#89 - Abayomi
*photo credit: Ananda Rieber
This unique Nigerian/London born DJ/producer and Reclaim Your City resident (at ://aboutblank Berlin) delivers a techno mix full of strength, depth, history and sonic progression. Building on from Monolake’s ‘Error’ he takes us through cavernous tunnels and dirt-encrusted sweat boxes as Sinfol, Cassegrain and Tin Man, Robert Hood, Dax J, Oscar Mulero, Roman Poncet, Heiko Laux, Hodge and Shlømo weave their way into this beautifully crafted mix. Make no mistake, there’s a new Sonic Destroyer in town!
Abayomi's sound is influenced by deep, raw Detroit techno, dirty Chicago house music and edgy UK bass. His driving, hypnotic productions and DJ sets prove him a forward-thinking figure of the techno scene. Four solid EPs under his belt include the first sold-out release on his own imprint and RYC BerlinParis 2.0 which features Abayomi’s “Rebirth” alongside tracks from solid techno acts Anetha, I/Y & François X.
Abayomi’s vinyl label, like his DJ sets, unites elements of deep, raw Detroit techno and dirty Chicago house with strong London attitude. The same-named imprint was launched in 2015 as a vehicle for his first issue under the Abayomi moniker, ‘You Sleep, They Live!’ EP, which sold out with local support from OYE Records and received club and podcast play from the likes of Veronica Vasicka, Ellen Allien and Ben Sims. He most recently appeared on Moderat’s BBC1 Essential Mix and he stormed Berghain last week with his debut gig at the club alongside Blind Observatory and James Ruskin. Here’s a taste of the Abayomi club experience!
Q&A with Abayomi
1. How did you approach the mix? You appear to have achieved a nice balance between established and new names.
I spent quite a while just going through my record collection. I try to approach every podcast like a story. Each title represents a chapter in an ongoing, never ending techno saga. The labels and producers also reflect a broad spectrum in the timeline of techno. I wanted to tell a story that is timeless, like the music chosen and as an homage to these artists and their great contributions to the art.
2. Where in London did you grow up? And do you still consider yourself a Londoner?
I grew up in west London, in a place called Ealing. I have been living in Berlin for over 11 years now. It is hard to say if I still consider myself a Londoner but I guess it always returns to me when I go back home to visit family, drink tea and watch Eastenders.
3. Was music always part of your family life? Did your parents or any siblings have a musical influence?
I come from a family of doctors and I was definitely the black sheep that followed their strange music obsession. However my parents have always been passionate about music. That was a big influence and support. In particular my uncle who had a great record collection, which helped me learn from a very early age, and my mum, who listens to all my podcasts and productions for quality control. She approved this one by the way!
4. What were your first clubbing experiences like? And what clubs / nights did you go to?
I started clubbing much later in life and when I first came to Germany in 1999. I ended up making quite a few pilgrimages to Stammheim, in Kassel, private parties from friends in Hamburg and to Berlin. In Berlin, I enjoyed the illegal party scene a lot but also the old Tresor, Casino and WMF.
5. At what point did you think: I want to do this?
That is hard to define. I have been listening to techno since I was a child. Colin Dale’s radio show as well as many other influences just kind of guided me to this point. I never made a conscious decision but I know this is how I want to express myself.
6. You recently played your first set at Berlin’s techno institution, Berghain. How was the experience for you?
The crowd there is amazing, passionate and responsive. This was so motivating for me to give them my all. Selecting, playing and listening to my favorite records on the Funktion One was the most humbling experience for me so far.
7. You released ‘The Grind’ EP last year on your own Abayomi label. Is this the beginning of you defining your sound?
Abayomi is quite a versatile producer and the label is just one facet. I have purposely limited the output for now but the Abayomi label offerings are definitely from one direction I would like people to experience and enjoy.
8. Do you have cultural interests outside of music in other arts? If so what would you consider as key influences?
Nature, science fiction and my African heritage are big influences on my music. I have a strong connection to techno through nature. I have less of a connection to the industrial aspects and more to the organic. Somehow, the visceral force of the music relates to the harsh and beautiful world we live in. As a child, I was obsessed by astronomy and science fiction films. Kubrick’s 2001 made such a heavy impact on my mind and was the second film I watched after Star Wars. Science fiction is key to a lot of my thinking about production, sound design and DJing. My Nigerian roots, my connection to Africa as well as the development of Africans inside and outside of the continent have a strong influence on my views of Africans in global art culture and my personal art.
9.What release plans do you have in the near future?
The Chiron EP, on my label, will be out in February and there will be a track called “Duppy” out on a compilation, from the label Nona, in the same month. After that, there are a couple of vinyl releases ahead in 2017.
10. Detroit or Chicago?
Both. Never one or the other because one city would not be musically what it is without the other, in my opinion.
EPM Podcast 89 Tracklist – Abayomi
Monolake - Error
Error Etica - Octano
Oscar Mulero - Liner
Kobosil - Kobosil Unterton
Cassegrain and Tin Man - Polyacid Blue
Sinfol - Unstable
Beckton Alp - Ben Gibson
Andrea Belluzzi - 75
Dax J - The 5th Dimension (Echoplex Soleil Remix)
Roman Poncet - Cerate (Truncate Remix)
Robert Hood - Side Effect
Progression - P&K
Roman Poncet & Len Faki - Truck
Heiko Laux - Dry Me (Acid Mix)
Andrea - Draine
Hodge - Renegades
Vincent Vidal - A Ritual Scene (Antigone Remix)
Shlømo - M.U.M.