fugit, amor manet” (latin for “time passes, love stays”) had a big impact on him so he chose another alias after “DerHexer”….

 

Interview:

Hi Christian, when we met the first time at Berghain your outfit was something that confused me: skinny jeans, braces and combat boots. You are a skin – a queer skin. When did you join the scene? What were reasons for it? Could you please also explain the scene a little bit.
I grew up in the eastern part of Germany. I always had to do with punks, goths and skinheads. I was never strict in being a part of a scene. A mixture is what makes me. Skinhead-culture came up in the late 60’s as a movement against hippies, the bright sight of live and was born in the suburban areas of industrial-cities like Manchester. The skinhead-culture has never been a political or rasisct-movement. But in they were always assimilated by leftwinged and rightwinged parties and groups. I think for me S.H.A.R.P. (Skinheads against rascial prejudice) or Trojan-Skinheads (leftwinged people) is a familiar spirit. But skinheadculture was always characterized by masculinity and heroism. There are some queer-skins but u won’t see them that much. It is not common. Anyways, I decited to make a statement. That’s is why I wear a huge patch on my jacked the shows, I AM A QUEER-SKIN!
 
Tempus Fugit 1

 
You are married to an American guy. He is a queer skin too, right? Please tell us something about your love story 🙂
First of all, no he is not. 😀 We met at Berghain, at the famous, notorious „Klobar“. It was a bit difficult in the beginning. When we realized, that we match and that we complete each other there was nothing that could have stopped us anymore.
 
Enough talked about your private life. Let’s get to the music & DJ part. It didn’t take long time til we realised that we are both into EBM/Industrial/Electronic Pop like Nitzer Ebb or Depeche Mode – besides the techno stuff played at Berghain. How do you select the tracks for your DJ sets? Are you mixing techno with the other styles for one set or do you make separate sets? Is there a “combined scene” who enjoys both genres?
I select them in a way to tell a story. I combine tracks that have kind of the same message. And of course I try to switch from techno to EBM, Industrial, Disco, Electro and back. It is usually a dark background . I also think there is not a specific scene that combines all of the genres, but they all influence eatch other. Kraftwerk for examble, they were the reason for techno, they created new sounds, new technics. So they electronic music is all conected. There are tracks of VNV Nation that are very technoid and are quite similar. But they are very famous in the gothic scene. I tried to show u a cross-section in my little mix at the end of this interview. So you can get an idea.
 
Tempus Fugit 2
 
When you buy stuff for a gig etc you need to check both scenes (alternative/goth and techno). How do you dig for new releases? Any specific stores where you buy it?
Most of the tracks I get online. But I find them in magazines, I know a lot from my past in the EBM-Electro-Scene and I always get inspired by other DJs, other people and the things, that happen in the world. And there are a lot of cruel and dark motives u can get.
 
For me it is a interesting combination: gay, skin, techno & EBM etc. It seems to be some kind of “unique selling point”. Is it that way? Do you use these things to build your image?
Of course! For most of the people I seem scary. And so is my music. Rough, forward going but always with a little twinkle, because u can’t take yourself too serious.
 
Tempus Fugit 3
 
Like mentioned earlier we met at Berghain and had some proper dances there. What does the club mean to you? Is it a source of inspiration?
For me it is the place I can be the way I am. And people who know me there accept me the way I am. It is an inspiration for me, but I also realized that I am inspiration to other people.
 
What or who is inspiring you in general?
Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Terence Fixmer and darkness. 😉
 
Tempus Fugit 4
 
What kind of clubs do you play? Where did you already play? Industrial parties? Techno parties?
I played some Gothic-Parties, Sabbat-Party in Berlin, and I am kind of a resident for the INTERZONE-Party.
 
As I know there is no record released by you with o. Do you have any ambitions to produce? What would you like to create – techno, ebm, a combination of them, something completely different?
Honestly, I have no intentions. Because I have no time. And I think I wouldn’t be good in it. I am happy with what I do. But if I would do it, I would create a sound like Terence Fixmer, but a bit darker.
 
Tempus Fugit 5
 
As always the last question is about future plans. Let us know what you have in the pipeline. Perhaps playing in the US – the home country of your husband?
I will get better in my skills, play little parties and try to help getting INTERZONE bigger. I also talked to the guys of DURCH to play there in the nearest future and I will play in Toulouse in september. That is what I am really looking forward to.
 

Exclusive Set:

 

Tracklist of the Exclusive Set:
01. Cari Lekebusch – You Are A Hybrid Too
02. Kirlian Camera – News (Room 506 Edit)
03. Dax J – Wir Leben Für Die Nacht
04. Out of Norm – Rausch
05. Terence Fixmer – Body Pressure
06. Nitzer Ebb – Murderous
07. Robert Hood – Alarm
08. Overtal – Methoxy
09. I1 Ambivalent – Mutual Understanding
10. Obscure Shape & SHDW – Wenn Die Masken Fallen
11. Emmanuel Top – Acid Phase
12. Front 242 – Rhythm Of Time (Victor the Cleaner)
13. Kraftwerk – Radioactivity (François Kevorkian 7″ Remix)

 

Websites:
Tempus Fugit

 
h1

[Music & Interview]: Rebar

July 21, 2017
 

Music & Interview

Rebar

 

Introduction:

In the physical world, “Rebar” is an object, often used to reinforce concrete. In the world of music, though, Rebar is the joint venture of Andreas Pionty & fumée grise, the label-heads of “made of CONCRETE”. Next to the label they are the driving force behind “Körper” a sex-positive party series which starts in April 2017.
 

Interview:

hi Jens, hi Andreas. You are Rebar, a duo coming from Dresden + Berlin. When did you meet each other for the first time? Do you still live in two cities? How do you work together regarding the operation of your label “made of concrete”, as production team etc? Who is responsible for what task?
Rebar: Hello Jürgen, first we want to say thanks for having us.

We met each other around 2010 at a gig we were both booked for in Dresden. The funny thing was that we had to play a “back 2 back“ even though we didn’t know each other. One of the turntables was not working and Jens (fumée grise) didn’t know how to use the CDJs at this time, so Andreas (Pionty) was helping out and played on the one CDJ. It was working quite well even when Jens was playing at this time mainly house and Andreas techno. But since this experience we have stayed in contact and now we also have a name together. Incredible.

But yes, we still live in different cities. Jens lives in Berlin and Andreas in Dresden. At the end of the day this is no handicap for our work, as in our business the most important thing is to have a good telephone and internet connection. The cities are also not far apart from each other so we can always arrange to see each other easily.

The decision on how we share the tasks was quite simple for us to decide, as we both have quite different skills. Andreas is more the communicative character of us two, so he takes care of the dialogue between the clubs, booker, artists and so on. Jens is more the man in the background who takes care of the administration and coordinates all final procedures with the label and releases.

At the studio Andreas is the prime mover. Jens mostly brings field recordings which are key elements of our work but after this he sits idle, drinks coffee or non-alcoholic beer. Actually, the only place where we are one is behind the decks. (Haha)

 
Rebar Pic 1
(Rebar, press pic 2016)
 
What are your musical backgrounds? What kind of music do you listen to in your “spare time”?
Rebar: Our musical background on the DJ side is Techno music. It’s actually the first music we both listened to freely. It’s kind of the foundation of everything. But in our free time we also listen music more diverse.

Jens: I like actually everything based on electronic music no matter which genre: ambient, disco, house, experimental…next to this I love modern classic and from time to time world music which you can hear on ‘Radio Comeme’.

Andreas: I also like various genres of electronic based music but also old Hip Hop stuff and when there is a Future Island concert around you will find me for sure in the crowd.

 
Did you have any former projects that lead to Rebar and MOC?
Rebar: Besides our solo DJ projects, we don’t. Sorry for this boring answer. (haha)
 
Rebar Pic 2
(Rebar, press pic 2016)
 
Who are your favourite producers? What’s your general inspiration?
Rebar: Think this question is for the most people not so easy to answer. We would say that Prince Of Denmark/Traumprinz/DJ Metatron could be our candidates for favourite. Not all of the productions are for our sets but everything which comes from this artist is on the point, they are ‘simple’ but always with depth. This is really something we have big respect for. If this artist also has an inspirational impact we can’t say for us it’s like a flow how we create a track. We record some field recordings, listen to some tracks which we currently like, talking about random things, eat, drink and at the end we have a finished track. Maybe this sounds stupid but our biggest inspiration is that we don’t put pressure on ourselves as we don’t have the feeling that we need to deliver. Our focus is on the label and our DJ gigs we have together. But if in-between we manage to release some music then we are happy, if not then this is also ok. It’s all about the time we spend together as Rebar and with our artists.
 
Life besides the label and artist thing: do you have a normal/daily job?
Rebar: Booth yes.

Andreas: I’m an outside sales person and have a classical 9 to 5 job.

Jens: I have my own music consulting and PR agency so I don’t really have a 9 to 5 job. (Haha)

 
Rebar Pic 3
(made of Concrete logo, framed at a wall)
 
Talking again about your label MOC: how do you select the artists and the tracks for it? Do you get a lot of demos (you consider for a release)?
Rebar: As a rule, at least on vinyl we release only music from artists we know personally (only the remixers can be “external“). Our new digital concept is a bit more open, via this we release music from artists who send us demos or friends from our artists. The tracks we choose at the end for a release we select in dialogue with the artist. Specially for an EP it’s important for us that the artist present his signature sound and uses the release to show a multifaced side of hisself. or in other words we love the classical A and B side concept.

We also receive quite a lot of demos, like most labels we guess, but from this we only find a rational amount is interesting. But because of the concept written above we also don’t release everything, even when it’s good. Sometimes this hurts a bit especially when you receive demos from artists you like and even those you have some records of but we need to say no at the end because of our release policy.

 
Who creates the artwork/visual concept? Which image do you want to create for your label? Ever thought about including some video art?
Rebar: The visual concept comes directly from both of us. We developed the concept together and Jens makes, as far him his Photoshop skills take, the graphics for all the channels.

The concept has different layers. We build a bridge to the label name itself by showing buildings as the core element. In general, the buildings also have a connection to the artist on the release. Whoever buys our vinyl and can riddle the connection between picture and artist then the lucky winner of our prize draw wins a candlelit dinner with a label artist of your choice. (Haha)

But the buildings are only a part of the artwork the actual concept is the production process. The idea is that the artwork needs to speak the same language as the final product. For this reason, we have different processes for vinyl & digital. As vinyl is a physical product which comes into being with the help of machines and handwork, the artwork deals with this fact. We cut pictures out of old architecture books and glue them into our artwork pad, writing by hand the release information next to it, scan everything and bring it all together in Photoshop. The final part is the stamp of the building which we stamp on the cover.

On the digital only releases, nothing is physical. Here we work with overlaying technical drawings which are in front of a black background. It’s the counterpart of the vinyl release. A professional graphic artist could do this job better but it’s important for us that’s the artwork come from us. At the end of the day the label is a matter of the heart and not a business model…and we all know the things you love you do better by yourself.

Regarding the video art we have some videos online. We have 8 music videos and the last projects came all from the talented video artist Patrick Hauler. At the moment, he is quite busy but we hope to present something new from him soon.

 
Rebar Pic 4
(Jens with MOC release at Newtone / Osaka)
 
You had a small tour to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of MOC including your first visit in Japan. How was the tour especially the time in Asia? Any nice anecdotes?
It was our first label tour which made it a lot of fun also when it was a bit stressful. Everybody has a normal daytime job, to do something like that next to this is not so easy, especially as we also take care of the bookings by our self. But at the end it was all worth it. It was somehow like the good old school trip.

The two Japan bookings for Rebar where directly after the tour and it was something really special. To play with Contact in a venue where in the same month they had artists such as Marcel Dettmann, ND Baumecker, Levon Vincent, Green Velvet and Prosumer is remarkable. As you said it was the first time in Japan (also private) and needless to say that Tokyo is really something else. If this city would be in Europe we would fly every second weekend or better move directly. In this city, every character can find his place and area where he/she would like to live. Next to it the people are really chilled and friendly which is not usual for a city with this amount of people. Europe is for sure a lot rougher.

Next to the gig another highlight was to discover our release at Newton Records in Osaka next to 2-3 other “made of CONCRETE“ releases. One day before you fly home was this a really great leaving present.

Thanks here again to DJ Saimura for his trust and booking in Contact & Ruby Room. Hope we see you soon in Germany.

 
You are also the promoters of “Körper”, a queer party in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, a federal state in Germany which is often linked with Pegida and other nazi scum. How came the idea up to organise such a party there? How was it? Which experience did you make? Any homophobic trouble?
First of all we need to protect our homeland a bit. It’s true, that especially in Dresden it is known for these kinds of things. We have in this city a lot to deal with, like the things written above but you can also find a lot of people and initiatives which fight against it and work on a tolerant and open society. Unfortunately, the media prefer to put the focus on the negative things. If they would support more the positive examples then it would be more complicated for groups like Pegida or Nazis to feel “big“ and “important“.

We don’t want to play this issues down for this reason we also organize in collaboration with the TBA club this “Körper” event to contribute something to support a tolerant, open and interested society. Therefore, you can say that if a city in Germany needs a party like “Körper” then it is Dresden.

The first edition was a surprise in a lot of points already like we imagined. We were especially happy about that fact that we really got the attention from the people who we wanted to see at this party. For this reason, it was really nice to party which is at the and only possible with good people at the door which explained to everybody the concept of the night and had a good hand with the selection. We as the promoters were often on the dance floor more than we usually can do. Also, the guest DJs seemed to be happy as they changed the time for the return trip to dance a bit more. A better feedback was nearly not possible. Also, the feedback after the event motivated us to go on with this project. So, we’re happy to say that after the “Summerbreak“ we are back with the second edition on 15th September. With Cem from Herrensauna and fr.JPLA from IFZ / No Show, we have some nice guests for this party. Next to this we have playing Szentendre, Toni Dextor and us again. After the line-up is complete, we work now on the planning for the decoration with the great deco-team to let the venue look special like the last time.

 
Rebar Pic 5
(Poster for the 1. “Körper” party)
 
Let’s talk about the techno scene in Dresden and Saxony. Could you please tell us something about it and the club TBA where your party took place? Compared with the scene in Berlin: are there similarities and what are the big differences?
The scene is more local as the kind of party tourism does not exist like in Berlin. Everything is a bit smaller, which doesn’t mean that the scene is not active. There is a lot of cool promoter and crews, also good clubs with great vibes. Next to it there are some great and innovative labels like Uncanny Valley, Lockertmatik or Etui to name just a few… (ah and us for sure). 😉 This all are influences and important parts of an active scene. For our parties the TBA with its rough atmosphere and the great sound system is the perfect venue for us. The size is perfect and it’s located directly under the translation of Dresden Neustadt so on a perfect spot for a good connection and central position of the nightlife.

 
Rebar Pic 6
(MOC releases at Newtone / Osaka)
 
Already coming to the end of our small interview: what are your future plans for “made of concrete” and Rebar? Some solo stuff in the pipeline?
We would love to have an interview with the “Bunte“, as soon we reach this we quit with everything, promise! (Haha)

Apart from this we have just had a little summer break, as well as parties and releases.

This slowly is over and we’re currently working on new releases from Matt Nowak, Francesco Belfiore and from our good friend Alek S. Furthermore, we are planning the next events at TBA in Dresden. From September on we’re back with full energy on all “made of CONCRETE“ channels. With Rebar we have just finished a remix for Luke Black which is part of our “Batch Plant” mini-compilation series. Our second EP for “made of CONCRETE“ is basically almost done and comes out latest on the third label birthday in the first quarter 2018. Maybe we sign some material somewhere else before but let’s see what the future brings. No pressure.

 

Recommendations:
Rebar’s EP “Hansaprohlis” on MOC
Kaiser’s EP “Sottotono” on MOC
Myles Serge’s EP “Walking Through Concrete” on MOC

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Set:
sorry no tracklist available because this is a live recording of Rebar’s first hour of their set played at the In][Between night at Suicide Circus on 2nd July 2017.

 

Websites:
Rebar
made of Concrete