DJ-producer Mila Stern, the latest addition to the Kiosk I.D. crew – the inhouse label of Kater Blau Club Berlin – is set to release her ‘Five Finger EP’ on 8 September, marking Stern’s anticipated return to the clubland with Camea, Öona Dahl, mytripismytrip, and Hardt Antoine on remix duties. In a noticeable contrast to her 2019 debut ‘Courtyard’, ‘Five Finger EP’ turns up the heat on the floor with thick tech house kicks and jagged electroclash-style sawtooth leads. With touches of industrial and post-punk, the ‘Five Finger EP’ follows in the footsteps of left-field producers such as Lena Willikens and Inga Mauer.

Sonically ‘Five Finger EP’ bears all the hallmarks of tough decision making during the creative process. “Sometimes you have the obvious route,” Stern explains. “And sometimes you have the second or third or fourth route that is not that obvious.” In her world, that means uncomfortable or jarring, a key element in all Stern’s work. Exhibit A: the prominent, marching band-style snare in ‘Deadline Disco’. “It reminds me of an angry child sitting there with a snare drum in a room, and just being noisy,” she giggles.

While we have Stern’s kooky sense of humour to thank for ‘Five Finger Discount’, a shorthand for shoplifting, the title also reflects the question of authenticity that is so close to her heart. “Artistic stealing was a big topic with different friends of mine who are also producers,” she remembers. “In the beginning, I was like: everything has to be made from scratch.” At one point Stern was feeling so scared of diluting her ideas, she hesitated using plugin presets – until realising the potential she was missing out on. “Now I don’t see the necessity to invent everything out of thin air,” Stern concludes. “I just focus on finding sounds that inspire me and let them lead me to unexpected places.”

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