Crate Diggin’
VTSS unpacks her fierce techno sound

Until a couple of years ago, Martyna Maja, the DJ and producer better known as VTSS, had never played a gig outside of Poland. Fast forward to today, the Warsaw native is one of techno’s busiest artists, renowned for her fierce sonic assaults touching on harder strains of hardcore, acid and EBM. While this ascent may have seemed to come about quickly, it hasn’t happened out of nowhere. Maja’s fearlessly intense approach has placed her at the forefront of a scene that's currently dominating the European club circuit, where dark, hard and fast is the norm. It’s a sound that reigns supreme at Berlin parties like Säule, where Maja’s been a regular fixture since she relocated to the German capital. She displays a similar love for techno’s harder forms in her own tracks, perhaps best demonstrated on her killer Identity Process EP from earlier on this year. As we brace for one of her onslaughts at XXtended this Saturday, she unpacked her raw sound with a list of typically heavyweight tracks she hasn’t stopped playing this year.

Adam X – Digital Eyes [Psycho-Dynamics]

One of the labels that had the biggest influence on me was Sonic Groove. Here’s a track by the label daddy, Adam X. I’m amazed how up-to-date this sounds and how amazing it works in the club now – I’m loving the sound, the arrangement, and the vocals. Researching this made me go buy the rest of that CD as well.

Marcelus – Warhead [Repitch]

This really simple, stomping banger was one of my favourites in my early DJing years. I learned how to DJ on records from Repitch, including this one. This year they released my Identity Process, which has been repressed twice already. I have so much respect for the label, and how many approaches to techno it’s showing while maintaining a coherent sound and vibe. Much love to the Repitch heads – Ascione, D.Carbone and Shapednoise!

Ilsa Gold – Major Problems [Euter of Vienna]

Now re-released (but for the first time on vinyl I reckon) on Berlin’s finest, aufnahme + wiedergabe. I love the unusual arrangement of this track for mixing purposes – there are so many different parts that are so great to mix, especially with dynamic kind of mixing. That amazing acidy drop and then the long breakdown and vocal. You may have seen me drop this in my recent Boiler Room set in Madrid.

Bjarki & Kuldaboli – Hrái Hötturin [HELLCAT]

Bjarki remains one of my favourite producers, and an endless source of magic. I got this as a dublate from Bjarki a year ago, and now it’s released on a Hellcat compilation via bbbbbb with my track Sober Raving on the other side. Though many people seem to think differently, I don’t really like trance music to be fair, however the tiny amount of that feeling that you can hear on this record melts my heart every time. Made with a fellow bbbbbb artist, Kuldaboli.

Shlømo – Welcome Back Devil [UFO Inc.]

This track by my buddy Shlømo has been one of my favourites to play in the last month. Every time I hear it, I’m subconsciously making my bass face/approval face. I was sent it by the author himself, and I’ve been playing it ever since. It’s coming out on Ellen Allien’s label. Well played Shlømzer.

Boytronic – You [BCM]

I’m clearly not a mushy person, so I leave the more emotional stuff until the end of my sets. Here’s one of my favourite closing tracks. I’ve known this track for many years, it feels extremely special to be able to share the experience and emotions of listening to it with a big crowd, and not just my laptop speakers.

VTSS – Atlantyda [Monnom Black]

My forthcoming Atlantyda track with a melody from my fave Polish synth pop band from the 90s, Jauntix. This track was huge within my group of friends, kind of an after party anthem. 27 years later, I needed to (hopefully) give it a new life. Look out for it on Dax J’s Monnom Black next month.

Saturday 2nd November

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