Kompakt Records House Hero DJ Shumi Talks U.S. Debut and Low Hanging Fruit Label

DJ SHUMI

Known for his sublime releases on the venerable Kompakt label, Cologne’s DJ Shumi has been championing soulful, deep house productions and blissful DJ sets since the ’90s. Before making his U.S. debut this week in New York City on a pair of shows presented by The Duchess Of Brooklyn English — Bossa Nova on November 7 with Ital and Nooka Jones and Kinfolk Studios on Movember 8 with Sexy Lazer (Reykjavik and Copenhagen — we talked to the German house hero about playing the Big Apple for the first time, the launch of his new label, Low Hanging Fruit, and National Geographic EP.

Tell us a bit about your U.S. jaunt. What are your experiences like playing in NYC and America?
DJ Shumi: This is the first time I will play in the U.S. so I am really excited. It’s always a great challenge to play for new people with different musical culture backgrounds.

You’ve launched your own label, Low Hanging Fruit. What led you to start this endeavor?
I started the label with a good friend from Cologne and another friend from Chicago. It’s a dance music Label with a little twist. The influence comes from Cologne Krautrock, Chicago house, and Detroit techno. We just felt that it was a gap on the the market for this kind of music label. And our distributer, Kompakt, was very helpful.

Will the label focus on a particular genre/sound?
Fresh and new dance music from arround the world.

Any new releases in the works?
I will release some tracks under the name Truffle Shuffle together with my good friend and great DJ, Marc Lansley. The tracks will be released next year on Low Hanging Fruit.

What else are you up to this year?
I will have my third anniversary with my resident party Risky in Cologne at end of the year. I had guests like Simian Mobile Disco, Michael Mayer, Axel Boman, Trentemöller, etc. I am also DJing around in Europe quite a lot and, of course, I have to take care of the label [smiles].

Album Review: Ital / ‘Dream On’ (Planet Mu)

★★★★☆

Ital seems in much more of a hurry than when Hive Mind condensed ambient dance for a generation always on the move into something you could power down to in your lunch break. Again working to a compact schedule (and again making you wonder why he doesn’t go all out on the album format, compounded by the too-short-for-anything “Housecapella”), Daniel Martin-McCormick starts with busy house pinched by synth slingshots to enjoyably mess up your preparations. As it transpires, it’s only the tip of an iceberg that becomes more and more treacherous.

“Boi” rummages through footwork/dubstep backstreets, excitingly putting the frighteners into a Beyonce sample. Abrasions reach a high on the scalded Waterfalls mix of “Eat Shit,” trying to hold onto industrialism and continuing the image of Ital picking a mood like he’s poring over a menu of tapas, but drawing out each dish. Typically, what lasts three and a half minutes seems to put ears through 12 rounds.

Now it’s a campaign to scorn concepts of cleanliness and continuity. The testing, stone-faced deep techno grind of “Enrique” jangles its keys to the gateway to hell, and “What a Mess” piles up chaotic, histrionic electronica. Even “Deep Cut,” a tracky house vibe with a household bassline pedigree, gets hit on by scything synth washes, as Martin-McCormick finds this release’s best accessory is lashing out.

File under: Ben UFO, Mi Ami, Mouse on Mars