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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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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fueling the zeitgeist / pop-kultur berlin in review

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pop-kultur festival was nothing if not true to its name. taking place at the infamous berghain and its surrounding venues, pop-kultur was a rotating cast of the leading figures in contemporary electronica; a stack on stack of your standard music festival events. all packed into a mere three days of evening and nighttime gigs, the festival gave you exactly what you expected — almost to a fault. here’s why.

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music monday / kiasmos

it has been my sincere pleasure to get to know the music of nordic duo kiasmos over the past couple months. made up of neoclassical composer olafur arnolds and synth tech producer janus rasmussen, the project wanders somewhere between each artist’s respective genre. a stormy hybrid of minimal, contemplative techno, and melancholic contemporary classical. stunning, to say the least.

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music monday / zola jesus

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raised on a forest in merrill, wisconsin, nika roza danilova had an early introduction to music, begging her parents to work with a vocal coach at only 7 or 8 years old. based on her small town roots, you might not expect her sound to be so industrial, but as zola jesus, her performance, personal, and musical style is as modern-goth-urban as they come.

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