1BTN recently handed over the airwaves to one of the finest and freshest young labels out of NYC. 12hrs of blissed out, cosmic, out of this world type sounds and you can catch it all again right here. For all of the information you need on Our Starry Universe and the incredible selectors that made up the day then read on, Press play and engage. Full tracklists available on Mixcloud.
It was actually 2019, which saw the release of the debut record for Our Starry Universe records, founded by NYC veterans Dj’s and producers, Tim Wagner, Tommy Castro & Chad ‘Chicus’ Snyder. The first release was by ‘A Separate Reality’ a collaborative project between Tim and fellow NYC producer, Nick Chacona. 2020 then saw a release of a 6-track album by the duo, which presented ‘a 35 minute journey into a world where psych-tinged cosmic flirts with Balearic chug while downing jazz laced with dub’. Indeed. The record was – with tongue firmly in cheek – titled ‘Heuristic Programs For Cognitive Centering’ and it is a thing of beauty. This was quickly followed up by the debut single for Brooklyn duo, Birds Of Pandaemonium called ‘Days Go By’. Described as ‘a bleary-eyed piece of optimistic, astral dream-pop. Imagine if you will an Echo & The Bunnymen track, produced by Dan Hartman and remixed by Daniele Baldelli’
2021 has seen further releases by Birds Of Pandaemonium, as well as a solo release from birds frontman, Hazy James and there is so much more to come from this exciting imprint this year.
We love this label here at 1BTN HQ and we are over the moon that they take the time to produce a brilliant 2hr fortnightly show for us. Skirting effortlessly through assorted genres and tempos, OSU take you on a loving journey, leaving you feeling that all is actually alright with the world.
On Friday 30th April we handed over the 1BTN airwaves to OSU for a 12hr takeover. It promised to be a day of cosmic wonderment and that’s exactly what it was. Links to all of the shows are below. Enjoy!
A word from Our Starry Universe –
“Hello from Brooklyn, New York. I’m Tommy Castro (Cool Runnings, Spicy Boys, Grand Street Sounds) and I’m Tim Wagner aka Millennium Culkin (producer, Head, Birds Of Pandæmonium, A Separate Reality, Amy Douglas) and along with DJ Chicus (Dither Down, Redbud Recordings) we launched the label Our Starry Universe last year. Our mission: to provide the surrealistic metaphysical sonic actualizations that will make up the soundtrack to the coming new love renaissance.
Less grandly, we did release two well-received debuts from A Separate Reality and Birds of Pandaemonium which caught the attention of the 1BTN crew and now, here we are. Every first and third Wednesday at 5pm we journey through space and time, take portals to new dimensions in sound and serve fresh perspectives on half forgotten daydreams.
We’ve been sharing musical discoveries with one other for more than a decade. We were both raised on the radio & late night MTV and began collecting records as 90s teens. Tim retains an encyclopedic familiarity with everything from acid jazz’s heyday to the initial reign of drum n bass and all the experiences of a New York native. Tommy likes to dig, cutting his teeth at Florida flea markets. In 2010 Tommy relocated to New York in search of new sounds—specifically dance 12s not available in the south. Together, our sound is a culmination of our love of studio possibilities. Dub echo & chuggy synths are always in-tow w/ nods to everything ethereal, energizing and awe-inspiring and including: unreleased promos, personal edits and a love of all things cosmic. We aim to make the kind of show that you would listen to coming down from mushrooms while spending your lockdown in the alps.
Our Starry Universe takeover line up (alphabetical)
It’s been said that Amy Douglas wants to be “dance music’s ultimate rock frontman”. The clever money is on backing that claim. Singer, songwriter, musician, Brooklynite firebrand, Amy is accomplished in a number of genres, from rock’n’roll to the disco and house records that she’s known for in the dance music world. Describing herself as a “singer/songwriting/rock and rolling/disco diva-ing/house-ing professional bad influence” Amy has supplied song-writing and vocal duties for Horse Meat Disco, Luke Solomon, Soul Clap and for 2018’s contemporary classic “Never Saw It Coming,” co-written and produced with her partner Tim Wagner. Her voice can be heard on releases on DFA Records, Hot Creations, Glitterbox, Simma Black and Classic Music Company and she’s recently been working on her collaboration project Hard Feelings with Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard. Of course she also wrote Róisín Murphy’s anthemic disco-heartbreaker “Something More” for Roisin’s album ‘Roisin Murphy’
A natural born powerhouse of a performer, only the biggest things beckon.
Birds Of Pandæmonium (OSU)
Birds Of Pandæmonium are a nomadic psychedelic collective led by Millennium Culkin and Hazy James. Taking simple songs of raw emotion then refracted through their maximalist, tripped out lens. The Birds are out to craft sonic collages for the new love renaissance. Exploring the darkness while pursuing light. Their debut, a hypnotic, transcendent slice of psychedelia “Days Go By” was a summer favorite of Lauren Laverne (BBC6), Tim Sweeney, Sean Johnston, 1BTN and many more! Their follow up EP, Out For You, pairs two anthemic, sprawling, psychedelic singles each with pounding remixes suited for the dancefloor. First up from the EP is “The Night”, which dropped digitally 23 April 2021 on Our Starry Universe, this is to be followed shortly by the full vinyl release on 28 May 2021. Expect another single or two throughout the year as Birds prepare for their full length in 2022.
Dan Wainwright is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from Manchester via Liverpool, who has been involved in the acid house and balearic beat music scene for a decade now, drawing a lot of influence from psychedelic music and world music. Dan’s great uncle is one, Stu Sutcliffe, a Scottish painter and musician better known as the original bass guitarist of the English rock band the Beatles! A multi-instrumentalist, Dan got the electronic bug after his college tutor introduced him to Ozric Tentacles and the film 24 Hour Party People. When he was studying and creating acid house music at Stafford University Dan was tipped off about a party called Wonk, where Soul Mekanik (Danny Spencer + Kelvin Andrews) were the DJs. After the first Wonk party Dan realised his ambition of creating music. Dan runss Oddball records, which is a A label for self released music from the man himself. A very special record produced by Dan is coming later this year on OSU.
As soon as he was introduced to dance music & DJ culture via the Baltimore/Washington D.C. rave & club scene in the mid-’90s, Dave knew it was going to be more than “just a party” for him. The 20+ years since have seen him play his way through university on a music scholarship, become a buyer for multiple record stores, and DJ & organize parties around the world. Upon making Los Angeles his home in 2006, Dave quickly became a regular guest DJ and man on the scene about town. Currently, he is a resident at The Standard, Downtown LA, and Palihouse in West Hollywood. Musically speaking, he’s the definition of a mixed bag, collecting and playing music from nearly every genre, dance related or not.
Each Other (DEEWEE – Justin Strauss & Max Pask)
Justin Strauss and Max Pask have joined up to form the new project Each Other, which released their self-titled debut EP ‘Be Nice To Each Other’ on DEEWEE last year.
Justin Strauss is one of the most influential and enduring figures on the New York club scene. He’s consistently reinvented himself, moving from his ‘70s power-pop band Milk ‘N’ Cookies through an array of NYC’s most iconic clubs: the Mudd Club, Limelight and Area. By the late ‘80s and early ‘90s he emerged as in-demand remixer, able to reinvent tracks from big hitters as varied as Depeche Mode, 808 State and Duran Duran. That reputation only grew over the years and as a new wave of disco-tinged artists called on his talents, including Hot Chip, Blood Orange and LCD Soundsystem.
Born in Paris, Max Pask also developed his reputation on the NYC scene since his move there in 2000. Remixing the likes of Soulwax, The Rapture and WhoMadeWho, Pask has held residencies at a multitude of venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the years. Along with long time friend and partner James Friedman, he also co-manages Throne of Blood Records, on which he has released under different monikers (Populette / Maxime & Remain). The two are currently residents at Brooklyn Hi Fi Club Public Records. In recent years, Max has been heard remixing Hardway Bros, Roe Deers, Mugwump and Timothy Clerkin.
Hazy James (OSU)
Birds Of Pandæmonium frontman, Hazy James, just released his debut 12” Need Somebody on OSU in March. A lush, melancholy slow house track that may move the soul more than the body. The b-side by Hardway Bros (Sean Johnston) highlights the brighter moments and adds beautiful, colorful arpeggiated melodies over a bouncy beat, creating a euphoric dance floor classic. There’s more solo music to OSU to come later in 2021 from, Hazy James.
Nick Chacona (A Separate Reality)
1/2 of OSU’s A Separate Reality, who have a new 12” (the followup to last year’s Heuristic Programs For Cognitive Centering) coming later this year on the label, Nick Chacona is a prolific NYC producer who has released many 12”s on labels such as Internasjonal, Hector Works, Stillove4music, Bear Funk, 2020 Vision and MoodMusic.
From mountain scaler to highly respected purveyor of the finest music money can’t buy, professional beat-raconteur and upstanding member of the disco dance music community, Mr Sean Johnston creates ethereal sonic landscapes both in his productions and behind the decks of any dancefloor.
DJ’ing since his formative years in the frozen Northern reaches of Yorkshire Johnston has been many things; Acid-House Veteran, Techno Survivor, Alpinist, Hardway Bros and Freelance Disco Consultant but it is his recent production work and now legendary club night that he has best become known for the world over. From the early 90’s institution that was Sabresonic (also releasing on the label) to Disco Bloodbath, Sean has played at many of London’s landmark clubs. He also plays regularly at Berlin’s premier underground venue Salon Zur Wilden Renate, festivals in French castles and the Dalmatian coast, as well as across the whole breadth of this fine aural landscape we live in.
Moving to London back in 1988, Johnston got to know Jeff Barrett of the highly respected Heavenly Recordings and Mr Andrew Weatherall. “We’ve been in and out of each other’s orbits ever since.” It was in a recent orbit on a drive down to Brighton one night that Johnston & Weatherall discovered they shared a love of the slowed-down rhythms of new beat, disco, kosmische, and weird, slow psychedelic music. From this journey, grew the beginnings of A Love From Outer Space (ALFOS) club night.
What ensued has gone on to become one of the most revered clubs of recent times. In an age where residencies don’t exist Johnston and Weatherall flipped this concept on its head. A refuge from the frenetic ‘velocity’ of modern developments, ALFOS is an oasis of slow in an increasingly sped up world – the club’s manifesto never knowingly exceeds 122bpm.
You could also throw ambient, balearic, proto-house, dub-sonority, un-disco and other experimental curiosities into the mix but these are mere labels; what’s important is the ethos engendered within it all. This is body music for discerning musical ears, first and foremost.
As one half of revered production outfit, The Hardway Brothers (he now often produces under this moniker solo) and prominent voice in earlier classic-acid project, The Flash Faction, Johnston has also successfully transferred this innate understanding of a dancefloor into studio alchemy. Sean’s productions in their own right have, as Hardway Bros has graced Beard Science, Aniligital, History Clock, Astrolab, Luna Flicks, I’m A Cliche, Is It Balearic? and hot New York label, Throne of Blood. He is an in-demand remixer, having reworked artists such as Alien Alien, Max Essa, The Asphodells, Haules Baules, Adonis, TOY, Tal Kein & Anthony Mansfield, Craig Bratley and Ajello.
With a plethora of remixes and productions in the pipeline for the likes of Ewan Pearson’s Misericord label and S’Express each one shows an increased and profound comprehension of the ever expanding musical landscape. Sean has been a huge supporter of OSU, recently citing its output as one of the highlights of 2020.
Spicy Boys are the brain child of Our Starry Universe co-founder, Tommy Castro, and Brooklyn Record Exchange’s (the best record store in Brooklyn btw), Ben Steidel. The Spicy Boys just dropped their debut Spicy Little clouds on The Lot radio compilation A Lot Of love.
Steve is a native New Yorker and has been a staple in the NYC nightlife for a long time. A self confessed obsessive digger of music, Steve is the host and resident DJ and man behind Brooklyn’s premier Balearic weekly ‘Air A Danser’, a name lifted from the classic track by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. The regular summer party was founded with Steve’s friend, Matt Brownell, and in Steve’s words “We wanted to showcase our new agey, smooth operators, hazy midtempo and hard-to-classify (insert sub-genre that only djs care about but people will dig, lol) music”
Air A Dancer moved to Soundcloud during lockdown but thankfully Brooklyn’s best kept secret returns for its first post Covid parties this May.
Support the artists, support the label, buy your music! Listen and buy here – https://ourstarryuniverse.bandcamp.com/