Sharp FM 015: Ivan Berko for Sharp Serif & Sharp Earth

“This mix is about the possibility of being in love while international war rages on.”

— Ivan Berko


Big thanks to our friend Ivan Berko for jumpstarting the year with our first Sharp FM mix of 2024, which opens with a soft battalion of soaring, warming vocal-driven gems. Bronski Beat's 80s classic "No War" sets the tone with Jimmy Somerville's levitation-inducing vocals before things really take flight during the percussive second half, which peaks during the synth-fuelled boogie of Roberto Lodola's neon ode to Paul Renner, "Futura's Dreaming".

Ivan's been a fixture and guiding light within the New York music scene for many years. His blend of all things synth-y, sleaze-y, tech-y, proggy, and, of course, Balearic are always surprising and have an unmistakable depth of feeling. Ivan's inexhaustible love for music really comes through in his sets, which showcase his ability to recontextualize dance classics alongside contemporary deep cuts—the man stays on the pulse of things.

As a curator and promoter, Ivan has been responsible for bringing artists such as Tornado Wallace, Beppe Loda, CCDisco, Suzanne Kraft, and more to Brooklyn through his raucous party series Juicy Street and Strictly Biz. He also currently runs the label Sonic Dreams Recordings with friend Budino. It’s hard to say definitively what to expect from one of Ivan's sets, but it’s safe to say euphoria is always on the menu: "Come early, stay late, leave sweaty."


For the cover and tracklist, Justin Sloane used Sharp Earth and Sharp Serif, two forthcoming Sharp Type releases. These mixes continue to give us opportunities to preview upcoming work, rediscover fonts in our current library, and even inspire brand new explorations. Beyond this, Sharp FM mixes offer more ambient explorations for those interested in meaningful connections between type design and music. We recently came across a feature about the great Dutch type designer Bram De Does in Eye Magazine:

"For all that De Does wondered about his originality in type design, the kaba ornament itself and its exposition in this book are an original union of typography and mathematics, which also reveals glimpses of their deeper relations to architecture and music – another of his passions. There are obvious parallels with Bach in the cascading variations, with the architectonic and decorative in the mandala-like arrangements, and with the work of Constructivist and Op artists in the elaboration of visual form through repetition and modulation."



1. Exotic Baryon - Darkling

2. Bronski Beat - No War

3. Black Rox - Every Breath I Take

4. Noise Abroad - Valley Of The Blue Men

5. Sudden Sway - Yves St. Raisa

6. Big - Blind Lead The Blind

7. Happy Mondays - W.F.L. (Think About The Future Mix)

8. Dr. Bronzer - Wet Dreams (Extended Mix)

9. Roberto Lodola - Futura’s Dream

10. Cath Carroll - Moves Like You

11. Bronski Beat - Love and Money (Got a Raise Edit)

12. C.S. Angels - Falling

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