How do you define your sense of belonging to the electronic scene and clubbing?
One of the most important aspects is that I feel connected with people from very different geographical and cultural backgrounds through the music that inspires me most. This experience of connection and loose but still reliable community has been a constant in my life since the beginning of the 1990ies when I started to delve into electronic music.
How did the scene develop in your country and which events were the trigger?
I’m quite split up between Vienna, Austria, and Berlin, Germany :-) My musical career wouldn’t have happened without the scene in Germany, in particular Munich (Disko B, Ultraschall) and Berlin (Hard Wax and the famous Berlin clubs like Tresor, SO 36, Elektro, Ostgut, Berghain etc.). On the other hand, I’m super happy to have Vienna as my base. I wouldn’t want to miss it… Here is my playground for more experimental music and riskier formats.
I started DJing in 1989, that makes over 30 years of evolution and of course, the whole infrastructure and the scene and its media has changed enormously.
Which sounds and influences represent you?
I feel most related to dark music that incorporates interesting noises. This can span from very subtle, delicate ambient to harsh industrial sounds. Broken, deconstructed beats stimulate me the most, straight, continuous bass drums keep my energy level high. I love reduction in music as in aesthetics in general. And I have a soft spot for psychedelic drones.
Which are the national and international labels that deserve a mention from you?
Editions Mego is certainly the most interesting Austrian label with an incredibly extensive back catalogue. Another label from Vienna I’d like to mention is MEAT Recordings. Other labels I like include imbalance computer music (of course), Livity Sound, Failed Units, Hessle Audio, Horo, Illegal Alien, Inducted Waves, Mord, Samurai Music, Sonic Groove, SVBKVLT, Tectonic, WSNWG. This year, a lot of music was self-released on Bandcamp, often without any label or catalogue number. I actually bought a lot of music there in the past months from artists like Suzie Analog, Jasmine Infiniti, Shygirl, [MONRHEA] – really amazing stuff!
Among the artists, who do you think helped with the growth and the development of the scenes?
Between past and present
Jeff Mills for pioneering techno as an art form, Gudrun Gut for her unprecedentedly sustained groundwork, Moor Mother for bridging afrofuturism, poetry and electronic music, Robert Henke for continuously propelling creative tools, Dasha Rush for making experimental music accessible to the clubbers, Pita for investing so much love, time and money in bringing out other people’s music. This list is certainly not complete.
Clubs and venues that have particularly affected you?
Ultraworld / Ultraschall in Munich: their promoters were the first who booked me as a techno DJ
Tresor, Berlin: my first gig in Berlin. Jeff Mills was on the lineup, too. I was nervous beyond belief.
Ostgut / Berghain, Berlin: I just love the vibe and the sound.
Suicide Circus / Suicide Club, Berlin: I’ve been a regular DJ since 1993 I guess :), the most down-to-earth techno club.
://about blank, Berlin: the blueprint for contemporary, egalitarian, collectively run, political clubs with safe(r) spaces
Flex, Vienna: I used to have a residency there between 2000 and 2008
Le Pulp, Paris: almost felt like home for a while.
Limelight, New York City: I played a couple of gigs there, it was quite exciting but also very strange.
Saint Andrew’s Hall “Three Floors of Fun”, Detroit: my first gig in Detroit, together with Mike Huckaby RIP.
Ex Fabrica de Hielo, CDMX: a massive Meyer Sound PA in an industrial ruin covered with beautiful graffiti.
In general, I love abandoned industrial spaces that people adopt and use for creative experiments!
The Berio-Hall at the Vienna Konzerthaus: I could perform there twice, it’s beautiful.
How is the present? What strengths and problems do scenes face up?
My personal situation is quite good, at the moment. I was awarded with a nice art prize from the Republic of Austria that came with a handy sum of money and I’m quite busy with new projects.
Even though we all miss performing and experiencing music collectively and loud, there are also some interesting aspects about this incredible crisis. I am, for example, involved now in an online project/platform/set of tools called Currents. One of the according tools is an online space called COMMON and I met quite a few very inspiring and lovely people there who come from very different corners of the world and whom I probably wouldn’t have met (at least not that easily and not that soon) otherwise. Which brings me back to the starting point: making friends and exchanging and developing ideas with other more or less like-minded people from many different countries is at the core of what keeps me motivated and going. But obviously, the bigger challenges are yet to come. Governmental subsidiaries for clubs and cultural institutions –if there are any at all- won’t last forever. It looks like we are going to lose our infrastructure. And people who used to pay entrance fees are losing their jobs. That doesn’t look good. I’m sure something will come out of it, though. The creative potential can’t be held back.
Electric Indigo’s Top 10 Favorite Tracks:
X 101 - Sonic Destroyer
Bobby Konders - Nervous Acid
Laurie Anderson - From The Air
Model 500 - Time Space Transmat
Monolake - Alu Minimum
Maurizio – M4
Ron Trent - Altered States
Missy Elliot - Work It
Kraftwerk - Nummern
Suzi Analogue - PPL PWR