Enjoy a new episode in the Dekmantel Podcast Series every Monday!
Dekmantel Podcast 337 - Spekki Webu
Dutchman Spekki Webu likes to take you to moments of sonic spiritualism. His take on electronic music is as a soundtrack to mind-expanding space travel and internal reflection. His Mirror Zone label has become home to some of the sound's best new artists, often with a psychedelic edge. Webu's extraterrestrial selections also reach into Goa, jungle and breakbeat, all of which add widely varied tones, textures and tempos to his storytelling mixes.
Initially, this week's podcast is a deeply immersive trip through the farthest reaches of our universe. After spending time with only alien life forms and solar winds for company, sleek techno rhythms slowly take hold. Says Spekki, "Taking you all on a journey to your inner self. Self-healing is what we need in these times. In order to see the light, we must first embrace the darkness. A balanced journey through meditative vibrations on the astral plane, eventually coming back down to the next experience of life. Are we ready or not? Have we learned enough or is the soul still to learn?"
You'll have to tune in to find out.
Dekmantel Podcast 336 - Vale Budino
Vale Budino describes herself simply as a ‘music lover,’ but ‘music obsessive’ might be more apt. Since moving to Berlin from her native Italy in 2018, she has spent just about every penny she’s earned on records. Afro, Italo, funky, new wave, disco, soundtracks, you name it, she has it. The diversity of her taste slowly but surely won her the ears of people in the know and she became resident for Discodromo and DJ Boris’ party CockTail d’Amore having already founded her own event, Oscillator. In the last year, she has also become Music director and project lead at Terminal of Babylon, “a performative game and a social experiment in authority, fluidity and chance” hosted in Berlin.
A grand and theatrical track opens this week's mix as if it were a Hollywood movie from the 60s before crashing beats take you to the heart of the party. There is then a real sense of occasion to each and every mix. Euphoric Italo sits next to sleazy wave, tripped out cosmic minimalism brushes up with disco rap that is high on attitude. Every track is so full of flavour, passion and energy that you cannot help but react in the most physical of ways. What a ride.
Dekmantel Podcast 335 - Nadia Struiwigh
For Sydney-based Dutch artist Nadia Struiwigh, ambient is a way of life. It has always been a vehicle for her to convey memories and emotions in slow, absorbing, drawn-out movements that blur the lines between techno, industrial, and something else altogether. It is at the heart of what she does with IAMBient, where you can book online sound healing or spiritual coaching sessions. It often soundtracks the Twitch channel she runs from her studio, offering live sets, gear reviews and more. It has also formed the backbone of the two albums she has put out on Central Processing Unit and Denovali Records, as well as the new one that is due on Nous'klaer Audios later this year.
But she can also do deep, sleek, beat-driven music that makes a physical impact. Her Oooso EP for Nous'klaer Audio in March showed that, and this week's mix backs it up. Over the course of an increasingly intense hour, she layers up pressurised drones and throbbing pads, static-laced synths lumpy drums that are constantly ascending. It makes for a distinctly linear sound; a meditation on rhythm and movement that cannot fail to hypnotise anyone who gives it their full attention.
Dekmantel Podcast 334 - Bambounou
It's not often an artist serves up a debut album as accomplished and complete as Bambounou's XXX in 2012. His ambient synths and techno rhythms were perfectly formed right from the off. Impressively, the Pairs-based artist has still managed to evolve and explore plenty of new ground in the years since, not least in March with the first release on his new label Bambe. It found the straight-up, muscular grooves of his early work making way for a more restrained and minimal sound, where heady repetition and hypnotic pads seem to bend space and time.
It's fair to say that all aspects of the Bambounou sound past and present make up this week's mix. It kicks off in high gear, like a caged animal finally let free into the wild. The synths are nasty and twisted, the hammering rhythms never let up and cacophonous percussion keeps the intensity levels high. The frenetic pace remains throughout but there are occasional moments to catch your breath as tracks are stripped back to their bare bones. Ultimately, though, this is a peak time mix from a true techno futurist.
Dekmantel Podcast 333 - Cardinal & Nun
Marseille's Loïc Bodjollé started out making classic Chicago house as Donarra. As good as it was, he has really found his voice as Cardinal & Nun. It's a project at the opposite end of the musical spectrum - a place where dreamy grooves and imagined utopias have been replaced by a much more biting reality. Deranged vocals, tortured guitars and punk synths drag you into a world of raw and visceral sound that has found a perfect home on L.I.E.S. Back in March, Ron Morelli's label put out Bodjollé's Dancing In Evil album, a gothic collection of EDM, industrial and electro from the dark side.
This week's no holds barred mix takes you right back to the same place in an instant. Clunking factory automation, caustic drones and heavily distorted drum machines lend the mix a sense of architecture that traps you at the centre while repeatedly collapsing around you. What starts as a collage of short, wrecked textures and busted loops eventually turn into a more elongated techno sound. It is blistered, banging and brilliantly suited to the grottiest rave warehouse you could ever imagine.
Dekmantel Podcast 332 - Conducta
No one can deny that Conducta is surfing on the crest of garage's new wave. The Bristol-born artist is a dexterous DJ who jumps from style to style, leaving uplifting grooves in his wake. As a producer, he is just as nimble, and his Kiwi Records label and regular mixes have also helped to define a fresh new take on the classic sound. Always bright, sun kissed and never afraid to take on a big tune or recognisable sample, nothing is off-limits for this classy, party-starting DJ.
Part of the reason Conducta is so effective is the quickness and precision of his mixes - there is no time to linger when he is in the booth. Instead, you're hurried along from one bumping groove or darkened bassline to the next, and of course, that is the case in this week's mix. Elements of grime, dubstep, 2-step and the odd cheeky bootleg all colour his tightly woven and sun-baked grooves. The result is a mix as fun as it is fresh, and one that effortlessly highlights the fantastic breadth and depth of the current scene.