ION STORM 006: living myth

ION STORM (006): living.myth

== mixed by ==

ION STORM broadcasts interstellar techno, future house & offworld ambient from the vaults of TOBIAS.DJ. Prepare your space voyage with occult sounds drawn from 20+ years as a technoculture catalyst and turntablist. The mission — to invade consensus reality with an all-out assault of alien frequencies. Some sex in zero gravity included. Occasional interplanetary guests from the technosphere and label [ ].


1 There’s signs of group hysteria in the passengers. Hunter S. Thompson The Gonzo Tapes: Gonzo Gridlock 1973–1974 (Disc Four) 2008/01/01
2 How Many Times Brian Johnson Time Will Tell [THOUGHTLESS 080] 2013/01/01
3 Limited By You Shlomi Aber The Doppler [BE AS ONE 041] 2013/01/01
4 New York Dreamer (Alix Alvarez Remix) Shlomi Aber Chicago Days, Detroit Nights (The Remixes Vol. 2) [OVUM 9010-5] 2011/06/20
5 Paint It Black (Coyu Remix) Pig and Dan Paint It Black EP [SUARA 058] 2012/01/01
6 IP Mirrors Kassem Mosse Think & Change [NONPLUS LP004] 2013/03/11
7 Pruitt Igoe (or version) Kangding Ray OR [RASTER-NOTON 123] 2011/01/01
8 Foolish Games Feat Moggli Shlomi Aber Foolish Games EP [BE AS ONE 038] 2012/01/01
9 Checkpot (Echonomist Remix) Marcus Meinhardt Checkpot [UPON.YOU 055] 2012/01/01
10 Wear It Well Locked Groove Heritage [HOTFLUSH 038] 2013/01/01
11 For These Times Four Tet Think & Change [NONPLUS LP004] 2013/03/11
12 Time Will Tell Brian Johnson Time Will Tell [THOUGHTLESS 080] 2013/01/01
13 Damdamm Basti Grub Defected In The House Miami 2013 [ITH 50CD] 2013/01/01
14 Gemini Safety Scissors In A Manner Of Sleeping [BPITCH CONTROL] 2013/01/01
15 Coefficient J. Phlip Dirtybird Players (Part 1) [DIRTYBIRD 087] 2013/01/01
16 Dog River The Mole Dog River EP [NEW KANADA 31] 2013/01/01
17 After Five Terrence Dixon The Parkhurst [THEMA 022] 2011/01/01
18 Destroy, She Says Clarian Chemical Gardens EP [VISIONQUEST 024] 2013/01/01
19 Suspended (Extended Version) Terrence Dixon The Parkhurst [THEMA 022] 2011/01/01
20- U (Unfinished) Clarian Chemical Gardens EP [VISIONQUEST 024] 2013/01/01
21 Aile Mut Saschienne Unknown [KOMPAKT CD 98] 2012/01/01
22 For Her.. For Him Marcus Meinhardt Eden Garden EP [KATERMUKKE 032] 2013/01/01
23 Overture Shlomi Aber Rough Steps [DESOLAT X016]] 2012/01/01
24 Progress (Alland Byallo Remix) Safety Scissors Progress and Perseverance EP [BPitch Control 268] 2013/01/01
25 Legionnaire Rennie Foster Legionnaire [THOUGHTLESS 081] 2013/01/01
26 Stay High Baby Maceo Plex High & Sexy EP [ELLUM AUDIO 001] 2011/01/01

ION STORM 005: nora posch X

*** A special live set: NORA POSCH X TOBIAS.DJ on 4 decks. ***

Recorded live @ the Electric Tea Garden, Seattle, May 3rd 2013, in the deep hours of the morning after a live set from SAFETY SCISSORS (BPitch Control / NYC). Apologies for a few technical glitches, but swing deep for this one, it inhabits the soul. From the flyer:

Returning to Seattle for the first time in over a decade, Vancouver’s techno-turntablist TOBIAS — whose name might echo in the ears of [NWR] & Lish House patrons from eons past — pairs up on the decks with longtime creative collaborator NORA POSCH. Once fatefully bound together by the misadventures of a certain Endorian ring, their paths have once again crossed as directors of respective labels PELOTON and IO SOUND. From 2am to 4am they will tag on the turntables, DJing as a duo for the first time in their 15+ years of friendship — and offering a chance to dig deep into the musical histories and archives of two of the Pacific NorthWest’s most obscure, if not secretive, selectors. Expect future house, interstellar techno, and deep sea electro, woven together with sweat & tears.
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ION STORM 004: false.fantasy

(( what lurks in the outer reaches / but the false fantasy ))

I am not a fantasy in a real sense
I am a fantasy of differential-projection
Yet I exist . . . .
There are no shadows where I am
Because I am the fire of the lightnin
And the flames of the sun.
My name is the sun
I am the stranger
From the sky
Far away farther than the eye can see
Is my paradise
A mythical world
In Outer Space.

— Sun Ra, The Fantasy (1972)


filmed live, one take, @ QC Studios in Montréal.

film & concept by TETSUOMI ANZAI, who imagined positioning this footage alongside that of a pianist & a conductor to demonstrate the fluidity of expression marked by the hands — regardless of the instrument. blog post on the filming.

“I hope to release a DVD of the final footage in the near future”.
—- (It only took 10 years to get it online.)

Camera shaking courtesy of the Rat Man; and yes, the crossfader broke around 2 minutes in. Deep bows to my compadres of the era: all those at SAT, Casa del Popolo, Mitchell @ intr_version, NAW, Bruno @ Laïka, and with those I shared the decks & stage, Fishead, Daniel Gardner, Johnny Ranger & the Mole.

ION STORM 001: comatose (I)

ION STORM (001): comatose (I)
== mixed by ==

I be pleased to present the first broadcast of ION STORM, a fortnightly episode of interstellar mixing on DERadio.

(( a barrage of electronic particles ))

ION STORM broadcasts interstellar techno, future house & offworld ambient from the vaults of TOBIAS.DJ. Prepare your space voyage with occult sounds drawn from 20+ years as a technoculture catalyst and turntablist. The mission — to invade consensus reality with an all-out assault of alien frequencies. Some sex in zero gravity included. Occasional interplanetary guests from the technosphere and label

Slave to the Rhythm (2012)


A chance encounter with the DMT Lab — while writing an article on the world drumming & trance crew for Pique — led me to throw down this unprepared set on the 29th June 2012. I ran out of time to organise newer material, but what you are hearing is a slice from several (digital) crates that bear titles like “the electrik technik” and “showroom.” At points, this mix encapsulates the moment where techno meets deep trance, and where psychedelia overwhelms all sound, lost in swirling and deep rhythms, a motion and a feeling irrespective of the semantic tags of genre and style. It’s the driving rhythm, a becoming slave to the rhythm, that defines the core experience of electronic (dance) music.

Which is why this mix is called slave to the rhythm. The Afrofuturist acid roller is buried within — a remix of the Grace Jones 1985 classic — alongside a few other modern throwbacks including a wickedly dark spanking of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus by Heartthrob (1989; 2006) and Mathew Jonson’s remix of Inner City’s Good Life (1988; 2009).

*Of note, though the Livestream has poorer quality video, it doesn’t have the editing glitches of the Youtube video above. Apples & oranges.

cydonia.sessions.o1 (2010) @ Upgrade International NYC (2005)


In 2010, I recorded a series of online broadcasts for net pirates & djs entitled the cydonia.sessions. Each set followed a thematic resonance through strains of techno, house, and electro, capturing the way in which I tend to construct and deconstruct sets around fragmented motifs and recurring signatures of sound. The sets were recorded by a third-party server; some came out alright, others had unfortunate gaps of several seconds that led to frustratingly incomplete recordings. The cydonia.sessions were also designed as tests of my Traktor Scratch platform, which I configured as a digital vinyl system that required manual beatmatching. With the Traktor Scratch (Pro) software combined with my Technics SL1200s and the Mackie d4.Pro mixer, all the parameters of techno-turntablism are still at play. The main difference is that the source of the music has shifted from the vinyl medium itself to digital files on the laptop. Vinyl has been divorced from its recording content, becoming a pure form, an instrument for performativity. Instead of selecting and manipulating analog vinyl, I work with digital vinyl, which offers similar tactile methods of control and play. Indeed this is all it is: a control/playback component of the turntable-mixer assemblage. Part of me appreciates this. Yet, the effect is not the same: the laptop screen is distracting, and I miss the aesthetics of crate-digging records and flipping on and off the vinyl. I don’t close my eyes as much. These are all things to be overcome, as I can no longer purchase vinyl where I live. DJ record stores — like movie theatres, indie book sellers, and movie rental outlets — are a thing of the past. Objects that combined content with functionality are obsolete; today’s objects channel content from elsewhere (a laptop, cloud, distributed network) while their form serves to manipulate this delocalized content. “Thick” objects have become “empty” containers. By splitting content from form, digital vinyl has opened up other possibilities (such as liberating the wear and tear of vinyl from the degradation of the music itself), even as it forms part of a trend of dismantling public space (I miss the Thursday nights at Bassix, when new vinyl would arrive; all the city’s DJs would be there, hunting through the fresh wax). With digital integration, I have certainly taken advantage of the effects and looping possibilities of Traktor with the addition of the X1 controller. I’ve often worked with effects in the mix, and Traktor’s selection is superb, with the X1 offering well-designed handling that bridges turntablism with performative remixing. The cydonia.sessions capture a few of the results, as well as forays into my ever growing digital collection of music.

Photo — @ Upgrade International NYC, Eyebeam (2005).
April 2012

dusk & cloud (2009)

dusk & cloud (2009)


This mix gathers a few strains of my becomings as a DJ, namely minimalist strains of deep house and dub techno dating back to the mid’90s. Though my mixtapes from the late ’90s were hard as nails, I began by djing deep house @ Sugar Refinery (RIP), with Robby Luv Dub as my adopted mentor. I often mixed deep house with dub techno at the post-rave Sunday sessions and loft parties of the era. This mix touches upon a few of those records, though keeping this side of the techno aesthetic (a retro deep house mix is still to come). Still vinyl, still unprepared.
April 2012

Unfinished System (2009)


A two-part recording hammered out with longtime collaborator DJ Construct, over a long night of molasses beats, retro-new-wave, and modern deep techno and electro… nothing prepared, all improvised, with thick malts in the glass.

In honour of the events we’ve played together, I’ve posted a selection of images from the 2002 series at Video-In.
April 2012