Machine funk from an under-the-radar favourite.
Lorenz Lindner is a German artist with a small-but-loyal fan base who love him for his unconventional club tracks. His sound is slippery and hard to define, lurking on the outskirts of house and techno. His peculiar talents have gradually gained attention in recent years, but Lindner has in fact been releasing records since the early 2000s. There's not much stylistic crossover between 2003's DJ Of Higher Quality and 2015's Skip Intro, but in that early record you can hear some of the machine-funk that would later define his work. It's an aesthetic Lindner shares with Kassem Mosse, his frequent collaborator. The pair have become a formidable duo, playing improvised live sets together and releasing standout records for The Trilogy Tapes, MM/KM and Have You Seen Them. "'MM KM End To Funk' seems to me one of the most original electronic tracks of recent years," said one Discogs user earlier this year, and the track is indeed a great MM/KM case study. There are sections that like a sloppy DJ mix, but the execution is somehow beguiling; amidst a blur of off-kilter loops, a louche bass note keeps some semblance of order, lumbering beneath a synth string that could have come from an Underground Resistance record. Lindner has been equally adventurous in his solo work, which has landed on respected labels like Hinge Finger, The Trilogy Tapes, Mikrodisko and Meakusma, a run of 12-inches that will be overlooked by the many and cherished by the few.
RA.534 shows that Lindner is also a skilled selector. The more esoteric edges of his productions are softened here, as he guides us through 59-minutes of opaque and enveloping club music.
What have you been up to recently?
Recording this mix, swimming, working on a new EP, having dinner with my friends, creating sculptures, listening to tapes in my car, playing some shows, reading. And unfortunately it took me a lot of time to recover from an accident and surgery I had last year.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It's old and new vinyl from my collection. I recorded the mix in my studio with my computer. Later I did some editing.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I wanted to combine several tracks to give an impression of my interests in club music and to present a few statements on dance music I particularly like. I like it funky and I like parts that might make you wanna jack your body but also minimal stuff. It took quite a while to get the selection done, since for me it's much easier to play this music for its main cause: to make people dance in a club and to built an atmosphere. When I DJ in a club I select very quickly, and ideally there's a vibration that makes me do what I do without thinking.
You present a show on Berlin Community Radio. What do you personally like about the radio format?
I'm doing the show since January 2014 and it's a great way to present music that I wouldn't play all night in the club and expect people to dance to it. I like the format because I can lead the listener through several tunes. It's a very generic show sometimes, with announcements and tracks played out. At first I didn't archive my shows to give it a better radio feel—if you missed the show it's gone. I still remember the challenge in my childhood to put the radio on for a certain show and to record it on tape. But since 2015 I put all the shows online. You can check out a list of shows (among other Mix Mup-related stuff) on my website.
You've worked quite a bit with The Trilogy Tapes over the past few years. Why does working with Will Bankhead make sense for you?
Will has great taste and he is a great guy. We obviously agree in our musical approach and there's a warm-hearted devotion in realising all projects. I mean, you just have to look at his website or his blog and then tell me why it wouldn't make sense for me to work with him. But I have to say, the same goes for other labels I'm lucky to get along with very well, like Mikrodisko, Ominira or Meakusma. There are good personal relationships behind all the collaborations and they often go beyond just releasing records.
What are you up to next?
Actually, since the accident last year things were moving very slowly and I couldn't do things 100% the way I was used to. I will play at Atonal in Berlin with Kassem Mosse as MM/KM. And also we play at the Meakusma festival later this year as Chilling The Do (another project I do with Kassem). There will be a new EP out on Mikrodisko this year, and further releases are planned for TTT and for Ominira. I'm also working on a new Molto album and a special Molto live appearance. Molto is an alias I use for improvised electronic and analogue ambient/free-jazz/library music excursions. And of course, I'm looking forward to playing some live and DJ gigs. There is my radio show, my sculptures—well, I guess I won't be bored in the next months anyway, but it all takes its time, because I don't like to rush things.