Hamburg plays host to a good portion of this weeks broadcast, despite his relocation to Berlin. Those earlier days in what was considered quite a liberal region of Germany has certainly defined his self sanctioned ‘sarcastic’ and ‘ironic’ character analysis, of which is a direct derivative of his approach to his own perspective of life through genuine experience. It’s that approach that has seen his work released across Synewave, Nachtstrom Schallplatten and Slap Jaxx, as well as securing his residency at Tresor, Berlin. It really shouldn’t came as any surprise that we’re on the doorstep of his debut Australian tour, given how explosive the Techno scene has been of late here. We’re in Sydney this Saturday night, followed by Melbourne the weekend afterwards. This is a fairly rattling contribution to the mix series – 88UW steers Kana Broadcast 045.
EC: Berlin grabs the spotlight in Germany, but Hamburg has also contributed its fair share over the years. How did things progress for you during those earlier years and what impact did the city have on your own personal identity if look reflect on it?
88: I was grew up on the outskirts of Hamburg in a very violent district. For me in this time when I was around 13 (1991) I did not feel part of anything there. What luck I had a cloaking device called a ‘walkman’, to block things out. There was also a pirate radio station which played electronic music where I was able to hide. In April 1991 I located a record store which specialised in Techno and House, so i bought my first vinyls. When I was 15 I started to go to a club called UNIT which was full of fog, distracting lights and the inside was like a prision with metal bars everywhere. When I was 16 I moved over to St. Pauli which is something like the heart of Hamburg. Living and DJing in a red-light district probably formed a lot of my sarcastic and ironic character. I learned very quickly, and from a young age, to not take humanity and life too seriously. In the end I can not say that I have ever felt much like a Hamburger, or even German. I don´t have an idea how it could feel.
EC: …it was a really liberal city some years ago. You could smoke weed in the street fairly openly and what not. What triggered that transition? Where are things now?
88: Hamburg was a very liberal city until 2001 when the nazi government started to raise the police which shattered a lot of the locals. Politics are only for the rich now and the expulsion of clubs, bars and some free minds almost killed the flair of the city. This is not a local problem of Hamburg, it’s a general problem in Germany and the rest of the world. The curtailment of human rights is prevalent.
EC: I guess in the broader spectrum of a city’s furtherance is it’s cultural identity. You’ve travelled a fair bit across Europe of late, what do you think is important for building a strong community?
88: I was never really a part of a ‘community’ and never thought about building a strong community. Like I said in the beginning, I felt on my own. For me is making music the only way to process the experienced. Maybe I am the wrong person to ask things like this as I always was on my own in life, or at least feeling like this. Of course I have a few friends I trust in and work(ed) with, but in general i am not good in this. I like honest people which having their own positions.
EC: Whilst we’re on community and its success, you’re working with a lot of genuine and inspiring contributors within Tresor’s New Faces night, Mareena being one of them – what’s it mean to you and all involved, it’s concept, it’s purpose?
88: I am very proud being part of Tresor. I am very thankful for their confidence in my view of techno which has nothing to do with happiness or making people happy. It’s more about making people forget the strange world outside.
EC: Now, one of the reasons why we’re catching up. You’re due to land in Australia shortly for the first time and there’s probably never been a better time to do it of late. The scene is kicking on the East Coast with fresh party concepts and venue exploration away from the clubs a little. Can you give us a rundown on where this year is headed once you head back, and any plans (longterm or short) you’d like to share with us on the release front, tours, or even any personal aspirations you’d like to cross off?
88: A few days ago my own label UNLIMITED:WHATEVER came into the world with the “Everything Comes To An End” EP. On this label I will present my diverse styles of electronic music which goes from acid to ambient, downbeat back to techno. Of course there are releases in the pipeline for other labels like Synewave, Missile Records, Slap Jaxx and Psycho-Thrill only to name a few. Over the year there are a lot gigs planned in Europe and in autumn plan are going to be realised for a Canada/USA/Mexico tour, then after a little break South America. We will see how it goes.