Review: Balance Presents Alex Niggemann

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Balance Music has been at the pinnacle of electronic dance music label, sporting a label packed with a critically acclaimed catalog of double-disc albums, single-mix spin-offs, podcasts, EPs, remixes and more. With artists like jozif, Guy J and Patrice Bäumel, Balance Presents manages to find that sweet spot between new artists and established players, juggling cutting-edge, experimental, and sometimes risky music with more proven, tried-and-true sounds.

It’s no surprise that German tastemaker Alex Niggemann was tapped for the latest Balance Presents project. His collected works feature on top labels like Poker Flat Recordings, Watergate Records and Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, and his own AEON imprint is known for breaking new talent. It’s with this colorful resume in mind that we turn to Niggemann’s newest mix.

Over the course of the single disc the sounds roll smoothly from chilled house to deep tech with a few surprises along the way. The mix opens with TVA’s “Radio Camaldoli Stereo” and the misty wash of pads break away under pumping drums as the sound convalesces and slowly worms its way into your earholes. Andrea Oliva’s “Empty Lips” tails nicely off the opener while simmering up some tech sauce marching to some snappy snare rolls like the like drummer boy poppin’ his way across the dance floor.

Trevino’s Heartbeat Remix of Dark Sky’s “Rainkist” pulls off some haunting vocals atop pulsing bass, heartbeat kicks and synth rises all finding each other in a melancholy maelstrom. Gui Boratto’s “Joker” (Dave DK Mix) scribbles up the action, bouncing the leads back and forth before finding a moment of peace on Ricardo Tobar’s “Garden” (Daniel Avery Remix). Here we slow down enough to enjoy the spaces between the sounds as things have room to breathe; it’s slick and somber with a reverb-dripping snare, playful off-tempo toms and kicks and frantic hats and percs. Niggemann’s own “Hurricane” featuring The Shadow Self shows up next in another vocal track with deep drums and a grumbling bassline. Trikk’s “Volta” gives the project a none-too-subtle swerve, riffing an almost-acid squelch lead as the mix turns in a more driving, less heady path. “SK4” from dubspeeka is a deep and drum-heavy, coconut-hooved groove followed by Baikal’s “Pelican Flight,” another trippy tech tich.

Phillipp Stoya’s “Rula” rips along with dark and driving beats. TVA’s second appearance is “Stolen Jacket” and features an intricate key run. Next up is the Denis Horvat Remix of Speaking Minds’ “Monongahela,” a brain-bender over big drums that swirl into the deep and melodic lushness of MUUI’s “rsrsrs.” The sprinkling of sounds on Aril Brikha & Sebastian Mullaert’s “Illuminate” softens the edge a bit for Valent’s uplifting “Crisis of Faith” before pushing into the moody and majestic “Opto” from Etapp Kyle. Niggemann is back with “Divergent,” another off-beat beast with swarming percussion and indigenous digital flutes leading melodic sweeps. The set closes strong with Antigone’s “Blue Note” and comes full-circle with Ø [Phase]’s “Astryx.”

The mix never wanders too far off the beaten path, so it’s no surprise it never stumbles. While Alex Niggeman’s Balance Presents won’t blow your mind, it’ll let you rest easy knowing the next generation of trend-setting electronic music artists has arrived and is more than capable of moving the culture forward.

Alex Niggemann Mixes Balance Compilation

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After releasing brilliant mixes from Patrice Bäumel and Darius Syrossian, Balance has tapped German tech-house master Alex Niggemann for the label’s next compilation out October 28. Known for emotive releases on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth and Steve Bug‘s Poker Flat Recordings as well as helming AEON Audio, the 19-track brandishes cuts by Gui Boratto, dubspeeka, Aril Brikha & Sebastian Mullaert and Philipp Stoya.

Obligatory press release gush from Niggemann: “I think this mix is easy to listen to while doing something else, but it’s also something to trip out on; bringing you on a journey when listening to it very precisely with closed eyes. In this moment you’ll also find out about the little details that you maybe don’t hear on the first listen, but which I hope make this mix special.” Get a taste of the mix and check the track listing below.

Tracklist

  1. TVA – Radio Camaldoli Stereo
  2. Andrea Oliva – Empty Lips
  3. Dark Sky – Rainkist (Trevino’s Heartbeat Remix)
  4. Gui Boratto – Joker (Dave DK Mix)
  5. Ricardo Tobar – Garden (Daniel Avery Remix)
  6. Alex Niggemann feat. The Shadow Self – Hurricane (Club Mix)
  7. Trikk – Volta
  8. Dubspeeka – SK4
  9. Baikal – Pelican’s flight
  10. Philipp Stoya – Rula
  11. TVA – Stolen Jacket
  12. Speaking Minds – Monongahela (Denis Horvat Remix)
  13. MUUI – Rsrsrs
  14. Aril Brikha & Sebastian Mullaert – Illuminate
  15. Valent – Crisis of Faith
  16. Etapp Kyle – Opto
  17. Alex Niggemann – Divergent
  18. Antigone – Blue Note
  19. Ø [Phase] – Astryx

Alex Niggemann Plots ‘Stellar’ EP & North American Tour

Alex-Niggeman AEON

After the negativity stirred up by Ten Walls’ shameful anti-gay comments, here’s some better news for dance music fans. Berlin-based DJ/producer/AEON Audio label boss Alex Niggemann will embark on a brief North American tour beginning June 11 at Treehouse in Miami. In addition to his stateside trek, which also includes appearances in Montreal and Vancouver, Niggemann will release his Stellar EP, a deep tech-house affair featuring two original productions, “Stellar” and “Asterism,” on June 22.

Rounding out the EP is a re-rub by fellow Berliner Locked Groove, who lends a dynamic reinterpretation of “Asterism.”

Here’s hoping Niggemann’s next outing to the states includes a date or two in the Big Apple!

Alex Niggemann North American Tour Dates

June 11 – Treehouse, Miami
June 12 – Espace Reunion, Montreal
June 13 – Fox Cabaret, Vancouver
June 14 – Sunday Social, Audio, San Francisco
June 17 – Clinic, Los Angeles
June 20 – Flash, Washington, D.C.

Premiere: Speaking Minds – “Yaoundé”

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With releases on My Favorite Robot, Compost, Musica Autonomica and Cityfox as well as remixes for DJ Sneak and Sea Creatures to their credit, emerging duo Speaking Minds are set to present their first EP for Alex Niggemann’s AEON label.

The Road To Paradise EP shows even more sides of Simone Sinatti and Marco Paladin’s musical personality, which leans in the direction of deep, vibey music living on the border between techno and house music.

To whet your appetite, here’s the world premiere of “Yaoundé” from the Northern Italy-based pair’s smoldering three-track offering.

Clocking in at over 7 minutes, the meditative instrumental is an understated, epic production delicately built on deep bass and synths and carefully crafted drums.

If you’re a sucker for beautiful electronic music, then you just found your new favorite producers.

Speaking Minds’ Road To Paradise EP is released April 27, 2015 on AEON.

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Premiere: Echonomist – “Dangerous” feat. Lazarus Man (Alex Niggemann Club Edit)

Echonomist

Coming off an outstanding 2014, a year in which he belted out some of the best tracks of his career, Aeon Audio boss Alex Niggemann continues to dominate dance floors in 2015 by presenting Greek DJ/producer Echonomist‘s Dangerous EP. A skilled beat master who has been deep in the mix since the ’90s, the three-tracker brilliantly blends together his fresh take on minimal techno and house.

In advance of the EP’s official release next week, we’re delighted to world premiere Alex Niggemann Club Edit of Echonomist’s “Dangerous” featuring South African spoken-word artist/vocalist Lazarus Man, who brings his captivating vocal flavor to the raw, deep affair.

Have a listen below and remember: this is dangerous music!

Echonomist’s Dangerous EP is released February 23, 2015 on AEON Audio.