009 Niklas Vaggh

In a meticulously compiled podcast Niklas Vaggh creates an anthology of atmospheres he constantly seeks in his dj-sets. Niklas Vaggh aka Sietse van der Meer has been collecting tracks for over three months to create the harsh, gloomy, uncompromising and haunting mix he envisioned.

At a young age Sietse was already into the hard styles of music. A characteristic also evident with previous artists who contributed to the series. Although Sietse listened to hardcore, he resisted strongly against sectarianism, the capturing of styles and people in boxes and conventions. This resulted in a broad orientation, during which he listened to a wide range of music, ranging from early hardcore and oldskool to metal. He played in a nu-metal band where he scratched using his hardcore records. It was around ‘95 that he started making his own beats, enriched with samples he took from films. Core values of his musical orientation are melodic melancholy, rhythmic continuity, a mysterious gloom and a certain level of relentlessness.

These values are still key to his musical orientation, although nowadays he can also appreciate the more subtle, deep sounds instead of the distorted beats or a squealing guitar. This is also goes for the art of omission, a feature prevalent in the Berghain sound. Next to these features, labels that sought their own unconventional way to sound (such as Planet Mu and r_AW) have had major influence on Niklas Vaggh in recent years.

Visually Sietse is attracted by artworks full of contrasts, expressive colours and strong shapes. These elements and the dark and sinister atmosphere are also present in this podcast’s accompanying artwork “Shimmering”, a picture taken by Russian photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov full of both mystery and colour. A picture that shows how nature can create both magical moments and extreme dangers, these elemental forces pose the most adverse of conditions and impossible challenges of unfathomable dimensions.