Mostly every story that’s been written about Berlin-based mixmaster Jesse Siminski mentions three things: 1. He’s been releasing music under the Heartthrob alias for nearly a decade. 2. He’s released tracks on high-profile dance labels including BPitch, M-nus, Hot Creations and Mute. 3. He launched his own ISNISNT label in 2013. While we do live in an era where not everything you read is entirely accurate, we can confirm that all of the aforementioned is true.
But what seems to get underemphasized is how his work within house and techno has been nothing short of transformative. To Lil Louis’ point on “New Dance Beat” of “dance floor boredom and copy machines spitting out song after song,” Siminski saw the future and has been a consistent champion of bringing innovation to the dance floor.
Siminski kicked off 2018 in fine fashion by presenting Heartthrob’s magnificent Nairobi Candles: Burning Bright EP for Seth Troxler’s mighty Play It Say It label. On his three-track return to the label, he offers a trio of bewitching tracks peppered with sweat-inducing percussion, memorable melodies and savage synth work.
With the EP now available at all fine digital music emporiums, we checked in and asked him to fill us in on his five favorite tracks of the moment.
Mr. Tophat – “I Dont Want To See You” (Public Possession)
This is one of my favorite discoveries of late last year. The tune is a sick mix of rolling 808 drums, fabulously eerie pads and twisted Vincent Price tinged vocals that are glued together by warped acid. Its musical, funky and totally memorable. I admire producers who take risks and have a sense of humor, and this track succeeds with a lot of character.
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Savile – “Tease Breath Smell” (2MR)
Savile is turning out an impressive variety of music these days. From emotive downtempo electro to storming techno, his range shows just how much he loves playing and making dance music with heart. Part of the fascinating crop of newer producers and DJs from the midwest of America, this release on 2MR sees the Chicago native turning the velocity dial up. Laser focused, this tune is a banger but still manages to be uplifting and essentially funky. I think 2018 will deliver some exciting moments from this guy.
SW – “Reminder Part 3” (Sued)
This classy, stepping techno cut delivers really warm emotion that draws me in. The cords are a bit basic, but bounce sweetly with the breakbeat. It feels melancholic and elegant. In fact the whole EP works this way. It’s nice [to listen to] at home and in the club. The mysterious SW on the equally shadowy Sued label have been releasing delightful groove based tunes for years and recently uploaded the whole digital Sued catalog via Berlin’s Hardwax website very recently. Their 12’ releases tend to sell out, so this gesture is quite generous. Check it out!
Tessela – “Hackney Parrot 10 Ton Mix” (Polly Kicks)
A true breakbeat monster, Tessela beef up their Hackney Parrot tune with intensity and focus. I first heard Answer Code Request play it at Berghain a couple months ago after discovering it online. Hearing it out on that system translated so well. I love how in our face the vocal sample works with the breaks and old-school melody. It serves up that old-school British hardcore sound without losing itself to cheese.
Galcher Lustwerk – “Red Rose” (White Material)
Another cut with a strong bittersweet romantic vibe. “Red Rose” reminds me of DJ Godfather mixed with The Other Peoples Place. It’s perfectly stripped to the essentials and is hypnotic and somewhat poppy. It’s one of those sexy tunes that sticks in your mind, on replay days after. The romantics in the room will love it.