Roman Flügel, Octave One and Heidi Lawden
Friday, July 7 2017 @ Union (Los Angeles)
Friday, July 7th
Dialogue and Decibel present
Playhouse / Klang Elektronik / Dial – Frankfurt
OCTAVE ONE (Live)
430 West – Detroit
with special guest
10PM – 4AM / 21+
Tickets available at http://bit.ly/
Union – Disco
4067 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
Featuring Funktion-One Sound
ABOUT ROMAN FLUGEL
It all started with one of these Chicago Trax compilations on DM/STREETSOUNDS. As a reaction to his thirsting for more of these crazed beats from overseas and with a view to his tight budget, the greatest hits of these expensive imported 12” singles were soon released in the form of a compendium.
This opened Pandora’s box, for very young Roman Flügel, too. Innocently given to him by his elder brother as a present (“He probably had no idea what he was about to unleash and just wanted to give me some new music”), the dazzle of the unrefined and feverish dance music, furnished with just a few drum machines and inexpensive synthesizers, turned the whole world upside down for the cultivated music pupil from Darmstadt. After several evenings at Sven Väth’s renowned Omen club, few kilometres further up north, and his mind was made up. Memories of the atmosphere at the legendary Warp or Underground Resistance label nights has put a smile on Flügel’s delicate face ever since – a man who would also make a fine figure as a literature lecturer, poet or thinker. “LFO’s bass, once they had set up their massive range of equipment, was unbelievable,” he says laughing.
It didn’t take long before the well-trained ear tried out more than just classical melodies. Little by little, he collected a vast array of equipment, bringing forth his first sound experiments and enough courage to give a demo tape to indie fan (that’s what music magazines like Zillo used to call people like that back then) Jörn Elling Wuttke. The latter was a well-known face in Darmstadt’s music scene and often enthused about new electronic music. In him he had found the right partner and Wuttke could hardly believe his spellbound ears.
DJs und Delirium record sellers Ata and Heiko MSO from Frankfurt felt the same. At first they thought someone was making fun of them. It sounded too authentic and unique. The music Flügel and Wuttke had presented to their label Ongaku and Klang Elektronik as Acid Jesus or, rather, Alter Ego, couldn’t possibly come from the little neighbouring town Darmstadt. In Frankfurt, that kind of sound made people think of Detroit. The rest is history and forged an almost holy alliance. Speaking of holy: a humid summer’s day, a crate of beer and a studio in a garage sufficed to found a new label by the name of Playhouse for Holy Garage and to create that certain “surprise” which still excites house clubs today. Comrades-in-arms such as Isolée, Don Disco alias Losoul and Ricardo Villalobos made the label the number one address. So they went on, history was written and the nineties flew by in a jiffy. His degree course in music was in the way: “It seemed obsolete somehow, just to be analyzing church sonatas all day when there were so many interesting things going on around me. When, on top of that, the only semester on modern music was cancelled that year, I decided to leave the university.”Luckily for us all, actually. The electronic intellectual’s productivity is virtually unparalleled and Roman Flügel, the producer, DJ and label co-owner of Ongaku/Klang/Playhouse has meanwhile become a gentle giant in the German electro scene. With his own personal style and the privilege of being independent from the usual constraints of the music industry. A free spirit instead of a sheep. His solo project as Soylent Green (see the latest “La Forca Del Destino” compendium) is just as much of a must as his Alter Ego project with Wuttke, rigorously affirming techno down to the very last detail. He and Wuttke also count as techno Teuton Sven Väth’s favourite producers, who booked the team to produce a series of his own music. Roman’s work as Eight Miles High and Ro 70 show his quieter side, while the remixes (e.g. for Daft Punk, The Human League, Primal Scream, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue) and tracks under his own name (just think of the Arcade rave of “Geht’s Noch”) are light dancefloor affirmations.
Roman also champions the cause of this in his job as an entertainer. Tried and tested by the stadium and pop hit “Rocker”, Flügel and Wuttke can be proud of being able to set any auditorium in the world on fire with their live set. DJ Roman Flügel can say the same of himself. Be it his sets at Offenbach’s Robert-Johnson, Amnesia on Ibiza or Berlin’s Tollhaus Berghain/Panorama Bar: instead of disappearing in trivial and meaningless elevator clicks, he prefers to make his way through 20 years of “rave”. Contemporary music that includes bleeping house or quirky techno meets futuristic Italo-disco and electronica devoid of all provenance. There was a time when you’d call that kind of sound acid house, released cheaper by the dozen on compilations. It all turns full circle again.
ABOUT OCTAVE ONE
Octave One has been essential to DJ playlists for over two decades. The prolific band of five brothers has produced classic dance floor anthems that continue to resonate as fresh, groundbreaking tracks. In 2015, Octave One will release their monumental seventh full-length album Burn it Down on 430 West Records.
Octave One is the brainchild of core members Lenny and Lawrence Burden. The Burden brothers burst onto the Detroit techno scene in 1990, producing Octave One’s debut “I Believe,” featured on the compilation Techno 2: The Next Generation. The collective also includes frequent contributions from siblings Lynell, Lance and Lorne Burden. Their 2000 hit single “Blackwater” has sold over one million records worldwide. Little Louie Vega, Danny Teneglia, Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin are among the DJs that continue to regularly weave “Black Water” into their sets. The group has also earned critical acclaim for countless records including “Empower,” “Nicolette” and “The X-files.”
For their newest chapter, Octave One pushes the pillars of funk and soul forward on Burn It Down. They blend the intimacy of the studio production process with the immediacy of the live performance. “We did it by slamming a DJ set with a live recording studio,” says Lawrence.
The Burdens mined the energy and experiences of sold-out gigs in dozens of cities across Europe, Japan, the UK, Australia and the U.S. to create Burn It Down. The track “Whatever She Wants” was composed on tour in Berlin for a strictly house set that Octave One played with the U.K. band Disclosure. “From the first time we played it we would always see some girl or girls raising there hands in the air getting lost in the music,” says Lenny. “We’d always say, we played it for her — whatever she wants. We kept in in the set and played it at the Boiler Room. We never intended to record or release the track, but we received many requests from fans after the Boiler Room for its release.”
They reunite with “Blackwater” vocalist Ann Saunderson on “Jazzo/Lose Myself,” a lush, elliptical anthem that took a life of its own when they entered the studio. Saunderson also appears on the cool, mysterious “Believer,” a song that harkens into new wave territory. Octave One demonstrates their range of production skill as the group switches gears for “Afterglow,” an electric approach to their form of bass-heavy 4/4 techno-soul. “We’re always inspired by the greats,” says Lawrence. “When we think of dance we think of what inspired our parents to dance the Barry Whites, Earth, Wind & Fires, Elton Johns and the like.”
The Burdens founded 430 West/Direct Beat Records in 1990, a record label that paved the way for the rise of the indies throughout the ’90s. Their extensive 430 West catalog ranges from Aux 88’s “My A.U.X. Mind” to Rolando’s “Jaguar,” which included an Octave One remix. Octave One has remixed tracks for Massive Attack, Steve Bug, Aril Brikha, Vince Watson, The Trampps, Rhythm is Rhythm and Inner City. The Burdens have also released music under the band name Random Noise Generation, including a 2006 full length DVD/CD project by Octave One featuring Random Noise Generation Off The Grid, released in cooperation with Tresor Records.
“We’re always exploring how we can push the boundaries of live performance into the mainstream dance culture and probe the channels where we intersect with other genres of music,” says Lawrence. “The fusion is starting to become more and more interesting to us.” -Tamara Warren
ABOUT HEIDI LAWDEN
Heidi Lawden is a rising star in the U.S, underground an L.A/California favorite and global Den Mother. She hosts her her weekly ‘Magic Roundabout’ show on dublab.com and makes music as Locussolus and Heidi Hoven. Whip sharp with a smart mouth but notoriously media shy.
Heidi Lawden (DJ Heidi) is an underground rising star in the U.S playing at clubs and underground warehouse parties such as Sound, Lot 613, Monarch, VSSL, Dig Deeper, Bears In Space and festivals including Sunset Campout, A Day In The Desert, and on Mayan Warrior at Burning Man. Heidi is tapped to open in her hometown for DJ’s such as BICEP, Solar, Omar S, Kim Ann Foxman, DJ Harvey, Doc Martin, Felix Da Housecat, Roy Davis Jnr, Suzanne Kraft, Danny Tenaglia to name a few. Known for playing tough set’s of Techno and House infused with obscure Disco that lure’s clubbers to the dance-floor, she is respected too by peers for her encyclopedic knowledge of music and the global scene.
Heidi knows the subtle the art of the warm-up but excels at long headlining sets into the early hours. A true crossover DJ at both gay and straight club nights she loves to elevate fellow female DJ’s via her respected weekly radio show ‘Magic Roundabout’ on L.A internet radio station dublab. Invited to record a mix for Feel My Bicep, Heidi’s is among the sites most popular to date.
She first cut her teeth in late 90’s London curating and DJing at clubs such as Gardening Club & Ministry Of Sound alongside luminaries of the day such as Terry Farley, Rocky and Diesel, Andrew Weatherall. She is a tastemaker for the ESP Institute label and manager by day. Notoriously media shy, Heidi prefers to let her DJing and music making do the talking, she is set to release more of the latter in 2016/17.
- The future of Decibel Festival
- End of year note and 2015 recap from Decibel Founder/Curator
- 2015 Decibel Festival Media Coverage
- Decibel Founder/Curator – Best Albums of 2015
- dB2015 : Thank You!
- Public Service Announcement: Decibel Is a Safe Space
- dB DJ Lounge at W Seattle
- RBMA Radio Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with Live Broadcast from Decibel