“Two hours of post-death experience” is how Paula Temple described her own set at last year’s Katharsis festival in Amsterdam. While that might seem hyperbolic, the truth is that the Berlin-based DJ and producer’s sets and original tracks sound pretty close to the kind of darkly ecstatic experience that that quote suggests.
Her sound, which often layers industrial noise over breakneck techno rhythms, is raw, corrosive and strangely purifying. If you don’t believe us, just listen to the set yourself, or to “Gegen”, her 2014 anthem dedicated to the infamous Berlin sex party where she often plays.
Curious to know more, we asked Paula Temple to share 10 tracks that she’d take to play a club on the more extreme end of the spectrum. She came back with this list full of tracks intended to offer a “complete liberation of mind and body.”
Technoise, “System” (i/Che 1996)
“This track seems to be so rare that I had to record it from my record collection and upload it onto YouTube myself. I bought this record 23 years ago; it was my first real experience with rhythmic noise. The cut of the noise loop is so interesting, yet impossible to beat mix, although I tried asking many fellow DJ friends over the years to try.
There is no structure: no intro, no climax, no wind down. Yet its energy and off-axis thundering, rhythmic looping and filtering is a rush of extreme excitement. I am still not brave enough to play this out, yet it remains one of the most influential records in my collection.”
Death Abyss, “We Are What You Should Fear” (Rodz Konez 2014)
“This is the most cathartic techno track I have ever heard. I made an edit that enhances the most intense sections, and I made the BPM a little bit faster when playing out at events, with just the right tempo for being lost in heavy, convulsion dancing.
It’s the kind of intensity I imagine really tearing myself up sonically, metaphorically, and from the inside out. It’s screaming and lost and screaming. There’s a particularly intense moment at minute 5:15, which reminds me a little of Xmal Deutschland’s Incubus Succubus II. It takes over body and mind completely with that overdriven bass pushing against the kick to the absolute edge of my soul.”
Autechre, “Second Bad Vilbel” (Warp – 1995)
“I was 18 when this came out. I had already been influenced by several years of the Artificial Intelligence series from Warp and two stunning albums from Autechre, which defined how I started to appreciate electronic music. However, this track took distortion and noise to a whole new level of epic cold alien invasion. I have no doubt this track had a subconscious influence when Eomac and I made Kralle.”
Stave, “Hardened Chord (Regis Remix)” (Repitch 2015)
“I play this a lot. It’s punk raw. The moment of satisfaction comes at minute 2:43 when the grinding machinery kicks in. I’ve featured this in two of my three sets at Katharsis. It’s such a great moment where we are all grinning knowing that drop twist is about to unleash.”
Parashaft, “The Perimeter Of Ignorance” (ŌD0.70 2017)
“At 5 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, as I was playing my set at Complex in Maastricht, someone from the front row held a phone message to my face and it read something like, ‘This shit you’re playing is my friend. Wanna meet him?’ I was like, ‘YES!!!’
And there he was, in the crowd, as I’m playing his track. I love moments like this—meeting artists from the scene without any planning other than our love for the sound that brings us together.
I do spend many hours virtually crate digging online. Bandcamp and Soundcloud are my two favourite platforms for discovering great new super underground techno, and this artist is one of my favorite online discoveries. The production on the kicks and percussion is especially huge.”
Pan Daijing, “Tenderloin Tanz” (Bedouin Records 2017)
“Pan Daijing is another search discovery, via Soundcloud’s page for the label Noisekölln Tapes. I got in touch with her and we had lunch in Berlin. She kindly gave me her Sex And Disease tape, then a couple of years later we became studio buddies. In between that time, I was playing this track in most of my club sets. Although it’s pretty distorted for a regular set, people loved the energy and punkiness.”
Lakker, “Maeslantskering Gating” (R&S 2016)
“Lakker impresses me with every single release they make for their incredible noise sculpting. This track comes from a special archive of RE:VIVE and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It features real mechanical rhythms recorded from flood control engineering archive footage. I really love re-contextualizing past industrial life into contemporary industrial techno.”
Gijensu, “King of Queens” (Wrong Notes 2018)
“Warehouse rave is really exploding again thanks to a thriving scene in France, and Gijensu are making awesome big rave tracks. King of Queens is a massive-sounding track that could also be an epic movie trailer, too. I play a special edit that I made of this track and drop it in when I want to half speed the dance floor for a moment and let these demented elephant horns rip. The hat pattern reminds of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Reptile’.”
OAKE, “Paysage Dépaysé” (Stroboscopic Artefacts 2016)
“I first heard this during Tommy Four Seven’s set at Katharsis in 2017. Everyone reacted like, ‘What the fuck!’ Some hated it, and some were in absolute abandonment. Regardless, it was a moment never to be forgotten. Fast kick, haunting voice, dark room—we forgot for a moment that we were sweating our brains out in a warehouse.”
SNTS, “Rationality” (SNTS 2018)
“I’m eternally grateful to the dark masked lord for really refining his sound in this industrial goth-edged thunder techno, and his live sets take such an intensity to another level. I witnessed his live set on New Year’s Eve, and the audience became ecstatic when they started hearing the monk style vocal. I love playing SNTS, especially when setting up an atmosphere in my sets. The opening of my last Katharsis set worked really well: I paired another one of SNTS’s tracks called ‘Origin of Light’ with Diamanda Galas’ song ‘This Is The Law of The Plague’. I had goose bumps. It was a highlight of my entire 25 years playing techno.”
To learn more about Paula Temple, watch this classic video from our YouTube channel’s video archive.
Published February 06, 2019. Words by Paula Temple.