Weekend Mixes: Minneapolis Techno Uprising

Mar 22, 2021

2 min read

Every weekend brings a bounty of new DJ sets. Here are five of the best.

Red Bull Radio Future Classic Minneapolis Mixes

Perhaps you’ve heard of Minneapolis. Well, in techno terms, you should hear Minneapolis. This collection of five sets is the perfect place to start. The sets—three DJ mixes and two live hardware performances—were commissioned by DVS1, the Minneapolis native and a longtime regular at Berghain, among others, and recorded in his word-of-mouth-only warehouse space, Future Classic.

FC is one of the most vibe-filled rooms I’ve ever partied in, and the first of these sets, by Berndt, captures its essence with eerie precision—a gradually building march through the fog and lasers to the massive wall of sound at the stage front. Niki Kitz — a rising talent both as a techno DJ and, under the name Kiisu, ambient producer—delivers a set stuffed with glinting acid lines, though it’s hardly an “acid” set; the emphasis is more on tune and mood, both of which are near-giddy, like a smiley face covered by a shroud.

The pair of hardware performances mesh equally well with the rest and are equally different from each other. The exploratory improv jams of Lonefront have become firm local favorites in the past few years thanks to his expert pacing—not to mention his assured sense of when and how to mess with the time signatures. Lonefront builds a landscape, while Auto Kinetic, utilizing a housier rhythmic framework, explores the corners of his softer-focused frame, messing with individual sounds and samples like a cat with a ball of yarn.

Since DVS1 didn’t contribute a set himself, there can only be one DJ for the finale. Centrific is central to the Twin Cities’ dance scene, as a promoter and DJ alike. He likes techno that sounds like old-fashioned tech—for three antic, dynamic hours, these selections sound like wires singing. It’s driving and dark yet open and friendly—just like the parties he throws.