The final Slices of 2013 is nearly upon us and we’re ending the year with a bang. First up, check out the cover star. Jon Hopkins emerges as one of its brightest stars of the year thanks to his outstanding fourth album Immunity. Laden with critical praise—and a Mercury Prize nomination—the record represents Hopkins’ techno renaissance. What better time for the Slices team to land the inside story. Alongside Hopkins, Slices gets face time with three other protagonists leading the way in their respective areas of electronic music: the melodic techno producer and Pampa affiliate Ada, London-based masters of doleful, folk-flavored bass music Cloud Boat and Berlin’s producer FNM, better known as Filippo Moscatello.
This issue’s In The Car feature sees Slices riding shotgun with house producer, in-demand DJ and recent Watergate 14 compiler Mathias Kaden. We’ll also be getting to know the new star of luxe house and techno La Fleur, a Swedish producer whose sets at Panorama Bar and Watergate have won her lots of fans. Back down on earth we’ll be chatting vintage synths with the aptly named PhilSynth in Tech Talk.
Slices 4-13 hits the shelves on December 5th. Head here to subscribe to the full DVD series, or pick up your free copy from one of these locations. You can also find even more Slices features on our YouTube Channel. Meanwhile, watch our latest Slices interview, featuring Andre Bratten and taken from issue 3-13, below.
Little Dragon are a part of what we consider the Electronics Beats Family; we’ve featured them in our magazine, our festivals and in our Slices DVD. We still rinse their 2011 album Ritual Unions over the office loudspeakers, often prompting nearby shop owners to stick their heads in and say the German equivalent of, “What the hell, mate?” Word on the URL street is the group are currently planning something new, and that’s news that excites us. We’re cruising through our archives and getting reacquainted with some of our favorite LD moments. We invite you to check out a playlist of our favorite moments featuring the full Slices interview, as well as their appearance at our 2010 EB Festival.
Yup, it’s that time again. The Slices crew have returned from their travels, laden with content from the most influential artists, on-point new talent and knowlege-packing gearheads from across the globe. The result of this envious task? Slices Issue 2 – 13. And it’s a corker.
First up, an interview offbeat techno producer Robag Wruhme as he cruises around the central German state of Thuringia. Robag Wruhme is, to those in the know, one of the most intriguing and dynamic producers and DJs of the last few years. His productions take in jazz, paranoid micro house and fragmented minimal techno and, as one half of the much-missed Wighnomy Brothers, he was responsible for some of the most hedonistic DJ sets in living memory. The candid and informal chat touches on Wruhme’s opinions on the music business as he reveals, “I think I’m not made for that entire music business. But because I was successful with some of my stuff, I do not see the necessity to leave it again. Although I sometimes wish to…” To find out why, you’ll have to get the DVD.
Slices also tag along with Stefan Goldmann as he explores an abandoned building offering an insight into how the techno producer—known for his theoretical and analytical skills—finds a little bit of peace. He also looks to the past and examines the reasons why he got into techno in the first place: “I really wanted to get away from everything that’s got some kind of virtuosity or technicality. I’m not fond of technical stuff”, he tells the Slices team, perhaps unexpectedly.
Elsewhere Team Slices pay a visit to Synkro in Manchester and, closer to home, drop by Rone in his Berlin studio. The issue’s Tech Talk comes from Manuel Richter of Leaf Audio. Amsterdam’s mighty Trouw takes the spotlight in the Club Special which examines what it is about this club, art space, restaurant and cultural foundation that’s setting the bar for club culture in Europe. Finally, get acquainted with Sandrow M of the Uncanny Valley collective in New Faces—because no one likes a latecomer.
Slices 2-13 hits the shelves on June 20th—you’ll be able to pick it up alongside the new issue of Electronic Beats Magazine. Pre-order Slices issue 2-13, subscribe to the full DVD series, or pick up your free copy from one of these locations. You can also find even more Slices features on our YouTube Channel or watch the New Faces from the last issue with Genius of Time below.
As you’re probably aware, Electronic Beats offers full episodes of Electronic Beats Slices DVD Magazine for streaming on our YouTube channel. However, you may not know that you can now view the whole of Slices DVD issue 4-12 as a continuous playlist, and in 1080p full HD video. That’s a whole lot of quality content to wrap your eyes around, in fact studies show that you’ll be 12 percent more knowledgable about electronic music after watching this issue. Well, they don’t, but they should.
Need a reminder of the audio-visual bounty contained is our latest issue? Well, lan Abrahams graces our cover in his Portable guise while the Slices team bagged features with Âme, Prosumer, Nicolas Jaar and Raster-Noton co-founder Byetone. Tech Talk turns its spotlight on software developers Sugar Bytes while EB Live & Rare footage comes courtesy of EB favorites Dillon, James Blake and Hudson Mohawke.
Still hanker after a real life artefact you can store on your DVD shelf? Fear not, you can still get the real thing by subscribing to the DVD.
Romi Agel and Holger Wick, the filmmakers behind the award-winning, quarterly DVD magazine Slices have turned their directorial eyes to a feature-length documentary on the dynamic electronic duo Modeselektor, resulting in We Are Modeselektor, which is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from May 3rd via Monkeytown Records. We asked them a few questions about their ideas, the process, and working with the infamous musicians. Photo of Romi Agel (above) by Luci Lux.
How your documentary on Modeselektor come about?
We’ve known Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary for quite a while since we’ve shot several features about them in the past—for Slices as well as for Carhartt and Time Out Magazine, for instance. As time passed, we watched them get bigger and bigger on an international scale. Soon it was clear that the duo had turned into a real pop phenomenon. On the one hand, they’re able to move the masses. On the other hand, their sound is not what you would call lowest common denominator—but they play at festivals for 10,000 people without raising an eyebrow.
We love their unique sense of humor, but what we found most interesting is the fact that they’re two very different people, which is why we came up with the plan to portray their artistic duo. When Modeselektor won the critic’s prize of the German ECHO in 2012, we got the idea to make a documentary about them. Shorty after, we talked to Sebastian and Gernot, and guess what, they liked the idea! We began filming in June.
What’s the concept of the movie?
We wanted to avoid a rock’n’roll story in the style of Justice, by any means. Rather we wanted to tell their biography and display the Modeselektor cosmos in the most authentic way possible. That’s why we focused on their origin, the beginning, and development of their career until today. In that relation, it was a true gift that they had been working in a creative environment from day one—there was always somebody with a video camera around. Thus we got our hands on true archive treasures. At the beginning of the ’90s, nobody would have thought that Modeselektor would be that successful. But for some reason they appeared on some friend’s cameras all the time.
When conceptualizing the film, we chose to follow this historic thread but break it here and there with current tour footage, as well as with private snapshots. The result is a nice opposition. To see their placid early days in contrast to how they move the masses nowadays enables the viewer to perceive Modeselektor’s very personal way in a detailed manner. This juxtaposition allowed us to go deep into the topic and provide answers to questions like: What kind of guys are they when they’re not on stage? What makes them individual and what’s their common persona as an artistic duo? What is it that makes this band a true phenomenon?
How was working with Gernot and Sebastian?
Our wish was to shoot everything as spontaneously and intimately as possible. That’s why only the two of us went on tour with them. In the narrowness of a nightliner or while waiting for the next flight, we got close to everybody and conversations started almost automatically. Thus, we had the chance to observe some very private moments and also got to see how Modeselektor behave in extreme situations, how their relationship with the crew works, their mood before and after a gig.
From a journalistic point of view these insights, were really interesting, and they also prove to be essential for the concept of the documentary. Similar things happened when visiting close friends and memorable places from their past, for instance when we sat in Szary’s mom’s garden, drinking coffee. Just by listening to the conversations about their beginnings and work history we learned a lot of private background knowledge—even if the camera was already turned off.
What was your biggest challenge when making the movie?
The biggest challenge was to choose from all the material. We had hours and hours of moving image material and even more unscripted information to deal with—we could have done a three-hour film without any problems! But naturally, we couldn’t include every little bit but instead had to focus. For instance, we’ve been thinking intensely whether and how to include the Moderat chapter. In the end we skipped it with the argument that it should be a true Modeselektor documentary—and not a mixed piece about Moderat or A.T.O.L. or any other surrounding act. The same thought applied for the band’s pool of labels. We passed on commenting on Modeselektor’s own 50 Weapons imprint but instead focused the narrative on their mothership Monkeytown Records. We didn’t want to lose our golden thread. The movie works without voiceovers, which means that the protagonists tell their story by themselves. This demanded discipline in our work, especially when conducting interviews. We also felt pretty challenged with the kill your darlings scenes, but that’s kind of obvious, we guess.
We Are Modeselektor will be released on Monkeytown Records. Why?
Originally we wanted to release the film on our own, but finally realized that Monkeytown’s distribution channels are far better than what we had to offer. This brought us the advantage of being able to focus on the movie itself while Monkeytown takes care of the distribution, promotion, and so on. We’re pretty happy with this solution, even though we’re aware of the fact that some people will say, “Oh, they produced a film about themselves and want to show off!” But that’s totally not the case. The complete concept and execution was ours. Sebastian and Gernot saw it for the first time when we had a raw version already.
The movie was realized together with Electronic Beats. How did it come to that collaboration?
We’ve been producing the DVD magazine Slices for Electronic Beats for about eight years. In that regard—and because Modeselektor are frequent guests on Electronic Beats Festivals—the collaboration kind of suggested itself. We have a very trusting relationship with the brand. Additionally, it should be clear that making such a documentary means a certain financial risk for us and everybody involved. With the support of Electronic Beats, we could get along much easier. Generally speaking, we feel obliged to strike a blow for the EB program: they always give us a carte blanche to do our projects, which we don’t take as given. After all, Modeselektor are still operating in a musical niche—even if they now receive international recognition. In that sense, we find the whole attitude of Electronic Beats’ program praiseworthy, especially since they stay on target for a long term.~
April 30 / Berlin (GER) / Kino International – Exclusive world premiere presented by Electronic Beats
May 08 / Munich (GER) / Gabriel Filmtheater
May 09 / Vienna (AUS) / Ottakringer Brauerei
May 17 / London (UK) / Roundhouse
May 19 / Boston (USA) / Museum of Fine Arts
May 24 / Paris (FR) / La Machine du Moulin Rouge
June 13-15 / Barcelona (ES) / Sonar Cinema at Sonar Festival (3 screenings)
June 19-23 / Cologne (GER) / C/O Pop