There are obviously many things that go into working a dance floor, but for a small pocket of Berlin-based minimal DJs, the most important thing might be the most obvious one of all: the quality of the records that fill their bag every weekend.
Binh and Onur Özer, the DJs who also perform together as Treatment, are two of this scene’s key figures. Alongside guys like Nicolas Lutz, Francesco Del Garda and Andrew James Gustav, they’re part of a small circle of DJs to whom vinyl is sacred, where the main party trick lies in scouring for the best – and often unknown – records.
Frequently found spinning at low-key destinations like Club der Visionaere, this new wave of artists make up the core of Berlin’s minimal scene, although in reality the term ‘minimal’ is far removed from the music Binh and Onur play: where they might go more stripped-back in their own sets, catch them together as Treatment and you’ll likely hear a mix of Detroit techno, electro and early-90s IDM (if you’re yet to be introduced to this sound, their LP album should give you some idea).
The weapons in the duo’s arsenal are often rare and – after they play them, at least – extremely sought-after. There are a number of giveaways for this, from the countless comments asking for their track IDs on YouTube clips, to the highly inflated prices that later flood the second-hand market on Discogs.
We’re excited to get an insight into their unique sound web when they make their debut at the club later on this month. With their Room One appearance happening in just a few weeks, we decided to compile a list of some of the best bombs we’ve heard them play. These are only some of their better known ones though – if you want to hear their more obscure gems you’ll have to join us in Room One on 30th September.
Untitled (A1) – Treatment [Treatment]
Treatment were among the first DJs in their scene to present the idea that electro could fit within a minimal aesthetic, and their album LP might be the best example of what they had in mind. Atmospheric, dark and occasionally frantic, the whole record was characterised by sharp break beats and shuddering melodies that often pervade their dance floors.
Stopping Out – Stopouts [Groovepressure]
For fans of rare 90s techno and electro, labels don’t get much better than Groovepressure. Home to artists like A² and Stopouts, the UK imprint released a string of seminal 12”s that have since commanded extremely high price tags. Stopouts’ Stopping Out is one of the few that’s received a reissue since their recent revival, although it’s likely Binh and Onur were playing the original way before then. Bouncy drum loops and dicey hi-hats help make Stopping Out minimal in attitude, while the glistening synths scream 4am banger.
Ploy (UR Mix) – Maurizio [Maurizio]
Until a few years ago it would’ve been difficult to imagine something from Underground Resistance cropping up in the same set as a record on, say, Melliflow, but Treatment's ability to blend between genres is a big part of their appeal. This Maurizio rework is loaded with the kind of emphatic chords you’d expect of the Motor City, but it’s the computerised drum sounds that give it that urgency Treatment frequently pine for.
Chalzedon – Binh [Time Passages]
For today’s bleepy minimal techno revival, Binh’s Time Passages label might be the best frame of reference, and his most recent EP is among the best so far. The low-end drums and bass line make Chalzedon stripped-back in essence, but digitised groans and bleeps lend it the kind of spacey atmosphere once heard from early-2000s producers like Dimensional Holofonic Sound (an artist whom has since, by the way, come back to put out an excellent EP on Nicolas Lutz’s label, which says it all for where these guys seem to take inspiration from).