This inaugural release on Modular Cowboy features brand new material from Cheap and Deep (a.k.a. Jay Ahern) alongside two remixes of “Words, Breaths and Pauses,” a track originally released as a limited edition 12” via Berlin’s Hard Wax shop, just prior to Cheap and Deep’s live debut at Mutek 2010.
The remixes come courtesy of Berghain resident DJ Norman Nodge as well as duo Jonsson/Alter (Henrik Jonsson and Joel Alter) from the Kontra-Musik label in Sweden. The release also marks Cheap and Deep’s return to the scene, with the new track “Beautiful,” a modern take on the Chicago acid house tradition, featuring vocals by Crissy Liu with additional production by Morgan Packard.
Norman Nodge has been a resident DJ at the infamous Berlin nightclub Berghain, widely considered one of the best clubs in the world, since 2005. His background as a life-long music lover, DJ and party promoter led to his current status as Berlin’s secret weapon for serious techno. Born in East German Leipzig and raised in Brandenburg, Nodge was bitten by the techno bug after the wall came down. From 1994 on, he promoted several events, which also helped launch his career as a DJ. At these parties, he crossed paths with Marcel Fengler and Marcel Dettmann, becoming their mentor for all things techno. Seven years ago, Dettmann successfully pitched him to Berghain’s management and he subsequently became a resident instantaneously. Since then, he has played the club once a month, specializing in the nearly forgotten art of warming up at the beginning of a night. In 2005, he started to produce his own tracks. Unsurprisingly, his outings on Dettmann’s MDR label, as well as his track “Native Rhythm Electric,” for Ostgut Ton, left a deep impression with headstrong techno lovers. With his dusty funk, static hiss and the rich thump of his kick drums, he has managed to make himself recognized as one of techno’s more unique auteurs. Nodge cites Detroit techno (Jeff Mills, Rob Hood, 430 West), Chicago house (Relief, Dance Mania) and U.K. techno (Luke Slater, Peacefrog, Mark Broom) as his most essential influences.
It all started with some old synthesizers and the will to play. Henrik Jonsson and Joel Alter met in Gothenburg, Sweden, years ago. Then down the road, in 2010, they found themselves neighbors in Berlin’s Neukölln district. One day, Jonsson went to check out some abandoned synthesizers that Alter found in the streets. A jam session started, which has not ended since. Two very well received EPs are already out and an album was recently released on Sweden’s Kontra-Musik. Their album Mod has been hailed by press and blogs as one of the strongest releases of 2011. Jonsson/Alter‘s spacey “science fiction” art house sound is also available for live bookings.