In my second article for Pulse Radio, I was chuffed to be talking to a DJ that I have loved ever since I first saw him play at DC10 in Ibiza back in 2002. Back then he’d started his nascent Freak’n’Chic imprint, and minimal techno was on the up. Ten years later, he was still a resident, and his house music was warmer, but largely undisturbed, and Dan is just as welcoming and unassuming as he’s always been: a DJ that with a great career that’s still just the same person he was when he was first playing le Batofar in the early 00s. Now he’s in Apollonia with Shonky and Dyed Soundorom, so we found him in Berlin….
Dan Ghenacia is one of the underground’s survivors. The Parisian has been at the heart of his home city’s scene since the late ‘90s, helming Le Batofar’s legendary after-hours boat parties and forming seminal house and techno imprint Freak ‘n’ Chic in 2003, a label that spawned many of Paris’ current crop of leading lights. Fast forward to 2013, and, while that first label has been closed three years, he continues to be resident at Ibiza’s Circoloco parties, and now resides as one third of Apollonia, a DJing, label and production trio with fellow Parisians Shonky and Dyed Soundorom. Pulse Radio caught up with him in Germany in between studio sessions to talk about his plans for the next twelve months.
I do a bit of writing on the side for the lovely people at Pulse Radio. And I’ve been lucky enough to interview one of my heroes – Erol Alkan. He’s the quintessential outsider of dance music, one of the loveliest guys you’ll meet, and, for someone that’s not always been comfortable with talking about himself, a great interviewee. Below is an opener, and the link to the piece on Pulse.
Erol Alkan is an electronic music outsider. He’s produced artists as diverse as Mystery Jets, Long Blondes and Franz Ferdinand, and remixed The Chemical Brothers, Bloc Party, Daft Punk and Tame Impala. He ran the irreverent weekly Monday night Trash for a decade, and started label Phantasy Sound in 2007 shortly after its farewell. Since then, this renegade label has released music from Daniel Avery, Boize Noize and Connan Mockasin to In Flagranti and Late Of The Pier, while a regular fixture at Bugged Out!, and gigs as far afield as Toronto, Berlin, New York and Helsinki, though the end of 2013 marks Alkan’s first solo release. Pulse caught up with him to talk about his life in music, and why he’s happy on the fringes, looking in.
I don’t often blog about music on here, which is ironic considering my sideline/hobby/’profession’, but sometimes music needs shouting about, and March is the release of an album by a personal favourite producer of mine, Anthony Collins. He’s been laying down amazing tracks since his first came out in 2006, balancing the modern European sound with an often afro-centric flair that gives a really old-school feel while sitting firmly in 2009. It’s hard to single out a highlight, as every one of the ten is brilliant in its own way, but the epic 13-minute Prism is a joy to listen to. If there’s any justice, this will catapult him into the stratosphere.
It’s out in April on Freak’n’Chic. Buy it. Simple.
While those slightly behind the times may still see minimal as the sound of the underground, they’re the same that probably think Berlin is the sole arbiter of teuton cool. Robert Johnson, the pint-sized Frankfurt club, nestled in Offenbach, is one of many reasons to refute this. It has been busy getting on with its thing, long before Berlin became the place-du-jour, and 2009 sees it launch its first mix series. And it’s been worth the wait. My sneak preview of Chloe’s Live at Robert Johnson Vol 1 left me utterly inspired and in awe of the most aurally pleasurable house music I’ve heard in a long time. No fanfare, no big branding, just sumptuous music. And, being those paragons of design, there’s even a limited edition for the chin-strokers. Bliss.