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. Welcome to Number 44.
Nastia is a DJ from the Ukraine, who began DJing around 2005 and eventually started a weekly radio show called ‘Propaganda’, which is also the name her new label, launched recently in 2013. Now she barely finds spare time while touring the world. In 2011 her first release was a collaboration with Sasha (Alexander Pavlenko / Sunchase) named ‘He & She’ on the label Musik Gewinnt Freunde. Until today it’s their only release, because both remain very busy. Since 2010 Nastia has been a resident DJ at Arma17. Returning Brit artist Stephanie Sykes belongs to the league of yet young artists, a fact that is hard to believe when you consider her Fullpanda debut “Luna Tactus” together with Fjäder aka Ina Matsdotter. Her ambient-techno concepts are accessible and positioned for special cold and lonely hours. This is due part to her residency at the revived tradition night Atomic Jam, where Sykes regularly provides the sound of one of techno’s cutting-edge epicenters: Birmingham. Pavel Milyakov is Buttechno from Moscow. In a recent podcast, Buttechno veered into near-abstract experimentalism while managing to keep one foot in the dancefloor. It’s a difficult balancing act, but its one that Buttechno handles with aplomb. His recent Boiler Room set was also reverberating all through the scene. Playing all over his native country, Europe and the world, it is amazing how Buttechno is able to also find time for his prolific production work. Half German, half Colombian, Pablo Mateo is an artist firmly rooted within the contemporary art of techno. His productions are built around a firm understanding of analogue hardware, and can be defined as having an machine based aesthetic and applying emotional undertones to deep, organic rhythms. Pablo Mateo has also built up a following through his finely tuned DJ selections which are concise and personal and have become renowned for being driving and engaging while still remaining fun. In the +4Bar: A strident local hero in her home-town of Moscow, Nikita Zabelin is one of the foremost jocks on the Russian circuit, a producer and sound engineer and a resident at Moscow’s Monasterio club. Nikita is a proponent of minimalism that grew initially from the German techno-world, yet whatever those early sources, he has now come into his own as a sonic artist. “My music is not driven by songs. Instead it’s the creation of alternative realities, whether they spring from visual images or grow from my own experience with modern technology.” Berlin-based artist P.Leone is a musician, DJ and producer hailing from South Brooklyn, New York. At 23, Leone threw himself into production, quickly developing an intricate, uncompromising dancefloor sound – the likes of which expertly pays homage to his hip-hop, experimental and disco influences. Alongside his fellow New Yorker Caizzo, Leone launched his E-MISSIONS label in March 2017, courtesy of the no less exceptional “1994EVER”.