This week, Jesse Siminski, aka Heartthrob’s, Someone Called Again EP dropped via his own leftfield label, ISNISNT. A purveyor of “chrome-plated cosmic funk,” Jesse has an edged knack for crafting vigorous, clunky techno, and over the course of a decade, he's melded minimal sounds and bolder experimentation into an energy distinctly his own.
Much of this music found a home on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label, though Jesse has also released on BPitch Control, Hot Creations, and, now, his own 2013 imprint. ISNISNT's second release, Someone Called Again's four tracks prompt an intrigue in askewness, unraveled as our heads jag in wonky conks to Jesse's warped groove.
Stream the title track below, and in honor of the EP, we hit up Jesse (who is a Berliner by way of Detroit, plus a few places in between) to recount a memory from each scene he’s lived in, leading to the music he makes today. Turns out, it started with Prince, and isn’t ending ‘til Sunday’s over.
Years lived here: 19
One of my first musical memories from my upbringing in Michigan would be visiting a relatives record shop in Saginaw, a town near Detroit. My dad and I would go there together and sift through the boxes of rock, funk, and jazz records. It was always exciting to see the fascinating covers and discover a new world outside the conventional. Prince, Eddie Grant, and Kraftwerk were childhood favorites. I remember seeing a poster of Prince from his Dirty Mind period that was really shocking for me back then. It's of him in a shower wearing only a bikini. Classic!
Years lived here: 8
I was in my early 20s when I moved to New York City to pursue a career in art. It was a very exciting time for me. Previously I had been living between Seattle and Maui, both great places to live, but lacking in the type of music scene I was longing for. In New York, the techno scene was much smaller and very underground at this point. Time had past after the initial arrival or rave, and club culture had calmed down a lot. Sonic Groove Record shop was still in the West Village, and there were regular weekly events happening in small discos and basement bars. You would see the same 100 people or so at most events. One very fond memory for me was a place called Flamingo East on Second Ave and 14th Street. I believe it was 2000 and Dan Bell had recently released his DJ Mix CD "The Button Down Mind of Daniel Bell" for Tresor. I just happened to pass by not knowing who was playing. It was truly one of the best nights out I have ever had. The "minimal house" sound was just emerging from Europe to the States, and there is no one who can play records like Dan. It was all very fresh and exciting. A few months later Magda would also come from Detroit to play and we would become friends. This is just before she got messed up with Rich and Minus. I can't recall a more formative moment.
Years lived here: 4
Once I started releasing music with Richie Hawtin's Minus imprint, living in Europe seemed like the next step in being able to to tour regularly. It was time to get out of the compressed and overly expensive mess that New York can become. Somehow, Paris made the most sense, and it really worked for the first few years. Eventually touring constantly got the best of my personal life. I was going through a tough time romantically and a nasty break up was unfolding. Paris is a terrific backdrop for such drama. I would wander up and down the Canal Saint Martin between working in the studio obsessively. This is where I started my first full album, Dear Painter Paint Me. Eventually I would finish it in Berlin, but the heart of the experience is rooted in Paris. Quelle tragique! I haven't finished the follow up yet. Can I blame that on Berlin?
Years lived here: 5
As much as it it a cliche to say at this point, I would have to offer up memories at Panorama Bar and Berghain as being quite significant experiences for me in Berlin. I have had terrific times as both a performer and a dancer and can say it is perfectly devised for either role. Not too long ago I was asked to DJ on a Sunday afternoon in Pbar. It was my first time working there on that day. I have played upstairs and down, as both a live act and DJ, but never on Sunday. Like many Berliners, I prefer to go out that day, as the crowd is still quite good, but a bit more chill, as is the music. I got to play with dear old friends from Detroit; Mike Servito and Derek Plaslaiko as well as Soundstream and Ron Trent. Two house legends. We had a great flow and an excellent crowd. This may not be the most exciting Berlin club story, but I cant think of anything better than a night (day or whatever) at that place with great music and friends.
Someone Called Again