Function, Steve Bicknell, Sophia Saze
■ FUNCTION ■ One of techno's true underground heroes, Function has been DJing and making music for over 25 years. Hailing from New York, He bears the distinction of being the only non-Birmingham artist to score a release on the legendary Downwards imprint, and in recent years helped establish the Sandwell District label with Regis and Silent Servant - The crew which put the music first at a moment when the genre was becoming more and more about celebrity. From their distinctive post-punk-inspired artwork to the refreshing lack of information surrounding who did what, it was the type of operation that would’ve built a cult following regardless of the quality of its output. At the beginning of 2012, after Sandwell District was put on permanent hiatus, Sumner was invited to join the Ostgut family, releasing his debut album, the critically acclaimed, Incubation on Ostgut Ton, and becoming a Berghain resident.
■ STEVE BICKNELL ■ Steve Bicknell has been at the forefront of the UK’s ever-growing electronic music scene since its infancy. His career, spanning over 25+ years, has seen Steve grow from his early beginnings as a young promoter and resident DJ to one of the UK’s most established, accomplished and respected techno artists credited by many as a true pioneer. When it comes to Bicknell’s productions it’s no doubt he embodies the true essence of straight to the point, no-nonsense techno characteristics he fluidly translates into his DJ sets. Reflecting on his earliest work it is clear after stepping back from producing in the mid 2000’s he was still able to maintain the same relentless energy and curiosity yet honing and evolving it into something fresh and current upon his return in 2019.
■ SOPHIA SAZE ■ Beginning her creative journey in her formative years with classical music and dance training, Sophia Saze later became engulfed by electronic dance music. Getting to know this artist, it is easy to understand that she comes from a solid and natural musical foundation. DJ-ing and producing for 8 years, Saze launched her record label Dusk & Haze in 2017, with the first installment coming in the form of her own ‘Solace’ EP , which included remixes from Benjamin Damage & Umwelt. The productions stem from techno, yet her musical versatility draws from a variety of genre influences, ranging electro to krautrock, ambient to industrial, acid to garage, showing her complete range and fluidity as a musician.