From the tram-filled hills of San Francisco to the tower blocks of Glasgow, there's a global community of beat chemists busily concocting a heady hip-hop brew of wonky bass-infected beats. But it's not a sound readily associated with the techno capital, Berlin, until now…
"People keep telling me my sound isn't German, which I take as a compliment," says Robot Koch, aka producer Robert Koch, whose debut solo album 'Death Star Droid' drops on his Robots Don't Sleep label on 7th December.
One third of band Jahcoozi, who have album three coming on Bpitch next year, 'Death Star Droid' is his thrilling vision of the point where dubstep, hip-hop and its myriad of influences meld in a kaleidoscopic collage of sounds, even taking in a cover of The Doors' 'People Are Strange', and marks the emergence of a new Berlin underground.
With a bohemian musical background, Koch started as a drummer in a punk band, before becoming interested in jazz. He progressed to DJing, "from listening to lots of different music and playing everything I liked, which is from John Coltrane to Slayer," before moving to Berlin in 2000, and taking up production.
With regular gigs, his DJ skills have also caught the ears of some high rollers, including Flying Lotus who requested a mix for his Brainfeeder podcast.
"He said, 'we have to feed the kids something different', so I made a jazz-inspired mix with no contemporary music."
Meanwhile, following a No.1 EP on the Juno dubstep charts, he continues to mash it up in Berlin.
"I'm involved in a party called Barefoot at WMF which focuses on cross-breed sounds. We had Mary Anne Hobbs play my album launch party. There are a lot of people making other music in Berlin, the perception just isn't there yet."
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