The visual element of music is always something that has intrigued me. I don’t mean the lighting and intense visuals you experience during The Chemical Brother’s sets. I’m talking about visualisation within your own mind. ‘Journey Music’ is a term that’s thrown around a lot. Artists such as DJ Tennis have been credited with the ability to take your mind on a journey through time and space itself, opening the listener’s eyes to new emotions and experiences. Dystopian are masters of the journey. A darker journey.
The king of the peak time set, Rødhad, began the venture back in 2009, organising small open air parties, named Dystopian, on the outskirts of Berlin for no other reason than for the hell of it. It wasn’t long before word had spread about the mythical mixing perfectionist who loved dub techno. He would later go on to become Resident Advisor’s breakthrough artist of the year for 2012, and the rest is history.
Now, through the Dystopian imprint, Rødhad and co are taking listeners on a melancholic journey to alternate, diverse universes. Dystopia’s definition is an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, but don’t let that put you off. It may seem like a horrid place, but as Rødhad explained to XLR8R, unpleasant emotions such as sadness do not have to provoke negativity.
"I am a happy person, but I love melancholy because it touches my heart. I think sadness touches me far more than any other emotion. It doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – I just cannot connect emotionally with happy records.”
We’ve compiled a list of a few of our favourites from the Dystopian gang. It’s difficult to narrow it down to nine when every track takes you on a different trip, but we feel this gives you a clear picture of what Dystopian is all about. Happy travels.
08 / 09
Gotzkowsky – Shoulder Of Orion (Soliloqy EP)
Gotzkowsky is a hard producer to get information on. A quick scan through his Facebook page leaves a vague mark on the mind as he states “this is a neverending journey”. The mystery gives off the vibe of a deep character, and his music echoes that statement.
‘Shoulder Of Orion’ is taken from the Soliloqy EP, a compilation record that marked the tenth release on Dystopian. It featured the likes of Rodhad, Distant Echoes and Recondite.
It’s an intimidating track. A relentless bassline is met with otherworldly echoes and hypnotising synths. It’s vibrant and dark. An infectious oxymoron that is impossible to sit still to. New elements are introduced subtly and in minimal fashion, only emphasising themselves in doing so. At times the insanity threatens to over boil, but at that moment something grabs your attention amongst the alien like soundscape. Precise and powerful techno.