Wax Runoff: Cuthead [UV019]

The other day I was reorganizing my records and came across an old favorite that had been buried by my almost daily record buying obsession. I threw it on my turntable, pushed up the fader on my mixer and was quickly reminded how Cuthead became one of my favorite artists. Based in Dresden, his music adds depth and character to an already stacked Uncanny Valley records catalog. With styles ranging from hip-hop to breaks to house, his unique sample based approach to making music all but guarantees a “buy on sight” designation when I find his work in a record bin.
Cuthead, Everlasting sunday, sequencer

Everlasting Sunday

Originally pressed in 2013, Cuthead’s Everlasting Sunday is a full album pressed to a single vinyl but presented in two parts. Highlighting his mastery of musical styles, the A-side of this release consists of three chill, funky and otherwise melodic house jams, but flipping the record over gives you six dusty hip-hop instrumentals. My pick of this release is found early on in the A-side with “Maputo Jam.” A hi-hat led drum intro pairs with a bright sounding key loop before the track opens up into a sun-drenched daytime dance bomb. The indecipherable chopped vocal adds a sort of creepy element to the tune that meshes perfectly with the static crackle of his samples. My runner up, also on the A-side, is “Minerals” – another sample heavy cut; I haven’t quite heard chimes used like this before. Layered horn and string loops and abrupt key changes make this more of a ballad than chill out material. I can’t get enough of it.

Even if you’re not one for hip-hop, the six cuts on the B-side are a welcome flexing of Cuthead’s studio chops. Each is practically dripping with an old school MPC sound reminiscent of dons such as Dilla and Madlib. My favorite of these is probably the title track of this album, “Everlasting Sunday.” Coming in at just over 3 minutes, a super chunky bassline meshes with another slick vocal chop making this one, as it’s name suggests, perfect Sunday vibes.

A repress of this album in 2015 brought it’s price back down into an amateur collector’s range. While you can find this on Discogs, I recommend heading for Uncanny Valley’s Bandcamp page where you can find a handful of other Cuthead releases and nice tunes from their other artists.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway is a Chicago-based DJ who has been collecting wax and enveloping himself into the city’s house and techno scene.

Paula Temple’s ‘GEGEN’ advoates for the Berlin Refugee Movement

The ability to move is something that many may often take for granted. Movement toward change, peace or safety is not accessible to all. For some, the right to movement is being actively denied. In Germany the term gegen has become one of significance and holds an immeasurable amount of political weight.

Through Noise Manifesto in 2014 Paula Temple released her track titled “GEGEN.” The term is a very powerful and complex word in German. With two opposite meanings it translates to “against” but if applied to time it means “around.” It is a word of tension and a term that drives protest. A club night called GEGEN Berlin creatively took the term and uses it as a tool to lead a very specific mission. The collective strives to break the structural identity and to be “Against yourself. Around queer narratives.” The aim of the party according to their website “is playing with the solitude of the political meaning of gegen as a suicidal mechanism of the ‘self’ or the sublime crisis of enemy subtraction as the aggression of dialectics.”

Gegen is a term being used heavily by protesters, specifically now with the upheaval of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany.

“Sadly Europe has been closing its borders especially since introducing Frontex, making agreements, supplying arms that are causing unnecessary cruelty and murder to innocent people. As refugees fleeing for their lives it is shocking we are creating similar conditions and hateful rhetoric as what happened in 1930s pre-WWII for political gain,” says Paula Temple. “My personal hope is in our efforts to diminish the climate of hate with an overwhelming climate of empathy. This is not do-gooder blah blah, this is life and death.”

The O Platz Refugee Movement in Berlin is a group of refugees driven by self-organized protest and who are choosing not to accept the disfranchisement by the German state. The group set up a protest camp/home base at Oranienplatz in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Through a list of demands and by publicizing the cause through protest and media, they hope to achieve peace for refugees in their state.

The group demands mandatory residence. The Residenzplicht is a unique legal requirement that is affecting foreigners living in Germany; rather, they are applicants for refugee status or those given temporary stay of deportation. Under this requirement refugees are required to remain in a certain area which is a violation of human rights.

O Platz demands an abolishment of all “Lagers” which are forced refugee camps. According to the organization’s website these locations are “mostly completely isolated from society, under inhumane living conditions and constant surveillance by authorities and Lager-guards.”

This group demands an end to deportations and also The Dublin III, which is a European Union law that the O Platz group deems “nothing else than a network of human trafficking between European countries.”

“I have freedom of movement, I can go in and out of countries. Since moving to Berlin I have been lucky enough to travel the world, meeting many techno communities and queer communities who share a sense of care and responsibility for each other.” – PAULA TEMPLE

HYENAZ, an electronic band from Berlin that have evolved a cult following for their immersive live shows, were inspired by Paula Temple’s track. They released a special edit this month that lays angry punk vocals over the tune, yelling for a desire to move and evokes a jarring sense of solidarity. It is abrasive, but that naturally reflects the political situation at hand. This is an edit specifically made for the refugees and asylum seekers that are in need. HYENAZ says, “The urgency of its siren-like lead synth speaks to the militarized policing of national borders and the desperation that pushes people to risk everything in order to exercise the human right to move freely.”

According to a statement from HYENAZ, “So many assumptions are made about why people choose to move, who has the right to move, and who does not, who can simply travel on a whim and who must risk everything to leave their lands for others. Our sense of time and space is increasingly unbounded, as access to knowledge, art and the public sphere shared through electronically mediated communication. Yet so many still have to risk death or internment to cross national borders physically, with access to migration arbitrarily determined by pieces of paper distributed along class and racial lines.”

The track is available for purchase. For each purchase Paula Temple and HYENAZ will personally double the sale and the whole amount of funds will go to the Berlin O Platz Refugee Movement, who is tirelessly providing to help to refugees and fight for their rights. Funds will go toward the constant need of resources and money to pay lawyers fees, help to run education tours, or to provide food and activities for mental health relief.

Paula Temple says, “I’m not expecting anything big with this, simply being part of the dialogue for empathy, however your support here and now would be much appreciated. Please buy the edit, even if you never liked ‘GEGEN.'”

“GEGEN (I Want to Move! HYENAZ edit)” is out now on Reveller Records Berlin and can be purchased by following this link.


Welcome to the Sequencer

On a global level the house and techno scene has a long and powerful history. From Berlin to Detroit, from New York City to Chicago; born from the underground this realm has always been a beast of its own, and somehow is both inclusive and exclusive. Not all enter, but anyone is welcome if your mind is in the right place.

Simple in its foundation yet complex in the details, electronic music is a widely expansive genre with more subgenres that can be uttered in one breath. One of the best descriptions I have ever heard about house and techno is that it is a “rabbit hole.” Once you start falling down it, you can’t really get out. There is too much to explore. Too much to find. So much to love.

Comprised by a culture of people, each person is playing a role in the interconnection. It’s a living, breathing mass that evolves with time but maintains the quality of history that fuels it.

Additionally, each city has it’s own vibe, taste, feel, whatever you may call it. Sequencer is a place to converge – to learn, discuss and expand. To be notified of what is to come, or what has happened.

Here you may get to know the DJs and producers that you love with artist spotlights. Learn the history of it all. Check out our calendar of events. Find something new to add to your auditory palate. Join the experience.

Enter the Sequencer.

Questions? Please email alicia.sequencer@gmail.com

Sound Devices: Why JeffRepeater Loves His Native Instruments Maschine

JeffRepeater is a local DJ and electronic music producer.

“Native Instruments Maschine is a software and hardware hybrid which provides for a flexible creative audio environment. The MIDI and sampling capabilities allow me to keep innovating creatively. It is also usable in the studio with the Maschine software for producing and also to trigger cue points and FX in the Traktor DJ software to play live, or any other MIDI capabilities for that matter.” – JeffRepeater

Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why wZa Loves His Custom Roland MV-8800

wZa is hip-hop producer and member of the Buffalo-based hip-hop groups Radarada and Death Picnic. His solo debut full length, AzN CHiKz, comes out this winter.

“I love this piece of equipment because it is very versatile and has it’s own unique sound. Not a lot of other beatmakers I know use one as their main piece of gear, so it helps separate my sound from other producer’s sound. It’s also great because it works perfectly for live performance with the bands I play in — Radarada and Death Picnic. It’s great in the studio or my bedroom when I’m making my own beats. I also love it because it has my own design to it, so when I play it, I feel pretty cool.” – wZa

Editor’s note: Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why Andy Czuba Loves His Om-Bot Psychic Cell Doom Wave Fold Noise Synth

Andy Czuba is a noise artist and Sugar City volunteer. His projects include La Parka, a collaborative noise music project with Bobby Griffiths/VWLS, and Flesh Trade, his solo noise project.

“I discovered the Om-Bot Psychic Cells two years ago. They are the creations of Shane Vannest/Strangecraft, a sound artist, sculptor, and mask maker from Pittsburgh/now Las Vegas. Upon first seeing images and footage of the synths, I knew I had to own one. Two years later and I own six. They are part noise makers, part art, part puzzles. The Doom Wave Fold has proven to be my favorite one thus far. It has had the most use and I’m still discovering new sounds within it. I’ve used it in every one of my set ups since purchasing it. It works by employing multiple waveforms and oscillators which can be unleashed by connecting alligator clips to the exposed posts and then tweaking the knobs and waveform selectors. I’ve achieved cavernous crackles that fade out like shooting stars, unearthly drones, and spastic random chaos that I crave in my audio endeavors like in wall speakers— a truly unique piece of gear from a highly underrated artist. The Doom Wave Fold and it’s brethren have and continue to be one of the largest impacts on my audio pursuits and that’s why it is a favorite of mine.” – Andy Czuba

Editor’s note: Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why Sparklebomb Loves Her Casio SK-1

Sparklebomb is Angie Conte, an electronic music producer from Buffalo. Her most recent release is a full length cassette tape titled “Bring In The Night.”

“It looks like it’s for babies, but the Casio SK-1 has 13 different envelope filters, a sampler, and the most fantastic voices. If you’ve ever listened to Sparklebomb, you’ll know that the haunting pipe organ and spacey brass ensemble voices have both been staples in mostly all of my songs and live performances. Little money was spent on my SK-1 but I have spent quite a bit more on the effects pedals, which I use to enhance its existing beauty. With the right tools, I can make it sound like a grand pipe organ or a synthesizer you’d hear featured in the score of a classic horror film. I’ve manipulated my SK-1 into a monster and I’ll love it until I’m dead.” – Angie Conte

Editor’s note: Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why Space Cubs loves her $10 Cassette Player

Suzanne Lee Bonifacio is Space Cubs, a Buffalo-based electronic music producer. Her latest track, “Pearls” is out now on the L.A.-based label Unspeakable Records.

“Reason is the program that is synthesis has never failed me. I’ve been using it since I started and adore the built in instruments and pretty much only stick to those for my MIDI instruments. AKG is the mic I prefer, as well, for it’s warmth and ageless tone. It just picks up all the nuances and is my closest musical friend. Lastly, this $10 cassette player has aided me on some rad ventures lately. It’s not even a 4-track, but I’ve been using it to record a lot recently. It’s been a ton of fun and even picks up some radio frequencies and buzzes to mess around with. Music comes from music maker, so I am a firm believer in utilizing whatever you have, even a cheap cassette player.” – Suzanne Bonifacio

Editor’s note: Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why Khari Waits Loves His BOSS DR-670

Khari Waits is a Buffalo-based hip hop artist who goes by the name Coleman J. Brahski. He’s also in a few hardcore bands, including BastardBastardBastard and On Point.

“My BOSS DR-670 was the first stand alone drum machine I got my hands on and used it to produce my first rap project. What I loved most about this box is how overtly digital it sounded. A lot of drum machines will try to sound realistic, but the DR-670 doesn’t – it knows that it’s a simulation. I relied on it exclusively because I went to a Jack Topht show years ago and saw him do his set from his [Roland] SP-404. I didn’t want to bite his technique outright, but I knew that I wanted to perform with hardware so I could enhance my live shows. Being broke kind of limited what gear I could really get my hands on, but luckily Allentown Music had a DR-670 for like, less than $100, so I snagged it. It’s small enough that I don’t need to lug a lot of gear to a show.” – Khari Waits

Editor’s note: Each week, Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Sound Devices: Why Lesionread Loves Their Homemade Travel-Sized Studio

Editor’s note: Each week Cory Perla of The Public asks a local musician to tell us why they love their favorite piece of gear.

Lesionread is an electronic music producer from Buffalo. He just finished a cross country tour.

“I love my case because it’s an ‘all-in-one’ portable recording studio. It’s got a lid and wheels attached, and it’s just the right size to fit in my car. My favorite thing to do is while touring, meeting other musicians in each city and hooking ’em into my box so we can record tunes on the fly.” — Lesionread

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