Monarch & Liaison presents
Nikola Baytala, Trey Courtney
101 6th St
San Francisco, California (CA), 94103
This event is 21 and over
Magda is an artist who can never be pinned down, no matter the timeframe or time signature. Any one of the Detroit-raised artist's DJ sets or productions breeds a rare feel of mystique and discovery. "I'm really obsessed with finding a line between things - between sounds and between genres. My influences come from a life spent in very different environments, which plays a huge role in the way I connect with music."
Dramatic sounds and eccentric basslines carry her multilayered sound, which veers everywhere from funked-out space disco to the intricately-programmed, metallic feel of Detroit to stripped down techno, all the way to Italian horror film soundtracks. The only thing that remains consistent is the element of surprise.
Her accidental entry into Detroit's underground party scene as a teenager was the kick-start she needed for a lifelong love affair. Soon all became a blur of "cities, record stores, and parties." In 1998, she joined Minus and began touring the world as Richie Hawtin's sole opener. From there, her distinctive sound began to develop and the rest is history.
Stylistically, Magda grooves through opposition - creating sets that are emotion-led yet clinical, having profound expertise with analog and digital technology. Her sound is otherworldly but visceral; dark with a warm sense of beauty and grace; sparse yet wondrously full-bodied with density and bass-swathed extremes. Magda's DJing style has been encapsulated on her mixed CDs 'She's A Dancing Machine,' and her mix for London club Fabric 'Fabric 49' (a mix CD with as much artistry and vision as an original album).
In the fall of 2010, Magda revealed her debut, 'From The Fallen Page,' a darkly- tinged, transportive album that curiously combines natural, organic sounds, and modern electronic grace. Similar to her unpredictable DJ sets, 'From The Fallen Page' took listeners from one end of the spectrum to the other, treading the fine lines of extremities along the way.
These days Magda isn't home very often. In-between touring, she's fully focused on her recently resurrected label 'Items & Things.' The label's vision always pinpoints the off-kilter and the uncommon, seeking out new artists and sounds that push boundaries. "Items and things are bits and pieces of uniqueness we come across. The label is a platform to launch the music that we love. There are no rules, just sounds we like and artists we believe in."
DJ Nikola Baytala has become a crucial component of the minimal-techno collective known as Kontrol. But don't typecast him as a one-dimensional droid with a M-nus Records logo tattoo. He's been exploring the upper echelons of the techno/house continuum since the early '90s (including the last 10 years at The Top, a weekly event hosted by S.W.A.T., aka Special Weapons and Tactics), gaining a reputation as a DJ's DJ, with acclaim coming from house-music legends like Derrick Carter and Doc Martin. Moreover, Baytala's list of musical influences and loves is vast, eclectic, and impeccable. The following roll call just scratches the surface: dub/reggae (Lee "Scratch" Perry), jazz (Pharoah Sanders), world (Ravi Shankar, Mulatu Astatke), funk (Cymande), soul (Bill Withers), hiphop (Gang Starr), Krautrock (Can), electro (Egyptian Lover, Kraftwerk), disco (DJ Harvey), Latin (Tito Puente), soundtrack/new age (Vangelis), rock (Steely Dan), post-punk (ESG, Liquid Liquid), and post-rock (Outhud). As for his bread and butter, Baytala similarly displays excellent judgment, with a heavy preference for quality-pushers like Jeff Mills, Gas, Monolake, Robert Hood, Theo Parrish, and Mr. Fingers. When you see a DJ possess such wide-ranging, outstanding taste, it instills confidence that he/she will rarely, if ever, veer into wackness. Baytala clearly has put many hours of study into his craft, and it's paid off with smooth mixes and world-class track selection. Besides his formidable technical skills and profound knowledge, Baytala reportedly exudes a lot of personality and passion behind the decks, which must have served him well while opening for acts like Jane's Addiction. Everything I've heard by Baytala suggests that his sets avoid the supposed pitfalls of minimal dance music. They're kinetic, dynamic, and, of course, cheese-free. I can't believe I've only just recently found out about this mensch.
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