This is the recording of Dunkeltier’s aka SneakerDJ session at the pre-party for the STRCamp festival in Vilnius, Lithuania in July 2014.
Dunkeltier is going deep into obscure things (edits that will come on Macadam Mambo Edits Rec. and Rat Life Rec.), then turning into sweet uptempo synth tunes.
This mix was recorded at a party in Vilnius. Can you tell us what did you play that night and how was the party?
It was the inofficial 2-day-pre-party for the amazing Lithuanian STRCamp festival happening in the small Surf bar in the city centre. On STRC only nice people – no cowards, a weird wave and world music underground line-up of live-acts and bands from all Europe, in between the hills and lakes of juicy green Lithuania. So the 5th member of the Village People Roland Baader played that night in the Surf bar plus the Bordello A Parigi affiliates De Dupe and Mario Moretti. Before they took off with Hi-NRG-Italo I played soon-to-be-released edits, no-disco, up-tempo minimal synth and sentimental wave. There were hardly more crowd than the staff but the girls really, really digged the music and the surviving 7-8 people couldn’t find an end smiling and dancing. Do I have to add that Lithuanians can deal heaps of beer?
Your Sneaker alias is quite known from the Uncanny Valley collective. Who is Dunkertier?
Dunkeltier is a German name on purpose. Unlike house music, German wave has a strong identity itself until today. Under this moniker – which means dark animal – I subsume edits, remixes, sets and productions of wave music.
‘You Think You Think’ from Uncanny Valley 004
You are the man of many aliases. Do they represent your different musical directions or your personality?
Exactly, Ninu. I’ve never chosen it to be like that, but alter egos are fun and let people shape an image of what to expect that night or on that record. I actually don’t know a single musician who doesn’t only have the records, but also produces house, italo, techno, wave, acid and synth pop on such a wide scale. This could mean I do not focus and everything is bland and pale – or it just keeps any approach fresh and open. It’s on you to judge my music!
The 80s bounds everything together and there are no-go’s in my studio like dub step, drum’n’bass or suchlike. I’d rather do a bossa album or an industrial live act.
The name Sneaker I often decorate with the DJ letters. DJing my way for the party of the crowd that’s what Sneaker is about.
Furthermore there is a playful Italo/wave project with my girlfriend Sane. The projects name remains a secret at this moment. She plays keys and sings. I drum and know everything better. We spent most of our studio time arguing.
Do you have some favorite djs/producers that influenced you?
I adopted my name from DJ Sneak when I was looking for a tag as a graffiti writer in 1995 (he was a writer himself).
DJ Hell’s first one hundred Gigiolo 12“s with all their references were teaching me the aesthetics of how to feel dance music as a historical phenomenon.
And in Dresden you can’t escape Gigolos dirty criminal Traxx as he still spends his summers here since the mid 90’s.
On a personal leveI my best friend and neighbour Jacob Korn was a daily mentor in the last two years concerning the theory and practice of gear and production.
You are a member of Uncanny Valley collective and in tight connections with Credit00 and Jacob Korn. How did you connect?
The dudes from Uncanny Valley introduced us – and this networking was an honourable initial intention of them founding the Dresden focussed label. After I came back from the 1-year studies of studio engineering in Indonesia I moved next door to Jacob’s studio. Credit is simply on the same track understanding dance music. Therefore we had the idea of another sublabel (besides the techno-branch shtum) for Uncanny Valley.
‘Heteronomous’ from Jacob Korn’s album ‘You & Me’ release in 2012 on Uncanny Valley.
You are currently very active in editing old and obscure tracks. Are you using a lot of edits in your mixes?
You are well informed(?). It’s „oh, so true“ that my DJ-sets are full of edits and own productions. As I have to try these goodies out I play more own stuff and edits than ready-made vinyl. Finally mixing the edits in my sets are my motivation and their measure. Sometimes I do overdubs with drums or my own voice. And especially when they are sourced from tape rips from internet blogs they also need an elabourate restoration:
Editions of 15 tapes of German Wave from 1985, youtube videos from african cassettes, Indian lo-fi mp3s. De-noising, EQing, dynamics, stereo-widening – you know the game. The dirtier the source the more you marvel at the funky results.
Sneaker Dunkeltier remix for Twilight Ritual released on the Spanish label Frigio.
What are you currently working on? What is Rat Life and how are you involved in it?
MZKBX from Lyon is about to release a 5-tracker 12“ by Dunkeltier on Macadam Mambo Edits.
The honey-sweet synth pop with Sane should see a release.
And in the studio I pile stacks of beat tracks on acid lines plus quickly shouted vocals. I explore the presets of vintage drum machines by their sampled rex-files (Do your homework!). Roland is fine, but all but inspiring. Solton, Ace Tone, ELKA, Electro Harmonix, Kawai have presets and samples for tons of unheard sounds and driving tracks. Polyrhythms are also a thing people hate me for. 😛
And on Rat Life – these are the tools for the working DJ! – As Credit put it. I appreciate the extra platform for rough cuts offside from the ironed Uncanny Valley sound.
‘Disco Train’ edit on the first Rat Life release.
Some future plans for the label?
Credit 00 will do a 909ish EP and I threw a few odd tracks and exotic edits into the game for consideration. But the label is open to demos and in fact there are certain plans to release a highlight from our dropbox.
Are you a vinyl freak?
I am not. I sold maybe 2 thirds of my records ten years ago. I simply lack the money. Today I buy the records of friends or the ones I really appreciate. On the other hand I am a turntable fetishist. I switch to digital with timecode vinyl and strangely CD-players are an obstacle to me until today. I am sure companies like Pioneer will re-invent the turntable market like others did with the analog gear even for the young generation. Until today I can’t believe the decision to stop producing the 1210.
What do you know about Romania? Do you know some Romanian djs?
I’m a heavy traveler but still spared the Balcan States. I was chatting online with The Model from time to time and know the names of Mihai Popoviciu, Masstyk and Toygun. Romania is on the map. And on the list as well …
There is anything else you want to add or to transmit to our followers?
Let’s be easy! Let’s be curious to learn! Let’s smile! Let’s work together!
‘Misty Mirror’ from Uncanny Valley 016
1. The Prophets – Back To The Burner
2. Phantom (DUNKELTIER’S CUT IT) MACADAM MAMBO EDITS
3. Algerian Rai (DUNKELTIER 7er REMIX) RAT LIFE
4. Shades of May – Distant Memories
5. Evil Ednas Horror Toilet – Track 3
6. Intense Molecular Activity – Blurp
7. Asmodaeus – Lost WALHALLA
8. Tiger Club – His Only Mistake
9. Moderne – Mercenarire Solitaire MINIMAL WAVE
10. Decades By Night – Life Spiral
11. Psychic Youth – The Future Now
12. Sudeten Creche – Are Kisses Out Of Fashion
13. Jo Lemaire & Flouze – Je Suis Venir Te Dire Que Je M’En Vais
14. Ciaran Harte – Love Is Strange
15. Kaa Antilope – Rise Up Helicopter, Like A Bird