“The Moon Landing Was A Hoax” takes off with pure 303 bounces – Reznik and Mikesh release a new EP
Reznik and Mikesh crack open a fine vintage bottle of conspiracy with the scorching truth bomb “The Moon Landing Was A Hoax”. Following their remix of Telepopmusik last year, the freshly-formed duo of Keinemusik affiliates deliver such an acid weapon Justin Strauss insisted they release it after it caused total Panorama Bar meltdown for him.
In case you missed the inaugural edit, “The Moon Landing Was A Hoax” takes off with pure 303 bounces before sharp vocal cuts pepper the mix leading to a heaven-opening breakdown. Total euphoria; it’s so powerful it totally misses the lunar landscape and spins us back around our own planet faster and faster with every emphatic layer. Reznik & Mikesh’s “Area 51 Infinite Mix” adds three more minutes of feels, creating this immense drama that sits somewhere between Chemical Brothers and Two Lone Swordsmen.
trndmsk: Let’s first of all deal with the elephant in the room. How are you coping with the current lockdown situation? A productive or stressful time?
Reznik: It is somewhat productive as the release is coming out this week, so there is always something to do to get the word out. Because its a superstrange situation to release club music when all the clubs are closed, you try to think of non-club-related ways to make sure these tunes don’t vanish completely into the Corona black hole. In terms of us being productive together, it’s not that easy. We’re trying to stay in touch, but as we’re permanently socially distanced, with Mikesh living and Leipzig and myself being in Berlin, we haven’t been able to meet up for studio sessions within this quarantine period. Hopefully that’ll be possible again soon.
How do you feel the scene will have changed when we come out the other side and do you think we’ll see many, or any, positive changes resulting from the experience?
One effect that is perceptible now as we are still (maybe) in an early stage of this whole event, is that people start to cherish what they had just a few weeks ago. People dancing to music as much as people playing music. With the Keinemusik crew, we just played a streaming session for the United We Stream project, a big volunteer and non profit endeavor that’s trying to raise money for the club infrastructure and in parts also for the civil sea rescue. It really felt relieving just to play a DJ set, even in an empty room to a camera, and at the same time it was overwhelming to see all the warm and thankful feedback from the people watching and dancing at home. So given that we get back to a healthy club scene at some point, you might notice an overall sense of salvation and maybe even a collective mindset to not take these things for granted. Other than that I have difficulties in estimating what the actual damage to the scene might look like. As of now it is completely uncertain how long this hiatus will be. I guess the longer it takes the more the whole infrastructure will suffer. Let’s hope it’ll cause a bit more modesty, awareness and appreciation for everyone involved in clubculture, once we make it through this weird time.
The Reznik & Mikesh collaboration burst on the scene last year with your excellent remix of Telepopmuzik’s “Connection”. How did the hook up come about?
Mikesh and I have known each other for many years. I also used to live in Leizig and we met during this time. I think it must be some 15+ years ago. We played at the same parties on several occasions and i must say, I’ve always been a big fan of his insanely versatile musicianship. I basically loved everything he did, no matter what stylistic route he was taking. I moved to Berlin in 2006, but we always kept in touch and over the years became closer friends. I guess we share a certain mentality, also humor and ultimately also an interest in certain sounds, artists and even eras of music. For years we more or less just talked about music, but then ended up in Mikesh’s studio two years ago. Just to find out if it would be fun to work in the studio together. Then the first demos were created and it felt like they were fueled by a good chemistry, so we kept on going.
Describe the studio dynamic between you both. Are you always in the studio together? Do you ever “tinker” solo and remotely? Does either of you take the lead on certain processes, sounds or instrumentation?
We still talk a lot about music, also when in the studio. We’re bouncing ideas back and forth while Mikesh leads the creative process. I’m lacking confidence in being a solo producer, that’s why its just perfect to be on the same page with someone like Mikesh, someone who is extremely hands-on and intuitive in bringing an idea, that perhaps you literally just discussed, to life.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Reznik & Mikesh, having just released your “Calumet” track as part of Riotvan’s excellent “Familiar Faces No. 3” EP, and the now the forthcoming release of your mighty “The Moon Landing Was A Hoax” EP on 2MR. Did you target the both labels specifically? What’s are the story behind the signings?
“Calumet” is easy to explain. Riotvan is run by Peter Invasion and Panthera Krause. They are both mutual friends for many years too. Riotvan was actually founded, back in the days, to release Mikesh’s album under the Here Is Why moniker. So this fell into place quite easily. They asked for a track, we showed them some tracks, they picked ‘Calumet’ and that was it.
With 2MR… I was buying their records for quite a while already and have always been into the things Mike Simonetti (owner of 2MR) was doing, beginning with his Troubleman Unlimited days. I’ve been a sucker for everything he did on Italians Do It Better, and in general I could always relate to his approach to curating labels and creating music. The stylistic diversity. He also has this background in DIY and Punk-culture, so i’ve always been a great admirer of all things Simonetti. Through my Keinemusik buddy Adam Port I got in touch with Justin Strauss, yet another artist I was respecting a lot for everything he did over the course of his career. I sent him the ‘Moon Landing’ demos and a couple of days later I went to see him play in Panorama Bar, where he actually dropped the ‘Moon Landing’ tune. It felt amazing to hear it there and getting a great response from the crowd. Justin is good friends with Mike and the 2MR crew, so he forwarded the demos to them, they liked it and so thankfully this material ended up on a label we have a huge appreciation for. Thankfully Justin and his partner Max did a remix of the original too, to give this story the utmost happy ending.
“The Moon Landing Was A Hoax” is, not only a great title, but also a large and strong package of original music. Tell us a little about the tracks. Did you always see them as part of the same release?
Yes and no. Of course they came to life separately, but it somehow felt like they were sharing a certain vibe. These came together during the first months of us hanging out in Mikesh’s studio and back then we had this thing to link everything to ‘The Shining’, a movie we both like a lot. That’s also the reason why we thought about naming our project No Work All Play in the first place. That’s a variation of some text that Jack Torrence writes over and over again on his typewriter. So ‘Moon Landing’ refers to the conspiracy theory that Stanley Kubrick filmed a staged moon landing. ‘Kiss My Axe’ refers to Jack Torrance on his axe hunt in the closing parts of the movie. ‘The Nostromo Swerve’ came a bit later and refers to the Alien movies (sorry about that slight inconsistency). Another thing that holds it together thematically is the fantastic artwork by our friend Tobi, aka WTF Office. Shout out to Tobi!
Finally, do these releases signal a string of new productions on the horizon from Reznik & Mikesh? What do you both have lined up for the rest of 2020?
We have some more tracks up our sleeves and hope to get them out soon. Other than that I can’t wait to meet up with Mikesh again to do some more. Beyond that it seems the agenda for 2020 is to just make it through, haha.