Cómeme's Christian S Takes us Through His Obscure-but-Influential YouTube Favourites
A selection of tracks and oddities from the weird and wonderful corners of the internet.
Photo via the artist
Christian S is one of those DJs who pushes you to start digging deeper in every direction. Part of Matias Aguayo's pan-continental Cómeme crew, the pair both grew up on the outskirts of Cologne, meeting at parties and discovering a shared love of music that stretched from techno to new wave.
Proof of Christian's skills as a selector are laid out in two series of mixes that he did for Cómeme Radio. His 'I Love You' podcasts, which ran for 11 instalments, are full of warm, cosy, downtempo beauties, with Nigerian Afrobeat sitting next to Atlantan hip-hop or Jamaican digi-dub. He followed it with a monthly 'Dance Show' showcasing similarly wide reaching tastes, seamlessly moving from drum machine jack to live, jazzy keys to pitched down Detroit electro. In short, the kind of mixes that have you wanting to find out more about every track.
Having just put out a South America only release remix of Little Dragon's "Killing Me", there's a remix of JMII for Hivern Discs waiting in the wings, while he's also back in the studio creating original material to follow up tracks such his excellent 2014 debut Pitch Rider EP. Which is exciting, isn't it? Luckily, for those of us in the UK, and who either live in the city of have Megabus access, Christian's nipping over to London this weekend to headline Les Poppeurs first birthday bash at Dalston Superstore. If it's anything as raucous as last month's party with Betty Bensimon, we're in for a treat.
To get us all in the mood for that, Christian's decided to delve deep into the depths of YouTube for eight of his favourite super-obscure but super-influential music videos. Tay Zonday didn't make the cut, sadly.
1. Pas De Deux - Cardiocleptomanie
Christian S: I don't know much about it but I know it's Belgian music from the 1980s and that they even took part in the Eurovision song contest in 1983. Not with this track, though. It's really great music. I'm interested in all this early '80s stuff from Belgium
. There was a great DJ culture back then, maybe comparable to the cosmic disco stuff that was popping off in Italy. There's a great documentary called The Sound of Belgium. They start very early in the '60s, or even the '50s, and describe all this Belgian dance culture that took place in big discos next to the highway, and how they started to slow down records, playing them slower than they were meant to be. That's how new beat developed.
You have to check out this DJ, Fat Ronny (Harmsen). He's also in the film. He played for a few years at a club in Antwerp, then went in and out of jail and drugs. He didn't even have his record collection because back then people were buying them for the club, not themselves. You can find one mix on the internet and wow, it's amazing. It's so slow. Imagine those huge clubs where they played music at 100bpm all night.
2. Amapolita de Arahuay - Quiero Brindar
She's a huge star in Peru. It's one of those songs which I got to know through Cómeme. Matias spent a lot of time in South America and was always digging for music and sending it to his friends. Then Cómeme came to life and there were all these people we came to know, from Chile, from Mexico, which brought a lot of music. I think it's a very sweet track. If you watch the video it's about drinking, but it's a little bit heart-breaking too.
3. Falco - Junge Römer/Hoch Wie Nie
The first record I bought was a Falco one. These two songs are actually from the album before, which came out in '83 maybe, I bought mine in '85. It was also the first concert I went to with my older brother. He played in quite a small location in Cologne. After that he really became a superstar and played in arenas. He was just a very cool guy. These are two really nice videos, which were part of something called The Falco Show. My friend Korkut Elbay, who is also connected with Cómeme and I DJ with a lot, made a fantastic edit of "Hoch Wie Nie" for Edit Service.
4. Mark Leckey - Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore
I think Mark Leckey got really famous with this. It's a brilliant video and sound collage. I'm interested in all kinds of dance culture
. I think it's all connected. This Mark Leckey thing starts with Northern soul, with all these dances, and it ends with the raves. You can buy it on vinyl, it's a cool record.
5. Butthole Surfers, live at Lollzpolooza 1991
Philipp Gorbachev introduced me to them and showed me this video. He's a big Butthole Surfers fan, to the degree that he contacted Paul Leary, the guitarist from the Butthole Surfers, to mix his last LP
. think that's really amazing, first to have the guts to contact someone you're a really big fan of, and then to really get things going. I haven't seen them live because I didn't know much about their stuff until Philipp showed me two years ago. That's early '90s. Maybe they're a little bit calmer now! Who would I want to work with? I'm a super big fan of Drexciya, but that's not possible anymore... I also really like Dean Blunt.
6. The Letter People - Meet Mr. S
Sarah Szczesny, who did a lot of Cómeme artwork showed this to me. Would I ever play it in a set? No, but maybe I should! I just played in Berlin and I played "De Fietsenmaker" by Unit Moebius. That's quite strange but it seemed to work. Unit Moebius are from The Hague. I'm not sure who was part of Unit Moebius but
7. Savage Progress - My Soul Unwraps Tonight
It's an English band who were more successful in Europe and Germany than England. Matias showed it to me. It's a good track from a great album. I think it was also quite popular in Chicago in the house scene, and got played in the Music Box, clubs like that.
8. 4D - Sex Appeal
This is another one from Belgium or Germany. Somebody gave me a compilation in Tel Aviv, which I think Red Axes put together just for friends. There was some really good music on it, mostly non-electronic stuff. First they sing in German, then in French. I've met Red Axes a few times, we've played together. I think they also have a big interest in all kinds of music.
Christian S appears at Dalston Superstore on Saturday Feburary 6th alongside Dan Beaumont and others at Les Poppeurs first birthday party. Get more information here.