Alaaf and Kickin’ Mixtape 035 by Jannis Hannover: Frammenti di Suono

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Tracklist:

1. Pyrolator – Have a Good Ride
2. Ryo Kawasaki – Havaiian Caravan
3. Lino Capra Vaccina – Frammenti di Suono
4. Wally Badarou – Mambo
5. Sandii and the Sunsetz – An Antenna
6. Mkwaju Ensemble – Tira Rin
7. Mustapha Tettey Addy – Dum-Tititi, Dum Titi, Kpasch-Kpasch
8. Maya – Synthezoid Heartbreak
9. The League Unlimited Orchestra – Hard Times
10. Enzo Carella – Contatto
11. Pino D’Angio – Mannaggia Rock and Roll
12. Harmonious Thelonious – Argwohnische Muziek

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Alaaf and Kickin’ Mixtape 030 by Alex Tackenberg: Isolation Disorder

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Alaaf and Kickin’ No° 30 comes from one of Colognes hottest young guns: Alex Tackenberg aka Alex From Galax. We predict that this kid is going to stir up the local scene big time, starting here and now with a sophisticated, perfectly arranged New Wave and Italo-Disco Mixtape. We are super proud to present one of the most interesting and captivating Mixtapes of our young history: Isolation Disorder. Thank you, Alex!

What was your initial idea or roadmap for the mixtape?
My idea behind the mix is to find new music and create something different from it.
At the same time I recently discovered the sound of New Wave for myself, as well as an interest in fashion. Designers like Raf Simons or Gosha Rubchinsky show the roughness of youth subcultures as well as minimal aesthetics in their fashion and I sense the same with Wave Music. There is a lot of overlapping and this cultural overlapping inspired me to make this mixtape.

Can you tell us a little bit more about certain Tracks you selected?
To start with, I think it is hard to highlight particular tracks because the mixtape has to be seen as a whole but nevertheless, there are some songs that build the frame for it.
A really important track in this mixtape is the opener “Dr. John” from Chris & Cosey. They’re a duo from England which emerged from the band Throbbing Gristle and is in my opinion a big influence on Acid and Techno. Since I discovered the album Exotica some time ago, I listen to it over and over again and always carry it in my bag.

Another important song for me is “M’Pasi Ya M’Pamba” from Zazou, Bikaye and CY1. I don’t know that much about these three, but what I do know is that they are from Belgium and this record is the only one they did in this collaboration. They are moving in a very special kind of ‚Klangkosmos‘, somewhere between Afro Sounds, Tribal and Wave.

Two more tracks I want to highlight are “S.I.B” by Devo which I have only known for a short time but it introduced me to the world of Devo and one of my all time favorites: Spacer Woman by Charlie. It’s the perfect mix of Proto Techno, Italo Sounds and Wave. It always works when I play it.

Your taste of musical genres and moods is pretty diverse. How would you explain the phenomenon that on one hand you like to play rather happy music like Disco and such and on the other have a love for dark and kind of evil stuff like in your mixtape?
Disco was one of the first music genres that never started to bore me and I just had fun playing it, but I always bought discs from other genres as well. There is no border as long as the sound is new and different. I always enjoy finding new sounds and getting in touch with the music and the mating culture. It’s the same now with Wave Sounds and experimental electronic music from the 70s and 80s. It is interesting for me to discover this kind of music and it’s fun to try new things when I play my records.

Youve been Djing and collecting for quite some time, but just started to use discogs a couple of weeks ago. Before that, what was your strategy for finding records you wanted?
I did provide a Discogs account but I have never ordered anything. I do know that there are many opportunities like Discogs to order records but I have a lot more fun going to record shops or flea markets and looking through what they offer.
It’s just more interesting to find something by accident than buying a record with two clicks on the internet and getting it delivered to your home even though it’s a lot less time-consuming. There is so much to discover in record shops!
But I don’t have one single strategy for buying my records. Of course, the internet is really helpful on getting inspired but in record shops or on flea markets I can just forage for something special. If something looks interesting, I listen to it immediately. A cover with spaceships or the universe on it is always a good hint. It can be a lot more difficult with 80s records that just have random covers. But even there! If it has a good track on it… Buy it immediately!

Another affinity of yours is the culture of Italo-Disco! What is it about that music and the lifestyle of the 80s that speaks to you so much?
Italo Disco and I….. that is a big love story! When I was younger I wasn’t interested in italian music at all but some time ago my interest started to grow. I think a big part of it has to do with my family coming from the deepest south of Italy close to Naples. When you get there you can literally feel the vibe. Italo Disco opened up a new world for me.
Within lays not only this kind of Disco, but also the Lifestyle based on fashion and design from the 80s which is a really important part of it.
It just represents ‚La Dolce Vita‘ or as I like to call it ‚”Gelato Per Tutti!”

Thanks a lot!

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Alaaf and Kickin’ Sunday Groove II Recap

Although the weather wasn’t as perfect as usual, we can say that this Sunday Groove was kind of a special one for us!
After the second period of rain at around 2 we had been pretty devastated and were already imagining a total disaster. So this made it even more exciting when the weather started to clear up and more and more people found their way to the Schräge Wiese.
Our newest AK member Clifford took the chance, turned on the disco-heat and quickly managed to fill up the dancefloor before Matthias (Dynamodyse) totally melted our hearts with tons of emotional house-goodness that made us dance deep into the night!

We really want to thank all the helpers and everyone who came down and created such a lovely vibe! A Special thanks goes to Clifford and of course to Matthias who was so overwhelmed by everything that he called it one of his best ever Dj-experiences!!!

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Alaaf and Kickin’ Mixtape 028 by Mitch: 24 Hours From Culture

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It’s simply impossible to imagine Cologne’s nightlife without Mitch. As a host of Cologne Sessions, Night of the Jaguar, Discoteca and – occasionally – the Ki Label night, he is not only the mastermind behind some of the best parties in town, but can also call himself one of Colognes most versatile DJs. Being mostly known as a late-night DJ, ranging between Detroit-, Acid-House and Techno, Mitch is happy to share a different side of his musical taste in his Alaaf and Kickin’ Mixtape: Click and listen to meet a more mellow Disco-Michi in 80 minutes of pure goodness. Mitch will be playing at our Sunday Groove wrap-up party in September. What kind of treasures will he take out of his diverse record-box for the Schräge Wiese? Well, don’t be shy! Come down and find out!

What was you initial idea or roadmap for the mix?
Well, I have to go a little off topic here. I wanted to do something different than a usual club oriented techno/house mix that I am normally known for to play out. But my music collection is vast and goes into many different genres. It’s filled with music that I collected over the last 15 years and mostly got to know in the glory days of music blogs. These times unfolded great opportunities to discover new music and I started to collect a lot of obscure, old and rare stuff. It was the times when there were blogs from some random music lover from somewhere around the world who digitalized his whole vinyl collection he carefully selected over years. So much music that I would’ve never heard of was out there ready to be discovered. And most of the music that you could find is still not available anywhere in shops digitally and probably never will be.

I remember one page by a guy called Jörg from a german region called Wendland. That guy just digitalized his whole post punk collection and also a bunch of great Ash Ra Temple and other Krautrock stuff. There were also other blogs that only had early Synthesizer music from the 70s. Pure sex for someone who’s open to discover new music. I was obsessed. One blog that stood out was the now defunct „As restless as we are“ curated by two guys from Texas that mainly wrote about music from 1975 to 1985. Amazing selections and the whole aesthetic was just what I was looking for. It turned into my daily read and the mixtapes these guys made were a big inspiration to me.

Anyway, this is going too far off topic now. A lot of the music I put on this mix was from an Italo obsession I had back then. I felt the urge to slowly start buying all this music that I loved on Vinyl. It’s not an option for me to do a mix digitally since I only play vinyl. Also to do a DJ Mix on the computer with a sequencer is absolutely no option for me. I’m just too lazy for that and also for me it’s not a fucking dj mix if you don’t do it live in one take and from scratch, including mistakes. I selected the tracks for this mix 1hr before and recorded the mix at Jannis place in one take. Never listened to the records in this order before. It was tricky at some point because of the pitch tempo and some tracks change their tempos due to no quantization. I knew it would be challenging, but, fuck it. I had fun and I always do my mixes like that. 

 Can you tell us something about certain tracks you selected?
I tried to select a few tracks that would fit the Alaaf and Kickin’ spirit I got to experience at your open air party’s. So “Float On” was the perfect opener. Then it just went along. The track by RIS “Love N Music” I once played back in 2011 as an opener on the crowded mainfloor of Kater Holzig in Berlin and everybody went crazy. So I have a special connection to this “cross over hit” that seems to get everyone. Just like at the AAK Open Airs, where there are people from everywhere. Haha. Frank Duvals “Ogon” is just pure Synth Power. Amazing record! The track “Walk The Night” is one of my favorites since a long time as well. I don’t know any other discoish track that combines with any techno/house set better and even has guitars! The last track is an edit that always gives me goosebumps when I just think of it! I love all the tracks on there, but honestly, some of them I only listened to maybe 10 times before. I’m not a big fan of stuffing a DJ Mix with All-Time-Favs. I need to surprise myself even with something that’s made to last, like this DJ Mix.

Your mix has a certain cheesiness, which I think is very refreshing and bold. Is that something you are missing from Club DJs– the guts to be cheesy?
 No, not really. Nowadays it’s pretty normal for DJ’s to have the guts and put some variety in their sets. Anybody can do what they want and if they master it, that’s fine. It always depends where you play and what you want to achieve when playing. I like variety, but sometimes I stand in my own way because I don’t draw a clear line. Sometimes I think: If you’re playing a techno set, stick to fucking techno and don’t jump over to disco. If you’re playing a Chicago house set don’t jump over to techno. That’s something I often have to force myself to slowly go there and not just be like “Oh, I still want to play this and that and this” and in the end you’re just not taking people on a journey. You’re forcing them to follow your weird mind. Haha. As a DJ your supposed to please people and to surprise them at the same time! Not only challenge them.

But honestly, I hate monotone DJ-Sets that just stay on one level all the time. It can be any style, let it be Minimal, Tech House, House, Techno, Disco whatever. It’s a matter of your personal taste, so I’m not in the position to decide whats good and whats not, or gutsy. Anyway, yes, I love cheesiness! It’s just pure power of the 80s, fat vocals, synth lines that express pure emotions and sexiness in the air! What can be better than Vocals about love and passion reduced to be an element of the music? It doesn’t matter if the vocals make sense. They just have to sound fucking fresh!

Tell us something about your love for Italo-Disco.
Well, much of it is already said. I first got into Italo Disco back when “Electro Clash” was really big. Around the millennium. Actually it was electro first. The first Dopplereffekt Album “Gesamtkunstwerk” brought me to I-F’s “Fucking Consumer” and then of course the whole Electro Clash thing was big and with it came Italo. In between there was the ongoing Drexciya obsession which is still strong today (But that’s another subject). Haha. Italo is a long love and I immediately fell in love with the whole aesthetic and combination of timeless design and cheesiness: The covers of the records, the instruments used, all of it! Also the historical aspect, when some Italo records were way ahead of their time and sounded like Proto House or early Detroit electro, inspired me a lot. But recently that love lost it’s passion a little bit. I’m not obsessed anymore. We’ve been fucking too much around in the last years and I spent a lot of money on that bitch.

But the Italo Sound is always alive. I’m more into straight Techno lately but there seems to be a new wave of music coming out of Germany that caught my attention in the last years like Lena Willikens, Barnt or Helena Hauff. What they’re doing is a great combination of 80s style sounding industrial stuff with modern aesthetics. It sounds like it’s produced with the same machines as Italo was, so there’s also a connection. Just darker and dirtier. Love it! Haha

There have been a lot of rumors lately about that new Italo Disco DJ in town called Donny Dolce. You’ve heard about him too, or did you guys even meet?
I met Danny a few times. He’s a legend in the Italo Disco scene you know. He doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Straight up Playboy!

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