If you looked at that headline and wondered what the hell “neo-trance” is supposed to mean, we understand. Stuttgart’s Konstantin Sibold is generally not considered to be a practitioner of contemporary trance in the vein of say Evian Christ, Lorenzo Senni or HDMirror. And yet the artist’s first real anthem, “Mutter”, released on Running Back in 2016, bears an unmistakable trance-like quality that reminds us of some of our favorite euphoric anthems from the ’90s. (Get a list of those here, by the way.)
In the years since the release of that record, Sibold has carved a niche for himself as a purveyor of melodically-tinged house and techno both in his original releases and in his remixes. And it’s for that reason that we’re excited to have him play our Telekom Electronic Beats Clubnight this weekend at Oma Doris club in Dortmund.
To prep for the party, we put together this guide to the six most essential releases in Sibold’s discography. And if that’s not enough for you, we also have an in-depth video feature with the artist from our YouTube channel, which you can watch below.
“Mutter” (Running Back, 2016)
Soundcloud labels have tended to stray into the comical, sometimes satirical realm of musical definition as the years pass on the platform. In parallel to that has been the guilt-free trance revival on underground dancefloors. Labeled as such on Sibold’s profile, this 2016 release on Gerd Janson’s Running Back Records isn’t exactly a 1990s trance hit. But with a wobbly, synth-driven build up and equally dramatic breakdown, you can clearly see its inspiration. But fear not shufflers, there is still a four-on-the-floor beat to fall back on.
“Madeleine” (Innervisions, 2013)
Although the former resident of Stuttgart’s Rocker 33 club has never been shy about ditching pigeon holes or genre binds, tracks like “Madeleine” for Innervisions have proven how he can stray to either side of the house and techno spectrum. Fittingly, his most acclaimed contribution for the iconic Berlin label is almost so obviously crafted for the imprint that it’s hard to imagine it elsewhere.
Konstantin Sibold and Leif Mueller “Kolibri” (Cocoon, 2014)
Fellow Stuttgart DJ and producer Leif Mueller is one of Sibold’s most frequent collaborators. When Sibold was still a resident at Stuttgart’s Rocker 33 club, the two artists began the Common Sense People party series, which brought in big names like DJ Koze and Helena Hauff. Beyond the booth, Mueller and Sibold also team up in the studio, and “Kolibri” is one such example of their collaborative efforts. Though playful, this one strips things down to make way for a cool and functional tech-house feeling.
DJ Yellow & Flowers And Sea Creature “No One Gets Left Behind (Konstantin Sibold Remix)” (Compost, 2013)
Konstantin Sibold is no stranger to remix duties. The German producer has flipped tracks from a variety of artists that includes pop stars like Lana Del Ray and techno club staples like SHDW. Surely, though, his most renowned remix work is the one posted above, which was pretty damn ubiquitous when it was released.
“Leif” (Caramelo, 2011)
“Leif” is arguably Konstantin Sibold’s most danceable house hit. It’s a bona fide classic of disco-tinged house. Pushed by the likes of Move D upon its vinyl-only release in 2011, it was so well revered (only about 300 were pressed) that it earned a 2015 digital re-release on Defected Records. It also serves as an effective bookend for Sibold’s creative wandering and release evolution, as well as for his partnership with French artist Kosme.
Konstantin Sibold & Kosme “Cyclone” (Afterlife, 2018)
Sibold’s latest offering comes courtesy of Italian duo Tale Of Us’ Afterlife imprint. Certainly not his most housey release, the slow-burner is one of his spaciest releases. It’s perhaps the best reflection of Sibold’s range, or maybe it’s the input of French artist Kosme? It’s refined and reliant on a handy combination of not-overly indulgent synths, a well-timed clap and some anticipated Afterlife arpeggios. You could say it’s an instant melodic techno classic.