Kindness - Cyan
Cyan by Kindness was featured in Dixon’s Boiler Room set, which didn’t stand out as much as his Essential Mix, but I appreciated that he curated this daydreamy indietronica gem towards the end of the hour. Dixon (a.k.a. Steffen Berkhahn) is one of those artists you absolutely HAVE to see live. Not only because he doesn’t post his sets or release many of his tracks, but also because some vital Dixonian element seems entirely lost otherwise - his spontaneous genius becomes falsely subdued.
I was awestruck when I saw him for the first time in Detroit. I kept wondering, where does he find all these completely unknown, transporting tunes? And beyond that, how does he think to put it all together to tell such a coherent, mesmerizing story? It was delightfully esoteric - not quite techno, not quite deep house, but a self-possessed concoction that I can best describe as abstract yet accessible, layered yet uncomplicated, at-times poignant, and all-around brilliant DJing.
The man himself also dresses in a very cooky style and has (what seems to be) a permanently serious expression on his face, which further adds to the allure. I got a kick out of the fact that in addition to running the Innervisions label with Âme, he’s also the VP of a football club and the owner of a bakery. 21st century Renaissance Man, anyone?
Dixon’s set was so inspiring at this year’s Movement Fest that, the next day, we waited in line for over an hour in the scorching heat on the pavement of a dilapidated Detroit neighborhood to catch him again at Seth Troxler’s infamous Old Miami party (running from 6am to 6pm on Monday with the Martinez Brothers, DJ Tennis, Dixon, etc.)! No regrets.
p.s. props to to Resident Advisor’s very respectable "Top DJ’s of 2013" poll that shone a light on Dixon for me in the first place! Hadn’t heard of him before.