Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery

Influential German producer Justus ‘Wonky’ Köhncke has just released his first album in five years on Kompakt Records, Justus Köhncke & The Wonderful Frequency Band. Before establishing himself as a solo artist through his releases on Kompakt, Köhncke was a member of Whirlpool Productions alongside Hans Nieswandt and Eric D. Clark, with the trio climbing to the top of the charts back in 1997 courtesy of their classic track ‘From Disco To Disco’ (sing the title to yourself and you’ll soon have the song resounding in your ears). Köhncke has since continued to exert a potent influence on the electronic music milieu with a melodic discography that traverses house, disco, pop and influences. “When I first started singing in German, [Kompakt Records founder] Wolfgang Voigt said, ‘You’re making Techno-Schlager,’” Köhncke recalled recently, elaborating, “Schlager is a kind of contemporary German folk music, which I don’t mind. But I don’t consider my music ‘Schlager’”. Many of Köhncke’s solo highlights were collated on last year’s retrospective Bass Ist Musik, including classic Kompakt cuts such as ‘Jet’ and ’2 After 909’, along with his remix of Jürgen Paape’s ‘So Weit Noch Nie’, which was memorably integrated by Erlend Øye on his lauded DJ Kicks compilation. Never afraid of retransforming classic songs through an electronic lens, Köhncke’s broad sonic palette is evinced by the presence of covers of John Cale and Neil Young in his discography, while more recently he has collaborated with Hot Chip vocalist Alexis Taylor under the moniker Fainting by Numbers. He’s also remixed the likes of Chelonis R. Jones, Ladytron, Andreas Dora and Hot Chip, accumulating a back catalogue of work that melds disco and house with a quirky pop sensibility. “I’m known more for uplifting disco stuff, like ‘Timecode’,” Köhncke has previously affirmed. In addition to catchy disco cuts such as ‘A New Direction’, Köhncke’s latest outing offers an engaging smorgasbord of sounds, from the plangent and evocative ‘Tell Me’ – the album’s excellent lead-off single, which features Köhncke’s old buddy Clark – to the more driving and chaotic ‘Nucleus Accumbens’ and the obligatory cover, ‘Now That I Found You’, which is in fact a cover of a cover, the inspiration stemming from Nashville country starlet Alison Krauss’ version of a track by soul legends The Foundations. Justus Köhncke & The Wonderful Frequency Band is highly recommended for longtime fans of the Kompakt oeuvre, or anyone seeking enterprising electronic music that transcends the nightclub realm.

Veteran London house and techno producer (‘tech house’ if you will) Colin McBean, AKA Mr G, crowns a triumvirate of internationals throwing down at The Imperial Hotel in Erskineville on Friday January 17, that also includes Manchester’s Trus’Me, the chap behind the Prime Numbers label, and New Zealand’s Chaos in the CBD. Aside from his output as Mr G, which was recently the subject of a compilation released on Radio Slave’s Rekids label – the imaginatively titled Retrospective – McBean has worked alongside Cisco Ferreira as The Advent and released under the monikers The Reaver, Mango Boy and Halcyon Daze. Renowned for creating tracks that are characterised by their deep and heavy bass, McBean’s use of analogue hardware should translate well to his live set. Put it this way; it’s apt that this party is being hosted by the Boom Boom promo crew. Early bird tickets are available for $20 – a veritable steal in anybody’s book considering the lineup on offer.

Genetics research student turned dance music producer Max Cooper will drop a new single ‘Adrift’ next month comprising remixes by Nils Frahm and Raffertie, with the release wetting our collective appetite for his debut album Human, which is slotted for a March release. A favourite among Sydneysiders ever since his performance at the Subsonic Music Festival in 2011, Cooper’s debut album is a long time coming, finally arriving after a surfeit of EPs like his breakout release Series and remixes of the likes of Dominik Eulberg, Agoria and Sasha. Traversing atmospheric and at times brooding soundscapes, Human will attract comparisons to Trentemøller upon its release, but should also establish Cooper as one of the foremost producers of immersive and ‘emotional’ dance music, someone who is as capable of sending a dancefloor into raptures as he is adept at eliciting more introspective responses through tracks that are more restrained and soundtrack-like.

Looking Deeper

SUNDAY DECEMBER 1

Smallpeople

Bondi SLSC

FRIDAY DECEMBER 13

Klartraum + Nadja Lind

The Burdekin

FRIDAY JANUARY 17

Mr G + Trus’Me

The Imperial Hotel

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22

Cassy

Agwa Yacht Club

Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through deep.impressions@yahoo.com.

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