November 28, 2019 | Guest Mixes

#76 Kiskelfacit for Deeprhythms


This one's a keeper - a blissful (fill in 10x superlatives here) 2 hour selection by Kiskelfacit, an avid record collector and a DJ with a keen ear for the lesser known dreamy deepnes who's not afraid to lengths to find that one track hidden on an obscure compilation. Mikael's also the figure behind the wonderful Hjärngymnastik mix series, read more about that in the interview.

Very, very happy to have him on-board. I myself am drawn to Kiskelfacit's dreamy genre-crossing sets and this one is no exception - an exploration on techno, electro, breaks, IDM, house and what have you - just listen carefully how he subtly and patiently increases the tension as the mix progresses. That, my friends, is how you tell a story through DJ'ing.

Hi there Mikael, thanks for taking the time to speak with me! Let’s start with a bit of biographical detail, who you are and where you’re from? 

Hello, Timo. Thanks for having me. I'm originally from the grim cold north of Sweden, but since 2007 I'm residing in a suburb right outside of Stockholm.

Besides being a record hoarder slash collector, I also like to draw. A lot. I live in a cramped apartment stacked with shoes, books, records, CDs and plush animals along with my girlfriend Julia. We've both got mild hoarding tendencies, I guess.

How did you get introduced to dance music? 

My father and my uncle used to be DJs, which means I've had access to their equipment from an early age. Since they were signed up to promotional record pools and constantly bought new music on CD, I've always had access to a lot of music at home.

Most of this stuff was of course regular top 40 records. Early on, I got my dance-fix through eurodance compilations, MTV dancefloor charts, VIVA, swedish radio and similar channels.

The first experience with electronic music outside of generic radio fodder was through my cousin who also used to DJ (and still does). He had bought a number of hardcore and gabber compilations from local stores.

We used to play a mixture of eurodance and gabber in my grandmother's garage where he had found a home for his equipment. Shortly after this I got introduced to acts such as Antiloop and The Prodigy.

My first encounter with you was on the Discogs forums where you posted a mix from your Härngymnastiks series. Before we go into that, can you tell us how you got started with DJing and what motivated you in the beginning? 

I started going with my cousin to his DJ, and later on started playing by my own at similar parties. This was around 1998-1999.

I had no thought whatsoever of actually mixing music together into one flowing piece. I was basically fader-slamming through recent top 40 music, adding some small portions of (very unappreciated) gabber.

I've pretty much always had two record players, a double CD-deck or two standalone CD players in my room. The setup has of course varied a bit, but the Technics SL1210MK2s have remained a constant.

Besides these, I'm currently using a DJM800 mixer and two CDJ2000NXS players. Time-coded discs, laptops or midi controllers have never been an option for me.

So, Hjärngymnastik - I love the concept of inviting people to do mixes consisting of tracks released between 1990-1999 + the awesome illustrations. How did you come up with that and how has it been?

The initial thought was never to have this name for the project. Initially, I intended to give the series a really dry and governmental-sounding name. Something like the swedish equivalent to The National Institute Of Recorded Music With Electronic Features (or something in that vein).

For some reason I drew a very simple drawing of a brain lifting some weights the day before I was going to upload the first recorded episode. 

After this I drew another brain playing football. And another brain with a hockey stick. And another one doing something else. Then I realized I could draw brains doing just about anything. I chose to go with this idea, and the name popped up. Hjärngymnastik - the swedish word for brain gymnastics.

Two years prior to starting this series, I started going through every CD in my collection as well as anything I ever bought, traded or sold, in the search for interesting music.

Saving only the tracks I liked, I started building up enormous piles of music from a wide variety of styles. It struck me how much interesting stuff that can be found exclusively on certain compilations. 

When starting the project I knew that it would take years for me to run out of music to play. At the start, I said I would only play music released prior to 2000, but I decided to include music from the year 2000 as well. 

I decided to start making one mix every week and to publish them on sunday mornings. Initially I never had intentions of inviting guests, but as Mihail P messaged me asking if I would be interested in making a mix for his series on Timeline Music, I started wondering if this would be a good direction for my series as well. 

Luckily Mihail wanted to participate in my newly started project. When I asked him for recommendations on who to invite, his first mention was Paul Rimbaud who runs the excellent Distant Worlds label.

Paul's contribution was the first guest mix on the series followed by Mihail's. Many guests followed and many more are queued for the future (intensive staring at you, Timo! Timo’s note: It’s coming! Feeling the pressure...).

I know you are an avid record collector. Tell us a little about your collection and how you go you on about finding records to buy?

I collect vinyl, but I'm certainly not a vinyl purist. A lot of the music I'm looking for, such as ambient, is not available on vinyl. 

These days I'm mainly buyings CDs and wave files, as my storage capabilities are very limited. Most of the stuff I'm buying is from physical thrift shops and record stores. 

I very much enjoy plowing through entire sections in search for interesting music. I travel a bit for work, so I always keep an eye out for thrift shops or record stores wherever I go. I try not to look at the Discogs marketplace as it has devastating effects on my wallet. 

I'm always on the lookout for buying whole collections as well, as long as I can find a place for storage.

Tell us a good story about a crate digging trip that ended on a high note?

I've bought so many collections and bulk purchases that I've got a little trouble remembering where and when a certain record was bought.

One standout collection was actually bought in bulk from one of Stockholm's oldest record stores. I went in to browse their newly additions when the clerk told me to take a look in some newly purchased boxes, since he knew i was looking for dance music.

The first things facing me as I opened the first box were a stax of Pete Namlook's Fax label cds and compilations. With a sudden increase in pulse, I continued discovering insane amounts releases missing in my collection - Apollo, Transmat, rare detroit techno, R&S Records,Peacefrog, more Fax, more ambient, more 90s techno.

Instead of hand-picking individual cds, I bought the whole lot. I left in a taxi with 9 boxes packed with insanely good music. A good portion of the tracks played in Hjärngymnastik is from this haul.

Is dancing as important as the music?

For some people, absolutely, but not for me. Not nowadays, at least. A lot of the music I enjoy nowadays isn't really danceable. I'm sure I would have given you another answer if I had gotten the question 5 or 10 years ago.

Your mixes are very diverse, but there’s always a sort of dreamy quality to them. Am I completely mistaken?

You're absolutely right. I tend to find tracks with lush, sweeping background pads and melodies, wheter it's IDM, jungle, acid, deep house or detroit techno. 

If the track isn't dreamy enough, the master pitch on the CDJ may be of help. I often pitch things down quite heavily. When you're pitching down hard trance and other similar fast styles, say 25-50%, a ravey track can transform into calm, lushy bleepiness.

Moving on to my favourite part - do you have any fond musical memories from your childhood?

Not really a fond one, but when I was around 12, I was really in to dance music. I overheard a radio host saying they were going to broadcast a DJ set by some guy called Luke Slater late at night. 

I set up my tape recorder and the following day I listened to parts of the set. 34 year old me would absolutely have liked 12 year old me to have turned techno-purist at this very moment, but it didn't happen. It was lacking the eurodance-ish melodies, the male rapping and the happy vibes I got from my Yabadaba dance compilations.

Techno was not yet for me.

What was the first record or a song that made a lasting impression on you? 

My father told me I was able to identify the voice of George Michael when one of his new tracks started playing on the radio when I was a toddler. I don't know if that's good or bad. 

A certainly bad memory is of the first vinyl I bought using my own money. I was on a schooltrip to Gothenburg when I was around 15. For some reason, I came home with Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish LP. I had some kind of teenage flirt with hip-hop that also seemed to include dodgy "rap-metal". 

The LP seems to fetch around 100 EUR on Discogs, so I guess I can see it as some kind of investment.

What would you consider to be the five most personal records to you and why? 

This is an impossible question for me to answer, as new titles pops up every time I pay any attention to the thought.

Instead, I'll mention five cd albums or series with tracks often present in my mixes. 

Peter Benisch - Lindego 

The Primitive Painter - The Primitive Painter

Insync vs. Mysteron - Android Architect

all of the Trance Europe Express boxsets on Volume and 

the B12 Archives boxsets.

Can you describe a perfect track for a Kiskelfacit DJ set, what are the ingredients?

Two tracks that sum up the Hjärngymnastik series are actually ones I haven't played yet, for some unknown reason. 

The first track is Eggshell by Autechre and

the second is Tedra by Lark (Kenny Larkin).

Lush pads. Bleeps. Percussion. What's not to like?

So the mix, can you tell us a little something about that(Timo's note: that apart from the fact that's it's absolutely mind blowing)?

This was a much needed pause from digging for 90s music. During the autumn I set myself to hunt for newer music as I've been asked to compile a number of podcasts for various other projects. 

I don't intend to completely drown myself in techno nostalgia, so now and then I try to keep myself updated with current music.

When I do mixes like this, I don't want to stick to one style, but rather jump through whatever I find interesting at the moment, whether it's deep house, broken beat, raw acid, industrial techno, instrumental ebm, ethereal, ambient, breakbeat, minimal techno or electro. 

I'm finding so much new great music that I would have no problems doing one 2 hour set per week. Obstacles such as work, sleep and funding are in the way, though

Many thanks again Mikael, anything you’d like to add? 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to all the new and old music I’ll discover in 2020, and all interactions with like-minded individuals I will encounter as I go along. 


01. Chronosone - Strands [Bimoma - 2019]
02. Steve Roach - Motivating Factor [Projekt - 2019]
03. Peel Seamus - Black Mesa [Delsin - 2019]
04. Christopher Ledger - Scarlet Heaven [Meander - 2019]
05. Body Copy - Is That Clear? [Body Cuts - 2019]
06. Pushkin - Alien Highway [Touched - Music For Macmillian Cancer Support - 2019]
07. Duplex - Molecular (Ovatow Reclock) [Frustrated Funk - 2019]
08. Biochip - Simulated Events [Central Processing Unit - 2019]
09. Eliphino - Dusty [Secretsundaze - 2019]
10. Credit 00 - Deep In The Jungle [Uncanny Valley - 2019]
11. Lerosa - Subterfuge [Acid Test - 2019]
12. Silent Revolt - Who I Am (HearThuG 5 AM Mix) [Audiophile Deep - 2019]
13. Cameo Blush - Hypervisibility [Touch From A Distance - 2019]
14. Supreems - Amygdala [Nice Age - 2019]
15. Jacques Bon - Fractals [Live At Robert Johnson - 2019]
16. RAFF - ESO8 [BAKK - 2019]
17. Dan Curtin - Flight Lush [Dolly Dubs - 2019]
18. Silas And Snare - Dreamscape [Kaizen - 2019]
19. Sound Synthesis - Noisy Shouts Of Joy [Nebulae Records - 2019]
20. Bud Burroughs - Oleano [Seventh Sign Recordings - 2019]
21. Norwell - Train To Inamuragasaki [Lobster Theremin - 2019]
22. 214 - Growing Old Together [Frustrated Funk - 2019]
23. Moralez - Zodak [Mosaique - 2016]
24. Walton - Squelch [Kaizen - 2019]
25. Pépe - Life Signs (Roll Mix) [Church - 2019]
26. Varg - Death.Toggle : Cheatingintensitybuff_fearless (Feat Fatal Chatline) [Northern Electronics - 2019]
27. Telefon Tel Aviv - Not Breathing [Ghostly International - 2019]
28. Boxwork - Pepper Stalk [WNCL Recordings - 2017]
29. Stripper - Personal Nightmares [Sleeve - 2019]
30. Cocktail Party Effect - When The Gun Claps [Tectonic - 2019]
31. De Sluwe Vos - Alphaeus [Who's Susan - 2019]
32. Ernestas Sadau - Vilnius Brigade [Pinkman - 2019]
33. Apollo View - IV [Insult To Injury - 2019]
34. Umwelt - Structure Noir [Mosaique - 2019]
35. Cardopusher - Falling Awake [Boysnoize Records - 2019]
36. 5713 - MV2F [Eye For An Eye Recordings - 2019]
37. L/F/D/M - Cru [Cititrax - 2019]
38. Client_03 - Suspect Dispenser [Astrophonica - 2019]
39. Dust-e-1 - U And Me [DustWORLD - 2019]
40. Michailo + Irakli - Merion [Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound - 2019]
41. Vanessa Wagner - Etude n9 (Nadia Struiwigh Experimental Edit) [Infiné - 2019]

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DJ profile

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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KIskelfacit is a DJ and a record collector based in Sweden. His Hjärngymnastik project is fully dedicated to cratedigging - finding and playing Techno. Detroit, Acid, IDM, Bleep, Breakbeat, DnB, Jungle, Electro, Experimental, Ambient, Deep House and all neighbouring styles released prior to 2000.

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