Stacey Pullen is an innovator from the second wave of Detroit techno; he grew up under the mentorship
In the early days, through legenday Detroit club “The Music Institute”
A couple of years later, in 1992, Derrick suggested that a good way to develop his skills would be for Stacey to do some remix work with Kevin Saunderson
After touring Europe with Derrick May all of 1993, Stacey moved back to Detroit, ready to establish himself and start his own label. Throughout
In 1998 Stacey was invited to produce his very first major label release on Virgin Records, and at the same time opened the label he had wanted to start for about three years, ‘BlackFlag
Its debut release, Black Odyssey‘s „Sweat“, was considered
Around that time, Stacey took a break from recording and spent the next years concentrat
2011 sees Stacey still on the road, bringing his signature eclecticis
„I wanted to create a clean palette of ‚beats‘ music. Programmin
In accordance with Mayan prophecy, Seth Troxler was, in fact, a gift to the world of techno by intergalactic demigods from the distant future. Rumours that Seth Troxler is actually an alien are untrue; in the early first century these demigods kidnapped the virile first-born child of a Roman centurion and his Egyptian trophy wife. After years of travelling around the western end of the Milky Way studying linear algebra, Byronic verse, city planning, and the essentials of electronic music composition, these demigods lost young Seth to the Old God Horus in a game of trans-dimensional backgammon. Before Horus could consume his soul, disguised as Freemasons, they managed steal the young Seth back, and fearing the wrath of Horus, hid him in the Mid-Western town of Kalamazoo where he was raised by a kindly Amish family.
Since then Seth has gone on to ignite the world of house and techno with a constant barrage of sultry vocal jams, in consecutive years got himself voted Number Three, Two and the number One in the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJ Poll, landed much-vaunted residencies at DC10 (Ibiza), Trouw in (Amsterdam) and Output (New York) and opened series of much-lauded pop-up restaurants around East London called ‘Smokey Tails’. He has played many stellar international gigs, notably fabric (London), Panorama Bar (Berlin), Output (New York), Warung (Brazil), Womb (Tokyo), Tenax (Florence), Robert Johnson (Frankfurt), The Rex (Paris), Fuse (Brussels), The Electric Pickle (Miami), plus The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Glastonbury, Coachella, Sonar and Burning Man. In the studio he has collaborated with such dance luminaries as Matthew Dear, Art Department, Tiefschwarz, Deetron, Subb-an, in addition to groundbreaking remix work done as Visionquest alongside fellow astral refugees Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss, remixing artists like Tracy Thorn and David Lynch. 2014 has seen him team up with The Martinez Brother to launch their new Tuskegee label drawing attention on Afro-Latino American icons. In addition to this he’s currently plotting two additional new imprints called Soft Touch, focusing on indie rock, and Play It Say It, putting out straight up dancefloor jams.
Troxler is currently in hiding in Ibiza, where he began his self-imposed exile from the United States after sleeping with then-Senator Barak Obama’s wife. Seth will remain in Europe until his 33rd birthday, at which point he will ascend upon the Levant and battle his way westward as he reclaims his Kingdom. At least that’s what some guy at Burning Man told us.
The Martinez Brothers, two young men from the Bronx, raised on their father’s love of the Paradise Garage and roadtested worldwide before they even left high school, are emerging as leaders in the global house music scene. The guys have held a residency at DC-10 in Ibiza since 2011, and in 2014 their standing within the world of underground house and techno is solid and constantly rising – their DJ sets are full of energy, fuelled by the brothers’ in-depth knowledge and an innate ability to guide the crowd.
The Martinez Brothers have produced a number of dance floor-ready releases since their earliest days at Objektivity,
releasing their first EP, “My Rendition” in 2006 under the guidance of Dennis Ferrer. Other highlights include one of
2013′s big underground Ibiza hits, Santos Resiak’s “A Better Light” (The Martinez Brothers Remix) on One Records. Their ubiquitously popular remix of Green Velvet’s “Bigger Than Prince” (Circus) was named the most-played dance track at ADE 2013, further showing their range as producers and delivering a dark, raw groove with cut-up vocal accents. In late 2013 / early 2014 they released the two-part hip-hop mixtape “Warhol/Basquiat,” which Philip Sherburne named SPIN Magazine’s Dance Track of the Week, saying: “At their best, their beats have a quizzical, psychedelic feel, stretching loops of Donna Summer and George Duke into long strips of taffy and turning up the humidity until they dissolve on their own.” This year they’ve teamed up with DJ Gregory / Point G with “What’s the Point?” the first release on his new label, Ever Lasting LovE.
2013 marked the beginning of their homespun event series Mad Beats & Crazy Styles, offering the brothers a space to explore their New York dance music roots. They have also conceived a new record label, Cuttin’ Headz, which will be a home to their musical experimentations. Also this year comes the premier of Tuskegee, the brainchild of The Martinez Brothers and Seth Troxler. Using the black and Latino musical experience in the US in the early 90s as inspiration, TMB and Troxler will be putting out a series of vinyl-only releases as well as a clothing line.
Earlier this year, The Martinez Brothers broke into the world of high fashion by traveling to Paris to provide music for Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy Menswear and Womenswear Fall / Winter 2014 /15 collections. The track “Flawless” has already been featured in a Style.com exclusive preview of the Nike RT Air Force 1 Collection, offering a first glimpse of Riccardo Tisci’s collaboration with Nike.
This year alone the guys have been all over Europe and the Americas, they’ve premiered in Australia, and have plans for a tour of Asia. While on the road they created a behind-the-scenes Coachella photo diary for Rolling Stone and Nylon Guys. Production-wise, they’ve laid down some studio tracks with the legendary Nile Rodgers and have collaborated with Spanish Harlem-born hip hop star Bodega Bamz on his forthcoming mixtape. Despite the whirlwind of activity, Chris and Steve remain positive, down-to-earth guys. When asked about their achievements, they always humbly reply, “We are so blessed!”
“I try to apply a punk ethic to my own music…it has to be groundbreaking, futuristic, unique, and organic.”
Grammy Award-winning recording artist Dubfire is renowned for his innovative DJ sets, revolutionary music, and much-lauded SCI+TEC label. Widely recognized as one of electronic music’s most versatile artists, Dubfire initially brought a pioneering sound to the masses during his days as one-half of the distinguished DJ & production duo Deep Dish, which led to a catalog of timeless dance classics and numerous international awards to their credit.
Dubfire has always been a risk taker, and his decision to go solo in 2006 at the height
of Deep Dish’s success was a precarious one. But staying true to his convictions,
he created a visionary new style of “techno” that defied genres, crossing over into the hearts, minds and performances of the world’s leading tastemakers. The cadence of his early solo productions came in the form of a relentless string of releases, including “RibCage, “Roadkill, and “Emissions,” collaborations with Underworld and Oliver Huntemann, and the now-classic remix of Radio Slave’s ”Grindhouse” to name just a few. He has shown no signs of slowing the pace, with a host of originals, remixes and collaborations that have subsequently been released to great fanfare.
After more than 23 years behind the decks and in the studio, with deep roots in the genesis of electronic music, Dubfire continues to evolve in new ways that have helped shape the industry.
“The curtain went up before I knew I was on stage.”
Ambivalent aka Kevin McHugh
Currently working out of Berlin, Kevin McHugh has spent the last decade living in the German capital or New York and in a sense; these two metropoleis represent the contradiction at the heart of his Ambivalent persona. On the one hand the reckless freedom and hedonism of the Berlin subculture, on the other the more considered, conceptual approach of its New York counterpart. As a result his idiosyncratic sound lies somewhere between the two, a precarious balancing act that manages to infuse stripped down, finked up minimal techno with a distinct sense of purpose, often defined by a pearl of an idea around which his skeletal grooves revolve.
After growing up in Washington DC on a balanced diet of Acid House, Go-Go and Punk, his active involvement in the electronic scene began in New York in 2002, producing a series of memorable parties for Creative Time in the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Fusing house and techno with experimental multimedia and urban installations, Kevin was quick to recognise connecting patterns of value between these art forms, with temporal, physical, spatial and minimal elements among the most obvious common denominators. If one person embodied these principles through music it was Richie Hawtin. The pair were soon working together, co-producing the Plastikman show at Mutek in 2004. The planning process meant spending the best part of a year in Berlin during which time Kevin assimilated into the scene. Energized, he returned to New York and besides co-presenting the Nerd Tank on East Village Radio, he began working on his own compositions, which quickly led to a debut release on Camea’s Clink label in 2006. His event organising activities also intensified, buoyed by the network of DJs and producers he’d met in Berlin.
It was after one particularly intense party, that Kevin set to work on a new track. Extreme images from the event were still flickering across his mind as he picked up his studio mic and, in a flash of inspiration, laid down a twisted, one-sided conversation in a single take. He passed the resulting track to Troy thinking it was just a bit of fun, a tongue-in-cheek parody for his friends to play. Within days Richie was telling him – the track was blowing up, the dancefloor reaction to R U OK was unbelievable. What followed was beyond his wildest imaginings as the track went global, topping charts around the world aided by Ali Demirel’s tripped-out video interpretation. By 2008, the gravitational pull had become too strong to ignore and he returned to Berlin, hooking up with the Minus community and embarking on a non-stop schedule of live shows and DJ gigs. 2009 also saw him join the line-up for the London Contakt special as well as the release of several remixes, a JPLS collaboration and his own follow up EP is 5.
2010 holds even more promise for Kevin, with back-to-back releases. Rumors shows another quirky wordplay, voiced by a character twisted in knots trying to learn the meaning of all the gossip floating around. His second release of the year comes on strong with a dancefloor bouncer Down accompanied by an aggressive vocal challenge. With a DJ mix and an album in the works, it’s already becoming more interesting by the day.
Ambivalent by name, ambivalent by nature, Kevin McHugh insists we shouldn’t read too much into his ideas, but as long as he continues making such bold musical statements, that stimulate the instinct and intellect in equal measures, he’ll just have to get used to the attention.
Magda is an artist who can never be pinned down, no matter the timeframe or time signature. Any one of the Detroit-raised artist’s DJ sets or productions breeds a rare feel of mystique and discovery. “I’m really obsessed with finding a line between things – between sounds and between genres. My influences come from a life spent in very different environments, which plays a huge role in the way I connect with music.”
Dramatic sounds and eccentric basslines carry her multilayered sound, which veers everywhere from funked-out space disco to the intricately-programmed, metallic feel of Detroit to stripped down techno, all the way to Italian horror film soundtracks. The only thing that remains consistent is the element of surprise.
Her accidental entry into Detroit’s underground party scene as a teenager was the kick-start she needed for a lifelong love affair. Soon all became a blur of “cities, record stores, and parties.” In 1998, she joined Minus and began touring the world as Richie Hawtin’s sole opener. From there, her distinctive sound began to develop and the rest is history.
Stylistically, Magda grooves through opposition – creating sets that are emotion-led yet clinical, having profound expertise with analog and digital technology. Her sound is otherworldly but visceral; dark with a warm sense of beauty and grace; sparse yet wondrously full-bodied with density and bass-swathed extremes. Magda’s DJing style has been encapsulated on her mixed CDs ‘She’s A Dancing Machine,’ and her mix for London club Fabric ‘Fabric 49′ (a mix CD with as much artistry and vision as an original album).
In the fall of 2010, Magda revealed her debut, ‘From The Fallen Page,’ a darkly- tinged, transportive album that curiously combines natural, organic sounds, and modern electronic grace. Similar to her unpredictable DJ sets, ‘From The Fallen Page’ took listeners from one end of the spectrum to the other, treading the fine lines of extremities along the way.
These days Magda isn’t home very often. In-between touring, she’s fully focused on her recently resurrected label ‘Items & Things.’ The label’s vision always pinpoints the off-kilter and the uncommon, seeking out new artists and sounds that push boundaries. “Items and things are bits and pieces of uniqueness we come across. The label is a platform to launch the music that we love. There are no rules, just sounds we like and artists we believe in.”