“Taking you on a journey” may well be the DJ world’s biggest cliché.
So let’s replace it with another truism: A good DJ sets off one explosion after another. Not literally, in every case—not all music is made to jolt out of the speakers—but conceptually, sonically, referentially, that’s usually the idea. Anyone putting a pair of recordings back-to-back, or laying one over the other, is, by default, making a statement not just about musical compatibility but about musical possibility. The idea, and ideal, is for those pairings to ignite in ways they wouldn’t on their own.
A good DJ set tends to have at least a couple of those moments—and Objekt’s Fact Mix 300 (November 14, 2011) has a bunch.
Objekt is the alias of TJ Hertz, a British techno producer-DJ residing in Berlin—you know, just like every other techno producer from anywhere seems to live. He’s making his first-ever Minneapolis appearance tonight at Honey, and because of that I was leery of spotlighting this, one of his earliest web-available sets—indeed, I nearly went with his contribution to the Dekmantel Podcast series, number 116, from this April, just because it’s more recent. But even aside from its historical weight (DJ podcast series tend to bring out the big guns when they reach another hundredth episode), the Fact set remains musically authoritative in a way that’s rare anytime.
The individual selections are head turning unto themselves. Some of them belong to the selector: the “Objekt Dub Mix” of Sbtrkt’s “Wildlife” is a brisk, ahead-of-the-one whomp, a Speak and Spell-voiced “Objekt” giving it a rather cute stamp. The mix’s finale, “Without a Sound” by Detroit’s Kenny Larkin, doing business as Dark Comedy, brings things down with Larkin’s spoken vocal musing, “Imagine a world without music”—both corny and apt, given how endless warped the records surrounding it.
The hurtling double-time kick drums of DJ Boss and Radial’s “We Don’t Know Either” slide slyly into Underground Resistance’s “Atomic Witchdokta,” an easier-grooving but no less bustling track, a sharp segue that doubles as a case study of how an older track (“We Don’t Know Either” is from 2009) builds on the blueprint of an earlier one (the UR is from 1994). (Local dancers will also note the title of the EP that first featured “Atomic Witchdokta”: Dark Energy, also the name of the Kitty Cat Klub’s monthly goth-dance night.)
My favorite explosion here, though, comes early. The mix’s third track, AOKI Takamasa’s skittish, glitch-filled “Mnd-sng01,” is the sort of record that can sound too abstract for its own good on its own; here, though, it enhances the where-are-we? feel Objekt aims for throughout. The payoff comes when the DJ layers it with DHS’s “House of God,” an New York techno anthem from 1990 that’s as straightforward as AOKI Takamasa is abstruse. Separately they sound good; together they ignite.
With: TML, Andrew Broder, and Angelica Ottavia Iannitti
When: 9:30 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 16
Tickets: 21+; $10/$15; more info here
Each Thursday, Michaelangelo Matos will spotlight a different DJ set—often but not always new, sometimes tied to a local show but not necessarily—and discuss its place in the overall sphere of dance music and pop.