Podcast 515: Sammy Dee

60 minutes of easy-listening tunes from the Get Perlonized curator.
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It's no easy feat to condense Sammy Dee's career into just a few words. Having been born and raised in Berlin, the DJ-producer—real name Mario Radecki—began DJing in Kastle, a small town in the center of Germany, before returning to Berlin in 1992, where "machine music" had become the underground soundtrack for reunification. Indeed, Radecki has seen first hand the development of Berlin techno: he witnessed the fall of the wall; he saw Planet, UFO, E-Werk, and Tresor all open their doors—and even became a resident DJ of the latter two. He then became a resident of Ostgut in 1998, establishing himself as a rising artist within this blossoming scene—and that's where it all started, those many years ago.

It was just around this time, too, that Radecki also formed Pantytec, a collaborative project alongside Perlon co-founder Thomas Franzmann (a.k.a Zip). The project launched in 1998 with Into The Duster, a beautifully produced EP of abstract, minimal sounds. The release was a tremendous success, followed soon thereafter by a handful of new EPs and then 2002's Pony Slaystation, an eight-track album that perfectly captured Mario Radecki's "off-kilter" microhouse aesthetic and formed the basis for a global Pantytec tour. All releases landed on Perlon, the label with which Radecki has long held close associations.

After connecting with the label in 1996 while working in Frankfurt, Radecki convinced Franzmann to relocate to Berlin and start a night, titled Get Perlonized. It began in 2000, at the old Panorama Bar above Ostgut, with Franzmann, Radecki, and two guests on the lineup, playing all through the night, pushing playful minimal house tunes. Radecki, 17 years later, has become a piece of the Get Perlonized furniture, curating the monthly events and playing every single one. He has, in no simple terms, played a formative role in making it what it is today: one of the city's most eagerly awaited events and a must-do for fans of Perlon's loyal following.

His connections to the label do not end there. In 2006 he formed Half Hawaii alongside Steven For (a.k.a Bruno Pronsato), and the duo subsequently released two EPs on the label—in 2007 and 2017—while performing live at Get Personalized events in Berlin and further afield. They also released on hello?repeat and Diamonds & Pearls. Solo material on Perlon has, surprisingly, been in short supply, limited to the 2008 Purplehummer EP and various appearances on the Superlongevity series. Many consider his "Marvin Goes Savage Deep" contribution to be the standout track on the standout Superlongevity 6 compilation.

Elsewhere, Radecki has worked with Heiko Laux on his label Kanzleramt; while in 2005 he released an EP via Poker Flat with Guido Schneider. He also runs Ultrastretch, a label he founded in 2011 that draws its name from Radecki's "PERLON68" B-side. He describes the imprint as a platform for younger producers to release on vinyl, aimed at supporting the community of talented artists around him. Releases, which land with reasonable frequency, often come with a big name rework from the likes of Baby FordFumiya Tanaka, Rhadoo, and Ricardo Villalobos.

For this week's mix, he serves up something a little different: an hour-long easy-listening recording consisting of some of his favorite tunes from his extensive collection. This is a side of Sammy Dee that you've almost definitely never heard before.

When and where was the mix recorded?

At home, studio, flight to LA and Hotels during my last tour.

What equipment did you record the mix on?

I used my MK2 turntables, computer, and Logic Pro X.

It’s very different to the normal music that you play/produce. Did you find it hard composing a mix of non-club material?

Yes that's true, and it was quite challenging, but it reflects the variety of liking and listening to music over the past 30 years.

How did you go about choosing the records you included?

Well, I started ripping tons of CDs I've collected over time and got inspired.

Was there a particular idea or mood you were looking to convey?

It is very different putting music together when you're not dancing.

This is how the mood started. I wanted chill vibes and interesting layered sounds and music.

You recently released on Superlongevity 6. Can we expect more solo music soon?

Yes, of course! I have been collecting older ideas recently, and trying to put them together, and hoping it'll be enough for an album.

What’s happening with Half Hawaii? Are you guys working on new material?

Sometimes it is difficult to meet up for studio time. We’ve been working on our own, as well as sharing ideas.

What’s next for Ultrastretch?

Good question. It'll be the next record