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IA MIX 378 Sam Goku

Amidst the haze of whatever I can recollect from a seriously lit night, the memory of my first-ever interaction with Sam Goku remains vivid. The night in question was nothing less of a movie scene, set in the off-beat, infamous club Fitzroy, a warmly lit smoked-out cocoon for fellow degenerates, nestled beneath the Jannowitzbrücke S-Bahn rails in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district.

It was September 2021, and a breakthrough party was taking over in the middle of the pandemic. The lines outside the club were as long as ever and required negative test results for entry. Inside the club, loaded up to 50% of its usual capacity, energy dialling ripe and intense, restricted clubbers were ready to exude much of the quarantine tension as the glorious morning sunlight seeped through the windows that overlooked the spree.

About an hour past midnight, Sam Goku was gearing up to reel in the revelling clubbers into one of the most exhilarating dances they were yet to live. Sharp, deep, buoyant cuts of bass and soul-igniting rhythms slice through the sound system as we all ride through a single tunnel, gun fingers in the air, kicking euphoric sentiments at an all-time high, stompers, troopers, get-on-ground movements, and life comes full circle, waiting to begin again.

This precise memory of Sam Goku is etched deep in my brain, with every other interaction that followed surpassing the precedent and an accumulation of them all now lives on fondly through this IA mix. Jump on the sonic bandwagon with the artist himself, as always instilling a playful extension of pleasure in the imagination. Dark ambience meets rays of spring yellow light in this mix, much like his many productions on Permanent Vacation Records, especially his unmissable series of Glistening Club Music.

Interview by Asmi Shetty

Sam Goku

"The music that I like mostly feels more balanced rather than hectic,
more beautiful rather than aggressive and bright rather than dark,
organic rather than mechanical"

Sam, Hi! Thank you kindly for composing a joyous mix. The journey was sublime, with a wishful opening like a genie vaporising himself to reality. What follows next feels like a free-flowing yin-yang, casually racing through light and dark territories, softly touching upon all the essential layers, evoking deep sentiments for both the soul and the hips. We are eager to discover the mind behind these sonic stories you live to tell. To take off, let’s dive into the preparations of this mix. When and where did you create this mix, what does your recording unit look like, and how did you go with the track selection?

Thanks for having me! I recorded the mix in my studio at home on two XDJ-700s and an Omnitronic TRM-202. For the mix, I wanted to record something that I could listen to on a walk, during a fresh but sunny day but also a mix that in my imagination at least could work with a dance-floor.

For a mix of this length, I usually make a pretty big playlist of around 100 tracks – I wanted to set the mood with some ambient so I made another playlist with ambient tracks that I could choose from. WIth the first 2-3 tracks of each playlist I roughly sketch out a path that I could take and from there on I try to let things flow freely. It’s a similar structure that I would work with at a DJ-gig.

Do any particular textures, genres or themes resonate with your style? Is there any element you rarely skip while playing? What style do you dig the most?

The music that I like mostly feels more balanced rather than hectic, more beautiful rather than aggressive and bright rather than dark, organic rather than mechanical. At least that’s what I started with.

Some other shades and moods have found their way into my collection but overall I would still say that these adjectives can be used to describe what I like but I do understand that everyone has a different understanding and feeling for these terms.

For example I believe that most people would say that the music that they like sounds to some extend warm to them because there’s a universal feeling of warmth connected to the things we like and enjoy but those things could be wildly different for everyone.

How would you relate your podcast/radio mixes with the sounds you play to packed audiences at the club? What remains consistent, and what differs?

For a mix that I record at home, I don’t feel the pressure to go as ‘hard’. There is this ever ongoing discussion if DJ’s should play music to please the crowds or if they should be purely expressing themselves through the music they play.

For me – like with everything in life – it is always a mix of both. I would put it that way: I want to play music that I like, in a way that the audience can enjoy as well. I want them to be able to enjoy my choices as much as I do – and for a club setting I feel like there are more parameters to be taken into consideration for that to happen. Most of the time people go to a club to somehow release tension, although there are places where experimentation and concepts away from the typical are accepted and even desired.

The one parameter that has to be right in both settings for me is ‘flow’. The ‘tension release’ factor is not as present for a podcast/radio mix so I can try and find the ‘flow’ in different ways than I would in a club setting – if that makes any sense.

Dating back to the beginning – When and where did your journey with music as a DJ & Producer begin? How has your upbringing and culture played a part in this? 

When I was younger, my mother loved to play music at home and she loves to sing. There was a lot of music at home but also everywhere else I went, music was always one of the things that I noticed first. A lot of my core memories are connected to music or have music in them.

Sam Goku Haze

"It often fascinates me when music has this psychedelic character.
I don't know how to describe it but the feeling for me is often associated
with sparkling, glistening, paddy sounds and visuals -
when everything seems to be twinkling and vibrating. That's where the name
'Glistening Club Music' came from"

Of course the music that was played at home was influenced by the origins of my parents. It wasn’t only Chinese music but also the music that they discovered and liked since they came to Germany was somehow shaped by their heritage (hope that’s the right word) and I believe it works the same way with the music that I like. My collection is a collage of feelings, emotions and some of my dearest memories.

When I got into University, I moved in with one of my best friends from high school, who at that time was DJ’ing and producing a lot. I just thought it was super cool so I asked him to teach me the basics with Ableton and beat-matching and from that moment on I just haven’t been able to stop.

I’ve become a big fan of your ‘Glistening Club Music‘ series of releases. The recent edition has a beautiful track titled ‘Tales Of Tiger and The Moon‘. There’s a certain charm associated with the tunes, the titles and the album art. What was the inspiration behind this series?

When I first got into producing I was making a lot of calm music. Often it was inspired by club music but not necessarily tailored for club use. I never played my own tracks because most of the time they were just too mellow or didn’t have the right energy. I wanted to make some tracks that would do well in a club setting.

It often fascinates me when music has this psychedelic character. I don’t know how to describe it but the feeling for me is often associated with sparkling, glistening, paddy sounds and visuals – when everything seems to be twinkling and vibrating. That’s where the name ‘Glistening Club Music’ came from.

This brings us to yet another beautiful title ‘Yellow River Radio’––your radio show at Radio80K, what are your thoughts on radio as a medium of musical expression? 

There is a lot of music that inspires me and my show over at Radio80000 gives me a platform where I can showcase this wider range more freely. Things like ambient, downtempo, drum & bass, new wave (I am very bad with putting music into categories so I just opened a tab with Bandcamp discovery to read off some of the genres), sometimes even hip-hop are frequently to be heard in ‘yellow river radio’!

From all the music you’ve been creating and consuming, what do you listen to mostly during your free time or while winding down at night? Any special recommendations?

When I’m not producing or digging music, I listen to a lot of pop, all kinds of electronica – mostly stuff that is quite melodic and catchy. I’ve made a playlist that I always go back to on travels, walks and sometimes cooking and it contains music from Purelink, Mitski, Fever Ray, Khruangbin and Kara Jackson.

I am a huge fan of the 5918mins on Soundcloud. Also, while answering the Interview questions I am playing a Mix from NAP/Daniel Rincon on Knekelhuis for the first time – loving it and definitely saving it!

What are your preferred local hangouts in Munich/ Berlin/ Germany, what places do you like to visit to experience new music?

I don’t spend a lot of time outside haha… and found myself going out for music less since I am playing more regularly, but whenever I go, I never regret it (and I know I should go out more often). Tonight a friend has asked me to go to a concert by TootArd at Import Export and I am looking forward to it!

Thank you for taking us into your life and rhythm. On a final note, what would you tell your younger aspiring self? 

I would tell him that change is constant and that the world doesn’t (only) run on facts but on feelings. But I don’t know if that would help him haha. Maybe I would tell him to just enjoy and to go into nature more – basically what I tell myself now.


1. DJ Metatron – There Is A Million Ways To Come Down [All Possible Worlds]
2. Odd Ned – First Out [wherethetimegoes]
3. Le Frit – Wood Wide Web (World Loading Interface) [Human Pitch]
4. Akira Ito – Life Goes On [Glossy Mistakes]
5. Salamanda – Mysterious Wedding [Wisdom Teeth]
6. Square Fauna – Scrolls [Firecracker Recordings]
7. Vorm In Geluid – Vorm In Geluid 023 [Malin Genie Music]
8. Popp – Lilac [Squama]
9. Loof Lf – Moon Gz [Well Street Records]
10. Topdown Dialectic – B1 [Peak Oil]
11. SNP 500 – Splean Addition
12. Octo Octa – Dresses [Running Back]
13. Mathimidori – Goya [Ornaments]
14. Terekke – Bb2 [L.I.E.S. Records]
15. Pete Lazonby (Padre) – Beautiful Lies (Beat Mix) [Rawax]
16. AJ Christou – Everywhere You Go (Aj Christou’s Mormonian Grey Edit)
17. Hi & Saberhägen – Loveless [INTERGRADED]
18. Ivy Barkakati – Descarga [Butter Sessions]
19. Odd Ned – One Over Four [wherethetimegoes]
20. Space Dimension Controller – Bark Of The Erodruids [Tiraquon Recordings]
21. Morenas – Cuando Brilla La Luna (Enzo Elia Polyglot Edit) [Hell Yeah Recordings]
22. Dauwd – The Yuzer (Dj Plead Remix) [Psssh Records]
23. Sam Goku – Orchids (Altered By Call Super) [Permanent Vacation]
24. Sindh – Ujjain [Sindh]
25. Rolando Simmons – In The Place [Furthur Electronix]
26. Evigt Morker – Stigning [On the 5th Day]
27. Human Space Machine – Searching [De Lichting]
28. Sam Goku – Swamp Signal V2
29. Mia Koden – Après Vous [Ilian Tape]
30. Amazondotcom – Prowler [Promesses]
31. Neinzer – Voyager [Whities]
32. Scott Grooves – Expansions [Soma]
33. Halftribe – Elegant, Golden [Dronarivm]