XDB has a reputation for being a historian of electronic music. With his extensive catalog of vinyl he is able to express harmonized, almost pictorial themes in his mixes. Almost similar to an abstract painter who uses paint dabbles and brushstrokes to create rhythms and structures. The 24th FIBER podcast by XDB expresses his versatility as a storyteller of house and techno histories. “I just took a bunch of old and new records and tried to tell a story with tunes I never used for a podcast before.”
Since XDB aka Kosta Athanassiadis grew up in the 70’s/80’s and started DJing in the 90’s, he came to witness the pioneers of all different kinds of exciting music. “When it comes to house I do love Larry Heard and Marshall Jefferson.. true legends. Electro? Kraftwerk! Oh yes and Richard D James is a pure genius.” Other, less obvious, influences are Christian Bruhn, a German composer famous for his Schlagers and his work for radio and television. “He did the music for the German version of Captain Future.” Kosta also mentions Rob Hubbard: “He made electronic music for Commodore 64 games that I played, back in 1984, when I was 12 years old.”
All these influences and an ‘encyclopedic’ passion for music led to the development of XDB’s warm and organic style that presents itself through his mixes and productions. His tracks have been released on highly regarded labels, such as Sistrum, Dolly, Echochord, Wave Music, and, of course, his own label Metrolux Music.
Listening to this podcast, artworks made by Paul Klee came to Kosta’s mind. The German-Swiss painter was a musician at heart and influenced by the various avant-garde’s of the early 20th century. As a teacher at Bauhaus, Klee came up with a theory for the use of colour by thinking of colour as a musical effect. Paintings were given titles, such as ‘Polyphony and Harmonised Disturbances’.
The painting ‘Redgreen and Violet-Yellow Rhythms’ (1920) illustrates our 24th podcast: the different patches provide a rhythmic effect, while the colour gradations create a sort of gloomy autumn hue. Klee’s primitive authenticity seems childishly simple, but is highly sophisticated. This is similar to the manner in which XDB juxtaposes old and new timeless sounding tracks in this mix. As they work together the legacy of soulful Detroit house and analogue sounding dubtechno is being extended into the future.*
*Much of this text is indebted to Wave Music’s description of XDB. Thanks for the inspiration!