It’s 3am in the morning at a packed out Salon des Amateurs, and Vladmir Ivkovic is playing b2b with Toulouse Low Trax. The Belgrade-born DJ has just dropped a section from Steve Reich’s defining generative composition ‘Music For 18 Musicians’ and, for a brief moment, the barman, dancing just to Ivkovic’s right wearing a T-shirt that reads “I hear voices and I don’t like what I hear” has been forced to stop serving drinks, as too many people are currently using his bar as a temporary dancefloor.
“Theoretically you can dance to anything,” Ivkovic explains as he sips his beer. “We were never a group of people who were house or techno residents. We were never interested in that purpose for music. I’ve experienced people dancing and crying to music like [Furniture’s ‘Why Are We In Love’] rather than listen to generic house and techno. That’s such a precious, wonderful thing. I was also never a person who had to go out for the sake of it. I don’t need to if it isn’t interesting for me.
“Everything became so clean and predictable in nightlife, and how to compose a club-night. It’s like painting by numbers. You can see it’s going to be a duck at the end when you connect dots one to 24, but people still do this”
This openness to experimentation that the venue allowed gave the core residents at Salon the chance to develop their own way of presenting a vast array of music in an entirely cohesive manner. “I don’t think we invented anything,” Willikens says. “If you listen to [Daniele] Baldelli mixes from the early ’80s, it’s already there, but what we did have is the perfect place for shaping our own language.
“At Salon, you don’t have epic breaks, strobelights or any external sensations that will put you in a certain frame where you’re easy to manipulate,” he continues. “That was never our intention. What we gave was an open invitation to spend the night with us. If you stay, you’re most welcome and if you go, you’re also welcome to do so, there’s probably somewhere just around the corner for you. But if you do stay, maybe something special will happen.” “People did complain that we are too depressing,” Willikens says.
“That’s what I hope is the legacy of Salon: to see this curiosity happening everywhere”
A city with a past of producing artists and spaces that exist on the bleeding edge of alternative music, from Kraftwerk, Neu!, DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses to seminal venues including Cheesefactory and Ratinger Hof, Salon des Amateurs has carved itself a vital part of that story over the last 14 years. Its sound has also served to inspire a new generation.
San Francisco club Mezzanine will close after losing its lease, with the final parties set for late-2019.
The independent venue has been a staple of the region's club scene since opening in 2003, hosting names ranging from LCD Soundsystem to Rusko, Paul Oakenfold to Lena Willikens and Floating Points.
Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny have announced a limited release of their improvised audiovisual drama score, Phantom Kino Ballett.
Set for release on September 19th via RVNG Intl, the audiovisual drama's soundtrack is the latest installment of the interdisciplinary Commend See series. It follows previous releases from Melanie Velarde, 7FO and RAMZi.
Festival Forte will see Helena Hauff, Surgeon and Donato Dozzy come to the castle of Montemor-o-Velho, a small town near the west coast of Portugal this August.
The fifth edition of the Portuguese rave runs from 30th August to 2nd September, with Lena Willikens, Umwelt and Shlomo also featuring. Check out the full Festival Forte line-up below.
Farr Festival took place in Hertforshire's Bygrave Woods last weekend (5th to 8th July). Check out 15 massive tracks from the event below.
One of the UK's greatest annual celebrations of underground house and techno, this year’s Farr saw standout sets from Hunee, Antal, Gerd Janson, Job Jobse, Lena Willikens, DJ Stingray, Debonair, Eclair Fifi and O'Flynn.
Dead or Alive
'You Spin Me'
'Bizarre Love Triangle'
'Beat of the Night'
'Do You (Vocal 12" Version)'
'Just a Little (Sunday Service mix)'
'Perth (Original Mix)'
'You Stopped Dying'
2 Bad Mice
'Ooh What a Life (Gerd Janson & Shan Edit)’
'The Groove That Won't Stop'
Machine Woman, Objekt and Lena Willikens are among the names to be added to Berlin Atonal's line-up for August.
These names join an already stacked line-up, which is being held at the Kraftwerk building, Berlin from 22nd to 26th August. More names added to the bill include Eris Drew, Object Blue and Sissel Wincent b2b Anastasia Kristensen.
Lena Willikens has always been an outsider. Born in the south-west German city of Stuttgart to a Hungarian architect mother and an artist father, formative childhood weekends spent in galleries and gothic churches coupled with a distinct, non-Swabian accent had her labelled "unusual" by her peers from an early age. "I was always the freak," she tells DJ Mag over Skype, half-laughing. "She's different!' She doesn't speak the same way that we speak!'"
This year our flagship publication, DJ Mag UK, remains at the forefront of dance music, with a focus on established and up-and-coming underground talent, we delve into weighty artist features and the latest club, technology and festival breaking news. Plus upfront music reviews across genres from techno to grime and everything in between.
Lena Willikens has been locked to curate the fifth instalment of Dekmantel’s ‘Selectors’ series. The compilation will be released on 16th April.
‘Selectors 005’ is largely comprised of previously unreleased material with new tunes courtesy of Borusiade, Parrish Smith and JASSS among the 12 cuts featured on the double-vinyl release.
"I benefit from my friends and colleagues who constantly send me their unreleased music," Willikens said of the release. "Now I want to give something back by sharing these tracks with everybody."