Pan Pot bring their Second State label to Studio Spaces London on the 26th of March for a showcase featuring the Berlin duo themselves, Miss Kittin, Stephan Hinz and more. Ahead of the event, Josh Plews takes a look at the rise of the label and its venture into curatraing its own parties all over the world.
Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix have been making music together since meeting at Berlin’s world renowned SAE Institute for music and technology. Their partnership resulted due to being the only two students in their study groups who had their sights set on techno music.
The early years of the duos newly formed alias Pan-Pot, which takes the name of the stereo axis control on studio mixing desks, saw releases on some of the most respected labels in German dance music, signifying a strong start for the pair. Anja Schneider’s Mobilee Records and Einmaleins were two of the first labels Pan-Pot released their music on, demonstrating their adept ability to create high quality grooves that which became more refined throughout the following years.
After the release of their debut album Pan-O-Rama, which offered not just peak time club tracks, but also more intricate and atmospheric takes on techno, Pan-Pot came to the top of their game and as such, decided to start their own imprint, Second State. It seems being able to bring any dance floor around the world into uproar in the cleverest of ways, as well as owning releases on a further smorgasbord of record labels wasn’t enough for these guys. Second State will provide a number of ways for Pan-Pot to expand their creative minds into new areas that they have as of yet, not touched.
Second State is first and foremostly a platform on which Pan-Pot can release music on, both from themselves and artists they have discovered. These artists bridge the gap between the label and the other main use of Second State, which are the parties. On the label so far, Pan-Pot have released music by Stephan Hinz, Clint Stewart, The Reason Y, Michael Klein and also Hinz & Rumhardt, all of whom demonstrate noticeably different sounds. Transisting between bass and drum grooves, slower minimalistic efforts and atmospheric big room sounds laden with evolving synths, it’s clear that although Second State is fairly short lived at this time, the label’s back catalogue is already a strong one.
Pan-Pot’s own releases on Second State include their second album The Other LP, which contains 14 tracks of an again superb diversity, featuring the likes of Kevin Knapp, Frankie and L.O.U who help to blur lines between techno and a number of other genres, with some tracks going off on completely different tangents. Punxsutawney is a slow-mo hip-hop track with vocals from the aforementioned Frankie, with both Sleepless and The Luxury Of Living could probably be described as dub. Finally Get In bridges on house but keeps the deep and constant lull of bass that you come to expect from a Pan-Pot track. All the tracks here are executed well and all seem right at home as Pan-Pot take their musical abilities to new boundaries.
Over the past year Second State have also ventured into party planning as a long line of tour dates appeared on the duos calendar throughout the first months of 2015. With Second State showcases and dedicated Pan-Pot shows both being pipped in many countries, it seemed the move to begin their own imprint was a good one. Last year Second State visited Paris, London, Barcelona, Geifswald, Budapest, Mamaia, Stuttgart and of course their hometown of Berlin numerous times, with a further schedule of shows confirmed for 2016. LWE at Studio Spaces and an all-night-long performance at Watergate in Berlin are those that are still yet to take place.
In London, Second State will land on the 26th of March and will welcome a number of artists associated with the label across two rooms, with a Funktion One Sound System to ensure the best experience possible.
Aside from the music and parties, Second State will also be a tool with which Pan-Pot aim to access the fashion and art industries, with the means and results to these as of yet, a mystery. One thing is for certain though, Pan-Pot enjoy pushing themselves to new limits and until now, every time they have done it has given great results. We look forward to seeing what they do with Second State next.
Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Second State & Artists Alife