Urban Mutations

DJ collective Urban Mutations first caught our ear warming up for Californian band Death Grips last year at Festsaal, going on to catch our eye with their intriguing artwork of an ever-evolving undecipherable sculpture. Making up the core of the collective are Berlin-based musicians and DJs MFK and WEN, who first joined forces around two years ago playing back-to-back at Neukölln haunts O Tannenbaum and the now defunct Times bar. We caught up with founding member DJ MFK following their second show for Berlin Community Radio and ahead of their regular night at Paloma bar this evening (see here for details).

How did Urban Mutations come about?

We started DJing in order to hear some of the music we like on the mainly techno-driven scene in Berlin. We’re both into a lot of different club music, mainly new UK-based productions from labels like Hessle Audio, Hemlock and Nightslugs and their NYC counterpart Fade To Mind as well as Juke, New Vogue, Jersey Club and classic Detroit and Chicago stuff, not to forget the NYC scene, Outsider Dance, UK garage and many other mutated styles in between. We wanted to create a platform for interesting DJs and producers to play different kinds of modern club music in Berlin for an engaged audience that can appreciate a mixture of styles during one night.

What can we expect of your sets?

The music we like to play is often very creatively produced with a lot of space for interludes and different kinds of beats. Mixing this kind of stuff can be quite demanding but it also gives us a lot of creative control over the mood in the place. People really appreciate the extra depth, it seems.

Can you tell us a bit about the artwork you use?

We work a lot with the images of artist Harm van den Dorpel, an old friend of mine as well as other artists from the same scene such as Katja Novitskova and Aids-3D (who make music as well). This so-called post-internet scene in Berlin is somehow related to the Soundcloud-producer-boom of the last couple of years. And they were our first and best audience in the first year or so, and still are.

Is there anything you’re particularly excited about in terms of music in Berlin at the moment?

The people organizing stuff at Chesters on Glogauer Strasse are doing a particularly good job lately. Berlin Creamcake is always cool. And the people around Berlin Community Radio are great too. But other than that there ain’t much around. (Sorry if I forgot anyone) But we have big plans…

Stay posted for news of a major Urban Mutations event this July at Festsaal on their Facebook page, and here’s where you can catch them in the meantime:

June 23rd at Paloma with ¥oin and Zubuntu.
May 31st at the Teenitus Festival with Zebra Katz.
June 15  at Saalfest with Lady Leshurr.
June 2nd at the Berlin Community Radio Launch.

And here’s some more of Harm van den Dorpel’s great artwork: