pontone mixtapes

We present guide to fascinating musical world of Danny Wolfers and various projects released on Strange Life Records.

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  1. Legowelt X9 Vulcan Bomber (“Amiga Railroad Adventures” 2009)
  2. Franz Falckenhaus Tension (“The Europa Judgement” 2008)
  3. Legowelt Lego Resistance (“Dark Days” 2004)
  4. Phalangius The Cambridge Library Murders (“The Cambridge Library Murders” 2007)
  5. Klaus Weltman A Desolated Fishing Village (“Cultus Island” 2004)
  6. Heinrich Dressel Welcome To Mons Testaceum (“Mons Testaceum” 2007)
  7. Grackle Fragile (“Cloak & Dagger” 2005)
  8. Unit Black Flight No Turning Back (“Where Is Carlos” 2007)
  9. Legowelt Safehouse Phonecall (“Amiga Railroad Adventures” 2009)
  10. Sammy Osmo Men Spreekt Over Atlantis (“De Originele Filmmuziek Van Schaduw Horizon” 2008)
  11. Smackos Codex Calixtinus (“Presents The Age Of Candy Cand” 2004)
  12. Sam Lowry Libria (“Needle Mountain” 2008)
  13. Nacho Patrol Africaspaceprogram (“Futuristic Abeba” 2009)

Danny Wolfers is one of the most fascinating recording artists working in the world today. Based in The Hague, he’s an integral part of the close-knit, world-renowned italo/electro scene centred around Guy Tavares’ Bunker Records and I-F’s Intergalactic FM (formerly CBS), but over the past thirteen years he’s very much pursued his own muse.

Though he achieved a massive crossover hit in the shape of ‘Disco Rout’, which was licensed by Cocoon in 2002 and became an electroclash anthem, Wolfers has always been too clever and chameleon-like to become a commodity. With Legowelt and especially his Polarius project he has sought to distill and enhance the very essence of Chicago house music, updating the raw, box jam aesthetic for modern ears and dancefloors; the recent Slompy Jitt EP summons the spirit of Ron Trent in its bumping, symphonic bluster. His live shows are the stuff of legend, the solitary performer surrounded by synths and analogue hardware More recently Wolfers has adopted the Nacho Patrol guise to explore his interest African music and psychedelic jazz; having already released the Futuristic Abeba 12″, one of this year’s most unusual and essential 12″s, this month he brings out the second Nacho Patrol album to date, Africa Jet Band.

It’s not just Legowelt and Nacho Patrol though. Wolfers has made music under a truly bewildering number of assumed names, each of them allowing him to express a slightly different aspect of his musical personality. Though a veteran of such revered labels as Bunker, Clone and Creme Organization, much of Wolfers’ most interesting work has appeared on his own Strange Life label. Specialising in affordable CD-R albums, Strange Life has release no less than 30 albums since 2004, and a staggering 18 of them are by Wolfers himself. Strange Life records have a definite hauntological quality, though the aesthetic is more playful and straightforward than that of, say, Ghost Box. Wolfers is obsessed with mysteries of all kinds, from cold war spy yarns to schlocky horror movies and cop shows, and each album on Strange Life is accompanied by a loose backstory and evocative artwork – they are all imaginary soundtracks. The thematic range of these textually rich records is delightful, from Legowelt’s Amiga Railroad Adventures (“a tribute to British railroad romantics”) and Franz Falckenhaus’s Stories From My Cold War through  to Florenza Mavelli’s Italian giallo-style Special Brigade; Manuel Noriega and Klaus Kinski are just two of the historical figures who Wolfers has celebrated on record. Musically, the Dutch producer veers from driving Carpenter and Goblin-inspired synth themes to dissonant Morricone-style funk and gorgeous, tape-saturated ambience. Every Wolfers recording is immediately recognisable as such, and yet no two are the same.

At the heart of all these projects – Phalangius, Venom 18, Salamandos, Danny Blanco, Polarius and Raheem Hershel are a mere smattering of the names Wolfers operates under – is the synthesizer, in all its numerous incarnations. Wolfers is an absolute synth freak, and a staggering array of analogue and digital equipment is deployed in the service of his art, as we shall hear from the man himself.

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