Music & Interview
our favourite bride: Projekt Gestalten
hi Diego, finally we got you for an interview – and mix. for sure we have known each other for a few years already but let’s start with some introduction for our favourite bride 😉 Where were you born and did you spend your childhood?
Hello! Thanks for having me. I was born in a city called Guarulhos, in the suburbs of São Paulo, Brazil. Guarulhos is to São Paulo what Brandenburg is to Berlin. Is near but not that near (just like its German counterpart, it is also where the international airport is located).
(Projekt Gestalten | © Pic by Vanessa Marino)
I mentioned that you are our favourite bride. The reason is that you go out and perform very often in a bridal dress. Could you please tell us the story behind this? How and when did you come up with the idea to dress up as a bride e.g. when going to Berghain, Griessmuehle or other clubs and wearing a white wedding dress during sets?
I just got bored with black. Plus, I am all about contrasting and looked like a nice opportunity for that. The bridal theme itself is because I am always marrying a lot cute guys and I just have the dress on me all the time to save some time.
(Projekt Gestalten, dressing up | © Pic by Vanessa Marino)
When did you discover music as an important part of life? What kind of music did you listen to and fall in love with in your teenage years (developing your own music taste)? Who was/were your music hero(es)?
I always grew up listening to music so there was never a turning point for me. In my teenage years, I was listening to R&B (Brandy, Aaliyah, TLC, Destiny’s Child, etc). My music heroes are definitely Mariah Carey; I always judge house DJs who don’t know any of her remixes. She has some dope remixes by David Morales, C+C Music Factory and, most importantly, she was one of the first artists to go back to the studio with the producers and re-record her vocals specially for the remixes. I also love Björk and how she approaches her art and Grace Jones, Portishead and Massive Attack as well.
(video of Björk’s “Human Behaviour”)
Beside your dress you are also well-known for your “fans” (this word is strange for us and we always struggle with it because on one hand it means “followers”/people that like your music and on the other hand it is the fanzy thing for giving air LOL). We are talking about this nice accessory. What was your idea behind that? How did you come up with the idea to use it as a ranking/ chart item on your website and your social media channels?
The fan-popping thing was born into the gay ballroom scene. So, it was nothing invented by me. For people who don’t know, I used to have a DJ diva ranking where I would post funny anecdotes of my fan-popping lessons with the DJs. However, I stopped doing it and deleted the archive. It was all fun when I felt the love from the scene and the DJs but, as soon as I realized this love wasn’t reciprocal, I just deleted the whole thing. Sorry. :/
(Projekt Gestalten, playing the keys | © Pic by Vanessa Marino)
Pornceptual… our next issue. You are a resident and co-founder, right? Can you tell us something about the event series? When did you get involved? What is your part/ task there?
I am not the co-founder of Pornceptual but there are a lot of articles that state me as that. I am just the resident DJ since the beginning of 2014, when the project was still pretty new. I have met everybody in the clubs. All of the organizers are Brazilian so it was sort of like a natural and organic relationship. My part/task over there is playing good music and looking cute! 🙂
You are from Brazil and live in Germany. Could you please compare life in general and queer life in both countries?
Brazil is still a very homophobic and macho country but the scene over there is always flourishing. The Brazilian queer scene is very resilient and they will always resist prejudice, far-right governments and close-minded people. Germany, by comparison, is much more relaxed and welcoming towards queer people. However, there are a few occasional problems. There were definitely dangerous situations that I was exposed to. But I feel much safer walking around in Germany that I ever felt in Brazil.
(cover of “The Beast Within”)
Back to music. You just released your debut album on your own label in February 2022. When did you start to work on it? What are the main inspirations? Topicwise and from a musical side? Which equipment did you use for the production? Did you try out a few new things?
The album is called “The Beast Within” and is inspired by a point-and-click game from the 90’s with the same name. I had this idea since 2016 but my heavy tour schedule never allowed me to really sit down and work properly on it. Then, came the fucking pandemic and I finally managed to do it. I used my MacBook with Logic Pro and its native synths (the ES1 in particular), my 303 analogue clone (Cyclone Bass Boot), the tiny KORG Monotron (that I love to create textures) plus a Zoom H4n Pro mic for field recordings and a Sennheiser microphone to record my own voice. (Album Details
| Album Order via Bandcamp)
(full stream of Projekt Gestalten’s “Prey To Be Undone” taken from VRA002)
On the album you also used different aliases – Projekt Gestalten and The Princess Of Death. Are there two different persons in your body? What is the difference between them – when are you the Princess and when just a Gestalt? How did it happen that these two monikers could make a track together?
What I like about “Gabriel Knight – The Beast Within” game is that you play as both a man and a woman. So we need to put into the mind of two different characters with different genders and needs. As I said before, I am all about contrasting and I also apply that into my art. Projekt Gestalten is more colorful and melodic while The Princess of Death, is darker and introspective. In the very last track of the album, I merge both aliases, as I did an introspective track with melodic undertones. This is also a reference to the game because, each chapter you play as a different character but, on the last chapter, you play with both in different moments of the game.
(full stream of “Requiem For The Swan King” by Projekt Gestalten + The Princess Of Death from VRA002)
On the 03rd September you made a special live presentation of the album incl. a queer choir at St. Marienkirche. The Allegorist was playing as a support act. Please tell us about the planning and organising of the event. And for sure we also want to know how it was. (we proudly present this performance as musical part of this feature, see below)
The Beast Within Live was an extension of the contrasting idea I did with the album. This time contrasting secular music with the holy environment of a church, contrasting electronic music with choir music. I was lucky to have won a grant from Initiative Musik, so I managed to do it properly with a light show and in one of Berlin’s oldest and most historic churches – St. Marienkirche in Alexanderplatz. Since I did all the planning myself, it was a herculean job, I had to coordinate everything with all of the teams. But it was super fun, I also had the help and input of an all femme, queer and POC crew who were integral for this project. It was a magical evening and I am still relishing from it. The recording and the full video of the performance will come soon.
(Projekt Gestalten performing live at St. Marienkirche 03-09-2022 | © Pic by Vanessa Marino)
We are always interested in what people, especially artists, listen to in their spare time. So please tell us 5 tracks (or releases) that belong to your all time favourites being non techno stuff and 5 techno tracks/ releases! Why are they so special to you? Explain it 🙂
Non-Techno 01. Dummy
One of my all-time favourite albums. Such a flawless piece of trip-hop history.
Non-Techno 02. Fantasy (Def Club Mix) by Mariah Carey
This is one of my all time favourite remixes of her and, sometimes, I still play in my sets.
Non-Techno 03. Tuesday by Max Richter
I love instrumental and strings music. This one just makes me relax. I usually listening while I am on moving vehicles looking out the window watching life go by.
Non-Techno 04. It’s Not Right, But It’s OK (Thunderpuss Club Mix) by Whitney Houston
I will never forget this track. The DJ played that during my first club experience back in the early 00’s and I still play that, given the opportunity.
Non-Techno 05. Hyperballad by Björk
One of my favourite songs of her. It was such a privilege to listen to it live during her last tour with strings. I have seen her in Berlin and in Paris a few weeks later. I cried.
Techno 01. Floating Away Fire by Polar Inertia
I love projects with a narrative and for me, Polar Inertia is one of the most cinematic projects out there. This track, in particular, is so beautiful. I listen to it and I can picture a whole movie in my mind.
Techno 02. The Maid In The Kitchen by Sleeparchive
It’s such an elegant track. There is this quirky dirty synth that comes in the end, during the break that still haunts me to this day.
Techno 03. Fear Strings by Clouds
As I said before, I love strings. For me, this is such a welcoming departure from all of the hard banging peak hour tracks that Clouds are used to do. Not that I don’t like the other stuff but, as I can’t stress it enough, I just love contrasting.
Techno 04. Fly To Death by Bispeed Black
This track will always haunt me. This is another level. It was some slowed down samba samples, 303 lines, 4×4 kicks. I don’t know where I bought this record but it almost never leaves my record bag. This is from 1994 and it sounds way ahead. I found out later that Ricardo Villalobos is behind this alias. He should go back to that.
Techno 04. Fuckin’ Cut Off by Sorgenkint
Another record that never leaves my bag and another one that I have no idea where that hell I got it but it found it’s way to my record bag and it never left…
(stream of Max Richter’s “Tuesday”)
Uuuh already at the end of the interview. So here are the last issues. What is coming next for you? We write these questions while sitting in a train to party in Leipzig. The clubs in Germany opened again after being closed due to the Covid pandemic. Hopefully they won’t be closed again in autumn. So you have some nice gigs coming? Something special? What about new releases?
Hopefully, I will continue to play consistently like in the Summer. I have a new EP coming up that I am releasing on a new label by one of my favorite husbands that will be announced soon. I have some nice gigs coming up but I can’t talk much about it at the moment. I also want to come back to do my live act. I stopped doing it a few years back but I have a brand new setup, so I am coming back to it. The next live show will be for Slave to the Rave party at club OST in Berlin in the beginning of October.
Thanks for the interview and the very special live set <3. Finally we managed it 🙂
album “The Beast Within” by Projekt Gestalten on VRAAA Records
Projekt Gestalten’s “Wretched Cuts EP” on Mild Fantasy
Projekt Gestalten’s “He Bleeds Stories EP” on VRAAA Records
The Princess Of Death’s “Ad Extirpanda EP” on VRAAA Records
compilation “DURCH[digital]Solidarity 001” w/ PG track on DURCH
compilation “Serpent Series III (Drop 2)” w/ PG track on Voxnox Records
compilation “Various Artists III” w/ PG track on RND. Records
compilation “Sammelwerk I” w/ PG track on Konflkt
sampler “RTLS001VA” w/ PG track on Rituals Records
compilation “Stream State (Remixes)” w/ PG remix on Counterchange
Exclusive Live Set (Video):
Exclusive Live Set (Stream):
Tracklist of Exclusive Live Set:
01. (Overture) Haust (Herbst)
02. The Beast Within
04. Trial and Execution of the Black Wolf
05. When The Saints Go Marching In
06. (Intermission) Act 1: Underscore (from Gabriel Knight)
07. Prey To Be Undone
08. The Shrine Revelation
09. (Interlude) St. George’s Church Theme (from Gabriel Knight)
10. The Fight, The Victory, The Death
11. Ad Extirpanda/Wolfcam (from Gabriel Knight)
12. The Curse of Engelhart
13. Curse, Shattered
14. (Finale) Requiem For The Swan King
Quest Agency for Projekt Gestalten