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 46.
Steeped in Miami’s B-boy culture, it was classic electro & Miami bass that conceived Danny Daze‘s love for the experimental Dutch electro & Detroit Techno scenes of the 90’s. Daze’s risk-taking & punk approach is at the core of everything he does and it’s a big part of the ethos of his current label, Omnidisc. He is known to cut & weave from Electro to Techno into Italo Disco, into a record by Yazoo deliberately intended to provoke a reaction. As a producer Danny Daze also reaches far beyond techno & has created original runway soundtracks for award winning American streetwear designer John Elliott & the Australian brand Song for the Mute. His radical approach to preserving music’s integrity while breaking its boundaries may seem volatile, but it’s not random. An irrepressible figure on the post-punk new wave scene that has broken the monopoly of delicate electro in recent years, Parrish Smith delights in messing with the senses and breaking the rules. His resolutely 90s-inflected sound features saturated, mechanical textures and grinding vocoder vocals, in addition to rave synths that hint at a more disconcerting and industrial acid sound. One half of Volition Immanent, and signed to L.I.E.S., Knekelhuis, Dekmantel and later to Nina Kraviz’s label ТРИП, Parrish Smith makes the soundsystem come alive in an entirely new dancefloor experience: dark, cavernous, frenetic. Mindblowing. A resident of Berlin’s inner east-side for the best part of a decade, Colombian-born artist and mate from the hood, Pablo Mateo, is a DJ and producer of driving energy and flair. An in demand selector across Berlin and Germany, Mateo is no stranger to the dancefloors. With his label Artful Rifle founded in 2017 for what Mateo calls “non-serious” techno, critics file his productions as premium, adventurous, rhythm tracks. Furthermore, he’s been applauded for providing the leftfield sounds of Oliver Hafenbauer’s Die Orakel label with its best release to date. The alive and electric feel of Mateo’s music mirrors his personality and approach to the dancefloor, which is nothing short of bombastic, fresh, diverse and ready to be heard, and tonight he will be playing back-to-back with cutting-edge talent and Grounded Theory mastermind Henning Baer, a DJ of worldwide renown for ability and tastes, who forged his enviable résumé with his own hands. The launch of his own MANHIGH imprint buttresses the foundation of his own work, to be built up alongside a select few whose productions meet the curatorial acumen of one of techno’s finest ears. Already a respected artist, Henning Baer is building further upon these impressive accomplishments, profoundly shaping contemporary techno from recent memory into the foreseeable future. Jesse Siminski is Heartthrob, a purveyor of chrome-plated cosmic funk. His label ISNISNT delivers leftfield sounds within the house, disco and techno sphere from the American producer, acting as an outlet for his own productions and collaborations. After discovering the Detroit and Chicago vibe, moving to New York, befriending Magda and debuting an EP on Ritchie Hawtin’s Minus label, Heartthrob moved to Paris (where he was a resident at Rex) and then to Berlin where he released his debut long-player “Dear Painter, Paint Me”. His style is unique and vibrant, a live performance of high quality dance music. Honed over twenty years of record collecting and studio experimentation, Heartthrob has a knack for capturing peak emotion and energetic grooves with the flair of an experimentalist. He has spent the last 12 years DJing and playing hardware-driven live shows in many of the top clubs around the world. Afrodeutsche is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer and DJ based in Manchester. Her productions cross a wide range of styles including classical solo piano, techno, house and electro. Her live sets are meticulous, and her productions intricate. After playing her first live show warming up for techno titan, Carl Craig, in 2016 in Ibiza for Cosmic Pineapple, she has also featured on line-ups alongside electro royalty, Dopplereffekt. Afrodeutsche‘s DJ style is a selection of Drexciyan delights mixed with tough UK techno mainstays such as Claro Intelecto and Randomer. She holds a monthly radio show on the reputable NTS, featuring her own productions, ranging from dark electro to breaks and jacking house. Tonight she will also be behind the +4Bar decks together with Heartthrob, two chances to catch these innovative artists. We welcome back Berlin’s modular sound explorer, Rachel Lyn, who performs as a DJ, ambient hybrid shows, and completely live. The Founder & Curator of party series “Modular Gang” since November 2017, she has a multi-sensory outlook on music. Since relocating to Berlin in late 2016, Lyn has been working in synergy with Oscillate — an open-ended event series pushing the finest in emerging underground talent. Her dance floor DJ sets are driven by the capacity of a venue, the mood of the party, and her current state of mind. Constantly in touch with her feelings, Rachel Lyn‘s charged DJ narrative is an electric mixture of ambient, gritty, warm melodies and quirky sounds mixed with bass grooves and hard-hitting techno.