Magnetic Mix 085 + Interview: The Micronauts

The Micronauts stitches together three different sets into one mix for us.
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The Micronauts

The Micronauts

This week we continue our run of new Magnetic Mixes in lieu of Miami Music Week and the need for new music for everyone staying / working at home. This mix is special because it is a blend of recordings from live sets in China in November by The Micronauts, real name Christophe Monier. The sets were recorded at Wigwam in Beijing on 11/22/19, 3ntry in Shanghai on 11/23/19 and Monohouse in Nanjing on 11/29/19 in now a much simpler time. We also chatted with Monier to learn more about a recent remix EP for his 2018 album Head Control Body Control. Mixes come from The Populists, Moises, Jeneral Kai and Ark, ranging from thumping techno to melodic, progressive breaks.

Read on for our brief chat with Monier, listen the nearly three-hour mix and head to the bottom of the post for the lengthy tracklist. This is just right to work from home and carry you mentally to post-pandemic times.

1. How did you pick the remixers for this EP?

I discovered The Populists, Moisees and Jeneral Kai via promos they had sent me and Ark is a long time friend.

The Populists is the alias used by Yan Wagner to release his dance-floor oriented music. He’s very much into new beat, the craze from the late eighties where the Belgians created their own blend of acid house, crossed with new wave and electro body music. It’s a genre that gave a few hidden gems and laid the foundations of European techno. You should definitely check The Populists’ EP from Space Factory and Zone, as well as the top notch remixes he did of his own “Blacker” and of Bagarre’s “Le gouffre.”

Moisees is the head of the Mexico City-based label Duro, an emerging force in the indie dance / dark disco scene. I was won over by his label’s releases, from Mijo, Theus Mago, Wolfstream, etc. Then I heard the crazy remixes he made for Sex Kino on Roam and for White Magik on Nein. That was it and I had to ask him for a remix.

Jeneral Kai is a Singapore-born and Kuala Lumpur-based DJ and producer. He is big in Southeast Asia but is still relatively unknown in Europe. His label, Turn It Up Recordings, is sending me its releases. I immediately heard that he knows the history of electronic music perfectly and that he understood everything. He strikes the right balance between house and techno, big groove and far-out sounds. I plan to release an EP from him on my own imprint, Micronautics, later this year.

Ark is a long time friend. We both often play each other's music as DJs. We always wanted to make music together but never found the opportunity. We both moved a lot, he lives in Lyon and I’m in Paris, we have kids, our setups have changed a lot and were not always operational. We are firmly resolved to finally act this year and his remix of “Share” is just the start.

2. What do you look for in a great remix?

I see a remix as a kind of cover, where the remixer focuses on what he likes best about the original, and inserts his own personality and skills. When I listen, I try to forget that the original is mine. I just wonder if as a music fan and avid buyer, I would put it in my cart on Beatport or Bandcamp. If the answer is yes, it means that it’s great, for me anyway.

3. Did you know you were going to make a recorded mix ahead of this gig or did it just happen last minute and does that impact the music you play?

It does not impact the music I play because I routinely record, just in case, even if I also routinely forget to hit the record button… I didn’t forget when I played these three gigs in China. When listening to the recordings, I found they captured the energy and excitement of the moments quite well. So I selected the best big chunks, assembled them and the result is this mixtape.

4. How did you approach these gigs musically versus gigs in other countries?

It was my first time in China. What struck me first was that I was asked for longer sets than usual, two and a half, three hours long. Then I asked my booker, Pierre, what kind of clubs and audience I should expect. He runs the Pang Pang Project agency, used to live in Beijing and knows very well the Chinese scene. Once he reassured me that it would be a leftfield and open-minded audience who like to discover new music, made mostly of music heads, indie kids and students, I knew I didn’t have to adapt my style. I like to mix different music genres, acid, breakbeat, techno, rave and Chicago-influenced house. The tracks need to be groovy, physical, inspired, edgy and able to pass the test of time. I also spice my sets with a handful of older classics, from all eras.

My first gig was at Wigwam in Beijing. It’s a small and brand new club, built by a guy who made a fortune on the internet and whose passion is music. He wants the best place, with the best music, drinks, gear and design, and spends accordingly, which I find pretty cool. 

The second gig was at 3ntry in Shanghai, also a brand new club but much bigger. It was founded and is run by Rainbow, a female DJ and veteran promoter. It includes a second smaller room, project studios, hosts electronic music courses, and fosters sustainable lifestyle. It is the successor of The Mansion, a mythical and utopian night, which took place in Rainbow’s own house, a concept reminiscent of David Mancuso’s The Loft.

My third and last gig was at Monohouse in Nanjing, a well-established connoisseur place. It is the quintessential anti-mainstream club, which programs only quality artists and enjoys relative freedom, being under the radar of the authorities. The owner is fond of electronic music, which he knows inside out and listens to since the 90s.

Tracklist:

1. The Micronauts - “Dancizer (Jeneral Kai Rework)” (Micronautics)
2. Dka & Jon Mosto - “Solar (Sian Pseudo Mix)” (Break New Soil)
3. Losless - “Damaged Tape” (Traum)
4. Bogdan “Pankratov Black” (Ida Sound)
5. Pirupa - “Get Lost (Original Mix)” (Snatch!)
6. Cristoph - “The Duel (Original Mix)” (Last Night On Earth)
7. Blake Baxter - “Our Luv” (Disko B)
8. Will Clarke & Gene Farris - “Inside My Head (Extended Mix)” (Farris Wheel)
9. Raw District & Fabrice Lig Feat. Just Her - “Lay Your Weapons Down (Alex Kennon Remix)” (Crosstown Rebels)
10. Jeneral Kai - “Neurotic Groove (Original Mix)” (Turn It Up)
11. Rhauder - “Acid Jam” (Polymorph)
12. Kink & Rachel Row - “To Love You (Vocal)” (Running Back)
13. Billy Kenny - “Trippy (Original Mix)” (Solä)
14. Nathan Barato, Room 303 - “She’s A Rockstar” (Hot Creations)
15. Jeneral Kai - “Busy Buzzing” (Turn It Up)
16. Srvd - “Elevate” (Rekids)
17. S3A Feat. Mika Blaster - “Presentiment” (Quartet Series)
18. The Micronauts - “Share (Vonda7 Own Share Remix)” (Micronautics)
19. Kittin - “Eacid (Truncate Remix)” (Zone)
20. Anna - “Hidden Beauties” (Kompakt)
21. Markantonio, Atroxx - “1965” (Analytic Trail)
22. Jay Lumen - “Asteroid (Original Mix)” (Footwork)
23. Meat Katie & Dopamine - “Candyman (Chicago Loop Remix)” (Lowering The Tone)
24. Vinyl Junkie & Sanxion - “Mustard” (Passenger)
25. Robert Hood - “Reflector” (M-Plant)
26. DJ JM - “No Days Off” (Nervous Horizon)
27. A. Balter And Eitan Reiter “E0e” (Digital Structures)
28. Skream “Poison (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix)” (We Are The Brave)
29. Steve Rachmad “Moog On Acid” (Music Man)
30. Residual “Speak In Silence” (Koryu Budo)
31. Bjarki “I Wanna Go Bang” (Trip)
32. The Micronauts “Acid Party (Luca Agnelli Remix)” (Micronautics)
33. Fjaak “Keep The Funk” (Fjaak)
34. Nightwave “Psychic Tonic (Jerome Hill Remix)” (Dext Limited)
35. Tessela “Hackney Parrot” (Poly Kicks)
36. The Rogue Element “Broken Mirror” (Lot49)
37. Armando “Downfall (The Advent Pay Your Respect Remix)” (Slap Jaxx)
38. Andreas Kraemer & Slt - “Trancendance (Jens Lissat & Christoph Pauly Remix)” (Bubblejam)
39. Pan-Pot - “Funke” (Second State)
40. Iai - “Tongue Talker” (In An Instant)
41. FaltyDL - “Ill Bent (Benny Ill Remix (Fat Larry’s Revenge Mix))” (Blueberry)

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