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nd_baumecker

nd_baumecker has been in the game for a long time. He’s been DJ’ing since the early 90s, navigating his way through the Frankfurt scene as club resident and record buyer at Delirium and Freebase Records before taking on Heidelberg with Dman and their HD-800 club nights. After having made guest appearances at the original Ostgut club, he made the switch to Berlin in 2004 and picked up a residency at Panorama Bar, the newly minted house floor in Berghain, and shortly after began working as the club’s in-house booker, a role that ended in 2016. With nd_baumecker and this Berlin institution, history runs deep.

What helped Andreas Baumecker make his mark on the scene though, is what has helped maintain his longevity. And that was through variety, being completely unrestricted by genre, tempo, keys, or moods. A glance at Berghain’s residents and, sure there are more recognisable faces, but that in no way equates to ‘Weinger Qualität’ in Baumecker’s track selections, transitions or ability to manipulate a crowd. He’s a DJ that is able to create a special kind of atmosphere in any club he plays, often weaving house, techno, electro and breaks together with ease. Oh yeah, and most definitely some pop or disco!

Despite the skills behind the decks and semi-cult following in Germany and some larger European cities, Baumecker rose to greater prominence outside of Europe after a string of EPs and two albums between 2010-2016 on Ostgut Ton as one half of Barker & Baumecker, the long-standing partnership with Sam Barker. The fruitful relationship helped bring broader recognition to his skills as a producer through some menacing dancefloor tracks, spiralling experimental pieces and metallic dub-flavoured house.

After a pulsating 30 years deeply rooted in the scene as a higher profile touring DJ, last year’s events abruptly ended planned tours, gigs and income. So how does a DJ and producer cope when their livelihood is swiftly taken from them?

Naturally, through a pandemic, things went a little bit quiet for many artists and DJs and in particular what intrigued us was the notion that nd_baumecker was quite happy with the situation. When we asked him to contribute a mix to the series, we also wanted to get behind his methodologies and ideas in relation to DJing. We caught up over laptops, rather than in person, partly due to the rising COVID cases in Berlin. Baumecker was feeling fresh after a weekend away from the club and we began talking straight after his regular routine of sport, shower and breakfast.

During our interview, he explained how life and simple daily routines have changed as a result of the pandemic, and how he’s slowly acclimatising to life back in the clubs. He also broke down his approach to his enigmatic no-boundaries sets, how he applies a “never the same mix twice” mentality, his recent collaborations and some juicy plans with Barker.

The mix he delivered is quite unconventional from someone who normally has a deeper affinity with house and disco. It’s full of unexpected pivots to throttling bass, spiralling synths, perky drums and break-filled corners, brimming with passion, liveliness and magic. As Baumecker explains, he likes to create something unique, not to be repeated, and certainly something not over manufactured.

This is a one-shot recording, made with intuition, feeling and bonded together by love. There are some bangers, groovers and trance inducers from Barker, Joy Orbison, FaltyDL and DJ Python that will get your hips swaying or your fingers tapping whilst you grind out yet another day working from home.


Interview by Luke Hawkins

Nd 2

"There's no straight kick drum in the mix, no four-to-the-floor and was
something I really enjoyed making. I would probably never play a full
set in a club like this but as it is for Inverted Audio so it's
something special and should be something different"

You have some interesting posters hung up behind you, like the Aphex Twin ‘Drukqs’ LP cover. 

Yeah, there are a few, and this one which I can’t share publicly is me in a Lana Del Rey mask smoking a cigarette in Berghain. This was from a small listening party of her ‘Honeymoon’ album I had with a few friends of mine, three of us on a Friday when the club wasn’t open and we had a shrine and everything.

You are also almost unrecognisable with your new haircut. Was that planned as part of the lockdown?

No, that happened naturally. My hairdresser is from Frankfurt and he only came every 2 months to party in Berlin and normally stayed at my place usually until Monday evening so he could cut my hair, but that fell through and I only let him cut my hair. So I said, “what am I going to do now?” I was just letting it grow long and was kind of cool as I wasn’t seeing anyone in the phase where it was looking bad. It’s going to be my new look from now on. I thought about cutting it for the reopening of Berghain in October but thought I can’t do it [laughs].

You said you’ve just been training. What kind of sports do you do?

I had to start doing something during lockdown because everything was closed and I picked up Calisthenics and I am jogging every second day. Pretty much everything outside of a gym.

Have you been mostly confined to indoor training?

Normally yes, but if the weather allows it I go to the outdoor gyms. I haven’t got much space in my apartment so I have to do it in between the bed and the desk in like 3m2 space [laughs]. Kettlebells, pull up bars, rings, all that stuff was basically my last 20 months or something.

What music do you listen to whilst running?

The only music that I was listening to last year, and I am being very honest here, whilst I was doing sport, doing the dishes, and cleaning the house from May to September was Lady Gaga. That was my album of the year, it was freeing my mind even though it was quite cheesy. But yeah that was my thing [laughs].

Have you kicked any bad habits during corona that helped you to focus on your health?

I tried to smoke less [laughs], which worked out in the first year but then after the winter, I started smoking again. I was never drinking, to be honest, so that wasn’t difficult and I aimed to remain as healthy as possible and in order to help myself if I were to ever get the virus for example. “Touch wood” I still haven’t got it!

Are you worried about the rising cases in Europe again?

If you look at the numbers, especially where I live in Friedrichshain, I mean it’s crazy. I really don’t get it. I just got the booster vaccine and I was like “just shoot it in me!” [laughs].

It seems like in many places, especially in the UK, that life is very much back to normal like it never happened. 

Absolutely. I was in London around two weeks ago and I felt really unsafe. The requirements to get into a club were quite sketchy and you had to take a self-test but mine was not checked – maybe because I was an artist – and the results could have come from a friend or whatever.

I just felt a bit anxious with no one wearing a mask even though I don’t mind wearing them myself. On the Underground, no one was protecting themselves and that was really strange. Here in Berlin at least we are required by law to do this. I mean have you been to Berghain recently?

Yes, I was there a few weeks ago. 

In contrast, in Berghain, I feel really safe there and I didn’t mind so much. It feels like the club is trying to help, do things correctly and the way they manage the entry with 2G is really well done and I feel like it’s a much safer space to be in than other places in Berlin where they look at the QR code and wave you in.

Do you feel like clubs in Berlin are taking the right precautions in comparison to other countries?

I can only compare Berlin with London and Vienna. But for sure I felt a bit stupid in the UK for example when it was only me and my group of friends who wanted to wear a mask inside the club. I mean it is anyone’s choice, their life and their body. Plus I didn’t really want to get stuck in the UK if I did catch something.

Have you been travelling elsewhere in Europe this Autumn?

I didn’t have so many gigs. The first gig I played outside of Germany was in Austria around 2 months ago and the first time also where they introduced an Austrian 3G rule – Vaccinated, recovered or PCR tested – where no one wore masks inside. That was the first time I experienced that [since the pandemic began] and where at first I felt weird but then soon began feeling safe.

They had this cool way of doing quick PCR tests for the public in front of a camera which then gets sent to the lab for a quick result in around 3 hours and costs just 20 Euro. People who were unvaccinated were coming in with these tests.

It seems like you have had a slower reintegration into clubbing than many of your peers. 

For sure. It feels more spontaneous these days as you don’t have this security of bookings 2 or 3 months in advance. Sometimes it happens 2 or 3 weeks beforehand. But also on the other side, it has happened where gigs have been cancelled 2 or 3 days beforehand you know? Looking at the situation here in Germany, for the next 2 weekends, I am a little bit scared that [cancellations] might happen…and unfortunately now it has started to happen. The only places I played outside of Germany were in London and Vienna.

Has this changed your mentality to preparation for a gig with this extra caution or uncertainty? 

No, I don’t think so and I am always preparing for sets. This is why I really like having just one gig or two on the weekend because it helps me concentrate a little bit for that one gig, because I prepare [extensively] before every gig. If I played 3 or 4 gigs on the weekend it would not be different for me and the music would be kind of similar every time. I like to not play standard music and want to challenge myself.

A2238758352 10

"When you concentrate too much on the perfect mix it becomes linear
and as a DJ you have to take risks. It's a challenge of mixing different
beat patterns together and was my approach in the 90s"

That’s a different approach to some DJs who may play multiple gigs on one weekend, or even in a single night. Do you prefer to have a single gig where you can really tailor your selections for the club or the event and take care of the music you pack in your bag?

Yes. Sometimes it doesn’t always immediately work though and you have to adjust on the spot and react spontaneously. I am not preparing a playlist per se and will never play a list from A-Z for example, I would never do that. I don’t sit at home trying out certain mixes that work well so that I can show them off in a club. I haven’t done that in over 20 years.

At home, I don’t even have CDJs so I can’t really mix. I also don’t have monitors so there is always a delay and it’s a pain. When I was preparing for the Panorama Bar mix I was doing it at home just with vinyl and it was an absolute nightmare. I tried five times because the mixing was so bad because of the delay in the room. So I never really mix at home.

Do you think this instinctive approach to DJ’ing is a generational thing? Boris said something similar when I interviewed him.

I think for me it isn’t about seamless mixing. I mean that helps of course but if you have this seamless 4-hour mix it remains in most cases too linear as it’s too easy to mix these tracks together. When I hear a 4-hour set like that in a club, it’s too repetitive and sounds the same.

There are no ups or downs and you can’t raise your hands or come down to go up again. When you concentrate too much on the perfect mix it becomes linear and as a DJ you have to take risks. It’s a challenge of mixing different beat patterns together and was my approach in the 90s.

Does over-preparation ever make sense?

It makes more sense for a live performance in terms of playing with instruments.

Do you think that a bigger variety of sounds, rhythm and moods helps you keep a crowd entertained? 

This is the main challenge of a DJ and you recognise where it works. I recognise that some people want that linear thing but if I don’t give them that they might leave. On the other hand, people come to hear me play and to get something more lively and different. If it has a groove it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s four-to-the-floor or breakbeats. That is why I do this.

Have you ever got it completely wrong and you tried one too many experiments?

No, not really, not that I remember or want to remember [laughs]!

Speaking of breakbeats, when I first saw the track list there was a huge diversity of modern artists who may be more associated with that scene. Is that a specific taste you’ve developed in the past years?

It’s like I said before I never really want to play the same set or the same transitions twice. Especially when you create a mix that goes online, that stays online. I don’t want it ever to be the same as I’ve created before.

How about your approach to the mix itself?

The tunes that I chose are kind of like…well I wanted to do something different that I hadn’t tried before. I wanted to bring in different tempos and bring them together in a logical way.

I did it in one-shot because what I can’t stand is working on a mix, trying ten times and after 50 minutes you fuck it up and have to restart. I just wanted it to be as perfect as possible. Of course, I tried to put the tracks in some kind of order which I would never do in a club, but I felt for this occasion [it made sense].

I think this is why I would if I would still be booking, I would never book someone on the back of a podcast as the artists can prepare for 3 months and everything sounds perfect and the mix makes sense, but in a club, it might absolutely fail. That’s why this one was very much prepared and I am honest about that.

How do you record mixes that are released online?

When I prepare a mix for a label or series or for Inverted Audio, for example, I have a Traktor system here and I do everything digitally.

Are you happy with how it came out?

At the end when I re-listened to it, I noticed at the end there was something I maybe should have done differently. But then I was like no I have to continue with my life although having those vocal tracks in there at the end was maybe not so wise.

I was listening to the mix when I was running and had never really thought about the story but it was sort of a lockdown story, being at home with my husband somehow and appreciating that he was there during this time. Kind of like a love letter [laughs].

There’s no straight kick drum in the mix, no four-to-the-floor and was something I really enjoyed making. I would probably never play a full set in a club like this but as it is for Inverted Audio so it’s something special and should be something different..

That’s super nice. How did it compare to other mixes you have made?

I am usually really picky and also get a bit nervous making mixes. For me, when I record a mix, and it’s published and people have listened to the tracks that I have included, I feel really bad playing those tracks out in a club again.

I have this feeling that people will say “Oh god, he’s playing the same tracks again” or whatever. I should really get over it as there are some DJs out there who are playing the same tracks for 3 years in every set [laughs]. For me, it feels really strange touching those tracks after they have been published.

But wouldn’t people often hear a mix, love it and then make the effort to see the artist in question because they really connected with the music?

Oh yeah definitely. For example, I played a few of the tracks from the mix in London recently and they worked really well ​​but that was before the mix was published [laughs]. Dropping some breaks in between more house or disco-influenced tracks really worked for me.

How much electronic music do you listen to at home? Is pop something would you normally listen to?

Well, let me show you [shows the Marteria ‘5. Dimension’ LP]. This was the album that I was listening to most in the past weeks. He’s actually a german hip-hop producer, but in this album, there are 4 tracks on it co-produced by DJ Koze. It’s more like a pop album and this was the first time I had listened to his music but I am really all over it now and I really like that style. I played two tracks from it at Panorama Bar last weekend. I am not sure if it worked but my friends were freaking out when I played them [laughs].

At home, I am not listening to a lot of club music. My husband listens to a lot of music, and when he’s choosing stuff I might pick out something I like. Recently I was listening to an album and we ordered it [Radiohead’s KID A Japanese Edition CD] which has just arrived. Not that we didn’t know it yet but when we heard it again we had to order plus it had 5 bonus tracks. St Etienne is another example, generally more pop stuff at home.

What about when you need to prepare tracks for a gig? 

When I am in the other room and I need to prepare I am sitting with headphones on because my neighbour is a bitch. I can’t listen to music loudly and as she’s still working occasionally from home, I can’t play loud but I am going through promos and Bandcamp and trying to find something to grab my attention – that’s how it normally works. I haven’t done a huge amount of listening through lockdown because I needed time to free my mind and to move away from club life and focus on staying healthy.

It’s good to have a rest from the circus sometimes [laughs]. It was great for me and when the clubs reopened this summer I was refreshed and got the energy for preparing music again, which was just not my thing in 2020.

"It's different vibes when you play in the club and the Sunday morning
shift is my absolute favourite in Panorama Bar"

Last year you released an interview with Exberliner where you said you wanted to make this break away from music for a while. 

I think I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I spoke to a lot of people and they actually enjoyed the lockdown and were not concentrating on music as much as they used to – even though they might not say that out loud [laughs]. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t want to do this streaming thing either.

On the first weekend of lockdown last year where Berghain had to close I was due to play so I said “hmm okay what should I do instead?” and then thought about setting up the camera for a stream. All of a sudden it popped up everywhere and after that I scrapped the idea very quickly. I thought no I am not going to do that.

So you’re still not convinced by streaming?

It went a little bit out of control. I would love to have a filter where my feed doesn’t show me who’s streaming.

Nothing quite replaces the feeling of being inside a club. 

No, there is nothing that feels like that. It also felt really cool when we did the opening this year at Berghain where I did a closing with Massimiliano Pagliara. It was really something good to enjoy and the gig 2 weeks ago was also so much fun.

It’s different vibes when you play in the club and the Sunday morning shift is my absolute favourite in Panorama Bar. I don’t like the late afternoons or closings as it’s usually too much pressure and feel like I wouldn’t deliver [what people want]. Whereas in the morning you are free and it’s not super crowded and allows me to go in every direction possible and people seem to enjoy that.

Plus the blinds! That helps a lot when the light comes in [laughs].

Is it easier to experiment earlier in Panorama bar?

I think for sure it is easier the earlier you play.

How often do you venture to Berghain and play downstairs?

Very very rarely. And if I did, I would probably play the opening set. Not a huge fan of the music that is played in Berghain, to be honest. I say this to a lot of people I speak to that I find this such a shame that you are standing in Berghain and you are there for 10 hours and there have been 3 DJ changes and you cannot distinguish between them: who has played or who hasn’t played? It’s hard for me to hear the change and that’s quite scary.

When acid house first came around people were saying it sounds the same even though it doesn’t. But that is what I feel like today, most techno sounds the same. I cannot say with confidence “Oh this DJ is playing now because of this style” whether it’s through the tracks, mixes or something they are doing to freshen things up. But it seems to me too linear, too hard and too fast, no soul. This is what turns me off and I am just not really into it.

Even if modern techno is not your thing, is there anyone that you make a special effort to see when they play in Berghain?

I don’t know and I am really bad at choosing artists. If I had the time I would go and see Barker. I would really need more time to think but one is definitely Cristian Vogel but he is not DJing so much anymore, Surgeon can be really good, Blawan can be really good. I am bad at choosing my favourite Berghain DJ though as I am really not following it. Four-to-the-floor techno is not for me.

You mentioned Barker and obviously, you have a history as a duo with Ostgut Ton. Are there any plans on doing something together again?

Yeah, we are talking and the one thing we did this year together was the ARTE x Ostgut Ton special. That was really fun and we had 1.5 months to prepare it and it was due to be a one-time thing. But recently we were discussing extending and remodelling it a little bit and bringing it on the road. We had a concert planned in Austria in December which should have been the start of a small tour and in the Halle in Berghain on New Year’s Day but the Austria concert was already cancelled last week because of the 2G thing.

The promoters were worried that as most students were not vaccinated they might not sell enough tickets for a 2G event. So that is going to happen next year now. Because of that we also cancelled the Halle gig. For 2 gigs it was quite a lot of work and stressful. We are waiting for the tour to be confirmed for next year.

What kind of live set will it be?

It won’t be such a clubby thing. It will be similar to the ARTE show, which is why we can’t play it on a club night, it has to be on certain events or occasions that allow this kind of sound to be played.

Do you enjoy breaking free from the 3 or 4-hour club set to create something more contextual like the ARTE show?

I really like working on these things. We haven’t done it in such a long time so I don’t really know how it will feel again. It will be interesting to bring that on the road. On one side with playing live you only have that one set, you can’t really go left or right as you have what you have. You can take out certain parts and push things but it’s going to be the same as what we have already created in a way. There is no way out of it, at least not for how we do it.

Do you prefer live sets or DJing in that regard? 

I don’t know which I prefer. The live set is great as you are limited in what you have and what you can present and the people either buy it or not. I am really having fun with Sam doing this. It’s hard work to put it all together, but once it’s all there and you play a few times you become more secure in what you can and can’t do. I am not really a live musician though. For me playing live is always something new, like a new chapter.

From what I know about Barker he seems quite technical and knows how to programme gear. Does he take more of the load in building the technicalities of the live set? 

Well, we both program but I have to say he is doing a lot of stuff. I am also learning from that. When we did the albums, I was maybe more concerned with the arrangements. A person can only be good at one thing you know and when something is going wrong or not sounding right I can start to contribute by rearranging [the parts of the track]. Like that should be 8 bars, that should be 32 and so on. We are definitely working together but Sam is doing more things for sure. He’s amazing!

Speaking of collaborations you just released a new track with Nick Höppner on the Fünfzehn +1 compilation. How did that come to life?

It happened after we heard of the plans for the concept. I was not the first person to call people and say “hey let’s do this?” I was waiting a little bit to better understand the concept in the beginning. When I found out that Sam had already chosen Luke I was a bit pissed [laughs] as I thought we could have done something as Barker & Baumecker. Later on, we could have done a second track together with someone else but that didn’t happen.

I chose Nick as he’s a big part of the club and we share the same studio so it was obvious I was going to work with him. We were supposed to have that finished last year in May but then the first lockdown happened and the deadline was postponed. In the first lockdown, we were a bit scared to meet each other and were unsure about sharing a room and so on.

When the situation cleared up the track basically started with me at home when I was using my OP-Z from Teenage Engineering, I laid out something and later on I went to my neighbour’s studio and he had a Moog Synthesizer and basically took the OP-Z and connected equipment together and began recording some stuff.

I sent this to Nick and he took some parts out, and from that basic idea, a track was released. Nick changed a lot and in the end, there was nothing to compare to what came out of the OP-Z, maybe 2 elements remained. I think we made around eleven versions and mix-downs [laughs].

We started another clubbier track too because we were supposed to do a track for the Lab.Oratory compilation. The track we have on there is not really something I would call a Lab track for certain reasons but it’s definitely something you can play at the beginning of the Lab.

Nick and I both like the opening set there and we both start slow so we feel it would work [in that setting]. It’s not necessarily ‘peak time’ like many others on the compilation but it’s an opening. Who wants to have sex to a 140bpm track anyway? [laughs]

You recently announced Snecker, another collaboration with an old friend. 

It’s a very old friend of mine and I was the first person to release his record over 20 years ago on my label Freundinnen which I might restart soon… HINT!

I was not talking to a lot of people in lockdown and you really could sense who is really your friend and who wasn’t you know? I noticed that quite quickly. There were a few people I was speaking with on a regular basis and Paul Bonomo (a.k.a Snax) was one of them and we both shared the same covid anxiety. So we started talking more often which hadn’t really happened in that intensity for 17 years or so since he was last living in Berlin. We were never really super close but it was so great to see not much has changed since we first met and we are sisters now.

We went to the studio together and started jamming and recording. He has a completely different approach to Sam. He doesn’t program something into a sequencer, he just plays and records and he plays keys for example.

We recorded around 19 tracks during lockdown which is quite a lot and not all of them are finished but it’s a really diverse selection of music. The first tracks we just released on Freeride Millenium are a bit more Housey and released under Snecker (Snax + Baumecker). All that happened last year but since he had to start working again we haven’t really met.

Nd

"When acid house first came around people were saying it sounds
the same even though it doesn’t. But that is what I feel like today,
most techno sounds the same"

Does Snax the artist have any connection to the party here in Berlin?

Funnily enough no as that has been his artist name since forever so no relation to the party. He was growing up in New York and had no idea about the party. People generally think it’s connected, but it’s not and the tracks were not created with that party in mind. He could play at SNAX for sure and one track title is called ‘Mandemic’ [laughs].

What about the Innen & Außen show you do with your husband? Is that something you do just for fun?

Honestly, we really like this new platform called Blast Radio. As we talked about earlier it’s hard for me to make the mixes and thinking was it good enough blah blah. The thing with Blast is you transmit the recording only for 24 hours which is really fun. So you can really do whatever you want to do and remove that stress and we like to do it together.

If Blast had appeared one year earlier I think it would have absolutely beat the competition. Right now they struggle a bit but they have really good content, good artists who are doing shows there like Animal Collective, The Field, Surgeon, Steffi, The Golden Filter. The concept and content are great.

How did you first get to know about the platform?

When I first heard about this from Sam who is an Ambassador, not a paid one, he showed me the box and the concept and I was like this is what I want to do! I was going mental so I spoke with them and because I was so excited they immediately sent me a box and said they wanted people similar to me.

When I got the box we started doing shows and we just got really drunk and had fun and drank whisky on a Tuesday and just pulled out a record from our shelves and played it [laughs] without a huge concept. We also used the microphone, sat there talking and do a kind of podcast.

The technical work involved was crazy but now they have a plugin that now works straight out of Logic using a sound card, transmitting it directly out from there to Blast Radio which is a lot of help.

Have you had a good response to your shows?

We did a few shows and there were never hundreds of listeners but we like to do them nevertheless and we get a good response from them. They also have Tips where the listeners can tip the artists. It’s not a huge amount but…

The gesture is there to reward the artist. 

Exactly. I am not into this thing of music should just be free for everyone. I don’t like the attitude as it doesn’t help the artist or the music. So I think the 9.99 EUR for Apple Music or Spotify etc is totally fine to pay and especially if you don’t buy vinyl or CD anymore this amount is okay.

Bandcamp has helped a lot in that regard in the past year by connecting more listeners directly with artists. Bandcamp Friday for example was a great initiative. 

Absolutely. I really love Bandcamp, I enjoy listening to music there and also being able to buy it. I like being able to listen to a whole track and not just a part of it. It’s bad quality streaming but they offer huge varieties of format and quality.

For example, I have never really played MP3 and will still never ever play them, so it’s great they offer every format you need, sometimes in a crazy resolution that can suck 4GB out of your hard drive when you download it [laughs].

Would you like to do more Radio Shows in the future?

I have to say it’s something I am really interested in for sure. I really enjoy doing this but because I am never really super prepared for Blast there would be a different approach if you do it on a regular basis. You would need to prepare the shows a little bit better but I do like the spontaneous thing of the 24-hour window before it’s gone.

I think for me the most important part is having fun. We have one mic, possibly buying a second so we can do podcasts and also still looking for something that would suit my needs for a podcast series like inviting people over the phone to participate. There are some mixers out there that I am looking at so if you have any ideas let me know [laughs].

With gigs that I prepare for it involves a lot of time listening to music, ripping tracks from vinyl etc. Again, with my sports that I don’t want to give up, plus cooking and food shopping and so on it would be hard for me to prepare for this regular show.

Where would you normally go to socialise with friends in Berlin? Is it always Panorama Bar or do you meet in other clubs?

Mostly Panorama Bar. When I was there 2 weeks ago, for example, a friend had two friends visiting from London and we went in together and I wanted to go say hello and to get to know them. We hung out, talked, had a few drinks and got to know each other and I think this was the beginning of a new friendship and well worth it.

So you know things like this make it really cool. By the time Boris (on 24th October) played I was really drunk though [laughs]. I am normally just walking around, seeing people, catching up with old friends to hang and have a good time, not necessarily paying attention to the music.

So more of a social affair?

Yeah and something that was missing for a long time! But now it’s back, well at least for 2 months! I like when it’s light outside and you can basically sit inside for breakfast, listen to music and have a few drinks.

Are you quite a private person?

Yeah, I don’t like sharing personal things really.

Ok so how do you deal with the pressure of having to use social media?

What I do is occasionally post something that I myself find interesting but I don’t think it’s interesting to see me running or doing sports. I also don’t like to post a picture of myself outside Berghain after every gig because I think it’s pathetic to do that and really boring. I am also not crying every time I DJ.

I don’t really like to see my face all the time and post a picture of how good I look when, for example, my mental health is fucked up. I’ve been in this situation myself in the past and posting happy faces when you are actually really depressed made things worse for me. I don’t like something that isn’t the truth you know?

I like to post about gigs that I have played but for me, social media is not real. If I have a mix release or a record is coming out or if I want to feature someone I like. This ego thing about social media really knocks me out and I don’t understand it and I was never like this in the past. I needed to mute a lot of people in the past as I can’t see their faces all the time and I find it egotistical. I think the number of followers doesn’t say anything about quality.

It relates to what you said earlier about Blast Radio and the 70 listeners. It’s not a huge number but they have invested time to check out your music and have specifically gone there for you. 

That’s definitely fine for me instead of people pretending to listen to me. I am not the person that wants more, more and more. I am happy when a few people are happy and you cannot make everyone happy anyway. I really appreciate those 70 listeners.

So you’re not interested in chasing the followers or the numbers game?

Not at all. I am not interested in playing the game, I’d rather play Nintendo [laughs].

Looking ahead to 2022 and your hopes and wishes, is there anything you’d like to see happen in 2022?

I would like to go back to all the countries and clubs that I have played before. The past year there were not so many offers due to too many restrictions to go on a tour in Asia for example – and not even speaking about the US which I had a VISA for the past 3 years which ran out in September but haven’t been able to use it and travel there. And of course for the pandemic to end and borders to reopen. There must be some kind of future for the craft I and thousands of others are doing.

But yeah mostly hope to travel to places that I really enjoy playing at. There is another small hope of doing a South America tour, as I have never played there. More generally I hope we don’t go into another lockdown and clubs have to close as it will be devastating for the scene. The clubs can’t handle any further lockdowns.

‘Fünfzehn + 1’ is scheduled for release in digital 5 November and 5×12″ box set 3 December. Order a copy from Ostgut Ton.

TRACKLIST

1. The Future Sound Of London – Multiple Falling Objects
2. Dream_E – DreamSix
3. Barker – Hedonic Treadmill
4. Ross From Friends – Grub
5. Depeche Mode – Where‘s The Revolution (Pearson Sound Remix)
6. Private Press – 2Shy
7. Martyn & OM Unit – Shapes (Original Mix)
8. Joy Orbison – runnersz
9. Meat Beat Manifesto – No Design
10. Ovuca – FI3AC2142010
11. Rival Consoles – Sudden Awareness Of Now
12. 20kPa – Pulse
13. The Hundred In The Hands – Settler Imaginary
14. FaltyDL – Ruby Rod
15. Sparks – Perfume
16. Pixelord – Drumvox
17. Catnapp – Thunder
18. DJ Python – oooophi
19. VC-118A x Privacy – Eha
20. Blawan – No Rabbit No Life
21. Errorsmith – Retired Low-level Internal Server

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