Something different this time… We talked with the founder of the Durch party series and the mix was provided by his resident Kandy K
hi Nico, very cool to have you for this short interview. Let’s start with a little introduction by yourself. Where were you born and raised? How was your childhood and youth? When did you discover your love for music and which kind of music did you listen to when you were a teenager/tween?
Thx for having me. I will turn this year 40 years old and was born and raised in the former GDR. In a small city next to the Baltic Sea. My family was a typical socialist family – there was no time for music. It was all about work and work for community. In the end of the 90thies I discovered punk and skin music. Counterculture by itself. And the same time techno reached my heart – time of MAYDAY and underground raves.
(Nico Hoech, founder of Durch)
I guess it is not a secret that you are gay as you organize queer parties. So we would like to know a little bit about your personal situation at home with parents and relatives, your hometown, your outing etc. Was it difficult for you? What are your experiences with friends, relatives etc when you came out?
We can make it short – in my hometown was no gay culture or life. There was nothing to discover, so I traveled as often i could to Berlin to express myself. It was amazing. My hometown was a neo-nazi area, my struggle was different. But my parents were very open minded. I had never any problems with them about being gay – I never had a coming out, cause I don’t want to write myself like a stranger. And i will coming out, when my straight friends are coming out as well: so let’s talk about sex and not about my coming out. I become a queer skin.
As mentioned above you are the promoter of a queer party series. It’s called “DURCH” and the current Berlin editions are taking place at “Zur Klappe”. When did you get the idea of running our own party? Could you please describe the concept of it? Have you changed anything since you started it? Are there any DJs who play regularly / residents? What kind(s) of music do you have at “DURCH”? What are the criterias you use for selecting the venue for a party (I remember that the first instalment took place at Untertage)?
I started this party with Martin 2,5 years ago at SchwuZ. The idea was to bring the music and party there, where the party mostly started – at the toilets. That’s still our concept. Even Martin is not part of this anymore. After SchwuZ we tried Untertage, cause fetish and sex is part of our concept and the venue fits us well. After a break we decided to move to Zur Klappe, cause it’s a old public toilet. A old gay cruising spot. DURCH becomes resident party at Zur Klapoe and we are happy about cause it combines all what we like: dark underground techno sex toilets.
DURCH stands for hard techno and it’s fluids developments – I like elements from ghetto, which and scouse house as well. We are happy about our residential DJs like Kandy K in Tel Aviv, Luca Eck, Sh Se (before TLV now Berlin) and Dj Hobby (Zur Klappe).
(residents: Luca Eck, Kandy K, SH SE)
Berlin has one of the biggest queer communities and also a vital gay nightlife. What makes Berlin so special/interesting regarding nightlife (queer and in general)? How important is the gay scene for the music scene in general? Which queer parties impress you and influenced your own idea?
Berlin is still living from the vibe from the early 90thies. Everything is possible as long as u believing in it and if there some crazy heads around u. Everybody is talking about the dying nightlife, but there are small unique space like KAKE, build up by queer expats. That’s still the Berlin vibe from the 90thies. And for sure every techno party in Berlin is in somehow in queer party, at least a gay party. ??
The former HOMOPATIK – now Buttons Impressed me most. It’s my home, my castle, my love.
After running several instalments in Berlin you brought “DURCH” also to Israel and have more plans. Could you please tell us something about this? How did you come up with this “export” idea? What did you already do and what are your plans? Do you cooperate with other promoters/parties there? Anything different to the Berlin concept?
DURCH is now running events in Berlin und Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv idea came after my uncountable visits there. I having lot of friends there and felling part of this city. We were talking a lot of what is missing there: queer community events and underground parties. Last year in September I moved there for three month and we organized some community events like queer art exhibition or bondage workshop or a queer bdsm show. But still DURCH like to celebrate techno parties we organized a real underground rave and a queer techno show at Alphabet Club. DURCH TLV was born and working now by its own: next underground rave is at the 21.2. w/ Luca Eck, Dj Hyperdrive, Kandy K and Aba Karish – underground location.
(uploads of Durch on Soundcloud)
Beside organizing parties you also work(ed) as bouncer etc. in clubs like Berghain, Griessmuehle and ://about blank. When did you start working in clubs? What did/do you do there? How is/was it to work there as a queer? Any negative experience? How important are queer doormen for a club? Why are they necessary (having latest homophobic attacks in Berlin & other cities in mind)?
I started many years ago … doing security for small punk-rock or techno shows. I was studying and needed the money. I did and doing everything: greeting, doing rounds, Awerness, medical help and social work. In the same way having good experience, u get negatives once’s. From seeing/feeling somebody is dying or was raped up to invitations to marriages. It’s crazy.
I would say it’s important to make the marginalized people at door visible. We need more queer people at the door but in the same way more women* or people of color and many more marginalized people as well. I’m very privileged even as a queer person, cause I can choose to show my queerness or not.
On instagram you have some photo series (https://instagram.com/durch.party). Please tell us something about them. Are these pictures made for DURCH? What‘s the concept? Who are the photographers and models?
We did once this “instagram armpits exhibition” – all pics (90) were sended by Berlin queers or I did them by myself. The idea was: „it’s time to leave the shelter. It’s time to express urself in the way u are. in the way how u showing ur armpits, u open urself for the view and the person in front of u – u starting to get vulnerable. attachable. but u aren’t. cause we are many. and u are beautiful. 1312 – stonewall was a riot.” It’s mostly about to make people visable. And to great a counterculture. It’s not about likes. It’s about us and our bodies, fetish or desire. Mostly all models are friends or know persons. Same with the photographer.
(overview of one of theses exhibitions)
We on NovaFuture are music freaks and we are always interested to which music other people listen. So could you please name 10 favourite tracks/records (no matter which style) and tell us why they are important for you?
01. Jung Kaputt Spart Altersheime by Bärchen und die Milchbubis
best punk ever
02. Not In Love by Crystal Castles
cause I fall in love
03. ….. by Dritte Wahl
punk rock who socialized me
04. Stumme Menschen by Feine Sahne Fischfilet
Friends running a band
05. Lebkuchenmann by Georgette Dee
it’s deep meaning German Chanson and I like it deep
06. No Regrets by HO99O9
best band ever
07. Navy Blue by John Roberts
best ketamine music, brought stability in my life
08. Subzero by Ben Klock
makes me feel 17 again
09. Mekong Delta by Len Faki
it’s part of my oldschool berghain which was never exciting (only in my mind)
10. Cold Fusion by The Advent & Industrislyzer
that’s my techno background.
(video of “Not In Love” by Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith)
When we as music lovers interview other music lovers, we often just talk about the music and forget that people perhaps also have other hobbies/interests. So we would like to know if you also do some other stuff in your spare time to relax…beside music related issues.
I’m trying to read as much as I can or to travel around the world. Photography and art is something I’m very into it. And I like the opera and theater.
It’s already the end of our small interview so let’s talk about your future and what’s coming next. Any special news about “DURCH”?
Friday – 7.2. next DURCH at Zur Klappe. (see our feature). DURCH starts Art and a bigger cooperation in Berlin – but the Rest is top secret right now.
Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
CucumB45 – Dog Bark-1 (Demo Version)
Head Horny’s & DJ Miguel Serna – No More
Max McFerren – Well Tempered Ecstasy
Crystal Energy – You Me Sudoku
DJ Reiz – Good Time With A.
M. TouNu & Sergie – Aristocrate (M.TouNu Indus Edit)
POLHØ & WAST – Sensitive Blaster
M.TouNu – No Money
Fury – Neorave
Mega Lo Mania – Close Your Eyes (Cocooma Remix)
Jan Vercauteren – Hellpass
J. Golo, Peke Albeza – Tha Stand
DJ Jose Vol 3 – Kiss Me Hard Before You Go
Scooter – Nessaja
M.TouNu – L’amour Toujour
Sid Le Rock … another Canadian in Berlin 😉
Hello Sheldon. Nice to have you for our little interview series. We are also looking forward to our exclusive mix that accompanies this feature. So let‘s start with the very beginning. Where were you born and raised? How was your youth? What kind of music did you listen during that the time (being a teenager discovering his first music / records)?
Hey Jürgen. Thanks for inviting me. I’m from the Northern regions of Ontario, Canada. My father was a miner working at a uranium plant in Elliot Lake. Hidden by nature and surrounding lakes, it was a great place to live during my early youth. I’m still glowing from the mild radiation haha. Like an normal pre-teen during the 80’s radio era, I guess I was pretty much in to various styles of music. Mainly synth pop, punk rock.
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Thomas Venker)
You came from Canada to Germany in 2003. What was your reason to move overseas? Why at that time? Do you still go back regularly? What are the main differences between/ of living in Canada and Germany?
Needed a change of scenery. Music allowed me that opportunity to see and experience the world.
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)
Your main artist name is Sid Le Rock but you also have several other aliases like Gringo Grinder and Pan/Tone. When did you set them up?And when do you use which one? What is the music style of each?
I’m a gemini, so the aliases fit my multi personal agenda. Pan/Tone was my earliest project. My high musical output at the time required that I create these aliases just to keep up.
(video of “Silent Service”, taken from “Sink or Swim EP” on Hafendisko)
The first time I realized your existence was with your debut release of “Written In Lipstick” on Ladomat2000 which was a sublabel of Mute Germany in some ways at that time. Could you please tell us something about this time and your start? How did you get in touch with Lado? Did you realize that it was the German dependence of a legendary label with bands like Depeche Mode, Movy, Nick Cave, Erasure etc? After that you had several labels to put out your Sid LeRock stuff e.g. T.Raumschmiere’s Shitkatapult. How did that happen? What was the main differences between these labels? For some special releases you also run a label by yourself, “Cereal/Killers”. How was it being on the opposite side and doing that work? Did you like it?
I was a long time fan and collector of Ladomat’s early releases, so yes I am quite aware of its legendary status. It was always my dream to release music with them.
I simply mailed Ladomat a cd demo, because that’s was we did back in the early 2000’s. They liked what I sent in and we signed a 2 album deal. The label unfortunately folded after the release of my 2nd album – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Same financial pressure of the time the happened to many great labels due to the collapse of record distribution companies.
It came as a relief that my own musical existence was not in jeopardy when I signed my 3rd album with Shitkatapult. T.Raumschmiere and I had been friends since we both meet in the beginning of our music careers, so it felt naturally to do something on his label.
(stream of “Close Again”, taken from “Written In Lipstick” on Ladomat)
During the Lado time you made a few remixes for label mates like Commercial Breakup. Later you also were in charge of a remix for Mute’s flagship Depeche Mode. Is it different – perhaps difficult – for you to work with stuff of other people (compared to own productions)? How do you start your own stuff and how do you get into the creation of a remix? Depeche Mode are known for being very progressive regarding remixers & remixes – always looking for something new and upcoming. Do you know how it happened that you became one of them? Did the remix help spreading your name and ideas?
It usually depends on the original song. If there’s key components in the track that may be useful, then this aids me in the rework of the track. If the song lacks ideas or just ain’t my thing, I skip it. In the case with my remix for Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller’s label manager contacted me at the time. He said that Daniel has been following my music and would like to hire me for a remix. I was thrilled at the opportunity, of course, but was bummed out that the track didn’t…lets say motivate. I worked through it and managed to come up with two remix versions. Happily, both were accepted. Did it help spread my name? maybe it brought me a new fan-base, Maybe it didn’t. It was pre-social media, so it’s hard to say.
(stream of Sid Le Rock’s remix of “My Garden” by Commercial Breakup on Ladomat)
Many artists complain that a music career nowadays is more based on image, instagram pictures etc than good music. You are already part of the game for more than 15 years. Do you feel a change? What is different? What do you think about social media? At the beginning of the digital revolution a lot of people said it will become better and easier for every artist. No labels, no agencies, no bad contracts etc. As said above you were mostly signed to a label. Do you think labels are still necessary? Any suggestions for young artists how to start?
Yes there is a major difference in how it has changed. It’s not really about the music, more so about your abilities as a social influencer., but be aware that that does not mean innovator. People often confuse the two. My only advise is do your own thing, have your own voice and stick to what makes you feel fulfilled creative wise.
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)
Back to your work. You also play live from time to time but not very often. Is there a reason for it? How do you decide when it is time to play live or perhaps “just” to spin some records? Which equipment do you use live and how does a live gig look like?
I still perform live and enjoy it but you’re correct, I much prefer to dj these days. It’s much more open and allows me to take a break from my own production. Offers ideas, play longer and nowadays, a lot of venues lack to space for equipment
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)
The initial reason for this interview was the release of your current album “Scenic Route” on Hafendisko. Please tell us something about the content. What inspired you? Which topics are assimilated? How did you produce it?
My longtime girlfriend, family and friends inspired me. It came to me as a collision of all my life experiences – discipline, humility, ego, maturity that processed this new album.
(snippets of Sid Le Rock’s album “Scenic Route”)
Coming closer to the end of the interview I would like to know a little bit about music you like. Could you please name 10 records/tracks that are important to you and also why?
simple. I listen to good music that fits its maker.
(video of “Foreign Love” taken from the album “Busted With A Bag of Bliss”)
Already the last question… it is about your plans and your future. What’s coming next? Some interesting projects in the pipeline? Nice gigs you are booked for?
Re-release & re-edits of my personal favourites from my Pan/Tone & Sid Le Rock back catalogue is underway. Beyond that, wherever the wind blows, I go against it.
(video of “Cry Wolf” by Pan/Tone taken from the compilation “A 100 Years Of Areal”)
Peryl … a live act and producer like no other. Intense, dark, rough and driving,
Hi Dennis. Nice to meet you virtually for this small interview. Let‘s start at the very beginning. Where were you born and grew up? What kind of music did you enjoy in your teenager years?
Thanks for having me, it’s always a pleasure to work with you and the novafuture blog.
I was born and raised in a smaller city near Tübingen in South Germany.
When i was four years old i started playing drums and created my own style of punk/metal music. Later my two siblings influenced me into the punk scene. At a young age i already started to visit some festivals and concerts.
Assuming that you cannot live from the earnings you get with music, what’s your profession? Or do you study (what?)? What are your spare time activities/hobbies/interests beside making music?
I’m working as a event technician so its kinda familiar with the clubbing scene. I’m spending a lot of time with my friends cause this is a really important thing for myself and of course my music.
(Peryl, promo pic)
You have 3 EPs out on Codec992, Schizophrenia Crew (now Antagonist Field) and Lebendig. How do you select the labels for your stuff? Are your tracks nearly finished and then got signed by the labels or do you produce on request? If they sign existing tracks are these tracks some kind of demos where some changes are needed or finished ones? Are labels nowadays really necessary to release own stuff digitally? What is the role of a label now – what’s the advantage released on labels instead of doing it yourself?
I always have a bunch of tracks to go. Sometimes i produce on request so i can create an exact mix between my style and the label himself. I think a track is never completely finished. You can always make the track better or change some things on it. I do not think that you need a label to bring your stuff to the audience.
If u have a label to release your work you definitely can reach more people but for me the important thing is to reach the right people. It doesn’t matter how much, it depends on who and why.
(full stream of Peryl’ “Du & Ich” taken from “Lust EP” on Antagonist Field)
Let‘s go deeper into your production process. Where does your inspiration for a new piece of music come from? How do you start to work on a new track? What are the next steps til your track is finished? You use vocals in some of your tracks. Where do you find the samples or singers?
My inspiration comes from listening to a track, trying to get into the producer’s mind, but ultimately not getting what he wants to say. It sound strange but that’s the actual thing that gives me the punch to create something new.
For me the leading thing of a production is to bring over a message. A message with which the listener can do whatever he wants. Every track from myself has a different effect to every single person so everyone can create his own picture of it.
I generally start with an idea that I have recorded on my iphone, and try to implement it as well as possible. In most cases the finished product is no longer comparable to the idea I had at the beginning. All vocals I used In my own productions are self-recordings. Except the LOVE IS JUST A WORD project. These vocals are made by a very talented girl from Stuttgart called LENA BEE.
The track with luca was a very spontaneous one. I posted a melodic idea I had on my instagram and he instantly texted me that I should send it to him, he wanted to sing over it. I thought yeah it could be nice with some german wave vocals and its also a good thing to create a mixture between my perspective of ,,wave’’ and his special part for it. I love him, he’s my favourite secco-boy!
(Peryl, promo pic)
Your music style is a mixture of EBM-ish tunes and techno. What is your personal connection with EBM and Industrial music – music that is based in the 70ies and 80ies with strong comeback in the last months?
For me it’s the perfect mix between the roughness of punk and techno. I’m really into music that isn’t well known. For me music doesn’t have to be big or famous. It has to be understandable.
(full stream of Peryl’ “Restrained Devotion” from ISMVA001.1)
You come from the southern Germany. Could you please give us a short overview how you see the scene there? Where do you go for party etc?
The main techno scene is really hyped there at the moment but for me I cant really cope with the popular scene. When I go for party I mostly go to LEHMANN CLUB or visit the BASISLAGER events in Stuttgart. Hopefully ill be back in Stuttgart soon but for now I will focus on my start here in Berlin.
( video for Peryl’s “Insurgence” taken from LBNG00.03)
You already played live e.g. at Synoid / Griessmühle. How do you prepare the sets on the technical side and also personally?
I didn’t prepared any special things for this gig, because I knew that the audience was really open minded and ready for everything. I really enjoyed it there and I can say that I’ll be back in berlin very soon!
(snippet “Dein Wahres Gesicht” by Peryl feat. Luca Gillian’ taken from LBNG00.03)
Please name 5 techno and 5 EBM records that are essential for you and tell us why.
We have so much good music out there and I can’t decide witch ones speaks to me the most but here are three of my all time favs at the moment.
01. Limelight Roles by Habits Of Hate
02. Variant by These Hidden Hands feat. Lucrecia Dalt
03. Die Konsequenz ist Logisch by Rosa Nebel
( video for “Die Konsequenz ist Logisch” by Rosa Nebel)
You are a young guy, a digital native so please let us know what you think about the twist between analog fetischist and modern DJ using digital technology.
ANALOG is the opposite of ANA sagte die Wahrheit!
(full stream of Peryl’ “Molotov Brutality” taken from LBNG00.06)
Yes we are already at the end of the interview. So please share your future plans with us! What’s coming next?
I don’t want to say to much but there are big pans for the future!
I have a side project which is called “FEIND” for some Noise/Experimental stuff.
Hopefully I’ll have some free time in 2020 for some productions or maybe some performances. I’m also looking forward to my lebendig-family, we had a really nice year together and we don’t stop!
Let’s see what the other half of the year will bring over.
The Chronics … head of the label Bipolar Disorder
Hi Marc, nice to have you for our interview feature. Let’s start with the very beginning of your life: where were you born and raised? When did you discover music as a hobby (being a music listener) and when did you decide that you want to be part of?
Hi Jurgen 🙂 First of all thank you for having me on NovaFuture Blog. I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Geneva in Switzerland. I discovered music at a very young age because of my parents who would listen to music 24/7. At 8 years old, I inherited an old CD player from my father and ever since, I made it a thing to dig into his CD collection. From Gainsbourg on my father’s side, to The Beatles on my mother’s side, I always had something cool to listen to.
After listening to all kinds of classics, I finally discovered true love for electronic music starting with Eurodance in the year 2000. At this point, I fell deeply in Love with this fast music full of emotion. I got into Techno whilst at a couple of events in Geneva and it was at this moment, I knew that it was the music which make me vibrate the most.
My choice was concretized after a couples of months in Berlin listening to all the greats and being submerge by all this culture related to electronic music. I finally found a place where you can be yourself without being judge. Since then, Electronic Music was a way for me to escape the system and to forget about all your problems. When I had the chance to get my first salary, I spent all of it into my first music equipment that I directly set up in my best friend garage where I started to play for my friends mainly for before and after party.
(The Chronics, playing with the machines)
Could you please tell us something about your artist name? What does it mean and how did you choose it?
Ahahaha, I was sure you would ask this question…. well my artist name is basically based on my first Soundcloud name. At the time I created it I was deeply into the « The Chronics 2001» mixtape from Dr. Dre. so, I was like why not. I didn’t take it too seriously and I had my first gig, my second gig and at the end I kept it this way. 4:20 for Life.
What are your inspirations and influences as a recording artist and as a dj?
I would say that my main influences have come from the Eurodance era, which is based on synths full of emotions and fast rhythms. I am also really into all these organic sounds that feel like they come from a living machine, which gives the track a real dynamic and depth.
(full stream of The Chronics’ “Contemporary Answer” taken from BDD007)
You play regularly in Switzerland and invite people to play with you at Folklor (Lausanne). How do you see the scene there? How would you compare it with other countries?
First of all you have to know that Switzerland is mainly separate in three parts: the French one, the Italian one and the Swiss German one. Concerning the French part of Switzerland, I would say that the scene is born from rave parties hosted in squat many years ago and at this time few clubs were hosting techno events. But since a couple of years techno has been the new thing in our area. We now have electronic music events every weekends in different clubs and during the summer, we got almost every weekend rave parties.
Since 3 years, we have plenty of motivated persons who are getting more and more involved in the scene and who are trying to make things move. The only problem we have regarding our scene is coming from the persons who are doing that only for the hype; pretending to be authentic music lover and make some for a cause but at the end they are only fake persons and this kinda person doesn’t last. The scene here is not comparable to any others because of its lack of maturity but our scene is mainly based on Rave Parties and the spirit of raving remains strong and you can see that there is more motivation regarding a rave party than commercial techno events. Keep it real!
(graphic for one of the gigs at Folklor in Lausanne)
We talked about inspirations but how do you work on new tracks? What is different when you get a remix request?
I finally found my final (LOL) set up (there is no final set up ahaha; that’s why “ LOL“) which is composed of an analog rhythm, my modular and a moog Sub 37. I always start a new track by creating a sound on my synths/modular and as soon as I find something that triggers my emotions, I keep it and build a track around it.
Regarding remixes, it is Christmas every time I received a stems pack. You open it and I discover what is inside. Sometimes it is some pretty good material well exported with nice and well processed parts at the good volume and sometimes it s not… (Laugh) but in any case remixes are for me a way to re interpret someone feelings. I used the stems and process them into many effects to change the way it sounds but trying to keep whats make the original sonority as much as possible. After all the sound processing, I start to build a track which is telling a total different story than the original.
(full stream of The Chronics’ remix of “Excessive” by Åre:gone taken from BDD016)
You are also part of the duo. We want to keep the name secret but would like to know how you work together as a duo and when you came up with this idea.
The duo is a story of two people who share the exact same energy. It comes naturally that I have to work and collaborate with this special person and after a year of collaboration we ended up with something innovative, which represents us. Living in two different countries does not help a lot so we have to travel to work together. However, we remain an efficient team and have a productive sharing system, and our shared love for music has created a harmonious and efficient comradely.
(this duo? The Chronics w/ his cat)
You are the head of the label Bipolar Disorder which we supported already from a very early stage. Your artist & track selection is very nice. Please tell us something about the history of the label. How do you select tracks/artists for your releases? What is your concept? Most of the releases are digital-only – just 3 vinyl releases are available now. Do you think vinyl is still something that has its value in the scene?
The label was created in January 2016 with the aim of promoting and giving the best tools to local artists who wants to release their music. I would say that I consider more Bipolar Disorder Rec. as a big family of people who are on the same vibe more than a typical label. The concept behind the track selection, without sounding selfish, is based on music we love. There are no special criteria, we focus on the energy and the emotions we wish to share. We rarely accept demos; we always look for artists with potential and based on that we try to work with the artist on the development of an EP.
Regarding the vinyl question, I would say that this format is for me a unique piece of art expressing itself through different support such as audio and visual art. As a physical object vinyl is something you can easily do a collection of and which aims to last forever. I have a lot of respect for artists who spent ages digging for the perfect gems but on the contrary I m a bit tired of DJ’s playing vinyl only for the hype with the famous words; « Hey Mate vinyl’s sounds 10 time better than digital tracks… blablabla ». Vinyl is something you will keep with you forever and that you will pass to your grandchildren like “yeah that was what I was listening at your age” (with a huge smile on your face).
(logo of Bipolar Disorder)
You provide an exclusive mix with stuff from your own roster. What is your intention and why did you select these tracks (from over 19 releases)?
I have built this podcast with the aim of showing what Bipolar Disorder Rec. was capable of. The podcast start with some chill tracks setting up a deep ambience and minutes after minutes the emotions will rise and the the BPM will increase to something more rhythmic and more trancy until it reaches its full power and at this time the tension decrease and we go for something deeper with these kind of tracks which will let you in a good feeling fulfilled of love and happiness. I tried my best to play as much as possible releases we had on the label but it is not an easy task; I’m sorry for those I forgot to play.
(a few artworks of Bipolar Disorder releases)
What are you all time favourite records/tracks (name them and please also tell us why)?
01. Played A Live by Safri Duo
I was 10 years old when this track was released. I think thats the track which convince me about the power of drums and the emotion you can put in synth. This mix between emotion and fast rythmic made me deeply found in love with the electronic music.
02. Pick It Up by Redman
This track put me always on a good and chill mood. Redman always has the flow and I always felt close to his way of thinking.
03. Si Tu Kiffes Pas by Booba
Booba at its beginning what else should we say?
04. Spacer Woman by Charlie
This track is for me the beginning of the electronic dance music it feels like a robot who’s feeling and talking like a human; the in between of electronic coldness and human feelings.
05. L’Hotel Particulier by Serge Gainsbourg
Used to listen to Serge Gainsbourg since year one, I got the chance to get through all his albums and for me this track makes me discover the power of a perfectly executed synth and all the changes in term of vibe you can bring with only one synth. (2min15)
06. Cheree by Suicide
I think that’s pretty much the track which make me fall in love with all these organic synths and breakable rhythmic.
07. Lagonda by Deepchord
This track is not that old but the work of Deepchord always astonished by its perfect vibe. There is so many thing going on that your brain is like completely travelling across the amount of information delivered by the track.
08. Parade (Dominik Eulberg Remix) by Rone
The first sunrise I had in Berlin was at an open air where Rone was playing; it was one of the first time I cried listening to music. The moment was perfect. Perfect music, Perfect people, perfect vibe everything was aligned to get this perfect moment which will be forever one of my best memories.
09. Computer Interface by Computor Rockers
“Break Beat is the future » – The Chronics 09.08.2019
(stream of “Cheree” by Suicide)
Already the last question: what’s coming next? On your label? For you personally? Give a glimpse of the near future 😉
I have a couple of digital releases planned before the end of the year and I will have my first vinyl release end of 2019. Regarding the label, we will announce the next vinyl release end of this month.
The digital release of September will be special and I’m pretty sure you’re going enjoy it :).
Moreover, we started a new concept of releases, which will come up 3 to 4 times a year with a special and unique vibe quite different from the original material we usually release.
Regarding events, we are planning the 3 years anniversary of the Label in January 2020. The birthday party will be hold in 2 different cities during the weekend and we are still thinking about the perfect line-up. Stay tuned <3
hi Martin. Nice to have you for a „Music & Interview“ feature. Let’s talk about you, your DJ career under the moniker Invia, your crew Voitax and the life in general starting at the very beginning. Where were you born and where did you grow up? How was your youth? What kind of music did you listen to when you were a teenager etc.?
Hi Jürgen. Thank you for the invitation to do the mix and this interview. I was born in 1987 in Thuringia and grew up in a small town near Erfurt. I was introduced to music pretty early on – my mom happened to be the music teacher at the elementary school that I was attending. She also enrolled me at a music school, where I learned drums and piano. I quit music school after only a few years – something I know really regret. Around the 2000s I came in touch with electronic music. Initially it was all pretty random stuff, mostly through videos on MTV and VIVA. However, after a while I got really into it and started watching the HR3 Clubnight shows on the weekends and got deeper and deeper into the scene. My older friends supplied me with mixtapes – those were heavily influenced by House and hard Techno (still called Schranz at this time). When I turned 16, after I had already attended some Techno parties, I finally bought my first records and turntables and started practicing mixing.
Five tracks/records that had a major impact on me and led me to electronic music:
01. Sandstorm by Darude
02. Silverscreen by Felix da Housecat
03. Emerge by Fischerspooner
04. La La Land by Green Velvet
05. 1982 by Miss Kittin & The Hacker
(video of Green Velvet’s “La La Land”)
Can you tell us more about your home town? How is your relationship to it nowadays? How is/was the techno scene there?
My hometown was in a rural area, pretty much in the middle of the “Thüringer Becken”. It was basically the perfect place for a happy childhood, but once you get older it becomes pretty boring there, there wasn’t really anything to do as a teenager. But to this day I still enjoy going back there to see my old friends and family. Sometimes it’s nice to leave the stressful life in Berlin and breath some fresh air back in your hometown. The Techno scene in Thuringia, however, was pretty big around the 90s and 2000s. There was a good party somewhere nearly every weekend, sometimes legal, sometimes illegal, in old warehouses or industrial buildings, clubs, or just outside. We had great DJs from Germany and abroad coming to these parties, so they drew quite big crowds with people sometimes travelling far, even from other states. I used to put on some illegal open-air raves with some friends throughout the years and got involved in some clubs, for example the WolkeZwo4, which sadly had to close a few years ago. Today the scene is much smaller. There are still some clubs and collectives who put in a lot of effort, but it is not comparable to the 90s and 2000s.
You studied musicology in Giessen. Did you already graduate? What is your daily job? In 2013 you moved to Berlin. What was your reason for it? What about your spare time? Do you have any other hobbies? Tell us something about your non-music life please.
I moved to Giessen in 2008 to study musicology. After my graduation in 2013 I changed location to Berlin for an internship at Groove Magazine. It was a really nice time that I remember fondly, in which I learned a lot and got to meet a lot of great artists. But when the internship finished, it was not as easy to find a job in the music industry as I had hoped. After a year of worked all kinds of random jobs and gigs to keep myself afloat, I decided to study social work. Since my graduation I have been working as a social pedagogue at an elementary school, which I do not regret at all. If I have any spare time between work at the school, my work for Voitax and making music, I usually go play table tennis or fishing. Especially fishing is a great way to counter stress at work.
(Promo picture of Invia)
You play under the moniker Invia these days but you had another DJ name in the past. How would you describe your style today and in the past? What was the reason for renaming? What are your inspirations in general?
After I started DJing in 2003 I had to decide on a DJ name for a DJ contest. I didn’t have much time to think and from then to 2016 I performed as Ebi. From Schranz to House and other styles of Techno I basically played whatever I liked. But eventually I got really tired of that name and I felt like it was time for something new. Since my involvement with Voitax, I have been performing under the name Invia. I still like all kinds of electronic music and my sets reflect that. It depends on when and where I am playing, but in general you can expect anything from Techno, dubby, broken and moody tracks to Acid and Electro. I am very inspired by partying as a clubber myself and the musical exchange with my friends.
(Promo picture of Invia)
As mentioned you are part of the Voitax crew. So let’s talk about it. When was the label founded and what was the intention? When did you join them? What’s your task? In the past the records were hand-stamped and you didn’t announce the producer behind it. Later the optical appearance changed and you used colored photos with a strong relationship to the artistS who were part of an exhibition during your Asia tour. What kind of image you guys want to create for the label?
The label was founded by one of our partners, Benjamin, back in 2012/2013. Our paths crossed the first time on one of the Open Airs I was organizing around 2006 in Thuringia. We’ve hit it off straight away and basically have been friends ever since our early teenage years. Back in 2012 I wasn’t part of the label yet and it was only until two years later, when Benjamin moved back to Berlin, that the rest of us got involved. Christoph and I joined forces and the three of us started running the label together. We were motivated to turn this platform into something special, gathered lots of ideas, met plenty of new people, visualized future collaborations and projects and the whole thing became more professional with every year that passed. I wouldn’t say that I am playing a very specific role as all of us like to work collectively on every aspect of our label. Our work goes hand in hand, and we update each other daily about what’s going on. Of course, everyone got their specific tasks to deal with, but we regularly sit down, talk about ideas, potential projects, issues that need to be solved and so on before we turn things into action. We very much rely on each other within the label and are basically best friends outside of it – that generally makes things a lot easier.
(full stream of Cyan85’s “Astral Stream” taken from VOI016)
Last year the Voitax crew made an Asia trip for several gigs. Can you tell us something about the trip? How does it happen?
I can’t say much about it in detail because I couldn’t be part of the Asia tour last year due to work related reasons. I know Benjamin, Christoph and the guys shared an amazing experience together that can all be read in the Asia Tour Story on our website – definitely worth a read!
(full stream of Cressida’s “Deserter” taken from the compilation “X”)
At the moment there are no releases by yourself. Are you into production or are you interested in djing only? Do you work on some stuff? If yes, please tell us something about it – how your working process looks like, what inspires you, which equipment you play around etc.
Really, I have been into producing for as long as I have been into DJing. If I remember correctly, I started making beats in Fruity Loops even before I started DJing. At some point I got a Groovebox by Korg, which I later sold to buy a better Laptop. Basically, I had been producing with Ableton only for ten years, but only occasionally. Sadly, I never had enough time to arrange any of my thousands of unfinished projects on my hard drive to a level that I was truly happy with and would have felt comfortable releasing. But since around two years I am finally spending more time on producing and my studio is growing again. By now I only use Ableton for recording and adding effects. The sounds are almost exclusively analogue. My two Elektron machines are the centre of my setup. I make my drums and percussion with the Analog Rytm, I also use it for sampling and resampling its internal tracks. Most of my synth sounds like pads and leads come from the Analog Four, which also triggers a semi modular system, where I usually create basslines and experimental sounds. Lastly, I have some effect pedals and another Korg synthesizer.
(full stream of Umwelt’s “Faceless Power” taken from VOI014)
Since a few years there is a “little” dispute about DJ equipment: does a good DJ have to spin vinyl or is it ok to learn it with digital equipment. What do you prefer? What’s your equipment? Do you see any quality differences between vinyl DJs and digital DJs?
I am getting really tired of this discussion. In the end, the result is what matters, and the result is all about the music and selection. You can be amazing at mixing, but if your selection does not fit the vibe, your set is not going to sound interesting. I find it much more appealing to here a transition that might not be technically perfect, but the DJ still tells a story with the selection and draws the audience into it. I personally prefer Vinyl, because this is what I started with and I find it nicer to dig through a crate of records than to scroll through digital files. At home I mix with vinyl on a pair of 1210s and an Allen & Heath mixer, this is also how I made the mix for this feature. When I’m playing at a club, I do use digital files on an USB occasionally to play unreleased tracks or stuff that I couldn’t find on vinyl. When it comes to quality, I think there are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. Vinyl sounds a bit more charming with its crackles and its warm, full sound, it has nice haptics, the covers look great, and you can easily see how much is left of a track. However, it could be possible to face slightly irregular playback speeds, feedback due to insufficient isolation of the booth is also pretty common. And of course, the needles must be in good condition to really enjoy playing. If you play digitally, you have none of these problems. At most clubs though, the sound engineers put in a lot of effort, which is why I’m still sticking to vinyl.
(Promo picture of Invia)
Let us know something about your favourite music nowadays. Could you please name 5 techno tracks/records that you love and regularly listen to? Please also tell us why they are important for you.
Not easy. I bought a lot of records in the last weeks from all kinds of genres, hard to decide on only a few. The ones below represent my current taste in electronic music quite well and I really enjoy playing them at the moment. They are in alphabetical order, since I value them all the same.
01. Another Day by Clouds [Headstrong]
02. Bay Of Sampieri by Cyan85 [Voitax]
03. Reversing Into Tomorrow by O/V/R [Downwards]
04. Adequate Force by Stenny [Ilian Tape]
05. From Sorrow To Darkness by Trudge [10 Pills Mate]
(promo pic of Invia)
We are already at the end of our small interview. What‘s coming next? Any nice gigs? Other plans?
First of all, I am very excited for my holidays, which I will spend at the Algarve. I can finally relax, go swimming and get some sun. When I’m back I will go to Nachtdigital before everyday life kicks back in. I will also spend more time in my studio to finalize some tracks. On the 21st of August I will play at the Killekill Summercamp at Griessmühle. Other than that, there will be a few more interesting releases on Voitax, but I won’t give away too much about them yet 😉
Thank you for this – hopefully interesting – exchange and have fun with my mix!