X 20/44 – Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic Orpheu The WIzard
X Godina 20/44 / Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic
Specija Guest Orpheu The Wizard
Born and raised in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Witnessing the peak of alternative culture and disintegration of the society in his formative years.
Moved to Germany in the beginning of the 90’s, in the late 90’s early 00’s invited artists like Carlos Souffront, I-F. I-G, Marco Passarani, Serge (amongst others) to play Selected and Substance events.
Long time resident at the infamous Salon des Amateurs in Düsseldorf and the man behind Offen Music, a label specialized in authentic subjectivism.
One of the finest selectors of hidden musical gems, he gleans from the most cloistered sonic lagoons – expect to see Loch Ness’s dragon dancing on the floor.
Amsterdam based Dj and Producer Lena Willikens. Resident at Salon Des Amateurs, Düsseldorf. Artist on Dekmantel Rec. Radio broadcaster of “Lightning Conductor” on NTS Radio.
Lena Willikens doesn’t play the hits. When she’s behind the decks, even her biggest fans often have no idea exactly what she’s playing, and that’s part of the magic. Like all DJs, Willikens of course has a passion for records and is always on the hunt for elusive bits of music, but as an artist, her work doesn’t hinge on any one track, or even a handful of tracks. She’s after something bigger, something that’s truly transportive for those on the dancefloor, and the tracks she plays – whether they’re bizarre slices of synth exploration, some ominously churning proto-industrial stomp or something else that simply defies classification – are all parts of a larger, more psychically satisfying whole.
Born and raised in Germany, Willikens first honed her unique approach during a long residency at Düsseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs, a much-loved nightspot that has proven to be a hotbed of free-thinking DJ talent. Outside of the club, she also found a platform on Radio Cómeme, where her Sentimental Flashback radio show allowed Willikens to dive deep into all sorts of unusual musical wormholes. (The Cómeme label was also home to her first EP, 2015’s Phantom Delia.)
These days, however, Willikens’ radio adventures happen on NTS, where she pilots the monthly Lightning Conductor program. Now based in Amsterdam, her curatory prowess prompted an invite from Dekmantel to put together the fifth installment of their acclaimed Selectors compilation series, and she also contributed a track to the label’s run of all-star 10th anniversary EPs. As a remixer, she’s been tapped in recent years to rework the likes of Lena Platonos, rRoxymore, S U R V I V E, Simian Mobile Disco and Ana Helder, amongst others. And amidst all this activity, she’s also been busy with Phantom Kino Ballett, a collaboration with artist Sarah Szczesny that lands somewhere between immersive audio-visual experience and performance art, allowing Willikens to indulge her transportive impulses in a completely new way.
Nevertheless, it’s in the DJ booth where Willikens continues to make the biggest impact. As of late, she’s forged a particularly potent partnership with fellow sonic explorer and Salon des Amateurs alum Vladimir Ivkovic, the two engaging in a sort of mind meld that brings together their shared love of electronic music’s darkest and most bizarre corners. Regardless of whether she’s playing alone or in tandem with someone else, Willikens isn’t the kind of artist who adheres to straight lines. Expect different temperatures, different moods and a dollop of chaos, just to keep things interesting. Circuitous paths take precedence over direct routes, and although not even Willikens herself always knows the final destination, when she’s at the helm, the journey is bound to be thrilling.
Orpheu The Wizard
Based in Amsterdam but very much with one foot in the cosmos, Orpheu The Wizard has been surprising and delighting people with his unconventional sets for years and years…
The Dutchman has done so with little fanfare before now, because his skills have simply spread through the mouths of those astounded by what they have heard when they see him play. It’s hard describe what goes down in one of his sets, the distinguished selector is not afraid of taking left turns, serving up curveballs and doing the unexpected.
Taking real pride and joy in unearthing and sharing his usually musical treats, Orpheu The Wizard is musically curious and invites his audiences to be so too. As versatile as he is eclectic, you are as likely to be floating in outer space one moment as you are rooted to a beat the next. The man born Orpheu de Jong is a Red Light Radio co-founder celebrated for the breadth and depth of his taste and the passion with which he plays. Closely linked with the acclaimed Dekmantel crew for who he is in house designer, Orpheu is a big but back stage player on his native scene, and is now rightfully making a mark on the wider world.