Over the past few years electro has made it's way back into hearts and record bags; finding a new generation of discerning fans and spotlighting a shed load of young talented producers.
One of the labels at the forefront of this revival is Mechatronica, a Berlin-based imprint who seek to explore the relationship between man and machine. Danish-born Casper Mejlholm, who moonlights under the guise of Mejle, makes up part of the quartet of DJs, producers, designers and all-round music lovers that founded the label, and now party series, in the German capital. Having released music from the likes of Jensen Interceptor, Innershades, The Exaltics and Sync 24, it's evident that Mejle's ear for interesting, emotive and powerful electro is more refined than most.
He takes the reigns for this week's 'Shine A Light On' mix, an hour of machine-driven electro with a few upcoming Mechatronica releases thrown in for good measure...
Please introduce yourself... Who are you, what are you and where are you?
Hey I’m Casper, born and raised in the Danish countryside, spent 10 years in Copenhagen and now living in Berlin since 2013. I run the Mechatronica label and club nights in collaboration with my planetary brothers Dani, Milan and Fede.
Found a passion for collecting, mixing, promoting and releasing music, so over the past decade I’ve been doing more and more of that.
Where was the mix recorded?
In my living room in Neukölln.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Dim lit area with space to move, low ceilings, maybe below ground. Maybe some friends around, maybe not - as you prefer.
What should we be wearing?
That favorite pair of socks and a gas mask.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I wonder what it’s like to DJ weightlessly on a pounding system... in space. If my dreams aren’t on that kind of budget, then somewhere outside - looking into the sky adds another dimension to music for me.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Has to be one of the tracks by Maelstrom, DeFeKT or L.F.T., coming out on Mechatronica in the next months. Aside from those, ‘Uncode’ by UHU. I’m hard pressed to find any artist who can write uplifting stompers like UHU.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Impossible to pick one, but Andy Weatherall’s essential mix from ’93 is up there. Made a big impact on my approach to DJing when I heard it the first time.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Probably Ben UFO. I used to listen to all his early Hessle Audio shows on Rinse FM and they were a big inspiration to me - such a wizard on the decks. Capable of playing any record.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
1210s, CDJ-400s and a DJM-400 when I started out. The 1210s are still going strong, but the rest changed to XDJ-1000s and a A&H Xone 92 mixer.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
An ender that goes down really well, definitely helps cement the set in my memory a lot more than a good opener would do. But as a listener or dancer I don’t put too much importance on the opener or ender, if the DJ has been killing it for 3 hours in-between.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First purchase: probably Kryptic Minds - Distant / Badman, Headhunter - Grounded, Skream - The Shinein or some grime promos on Discogs. I got into DJing through 2-step, garage, dnb and UK bass music, so initially I was was buying a lot of white labels and records from Souljazz, Tempa, DMZ, Hyperdub etc.
Last purchase: St Theodore - Mortal Strike on Land Of Dance, and Binary Digit - 38490 Electronics on Dream Ticket.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Black coffee with sugar and two hits of schnapps.
If it was an animal what would it be?
Octopus, no doubt.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Die Krupps - Machineries Of Joy, Killing Joke - Love Like Blood or maybe some Borghesia record. Even if the EBM, new wave, italo and synth-pop records can be difficult to mix, I love playing these parts of my collection tho. Healthy practice for the ears and hands, compared to playing tracks with a more straight production.
Upcoming in the world of Mejle...
Next chapter in our residency at Griessmühle in Berlin on October 25th, where we invited back the Cultivated Electronics family from London for another 24h getdown.
The weekend after I’m headed to Moscow for a label showcase at the Propaganda club, alongside No Moon and Norwell. Finally there’s a new EP coming out in the Mechatronica White series end of October by Austrian producer and DJ, Heap, backed by a remix from Gamma Intel. The first track premieres should be coming online soon.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Snare addiction and space exploration, but let’s leave it for another time.