The Bunker with Sandwell District Showcase, Juju & Jordash, Morphosis フォトギャラリー
Function [Sandwell District | Berlin]
Silent Servant [Sandwell District | Los Angeles]
Rrose [Sandwell District] (live)
Juju and Jordash [Dekmantel | Amsterdam] (live)
Morphosis [Delsin, M>O>S, Morphine | Lebanon] (live)/DJ
Spinoza [The Bunker | Brooklyn]
Eric Cloutier [The Bunker | Brooklyn]
Function, aka Dave Sumner, should be a familiar name to anyone who's been paying attention to techno in New York City for the past 15 years. Heavily influence by the early New York rave scene (Limelight, NASA, Storm, etc), Dave dove into production with a few releases on Damon Wild's seminal Synewave label in the mid-90s. From the late 90s to the early 00s, Function put out many productions on his own label, Infrastructure. He also made an undisclosed number of the incredibly popular, anonymous User techno 12"s. He probably made a ton of other anonymous records too, but we'll never know for sure.
In the process he made a strong artistic connection with Female and Regis from the UK, and formed Portion Reform with Regis, releasing a handful of 12"s on Downwards. This connection remains strong to this day. In 2008, Dave moved to Berlin and began to strongly focus on the Sandwell District label, which was undoubtedly one of the breakout labels that year. In 2012, the techno spotlight is shining brightly on Sumner. Sumner has a residency at Berghain, and appears regularly at other huge clubs around Europe, and he's appeared at Labyrinth Festival in Japan three years in a row. His appearances at The Bunker over the past few years have been legendary.
We first became aware of John Mendez in 1998 when a series of amazing records on a new label called Cytrax began appearing in NYC. Mendez founded the label, and recorded for it under his Jasper alias. The label produced tons of amazing records, mostly from new (at the time) west coast techno producers like Kit Clayton, Sutekh, Safety Scissors, and Twerk, all with a very unique and strangely psychedelic take on the sounds coming out of Detroit and Berlin. We cannot underestimate how important this label was in eventually steering us in the direction of founding The Bunker. Jasper also mixed the "Rauschen 15" CD for Force Inc, which made him into a successful international touring techno DJ for a few years.
From 2002 to 2006, we heard no new music from Mendez, and thought he had given up on production. Then, in 2006, he started releasing under a new alias, Silent Servant, for the red-hot Sandwell District label. He has also taken on the duties of creating a visual identity for the label, which you can check out on their Where Next blog. So now Mendez finds himself once again an extremely well recognized and respected DJ and producer. Tonight, in addition to his techno set, Mendez digs a bit deeper into his crates for an early set that will incorporate industrial, EBM, synth punk, and other sounds.
Rrose released three 12"s and an album (with Bob Ostertag) on Sandwell District in 2011. He was the first new artist to release on the label since Silent Servant joined in 2006. His live set at The Bunker tonight marks his North American debut appearance, and only his third appearance worldwide (Berghain in Berlin and Le Gaite Lyrique in Paris were the first two). We've heard from several reliable sources that his live set burned down Berghain, so we are very excited to hear what he has in store for us.
In 2003, Juju & Jordash officially joined forces. Two years later, they began releasing music as a duo, starting with an EP on Reggie Dokes' legendary Detroit label Psychostasia, followed by a string of EPs and LPs on international labels including Real Soon, Aesthetic Audio, Underground Quality, Deep Explorer, Ropeadope, Uzuri and Philpot. Since 2009, they have had a stream of releases on their own label Dekmantel, headquartered in Amsterdam, where Juju & Jordash now live, love and make music.
Juju & Jordash’s influences range from Thelonious Monk to Ryuichi Sakamoto, from Can to Mr. Fingers and from Cabaret Voltaire to Ornette Coleman. Venturing to describe Juju & Jordash’s own sound, one might call it a unique fusion of electronic and acoustic, Detroit-flavored techno, Chicago house and free jazz, or – more poetically – music from the future gazing deeply into the past. Tonight's set will be improvised on hardware with no laptops or pre-prepared material.
Morphosis aka Ra.H has been crafting away in the nether-regions of the techno underworld since the 90s. Initially as a DJ, it was a move to Italy in 1996 which proved the catalyst for him to start experimenting in the studio. And he really did experiment: few people craft the sort of emotional, imaginative techno as Morphosis has for labels like Delsin, Sistrum, M>O>S, and Styrax. Whilst his productions join the dots between raw, elementary electronica and jazz, for the last six years his label Morphine Records has released an equally avant-garde selection of techno from the likes of Madteo, Hieroglyphic Being and Anthony Shakir.
Now back in Lebanon to continue his various musical projects, Morphosis continues to do what he does best: make electronic music with depth and intrigue. His "What we Have Learned" album was one of the best releases of 2011. Rabih's completely mental improvised live set at The Bunker back in September, which you can listen to over at The Bunker Podcast, was a 2011 highlight for us.
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