Buzzing in Linz: Houztekk's underground cred vibrates from Austria outward. Photo courtesy the label.

Buzzing in Linz: Houztekk’s underground cred vibrates from Austria outward. Photo courtesy the label.

Dense, dark, packed, young and fresh. No, not the club – this mix. We invite Electric Indigo (Vienna’s Susanne Kirchmayr) to tell us about her new, freely-downloadable podcast with Linz, Austria’s Houztekk Records. It’s a shadowy, labyrinthian journey through the newest and most adventurous sounds in techno. And by techno, she means a wide range of noisy, broken-beat, resonating — well, let’s let her explain. That is, along with listening, because Susanne has a unique talent for producing a simmering, tasty stew from all these component parts.

Or, to the music, as Tim Exile says in his track title: “It’s Dark In Here But I Still Love You.”

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For this podcast, I wanted to do something special and turn the theoretical disadvantage of not having a full DJ setup at home into an asset of the mix. My intention was to create a very dense and intense layered structure of beat-driven and ambient / experimental tunes using my favorite new tracks. So the mix represents several key qualities of techno that always have been crucial for me:

1. The music is fresh, released recently or to be released in the near future.
Background: I started off as a DJ playing hip-hop mixed with a lot of 70s funk and jazz from the 50s to 70s. That was in 1989, and after a while, I didn’t like the new hip-hop stuff so much anymore, and consequently ended up playing old tunes over and over again – until I came across Chicago and Detroit techno. It was a revelation, and finally, I could play new records again! I just love the permanent evolution and creation, this flow of musical information and young artists emerging, established artists developing. Of course, I have a lot of respect for historical achievements in music and I like old records, too, but I don’t want to play “classics” or give lessons in music history when I DJ. As a DJ, I am all about giving novelties my personal touch through mixing and combining.

2. “Techno” in my personal definition has a very wide range of sounds and rhythmical structures, and many of them are present in this mix.
This podcast comprises noisy, brutal sounds, broken beats, industrial sounds, stomping rhythms, monotone sequencies, atmospheric ambient, dub-influenced tunes, funky grooves, electro beats, live jams, and experimental excursions with an electroacoustic touch. It’s all there.

3. The avoidance of song structures make layering possible.
The single tracks become the basic material for a bigger structure, they can be considered as threads woven into a fabric that can fill the whole room.

Tracklisting:

01. Thomas Köner -The Weary Seer [Krake 001]
02. Erika – Tunneling [Interdimensional Transmissions 30]
03. Zeitgeber – Body Out [Stroboscopic Artefacts 018]
04. Diamond Version – When Performance Matters [Mute Artists Limited 12DVMUTE4]
05. Cassegrain – Serpent [Krake 001]
06. Ynaktera – grid_01 [Stochastic Resonance 01]
07. Synus0006 – Galaktika [B4CK6ROUNDNO1SE XX9]
08. Luigi Acidmachine – Planned Obsolescence [Cannibald 030]
09. Stanislav Tolkachev – Depth Of Light [M_Rec Ltd Grey Series 04]
10. Ray Kajioka – Fly [Kanzleramt 158]
11. David Meiser – Pursuing My Way [Sonntag Morgen 025]
12. Ad.Lib – She Lost Control / Rebekah Remix [Berlin Consumer 002]
13. Dadub – Syncronic Pattern [Krake 001]
14. SNTS – S4 [SNTS 02]
15. Traversable Wormhole – Negative Energy Density [CLR CD012]
16. Tim Exile – It’s Dark In Here But I Still Love You [Krake 001]
17. Headless Horseman – Decapitation [Headless Horseman 002]
18. Monya – Panik [Berlin Consumer 001]
19. Tracy – Panorama [C.R.S. 025.5]
20. Psyk – Intern [Mote Evolver 035]
21. Diamond Version – Live Young [Mute Artists Limited 12DVMUTE4]
22. Erika – North Hex / Orphx Mix [Interdimensional Transmissions 31]
23. Splinter – Splinter [UTurn 19]
24. Kangding Ray – Nuis Octury [Stroboscopic Artefacts 017]
25. Mystica Tribe – Zen Stone [Syncom Data 29]
26. NX1 – NX1 05 013 [NX1 05]
27. Maps and Diagrams – Last Men On Earth / Ran Slavin Remix [False Industries 009]
28. Monya – Burnout [Berlin Consumer 001]
29. Elektrabel – Desaft [Subsist 16]
30. Samuli Kemppi – Less Than Planck [M_Rec Ltd 17]
31. Perc – Work Softer / Desonanz Remix [Prosthetic Pressings 037]
32. Roberto Figus – Galaxy part II / Dubver Rework [Etichetta Nera 021]
33. Beat Pharmacy – Magic And Luck [Throne Of Blood 35]
34. Hironori Takahashi – Jazert [Informa 006]
35. Aksutique – Echolot [Diametric UK 16]
36. Markus Suckut – Vibrant [Figure CD01]
37. Mystica Tribe – Flowers [Syncom Data 27]
38. Psyk – Arcade [Mote Evolver 035]
39. Urbano – Tight [Decoy 003]
40. Somaticae – The Leviathan [In Paradisum 010]
41. Ynaktera – orion_sect1 [Stochastic Resonance 01]

Class is in session.

In private correspondence, Electric Indigo also started to add a comment – but warns this is a “theory in progress.” That to me makes it more interesting, and perhaps material for discussion, so let’s take it as one artist thinking out loud — and see what you think. -Ed.

I was just thinking about your request to write something about the artists and labels… apart from the usual remarks like underground techno is very alive and Berlin is an important center, etc. I think that the most interesting phenomenon is the emergence of Italian and Spanish artists who make a kind of dance music that could be labeled “dystopian” … Does this have a connection to the political situation in Southern Europe?? Well, maybe not at all. Anyway, examples here:

Ynaktera
Dadub
Roberto Figus
one half of Zeitgeber
Luigi Acidmachine
David Meiser
NX1

Thoughts?

  • Rob Funkhouser

    First, this is a stunning mix.

    Your third observation about techno is very interesting to me because I think a lot of people might have had to come to a similar conclusion, if only as a pragmatic measure, before the widespread availability of high powered computer rigs. I know when I was first making music I learned on Acid Pro and this exact thing came into play. Building up longer sets using tracks I had also made as a means of development was all I could do easily with the limits on my computer.

    I just wonder whether this is something valued in a widespread way or if the availability of more powerful tools has brought most of us back to smaller building blocks. Neither seems negative to me, it would just be interesting to know.

  • Gwydion

    Yup, stunning mix!

  • none

    ELECTRIC INDIGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!