Since its beginning in 2009, Grounded Theory has grown from a bracing new idea in Berlin techno to an institution of artistic nightlife both at its home and around the continent. Directed with acute vision and unerring judgment, its philosophy extracted from Henning Baer’s long years at the front lines of electronic music, it remains diverse and cutting edge. Grounded Theory combines music from different eras and areas, remaining rooted in techno while shedding light on sounds less frequently heard on Berlin dance floors: forward UK music, experimental electronics, and underground techno names from across the globe, both new and established.
Bjarki R. Sigurdarson is an electronic music composer from Iceland whose tracks range from straightforward bangers to ambient and IDM. Bjarki has kept a low profile in releasing his music, until he met the Russian disc jockey Nina Kraviz in 2014 who became a fan of Bjarki’s tracks, and began releasing his archive on her label трип (Trip). After a few releases, his debut full-length “Б” appeared in June, with “Lefhanded Fuqs” and “Æ” following shortly afterwards. Bjarki and his childhood friend set up their own outlet in 2017, bbbbbb Records, to introduce Icelandic dance music to an international audience. With his releases Bjarki has placed himself firmly leading the pack of international artists who in the past few years have taken a hauntological approach to re-moulding the scents of breakbeat, rave, jungle and IDM into sounds that are entirely their own. Jorden Hodgetts aka Cleric is a UK-based producer who has established himself not only as a bonafide new talent and key player in the international Techno world, but also as a prolific artist on Figure. His unyielding tracks as Cleric proudly wear their Manchester heritage on the sleeve, and his excellent 2017 EP “Resurrection” makes no exception. Well known for his crisp, deadly club tracks and rich melancholic ambient studies, his addictive, smart and dark 90s-reminiscent synth hooks deliver an array of stomping, percussive weapons primed for expansive spaces and killer sound systems. Grounded Theory artist and co-founder, DJ, producer, promoter and owner of his own Manhigh imprint, Henning Baer also released cutting-edge tracks on K209 and Sonic Groove. A DJ of worldwide renown for ability and tastes, Henning Baer forged his enviable résumé with his own hands. Following on years of closely-synchronized work with fellow resident Milton Bradley, Henning Baer asserted greater independence with innovative production styles on an EP for Taanstaafl Planets. A guest in Tresor for many years, he is profoundly shaping contemporary techno from recent memory into the foreseeable future. Hailing from St. Petersburg, Nastia Reigel is a Russian artist and producer. Nastia received notoriety with her debut release “Figures in Brine” featuring a massive remix from Truncate. Her sophomore EP “Trust, Intimacy” recently came out on Enemy Records. Her obsession with developing a deeper understanding of Techno and Industrial music has given her a unique voice as a DJ. Besides techno, Nastia Reigel is also focused on various experimental audio and visual projects. In the +4Bar, Swedish DJ and producer Nima Khak also records with with Jesper Dahlbäck as Swedish Naan Boys, releasing his own Stockholm-based SAND label. With seven releases to date, this maverick artist is a new techno force to be welcomed to the Tresor Floor. Herrensauna’s resident DJ CEM contributes an excellent techno set to enhance this already brilliant Grounded Theory Tresor Floor issue.