Grounded Theory founder Henning Baer is no stranger to Berlin’s vast electronic music landscape. Along with his booking agency/party – that’s hosted the likes of Ben Klock, Chris Liebing and Function – Baer is also a revered DJ and producer, and established the K209 imprint in partnership with Milton Bradley in 2011. A reputation for some of the most vital, hard-hitting Techno in recent years has seen him release on labels like Non Series, Krill Music and Sonic Groove, as well as grow into a highly sought after booking in the German capital and beyond.
His latest EP ‘Gemini’, out now on John Osborn’s Tanstaafl Planet, stemmed from his long-standing friendship with Osborn. Following from Joey Anderson’s 2014 ‘Head Down Arms Buddha Position’ EP on the label, Baer expressed his fondness of the release and started talks with Osborn to release ‘Gemini’, a four-tracker that perfectly marries Baer’s trademark raw club sound with a deeper, more emotive sentiment.
The Berlin club figurehead explores the depths of YouTube this week and presents us with one of his most crucial tracks, ‘Folsom’, alongside a 1995 Björk cut that he regularly heard growing up, and the ‘I Dream Of Wires’ documentary on modular synthesis, which we covered earlier this year. Classic Wu-Tang and Marcel Dettmann are all thrown in for good measure – testament to Baer’s staunchly eclectic taste that influences his own work.
1. John Heartfield – ‘Father of the Photomontage’
John Heartfield is an artist who has been stuck on my mind ever since I took a seminar in university. The imagery of his intense and heavy political satire as well as his technique is unbelievable. His motivation and driving force are remarkable. A very inspiring artist.
2. Björk – ‘Army Of Me’
I remember my sister listening to this when the album ‘Post’ came out in 1995. MTV was running muted all day long on the TV and parallel to that Björk was blasting out of her stereo.
3. Klang Der Familie – ‘Party auf dem Todesstreifen’
Sven von Thuelen wrote this incredible book together with Felix Denk about Techno after (and also before) the Berlin wall came down, called Klang Der Familie. To understand why Berlin is what it is Techno-wise you have to read it. It is the complete inside view based on tons of interviews the two did. It’s essential. The video was shot for Arte TV and is unfortunately only in English.
4. Neil Landstrumm – ‘Something Different’
Neil Landstrumm is god. His music influenced me a lot. One track that sticks out is Something Different. It reminds me to be ok with doing something different every now and then.
5. Cover Story – ‘Frank Zappa’
My girlfriend and I are again on a Zappa trip. It comes in circles. He is an amazing artist, not only musically. ‘The stuff that I put onto a record or a CD is a reflection of who and what I am and interested in, so it is in phase with my personality. It’s real stuff.’ Nails it.
6. Henning Baer – ‘Folsom’
One of my earlier tracks that got a lot of attention. Many people got in touch with great feedback and still do these days. I’d call ‘Folsom’ my very own personal hit.
7. I Dream Of Wires – The Modular Synthesizer Documentary
The trailer of ‘I Dream Of Wires’ stands for all the hours and hours I spend on the internet watching synth tutorials. Everyone who is into gear knows what I am talking about…
8. Marcel Dettmann – ‘Corebox’
I consider myself an early Berghain kid. This track is the soundtrack to our time there. It embodies everything that explains that place to me.
9. Wu-Tang – ‘Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’’
No YouTube playlist from me without Wu-Tang! The clan’s early sound is the blueprint of roughness to me. That video is also pretty dope. I still own the copy I bought back then.
10. Charlie The Unicorn
As much as the ‘I Dream Of Wires’ video stands for the useful time spent on YouTube, this video represents the useless time spent watching stupid yet funny videos. It’s good to give your head a break though.
‘Gemini’ is out now on TANSTAAFL Planets. Order it here.
Photography: Esther Suave