cat. MEA033
release Mini LP + digital
release date December 15th 2020
mastering Marco Spaventi
distribution Crevette
artist page
Additional credits:
Designed by Don't DJ
Supported by Ostbelgien

All tracks marked with * were recorded live at the Meakusma Festival 2019. The other tracks were recorded at Vanessa’s place.

Ahead of the Meakusma Festival 2019 Don't DJ and NWAQ did an artist residency developing new music together from scratch. Their resulting performance at the festival was a mesmerising descent into the artistic perspectives of two singular artists active in off-kilter club music. Some of the eight tracks on this record were recorded live at the festival while others were recorded during the residency. All dwell in distorted and eccentric bliss and play around with rhythmic arrhythmic and post-rhythmic tension. There is happiness in dystopia although the subtle yet intense layering in the music hints at undercurrents that are far from bright. The joyousness of this record lies in the notable excitement Don't DJ and NWAQ experience fusing their modi operandi coming up with a music that shines and distorts. As massive blocks of sound alternate with subtler disorienting parts repetitive vocals create an air of disparate acceptance. It uses club music's template and pushes on.


It’s hard to imagine the potential results when crossing the creative streams of two artists as seemingly disparate as Don’t DJ and NWAQ. Don’t DJ is the alter ego of Florian Meyer, a German artist best known for his circular rhythm mantras based around Euclidean sequencing and evocative drum palettes. NWAQ, short for Newworldaquarium, is Jochem Peteri’s foremost alias and a totem of leftfield Dutch techno. Both artists are staunch individuals, and if they do belong to any kind of scenes, they’re not likely to be in the same one.
Credit then to Meakusma for instigating this collaboration as part of the 2019 edition of their festival in Belgium. As a label and events series with an unflinching commitment to experimental music, they’re just the sort to look past obvious connections and propose something genuinely unexpected. There was no specific concept behind this pairing – just a curious shot in the dark that would confound even an open-minded follower of one or both artists.
The club tendencies of Don’t DJ and NWAQ are pushed to the side throughout Fashion. Instead we get treated to the sound of two accomplished producers and performers cutting loose and riffing on each other’s ideas in a free and improvisatory way. ‘Central Bern – No Bern’ is the pinnacle of this premise, oozing from noisy Detroit arpeggios through to even noisier low-end distortion across 13 minutes, steered by their strange and slightly menacing chants. Meyer and Peteri sound as free as the most lo-fi cassette outfit from the shadow of 80s industrial, and even if it’s not perfect, it’s consistently surprising and exciting.
There are more direct moments such as the winsome 4/4 tones of ‘Vanessa’, but the most fun is to be had when the pair get really weird. Just listen to the nightmarish dub poetry of ‘Rabbits’ if you need more proof.

The superb, cybergunky results of an artist’s residency by two leading rhythmaticians, Don’t DJ & NWAQ, push far beyond their respective club boundaries on debut recordings for Belgium’s Meakusma
Hitting square between the eyes of their respective, grooving styles, ‘Fashion’ catches the German/Dutch duo consolidating freeform improv approaches into a pineal-squeezing style of psychedelic electronic noise that transcends the sum of its parts, and to the point you might never guess they’re behind it.
Recorded live at Vanessa’s place and at Meakusma Festival, the recordings are over easy on the distortion in a way that we’ve never heard from other artist before. And it sounds like they’re having top craic doing it, combined with unnerving avant-punkish vocals channelling John Bender and some kind of voice-in-the-head spirits, and a selection of rotted beats that still don’t give the game away, nodding more toward Nate Young or Aaron Dilloway than their usual vibes. It’s perhaps only at the shine-eyed ’Vanessa’ and whirligig harmony of ‘White Lies’ that they appear closer themselves, but only a glimmer of it, and it’s simply a strange pleasure to hear them go off road with such unexpected, intra-dimensional results.

Eine Kollaboration zwischen Jochem Peteri und Florian Meyer ist nicht unbedingt naheliegend, obwohl beide gerne in die Ferne schweifen. Während der eine allerdings mit seinem sanften Dub-Sound unter dem Alias Newworldaquarium die Weiten des Weltalls durchmisst, treibt sich der andere (meistens) auf der Erde herum und stellt als Don’t DJ Vierte-Welt-Konzepte in Frage oder ihnen gleich Fünfte-Welt-Visionen entgegen. Gut also, dass das belgische Festival Meakusma sich nur selten mit Naheliegenden aufhält und stattdessen produktive Reibung zwischen Produzent*innen forciert, die far out agieren. So geschehen im Vorjahr, als Peteri und Meyer im Rahmen einer Residency zusammenarbeiteten und ein gemeinsames Live-Konzert spielten. »Fashion« ist in doppelter Hinsicht das Resultat derselben: Zum Teil bildet das Album Mitschnitte der Performance ab, zum Teil handelt es sich um Material, welches die beiden vorab im Studio zusammengebastelt hatten. Im Kontrast zueinander stehen diese alternierend sequenzierten Aufnahmen dennoch nicht, sondern werden subtil miteinander in Verbindung gebracht und ergänzen sich dabei auf ähnlich spannende Weise wie NWAQ und Don’t DJ selbst. Während der sanft tapsende Beat von »Vanessa« ebenso dem Geiste des Niederländers entsprungen zu sein scheint wie die verschlungenen Melodien auf »Green Wolf« und sein Kollaborationspartner wohl die repetitiven Vocal-Samples auf dem Kernstück »Central Burn / No Burn« oder »Rabbits« verantwortet: Ganz eindeutig ist im Mit- und Durcheinander der beiden nichts, wie auch »Fashion« selbst von Ambiguitäten durchwirkt wird. Hier schimmert leise Hoffnung auf, dort regieren schroffe Industrial-Rhythmen und Niedergeschlagenheit. Die sieben Stücke finden sich zu einem atmosphärischen Kippspiel zusammen, dessen Parameter sich von Track zu Track immer weiter verschieben. Garantiert nicht naheliegende Musik also.
Text Kristoffer Cornils for HHV Mag