There are few cities in Europe with a better range of techno party offerings than Berlin, and Grounded Theory might be one of its best. Henning Baer has been running this landmark event from the German capital since 2009, and in that time gained notoriety for championing a dark and deep style of techno as the booker and resident DJ.
Through his career Baer’s productions have leaned towards the more experimental end of the genre, with his material landing across his own labels K209 and MANHIGH, as well as Sonic Groove and a more recent outing on Boddika’s Nonplus.
On his debut Shatterproof LP, Baer explores the full range of this experimental sound, crossing ambient and harder-edged industrial via the heavier techno he’s more commonly associated with.
Ahead of his next appearance in Room Two on 16th December, Baer got in touch with us to talk more about Shatterproof and offer us an early preview listen. All Over, one of the album’s more ominous moments, is available to stream below.
You’ve been putting out 12” releases consistently for some time – when did the recording process for the album start?
Throughout the years of putting out 12” EPs the wish to do a full length grew constantly. More or less all of my EPs have been conceptualized in smaller scale how I wanted to do an album. The tracks I chose always followed a certain pattern. The idea of doing a double LP with a larger number of tracks made me start working on Shatterproof around the same time Boddika and I put my release for his Nonplus Records together. I think that was in late 2016.
Many producers use the album format to make music that moves away from the dancefloor or create a standalone piece to listen to in full – were you conscious of this at all?
It is tempting to use an album for exactly that: something off the dancefloor. But in my eyes it’s also a bit of a cliché. A lot of techno LPs especially offer what’s expected. Shatterproof is compiled to listen to in full and hear in the club at the same time. Everything is held together with my sounds.
In what context do you think Shatterproof is best enjoyed?
The context is up to the listener. With all its facets I think it is a multi-contextual record.
Do you have anyone else you’re signing to MANHIGH in the coming few months?
At the moment I am working with two new artists on a release on MANHIGH. I try to stay flexible with the release schedule, as I know myself how hard it can be to wait a long time on a record.
Outside of MANHIGH, can we expect any further material for Nonplus any time soon?
Working with Boddika was extremely pleasant and easy and we both agreed on doing another release together. I want to start working on that very soon actually.