As a lifelong fan of electronic dance music I underwent various phases in terms of what sort of club sounds fascinate me most. I grew up listening to really intense 90s dance and trance music, partly even quite trashy, later I was fascinated by the mid-00s ‘nu rave’ phase with it’s really hard and partly brutal acid-driven electro that partly turned into the global EDM-movement (which I also liked, at least for a brief moment). I had a house music phase, a short minimal techno phase and so on. These changes might have to do with social circumstances and age and as I visit regular clubs less and less it’s probably a natural progress. In recent years I found myself in state where I’m interested in extending and breaking genre limitations while simultaneously longing for a more human element within dance music compared to the reduced techno people are celebrating at Berghain. Obscure and funky rarities, pop grooves, trippy and warm beats, often a bit slower – that what makes my heart jump and my feet moving. And Hamburg-based label Mireia Records knows how to deliver that sound.
For the past decade label heads Natalie, Falk and Max aka RSS Disco built a small but solid crew around their moniker. They don’t release that many records as they picked a ‘quality over quantity’ ethos form themselves and Mireia Records. But these releases usually never disappoint and neither do the surprising and joyful DJ sets of RSS Disco which usually provide the listener and those who attend them live with great satisfaction. So, as mentioned before I’m currently really hooked up on that slightly slower and pop-infected idea of house music (every now and then I mix a few tunes under my Burnout Sumner alias as well). To share my enthusiasm I thought asking the Mireia for a guestmix on NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION would be a good idea and I’m happy they agreed and also answered a few questions. No matter if you are already a fan or just a beginner – the following talk and mix will hopefully fill your heart with love and excitement.
Hi folks! I find it utterly difficult to label the sort of music you are putting out. Cosmic Disco? Soulful House? Psychedelic Techno? Balearic whatever? How would you describe that musical red line that runs through Mireia?
That’s the beauty of music, isn’t it? All what counts in the end: your very personal feelings and I guess that’s what’s our ‘red line’. We appreciate a particular vibe. This vibe is reflected in our DJing and in what we select for Mireia Records. To weave different styles to one hypnotic dance experience, from swaying to jumping – and happily ignoring conventions. Specific names or genres don’t matter, although the ones you listed are a pretty good approximation of our sound.
What was the first track that made you fall in love with that specific electronic sound?
There have been countless songs and albums that have had and/or still have an effect on us and on the music we like to pick be it for our DJ Sets, our Mireia Releases or the mixes we record. To name THE first one is especially difficult because we are three different persons with diverse musical backgrounds. Again, it’s more about an atmosphere then a specific track. Our idea was to involve music from all over the place and try to give it context. Other DJs have tried the same, of course. A mix we really liked when we first played music together in 2008 was the RA Podcast by Mark E. It showcases a tight grasp of building up and keeping tension, it has a certain melancholy, basslines basslines basslines, also great percussions, and no fear of vocals. Those things you will also find on Mireia Releases – each with its own balance point. Some years before that it was Superpitcher with his ‘Today’ mix to celebrate a similar sensibility towards balance of the elements we just mentioned.
RSS Disco and the rest of the gang represent a specific more melodic approach to electronic dance music – do you see yourself as a counter movement to other slicker or way too hard interpretations of dance music?
Is there such a thing a ‘too hard’ in dance music? Rough techno can be mind blowing, it’s just not our playground at the moment. All three of us started as techno and house DJs, but with the label and the RSS Disco project created a place to explore other paths in dance music. So feels more like an expansion rather than a counter movement. However it’s true – we do have a thing for melodies.
Relying on the human version of the algorithm
How did you pick the songs for this mix you compiled for us?
The aim was to record a hypnotic yet fun mix. We grabbed some older favs from the shelves and stirred it well with newer tracks. Added some own productions plus Mireia Records releases to taste. Sounds like it’s a bit all over the place? Well you’re right – it is!
What specific tracks should we pay attention to?
There’s a few interesting tidbits worth mentioning: Two years ago we were offered to remix a song by the Indian Singer Rupa, who recorded a (crazy good) album called Disco Jazz in 1982. Just recently she suddenly popped up on instagram and left really nice comments about our remix. Thank you Rupa! The original album is currently being be re-released by Numero Group. On March 1st we released a new record by Johannes Klingebiel, who’s dear to our hearts. Of course we love for everyone to hear it so we included Time Is Now. After Johannes’ records we’ll release an EP by Julian Stetter of VIMES. On this mix you can hear a work-in-progress version of Rumors, remixed by LA’s SONNS. A dream combination for us since we’ve followed both artists for quite a while. We’ve included Mikael Rickfors Dancing On The Edge Of Danger in this mix as a reference since we played Rubber Room’s version (Cockroach) on the very first RSS Disco Mix in 2009.
I assume that digging for specific samples, old records and forgotten jams plays a big role. Where do you tend to look for those?
Our DJ gigs take us to various cities, we like to take a stroll to record stores and through flea markets. But of course also while aimlessly browsing through dusty URLs, YouTube and Discogs we also stumble over tunes that are catching our attention. Sometimes people send us music of which they think we just have to listen to it. That can be great, the human version of the Spotify algorithm. It’s often surprisingly accurate. (laughs)
What can we await from Mireia Records in 2019?
The topseller will be the sexy autograph card from Johannes Klingebiel … not kidding! It comes with every vinyl copy of It’s Ok To Cry. House music bliss on one side, deep synth jams on the other. Followed up by lovely two meter man Julian Stetter, who hasn’t agreed on a star poster yet, but we are working on it. Matt Karmil and SONNS came up with their very own cool interpretations of Julian’s tracks, so we are excited to put that record out in a few weeks. Our balearic project We’ll Sea will see a fourth edition when summer is coming. It’s also time for another RSS Disco release, but nothing is scheduled yet because we tour a lot and soon enough festival season will drag us out of the studio and into the sunlight.
Tracklist – RSS Disco Guestmix
01. Modular Project – 1981 (Kasper Bjørke Bonus Beat Version)
02. Pleasure Plan – Suzuki Samurai
03. Escape From New York – Slow Beat (Dance Mix)
04. Jona Lewie – You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties
05. Johannes Klingebiel – Time is now
06. Mikael Rickfors – Dancing on the edge of danger
07. Dionigi – Ballet Dancer (Space Mix)
08. Rupa – Aaj Shanibar (RSS Disco Vision)
09. Partner Music – Patu
10. Dom IV – Nothing Happened
11. Kalidasa – The Waiting Game (Craig Bratley Remix)
12. Julian Stetter – Rumors (Sonns Remix)
13. Pin Up Club – Dilapidated (RSS Disco Remix)
More on the label right here.