Digging Deep: XDB
Kosta Athanassiadis is a seasoned DJ with a reputation for impeccable selection. Not necessarily in the mould of modern-day tastemakers such as Ben UFO or Palms Trax, but as a veteran whose ability is attributable to a wonderful knack for taking records spanning over three (or more) decades old and placing them in new, innovative contexts. A selector since ’93 who has absorbed years of invaluable musical knowledge on the business side of a record-store counter, XDB certainly has an unrivalled affinity with music in its physical format. With endless hours digging, discovering and compiling, his sound ranges from soulful deep straight though to raw analogue.
Jackintosh, the first production on his own Metrolux label back in 2006, saw Athanassiadis debut with an insatiable dub techno groove. Since then he has released on esteemed labels such as Francois K’s Wave Music, Echocord, AIM, Dolly and Patrice Scott’s Sistrum, whilst also collaborating with the likes of Kassem Mosse. But it’s as a selector that he keeps winning plaudits, constantly drawing on subtle influences from all possible corners and directions. In a 2013 interview with groove.de, his mission to “sound exciting enough to inspire and at the same time not overwhelm anyone” rings just as true in 2017.
Having already laid down legendary sets at Freerotation and Japan’s Labyrinth, XDB will be making his debut in the Anglesea woodland at Gottwood next month. With only a couple of weeks to go ’til the Welsh festival’s eighth edition, we asked him to provide us with a few select cuts to whet the appetite. From Underground Resistance anthems to thirty five-year-old Japanese electro, XDB’s selection is a delectable slice of sonic inspiration.
Skooby Laposky - The Timpani Waves EP [Oratai Sound Salon]
The cover artwork shows a bearded, smoking captain on his ship, holding a telescope. Theo Parrish did an amazing remix here, almost ten minutes long and for me it is one of his finest productions ever. Whenever I listen to this record it feels like I am on holiday by the sea, surrounded by hundreds of seagulls.
Richard H Kirk – Virtual State [Warp]
I bought this fantastic Richard H Kirk (ex Cabaret Voltaire) album at WOM / World Of Music in 1994 and Lagoon West became one of my favourite beatless tunes ever since then.
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars [Philadelphia International]
I was three years old when this record came out. Heard it many many years later and bought the reissue. The title track has one of the most beautiful and soulful intros ever and it leads to six minutes of some kind of Space Funk Music. Dexter Wansell himself recently quoted that he got sent the audio files for ‘Life On Mars’ and the original recording is almost 12 minutes long. I´d love to hear this extended uncut version and do hope they are going to press it on wax in the near future, this would be great!
Xes Noiz – Xes Noiz EP [Nation Of Noise]
One of the most obscure records in my collection. Aired in 1992 on the German radio station Hessischer Rundfunk at HR3 Clubnight and because of its special vibe it has been an alltime favourite since then. Someone on Discogs described it as dark moody aquatic dub techno, a must for fans of Drexciya or Moritz Von Oswald and I could not agree more. Me and some friends of mine used to drive regularly together to our favourite record stores to go buy these types of records. Got myself a couple of extra copies over the years since then… always good to have birthday presents and records to swap.
The Future Sound Of London – Accelerator [Jumpin´ & Pumpin´]
This became one of my favourite albums. Most people just know Papua New Guinea but the whole thing is a masterpiece and I love every minute of it.
Davina – Don’t You Want It [Happy Records]
The ultimate Mad Mike Detroit anthem. Played in the right place for a lovely crowd in the perfect moment, it will become the track of the night, but I’ve also seen DJs clearing the dancefloor with this one.
John Carpenter in association with Alan Howarth – Escape From New York (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Varese Sarabande]
One of my best friends introduced me to this original motion picture soundtrack from 1981 and it is a truly stunning music, have a listen.
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Riot In Lagos [Island Records]
I could also choose something from Kraftwerk, but my last pick to complete the list with some electro is this impressive 35+ year old tune by Ryuichi Sakamoto from Yellow Magic Orchestra. Hope you enjoy.