Sonar Kollektiv News

Sonar Kollektiv Kurier

issue 342-351  §  Page 1  §  Sonar Kollektiv estb. 1998  §  circulation 60,000  §  free

@ Wed Aug 20 23:23:56 2014

18 Monday, August 18th 2014
And what a revelation is the Cosmic Disco by Venezuelan producer Daniel Grau!
When Sonar Kollektiv is presenting musical diggings you can be assured some real gems show up. And what a revelation is the Cosmic Disco by Venezuelan producer Daniel Grau! An elusive monographic showcase of his very productive creative period between 1978 and 1982 will be released as a double CD on the Berlin quality imprint later this year.

Now, prior to the showcase compilation, a handful of selected remixes see the light of day – as a proof of how relevant Grau's music is still today. The opening of this firework is a real stunner on its own: One of the innovators of Nu Disco, Daniel Wang himself, is returning after a brief sabbatical! Together with also Berlin based Jules Etienne (one half of Egyptian Nipples) Danny “The Dancer” Wang takes two tracks of Daniel Grau's comprehensive back catalogue to task. “Robot Mágico” off the 1978 album “El Sonido Magico De Daniel Grau” does sound in its reinterpretation by the two disco aficionados as if it was recorded just yesterday. In the same smooth and sophisticated way comes the renovation of “Disco Fantasy” off the album of the same name from 1979. Still, the Non Disco Remix somehow reminds of Wang's groundbreaking releases on Environ and is funky and catchy to such an extend that DJs probably would love to play it three times in a row.

Well, the bar is set very high for the upcoming Daniel Grau remixes. But Sonar Kollektiv wouldn't be Sonar Kollektiv if you wouldn't already know exactly that there are more hot irons in the fire.

[1] Daniel Grau - Reworks Vol.1
[2] iTunes
[3] youtube

top of page 20 Friday, June 20th 2014
Summer hit by Pete Grace & Pete Josef!
In his home country Poland, Pete Grace is already a well-known and respected DJ and producer. Over the last few years his releases on the Warsaw labels Spekulla Records, Taste The Music and Time2fly Records have also been played over and over beyond the borders of Poland naturally. The next logical step for Grace now, is to make his club sound with its distinctive East European touch available for the public at large – via Sonar Kollektiv.

This way he also benefits from Pete Josef's astonishing voice. Within the last two years the Bristolian singer and one half of The White Lamp has come to be something like the in-house voice of Sonar Kollektiv (f.e. to be heard on Alex Barck's album “Reunion”, on the album “Lux” by Paskal & Urban Absolutes and the last EP by Marlow, “Backroom”). You can hear how well the two Petes match from the very first verse: „Finally I can see your face, finally I can see you the way you taste“, sings Josef and a bassline kicks in as snappy and smart as a Polish hunting dog. But what starts like a proper House tune crumbles again and again into sentimental breaks to gain at the same time vast sex and pop appeal. Worth watching is the accompanying video clip, telling the story of a beauty, which you can only find in Poland.

To unlock the full potential of the track also in the club world, Mao and Rockford Inc. have been kindly asked to deliver remixes. After flying high with the remix of Alex Barck's “Doubter” the twosome Mao keeps the altitude high to drop another bomb, giving every dancefloor in this world the shivers with this impelling, sombre remix. Also not for the first time working for Sonar Kollektiv is Oliver Marquardt under his Rockford Inc. moniker. Which goal his revision of “The Way You Taste” is aiming for says the name itself „Sunday Brunch On A Dancefloor Rework“. And actually, these are the exact occasions in Marquardt's home town Berlin that cause quite often the most euphoria.

Last but not least you get the bonus track “Mleko” with this digital release. A bestial rave monster which, under certain circumstances, could even become one of the biggest smash hits in this year's Ibiza season.

Releasedate: 27.06.2014


1. The Way You Taste feat. Pete Josef
2. The Way You Taste feat. Pete Josef (MAO Remix)
3. The Way You Taste feat. Pete Josef (Rockford Inc's Sunday Brunch On A Dancefloor Rework)
4. The Way You Taste feat. Pete Josef (Radio Version)
5. Mleko

[1] Official Video
[2] Soundcloud
[3] iTunes

top of page 20 Friday, June 20th 2014
Paskal & Urban Absolutes - LUX Remixes 2
Already with the first LUX remix package (SK272, released Feb, 5th) Paskal & Urban Absolutes together with Sonar Kollektiv assembled the cutting edge of the current German club culture:
From Manuel Tur, Trickski over Sevensoul & Bender and Henry L & Ingo Sänger to Sello and Oliver Marquardt some of the hottest players in the game between Munich and Berlin handed in works which are by now default luggage of any upright DJ.

But also the second LUX remix suitcase packs a punch and is – be assured – jam-packed with potential club monsters of all the nights to come. Starting off things is this time not a German but the English man Jimpster. Having founded the deephouse empire Freerange Records this DJ and producer of outstanding merit knows exactly how to trim club music in order to cause frenzy on almost every dancefloor on this planet. His remix of “Bits Of Me” is taking the route towards Berlin School techno sure enough and gains pace, especially on the dub version.

The second track, “Hold Your Head Up”, remixed no more than four times (on the digital release), features the soul-soothing voice of Sonar Kollektiv act Arnold Kasar, who is working on his new solo album(!). Taking these vocal parts to account in particular, the remix by Dortmund based Larse embeds them into a sophisticated arrangement. Which could be shelved somewhere between smooth deep house and the contemporary interpretation of Boogie, which Larse is firmly campaigning for for a while now.
Berlin based Max Heese aka Langeberg (Drumpoet Community, Dessous Recordings etc.) attends to the matter in a total different way by pumping up the song with adrenaline and a hearty dash of testosterone. In over eight minutes you can witness the genesis of a danceable power bar. The 23-years old Kai von Glasow from Berlin is responsible for the probably most neoteristic remix in this series. His interpretation sees the encounter of hypermodern dub aesthetics and bass music how it should sound in 2014.

Last but not least and – as well as the remix by Kai von Glasow – only available on the digital release you get the version by Nils Penner. Having released already on Freerange Records and Wazi Wazi Music, the DJ and producer living in Munich impresses with a ludicrous drum and percussion programming while getting almost cosmic with the interweaving synth pads.

Five, or six remixes (if you count the dub version by Jimpster), which show again strikingly what is and will be the score in the best clubs worldwide in the next few months.

Press Quotes:
“Very nice deep dance floor productions. Jimpster Remix is a sure shot!”
Nickodemus -

“Quality !!
Really Feeling, Jimpster and Kai Von Glasow on the Remixes”
Jullian Gomes -

“nils penner remix wow wow wow!”
Hannes Fischer -

“nice package!”
Andre Lodemann -

“love Jimpster remix”
Stee Downes -

“Jimpster Dub is my remix of choice.”
Vidis -

“Jimpster and Nils do it for me! This is a really, really good release!”
Trickski -

“I've been playing Jimpster's remix in all my sets since I got it. Big Up!”
Fred Everything -

[1] Paskal & Urban Absolutes - LUX Remixes 2
[2] Soundcloud
[3] iTunes

top of page 26 Monday, May 26th 2014
With "Inspiration", Jah Wobble returns to his roots, the love of his youth: reggae music. During a long and varied career spanning five decades, Jah Wobble has recorded more than thirty solo albums and contributed to innumerable projects. On the route from the post punk of Public Image Limited (PiL) via dubby dance music (epitomised by Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart) to world music and ambient in all its facets, the exceptionally gifted bass player hasn't left out any genre of note in modern music.

With "Inspiration", Jah Wobble returns to his roots, the love of his youth: reggae music. With the singer PJ Higgins, he found the perfect companion, voice and songwriter to accomplish this endeavour with flying colours – a match made in heaven. Higgins has collaborated with a host of artists over the years, lending her quirky and distinct anecdotes to many a project and recordings. Currently, she co-fronts the critically acclaimed Dub Colossus, who were winners of the Songlines Cross Cultural Collaboration 2013. The album was co-written and co-produced with Alex McGowan at his London-based Space Eko Recording Studio. His previous collaborations include Tricky, Martina Topley Bird, Wilko Johnson and many more...

The opener "My Heart's Burning" sparkles with the magic that arose during the recording sessions between Wobble, McGowan and Higgins and sets the groundwork for the next seven tracks to come. PJ Higgins’ vocals are piled layer upon layer and weave seamlessly in the deep, dubby basslines and the mellow guitar sounds. This masterfully delicate reluctance is present over the full length of the album. Now and then, for instance with “I Did Bad”, it hints at trip hop and you wouldn't be surprised if Tricky raised his head. However, the mastery of these musicians show off their craftsmanship on each and every song.

It's only with the third track, “King Of Illusion”, that you finally notice that the foundation of this album is actually reggae. The trumpet of Sean Corby and the offbeat keys by Wobble himself make slight references to the bygone sound of Studio One. On the other hand, you can clearly hear that the separate instruments have been mixed in a lavish way to create what we might label “spherical reggae”.

The core of this masterpiece is, not unsurprisingly, the title track “Inspiration”. Alex McGowan caps it all off with his distinctive guitar playing and the thriftily applied Fender Rhodes add extra virtuosity to the already complex arrangement. “Floating On High”, sings PJ Higgins, referring to the transcendence achieved when you align yourself to all your inspirations and consider yourself as an aggregate of them. And this album is, figuratively speaking, jam-packed with influences and ideas, as many as it needs to make your head spin.

Giddiness is nowhere in sight, though, thanks to Jah Wobble's extra-experienced bass playing that pieces all the individual songs together to one big beautiful picture. It's the common thread to everything that's going on and the grounding of the electrifying voice of PJ Higgins. On “What Have I Become”, there's no holding back anymore and she catches fire delivering a performance that goes right through you. The drums and percussions played by Marc Layton-Bennett add a heavy dose of voodoo to the mix. Even a spiritual (“Chaingang”) find its way on to this immaculate and, after repeated listening, truly impressive collection. The call & response by PJ Higgins is simply accompanied by hand claps and foot stomps and, of course, Jah Wobble's restrained bass.

All in all, this is a well-rounded package which reaches beyond classic reggae by turning out to be much more than that. If PJ Higgins, Jah Wobble and McGowan were new kids on the block, they'd be a team to keep an eye on. Keeping an ear to the ground doesn't hurt though.

Release: 30.05.2014

[1] Jah Wobble presents PJ Higgins - Inspiration
[2] iTunes

top of page 02 Friday, May 2nd 2014
Jah Wobble presents PJ Higgins
With this new release, Sonar Kollektiv is delighted to introduce an artist with a reputation that precedes him. The living legend that is Jah Wobble would actually need no further introduction. As a founding member of Public Image Limited (PiL), he has collaborated with Holger Czukay, Brian Eno, Francois Kevorkian, Björk, Peter Gabriel, Sinead O'Connor and Bill Laswell (to name but a few). Thanks to his experimental journeys into the nooks and crannies of dub and world music, the London born and raised John Wardle (his real name) has become one of the most influential musicians/producers of our time. There's probably no other bass player who constantly reinvents himself as recklessly and unabashedly as Wobble. Over the last seventeen years, he chiefly released material on his own label 30 Hertz Records. Therefore, it's an even bigger honour for Sonar Kollektiv to have him put out his latest work on their imprint.

On the upcoming album “Inspiration”, Wobble has teamed up with producer/engineer Alex McGowan (Tricky, Martina Topley Bird, Wilko Johnson) and the London-based singer PJ Higgins, who has collaborated with a host of artists over the years, lending her quirky and distinct anecdotes to many a project and recordings. Currently, she co-fronts the critically acclaimed Dub Colossus, who were winners of the Songlines Cross Cultural Collaboration 2013. The album was mostly recorded and mixed at McGowan’s Space Eko Studio in London.

As a pre-album 12inch, we get the track “Watch How You Walk” in three remixes that couldn't be more diverse. For instance, let's take Dennis Bovell. He is an undisputed maestro of UK reggae – having worked as a musician, producer, writer, and arranger on countless reggae, punk, pop and rock albums. His dub albums were an inspiration to the likes of Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor, as well as being the pioneer of Lover's Rock. His remix of “Watch How You Walk” catches that specific UK sound system vibe perfectly and leaves enough room for PJ Higgins' voice to shine to the fullest. For extra rubba dub effect he even adds some of his own ad-libs.

Next up is Anthony Parchment, aka DJ Kutz. This younger producer draws from bass and post-dubstep as well as basic electronic music forms such as house and techno. He sports a more dapper rework interpreting Jah Wobble's dub roots to work for the current flavour of the floors around the world. Kutz does this masterfully with enough natty twists to maintain his remix timeless like the original. Future bass music.

Not many artists have the privilege to even think about asking the godfather of dub, Lee “Scratch” Perry, to have a go at remixing their material. The former Upsetter, now at the age of 77, still manages to deliver some pure magic and an updated 2014 version of what he used to cook up in his infamous Black Ark studios in Kingston more than forty years ago. Be prepared for a sound design that is as futuristic as it can get and some added vamp rhymes by the master himself. Even without this remix, this release would be a highlight of 2014. But with Lee Perry's contribution, it's one of the essential 12inches of the year. Let's bag it in!

[1] Jah Wobble presents PJ Higgins - Watch How You Walk EP
[2] Lee Scratch Perry Remix

top of page 14 Friday, March 14th 2014
Thanks to 10.000 Facebook Fans!
Thanks to all our Facebook Fans: Free Download of Jazzanova - Now There Is We feat. Paul Randolph (Kuniyuki Remix - Sneak Preview). Limited time, only! Happy weekend everyone! xxx SK Crew

[1] Free Download

top of page 07 Friday, February 7th 2014
Jazzanova's new single NOW THERE IS WE
There we are : Two years have passed already again since the last single by Jazzanova,
"I Human".

"Never change a winning team" is the name of the formula for success with the current coup "Now There Is We". Once again Paul Randolph takes care of vocal business and wrote lyrics that are as uplifting as only he can provide. The outcome is a infectious hybrid of vocal house and soulful pop. When Randolph repeats the line "There was me, now there is we, I never go back..." at the climax of the song, you notice that he's not only celebrating a romantic triumph, but also the community spirit of a well-functioning band, well maybe even of a party in sheer harmony.

The trademark of the track though is the ultra deep bass line – along the sophisticated live drum programming – fitting every house-set perfectly. Therefore you get – that's how service orientated Sonar Kollektiv is – the instrumental version on the flipside of this illustrious 10inch of vinyl.

Double awesome!

[1] Now There Is We
[2] Jazzanova 2014 - Shirt
[3] Now There Is We (Shirt)

top of page 30 Thursday, January 30th 2014
Jazzanova T-Shirts
New T-Shirts arrived at our webhop including a 2014 Jazzanova Shirt and a Now There Is We Shirt.

[1] Now There Is We Shirt (red print)
[2] Now There Is We Shirt (blue print)
[3] Jazzanova 2014 Shirt

top of page 31 Tuesday, December 31st 2013
2013 - 2014 In its seventeen-year-old old history the past year was one of the most busiest and at the same time most exciting for Sonar Kollektiv so far.

With the two long-awaited LPs by Alex Barck ("Reunion") and Paskal & Urban Absolutes ("LUX") the Berlin imprint ventures new directions and is establishing itself once again as a quality brand for grown-up club music.

At the start of the year the debuts by Hot Coins ("The Damage Is Done") aka Danny Red Rack'em and Neve Naive ("The Inner Peace Of Cat And Bird") provided for the first spurt of euphoria –
two albums that couldn't be more diverse but reflect the spectrum within which Sonar Kollektiv looks to steadily present new talents and extraordinary projects.
At the 12inch front The White Lamp's "Make It Good" (including a remix by Phon.o) and the different remixes for FETSUM had probably the strongest impact on the dance floor.

Now would actually be the time to wind down and drink a toast to an eventful 2013. Not so at Sonar Kollektiv's. Here everybody's completely occupied with preparations to maintain the supremacy and shape the coming year even more spectacular than the one passing. There are enough arrows in the quiver for this endeavour.
For instance, various, exquisite remixes for Alex Barck and Paskal & Urban Absolutes are ready in the pipeline. And regarding compilations 2014 will be dashing to say the least. Worth mentioning are amongst others the third "Computer Incarnations For World Peace", a second "G.I. Disco", "Secret Love 7" and a special compilation dedicated to the host country of the upcoming Football World Cup in June featuring old and new music from Brazil "Paz E Futebol 2".

The most essential cornerstones for 2014 are the five artist albums that make you sit up and take notice already now. Stee Downes returns after five years with his second solo album, which he recorded exclusively at the new Jazzanova Recording Studio. The label's electronic jazz roots are revived by Arnold Kasar, aka Kasar, with his first full-length release on Sonar Kollektiv. Also releasing for the very first time on SK is none other than living bass legend Jah Wobble - by means of a collaboration with singer extraordinaire PJ Higgins. An outright newcomer is Berlin based ComixXx, who has only put out one 12inch on Konsequenz as a coproduction with Marlow so far. His debut, as well as the one by Marlow, aka Mario Weise, both will be released within the next twelve months and will definitely be pointing the way ahead for future sounds.

Close attention commands the follow-up work by FETSUM, who is by now – after an extensive US tour (including a gig at last year's Oscar's) – one of the top stars of the Sonar Kollektiv family. Which leads us to the absolute highlight of 2014: a new single by Jazzanova ("Now There Is We") has already been recorded and eagerly awaits to get off the starting blocks to find its way to the huge following of the label's founding core outfit. Therefore don't waste any more time and let's just toast to a fantastical 2014 in music and beyond. Happy new year!

P.S. and yes we know our website is outdated but we're working hard on a new for 2014!

Promise! ;)

top of page 21 Thursday, November 21st 2013
Paskal & Urban Absolutes - LUX
The next time you have some friends over for dinner and they’re asking: “Hey, what’s this great sound playing? Let’s go out and party!”, in many places the answer probably is: “That’s the new one by Paskal & Urban Absolutes”.

The blank faces of your circle of friends can be encountered best with: “It’s those two guys that were signed by Alex Barck for Sonar Kollektiv about two years ago. They are resident DJs at their label nights by now. And even though one of them, Alexander, lives in Berlin and the other one, Adrian lives in Dusseldorf both make music together. They fly and drive back and forth and that’s how this fabulous album came into being.” Then you may want to rewind the record to it’s beginning and play it from scratch.

The opening track “Take The Fall” indicates nicely which direction the journey with Paskal & Urban Absolutes will take: The sugar sweet, soothing voice of Pete Josef from Bristol (one half of The White Lamp) bids you welcome in a very charming way and the production implies lasciviously that we're standing on the stairway to clubland. Already with the next track “Here Again” we are in the middle of the eye of the storm. Paul Randolph (the official singer of theJazzanova live band) purifies a true dancefloor banger, that – and this is the big stunt – also works just as well at home.

For “White Walls” and “Flieg Los” Alexa Voss of Neve Naive wrote some super catchy lyrics and lends her vocals to the two poppiest songs of the whole album. An album which is rich in pop appeal but never concealing its strong affinity for dance music – as in house, techno and even boogie.

Take for instance “Hold Your Head Up” (featuring Kasar), a mysterious hybrid best described imagining the Pet Shop Boys doing deep house together with Hot Chip. Or “The Way”, where we are delighted by the tonsils of Desney Baileyand an arrangement so eager for the bassline that it evokes nothing but smiling faces and the urge to shake your body. Catchiness, positivism and euphoria (the name of one track by the way) – these are the catchphrases that come to mind when listening to this truly mesmerizing debut by one of the most promising new acts in a scene not to be defined by any genre.

When second-last track, “Melancholia”, kicks in it's like the end of the best holidays of your life. A perfect Balearic bliss with memories of sitting at the sea, listening to a distant guitar and waving goodbye to a setting golden sun. So long, my friends. This album will impress you and your future guests with awe for months to come. Rest assured.

LUX out november 22nd.

[1] LUX - Album Snippets

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