matrixxman / in real time

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with a moniker like matrixxman, it’s no surprise that charlie duff has time on his mind. a san francisco based DJ/producer with roots in arlington, virginia, duff has only been making music as matrixxman for a handful of years, sparked by an early listen to a juan atkins mix cd. although his musical history spans hip-hop and chicago house, his techno is hard-edged, restrained, impeccably produced with the gravitas of an artist who’s been in the game for decades. an infatuation with computers, AI, and technology has led duff to a kind of intrinsic interest in futurism — a techno DJ fundamental that, whether he likes it or not, permeates everything from his DJ sets to his productions.

do you believe in time travel?

i have mixed feelings on the subject. it’s something that i wouldn’t rule out of the realm of possibility for other highly advanced civilizations although i’m inclined to think we don’t realize said technology here on earth. or that if we do, maybe it’s only one-sided — like we can travel forward but not backward, otherwise we most likely would have undone things like the holocaust, slavery, or other events that we deeply regret as a species.

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berlin in symphony / jeff mills at the hackescher höfe kino

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how soon is now? just ask jeff mills. the so-called godfather of a legion of contemporary techno djs and producers, mills aptly brought the future to the present with the formation of underground resistance; a music collective he helmed alongside mad mike banks in 1989. if you want to know how it all started, that’s where you look. in fact, if you want to know what “it” is exactly, that’s who you ask. combining the technology of present with the knowledge of the past and a hope for the future, jeff mills’ version of techno is some of the most important, relevant, and — let’s just say it — magical, around.

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marco shuttle / the aesthetics of expression

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for marco shuttle, music is a work of art. the italian-born, london-based DJ, producer and label boss has always had an eye for aesthetics — a graduate of central saint martins with a background in visuals and fashion, his interest in beauty runs more than skin deep. “whenever you make a decision, whenever you create, it always has something to do with beauty,” he says, “besides if something sounds good, it’s about dealing with what you think is beautiful.” that much is clear; everything from eerie, his self-run label since 2012, to his productions and journey-like DJ sets speak to the foundation of his creative philosophy: aesthetics. such a loyalty to his vision is often what sets him apart from other djs; you might not always know what you’ll get with a marco shuttle set, but you know it’s going to be good.

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2015 in songs

“says” that you play when your mind is wandering because every note seems to travel, too. you listened to this record so many times you could have worn it out and when you finally heard it live you understood what it means to be blown away by music. sound. movement. everything. you spent months organising an interview with nils. the work was your chef d’oeuvre, the thing you put your everything into, and when you showed up at his flat the walls were so white. stacks of records. more pianos than you could count. you smoked cigarettes with him and drank coffee and talked about silver apples of the moon. he sat down to play and you literally held your breath. everyone was quiet and the silence lasted a year until he started to play and it felt like fireworks.

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sundaze / an afternoon with lekker collective

02_20there’s something to be said about sundays in berlin. unlike many other cities, there’s never a shortage of things to do on any given sunday in this city, and whether you’re brunching, burning the dancefloor at berghain, or shopping at mauerpark, there’s something strangely special about the way berliners take on what’s usually the week’s sleepiest day. certainly, then, there’s something to be said about lekker collective, a small PR agency that’s bringing a new warmth to your sunday schedule.

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