How do you define your sense of belonging to the electronic scene and clubbing?
In a very simple sense - the feeling of being in the middle of a dance floor and having the whole room around you feeling like it is breathing as a single entity, being able to collectively escape the real world. That to me is the definition of belonging in this context.
How did the scene develop in your country and which events were the trigger?
I got into electronic music in the mid-90s at which point the UK was flourishing with electronic music. House/techno/trance were all being played regularly on BBC Radio/Kiss FM, so access to this music was incredibly easy. I started going to clubs at around 14 years old (I was able to get in using my brother’s ID) but a few years later during a trip to Ibiza in 1998, I experienced something magical that I knew was drawing me in for life.
I would have also loved to have been old enough to go out a few years earlier to experience the acid house movement in the UK, but saying that - I also feel very privileged to have been around in the late 90s at such an important time for electronic music. I’ve also been lucky enough to have lived in a few different places, including spending several years in India, which has been very influential for me in so many ways, and finally ending up in Germany 6 years ago. The exposure to venues here has given me a new lease on life (musically speaking).
Which sounds and influences represent you?
I would say anything that can hypnotize or put you in a trance-like state, whether it be techno, ambient, or any kind of music. There are certain frequencies that always resonate with me personally and I’m always trying to represent that in my music.
Which are the national and international labels that deserve a mention from you?
I’ve been buying a lot from Freddy K’s label ‘Key Vinyl’ as there’s a lot of output on this label lately and quality is guaranteed. I’ll also add in Warm Up, Symbolism, and KSR which all have a really consistent output. It’s been nice to pick up more records in general during the pandemic, so I’m trying to keep to a regular habit of going to Hard Wax, and I have more time at home to mix.
Among the artists, who do you think helped with the growth and the development of the scenes?
Between past and present
Just a few names that come to mind right now - Laurent Garnier, Boris, Moby, DVS1, Frankie Knuckles, Hardfloor, Leftfield, Peace Division, X-Press 2, Danny Tenaglia, The Chemical Brothers, Orbital, Regis, Luke Slater (without the last 2, I’m not sure I’d ever been making techno music).
Clubs and venues that have particularly affected you?
Bypassing the obvious choice of Berghain (and I could talk about it for hours), I’ll say KHIDI in Tbilisi is an exceptional venue, not just because of the incredible space it is, but also the city itself and the culture/people/food - it all ties in for the experience. In general, I love playing in Germany, and I am happy to say that I am a resident at Goethebunker in Essen, which is a very special place. For me, it’s not only about the time at the venue, but the whole experience of meeting people who organize the event can make things so much better and memorable.
How is the present? What strengths and problems do scenes face up?
The present understandably is very quiet in Berlin. We had a nice summer, with lots of venues taking advantage of their outdoor spaces. However, as I write this, we are back in a kind of lockdown ‘light’ with all bars/clubs closed. People are still hungry to go out but the majority are also being patient until things are safe again for the greater good, and that is a major strength in my eyes. There is now hope with the upcoming vaccine, and I really hope by the end of next summer, we can return to indoor venues. There is still most certainly a problem of spiraling DJ fees, festival culture overshadowing clubs, burnout and over-indulgence to name a few. I really hope that this downtime enables people to slow down a little to take a bit of time to breathe and reflect.
Amotik's Top 10 Current EPs:
Talismann - Percussion Part 1 - Talismann
Aiken - Kognitive - Key Vinyl
Various Artists - Time Flies - KSR
DJ Deep - Fosph EP - Tresor
Various Artists - Fuga II - Token
Biemsix - Apparently Meaningless Storylines - Enemy
Laertes - Titanomachia - Lykos
A. Brehme - Reforma - Sonata Forma
Eusebeia - Infinity - Earthtrax
Active Research - Howweryuu - Research