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What If It Works’ first release, minimum wage maximum joy arrives by way of newcomer 11:68PM. Produced in Berlin in the winter of 2020 and mixed & mastered at the newly minted Brewery Studios, minimum wage maximum joy’s five tracks are precision-tooled for the club, showcasing 11:68PM’s veneration for UK-leaning house and techno.

11:68PM’s moniker, as well as the EP title minimum wage maximum joy draws on the artist’s experience of balancing the grind of the 9-5 with dreams of realizing his creative vision. The skittish breaks on “Bluff Mind State” and “Sway”’s glitchy “Call Mohandes Dub” reveal this state of mind, while “Vertical Mobility” reveals a playful side with its irresistible acid bassline and soaring synths.

In 11:68PM’s words: “Writing the record in the evenings in my bedroom on one of the loudest streets of Neukölln, after I had clocked out from work, I found myself in the ever-present struggle of being artistically active while making ends meet. In making this EP, I decided to prioritize my own desires and not wait for some hypothetical moment to pursue this project that might never arrive.”

Visually, this is underscored by Philipp Pess’ striking artwork, depicting the gaunt face of a man whose tired eyes hint at a lifetime spent in front of a screen.

With minimum wage maximum joy, 11:68PM offers a compelling glimpse into a new generation of Berlin’s left-of-centre club producers.
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