Staff Picks - December 2021
Staff Picks is back once again! After a (not so) little hiatus, our editor finally mustered up the courage to continue the series by taking one last look back at 2021, a strange and difficult year for most of us. Although last year Corona had a firm grip on the world once again, it also showed that this city and its cultural scene that we all love is one of the most creative and resilient ones out there. Despite all the setbacks, new initiatives started, other ones flourished and we still managed to create some memorable moments together. As Operator we collaborated with a bunch of these amazing initiatives too, organizing broadcasts, events, parties, designing merch, and more. Let's have more of this in 2022 and say goodbye to last year with some musical highlights of its final month. Without further ado, here are December's favourites, handpicked by Cara, Patrick, Medea, Alec, and Seb. As always, find the full article down below and check out the playlist on our SoundCloud or down at the bottom of this article. Stay safe!
Vreemde Vogels Radio - 5th December 2021 - selected by Cara
Even with only 18 days of programming this month, it was hard to choose a favorite. First of all, I want to mention Vault of Glass (3) – Yopo’s show. I was there when he recorded it, together with two of his friends. It was wonderful. Witnessing it on the Operator sound system, in the dark container with the blue light, we all fell into a bit of a trance. I really recommend it to anyone interested in IDM, in soundscapes, and the kind of sets that take you to far-away, fantastical places. Next, I want to mention State of the Atmosphere (2) by Cloud 4 – the blonder half of Tango Soundsystem. I found myself listening back to this show a lot. It’s mixed incredibly well and filled with music that breathes space. The highlight for me was hearing him transition in ‘Visitors From the Galaxy’ – a reworked track from a 1981 Yugoslav-Czechoslovak Sci-Fi film. I was touched by the slower sensitivity of the set.
Ultimately, my pick is Vreemde Vogels, the Sunday-morning show by Marlon and Laura. It’s long been one of my favorite shows at Operator, and this episode was no different – a mixture of interviews, ambient music, and recordings of nature. I witnessed them broadcast it once, and it was the sweetest thing. Croissants and ambient music and slow sips of coffee. The show is mixed beautifully and artistically. It’s clear that Laura and Marlon have a genuine connection both for each other, and for their show. I really recommend it to everyone, it’s something very special. It’s also very sweet to see how their friends support the show. Nelly Dragon’s birds bobbing along to Vreemde Vogels is a Sunday-morning gem.
Dynamic-D - 8th December 2021 - selected by Patrick
It’s always a pleasure to listen to Dynamic-D’s regular show on Operator. Dennis is the biggest Italo-Disco collector we have on our station, and when listening to his sets I always hear a few tracks that totally blow me away as an Italo-Disco enthusiastic. In this specific set, I heard an unreleased remix from ‘Maskio - Dear Sir’, which was only released on a test press back in the 80s, super rare stuff! However, it’s not only the selection of Dynamic-D’s sets that makes it worth listening to. Dennis always knows how to mix tracks seamlessly together, which can be pretty hard sometimes with Italo-Disco.
the journey of lower_flower - 9th December 2021 - selected by Medea
You might know him from Everyone on Acid, but for my monthly pick, I decided to go with Kegffnayy´s show the journey of lower_flower. A more emotional selection with some electro, ambient and breakbeat tracks. It´s an experimental mix of his own music and some sweet findings evoking deep emotions and unconscious feelings. Seemingly like an endless flow letting you drift deeper and deeper.
Challenger w/ Operating Modus & Emilio Bestevez - 11th December 2021 - selected by Alec
The set I enjoyed most this month came from Operating Modus & Emilio Bestevez. Operating Modus usually does a monthly show with Roel Zweers called “Challenger” but this time Emilio jumped in due to Roel being ill. Once a month, the two serve up a platter of rumbling bass, breakbeats and more club-oriented tunes, that are seamlessly mixed to take the listener on a sonic Journey. This show was no different. Their selection of modern electronic music is perfect listening material for long train rides or if you just want to reminisce about those dark sweaty club nights we all miss. Take a listen and let them educate your ears...
Alleskan w/ Sekan - 18th December 2021 - selected by Seb
My December pick is Alleskan w/ Sekan (33). A blissful 2 hours that skilfully meanders through styles and genres, coherently keeping the mood low-key and upbeat. The perfect soundtrack for wintry weekend walks when the skies are blue, the light is crisp and the hangover is real. Without a doubt, the highlight comes halfway through with snippets of Jiwa Jiwa 001, the upcoming first release on Sekan’s new label. Pre-order on Bandcamp now if you know what’s good for ya!