New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Tama Sumo & Lakuti

Posted by Amoebite, December 11, 2018 03:07pm | Post a Comment

Tama Sumo & Lakuti - What's In My Bag?

We were delighted to have German DJ/producer Tama Sumo and London-based South African DJ and booking agent Lakuti in the Amoeba Hollywood green room recently for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. Digging into the bins at the shop, the partners in life and music found some killer 12" singles, eclectic LPs, and sentimental favorites, including Brenda & The Big Dudes' "Weekend Special." "This one is really close to my heart," Lakuti told us. "I'm South African, so when I saw this on the shelves I literally jumped." Calling her the "Madonna of the townships of Africa," Lakuti went on to explain how important Brenda was to her generation, "particularly if you were gay or queer; she really made it possible for a lot of black kids, that would not have come out at that time, to come out and be proud." It was apparent that both of the artists were very passionate and knowledgeable about their choices, which made for a fun and interesting interview. 

Tama Sumo and Lakuti are a married couple who also frequently spend time together behind the decks and serve as advocates for women and queer folx in the electronic music scene. Tama Sumo (aka Kerstin Egert) specializes in house and techno. She began her career DJing at Kreuzberg (Berlin) club Drama, before becoming a mainstay at Globus/Tresor and OstGut's gay/lesbian Dance with the Aliens parties. She is currently a resident at Berghain/Panorama Bar.

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Interview with Penner & Muder

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 20, 2010 05:09pm | Post a Comment
Penner & Muder Same Monkeys Different Zoo album art
From the opening keys of the piano-led intro and first full track ‘Let The Music Play,’ there’s a beautiful and slightly melancholic thread throughout Penner & Muder's Same Monkeys Different Zoo. This is a house album, however, and groove does not suffer as the stripped back drum&vox of ‘All About You’ aptly proves. Whether it be the dubby feel of ‘Sunset Blvd’ or the future soul of ‘Time Has Come,’ the album is bristling with emotion and even in tracks like the decidedly austere ‘Solitary Movement’ (with Muder’s long term friend/label partner Chopstick) there’s a real sense of feeling. This impassioned theme culminates in the stunning ‘Are You Lost,’ a future classic in the making if ever there was one. Balancing melody with groove, melancholy with uplift and dancefloor sensibilities with a home listening vibe is a rare feat, but Penner & Muder have pulled it off and have done so with a heavily song based LP – a true testament to the talent here.

Nils Penner took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us at Handsomeclub:

When and where were you both born?

John was born in Hamburg, Germany 1979. Nils in Bremen, Germany 1977. Bremen is situated 100 km south of Hamburg.

How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

We know each other since 2007. I was working for Jan Langer, the labe lmanager of artists like Oliver Huntemann, Stephan Bodzin and Thomas Schumacher, who all come from and still lived in Bremen that time. Jan knew Thien, aka Chopstick, John's partner with Suol and the Chopstick & Johnjon project. Thien and John were looking for a graphic designer and so we met through Jan.

What inspired you to make music together?

Well, inspired sounds a little bit over the top, to be honest. Since we don't really consider ourselves musicians (basically because we cannot read notes or play any instrument), I would always say we are more like people who like to play around with sounds and grooves on a professional level. So what brought us together was more the same basic feelings towards certain sounds, grooves and tracks and a musical background we share.

How would you describe your sound?

Grounded, groovy and always the nice and important bit away from the main street.

What can you tell me about your process in making music together?

Most of the time we exchange ideas in loops via email. That is basically because I live in Munich now and John is in Berlin. Sending the ideas back and forth makes them grow and become small layouts with an arrangement idea in the end. Once we get to that point with one, two or more ideas we always try to have some studio time in Berlin to finish the tracks together. That's the most important part, I guess. You can see that in the fact that sometimes in the studio process we change the whole idea into something completely different. A little anecdote at that point would be that the first track on the album, "Let The Music Play," originally started as a remake / cover version of the original 80s classic from Shannon. :-) And now listen to what came out after 3 days in the studio ...

Listen to "Let The Music Play" here:

What do you like to do when you're not involved in making music?

We share a big interest in riding the bike. I have a bike standing in the studio in Berlin nearly since the first time I came there and we love to just drive through the city to get our heads free. Besides that I have to take of my little business as a graphic designer, which is still serving my food and living and not the music as you can imagine. Most of the rest of our time slips away taking care of our other music projects, especially for John because he is actually living on that. John has his label-project, Suol, with Thien, the musical project Chopstick & Johnjon and some solo output as Johnjon. I am also trying to push and bring my little label project Wazi Wazi (with Sasse from Moodmusic) upfront. And then there is the girlfriends ... so no time left ... :-)

Where have you performed? Favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

We decided from the beginning that we would only play live shows, no dj-sets. Our first gig was actually at Berghain/Panorama Bar in Berlin, a club many people consider as one of the best or even the best in the world. It was a Moodmusic label night in August 2008 and so we were pretty nervous, but it all worked out fine and we had great night with cool feedback. Other venues we played are Watergate in Berlin and Baalsaal in Hamburg. Not so many, but we only just started to work with the wonderful Wilde Booking Agency here in Berlin and we hope there is more to come now with the album. The official release party is going to take place at Weekend Club in Berlin on Saturday the 31st of July -- you should all come by.. :-)) Things happen and we try not to push it too hard in terms of "marketing" and "sell-out." We'd rather play some gigs less but know people booked us for our sound and attitude and not because we know how to sell it.

What has been your biggest challenge as a production duo?

I would say the biggest challenge is always the finishing of a track. To leave the idea at some point and say for yourself, "I or we did the best we can and got out all the potential that is in there." That is always a crucial point and there is only a few moments where you are a 100% sure of that.

How long did it take to record
Same Monkeys Different Zoo?

In the end it took 2 years but not working on that the whole time. As I mentioned, we live in different cities and so there was only time in the studio to finish 1 track a month or sometimes even 1 track in three months. Every time we finished a track we decided whether to put it in the box for the album or send it to a label as a new single. That way it took two years until we had a consistent collection of tracks we wanted to put on the album, so the whole thing is round and makes sense. One could actually say the album is more something like a best of from two years of work and that can be heard in the variety of styles and grooves on the album.

What was the vision for Same Monkeys Different Zoo?

There wasn't really a vision since we did not really work on the album as a conceptual product. Afterward we could say that the vision is simply to be able to put out the stuff you produced in a free way without any restrictions or borders. Big thanks to Sasse at this point, who always had the right tips and ideas but never pushed us anywhere. We were always free in what we put on the album.

Listen to "Are You Lost" here:

What's upcoming for Suol & the newly launched Wazi Wazi labels?

Suol's next EP is from Chopstick & Till Von Sein, called Pure 18 EP, coming by the end of July. In the background the guys are busy preparing the ground for the first artist album on Suol by Fritz Kalkbrenner, coming in October. The next Single on Wazi Wazi is actually be me and called Homage EP. It is the fifth release and after the minor hit Presence of Another Man and the excellent As The Morning Comes by the one and only Freestyle Man, we are really happy about the more and more attention we get.

Listen to "Presence of Another Man" here:

What are you listening to at the moment?

Nils' Top Favourite Albums at the Moment

#1 - Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
#2 - Freddy Cole - The Cole Nobody Knows
#3 - Mark Almond - The Last & Live
#4 - Fugazi - 13 Songs
#5 - Alice Donut - Mule

John's Top Favourite Albums at the Moment

#1 - Aloe Blacc - Good Things
#2 - Efdemin - Chicago
#3 - Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Breaking The Fourth Wall
#4 - Soulphiction - Do You Overstand
#5 - Actress - Splazsh

Any last words?

Keep it real.

Buy Penner & Muder's - Same Monkeys Different Zoo here on

Interview with Analog Freak Mr. G

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 2, 2010 01:43pm | Post a Comment
With the release of his highly anticipated debut album Still Here, our man Colin McBean took some time to talk to us about the album and all things Mr. G...

Mr. G - Still Here
When and where were you born, and have you always been in the UK?

Born in Derby in the Midlands, August,1961, and yeah, I’ve always been here……….and……Still Here.

What got you interested in house/techno music

I’m an analog freak so it’s always been about synths. I didn’t know at the time, but that was the link. The sounds from Studio One to Stevie to Eno to Joey Beltram. It’s about the sound and rawness – that’s my link with house & techno.

When and why did you choose to start to making your own music?

I met Keith from Bang The Party and went to his studio at Interchange. Then with Cisco becoming KCC late eighties, early nineties………...Always had a crazy love of music and buying wax at a very early age, it was a natural progression.

Who were your music influences when first getting involved in the music business, and why?

There were no real influences. It was just another part of music being in my life……..I did love what Jeff, Joey, Maurizio and Luke were doing but then I was still buying lots of other music which was non dance as well. I suppose Cisco was a big influence cause he knew all the tech stuff and I didn’t, so it was a big learning curve and interesting.

Why the long wait for Still Here?

What’s the rush, it’s right when you feel it, no? And I hadn’t wanted to make it before……James and Matt know just how to get the best outta me!

You mention that Still Here was started at a low point in your life; this can be heard in the darkness of tracks such as "Platonic Solid No.5." Can you elaborate more?

Yeah, lost my way, what with illness and the coming of the digital era I was becoming very negative and found there was not a great deal a love in the business, but hooking up with Rekids and seeing a whole other world run by folk who wear their hearts on their sleeve was a massive injection for me. You chose well with No. 5 cause the story behind that track’s a whole other world!!!

Listen to "Platonic Solid No. 5" here:

The closing track "Stolen Moments" sees a slower side to Mr. G beats; is there more material in the works like this?

I like gooood music – Funk, Soul, House, Hip Hop, Indie, Classical, Roots, Dub, etc, etc, so yeah, there’s so many other pictures to paint for ya; hopefully next time I’ll show you another side.

Listen to "Stolen Moments" here:

Has your technique for production changed much over the years?

Nope………..MPC and mixer, mixed live with me doing the cuts live. That’s why there’s always something I can show you in the track you wouldn’t know……..Could be 1 take or it could be 21 takes -- it's just how I work, ohh!! And there’s no going back after the mix is down.

Tell us about the Rekids nights at Berghain/Panorama Bar.

One of the best clubs in the world. Run by a great team with a lot of love and detail. I’ve played both now and had a great time at both, but them being very different……..I think Berlin has a much more open mind to music than most and they know how to party hearty. Line ups are always interesting and varied and the staff are entertaining themselves……Love it love it love it! Always fun, which is what music should be at timez -- fun. Back there in September.

Any input on what's happening in this digital era?

Low vinyl sales, etc. Sorry, I’m an analog guy, so the digital era is frackin’ hard for me…. Way too much free music which seems to have no value. Gone are the days you bought something cause you loved it and played it over and over without worrying about fashion and trends. Anyone can put out music, but where’s the quality control?............. Isn’t a bit of history good? Also for the last years it’s been about self and not enough was put back in to bring through the youth, so it made sense that when the youth found another way to get music and change the system they would. I think it’s a great time now for music, if you don’t love what you do you ain’t gonna be in it.

What is the single most important event that changed your life?

Dying on an operating table at 44 and being brought back…….Life was never gonna be the same, little did I know!

What's the typical day in the life of Mr. G?

Up early, do some fitness, eat my porridge up into the studio make beatz, lunch at 12:30, then back in the studio til 6pm, cook dinner…………Oh, and drink Rum alllll day long.

What is the one thing that no one in the world knows about you?

If I told ya everyone would know……….I love a good ballad.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to bring Mr. G live to the States so you can hear me and my MPC and thanx for all the support you give.

Finally, do you have a chart for us?

Conforce  - Machine Conspiracy - Meanwhile
Mr. G - Summer Soul - Sino
Kindred Spirit Ensemble -  Shining Liberation (Tom Trago rmx) - Kindred Spirits
Jerome Sydenham - Black Ice - Apotek Records
Billy Love - Can't Keep Running Away - Sound Signature
Floating Points - Peoples Potential - Eglo
Nick Holder - Soul Size Love - NRK
V/A - Bush Wacker Bill - Soul For Yo Mind
Robert Hood - Omega - M Plant
The Realness - Shade - Cabin Fever
Black Jazz Consortium - The Om - BJC
Unknown - Contemplate - No Logo
Mr. G - Lights Out (G's Dub) - Phoenix G
Function - Burn/Disaffected - Sandwell District
V/A - Berhain 04 Pt 1 - Ost Gut
Echologist - Slow Burn (Sigha Reimagining) - Steadfast

Mr. G -
Still Here is out now! Order Still Here on

Interview with Moodmusic's Sasse

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 7, 2009 10:51am | Post a Comment

This week sees the release of Moodmusic’s Starstyling compilation, which is a fine selection of some of the best moments from their recent catalog. Label owner Sasse provides a large helping of fresh house and techno featuring tunes from many of the Moodmusic camp, such as Tigerskin's already classic “Holy Grail” along with the newest release from Dave DK and Holger Zilkse, “You Will Find Out,” which we can’t get enough of...Sasse took some time out to answer some questions for all things concerning Moodmusic and what’s in store next.

When and where were you born, and have you always been in Berlin?

Originally born and raised in Finland in May 1973, I´ve been in Germany for the last 10 years, in Berlin for 6 years now. As much as I Iove the city for its vibrant scene, it´s a very nice and chilled place to live.

What got you interested in house/techno music?

It must have been the first wave of acid house which hit the UK, and eventually also the rest of Europe in the end of the 80s which made the impact. I remember taping radio shows in late 80s with italo, proto house and early Chicago stuff and dreaming of going into clubs, as where I lived in a small industrial city in Finland there [were] only shitty pubs and discos. Eventually I started traveling to London and NYC to buy records and visit clubs, which led to promoting my own nights in the early 90s, first doing proper raves, then doing club nights and so on..

When and why did you choose to start to make your own music?

I started spinning house and techno in the early 90s, after a few years of more commercial dj jobs at shitty normal discos. Eventually we started throwing rave parties and one thing led to another so we started looking for off locations, smaller things, which also was more fitting with the deep house sound we were spinning back then. Anyways, I always wanted to understand how to make the music, but as there was no real producer scene, no mags and no internet back then to talk about, I had no clue how to produce house and techno. Some friends heard about the 909 and bought one for 300 bucks and another one bought an Yamaha FM synth and some analogs for next to nothing; it was totally non-fashionable to use analog synth back then -- it was all about workstations!

I built a dj-sampler from a DIY company and it was a big revelation to be able to sample shit, as Akais and E-Mu samplers were just too expensive. So we multitracked on normal cassette tape machines and somehow could overdub new samples on to the tape; can´t remember how it was working but it was great! This must have been around '90-'91 I think…

How would you describe the Moodmusic sound?

I think there´s always a certain deepness or emotion in the sound we create and bring out. Moodmusic stands to me for my personal taste in music, which of course has and will change over the years as a dj, but foremost as a music lover. So it´s everything under the sun, really, as long as we can call it house music !

The Starstyling mix has a whole slate of talented remixers and producers involved. Who are you going to be working with on future releases, and what are some of the sounds you’ve really been feeling these days?

The mix has a lot of our regular artists involved and we´re always looking for fresh new talent, so there´s no big master plan who will be featured on the next releases. I´ve just been in the studio with James Flavour and Phonogenic, and will work with Martin Eyerer in January on some tunes, so there will be more Sasse output in 2010 on Moodmusic. There´s a few interesting remixers which I´m really happy to feature on Mood, namely Tony Lionni will do a remix of a tune for the new James Flavour vs. Sasse single, and $Me is remixing my new Sasse single. Really excited about that!!

What's your opinion of what's going on (musically) in Berlin right now?

Berlin is mixed bag actually...Really happy about the deeper side of things, house rules the clubs here again.. But I have to say there´s great techno nights as well. I´m quite a lot on the road, and when I´m in Berlin I tend to hang around in the studio rather than going out, so I cannot only comment on the night I play out myself.

What's a typical day in the life of Sasse?

Wake up, coffee, studio, long dj lunch, studio, pick up my son, home, sleep

How do you like US clubs -- how do they compare to what's going on in EU?

From the technical side I really enjoy the sound systems in US clubs; there seems to be more detail and care put towards the perfect sound system, but I can only comment on clubs I´ve been to, which have been in bigger cities like NYC and Miami. European clubs, of course, also have nice sound systems, but that´s only in the top clubs like Berhain/Panorama Bar, Fabric, Robert Johnson and Watergate.

How important do you think it is for a DJ to be remixing and producing as opposed to just DJing?

I really have to say I do respect people who are djs only, but being only a dj today is almost impossible. I mean, I know a few peepz who´ve been djing only, but they´ve been 20+ years in the biz and have their respect. I myself would find it boring to dj only, as studio is my 2nd home and I need the studio as a creative space for my dj-sets as well.

Has the Moodmusic business plan had to change with the digital era -- will you continue to press vinyl, etc?

Yes, for sure. The days of vinyl sales are gone, but we keep doing small pressings for the fans out there. I´m pretty sure there will be a day when we cannot do vinyl anymore; it´ll be sad, but it´s just normal, I think. If the market does not want a Moodmusic release on vinyl I don´t give a toss about it...We do music for fans, and they will find it -- be it vinyl, CD or digital. I´m also pretty confident that the digital market will massively change in then next 5-10 years; we´ve just begun and are learning how to play the game. So yes, it´s exciting times and being an old fart aint´making it easier, but at least keeps you in form...

Anything else you'd like to say?

Not really, keep it deep and real -- and support your artists, label and djs!

Finally, do you have a chart or a top 10 for us?

Sasse - December 2009 Chart:

1. Nick Chacona - "Fear" (Beg To Differ Remix) - Moodmusic
2. Alland Byallo - "My City" (Alex Kid Remix) - Missive
3. Yosa - "Margaret" - Dirt Crew Records
4. House of House - "Rushin to Paradise" (DJ Harvey Streets Mix)
5. Black - "Reject My Love" - Black001
6. Siopsis - "Really Love Ya" - Get Physical
7. Chymera - "The Rumours of My Demise" - Komplex De Deep
8. Hakim Murphy -  "Jupiter Poop" (Original Mix) - Black Robots Having Sex
9. Steffen Nehrig - "Randomize Me" (Tigerskin's on hold rmx) - Inclusion
10. Felipe Valenzuela - "Recordo" - Room 9

Starstyling - Tracklisting:

1. Stel - "The Nail That Sticks Out" (King Roc remix)

2. Sasse
- "Friday Sessionz" (Daso remix)

3. Dave DK - "Cinema Paraiso" (Ada remix)

4. Kiki & Sasse - "Belvedere" (Till Von Sein remix)

5. Filippo Moscatello - "Pagliaccio"

6. Tigerskin - "Holy Grail"

7. Dirt Crew - "Deep Cover"

8. Penner & Muder - "Wonder"

9. Lil Tony - "Checkpoint Charlie"

10. Holger Zilske & Dave DK - "You Will Find Out" (feat Richard Davies)

11. Filippo Moscatello - "Kleinmond"

12. Sasse
- "Wrapper"

13. Nick Chacona - "Especial" (feat Anthony Mansfield)

Starstyling is now available on and in our stores.

New Electronic CD Releases 5/21/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 21, 2009 10:46am | Post a Comment
Dark music for Dark Warehouses...
Heinrichs & Hirtenfeliner

Dark Orbit CD (HIGHGRADE 062CD)

This is the debut full-length release on Highgrade by Berlin-based Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner. The duo asked the question: "Is there life in outer space?" and were answered easily by the sound-universe that they created on Dark Orbit. From the mesmerizing glitter of "Supernova," to the funky vocal cuts drifting through "Starry Fog," to the off-the-beaten-track explorations of "Hubble," this album maps out new galaxies and star systems of sound. "Quantum Jump" is a springboard to a parallel universe made out of pulsating bass and vocal sequences, echoing to us from the depths of space. The "Black Hole" in Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner's world works somehow backwards -- instead of eating energy, it spills all over -- making the impact of this track as powerful as a meteor storm. "Alpha Particle" sounds like a lunar probe on speed, while "My Gravitation" shows perfectly how to build massive club-hits from dreamy sequences. Despite all this journeying, Dark Orbit never gets lost: it remains a fresh club album that always shows a subtle grasp of humor, weird sounds, and small oddities -- the perfection of the added human touch. The CD version also includes small interludes which serve as anchoring, central themes, like map-coordinates on a pleasant flight.

In Cars We Rust

This is the debut full-length release by Berlin duo Exercise One (Marco Freivogel and Ingo Gansera). DJs know them as crafters of cracking tracks on wax. Clubbers around the world know them as an unstoppable live act. Now, prepare to meet another side of Exercise One. On In Cars We Rust, the dancefloor stormers are still here, and the record's flow is guided by the same spirit of improvisation that drives their live sets. But the clubbier material is rounded out by sounds we've never heard from Exercise One before: gorgeous, enveloping ambient tracks; soundtrack-ready synthesizer ballads; even a kind of retro-futurist electro-pop. In Cars We Rust is the studio product of their hands-on approach, as passages of spontaneous creation are edited, collaged and remixed into a strikingly varied, startlingly cohesive whole. "Circeo" comes on like dawn, with a rustle of percussion and muted horns giving way to slowly unfurling chords and gentle electro-acoustic chatter -- featuring Seth Josel on guitar, it's an ambient palate-cleanser to prep you for the deep-listening experience to follow. The beats begin on "1994," which eases out of the intro with shimmering keys and a shimmying beat, nearly dissolving into bubbly echoes of Steve Reich. "It Is Happening Again" features home-hewn breaks and a monster bass line courtesy of Jacopo Carreras. "Trapdoor" cools off with a taut, undulating spiral of metallic percussion and oscillators. "The Drunken Tinman" is low-slung funk, skipping dry drum machines across a sludge-pool of charred, muddied bass and dubby chords. After that, "Good Kid" rouses with cinematic strings and a drunken piano line. "No News Today" features Argenis Brito's distinctive vocals, and is the perfect fusion of electronic production with a classic pop sensibility. "Sleeper" boasts lush chords, diamond-tipped drums and spiraling oscillators. "What You Say" is a lean, mean percussive groover, and "Don't Slip" slows the tempo and loses itself in a field of freaky bleeps. The breathtaking finale "Just Not!" feels like an amalgam of all of Exercise One's deepest tendencies, as ropy bass lines, dissipating chords and intricate rhythms spin together into a hypnotic, pulsing whole.

Konrad Black Watergate
Watergate 03 CD
(WG 003CD)

This is the third volume in Watergate Records' series of mixes dedicated to the sounds of the Watergate Club in Berlin, mixed and curated by Konrad Black. Situated by the river Spree, and known for its first-rate line-ups of international talent and, of course, its famous wall-to-wall LED dance floor installation, the Watergate Club has quickly become one of the world's leading dance music clubs. The Watergate series delivers only the finest DJ mixes by some of club's most exciting residents and guests. With the focus not only on the music, but also on the packaging and design, this series will quickly become a truly sought-after collector's item. Konrad Black is a founding member of the Wagon Repair label and part of Richie Hawtin's M_nus family. For Watergate 03, he delivers a mix containing influential classic material as well as current gems, including a new, unreleased collaboration with Martin Buttrich and a forthcoming release by Mathew Jonson. His signature dark vision of techno shines throughout this utterly seamless mix and reflects his self-perception as a DJ. Over the years, Konrad's sound has found a home at Watergate Club and one can catch him playing there on a regular basis. Other artists include: Alex Cortex, D. Diggler, Raudive, Loco Dice, Onur Özer, Matthew Dear & Seth Troxler, Stephan G, Queen Atom, Cesare vs. Disorder, Louderbach, Thrill Cosby, Ben Klock, Discogs, and Paul Ritch.
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