Upfront 034 / September 7, 2015

Ant*Zen / Hymen

Long time sensei, Stefan Alt, weds the electronica, ambient and noise brashness of his Ant*Zen and Hymen Records labels in this outstanding 76m brew.

About this mix

Ant-Zen. Audio & Visual Arts: The name is derived from the phrase "Anti-Zensur" (anti censorship) which serves as the modus operandi of activities as new and uncensored expressions. Ant-zen delivers finest and outstanding noise / electronica / ambient since 1993. The brother label Hymen Records was founded in 1997 to present rough technoid and electro music as a separate and unique platform. My labels allow me to release the music I want to get released - music which has to be released. The honest, respectful and creative relationship with my artists is the heart of our labels. Today I serve a mix of our latest releases, previously unreleased tracks and some classic tunes. When you're getting hungry for more, don't hesitate to visit us and enjoy the rich menu we're offering.

Stefan Alt

Boiler Room says...

First of all let me say that Stefan Alt, the man and creative mind behind both labels, is in my eyes one of the grand seigneurs of extreme music; one who is not credited often enough for his immense contribution in the past two decades. On one hand because he’s one of the silent facilitators of creativity, helping smaller labels as a distributor and advisor to find an audience for their music and in return giving audiences access to a plethora of amazing sounds. This might sound like a menial task, but you should not forget that only a few years ago access to new music was highly limited by the topology of your surroundings, and that distributors played a role that is as essential as the role of record stores. On the other because Ant-Zen and Hymen are labels that should stand next to Warp or R&S, as they defined an aesthetic so unique that its prepared the grounds and is now deeply embedded into the music landscape we’re looking at today. Just go to the label's Discogs page and see yourself.

I still remember the night they came into my life - it was in 1998, I was 15 years old, fairly innocent and drenched in sweat at a power noise and industrial rave (insert industrial meme here) in the outskirts of Leipzig. It was my first night and my first festival (shout out to my friend Sascha, who was already of legal age and mature enough to convince my parents to let me go there) and the venue, an abandoned socialist exhibition hall, was filled to the brim with cyberpunks, rivetheads, EBM leather daddies and all sorts of characters that made the casual teenage goth I was at that time (with an affinity for hard school of Frankfurt techno, for Boiler Room credibility sake) look like Bambi trying to fit in with the Cenobytes. A sound system as loud as an exploding airplane threw bursts of noise at the audience that sounded strikingly similar to what you’d imagine an exploding airplane would sound like, and with every kick drum clumps of dust and grout would fall from the ceiling. Needless to say that I left the night with most of my festival budget (including the 100DM I got from my parents for emergencies, but thats another story) invested into records of the acts performing that night, and all of them bore a little iconic logo on their back - a small ant, framed by brackets.

Michail Stangl

Michail Stangl

Besides being our main man in Berlin, Michail is also known for co-running the Leisure System events (and label) at Berghain, his questionable DJ skills and as a curator of Berlin’s CTM Festival.