4 Years of No Fear Of Pop at Sameheads

20 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann

As some of you will know, No Fear Of Pop started as little more than a historical accident, and in some ways you may even say that it still is. But hey, it's been around for four years now already, and isn't that sort of legitimising in itself? Almost an aeon in blog terms, we're still happy to be doing what we're doing, and we promise (?) that we have no intention to stop. Which is why we figured that it's about time to finally properly celebrate another year of existence, and the night to do so will happen at Neukölln venue Sameheads tomorrow, Friday, February 21 – so come and have a good time with us, congratulate, bring flowers, or just seize the opportunity to finally complain about everything that bothers you, in general and concerning our humble website.

The magic starts at 10pm. A few fine friends and long-standing supporters are helping us to make the party unforgettable, in this order:

10pm No Fear Of Pop
11pm Cory & Robin
12am Jason Grier
1am Antonie93 (Montreal/live)
2am Joey Hansom
3am Why Alex Why?
4am Michael Aniser (Noisekölln)

Go here for more details. Also, don't miss our show on Berlin Community Radio tomorrow afternoon, 4pm CET as usual, to hear us play some of our all-time favourites that were posted on the site over the past four years.

In anticipation of the night, our dear friend Joey Hansom has made us a mix, including some of the more dancefloor-friendly tunes that have been featured on No Fear Of Pop. Take a listen below, and join us tomorrow night!

Tracklist:

Airbird “Part of the Game”
Gacha “Remember”
Jef Barbara “About Singers”
Planningtorock “All Love’s Legal”
Godmother “These Things Take Time”
Easter “Sky”
Antoine93 “Only Do the Music”
Alexander Geist “A Woman’s Right to Choose”
White Car “Now We Continue”
Shine 2009 feat. Paula Abdul “So Free” (Jensen Sportag Remix)
Tomas Barfod “Aether”
Ital “Queens”
Heatsick “Speculative”
Ikonika feat. Jessy Lanza “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)”
Kassem Mosse “Broken Patterns”
Avalon Emerson “Zsa”
Holly Herndon “Chorus”
Maria Minerva “Gloria”
Felicita “Shougang Fantasy / Wavey”
Stay+ feat. Queenie “Crashed”
Cloud Boat “Pink Grin II”
Laurel Halo “Throw”
Arca “Mother”
Kuhrye-oo “For the Fame II”
How to Dress Well “Ready for the World”

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Stream: Rich Uncle-Skelleton’s “Bone Soup for Christmas” Mix

24 Dec 2013 — Parker Bruce

One third of Montreal group, Syngja, Aleks Schürmer, hosts concerts in Montreal under the awesome name, Rich Uncle-Skelleton. Just in time for Christmas, he's made a mix called "Bone Soup for Christmas" for The House of Grizzly Andrews, an arts house in Montreal officially launching in the spring that helps to fund artists' projects as well do their own projects. Schürmer said the mix was for all the art kids he knows who were leaving their art families to go back to their real families for Christmas. There's Syngja's now pretty much classic, "Pink Prism," with its unforgettable "you can't just leave a good thing" lyric as well as something from d'Eon's "Blackout (Music for Keyboards Vol. IV)." It also has amazing Montreal duo UN on it as well as ¡FLIST!, Bantam Wing, a remix of The Baby-Sitters Club theme song by Schürmer himself, and a bumping Hua Li chopped and screwed take on an Akua song. It all ends with the surreal "God Is An American" by Jean-Pierre Ferland which sounds like the theme song to a 70s cop show, a Broadway show tune, and a church hymnal all at different points. In other words, it sounds like a song on "Yeezus." It's the perfect ending. Stream the mix below and download it here. Tracklist below.

Peyotiki "Sunflower"
Syngja "Pink Prism"
Akua "Gravity (Hua Li 化力 Chop & Screw)"
Rich Uncle "Babysitters Club Theme (Parker bb Remix)"
d'Eon "The Birds Eat Our Corpses"
Mourning Coup "Eye'll Be Your Mirror"
Bantam Wing "You Keep Going On"
Dirty Organs "All Kinds"
UN "Wicked Child"
¡FLIST! "Tuberculoma (Live)"
Jean-Pierre Ferland "God Is An American"

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Stream: “The Le Sigh Vol. 1”

23 Dec 2013 — Andi Wilson

One of my favorite current publications occurring in Brooklyn right now is The Le Sigh. This strong group of ladies are killing it in every aspect by covering feminism through new music, zines, features on rad local women/artists, beautifully curated mixes, and an abundance of interviews. In November, the site announced "The Le Sigh Vol. 1" on cassette with a zine released and printed through Birdtapes, the unstoppable and newly one-year-old label . The mix features a soft (A) and hard (B) side featuring some of the best twee, lo-fi pop, and punk female acts happening right now. Get ready to cry a little, crack a smile, and sway around your room. I wish I could have heard these songs when I was seventeen; dealing with highschool boys, rebelling from my parents, and smoking that very first cigarette. 

The tape and zine are sold out, but now available to stream and download below. Some of us from No Fear of Pop were able to attend the release party at Silent Barn in Brooklyn last month and had the time of our lives while watching Whatever, Dad, Baby Mollusk, Lizard Kisses, and Frankie Cosmos! We wish the best to the lovely Le Sigh gals and can't wait to see what the future holds for them. 

The Le Sigh Vol. 1 Tracklist:

SIDE A
1. "Nessa's Theme" - Whatever, Dad
2. "Empty Hands" - Baby Mollusk
3. "Being Cool Is Super Hard" - Morgan Spaner
4. "Duh" - Infinity Crush
5. "Apart" - Yohuna
6.  "See You Soon" - R.L. Kelly
7.  "Dark Skies" - Frankie Cosmos
8. "Little Things" - Lizard Kisses
9. "Find Me" - Winter

SIDE B
10. "Never What You Wanted" - Bam! Bam!
11. "Fuck It" - Numb Bats
12. "Dream Lover" - Love Cuts
13. "The Spins"- Potty Mouth
14. "Open My Eyes"- Burnt Palms
15. "Ice Age" - Loveover
16. "Sweetie" - Tomboy
17. "Watch You (Party Mix)" - Priests
18. "No Right" - Young Trynas
19. "Le Sigh (Theme Song)" - Mannequin Pussy

 

 

Photos by The Silent Barn and Jeanette Wall

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NFOP x Urban Mutations Present: Danse Noire Showcase (exclusive mix)

06 Nov 2013 — Henning Lahmann

Insanely happy to announce our forthcoming showcase, this time in collaboration with our friends of Urban Mutations. If you followed this site for a bit in 2013, you will be aware that one of our favourite discoveries this year is Geneva-based Danse Noire, without doubt one of the most exciting new labels around (we're not the only ones who are intrigued).

On Saturday, November 16, one of Kreuzberg's finest venues, Chesters, we'll host a night that will feature performances of label founder Aïsha Devi as well as Danse Noire alumnus Vaghe Stelle aka Turin-based producer Daniele Mana, plus a special guest appearance by the great Lorenzo Senni, performing under his Stargate guise. Back in April and May, when we first wrote about the Danse Noire roster, we said that Mana's Out of Body EP "one of the most accomplished and compelling instances of deranged dancefloor deviations that we've come across lately", while Devi's work amounts to "finest broken avant-garde pop tropes" of 2013 – and now, in October, both EPs have lost nothing of their initial impact on our daily listening habits.

So come down to Chesters next month for a night that should become on of this year's finest for anyone who's interested in deliberately challenging, left-field electronic music.

In anticipation of the event, Danse Noire have made us an exclusive mix in order to showcase some of the stuff you might expect. Take a listen below.

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Mix: Lasertom

05 Nov 2013 — Henning Lahmann

Dublin-based producer Simon Cullen aka Lasertom, last seen on this site with his superb rework of Goodtime's "Behind This Sun", recently dropped his LP Drift via London imprint Nang Records. To mark the occasion, Cullen has sent over a lovely "Downtempo Mix" that showcases 'some of the beat driven slow tempo funk/disco/electronic that has inspired and influenced Lasertom', drawing 'from old and new and sometimes somewhere in the middle'.

Annotated track list:

(1) Van Giraffe "Love to Love You Maybe": I found this cover version of the Moroder/Summer classic on the Pink Stallone label blog page a few years back. I think it's them with their collaborator Joey Washington but they don't say. Their sound has always grabbed my ear.
(2) Marti Caine "Love The Way You Love Me": I only heard this song recently but it immediately clicked with me. It has elements that remind me of other favourites (Dennis Parker's "Like an Eagle").
(3) Botox "241 (Sandro Perri Mix)": BOTOX have always had something for me and with Sandro Perry in the mix too this song is a thoroughbred.
(4) 24Seven "Rokkoko Raduno": I love how this songs jutters, even if jutters is not a real word yet.
(5) Funk Machine "Dance On The Groove (And Do The Funk)": I heard this for the first time quite recently on a Beats In Space show. For me it was one of those songs you cant believe you haven't heard yet. As we say in Ireland, Morto for me.
(6) Pink Stallone "The 6": As above re Stallone.
(7) Psychemagik "Auf Dem Dub (Psychemagik edit)": I only caught on about a year or so ago to the Pyschmagik edits and I've found that they always come through with something interesting.
(8) Mandrill "Echoes In My Mind (Avanti Edit)": This edit is from the soundtrack to the 80's cult classic film The Warriors.
(9) Dot Allison "We're Only Science"

Listen to Drift in full below and get it over at Juno:

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Guest Mix for Don’t Panic Berlin

12 Aug 2013 — Henning Lahmann

As you know, we occasionally recommend events happening here in Berlin that we find particularly exciting and/or relevant. However, we sure are no listings site whatsoever, so please never think of us as a reliable source for anything that's going on in Berlin's infinitely varied club scene. In fact there are other website for that sort of things, most notably Don't Panic Berlin, the local smart sister of the much bigger UK enterprise based in London. What the friendly folks of Don't Panic Berlin put up is certainly not to be missed if you want to stay relevant, so in case you live in this town, be sure to keep a close eye their recommendations.

As part of their ongoing guest mix series, they asked me to provide one, which you can now stream or download below. There's also a brief interview about NFOP which you will find over here. Enjoy.

Tracklisting:

(1) JJ “Fågelsången” (Sincerely Yours 2013)
(2) Airbird & Napolian “Special” (Cascine 2013)
(3) Jack Dixon “No One Is Watching” (Tender Hooks 2013)
(4) Paul Woolford “Untitled” (Hotflush 2013)
(5) JJ “Fågelsången” (Sincerely Yours 2013)
(6) The Haxan Cloak “Mara” (Tri Angle 2013)
(7) Interplanetary Prophets “Zero Hour” (Planet Mu 2013)
(8) Basic House “Ultra-Misted” (Digitalis 2013)
(9) Black Sites “N313P” (PAN, forthcoming 2013)
(10) DJ Ford Foster “Corridor” (Opal Tapes 2013)
(11) Wanda Group “OVERR AREA” (Cleaning Tapes 2013)
(12) Jabu “Flying (REI’s Icarus Mix)” (unreleased 2013)
(13) John Ola “bd” (No Pain In Pop 2013)
(14) Body Boys “Mute” (Opal Tapes 2013)
(15) Kahn “Cover Me” (Black Box 2013)
(16) (forthcoming)
(17) TVO “Outside the Brighton Church” (Broken20 2013)
(18) Young Echo “Slow Jam” (Ramp Recordings 2013)
(19) Special Request “Capsules (Lee Gamble Remix)” (Houndstooth 2013)
(20) Tuff Sherm & PMM “Raymond Sees the Dog” (Opal Tapes 2013)
(21) Ñaka Ñaka “004000” (Opal Tapes 2013)
(22) MM/KM “Lost in NPE2” (Trilogy Tapes 2012)
(23) Acteurs “Cloud Generating” (Public Information 2013)
(24) Helena Hauff “Micro Manifesto” (Werkdiscs 2013)

Sample Sources:

İşte AKP vahşeti Taksim’deki bu çığlığı unutmayacağız, Istanbul, 12 June 2013
President Obama’s speech in Berlin, 19 June 2013, CNN
George Zimmerman verdict, 13 July 2013
Morsi Opponents Killed in Egypt Clashes, 10 July 2013, Associated Press

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Stream an Exclusive Mix by Lower Order Ethics in Anticipation of Berlin Atonal

17 Jul 2013 — Henning Lahmann

As previously reported, later this month, from July 25 to 31, our cherished city will see the resurrection of legendary Berlin Atonal, which during the 80s used to be the principal destination for a thought-provoking, mind-bending approach to modern music. In anticipation of the festival, Budapest's Szilvia Lednitzky aka Lower Order Ethics – known for her tense and masterful transmissions on the edge of welcome sonic paranoia – has kindly made us a mix to foreshadow the things to come: seventy-five minutes of nocturnal and oppressive, provoking and forward-thinking electronic music, an absolutely appropriate teaser for what is set to become one of this year's most exciting musical events in town. 

During the festival, Lower Order Ethics will play a set as part of the Contort showcase on Sunday, July 28.

Besides streaming the stellar mix exclusively here, we've also asked the festival's main organisers – Harry Glass, Laurens von Oswald, and Paulo Reachi – a few questions about the festival. Read the brief interview below.

For more information on Berlin Atonal and how to get tickets for the whole festival or individual events head over here. A list of all performing artists is to be found right here.

Tracklist:

Rouz - Deathlessness
German Shepherds - I Adore You
Christian Cosmos - The Angular Position of His Ghost
Vatican Shadow - The Hamburg Cell Was Born In Chechnya
Miles - Archaic Thought Pattern 1
Ed Chamberlain - Landmine
Pan Sonic - Vähentajä
Violetshaped - Out of Any Symmetry
Grungerman - Fackeln Im Sturm
Barker & Baumecker - Crows (Blawan remix)
Surgeon - Whose Bad Hands Are These (Autechre remix)
Bhutan Temple Music - Dungchen & Jaling
Powell - Grand Street
Edanticonf - Overture
Lucy & Silent Servant - Victors History
Ancient Methods - Castling Becomes Inevitable
Virile Games - Plague Saints II
Forward Strategy Group - Industry & Empire
Kreng - Wrak
Pete Lazonby - Sacred Cycles (Complete Edition)

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What is the connection – aesthetically, but also perhaps politically – between the artists that will perform at Berlin Atonal 2013, and those that were part of the festival during the 80s?

In terms of music alone, quite a lot has changed since the early editions of the festival. Now it's less about shocking people and tearing conventions down, and more about using new methods to create interesting new possibilities in sound and rhythm. We actually think it's a measure of progress that you don't need to bring a jackhammer on stage in order to be making 'experimental' music. That's not to diss our earlier incarnations, the music was probably very appropriate to that time, that setting. But I think now with these new opportunities in sound design and construction, with a musical world bursting with interesting new styles, its not good enough to rehash experiments in the art of shock that have already had their day, that would just be lazy music-making.

Why is the Berlin of today still an appropriate place to stage a festival like this? Has the actual 'real world' setting become more or less important since Atonal's last edition?

I don't think it's plausible to say definitively that setting has changed in importance. But maybe setting itself means something different now to what it meant then. I suppose it used to stand for a concrete tradition, a more-or-less closed group of people - you could take for granted that everyone in the same city had something in common, if only a shared experience or a common history. But in Berlin today there are people who have been here for two weeks, for two years, people born in different continents, Germans, non-Germans. Of the three of us organising the festival one is a German who grew up outside Europe, one is from Australia and the other from France. The unity of Berlin probably has more to do with a common orientation, but that being said, there are still lots of different types of people, many different perspectives. I'm not sure that Berlin is the most appropriate place to stage this festival, we hope so, of course, but let's see.

The overarching theme is "Forming Space" – under today's conditions and in a city with a cultural scene as diverse as Berlin's, in which way is it even possible for a festival with such a challenging program to 'form the space' it is situated in? Do you wish for any particular kind of actual impact of Atonal on the city's music scene, or are we past those things nowadays anyway?

I don't really think we want to 'make an impact' besides providing a platform for good music, good conversations and interesting art to happen. Our favourite part of the festival is commissioning new works, new collaborations or new live shows. This is the sort of thing we want to do more. That's our 'forming space' - not the grand claim to re-form the space of Berlin, but more simply, to provide a space for new forms of expression, a place where form can be made of of emptiness.

Interview/Mix: Old Apparatus (exclusive)

24 Jun 2013 — Will Stevens

Now that they have produced a string of EPs and their first full-length, Compendium, it seems fitting to inquire a bit further into the arcane world of Old Apparatus. As a collective, they have worked hard to remove any traces of human presence, replacing it with striking imagery and rare media appearances constituting the stage for their manifesto. Their earlier images consisted of old Victorian portraits or mug-shots, the human heads removed and replaced by old and grotesque science equipment. It was during this time that OA released a self-titled 12” on the legendary dubstep producer Mala’s label, Deep Medi. It was a mesmeric debut, incorporating noise, industrial, and dubstep with a plethora of sounds and instruments. It created a big stir in the UK scene and was a perfect introduction to the limitless sounds of Old Apparatus.

After a second release on Deep Medi and a handful of remixes, including one for the Shangaan Electro album on Honest Jons, the group found a new home for their esoteric material in the formation of their own label, Sullen Tone. This move resulted in a highly fertile period for the group, with the release of a series of genre-hopping EPs in 2012-- each with its own, striking, occultish cover image. The first EP from the new label was attributed to the group, but the three that would follow were produced individually by the band members LTO, A Levitas, and Harem. It is the music from these four EPs that leads us to Compendium. (co-premiere with Ad Hoc)

Compendium is out now via Sullen Tone.

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Compendium is compiled from four previous OA releases. Was the intention to always release these tracks as an album?

They were originally written as individual tunes in their own right, but we always had the intention to combine tracks from the different producers into an album format at some point. We felt initially it made sense to present each producer's sound as a separate entity before weaving them together into a unified sonic world. Every possible combination of tracks was considered until we found the best balance between progression and contrast.

There is a variety of musical occurrences and influences to be heard on Compendium. How do you explain the coherence of your music and how it all fits perfectly under the large OA umbrella?

When you're part of an artistic collective, you always have some level of awareness of that when you're writing, and naturally shared characteristics develop. Continuously sharing music and art that inspires us helps this process.

Old Apparatus has a very strong image, from your artwork and your anonymity to your language and general music release structure. Would you say that it is a considered approach, or a natural approach?

We've always carefully considered every aspect of what we do. The visual element was always intended to be as important as the auditory. And everything else has naturally followed that.

OA’s music has a real resonance with its listeners. The music seems permanent and personal while also following this strong narrative between the music and your aesthetic. Due to this approach, it seems like a reaction to the current consumption of music, how it is lost as quickly as it is found. Is this something you have tried to counter or something you are wary of?

Yes we're very aware of this over-saturation and generic-ness in modern music consumption. We're happy to spend a meaningful amount of time considering every aspect of everything we do if it means it will stay in people's hearts and minds, rather than putting out throw-away sound-alikes that will be forgotten tomorrow.

Finally, can you tell us a bit about the mix you have done for us?

The four of us come from pretty different creative backgrounds so although collectively we share many of the same ideas, individually we draw inspiration from a variety of sources. I think the mix reflects this. The Jacaszek track in particular is a favourite. Also, "The End of the World" by Aphrodite's Child. The album it’s from, 666, is really crazy.