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Natascha Kann

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.