As a power pairing, Dixon and Âme are pretty formidable. Sitting pretty at the top of RA’s Top 100 DJ poll for a second year, Steffen Berkhahn aka Dixon has asserted himself as Berlin’s most powerful selector, in no small part down to his ability to connect with his audience on a one-on-one basis regardless of setting or circumstance. Innervisions co-founders Âme are no less significant, appearing at 9 in RA’s 2015 DJ poll and 4 in the chart for live acts. Armed with a whole host of the label’s releases in one hand, and forthcoming tracks from the best artists around in the other, it’s no wonder that both have risen so high, and their ascent doesn’t look like ending any time soon. Ahead of their joint show all night long at The Albert Hall in Manchester, we look at five releases that capture the spirit of one of Berlin’s most influential labels.
Dragon Loop - Marcus Worgull IV03 2005
An early release which set Innervisions apart from other fledgling labels, Dragon Loop rises and soars like the mystical creature that lends it its name. Bending and contouring, the track sounds very much like the backdrop to an important trip, building into the signature Innervisions peaks that have made Dixon RA’s top man for two years running.
Ian Pooley - CompuRhythm (Dixon 4/4 Treatment)
Ian Pooley’s been behind a lot of dancefloor transformers in his time, but perhaps none hit quite as hard as this Dixon edit. Transformative and stylish, the track moves between rumbling basslines and plucked-string synthesis, rising and falling over the course of 8 enthralling minutes.
Agatha - David August
Many would choose Agatha’s partner in crime, the blissful Epikur, as the pick of the EP, but this track occupies a similar branch at the top of the Innervisions tree, basking in the sun as it ripples gently in the swirling winds. August is a prestigious scholar of classical music, and composes with an extraordinary grace and delicacy that would find few labels better fitting than Innervisions.
Konstantin Sibold - Madeleine
Not many tracks are more thoughtfully potent than this Konstantin Sibold effort, which appeared on the fifth instalment of the label’s Secret Weapons releases. This one transcends dancefloor deployment and enters the realm of those tracks designed to filter out the world outside; the perfect soundtrack to a body-shocking epiphany. Madeleine must have been one special lady.
Emmanuel Jal - Kuar (Olof Dreijer Remix) 2010
Not many dance music labels can boast the presence of political protest songs in their armoury, but Innervisions crossed that off their list in 2010 with IV29. Arguably the pinnacle of their releases, the EP features two mixes of the South Sudanese activist’s original track, featuring distinctive chants and Kuar’s rousing call for democratic participation. The Knife’s Olof Dreijer provides the pick of the two edits, which has rattled dancefloors ever since.
We’re by now well-acquainted with Dixon and Âme’s joint ventures behind the decks, having watched them play together at the Innervisions takeover of Canal Mills last year. The secret to the label heads’ ever-growing popularity is much the same as that which has retained Innervisions’ status as a trailblazer for all these years - an unwavering focus on what’s ahead, with gaze fixed firmly on the dancefloor fillers of the future. To find out what that sounds like, check them out in Manchester on the 25th.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Innervisions & The WHP