The Robot Scientists – The ‘Wednesday Alternative’ Ransom Note Mix
Markus Schneider mustn't have any pets, weed addiction or high-maintenance loved ones; he seems a very busy man. Co-founder of Emerald & Doreen Records, half of The Robot Scientists, and host of the Something Spæcial podcast series (which has featured talent such as Timothy Clerkin, Duncan Gray and Timothy J. Fairplay in it's 40+ session party). He still took time out to sequence the obscure vinyl and commisioned GIFs into this stunning video and audio mix over 100 minutes. Growing up in the Saarland, close to the French border and once with it's own footie team, it's as curious and individual as this video demonstrates. Daft vinyl collector with 4000 weighty pieces, he enthuses about cosmic balearia and '80s synthwave and Italo Disco. Enjoy this delight.
WHAT DOES YOUR MIX SOUND LIKE?
The mix “Cold Waves, Hot Nights” Vol.2 is a 100 minute celebration of Minimal Wave and German New Wave gems which are simply amazing, but mostly unknown because the records were never popular. It sounds like the soundtrack for driving a DeLorean on a Tron-Highway into a psychedelic atom-bomb mushroom cloud on the horizon with a young cyberpunk-ish Wendy James (Transvision Vamp) beside you, humming “I Want Your Love”…haha.
WHERE WAS THE MIX RECORDED?
I recorded it at home with two Technics 1210, a Pioneer mixer and my laptop.
WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SETTING TO LISTEN TO THE MIX?
Perferably a cold, grey winter day. You are fed up with the New Cold War news on TV and now you want to watch a colourful video with amazing retro-futuristic gifs by leading gif artists 30000fps and KIDMOGRAPH and dance to some amazing melancholic Synth Wave masterpieces that deserve to be heard.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE WEARING?
Ideally you are dressed like that: black pants, white collar shirt, have ultraviolet light switched on in the room and you wear at least one neon-green glow-in-the-dark bracelet and make sure there is enough hairspray in your hair.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM SETTING TO RECORD A MIX?
Well if I spin as a DJ or if I compile mixes and compilations, it is always a mixture of colourful, psychedelic, sometimes even soulful Balearic disco and darker, post-punk and synth-wave oriented tracks. I grew up in the ugliest town in Germany and I love to travel to get away from it, haha, so my sets are all ying and yang, bright vs dark, happy vs sad, but always with a lot of energy. I am not about technology at all, just about great music, and there are some people I really admire. Therefore, I think recording a mix in Giorgio Moroder’s home studio in the Hollywood Hills with David Lynch and Johnny Jewel as co-selectors and support musicians would be just perfect.
WHICH TRACK IN THE MIX IS YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE?
I am still hooked on Kuruki’s "Crocodile Tears". It is such a great song and I just got the super-rare 12 inch version of it which came out on ZYX back then. I hope someone re-releases it soon. These guys deserve it.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE RECORDED MIX OF ALL TIME?
The best mix I ever heard is from Andrew Weatherall, Live at Waxwerks, but Alvaro Cabana’s Something Spæcial mix was close behind.
IF YOU COULD GO B2B WITH ANY DJ FROM HISTORY WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would love to play back to back with DJ Harvey, because his sets are very organic and emotional, hit oriented. He plays all styles, all decades, many vocal tracks (just like I do), and he always leaves people totally happy on the dancefloor. Very special nights. And he seems a totally cool guy too with a lot of experience and stories to tell, I bet. I've seen him live this year in Ibiza, it was awesome. So a back to back with him would definitely be legendary.
WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT, THE TRACK YOU START WITH OR THE ONE YOU END ON?
The track you start with is definitely more important, but I also tend to think about the last one. In this mix here, it is a more recent synthpunk hymn by Daybed with a clear message, “Lack of Light”, that is what we have and I am SICK of it. I am a Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain fan too, I love this idea that with the last song, you give it all away, the rest of your energy, you smash your guitar into the stage or let the amps scream with feedback…but then again, sometimes, as you can listen to mixes on repeat, it also makes sense to connect the last song to the first one.
WHAT WERE THE FIRST & LAST RECORDS YOU BOUGHT?
First record ever was a compilation with Bonnie Tyler's "Lost in France", David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" and Climax Blues Band's "Couldn’t Get It Right" at the age of 9. Last records were Red Axes' "Waiting For A Surprise" and MR TC "Soundtrack For Strangers".
IF THIS MIX WERE AN ANIMAL WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A three-eyed, black-and-white butterfly unicorn kitten.
UPCOMING IN YOUR WORLD?
Emerald & Doreen – We just released the second mix from Jerry Bouthier called “Voyage Sauvage” and just last week a wonderful grrrls-only synthwave compilation called “Female Waves”. I love both a lot. Upcoming: we release something new every week, all kinds of styles, there is always something to discover! In February, we will release an amazing vocal track with a Cannibal Ink remix – can’t tell you more, but that is the perfect doomsday-wave track, soooo good! 😉 And I am thinking about turning “Something Spæcial” into an official mix series with proper releases on our label. We will see whether this works out.
The Robot Scientists – we played some smaller gigs this year in very cool, selected locations in Berlin and Saarbrücken, I hope we can go on with this in 2016 and meet and party with many nice people along the way.