When we announced the launch of our new Balance Community mix series we were expecting to hear some quality mixes; however, we weren’t prepared for just how much talent is out there. The standard of the entries have been amazing and we really could have had 20 winners. Please note that we are open to all styles and the winners and honorable mentions does not reflect the exact genres and style of mix that we are looking for. These mixes are the ones that has stood out over last 2 months.
The winner of the inaugural Balance Community Series is Joe Miller from Adelaide in South-Australia. Looking at his tracklisting might make you exhausted as it features a whopping 40 tracks that takes in a lot of different artists and styles. He has created something that is akin to a piece of musical art, and you can hear the thought, effort and time that he has put into this mix to get it right. These type of mixes are usually hard to gel together without sounding like there is no narrative to the mix; Joe happily achieves both as this mix is cohesive and engaging.
“It’s more of an audio collage than a sequential mix, with many of the tracks edited beyond recognition and cheekily poppng up long after their rightful place” Joe explains. “I’ve taken a lot of time and pleasure in hiding secret treasures along the way for the most anorak-donning of trainspotters, including additional synth lines and thorough reworkings of existing chord-structures (listen out for Caribou’s “Irene” as it glides over “Vehemence of Silence”, “Kodomatchi”, and “Deer and Fox”, while the tiniest hints of “Over” and “Blume der Nacht” cut in an out like the needle of an old grandmother’s sewing machine).
The attention to detail in this mix really shines through, and trying to figure out where tracks begin and end is fruitless exercise – just sit back, turn off the lights and enjoy the journey. With Joe taking his first tentative steps into the production world, its only a matter of time before his skills will see him travel outside of Adelaide and Australia. Regardless of profile, this might just be one of the best mixes that we’ve heard all year. Period.
Honorable mentions goes to GabiM and Maxi Zamac:
Joe Miller (https://soundcloud.com/joe-miller)
Labels affiliated with:
Pilot Records (one remix released only)
My last 3 releases:
Question Question – Black Rainbow (Joe Miller’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” Remix)
What music did you listen to as a child?
My parents were devout Christians and the first memory I have is this haunting lullaby based on a passage from 2 Corinthians. The melody still does painfully delightful things to my brain, and I recently played it backwards into the computer and reversed it over some woozy synth harmonies. Aside from playing hymns around the house, Mum and Dad were both violinists, and Dad would sometimes bust out some Tchaikovsky in the evening.
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
When I was ten, my older brother Peter used to sit up and record the local dance station (Fresh FM) onto cassette. He’d play me the old trance classics, artists like Tomski and the Thrillseekers. Then a friend from England burned us a minidisc with Seven Cities by Solar Stone, so Pete and I shared a pair of headphones and listened to it in the back of the car while driving around Yorkshire in winter. It’s a bit cheesy now, but I was ten, the snow was coming down on the Dales – it was something like a spiritual experience.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I have a hazy memory of Phil Rogers (boss of local label Cuckoo Music) playing a Herbert Remix of Sing it Back in Sugar Nightclub. He’s always had the ability to blend disparate records into something greater than the sum of their parts, all the while looking as collected as a sloth on valium – so it left an impression.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
I’ve had a massive DJ crush on James Holden for years. He’s a mad scientist, he consistently sticks it to the purists, he has a unique way of transcribing psychedelic experience into danceable music, and he’s a generally beautiful specimen of humanity. I heard his Balance 005 while looking for something to follow up the Northern Exposure series, and it had the necessary emotional poignancy. Otherwise the Adelaide scene is tremendously inspiring – DJs like HMC (aka Late Nite Tuff Guy), Trav Bell; productions from Question Question, Josh Warry, Fission Theory and Demo; the crazy pants-off saints who wiggle to it all til six in the morning. It’s a mini electronic Woodstock around these parts; I’ve taken to giving everyone pseudonyms and writing up our adventures like a techno Kerouac.
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
For DJing: four CDJ-200s, a Technics 1200 and a Numark TTX USB (which I would cheerfully swap for another 1200 – but no one seems to be keen). For production: a MOTU 828 Mk2 interface, MicroKorg, Zoom H4N field recorder, Roland JD-990, a Boss RE-20 Space Echo pedal, a couple of Casio synths and a terminally ill cassette recorder, as well as some excellent Focal CMS 65 monitors. I also have to include my housemate Jess in the list of essential studio equipment, as she periodically opens the door and gives me pep talks.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
I finally got Jon Hopkins’ Immunity the other day on a friend’s recommendation. Hopkins’ stuff so far has the same intensity and attention to detail as the early Border Community records, and this album’s destined to be a classic.
What releases/gigs do you have on the horizon?
I’ve been collaborating on another mix with a Sydney-dwelling lad called Igor Lukacevic, who I met through the soundpond.net chat room. The project’s called Tales From Nowhere O’Clock, and it’s a big ambient/classical/folk odyssey, with some design by gifted local artist Lisa King. I’m running a regular night at Sugar, and a weekly radio show on soundpond.net called The Priest and the Beast with a DJ called Dubrat. Lastly, a generous-hearted friend by the name of Ben Smith (one of the Pilot Records bosses) is mastering my tracks to send to a couple of European labels.
What is your fave Balance mix?
The first CD of James Holden’s Balance 005 (see above). Agoria’s Balance 016 is a close second simply in virtue of being so eclectic.
Who would you choose to mix a Balance compilation and why?
Connan Mockasin – I don’t even know if he can mix but he’s bonkers and his selections would be a thing of genius. Otherwise Duyster from Amateur Records. That crew are doing underrated wonky techno and it deserves to be heard by a wider audience.
Tell us more about the mix that you submitted?
This was an Ableton-sculpted podcast for local label Discovery Records, with loads of editing, chopping, and layering – plenty of technical inspiration from mixes like Joris Voorn’s Balance and Sasha’s Fundacion. It took about a month, which is an improvement on the five months it took to make the last one. A techno-spirit called Jana put me onto Andy Stott’s huge, chugging remix of Know Where by Holy Other, and that helped set a brooding northern vibe for the whole project. Dancing on Your Scalp captures that desolation especially well, and to bring out the flavour I’ve played in an additional melody and underpinned it with some cut up vocals from Under the Volcano. There’s a lot of screwing around with arrangement and pitch, like where I rework the harmonic structure of Caribou’s Irene and lay it over the top of Vehemence of Silence, Kodomatchi, and Deer and Fox, while the tiniest hints of Over and Blume der Nacht cut in an out like the needle of an old grandmother’s sewing machine.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
Prince of Denmark – Prypjat
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Fleet Foxes – Quiet Houses
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
My favourite TV show:
Chris Morris’ Brasseye
Ravel – Prelude [Naxos] – 0:00
Taylor Deupree – Rusted Oak [12K] – 0:00
RJD2 – The Proxy [Definitive Jux] – 0:59
Holy Other – Know Where (Andy Stott Remix) [Tri Angle] – 0:59
Nick Drake – Know [Island] – 4:54
Washed Out – New Theory [Mexican Summer] – 7:32
Inxec and Droog LA – Unhinged [Crosstown Rebels] – 8:41
Micromattic – Uncanny [Absolutive Records] – 8:49
Baths – Rafting Starlit Everglades [Anticon] – 8:56
The Knife – Silent Shout [Rabid Records] – 10:10
James T Cotton – HDFK [Spectral Sound] – 10:28
The Field – From Here We Go Sublime [Kompakt] – 12:03
Cupp Cave – Mind Bones [Vlek] – 13:08
The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows [Parlophone] – 15:40
12″ Phildo – Bradtoldmeto [Cuckoo] – 15:43
Superpitcher – Voodoo [Kompakt] – 15:43
Nickodemus – Under the Volcano (Jose Marquez Remix) [Wonderwheel] 16:07
Kate Wax – Dancing on Your Scalp [Border Community] – 17:21
Khonnor – I was Everything You Wanted Until I Quit [Type] 19:00
Andy Stott – Leaving [Modern Love] – 19:03
Matthew Herbert – It’s Only (DJ Koze Remix) [Pampa] – 19:36
No Regular Play – Owe Me (Nicolas Jaar Remix) [Wolf + Lamb Music] – 23:52
Pass Into Silence – Voices [Kompakt] – 23:52
Gus Gus – Over (Life and Death Remix) [Kompakt] – 24:53
DJ Koze – Blume der Nacht [Pampa] – 24:55
Andre Lodemann – Vehemence of Silence [Room with a View] – 24:55
Susumu Yokota – Kodomatchi [Leaf] – 25:58
Clara Moto – Deer and Fox (5396 East Street Remix by dOP) [Infiné] – 27:31
Caribou – Irene [City Slang] – 27:31
Ravel – Jeux D’eau [Naxos] – 30:20
Sei A – You can Bring [Simple] – 31:20
Luke Abbott – Modern Driveway [Notown] – 31:37
Aphex Twin – Pulsewidth [R&S] – 36:26
Of Norway – Song for Ava [Connaisseur] – 36:42
DJ Koze – Nices Wolkchen feat. Apparat [Pampa] – 37:53
Holy Other – Touch (Cupp Cave Remix) [Tri Angle] – 39:57
Connan Mockasin – Forever Dolphin Love [Phantasy Sound] – 44:16
Ravel – Miroirs (Oiseaux Tristes) [Naxos] – 53:22
Holy Other – Know Where [Tri Angle] – 53:49
Suicide Dream – How to Dress Well (Holy Other Remix) [Tri Angle] – 56:54