Since the 90’s, Alessio Armeni, aka Freddy K, has been tirelessly campaigning from the dancefloor, defending vinyl, championing young talents and reinforcing the techno scene from the shadows. Many know him as a marathon DJ who takes dancers on epic journeys lasting for several hours, selecting tracks of the highest quality. Others will be following his hugely exciting KEY Vinyl record label which seeks to spotlight the very best techno from producers who will undoubtedly stay relevant for many more years to come. In fact, everyone should know about Virus, the show that put Freddy K at the forefront of the techno community.
The Italian selector grew up listening to the likes of Mad radio shows and The Sound of Rome, providing inspiration to launch his very own radio show called Virus in 1993. Running daily from 8pm till midnight, this show provided the perfect stepping stone into the techno scene, which was then followed up by Parties booking agency and record shop. Just a year on and Freddy K was signed to the legendary ACV, who released his debut EP Control and his first album in 1995, inspired by his two passions, Chicago acid and rock.
The early millennial years were spent working with Sandro Nasonte, eventually setting up the hugely influential Elettronica Romana label, which released music from the likes of Donato Dozzy and Giorgio Giigli. With a move to Berlin, Freddy K’s reputation simply flourished further, becoming a huge fan-favourite at Homopatik with his marathon 10-16 hour sets playing strictly vinyl. Renowned for his mercurial mixes, it is no surprise to see Freddy K where he is today. A stalwart of techno, he is a talented, friendly and funny artist who is an absolute joy to watch and listen. Recently, Freddy K has been curating his very own Krzrzrz radio show which is a must listen for any techno fan.
1. Detroit’s Filthiest – Original Not Crispy (Late Night Soiree)
“Another level of electro, perfect for the grey moments we are living…a thought to the past, present and future”.
One of the most diligent underground DJs from the ranks of Detroit’s finest whose bodacious style has bubbled up from the underground to become one of the most in-demand house selectors, Detroit’s Filthiest f.k.a DJ Nasty, is one of ghettotech’s pioneers, releasing on DJ Godfather’s Databass Records in the late 90’s. Having found a whole new generation of fans when Disclosure sampled his 2002 hit Pass Out on their single Bang That, the prolific producer is currently releasing on the likes of MOVELTRAXX, Defected Records and his very own imprint Motor City Electro Company. Recent releases have offered a full panorama of electro, from paranoid Drexciyan sounds all the way to sweaty ghettotech. Detroit’s Filthiest’s latest EP in his ongoing series is for Morocco’s Casa Voyager, which takes a deep journey into the house abyss and is described as being part of a cultural exchange between the label and Detroit. The record itself is full of turbo-charged atmosphere, containing 808 snares, sultry piano chords and vintage jungle rhythms to create a fabulous listen.
A1. Hands Behind Your Back
B1. Hot Cheetos
[Released: 15.10.20 on Casa Voyager]
2. ORBE – Psy Visionary (Konstantin)
“A mental drill…I like this artist so much!”
Fernando Sanz has been dedicating himself to the craft of beats and breaks since he was just fourteen years old in the sun baked southern Spanish port city of Algeciras. Under the imprint Orbe Records, Sanz has cultivated his very own thriving techno community as an artist and label head, and has been lashing the block rocking techno of Sanz’s comrades Eduardo De La Calle and Steve Stoll, but mostly of his own prolific moniker, Orbe. As a DJ and producer, Orbe keeps the mood surreal and dreamy whilst deploying understated drum machine patterns to hammer the platonic solids that keep his beloved community in tact. His interest in conceptual sounds led Sanz to hone his skills on techno rhythms on different hardware such as Buchla Lem3 or Andromeda enabling him to edit various stamps. For his most recent release, ORBE has dropped a sixteen-track stunner under the name of Psy Visionary. The latest collection is a full solo effort and comes as an expansive 4LP vinyl box exploring a wide universum of techno which crosses over the atmospheric and spaced out genres. A visionary record.
[Released: 02.12.20 on ORBE]
3. D’Arcangelo – Tweaking Paper (Verture)
Italian duo of Fabrizio and Marco D’Arcangelo have had an array of incarnations during their musical lifetime, releasing under monikers such as Centuria City, Automia DIvision and Monomorph to name but a few. Mixing non-electro, minimal techno and other flavours of underground dance music, the German-based twins are lovers of new wave and dark synth pop which led them to meeting the like minded Max Durante and formed Automatic Sound Unlimited. With their appreciation of noisy synths, D’Arcangelo fit perfectly with the label’s idea of a Braindance movement and the dislocated dance music that defined it. The pair’s talents have landed them on a variety of successful labels such as Hot Trax, Suction Records, Further Electronic and most recently Anological Force. Returning with an impressive five-track EP called Tweaking Paper, D’Arcangelo have compiled a variety of crisp electronic sounds to create a record full of mood and changing tempos. A true exploration into the Italian duo’s progressive persona.
A2. Hexo Four
B1. Atomik 2
[Released: 29.10.20 on Analogical Force]
4. Eric Fetcher – Krell lab pt.II (Rs02)
“This is class!! Groovy and bleepy…when the repetitiveness becomes magic close your eyes and get lost!”
Eric Fetcher is a true lover of the purest form of techno. The French artist possesses some of the most outstanding turntable skills and has a solid background as a music composer which are the perfect ingredients for becoming one of the most respected artists of the new underground techno scene. Born in 1982, Fetcher has been loyal to the industry since debuting in the late 90’s after being inspired by legendary figures such as Jeff Mills, James Ruskin and Steve Stoll. Thus, it is no surprise that his sound is 100% analog techno which is rough, minimal and hypnotic. Producing mainly with hardware synthesizers and modular gears, Fetcher has delivered some of the best cutting edge techno releases on highly regarded labels like Granulart, Newrhythmics, ATT Series and, of course, KEY. It was just over a month ago when Fetcher released one of his most recent gems on Freddy K’s infamous vinyl-only label, KEY. Identified as Krell lab pt.II, this particular record is the second part of the double EP and takes the listener on a full journey into a deep interpretation of techno with a mix of past, present and future. A must have.
A2. No Heaven
[Released: 16.10.20 on KEY]
5. David Lohlein – Keen Eyes (Julie)
“Techno for everyone at its best…sexy, groovy and repetitive. Definitely David is very talented!”
Exploring the intersections of music, visual art and social responsibility, David Lohlein is one of the most exciting, up and coming DJs within Stuttgart’s electronic music scene. Born in the small German city of Albstadt-Ebingen, Lohlein immersed himself within music during his early years as rhythm, sound and beats remained as continuous companions throughout his youth. His trademark and expertly crafted ‘snake sound’ is a distinctive streak of techno that is always coated with sultry and sexy grooves. It’s impossible not to be pulled deep into the abyss of his dazzling and unpredictable dj-sets. With his compulsive curiosity for the arcane and technical skills that leave your jaw swinging, he’s ready to sink you into a hedonistic world of pounding rhythms and wicked melodies. For his latest release, Lohlein has joined forced with Freddy K’s vinyl-only imprint KEY, showcasing Keen Eyes which contains a whole host of groove ridden techno gems. Out this month, it is not one to miss.
[Released: 03.12.20 on KEY]
Thanks to Freddy K.