The Rise of Hamburgs Techno Duo, Extrawelt

Hailing from rural Hamburg in Germany, Extrawelt represents the newest tech-trance project from Arne Schaffhausen (DJ, Producer) and Wayan Rabe (Producer, Audio Engineer), who together form the parts of several groups, including The Delta, Sprillianz, Midi Militia, and The Artist/Downhill with the addition of legendary synth keyboardist from Subsignal, Marcus C. Maichel.

Schaffhausen got his start with a group of German DJs called Spiralkinda in 1993. The group was best known for Marco Schmedding, who is often accredited with being among the first deejays to mix sets in the warm Tron-like sounds of ambient range. After a premier performance at VooV Festival in Germany the same year, Schaffhausen went on his first international tour with X-Dream. Subsequently, Schaffhausen got some additional exposure through numerous Acid Trance and Psytrance compilations.

In 1998, X-Dream and Rabe performed together as Spirallianz, which led to the first collaborative performances of Schaffhausen and Rabe, but it was always made to fit the X-Dream mold. In 2000, the two broke away from X-Dream and founded the group Midi Militia to introduce a signature style that today is still hailed as a shift in the sound of ambient techno.

Fast forward to 2004, Schaffhausen created a studio in Hamburg, where he and Rabe could create a unique style that was truly their own. From this time together, Extrawelt was formed and they premiered with sensational anthems Soopertrack and Zu Fuss on the Border Community label in the UK and have ever since been working with a variety of other major iconic labels like Cocoon Recordings, Traum and Kompass.

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With the help of musician, DJ and label owner James Holden, the Extrawelt project sold more than 20,000 units of the vinyl single, Soopertrack in 2005. As a result, the group was followed by a variety of publications as they picked up shows and notoriety on the international stage.

The all-new Extrawelt album Schöne Neue Extrawelt was dropped in October of 2008 with 12 tracks that garnered attention in the United States shortly thereafter. This and hits like BUTBUTBUT, the Glitterbug remix and Der Interpret have reconstituted the wave of German music appreciation with echoes throughout the last two years that still resonate into the West (and across the technoverse) today. With 24 releases dropping across 8 years there can be no mistake that Extrawelt is here to bring the tech heavy house party vibes at a pace that can be embraced by the masses.

Even early on, the funky tracks were minimal but still technical, with a hypnotic yet fluid cadence. Today, they’ve been incorporating glitchy 8-bit beats and sophisticated ambient progressions that are somewhere in between contemporary role-playing games and an anthem for astral projection. With only a handful of performances in the US over the last several years Extrawelt is one you don’t want to miss.

 

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Photos Courtesy of Extrawelt