"A timeless techno hymn": Len Faki journeys through his personal record collection
Before a return on Saturday 26th August, the German techno don lets us in on the softer and surprising corners of his record collection.
Len Faki has donned the decks here at fabric on several occasions, most recently shelling down a memorable techno masterclass for our heavy-weight 24 Hour Continuum session last Autumn. Now, he’s back in Farringdon for another pin-point session on Saturday 26th August alongside the likes of Karenn, Tijana T, OVYNAA and more.
But before all that, we wanted to dig a little deeper, and delve beneath the perceived hard-shelled exterior of the German electronic music stalwart's output. Faki has been a giant of the European techno scene for well over two decades, a resident of Berlin’s Berghain since it opened in 2004, he's come to represent both the steadfast and developing nature of the electronic underground ever since.
Faki’s debut album Fusion, which arrived this year, was a first look for many at the more melodic, musical and thoughtful and side of the Figure label founder's electronic musical tastes. A captivating and adventurous full-length release, with a title that speaks perfectly to the many strands of sound, genre and forms that both create the release and are reflected in Faki's own tastes and inspirations. Decoded Magazine called it "the culmination of a life’s work that brings his vast array of tastes to the surface," – we wanted to know more.
What is in Len Faki's personal box of tricks? Join us for a journey through Len Faki’s record collection as we find out about the track he’s never put in a set – but loves anyway – an unexpected curveball, as well some of the secrets and processes behind his debut release.
One record you never get bored of?
There are a few on my top list. but the first one that pops up after this question is Laurent Garnier - 'The Man With The Red Face'. A legendary track that combines techno, house, and jazz, and they all work just perfectly fine together. Plus, its a track I have so many great memories with.
A record we wouldn’t expect to be in your collection?
I always have some tracks from Sun Ra with me. I tweaked them a little and looped them… crazy, psychedelic drums or saxophone. I play it in very special moments. Crazy mood and very unexpected for the crowd.
Best record that someone else recommended to you?
Link - 'Amenity'. In the past, I often met with a group of friends to spend the evening listening and talking about our newest record finds and vinyl treasures. One day a friend brought this one and I ran to the store to buy it right the next morning.
Something you love, but would never put in a set..?
Underworld - Born Slippy. Not only a timeless techno hymn but also a track that influenced me a lot. I remember very well listening to it like 100 times at home, on my own after I first bought it. From the first listen it was clear to me that this track is special and unique in so many ways and has its own vibe. But I always kept my love for this track to myself. I have heard colleagues play it so many times. But till now it was not the right moment for me. maybe one day...
Your debut album ‘Fusion’ is out now - what pushed you to craft your debut full-length release? Why was this the right time?
I had this in my mind for years but with touring never had the time and didn’t want to work on it on only one or two days when home. I wanted to dig deep, learn new skills, discover new paths, and lose myself in the studio. So when the pandemic forced us to stay home I was in the studio from the first day on.
What have you learned from the creative process of making an album?
I was reminded how much I missed producing, music. I love being a DJ but I need and crave time in the studio. It's such an important part of me that I neglected for way too long. Losing myself to new ideas, techniques, and challenges is the best way to spend my days which is why I want to play less to have more studio time from now on. And the studio time was by far the most fun part of the album and everything that followed about releasing, concept, and planning was the really hard work.
You’ve talked about the album being a personal project too - what other albums or artists have a profound personal impact on yourself?
Puhhh, there are many. I listen to music all the time and there are many albums or artists that have an impact on me. I can share some very private ones outside the techno world that I listened to over and over again. Some that have a true meaning to me and certainly influenced me as well.
Brian Eno - Ambient 1 (Music For Airports)
Barış Manço - 2023
Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34
Blonde Redhead - 23
Fusion is out now on on Figure.
Len Faki plays fabric on 26th August 2023.