Digging through October

Slovakian scene had its ups and downs when it comes to clubbing. With his scope of activities Andrej Kabal is one of the people responsible for those better days: he co-runs Junction and Counterpoint, Bratislava’s regular club nights focused on different parts of dance music spectrum; he ran a small cassette label called Evocative Objects; he’s been helping with the curation of the experimental club stage of Pohoda festival; organises a series of eclectic concerts called Deep Dive; gives talks and lectures and he is an editor of the music section of the Kapitál newspaper. Andrej also likes to visit our club and what’s more, he will be playing here for the first time this month, so we have asked him to dig through it. And so he did with vigor.

I live in Bratislava, but I have visited Ankali a decent amount of times. Actually almost every time when I am in Prague, I drop by. Immediately, I recall two specific moments. Once, when getting checked by the bouncers at the door, I got asked what do I have in my pocket. The question was put pretty strictly because I have completely forgotten I have something in there and bouncers started to frown. Out of my pocket, I  I pulled a tape which I had got from a friend of mine earlier that evening. Bouncers started to laugh and they were also amazed that tapes are still being used, and there is still someone foolish enough to release and collect them. After their laughs and pats on my back, I was let in. So bouncers were surprisingly good sports and put me into positive mood right away. And that is the best thing you can wish for when getting ready for some serious clubbing time. Second moment is connected with the backstage where I was drinking vodka with Helena Hauff, when I realized that drinking Belgian Trappist beers before was not a good idea. I almost puked over Helena, but fortunately, everything ended up ok. Had the great opportunity to listen to her set from comfort of the backstage and it was simply amazing. Yeah, call me a backstage rat. So to sum my introduction up, I had tons of fun in Ankali and was very happy to take this spot on its blog. Negative aspect of writing this piece is the terrible FOMO which is making me move to Prague, party hard every weekend and as a result die in the mean streets of Žižkov, completely penniless and with drug and drinking problem. Anyway, if you miss your favorite party in my picks, then I am deeply sorry. But now it’s time to get personal.

2–10–2019 Lunchmeat x Ankali: Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound

Lunchmeat is one of the key festivals which I constantly miss, because every time it’s happening, I am either stuck in Bratislava, busy promoting or just plain broke waiting for my next salary. I recall my last time was in 2016. I met Legowelt on stairs and as I was drunk I started to point my finger on him, telling my friend that yes, it’s him! Of course, after sobering up, I realized what a piece of embarrassment I am, but in the end I will remain fanboy no matter what I do and how old I am. Lunchmeat’s lineup always contains stuff which is really contemporary and does not afraid to be experimental. And don’t forget the stunning visual aspect and careful venue selection. Choosing to represent Georgian Intergalactic Research Institute for Sound and putting them to Ankali is a proof of that. Musically, both artists fit the vibe of the club. This evening will be obviously really deep and atmospheric adventure as Irakli and Rezo Glonti seem to be pretty chill. At least from the musical perspective. Hailing from Georgia, the country which had coolest anti-government uprising ever (I am trying to imagine Václav Havel in ’89 being supported by Jeff Mills), they represent deeper side of their electronic scene. What is interesting about releases from Georgian scene is the elegance, which is present in loads of releases across the spectrum. I am picking Pulse Added Two by Rezo Glonti as a perfect example. Immersive and well thought, like sipping Bloody Mary on Sunday afterparty. To execute this kind of music properly, you must possess certain touch and skills. Which is the case for both of them.

Also, great starter for the upcoming weekend. But don’t stop just there, entire scene of Georgia is interesting and offers great parties, releases etc. Definitely check RA article which helped to put Tbilisi into spotlight.

Resident Advisor: Tbilisi and the politics of raving

4–10–2019 Ankali x Herna: Kamikaze Space Programme, Antenes, DJ YAZI

Herna was massive. When this club existed in Brno, I was a regular there. When not DJing, I was occupying the backstage with rest of the crew and their guests, chatting about music, life and so on. I was blessed to meet number of great people there. Usually taking first morning train to Bratislava, I went through all phases of party life. Place was small, dark, sweaty and smoke machine was working on 100 percent practically all the time. I recall that at the end of some party nights, there were pools of water in speakers and mixers. Perfect setting for the likes of Reka, Ansome or Silent Servant who had their gigs there. No drunk jocks, just very nice and dedicated community. Ok ok, one friend of mine, high as fuck once wanted to do a b2b with me, he brought his flash drive as well. When I refused, he was really sad, but that doesn’t count as incident. Their no gender, no race, no nation, no cop policy is something that myself, aging punk, can completely relate to. Proper underground attitude and great lineups. It was sad when Herna had to shut down, by now there is no decent replacement in Brno. Therefore it is amazing to see such an amazing lineup here, definitely bringing the “old days” back. Ireen Amnes is my recent favorite. Her Faus Nova record wasreleased on Instruments of Discipline, label offering really wide sonic offer yet still firmly rooted in waters of industrial and power electronics. Definitely mandatory listen. Ireen’s track S.O.S. Is rightfully balanced combination of dreamy and darker sounds. Yeah, the point of IOD was always to offer something more original than mindless copycats of genres and bands from previous century.

Also nice to see Antenes, her production is ranging somewhere between musique concrete, drone, techno and electro as well. Her St. Antoine track is my favorite, fitting the L.I.E.S. catalogue like a glove.

This gathering promises some proper underground vibes. Kamikaze Space Program is recently among Regis’s favorite producers and I am certain that his set will be loud enough. Because of some neighbor complaints, his last year set in Bratislava had to be awfully silent. But I could swear that cops were nodding their heads a bit while spoiling the party with their presence. Works great as part of your weight loss program. I really hope that Herna will be resurrected one day. Shout out to Hnát, Plast and Kadaver. Their stuff, including Plast’s stunning drone podcast for Éter can be found below.

11–10–2019 Endless Illusion 8 Years: Tapan, Heap, Exhausted Modern, Raphael Kosmos

When me and my friends have slowly progressed from techno and acid to electro, ebm and italo on our Counterpoint/Junction parties, we had this fake impression of being so unique. Nobody played that kind of music in Bratislava, however Endless Illusion guys already crafted this party sound in Prague. They are one of the few collectives and labels from our region having respect and recognition globally, they are integral part of the underground club scene. It’s a bit pity that they no longer serve the show on legendary Intergalactic FM radio, but now they do their stuff on Radio Punctum. Exhausted Modern is one of the few local producers that I respect for his sound and production, definitely my kind of music, his sound owing much to old school electro, new beat, acid and so much more.

Their 8 year celebration looks more than promising. Tapan and their latest Ghana release is pretty dark tribal jungle groove, not hesitating to get really messy. What I always liked about some Endless Illusion sets was their bpm. It was slower, but still absolutely danceable. Check Belgian new beat scene of the 80’s as the good example, some of the classics from that era are included in their sets. And this is also case for Tapan. Striking snares moving you on dancefloor like freight train.

I never felt comfortable when going clubbing in Vienna, I just can’t adjust to local party vibe. Also, I still have this feeling of the iron curtain between Bratislava and Vienna, cities are close, but communication between promoters and scenes is really weak. Sorry Vienna, maybe it is me, not you. However, Heap and his Discuss Thrower label and parties in Vienna were always in the list of the best which city could offer. Also check his productions, his Berceuse Heroique release shows why he is going to be a part of this special celebration.

12–10–2019 Disco Církev: Marcello Giordani, Kabal, Jorgos, DJ Sen, St. Jakob

My passion for disco music and culture was developed in later stage of my life, as a young punk kid I was completely prejudiced towards this genre. And it was complete mistake, try to ask old Dutch punks switching to this genre as early as first half of the 90’s. Actually, some parts of disco are more punk than you could imagine. Disco as a genre is really rich and broad, so if you want some variety, go for it. This one will be more italo, as Marcello Giordani is the man behind Italo Deviance – blog and label. Marcello’s sound captures the essence of genre perfectly and lots of nu-disco and contemporary italo producers should take a note, this guy is a faithful disciple. My Italo Deviance favorite is Limited Edition Disco compilation which contains 4 super obscure tracks by long forgotten producers. Slightly creepy vibe of these lost gems could have been soundtrack to lost Lucio Fulmi’s or Dario Argento giallo movie. Something tells me that Marcello’s set will be definitely somewhere else.

I myself hope to smuggle some forgotten Slovak new wave into my set. If you can feel real love and joy, this party is an absolute no brainer. It was also great to host one of the editions in our place called Fuga, club in Bratislava, spreading the gospel even further. Unfortunately I wasn’t there, so definitely time to make things right for me. Please, wish me luck.

19–10–2019 XYZ x Ankali: Russel E.L. Butler, OGJ, Prozac, Oliver Torr, Prozac

For me this one is not that much about the headliner (who is great) but about the other guys. This one is dedicated to residents and locals. I have seen Prozac playing live recently and I was pleasantly surprised by his set. Actually, I am watching his career since very early beginnings as he was Herna’s regular and his recent blend of darkwave, electro and techno works pretty well.

Playing live set from your modular is extremely peculiar thing and this young blood has mastered it pretty well. It is nice to see more and more promising producers from our region, including OGJ. Faithful local Oliver Torr is pretty good with hardware as well, but now he has decided to DJ, why? Come on Oliver, play some of yours! Your Traumatorr project was one of the strongest moments at Pohoda festival. Judging from Psj’s latest set online (had no opportunity to experience his djing alive for ages), he is in his top shape and form. Brought to you by Radio Punctum again, you can find it below. I remember Filip from my Brno days and his sets were always like his personality. Cool..haha. It is always good to support your local scene and have good residents. This event isdefinitely a good example of that statement.

Still, Russell’s liveset at Erica Synths sounds dope enough to lift your lazy ass, get a cab/grab a bike and visit the club.

25–10–2019 Archiv Teknologi: Aurora Halal all night long

I always keep an eye on the New York scene, this city have had constant musical output since 50’s until today and I am huge fan of its sound. Yeah, if you have time machine, I want to be taken to Paradise Garage, Limelight, chill with Moondog on the corner of 5th avenue and then go to Velvet Underground concert, to name a few. Aurora Halal is a legend for me. Period. Her sound and sets were and still are massively influential to upcoming techno DJ’s and producers. Being part of an always evolving music and visual scene in Brooklyn, she made it to larger scale.

Seeing her at Unsound couple of years ago completely blew my mind. Every decent techno DJ should know her legendary Passageway 12 inch and I am pretty sure that most do. Bit mysterious, bit psychedelic, but still banging, that is her contribution to the world of club music. Something is telling me that it’s going to be one hell of a journey, listen to her tracks and you can easily notice her talent for storytelling and being cinematic. And dropping good solo for all night requires this ability a lot. Actually, I still play her track Death of Real in my sets. And it still works, timeless material.

Also, can’t forget Hazy G, one of my all time favorites.

I wonder if she’s gonna drop Energy Flash by Joey Beltram, track is rinsed as fuck, but sooo goood.

Artwork collaboration with Jíří Mocek.