O-TON 112


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Sam Barker has had a long ongoing relationship with Berghain and Ostgut Ton, having released two LPs and various EPs as one half of Barker & Baumecker and hosting regular nights at the club since September 2008 as co-founder of the label Leisure System. 2017 marked the beginning of his solo residency, 2018 sees his first solo release with Ostgut Ton.

Both as a musician and label owner, Barker operates on the fringes of techno, balancing experimentation with functionality. On Debiasing, he takes a hard look at the musical elements often considered necessary to maintain dancefloor momentum, with four distinct tracks of morphing synth stabs and paired down metronomic rhythms in varying time signatures. While there is no kick, snare, or clap to be heard, the result is not experimental techno deconstructions but driving, hypnotic and unlikely dancefloor tools.

Inspired by the psychology underpinning relationships between producer/DJ and audience, Debiasing is an exercise in creating alternative paths within a techno framework. In Barker’s own words: “If you have ever sat down with a drum machine and tried to elude the rules of dance music, you will find at whatever tempo, and however you arrange the rhythms of each sound, you inevitably end up somewhere. I’ve generally tried to get away from that, but you always hit against this problem of an all-encompassing taxonomy and the baggage that comes with it. For a long time, music only seemed to show me how deeply locked into our habits and patterns we are.


  • Cascade Effect
  • When Prophecy Fails
  • Look How Hard I’ve Tried
  • Filter Bubbles


Release date

June 01, 2018

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