[Music & Interview]: Oliver Deutschmann


Music & Interview
Oliver Deutschmann


Oliver Deutschmann, founder of the labels Vidab and GKNSTR, who plays irregularly at Berghain



Hello Oliver, it was cool to meet you again at your Berghain a few weeks ago – a real pleasure to listen to your powerful set. So we are happy to have you for our „Music & Interview“ series. Let‘s start at the very beginning of music life. What kind of music did you listen to when you were a teenager discovering music as a hobby/love? When did you start the first time to spin some vinyls? What was your reason to start with playing records to an audience and producing own stuff? Any other projects like being in a band etc before that?
Thanks a lot! I listened to a lot of Hard Rock, all kinds of Metal and Hardcore as a teenager. We also organized parties where I was responsible for the music. So first I was a more a ‚Rock‘ Dj. On those parties I Played stuff like RATM, Tool, Ignite, Pennywise, Slayer and so on. I started then to go to Techno Parties around my hometown in South Germany. Sometimes we drove to the Omen club in Frankfurt to see Sven Väth at his friday’s parties. I became a Techno DJ a bit after I moved to Berlin in 1998. Producing my own stuff was just a normal development for me then. I started with a Korg ESX 1 Sampler. Even did my first Live sets only with that little machine.

Oliver Deutschmann 1
(Oliver Deutschmann Promo Pic 1)

You played very often at Berghain. You also played there a few weeks ago. What is special for you playing at this club many clubbers speak about? What was your relationship to the crew in the past? What changed over the years? Any other clubs you like because of some special experiences there? You also play some festivals this summer e.g. Her Damit Festival (you also contributed for their first EP). How do you prepare a set for a club night and what’s different if you prepare something for a festival? Please also tell us some of your strangest experiences being a DJ?
It’s always special because its just still the best club in the world for me. They are simply professional on all levels. Plus the crowd, who can be super enthusiastic and willing to rave. There are a lot of other clubs or promoters around the world I really like of course. UKW Kraftwerk in Rostock, Rottweiler Bar in Gothenburg, Forum in Bielefeld, the Überhaus crew in Beirut for example. It’s just too many to mention. And, I never prepare for a gig. I only know 5 minutes before my sets what will be my first track. Strangest experience? I had a lot. Good and bad ones. But one time a guy offered me a blowjob while playing. On a 2 meter high stage with no curtain hanging from the booth table. Not really discret, haha.I found this really funny. Gig was amazing though!

Oliver Deutschmann 2
(Oliver Deutschmann Promo Pic 2)

One of my first records you were involved was Gowentgone, your project with Stephan Hill released on your label Vidab. What was initial moment to create this project and found the label? How did you work together? Which equipment did you use? The latest Gowentgone release listed on discogs was released in 2010. Is that project finished?
We created vidab because no label wanted to release our gowentgone tracks. It was really frustrating trying to get into that business as producers. So we decided to set up our own label. We asked some friends to give us their music, did some kind of application with artwork, music, our ideas and sent it to Kompakt. Luckily Michael Mayer loved the stuff and so we signed a distribution deal with them. Finally we were able to release our and our friend’s music. Best decision ever. And a big thank you to all the labels that didn’t give us a chance. Without you this would have never happened! We used mainly Korg hardware to do our gowentgone stuff. Our track ‚Love & Respect’ that was sold very good got finished in three hours. That shows that you just need a good idea to do a great track. Which or how much expensive equipment you use is secondary. And btw, we just released a remix for Faltin a few weeks ago on the vidab X series. You can definitely find it on discogs now.

(the29nov video for Oliver Deutschmann’s “Darkness Falls”, Vidab 2013)

Vidab and the sublabel Falkplatz was also one of the first labels for Ed Davenport – with a housy sound. He also released there an EP called “Inland”, a name he used later for his techno moniker (first record “EP X” on Vidab too). You also produced a few EPs together. How did you discover Ed in the first place and what was the reason for signing him on your label(s)? What was the difference between working with Ed and working with Stephan on a record? Did you use similar equipment? Was it a total different way of producing?
I met Ed around 10 years ago when he moved to Berlin. He did a remix for my second Ep on Konsequenz that I did with Koljah. We got friends and met in our studios from time to time. Ed is a great guy, a very good friend and an amazing producer. All these criteria led to all those releases. I’m happy that I had the chance to release his first Inland stuff on Falkplatz and vidab. And he definitely gets now the attention he deserves for that project. With Stephan the production process went a lot faster because the gowentgone stuff is so simple, but effective. With Ed I set a bit longer on each track, diving a bit more into the production process. I like both ways of being creative. Using your instinct and also being analytical in the production process is very important in my opinion

(the29nov video for Ed Davenport’s “Living Rooms”, Slim Audio 2012)

On Vidab you also released our album “Out Of The Dark”. How do you work on an album? Is it something like a collection of lose club tracks just tied together? Or do you follow a concept? Is the composing process different? As we know this is your only album. Any reasons for that? Is it easier to produce a solo record or do it together with guys like Stephan and Ed? What about the process and the equipment?
I wanted to release another album since quiet a time now. But I didn’t feel pretty inspired to do one. Don’t know if it should be a couple of clubtracks or something more arty. I wanted to release a bunch of good Eps on good labels before I do one again. So, now could be the time to work on that. Let’s see.

Oliver Deutschmann 3
(Oliver Deutschmann Promo Pic 3)

Besides Vidab you also run the label GKNSTR where you release under the alias Orion. Why did you set up a new label? What does it mean for you running an own label? Who is Oliver Deutschmann and who is Orion? What characteristics make them different?
GKNSTR I set up just because I wanted to try out something new. Releasing stuff from known producers under unknown project names. Focussing on the music only. Worked pretty well. Especially with Cadency (Hector Oaks) or Hysh (Niereich). Orion i created to do more deeper stuff. Just to unbind from my Deutschmann productions. I’m producing so many different stuff that it is just impossible to release everything under one name. And of course it is also refreshing for myself to create new projects and to surprise people.

(full stream of “Warehouse” by Cadency, GKNSTR 2016)

On GKNSTR there is an unofficial remix of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel Loved” made by you. Why did you use this track for re-editing (not a hit like “Enjoy The Silence”)? What role plays/played this band in your life? What are your musical influences?
I have different vocal samples from Depeche Mode. The ones for ‚I feel loved‘ just touched me the most so I started to build a track around them. I am a big Depeche Mode fan since ‚People are Peole‘. My ,mother bought me the 7“ single back then. Unfortunately I lost it in a moving years back. My influences go back long. Used to sit in my uncles room as a little kid listening to his vinyl collection. Pink Floyd, The Who, Deep Purple, Neue Deutsche Welle and so on.

(Oliver Deutschmann’s remix of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel Loved”, GKNSTR 2015)

Apropros remixing. There are several Oliver Deutschmann remixes? What are criterias to agree on making a remix? Do you enjoy creating a new version of an existing track or is it something you have to do because it is part of the business/scene?
I have to like the original track. That’s it. Then I do it. And, yes, mostly I enjoy to do it. Depends on the samples I get. When the samples sound good and there is, for example, progression in the synth samples it’s pretty easy.

Oliver Deutschmann 4
(Oliver Deutschmann Promo Pic 4)

Some releases that also got our attention are the 4 Archive EPs and the mix CD “Futureworld” on Slim Audio – incl. a movie by the29nov films. Slim Audio was a label started by Slim Magazine. Unfortunately not much information about the label and the magazine can be found – also the movie is not available anymore because their website is down. So could you please tell us something about it? How was it to work on releases with such a label (owned by a magazine)? The EPs were named „Archive“, so these tracks existed on your drive already for a while? Are you someone who produce a lot of stuff that never get released building large archives of tracks?
The magazine isnt existing anymore. The label is. I’m running it with James Blonde, who is also doing the Sweatlodge Agency. But I use this only for my own material now. Doing nearly no promotion. I’m only sending the promos out from my own mail account. Its just pretty easy to release my stuff there. Its digital only, I also do the mastering on my own. The artwork photos are shot by my daughter. So we have the full control about everything. Absolutely no compromises to do. I love that. And yes, I do tons of loops and tracks. Most of them will never get released. Some of them on the next Archives, maybe!

(the29nov trailer for “Futureworld”, Slim Audio 2012)

We mentioned the video crew the29nov films above (and already used some of their videos for this feature). They made some videos for your tracks. More and more such crews popped up in the last months/years. What do you think about making videos for techno? Are they helpful while promoting a release? Nice gimmick? Had MTV (and music videos) an large impact on you in the 80ies and 90ies?
I was a big fan of MTV and Viva in the 90ies. So, of course this had a big impact on me. And I always appreciate it a lot when somebody does a video for one of my tracks. Especially the 29nov guys. They are really talented I think. And yes, I think it helps a lot to promote a track or an Ep if you have a cool video.
Your latest release was on Mote-Evolver, the label run by techno pioneer Luke Slater. Tell us please something about this release. How did you get in touch with Luke to get these tracks released? 3 of 4 tracks have strong vocal samples. So how did you produce the EP and where did you find samples like this?
Luke wrote me and asked if I could imagine to release an Ep on Mote-Evolver. No question! I sent him some stuff and he chose 4 tracks. Everything went super easy. The vocals I sampled from youtube. I think I took them from motovation speakers, buddist nuns and priests or so. Cant really remember as I sample so many vocals from there. All those tracks I produced in the first half of 2017. It was a real productive time for me as it was clear that I will move out of Berlin in august and have to give up my studio there. So, I worked like crazy to have a lot of finished tracks before my moving.

(snippets of Oliver Deutschmann’s EP “Lost In A Loop”, Mote-Evolver 2018)

You released on several label – some run by yourself. How do you select a label for your stuff?
Well, mostly I got asked and if I like the guys behind it and the label I do it. Most important thing for me is to work with people I like, with people that are kinda easy going. Just like me.
YWe are aleady at the end of our small interview feature. For sure we have to ask you what’s coming next… Any special gig? New records? What are your future plan?

Playing Shanghai and Bejing the first time in august. Looking forward to ‚Her Damit‘ in september of course. Also my new project S.M.O.D. is going pretty well with upcoming an Ep on Second State. And I still wanna do another album if I find inspiration for that.


Oliver Deutschmann’s “Lost In A Loop EP” on Mote-Evolver
split EP “The Source 1/4” w/ Oliver Deutschmann on Her Damit Tonarchiv


Exclusive Mix:


Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Bylly – Drowned In Time
02. S-File – Escape
03. Andres Campo – No Feelings
04. Hertz Collision – Dwarf Star
05. Blawan – Kalossi
06. Mod3llr – Stationary
07. SCB – Traffic on the Hyperway
08. Helena Hauff – Lifestyle Guru
09. Herzel – Two
10. Blue Hour – Unearthed (Ctrls Remix)
11. Glaskin – Heliosphere
12. Damon Wild – Rotary (Slam Edit)
13. Swart – Devil Within
14. Davinson – Rave Nation
15. Fjaak – Gewerbe 15
16. S.M.O.D. – Trunk
17. Oliver Deutschmann – Seduced
18. Elad Magdasi – Water Damage


Sweat Lodge Agency


Oliver Deutschmann


[Interview]: Matrixxman

© Photo by Paul Krause




We interviewed US guy Matrixxman from San Francisco who released on labels like Dekmantel, Ghostly etc. and just recently co-produced the Depeche Mode album “Spirit”.



Hi Charles. You are a busy man. You released several EPs on labels like Manhigh, Dekmantel Records, collaborated with different people, worked on the recent Depeche Mode album “Spirit” and for sure you are on tour for djing. So let’s start our small interview with your youth. How was it growing up in the US during the 80ies? To what kind of music did you listen when you was a teenager?
Growing up in the US during the 80s was a crazy time in retrospect. Naturally I was too young to experience nightlife during then since I was just a kid. I didn’t have my first club experience until the mid 90s but I still have very fond memories of the 80s as a decade. There was a certain romantic perspective of the future at this time that spread all across the musical landscape whether it was rap, latin freestyle, synth pop, or whatever. Not sure why but there was this epic or perhaps transcendental quality to the futurism back then. I think the combination of new technology (like synths and samplers) in tandem with a shift in the collective unconscious towards visions of the future somehow created the perfect storm. Songs like Moments in Love by Art of Noise could only be possible during a time like this.

I went to elementary school in a rather rough part of town at the height of the crack-cocaine epidemic so it was a bit scary at times, but looking back I am grateful to be exposed to inner city culture. Particularly, inner city music. Exposure to rap and hip hop culture was certainly life changing as a kid. I somehow naturally ended up getting involved in the elements of hip hop: writing graffiti, breakdancing, (and even rapping a bit) but this all paved the way for DJing ultimately. Along the way there was no lack of wild adventures and I’m actually lucky I didn’t get into a lot more trouble to be honest. The climate back then was ruthless if you were running around as kid on the streets being a vandal. The places my friends and I would go paint were deep in industrial ghettos and usually had some dangerous people around so you seriously had to watch your back. It was hellish actually. Some of the other graffiti writers were literally crazy criminals who took pleasure in beating up other artists for little to no reason, not just because of territorial stuff but because I think they enjoyed it. Cops would fuck with you too. It was an intense part of growing up to say the least. A friend who mentored me (his alias was Myer) died while writing graffiti on the highway. We bombed (tagged) the same location several years before so it was scary to think that could have also been my fate. You might wonder what all this has to do with music so I have to stress the importance of the original impetus: graffiti was a pillar of hip hop culture and this provided my first artistic outlets of expression.

Growing up in Virginia, on urban radio you would hear a regional genre of black music that only exists in the DC metro area and that’s of course Go-go music. Go-go basically consists of a band usually with a couple vocalists, instruments and a big emphasis on heavy percussion with lots of drum solos. My first club experiences were at these go-go functions and it was out of this world. The drum solos would go on forever and people would really lose themselves in the dance. They had parties at rec centers but the downside was they were also quite frequently plagued by violence. One time at this particular go-go party, a gang from a rival district in Alexandria showed up and started brawling with the Green Valley local gang known as 24 Mob. It was like some gnarly fight scene out of a movie. Me being the only white kid, I somehow go overlooked and no one bothered me because they either didn’t know what side I was on, or they were confused. Anyhow, it escalated so much cops showed up in riot gear with a helicopter above the location. I think I stopped going to go-go parties around this time.

Around then I also started skating and one of my skater friends gave me a mixtape of the perfect music to skate to: hardcore. Since I was mostly listening to rap and urban stuff up until this point, this tape had a profound impact. It had a bunch of tunes from Minor Threat, Fugazi, and even some obscurer punk stuff like Tsunami on it. It was an interesting direction for the pendulum to swing for me however it made sense as it was similar aggressive in attitude to rap. Previously I shunned most rock related music so this was turning point. I guess I was around 15.

Fast forward 2 years later, I discovered Jungle which was starting to morph into Drum and Bass. I had always been mad about music and obsessed in my own way but D&B marked a new period of fascination. I think I started to realise my love of music wasn’t just something casual but something very deep and spiritual. During this time I befriended Paavo Steinkamp (the other half of 5kinAndBone5) and James Hainer who played a crucial role in taking me to underground parties. At one of these parties we were all rolling (and probably tripping) nevertheless we had this realisation we wanted to make music for real. We made a pact to make the most futuristic shit ever, and to never give up that pact. It was a very serious moment for Paavo and myself. It was life defining actually and we started to make all of our important life decisions based on how to best facilitate this pursuit. Shortly thereafter we started buying our first synthesizers, samplers, and digging records and what have you. It was a point of no return.


(Promo photo Matrixxman, © Paul Krause)
As we know you started djing and releasing records in 2012. What inspired you to enter the DJ booth and spin some records? Where did you play your first gigs and how was it for you?
My very first gigs were at shitty places probably around the year 2000. I played some student party in San Francisco and then some awful bars in Japan when I lived in Kyoto around 2001. They weren’t what I would consider proper though and as you know, things didn’t start to really happen until 10 years later. I had long had a desire to play music in front of people but it just took a really long time to come to fruition. Vin Sol played an instrumental role in seeing this drive in me and pushing things. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I was a bit nervous and didn’t know how to navigate the scene initially and Vin just tossed me up into the mix, like throwing a baby into the water. It worked out.

(Dekmantel Podcast 123 by Matrixxman)
I heard you several times at Berlin’s famous club Berghain. For many techno lovers this club has a special meaning. Many DJs want to play there. What does Berghain mean for you? Is it a club like every other or do you prepare in a special way before playing there?
It is a sacred space. Like anywhere, it depends on who is playing and what your tastes are. If you are in the right mental space and are hearing someone talented play music in there, it can be a religious experience. Nothing is quite like it, really. You can play stuff there that you would never be able to play anywhere else and that is rather special.

(facade of Berghain, © NovaFuture)
There is a corner at Berghain called “vorne links”. Some of the guys dancing there founded the label Front Left Records which is the translation of “vorne links”. You made a remix for their first record which contains productions by label founder Elad Magdasi. How did that happen making a remix for a new, unknown label? What’s your relationship to the label guys before that and nowadays?
I became good friends with Elad and Mathias and so of course I was happy to make a remix for his record. It’s a killer tune actually and I still prefer his original over my remix to this day. They helped me get established in Germany in a number of ways so I will always be indebted to them for their kindness.
Before making remixes for other people there were some nice productions by yourself. Did you have a special moment when you realised that you want to express yourself via a musical output? Did you play around with different styles before making techno? Any bands or other projects before the release of “Wicked”?
I’ve experimented with more genres than I can count. During my 5kinAndBone5 period (a duo with Paavo Steinkamp) I was making a variety of stuff like rap, UK garage, post-dubstep stuff, etc. We released songs with YG and Ty$ who back then were relatively unknown. Now they are superstars but we were a bit too ahead of the curve. I also had brief period where I was making dancehall riddims. One of the riddims I made called Numbers Riddim had some big names like Elephant Man on it but I was never properly credited. I was super broke back then so I didn’t have any option to pursue it legally and I’m not sure how that would have worked out down in Jamaica. A brutal music industry lesson, I guess. But I didn’t let that stop me. Musical diversity has always been an asset for me since most of techno artists can only make techno. My tastes are too broad to ever really limit myself to one genre and I think that is precisely why Depeche Mode sought me out.
You had EPs on labels like Dekmantel, Planet Rhythm, Figure, Manhigh etc but also released the album “Homesick” on Ghostly in 2015. Is it a different process working on album instead of club 12 inches? How do you start and work on an album and how on an EP?
Most certainly. On an album you can be a bit more creative and not worry about making stuff for the clubs. It’s a totally different experience. An EP can just be a few tracks that are cool whereas an album needs to be a journey. Sometimes dance music artists just lump a bunch of songs together and call it an album but I think you can hear the difference a mile away. You know when someone has taken time to make something that will transport you somewhere, wherever that may be. You know when that sentiment is real and one can’t fake it.

(full stream of “Homesick” [GI-245])

Some of the EP mentioned above were collaborations like the Figure release with Setaoc Mass or earlier stuff with Vin Sol and Echologist. How did you work on these releases? Who delivered which part/idea? Did you spend some time in the studio together or just send files via the net? What are the differences for you between working with someone else on a production and sitting alone in your studio?
Most of these were made in person. The roles have always changed with each track, it’s not super defined. It would be hard to say “Oh, I made this synth noise here” because we were probably both working on it together at that time. With Echologist on the other hand, we have never met so we have only worked over the net. But it is still super fun to work with someone who is on the same wavelength even if they are across the planet.

When you’re alone you can be a bit more selfish with you pursuits but the fun thing about collaborating is the fact that you can share that experience with someone else. It’s simply fun sometimes to make something cool with your friends. I basically work in a similar fashion if I am by myself, not so much changes in the process.

What equipment do you use for your productions?
A TB-303, TR-909, various synths, an 8RAW8 808 clone, and a computer.

One of your latest activities were the co-production of the recent Depeche Mode album “Spirit”. Please tell us something about that. How did it happen that you got involved? What was your part during the production process? Let us know how it was and felt to work for such a famous band? You are also featured in 2 Videos playing the keys. Any nice anecdotes about making the video?
The whole thing seems like a dream. It happened a couple years ago now so it almost doesn’t even feel as if it is real. So surreal. I’m still not quite certain how it all came about. Martin Gore called me u one day and asked if I would like to work with them and I eagerly said yes. I was mostly dealing with synthesis and drum machine programming although that could vary a lot. Sometimes that consisted of making noises they wanted, other times I’d play something that got used in the song (like the rolling arpeggiated synth that comes in at the end of Cover Me). It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. To hang out with those dudes and jam is just something else. They saw that I could play a little bit of keys in the studio so they asked me to perform in the live video versions of those songs, which was fucking hilariously unexpected, if you ask me. I had never performed with a band before and there I was, playing with Depeche Mode. That’s not normal. lol

Dave is a big Bowie fan so it was definitely a powerful moment after we recorded Heroes. Especially with Bowies relatively recent passing. You could tell this meant a lot for Dave. The moment we finished and faded out was very intense. I felt like crying for an instant so you can only imagine what Dave himself felt.


(Matrixxman playing the keys for Depeche Mode’s “Heroes (Highline Sessions Version)”)
Already coming to an end of this small interview we would like to know what’s coming next. Any new releases in the pipeline? Some special gigs?
Yes, a double disc vinyl EP of my own music on a new label in addition to several new releases with Echologist among other friends. As for gigs, I believe I am playing Berghain again in the near future 🙂

Matrixxman’s “Sector III: Polyphony” on Dekmantel Records
“Pitch Black EP” by Matrixxman x Setaoc Mass on Figure
Matrixxman’s “Sector III: Polyphony” on Dekmantel Records
Matrixxman’s “Deep Mind” on Manhigh Recordings
Elad Magdasi’s “Finger Trip EP” w/ Matrixxman remix on Front Left
Depeche Mode’s album “Spirit” on Columbia


Odd Fantastic for Matrixxman




© Photo by Paul Krause

[Music & Interview]: Mike Davis


Music & Interview
Mike Davis


Mike Davis is a Berlin based Canadian who founded Brenda in 2015. Also releases under a collaborative project Company.



Hi Mike. Nice to have you for this „Music & Interview“ feature. Let‘s start with a small introduction. You were born in Canada. How was your youth there? What music did you like being a teenager? Tell us something about your life in Canada please.
Nice to be here Jürgen. Thanks for inviting me. My youth there was good. When I was very young I moved some hours from Toronto to a small village where I grew up. A place where winter is a synonym for hockey and there weren’t many strangers.

As a teenager I listened to lots of different genres but I guess rock and it’s more progressive varieties mostly. Like Fugazi, Mars Volta, Portishead etc, I’d say a fair share of trip hop. Also a lot of soundtracks in my youth for some reason, but I will admit not really any good ones, I just liked soundtracks as a kid. I gravitated towards punk and metal in my early 20s as I played drums and enjoyed playing fast and the political leanings, and later more funk, jazz and world music when I started university. I guess I’ve always been a product of my environment.

Mike Davis 1
(Mike Davis Promo Pic 1)
You now live in Berlin, a city that seems to be very attractive for young people & artists. What was your reason for moving here? Did you already speak German when you came here or did you learn it after your arrival? Was it difficult to get into a new life, looking for new friends etc? Please tell us something about your start in Berlin.
My reasons weren’t just artistic ambitions. I took a German literature course (in English) in uni and became interested in Berlin. Also my father is from Ireland so I had an EU passport that seemed like a waste not to try out. I had played a bit and was learning some production but I originally came for an exchange at Humboldt for my final year. Couldn’t speak a word of German, but had to take German classes for the program and kept it up at the Volkshochschule for a few more levels, so now I get on fairly well.

No friends can be nice, I wanted to focus on music after studying so getting into a new life just meant getting into music, a new language. I’d argue the will to learn a language eases said “new life” difficulties. You can enjoy pretty mundane things and situations, alone or otherwise, if you’ve always got language in the back of your mind. Anyway, I had my old ambitions in this new setting, it was exciting.


Mike Davis 2
(Mike Davis Promo Pic 2)

Let’s talk about techno. When did you discover it as one of favourite styles? Who were your techno heroes? Which tracks did you like becoming an addicted for techno? Which other styles do you listen to?
I’m a pretty late bloomer with techno. It was always marginally in my life, but in strange ways. For that reason I never really had any techno heroes or anticipating or following particular artists. Now I get a lot of fulfillment from looking backwards and finding my thing. If I had to pin it on something, and this probably sounds pretty lame, but around 13 or 14 years old I remember listening to the Orgy cover of “Blue Monday”, I think on a mix cassette I had. One of the first encounters with some mechanical, slightly metallic percussion. Also Rammstein’s “Du Hast Mich”, insert “Firestarter” and “Voodoo People”, and there I was. This was probably the nascent beginnings of my techno, definitely hinged on the intersection of genres. Some other titles that stick out …

KLF – 3 A.M. Eternal
808 State – In Yer Face
Pet Shop Boys – So Hard (Extended Dance Mix)


Mike Davis 3
(Mike Davis Promo Pic 3)

Canada has a very famous protagonist of the techno world: Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman aka aka aka … Could you please give us an insight into the Canada music scene esp. electronic music? Someone unknown who we should check out?
Tough one, the Canadian music scene as a whole is quite vibrant, especially for such a sparse territory. I was much more familiar with Canadian indie music of the 2000s than electronic. Canadian indie of this time was pretty great. I kind of wanted to make music seriously, but it wasn’t until I attended Mutek in Montreal in 2011 that I felt like the community was something for me. He’s not Canadian, but experiencing Amon Tobin’s “ISAM” at Mutek was pretty instrumental in my accelerating my interest in electronic and making original stuff. After that I spent more time going to the shop Play De Record, and linked up with a crew throwing some underground parties, which I found much more accessible and interesting than the legal scene in Toronto. I think it was only after I left that I began to notice quality bookings (in my opinion) in Toronto, beginning to show an eclecticism that could rival anywhere. For instance Unsound Toronto, Forth, etc..

I would recommend checking out Maxwell Church and Benjamin Wood. Two very talented Toronto guys, but I know they are both really busy with life. I think Basic Soul Unit is aware though and is nurturing some fresh Toronto talent with with Jason Ulrich and their Lab.our project. Admittedly my Canadian lens is pretty central but I’m a fan of Local Artist and Cloudface out on the West coast.


(snippets of “Lab.our 07” by Maxwell Church)
From Canada to Berlin. What do you think about Berlin’s techno scene? There are a lot of well-known clubs like Berghain, Tresor, Watergate, about blank just to name a few. Also many producers live in Berlin. Many people see Berlin as one of most important creative cities in the world. What’s point of view from a Canadian guy?
At least visiting Berlin and it’s clubs is valuable if you want to make music or DJ. It chamged my understanding of how techno is consumed and indeed nurturing my own consumption in a different way than Toronto had. However as mentioned before, other cities are taking cues from places like Berlin and forging their own respectable path, and it is in my opinion not necessarily a creative advantage to be here. I think you should approach music very personally, so doesn’t really matter where you are. Of course there are more clubs and parties here, any day of the week, especially throughout the summer, but at the same time it becomes a challenge to isolate yourself from the activity of everyone else to really do something unique. Berlin hast also lost much of the affordability factor, but at the same time it’s in the middle of Europe, so it’s very practical. Important thing is not to dwell on comparisons and just be yourself, and that’s just a choice.

Mike Davis 4
(Mike Davis Promo Pic 4)

I know you for some productions but unfortunately never have seen you spinning records because you don‘t do it so often, right? Why? Is there any reason? Are you more into producing than into djing?
Yeah it’s been a while, but I’m not really more into one more than the other. After some gigs here I thought it was more worthwhile to work on my position, in part I wanted that to derive from production, because I like the idea of contributing in that way, to a musical Canon. I don’t mean it’s necessary, there are people who prove doing both is not necessary, but I would prefer to do it. I love to make music.

I was playing funk and disco records in a little bar every month for a while, the odd gig in some bigger clubs through some friends and networking but it was more like playing for a party instead of really enacting myself on the decks. Next day I would make techno in my bedroom. There wasn’t much continuity, fun but I was a bit of a lost cause.

A couple years ago I was in a shared studio space in Lichtenberg because I was also making electronica with some mates. I set up some monitors and I would use the studio on the days we weren’t rehearsing. This first taste of making music in a studio setting was it, techno felt the most free. I’ll just keep developing my sound and hopefully it will form something cohesive that could generate some activity, I’m still young 😉

Apropos producing. How do you produce your stuff? Where are the ideas coming from? How do you start with the production of a track? Which equipment do you use for it?
With a mix of gear and software, and no set way of mixing them together. Sometimes using one or the other only. but almost always in the confines of Ableton, which is nice. Not sure where ideas come from but I notice technology is increasingly dictating them. I usually start a track by following or resisting my first instinct when approaching my gear. But I also come up with ideas at home, even with just the midi notes, or really basic ideas, and then take them to the studio.

My equipment consists of some outboard stuff, synths, compressors, pedals, my modular, a small console, lots of vsts and digital processing.


(Mike Davis’ track “Communiqué From An Absent Future 2” on BRENDA008)
Beside creating your own tracks you also run a nice label called Brenda. When did you start it? What‘s the idea behind it? Who has released there? How do you select the tracks for the next release(s)?
The impetus for starting Brenda was to release Francesco (aka CNCPT)’s music, also with the intention to start putting out my own music at some point but at first it was just to give CNCPT a platform. We met when he was working the bar at a restaurant beside my flat at the time, which I guess was around the end of 2014. Eventually he showed me some of his work and I almost immediately proposed we put it out. He agreed to it and we did some white labels and I distributed it myself, we’re working on the label together now and soon we’ll be on our 10th release.

Just the two of us so far on the roster but we listen to demos, and “Company” was created for the collaborations that ended up happening. We share a studio out in Köpenick now so it’s all kind of happening in one place. Selecting tracks usually by either of us collecting a set of tracks that we think could work, listening and discussing.


(snippets from BRENDA00p by CNCPT)
We talked about your favourite music in the youth, about Canadian artists, Berlin‘s scene.. so we would like to know your 10 favourite records of different genres and why they are so important for you.

Okay here goes.

01. Let’s Call it a Day by Move D & Benjamin Brunn (Bine Music)
Some of my first and still finest downtempo for me, getting to know this one and much of Bine was important for me.

02. 62 Eulengasse by Pete Namlook & Tetsu Inoue (Fax +49-69/450464)
Just about any piece or album from Fax could be here but something about this particular result. RIP Peter Kuhlmann.

03. K&D Sessions by Kruder & Dorfmeister (!K7)
Brings me back.

04. Step Three by Blo (Afrodisia)
Nigerian psychedelic gem

05. The Increased Difficulty of Concentration by Air Liquide (Sm:)e Communications)
Wonderful collection from some legends that transgresses brainwaves.

06. London is the Place for Me (Parts 1-6) by Various (Honest Jon’s)
6 releases in this series but it’s a gorgeous collection of Calypso jazz beautifully compiled and packaged, always puts me in a good mood.

07. Newbuild by 808 State (Creed Records)
Have tried to buy this twice and both times it was “lost” in the post.

08. Low by ESP (Synewave)
Common reference point for me.

09. Time Explored by Clementine (Djax-Up-Beats)
Some of my favourite Luke Slater prod. material comes in the form of Clementine, this is the one I have.

10.Dummy and/or Portishead by Portishead (Go!)


Mike Davis 5
(Mike Davis Promo Pic 5)

We are already reaching the end of our small interview. And as usual I would like to ask you what‘s coming next. Any new releases on Brenda? Own productions? Any DJ gigs?
Yes sir, BRENDA009 should be out on the 27th of April, and then I’ll release another EP, to be followed up by another Company release and bringing us into autumn. Might have a remix surfacing on New York Haunted as well. I’ll be playing in Brussels at the end of May but few details as of yet.

Thanks a lot Jürgen.

Thanks for this cool interview & the great mix

Mike Davis’ “Communiqué From An Absent Future EP” on Brenda
Mike Davis’ “Communiqué From An Absent Future EP” on Brenda
Mike Davis’ “Invisible Line EP” on Brenda
Company’s “Metrical” on Brenda
CNCPT’s “Peonia” on Brenda


Exclusive Mix:


Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Electric Indigo – Second Organ
02. Nebulo – Fake Cadillac
03. Cosmin Nicolae – Sector Acuamarin
04. Plant43 – Grid Connection
05. In Aeternam Vale – Non
06. Chevel – The Call
07. Shifted – In Equal Measure
08. 400ppm – Cladogenesis
09. Jonathan Fitoussi – Music For Synthi
10. Ø [Phase] – Boundary Interactions
11. Museum – CCC
12. Manent – Assioma 1
13. Korridor – Futurist
14. Alpha Tracks – Sage-Green
15. Thomas P. Heckmann – Zeitmaschine
16. Viers – Oyasumi
17. Blue Hour – Common Ground
18. Mark – … Careful Development Without Haste
19. Kellen303 – Planet X (Interstellar)
20. Chevel – Arp 2600
21. The Empire Line – Ø (for Vainio)
22. Cosmin Nicolae – Semnal
23. Komarken Electronics – Spaciousness (The Exaltics Remix)
24. Alva Noto – Uni Sub
25. Feathered Bug – Zanshin


Mike Davis


[Interview]: Silent-One, founder of Intimate Silence





Two years ago a new ambient label was started in Swabia near Stuttgart. The founder was From Another Mind crew member Benedikt Merkl aka Silent-One. We had a small interview with him on the occasion of his first release.



hello Benedikt, nice to have this interview with you. Please tell us something about you, the first music you listened (e.g. when you was a teenager)! When did you discover techno and go your first raves/club nights?
Hello Jürgen first of all thanks for the opportunity and your interest in the story behind my DJ pseudonym Silent-One. I was born in 1992 near Stuttgart where I’m still living. It was quite late around 2010 when I came the first time in contact with techno music – former times as a teenager I was more into rock and also different kinds of rap music. It was in somehow Paul Kalkbrenners movie “Berlin Calling” which has let me discover new paths of Techno and other different styles of electronic music, and so the first techno club nights as a guest were following soon.

(Promo photo Silent-One)
After you discovered techno as one of your favourite music styles … what was the initial reason to start with djing? When did you start? What does Silent-One mean? Why did you use this moniker?
After Marco and I’ve founded the From Another Mind party series in 2014 the moment came, that I wanted to learn how to mix music and so Marco started to teach me at his place – he was already really into it and doing it for years – so a great mentor at that time. And so it ended up that I had my first gig in the beginning of 2015. Upfront I was thinking about how the hack should I name myself as a DJ and I chose Silent-One what maybe describes me and my personality in a good way as I’m more the chilled and down to earth guy who is more observing than talking too much.

(OECUS Podcast 030 by Silent-One)
You are part of the From Another Mind crew. FAM started as party series at Stuttgart’s Romy S and became a very successful label in the last 2 years with releases by SHDW & Obscure Shape. Could you please give an intimate insight to the inner circle of the crew? Who is also part of it? When and how did you join them? What’s your part within it?
More than 20 years of very close friendship with Marco spending like almost our entire lives together, he asked me one day if I could imagine hosting techno parties in Stuttgart together with him. At that time I didn’t know that much about how to promote a party – but well as you can see I agreed, haha! In the beginning we were often hanging up posters and handing out flyers quite often. Once I even got attacked by a madman with a blackjack while pinning a poster – crazy times! And few months later Lui (Obscure Shape) joined us and when we also started parties in Munich Nicolai became the fourth member.

(Logo From Another Mind)
In 2016 you set up the ambient label Intimate Silence. I guess the launch of a techno label would have been something more common or expected as you are part of a techno crew. Why did you decide to start an ambient imprint instead of techno label like FAM? How do you select the artists? Beside the “unexpected” style you also chose an uncommon medium, the good old compact disc, for the first 3 releases. Was there a special reason for it or why did you do that? Ambient labels and artists usually release albums but you make EPs. Any reason for that? Which advantages has EP compared to an album? Any plans to also release albums?
Besides From Another Mind I also wanted to do my own personal thing and came up with the idea to additionally found an ambient label in early 2015. At that time, Glos sent me some of his newest ambient tracks and I truly fell in love with his stuff. So, I’ve decided to ask him if he could imagine releasing it on an unknown label. Intimate Silence was born! Why I have decided to sell it as a CD? Yeah, well I mean I wanted to release it soon and test pressings and stuff like that are taking time – and in my opinion it’s also not the question if it is an album or not, I know plenty of releases having tracks on it with two tracks over 20 minutes or so – it is more the question if the music touches me in somehow – if one is sending me a whole album or just two tracks, just doesn’t matter!

(official video for PVNV’s “Mind End” from INS003)
Beside the label you also established a podcast series which is broadcast via Rinse France and later available on your soundcloud page. How did you get in contact with the French radio guys? How do you choose the artists you want to take part (there are some well-known techno DJs amongst them)? Is it easy to get an ambient set from them or do you have to convince them esp. techno artists making an ambient mix?
I‘m good friends with the Parisian guys of Taapion. One day I asked Adrien (PVNV) who has already published a mix for Rinse France if he could ask for a regular 2 hours show slot for ambient music. He really liked the idea and so one thing followed the other: He told me that Adrien (AWB) is in contact with the curators and after recommending my label to them, rinse has offered me a regular show every month. My intention was to create a creative room for artists playing stuff they usually don’t. At first glance, I thought that it’s gonna be very tough to persuade artists playing an one hour ambient mix, but now most of them are very interested in doing a non-club music mix with ambient and electronica music – perhaps a welcome change to their normal life as an techno artist.

(Intimate Silence Podcast Series)
You just released your very first own EP on Intimate Silence (INS004). It is also the first vinyl on your imprint. Why did you now change the medium? When did you start producing it? Which equipment do you use for your production? Is there a lot of output or are these tracks hard work? What meaning does each track have for you?
In the electronic music world the CD is in somehow dead – most artists play vinyl or from an USB-Stick – so from that perspective my initial decision to release on CDs might have been a quick shot.

I started producing the tracks at the beginning of last year on the train when I was travelling to Berlin. At that point I just used Ableton and when I was back home I continued working on it with my Korg Microbrute.

I would say it depends on my mood but most of the times it’s very easy for me to do some new ambient cuts – they are more or less part of me. When you read the single names of the tracks you can maybe imagine that it was not only the sunny side of life that was the inducement for them – so yes they mean a lot to me!


(the29nov video for Silent-One’s “Decide Your Fate ” from INS004)
On the one hand you produce and release ambient, on the other one you play techno stuff during the club nights. What are the inspiration for them? Who is your source of inspiration – both production-wise & for your DJing (favorite DJs & producers)?
For me Ambient is driven by reality. My inspirations for doing ambient are emotions of my daily life: like falling in love, missing something, the death…just to name some examples. On the other hand, Techno is for me more or less a loss of reality – an illusion.
When talking about favourites… could you please name 5 techno favourites (album, EP, track) and 5 ambient equivalents? And please tell us why they are so important for you.
It’s not that easy to say which 5 tracks/EP’s/Albums are my favorites, because there is a lot of great music out there – but I tried my best. The tracks are important to me as they are all in close association with moments at parties, a „concert“ with friends or hanging out at home on a quite day.

That would be my list for Techno:

Markus Suckut – Corp
DYAD – From Another Place
Cybersonik – Technarchy
Ekserd – Hidden Document II (Svreca Remix)
Dave Clarke – Storm

and my ambient favorites:

Abul Mogard – Half Light of Dawn
Ben Frost – You, Me And The End Of Everything
Johann Johannsson – Escape
Angelo Bandalamenti – Ending/Love Theme
Tropic of Cancer – Hardest Day
Isorinne – Gazing at the Ghosts of the Night Sky


(Promo photo Silent-One)
You are resident or at least a regular DJ at Romy S in Stuttgart and MMA in Munich. What is special about these clubs? Any specifics that others don’t offer? Could you please describe the atmosphere and your feelings while playing there and in general? Where do you want to play?
Both clubs have their own vibes. Romy S. looks a bit poshy and modern in contrast to MMA club, which is more in a raw and dirty warehouse style. So the surrounding maybe has a huge influence on how the parties and their vibes turn out differently – I had a lot of great parties at both clubs with outstanding vibes – it’s not really that I would prefer one or the other.

(Silent-One @ MMA)
wow we reached already the end of our interview so let’s talk about your future. What are your plans for the nearer future? Any nice signings you can talk about? New productions?
In the nearly future I don’t have any signings or upcoming releases. But I’m up to plan the next Intimate Silence record. My final words to you out there: You must be the change but always be yourself!

all releases on Intimate Silence


Drift Agency for Silent-One


Silent-One @ Facebook
Silent-One @ Soundcloud
Intimate Silence @ Facebook
Intimate Silence @ Soundcloud
Intimate Silence


[Interview]: Dennis Burmeister & Sascha Lange, authors of “Behind The Wall” … February 2018 (German)



Dennis Burmeister & Sascha Lange


Unser Interview #3. Wer hätte das gedacht. Nach den Monument-Ausgaben (zb. deutsche Ausgabe, englische Version & Extended Limited edition) also nun ein weiteres Buch im Zusammenhang mit Depeche Mode – diesmal mit Fokus auf der Fankultur. Du erwähntest dessen Veröffentlichung ja bereits im letzten Interview.

Details zum Buch “Behind The Wall” gibt es hier



Wann und wie genau kam es zu der Idee, ein Buch über die Depeche Mode-Fans in der DDR zu machen?
Dennis Sascha und ich merkten während unserer Arbeit an MONUMENT, dass wir zum Thema Depeche Mode in der DDR, Depeche Mode „behind the iron curtain“ zwar viel Material zusammengetragen hatten, dieses Material aber eher die Geschichte ihrer Fans abbildet. Die Band selbst hat ja physisch kaum bis gar nicht in der DDR stattgefunden. Es gab in MONUMENT ein BEHIND THE WALL-Kapitel, welches diese Geschichte zwar recht sachlich darstellt, allerdings auf Querverweise zur politischen Situation im gesamten Ostblock weitgehend verzichtete. Die Idee zu unserem neuen Buch ist also mindestens schon so alt, wie MONUMENT selbst.

Sascha Die Idee zu dieser Thematik gab es schon vor zehn Jahren. Dennis und ich haben uns bei Recherchen zum Thema „Depeche Mode-Fans in der DDR“ überhaupt erst kennengelernt, zufälligerweise übrigens im Berliner Büro von MUTE RECORDS.


(Promo-Bild Dennis Burmeister)
Ihr stammt beide aus der DDR. Wie sah eure Jugend so aus? Wie sah es mit Disko-Besuchen aus? Welche Musik lief und wie haben es die Leute aufgenommen? War der Musikkonsum zu Hause ein anderer?
Dennis Ich bin in Malchin aufgewachsen, einer recht langweiligen aber liebenswerten Kleinstadt mitten im Herzen der Mecklenburgischen Seenplatte. Malchin war keine pulsierende Metropole und wirkte im Gegensatz zu Städten wie Rostock oder Neubrandenburg eher verschlafen. Trotzdem gab es in unserer Stadt einige Tanzschuppen, wo wir uns an den Wochenenden natürlich rumtrieben. Musikalisch gesehen nahm die Stadt eher eine Sonderrolle ein. Wir wuchsen mit der Musik unserer Eltern auf, hörten die alten Platten der Beatles, der Stones, von Neil Young und Bob Dylan oder CCR. Mein Vater war großer Rolling Stones-Fan und ich erinnere mich an lange Gespräche mit ihm in unserer Küche, wo er mir regelmäßig seine Lieblingsinterpreten vorspielte. Mein Vater konnte Stunden damit verbringen, Musik im Radio aufzunehmen. Ich erinnere mich auch noch an ein altes Tonbandgerät und dass er gerissene Tonbänder mit Nagellack zusammenklebte. Mein Vater verbrachte wirklich sehr viel Zeit mit seiner Musik. Und ich tat es ihm irgendwann gleich.

Sascha Ich wuchs in Leipzig auf, in eine – ich würde mal sagen – typische Jugendzeit in den 1980ern, nur eben im Osten. Wir haben internationale Chartmusik gehört, den „La Boum-Die Fete“-Film und „Beat Street“ geschaut, Bravo-Poster getauscht und an den Wochenenden versucht, in die Diskos zu kommen. Und in der zweiten Hälfte der 1980er versuchten die Leute in unserer Clique irgendwie so auszusehen wie Depeche Mode oder The Cure.


(Promo-Bild Sascha Lange, © schmidtshot.de)
Neben der (Schul-)Diskothek war in den 80igern das Radio eine Quelle um Musik zu entdecken. 1986 startete in der DDR, hervorgehend aus dem gleichnamigen Programm, der Jugendradiosender DT64; dort gab es später die Sendung „Electronics“ mit Olaf Zimmermann (mit „Elektrobeats“ moderiert Olaf noch heute auf RadioEins eine ähnlich gelagerte Sendung). Dort präsentierte er u.a. auch den „Depeche Mode-Titel der Woche“. Habt ihr viel Radio gehört? Welche Rolle spielte Olafs Sendung in eurem Umfeld? Wart ihr wie mein Bruder fleißige Aufnehmer der DM-Tracks und anderer Musik, die ihr mochtet?
Dennis Ich gehöre definitv zur „Generation Radio“. Meistens hörte ich DT64, schnitt bei Sendungen wie „Duett – Musik für den Rekorder“ komplette Platten unterschiedlichster Künstler mit. Samstags lief dann kurz nach Mittag erst „electronics“ mit Stefan Lasch und Olaf Zimmermann und im Anschluss daran „Tendenz Hard bis Heavy“ mit dem großartigen instrumentalen Intro The Call Of Ktulu von Metallica aus deren 1984er Meisterwerk „Ride The Lightning“. Eigentlich nahm man damals alles auf, was man musikalisch erstmal bekommen konnte. Den Luxus, auf Musik aus dem kapitalistischen Ausland aus Geschmacksgründen zu verzichten, den hatten wir damals eigentlich nicht. Wer hier das Gegenteil behauptet, der verklärt die Situation. Man hörte tatsächlich, was man bekommen konnte. Klar, man hatte seine Favoriten, hörte gewisse Interpreten besonders gerne oder verstand sich als „Fan“. Aber wie sehr „Fan“ konnte man damals von einer Band schon sein, von der man nur verschwindend geringe Bruchstücke kannte? Bei Depeche Mode war das auf Anhieb anders. Da gab es ab Mitte der 80er einen Hit nach dem anderen. Dem konnte man sich gar nicht verweigern. Entweder man mochte die Band, ihre Musik, den Pop … oder man dachte in Schubladen, legte sich musikalisch fest und verweigerte sich. Ich persönlich fand die 80er großartig. Zu gewissen Songs bin ich sofort wieder auf Zeitreise und erinnere mich an die unmöglichsten Situationen. „Down Under“ von Men At Work, „Let‘s Dance“ von David Bowie, „You‘re the Voice“ von John Farnham bis hin zu „You‘re A Woman“ von Bad Boys Blue. Alles hatte damals irgendwie seine musikalische Berechtigung, lief aber selten in den DDR-Diskotheken. Wir waren also auf das Radio angewiesen.

Sascha Das Radio war damals das wichtigste Unterhaltungs- und Informationsmedium für Jugendliche, besonders im Osten. Meine Eltern hörten auf ihrem kleinen Küchenradio meist den westdeutschen Deutschlandradio-Sender mit fast ausschließlich nur Wortbeiträgen. Musiksender wie RIAS2, Bayern3 oder NDR2 und dann ab 1986 eben auch DT64 waren hingegen viel bunter und boten den passenden Soundtrack für das Teenie-Dasein und waren darüber hinaus auch Infoquelle über die eigenen Lieblingsmusiker, quasi ein Bravo-Magazin zum Anhören. Im Gegensatz zu Dennis waren meine musikalischen Vorlieben von Anfang an auf Popmusik beschränkt, später dann mehr Indie-Musik, quasi alles zwischen Joy Division und Frankie Goes To Hollywood.


(Video zu Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove”)
Ein Riesen-Highlight war das Depeche Mode Konzert in der DDR, in der Berliner Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle am 07. März ‘88. Dazu gab es wohl auch eine Pressekonferenz. Wie habt ihr davon mitbekommen? Wart ihr da? Erzählt doch mal deine Erlebnisse im Zusammenhang mit diesem einzigartigen Konzert.
Dennis Dass Depeche Mode im Osten gespielt haben, stand irgendwann mal in der Trommel, der DDR-Zeitschrift für Jungpioniere. Daran erinnere ich mich. Allerdings war ich seinerzeit auch erst zarte 13 Jahre alt. Sascha war aber damals in Berlin dabei und seine Geschichte klingt, wie so viele andere Erzählungen rund um das Konzert, recht abenteuerlich. In unserem neuen Buch gibt es ein ausführliches Kapitel zum einzigen Depeche Mode-Konzert in der Berliner Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle.

Sascha Die Gerüchte kursierten etwa eine Woche vorher auch in Leipzig und ich mit meinen 16 Jahren wollte unbedingt dorthin. Glücklicherweise hatte ich Freunde in Ostberlin, die mir ein Ticket auf dem Schwarzmarkt besorgt hatten und meine Eltern ließen mich wirklich am Montag, den 7. März die Schule schwänzen und zum Konzert fahren. Das Konzert selbst war eines der prägendsten Erlebnisse in meinem Leben: Die West-Lieblingsband, die man nur von Postern und verrauschten Aufnahmen kannte, endlich mal live zu sehen und genau in der Zeit, wo man selbst ein Riesen-Fan war – unbeschreiblich…


(Depeche Mode Fans vor der Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle)
Es gab sicherlich wie bei Jugendlichen üblich Cliquenbildungen. In welchen wart ihr so unterwegs? Nach welchen Kriterien fand man sich zusammen – welche Rolle spielte die Musik dabei?
Dennis Ich war in der „Bushausclique“, die damals (natürlich) angesagteste Clique in der Stadt. Man traf sich nach der Schule in einer alten Bushaltestelle aus Wellblech und hing dort stundenlang ab. Wir machten es uns dort richtig gemütlich, stellten abends Kerzen auf, hörten Musik und spielten stundenlang Karten. Der eine oder andere Jugendliche schlief dort an den Wochenenden auch seinen Rausch aus. Irgendwann strichen wir das Bushaus blau/weiß an, die Farben unseres Fußballvereins Hansa Rostock, von welchem wir alle Fans waren. Musikalisch lief dort meistens Hard Rock oder Heavy Metal. Es gab aber auch viele „Blueser“ in der Clique, die Neil Young, Bob Dylan oder Janis Joplin hörten und sich als Teil der Friedensbewegung verstanden. Die meisten Fans in der Stadt hatte wahrscheinlich Udo Lindenberg. Ich kannte damals eigentlich kaum jemanden in der Stadt, der nicht auch Udo-Fan war.

Sascha Meine Jugendclique entstand 1987 aus zwei Freundeskreisen in der Leipziger Südvorstadt und wir trafen uns täglich auf dem Steinplatz. Wir waren etwa ein Dutzend Mädchen und Jungs, die alle versuchten New Waver zu sein, also trugen wir schwarze Klamotten und hatten entsprechende Frisuren. Der obligatorische Kassettenrecorder auf der Parkbank spielte neben Depeche Mode, The Cure und den Ärzten vor allem Anne Clark oder Tears For Fears; später auch Die Toten Hosen, weil einige von uns dann lieber Punks sein wollten. An den Wochenenden waren wir meist bei einem von uns zu Hause und feierten Partys.


(Depeche Mode Fans Annaberg 1989)
1988 war das Konzert und anderthalb Jahre später fiel die Mauer und die Wende wurde eingeleitet. Wie war das für euch persönlich? Welchen Eindruck, denkt ihr, hatten diese Umwälzungen allgemein auf DM-Fans in der DDR? Jetzt gab es schließlich die Möglichkeit alle geliebten Alben im Original zu kaufen. Ging man als erstes in den nächstgelegenen City Music-, WOM- oder wie auch immer genannten Laden? Gab man die 100 DM Begrüßungsgeld für Depeche Mode aus?
Dennis Ich kann mich noch gut an die unmittelbare Vorwendezeit erinnern. Es war sehr emotional, weil man plötzlich nicht mehr wusste wo man hingehörte, wo man hinwollte, bzw. wo man politisch stand. Die Menschen trauten sich plötzlich, Missstände in der DDR offen anzusprechen. Es gab einige Freunde, die mit ihren Familien plötzlich in den Westen zogen oder die Chance zur Flucht über Ungarn nutzten. Nach meinem damaligen Empfinden überschlugen sich die Ereignisse regelrecht. Man ging morgens normal zur Schule, während das Land langsam zerbrach. Das war für uns junge Heranwachsende alles gar nicht wirklich zu verstehen. Mein erster Depeche Mode-Tonträger nach dem Mauerfall war die Single „See You“ auf MCD. Und dieser Moment war schon irre. Dieser Sound, diese Stille im Hintergrund, kein quälendes Rauschen einer totgedudelten Kassette mehr. Für mich war das Science Fiction pur, ein kosmischer Hörgenuss. In Meckpomm waren wir natürlich sehr limitiert, was gut sortierte Plattenläden betraf. In Neubrandenburg gab es den „Cadillac“ und der war eigentlich recht gut sortiert mit Depeche Mode, aber auch den anderen Bands, die dann plötzlich relevant wurden.

Sascha Da ich ein paar Jahre älter als Dennis bin, habe ich die Wendezeit in der Clique noch etwas intensiver erlebt, auch die Vorgeschichte. Ich erinnere mich an einige politische Diskussionen innerhalb der Clique, wobei wir unser Wissen und unsere Argumente natürlich größtenteils von unseren Eltern aufgeschnappt hatten. Einige aus der Clique nahmen im Laufe des Jahre 1989 schon an illegalen Demos in Leipzig teil und in der Clique sind wir ab September dann auch immer auf die Montagsdemos gegangen. Und ich erinnere mich noch gut an den Gewissenskonflikt der über 18jährigen in unserer Clique: Abhauen über Ungarn oder bleiben? Die meisten von uns waren damals allerdings noch in der 10. Klasse oder in der Lehre, wir waren noch behüteter und machten uns noch keine Gedanken, wie es im Leben mal weitergehen sollte. Aber die, die ihren Facharbeiterabschluss in der Tasche hatten, waren da risikofreudiger. Nach dem Mauerfall sind wir Ende November für ein Wochenende nach Westberlin gefahren und ich hab mir von meinem Begrüßungsgeld tatsächlich eine Depeche Mode-Platte auf einem Flohmarkt gekauft. Es war das legendäre Bridgehouse-Bootleg.

Nun war die Mauer weg. Depeche Mode Fans aus dem Osten trafen auf Fans aus dem Westen? Waren da Unterschiede zu spüren? War es eher ein „Geil wir können endlich gemeinsam Dave Dancing machen“ oder stand man sich skeptisch auf den Mode-Partys gegenüber?
Dennis Wir fuhren 1992 erstmals nach Hamburg zur „Masses“. Davor feierten wir unsere Band(s) immer in Neubrandenburg, wo der damalige FC Rosebowl 88 zahlreiche legendäre Events veranstaltete. Fernweh kannte ich gar nicht. Hin- und wieder sind wir mal nach Berlin oder Hamburg gefahren, aber dann eher wegen der Konzerte, die im Rahmen der jeweiligen Partys stattfanden. Die meisten Partys feierten wir aber bei uns in der Heimat. Bei uns gab es Gott sei Dank keine Davedancing-Contests. (Hahaha)

Sascha Mit dem Ende der DDR habe ich auch erstmal Depeche Mode hinter mir gelassen und mich mit all den wenig bekannten Indie-Bands beschäftigt, die man in der DDR zuvor nicht kannte, weil sie nicht im Radio gespielt wurden. Das heißt, nun wurden sie gespielt und zwar bei DT64 in der Sonntagspätvorstellung von und mit Ronald Galenza. Da lernte ich dann Bands wie My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive oder Blumfeld und andere kennen und lieben.

1990 erschien mit „Violator“ ein Album, welches diese bewegende Zeit begleitete. Erstmalig erlebten die in der DDR aufgewachsenen den Veröffentlichungsprozess (Singles, Album, Tour). Es ist das beliebteste Album in der Fangemeinde. Wie habt ihr die Veröffentlichung erlebt? Welche Bedeutung hatte das Werk für euch? Zu „Violator“ gab es auch die erste Tour, die Fans aus beiden Teilen Deutschlands besuchen konnten. Zwei der Konzerte fanden in Berlin statt, welche quasi den Osten mit abdeckten. Seid ihr zu den Konzerten gegangen? Wie fühlte sich das an? Erzählt doch mal wie ihr es erlebt habt. Was war anders im Vergleich zum Konzert ‘88?
Dennis Die erste Berührung mit „Violator“ hatten wir damals, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, durch den Auftritt der Band bei Peters Pop Show im November 1989. Die Sendung wurde im Dezember ausgestrahlt und wir saßen bis spät in die Nacht vor der Glotze. Depeche Mode spielten neben „Personal Jesus“, der ersten Auskopplung von „Violator“ auch die spätere Erfolgssingle „Enjoy the Silence“. Ob es tatsächlich das beliebteste Album der Band ist, kann ich nicht sagen, aber es hatte schon einen unglaublichen Einfluss auf die Fans. Mein erstes Depeche Mode-Konzert fand allerdings erst 1993 statt. 1990 war ich verschüchterte 15 Jahre alt, Schüler, ohne Einkommen und fahrbaren Untersatz. Tatsächlich ärgere ich mich natürlich, damals nicht dabei gewesen zu sein. Aber es gibt ja zahlreiche gute Bootlegs der Tour. Es war die letzte rein elektronische Depeche Mode-Tour ohne Schlagzeug. Allein diesen Umstand hätte ich live gerne erlebt. Das Album selbst markiert vielleicht den künstlerischen Höhepunkt der Band, in die ich mich irgendwann mal verliebt habe. Danach veröffentlichte die Band nur noch reine Konzeptalben, die sich inhaltlich beinahe zwangsweise vom Vorgängeralbum unterscheiden mussten. Ich habe damals viele Entscheidungen der Band nicht verstanden, am wenigsten im Veröffentlichungsjahr der „Songs of Faith and Devotion“. Aber gut, man gewöhnte sich letztendlich an die vielen Stilwechselversuche und an die immer neuen Gesichter im Bandumfeld.

(Video zu Depeche Mode’s “World In My Eyes”, mit Bildern der Violator-Tour)
Viele Fans von damals sind der Band treu geblieben. In der Fangemeinde wachsen inzwischen deren Kinder hinein. Trifft dies auch speziell auf Fans aus dem Osten zu? Habt ihr ein Stimmungsbild bei den Arbeiten zum Buch aufnehmen können? Wie empfinden sie aktuelle Veröffentlichungen? Gehen sie noch gern und euphorisch zu den Konzerten?
Dennis Also die meisten Fans von damals sind der Band schon treu geblieben und fahren auch immer noch gern zu den Konzerten. Ich selbst gehöre ja auch zu den ständigen Nörglern, die früher alles besser fanden und Alan Wilder schmerzlich vermissen. Ich denke, das gehört einfach zu dieser speziellen Liebesbeziehung mit Depeche Mode dazu. Die Band ist zudem eine völlig andere, als noch vor einigen Jahren. Wenn man sich die riesigen Stadien anschaut, welche die Band heutzutage füllt, dann macht einen das manchmal schon sprachlos. Dort treffen mittlerweile drei Generationen von Fans aufeinander. Ich bin da auch weitaus weniger euphorisch als andere Fans, die spezielle Fanaktionen planen und bunte Luftballons im Stadion steigen lassen. Meine Euphorie hält sich in Grenzen, denn mein Interesse gilt ausschließlich dem Konzert. Und Depeche Mode-Konzerte sind mittlerweile große perfekte Inszenierungen, bei denen leider nichts unvorhergesehenes mehr passiert.

Sascha Ich habe den Eindruck gewonnen, dass Depeche Mode-Konzerte für die Ü40-Generation, zu der ja auch ich zähle, zunehmend die Funktion eines Jungbrunnens haben. Wenn Martin 2018 „A Question Of Lust“ singt, befinden sich in Gedanken alle wieder in der Situation 30 Jahre zuvor, wo sie als Teens zur Schmusesongrunde genau diesen Song schon mal gefeiert haben und das tut einfach gut. Ich glaube auch, dass deswegen die Leute pro Tour so viele Konzerte besuchen. Und wegen des Gemeinschaftsgefühls. Depeche Mode ist ja eine Nischenband, aber, wie Anne Haffmans schon mal sagte, diese Nische ist unglaublich groß. Und es ist natürlich toll, überall auf der Welt Gleichgesinnte zu treffen, Fans der Band. Man hat sofort einen Draht zueinander.


(Live-Video zu Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” während der “Delta Machine” Tour)
Apropros älter werden. Dennis, zu deinen Anfangszeiten hast du sicherlich Kassetten und die ein oder andere Vinyl zu Hause gehabt. Heute wird vieles fast nur digital als Download oder Stream verkauft. Depeche Mode veröffentlichen bisher einen Großteil immer noch auf den klassischen Medien CD und Vinyl. Einige der wenigen die sich das noch leisten. Wie empfindest du den Wandel des Tonträgermediums von Tape > Vinyl > CD > mp3 > Stream?
Dennis Ich bin in Bezug auf den Niedergang der Musik durch die mp3-Industrie nicht mehr so skeptisch, wie noch vor einigen Jahren. Als Plattensammler erlebt man ja einen regelrechten Boom, denn Vinyl ist schon lange kein Nischenprodukt mehr. Als Fan von guter Musik werde ich also nach wie vor von den Plattenfirmen und Künstlern verwöhnt. Vor einigen Tagen habe ich zahlreiche mp3 von meinem Rechner gelöscht und angefangen, meine Platten und CDs zu digitalisieren. Ich kann diesen komprimierten Datenmüll einfach nicht mehr hören. Was eigentlich absurd ist, denn zu Beginn des Interviews habe ich dir noch erzählt, dass unser Fansein Mitte der 80er mit verrauschten Tapes begann. Ich habe für mich einfach beschlossen, dass ich mir für Musik wieder mehr Zeit nehmen möchte. Diesen ganzen gesammelten Datenmüll hört man sich nie wieder an. Hat man die Platte im Regal, dann greift man da schon eher mal wieder hin.
Und da haben wir doch glatt schon überzogen aber eine Frage bleibt: was kommt als nächstes bei euch beiden? Dennis, wirst du jetzt Bürgermeister in deinem Wohnort?
Dennis Hilfe, nein. Für solch einen Posten fehlt mir das diplomatische Geschick. (Hahaha)… Es wird auf jeden Fall ein drittes Buch zu Depeche Mode geben. Das Konzept steht und wir haben – wie bereits bei den beiden Vorgängern – zahlreiche Musen und Mentoren, die uns bei unserer Arbeit unterstützen. (Grins) Ich freue mich jedenfalls, dass wir mit MONUMENT und auch BEHIND THE WALL offenbar einen Nerv getroffen haben, denn die Resonanz ist nach wie vor überwältigend. Mir war und ist der Rummel um meine Person zwar immer noch ein bisschen viel, aber ich habe mit Sascha jemanden an meiner Seite, mit dem die Arbeitsteilung hervorragend funktioniert und der auch gerne in der Öffentlichkeit steht. Dafür kann ich ihm eigentlich gar nicht genug danken.

Sascha Das Arbeiten funktioniert zwischen Dennis und mir ja auch so gut, weil wir eine ähnlich kritische Einstellung zur Band haben und ihr dennoch wohlgesonnen sind, eben weil sie uns irgendwie schon das halbe Leben lang begleitet und man sich ihr irgendwie nicht entziehen kann. BEHIND THE WALL war 2008 ja ursprünglich als Dokfilm geplant, der aber aus verschiedenen Gründen damals nicht zustande kam. Einer der Gründe, warum es nun als Buch erschienen ist, ist schlicht und ergreifend, weil Dennis und ich uns so gut verstehen und wir nach MONUMENT unbedingt wieder was zusammen machen wollten, da wir uns entfernungsbedingt sonst viel zu selten sehen. Unsere Buchprojekte haben also auch eine ganz simple soziale Komponente, eben weil wir keine Geschäftspartner sondern Freunde sind. Deswegen ist es fast schon schade, dass die Arbeit am Buch vorbei ist und Dennis leider nicht mit auf die gesamte Lesetour kommen kann. Allein deswegen werden wir uns schon Gedanken über Folgeprojekte machen… Ich als Historiker mag darüber hinaus, dass man anhand der Bandgeschichte von Depeche Mode und der Geschichte ihrer Fans, viel über die Mechanismen von Pop- und Jugendkultur in den 1980ern erklären kann – auf beiden Seiten der Mauer.


Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode @ Facebook
Depeche Mode Monument
Sascha Lange
Ventil Verlag