For the latest edition of Picks, one half of the critically acclaimed, ornate techno-sculptors Lakker (whose solo work is also monstrous) steps forward with a look into the rich soundworlds that inform his sets, productions and imagination. Needless to say, we're very excited to share this.
So basically, I've always been fascinated with the fact the even in an increasingly connected world that there are always random and often bizarre music scenes popping up all over the world all the time. Many come from cities whose peoples and histories shape these original, unique sounds. I know there are some big city scenes left out here (Detroit Techno, London Jungle) but the ones I've included here are the ones that had directly influenced my music career over the years as they popped up.
1. London: Grime
The UK and its constantly evolving music scene is probably one of the greatest influences on my music (also responsible for jungle, 2-step, IDM) but when I heard these for the first time it was a real ear opener. There was so much energy.
2. Birmingham: Techno
The Birmingham sound was one that really blew mind when I first heard of it. This track by Karl O'Connor & David Sumner was just so bleak and unflinching and unapologetically devoid of melody or traditional structure. Its bleakness and starkness has always fascinated me.
3. Latin America: Nuevo Cumbia
Picked up one of the ZZK Mixes somewhere and through it, I got into Chancha Via Circuito. Then I got to see them perform live in Berlin which was extra icing on the cake, and there was an old skool Cumbia band as well, who were incredible. New meets old.
4. Durban, Johannesburg: Gqom (see Faka, Rudeboyz, Dj Maphorisa , Sho Madjozi…)
South African Electronic music is so inspirational at the moments. So much next level music and a whole independent culture of music mixes, distribution, videos and dances.
6. Detroit Jit and Chicago: Juke
To be honest I really didn't understand this when I heard it for the first time, took me a few goes to get into it. Several youtube worm holes, and hours of dance battles later I was hooked. When I saw DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad with their dancers at glade festival years ago, it all fell into place. Now it's great to see an artist like Jlin take its abstraction to the next level and create her own sound.
Got to see her Perform at Mutek Montreal and the energy she puts out is so positive, my face hurt from smiling so much.
Thunderdrome and Terrordrome...anything under 200bpm is basically new age music. You need to check this excellent piece by Holly Dicker. Yes it's silly, but not everything in electronic music has to be so po-faced.
Knees up, taps aff...
[Bonus Points: Too slow? Try Extratone (Shout out to EOMAC for the Heads Up on this one.)
8. South Africa: Shangan Electro
More bizarreness from South Africa. Crazy fast and super happy. What's not to like. I can't stop playing this one in my DJ Sets.
9. Lisbon: Principe Disco
The Lisbon scene / Principe Disco are putting out some of the best electronic music at the moment. Also, check out Angolan Kuduro for extras...side step rabbit hole points.
10. Cairo: Electro Chaabi / Mahraganat
First found out about this while playing a Lakker gig in Bonn Switzerland, with an act called Praed, which was probably one of the more random nights we've ever had. The Guys from Praed are great fun live and gave us the lowdown on the scene and its main players.
The Cairo scene is pure energy, has the best keyboard solos in this universe.
Also, the Rinse Fm Cairo takeover is nuts.