A driving force in the rise of ://aboutblank as a key spot of Berlin’s nightlife over the last few years, Natascha Kann has been honing her DJ skills from the early hours of the new millennium onward – finding in the formerly illegal Friedrichshain club the ideal test chamber to perfect her mixing savoir-faire as she used to take over their mixing deck during the off-hours.
Stepping up in our podcast series at number 255, the German DJ delivers a mix that reflects her usually stylish and laser-precise clubby approach, blending the finest of acid strains, pounding techno beats and propulsive electro grooves to keep you busy on the dancefloor from start to finish. Lock in and read our interview with Natascha down below.
Interview by Baptiste Girou
"You can have the best mixing skills but if nobody likes what you’re playing, the skills don’t really matter."
Hey Natascha, thanks for this cracking mix! Please tell us more about it; when and how was it recorded?
Thank you for inviting me! I recorded it last Monday with my computer at ://about blank.
Is it reflective of the sets you play in clubs?
Yeah, I play all these tracks in clubs. Of course it depends on the vibe of the crowd but I really like mixing techno, electro and house together.
What prompted you to start DJing? Was there a crucial factor or fond raving memory to have you grabbing a pair of decks and a mixer in particular?
I’ve been interested in electronic music since I was a teenager and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to go clubbing.
When I moved to Berlin in 2011, I got involved with the ://about blank crew and asked if it would be okay to practice there when the club was closed. That’s around the time I also started collecting records.
Eventually a good friend said I should buy my own turntables now or I’d regret it and I was like, yeah you’re totally right. I spend all my money on DJ equipment and stand every day in front of my turntables, practicing for hours and hours.
What would you say makes a quality DJ? Is it a balance between the mixing skills and the selection, or is it more about the soul and wind behind a set than the technical know-how?
I think it’s the combination. For me the most important thing is a good selection and a good connection between DJ and crowd. You can have the best mixing skills but if nobody likes what you’re playing, the skills don’t really matter. Of course that’s only my opinion.
Do you ever think about getting into music production? Have you been trying your hand at that already?
No, I haven’t really tried it yet but my plan is to start this upcoming winter. I guess winter is the perfect time for that.
What was the first techno record you bought?
Oh man, it was Alter Ego - Betty Ford. I loved that track and bought it although I didn’t have any turntables at the time. It’s ages ago.
What’s your secret weapon at the moment? Any peaktime banger that never fails to impress?
Mono Junk – A… It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks and always in my record bag. It’s a track which goes under the skin.
As mentioned above, you are one of the residents and crew member of the ://about blank club in Berlin. Do you remember the first night you played there?
The very first night I played there was the warm-up in the lobby. I remember being super nervous and not so happy with my set but a lot of friends came out to support me and it was actually a really cool night.
I read the club’s vinyl-only policy played a role in your interest in the black plastic format. What’s so special about flipping wax you’d say?
It’s more fun, it sounds and feels better. It feels real. I recently started mixing USB with vinyl, but I still play mostly with vinyl. I think ://about blank has loosened up their vinyl policy a bit. It was just a matter of time, I guess. I know a lot of professional DJs who used to only play with vinyl and have now switched to usb.
What was the last record store you visited and what did you buy there?
That was at OYE Record Store in Berlin and I bought some acid techno stuff.
Discover more about Natascha Kann on Inverted Audio.Natascha KannAcidElectroTechno