Dear Carina, thank you very much for the brilliant mix which instantly took me on a mind trip to the middle of an energetic dancefloor.
Where and how was the mix recorded? In what state of mind have you been at?
To be honest, it took me three times to finish the mix. And I'm not talking about three single trials. I started three times over a period of about five months with a different track selection until I was happy with the result. I wanted to play my more cosmic tracks in it and the first trials were just too harsh for me in a way. I love and embrace certain challenges with mixing - requests that make you see your library from a different perspective. You never asked me to play a certain style or genre, but I know what you like and I have a picture of what a UV mix would sound like. So I put on my UV helmet and started the journey with you on my mind.
I recorded the mix at home with a controller and a laptop. It's still kind of hard for me to say it this openly, because I started with vinyl and was mixing on it for about fifteen years, when my digital career began. So I feel torn in between these two worlds and approaches and when I'm saying it out loud it sometimes feels as if I would have betrayed my past. But in the end it's only about the music, your understanding of it and how you combine it into a pleasant journey. No matter on which device you're turning knobs. That's what I've learned from my friends here in Leipzig, who play mostly on controllers when they mix. A big hug goes out to my people from the Eistukan Kollektiv. :)
You have been a resident of the long running club institution called Muna in Thuringia for many years. Could you tell us what's special about the place and how it handled the last two years?
The Muna has always been a very important homebase for lovers of underground house & techno music (later also for Drum'n'Bass) since the early 90s. But the great thing about it was and is that it has always attracted members with totally different musical preferences and from different backgrounds. They just loved the place, because the people are honest and kind and they embrace you if you let them. It's like a colourful playground in a grey surrounding. The area were the Muna is situated was always kind of lefty, which isn't the case for most places in East Germany. And that's the spirit the members of this wonderful club transmitted with their work there. And even until this day new and young people still keep on joining the community, because it's just so special. I think that's the greatest part of it - that the crew is revived again and again by fresh and young faces. It's really hard for me now to keep track of them actually. ;)
Luckily the members of the Moonray Spirit e.V., which run the club, were able to buy the building and it's garden some years ago. But yet they're struggling with their monthly payments and are asking for donations.
They are running their own stream on YouTube and in April they were able to organize the yearly Muna Open Air with a limited number of guests. The tickets were sold out within minutes. Unluckily I wasn't one of them and couldn't join. I think they should make Open Airs throughout the whole summer. That would really make sense to me.
You live in Leipzig, right? How do you see life with Corona currently in Leipzig's club culture? There is also a new club right now.
Yes, I am a Leipzscherin again. ;) I think the situation is very difficult and demanding for the clubs here - parallel to most places in Germany, I guess. Throughout the Spring and Summer some were able to run parties in their open air areas and even sometimes indoors. Others offered their space for different types of art projects and/or as test stations. Almost all of them are asking for donations and are dependent on public funds. The warm months were okay partywise with all the outdoor events, but the winter might be long and hard again. It's really frustrating for all of us, especially when a part of our society is forcing 0these conditions by their irresponsible behaviour.
You're involved with the Old New Records label. Could you tell us something about it?
When my good friend Lutz Hartmann and I moved to Leipzig in 2015 he and Ugly Loover manifested the idea of starting our own record label together. The main members had different musical backgrounds and it was important to us to leave space for different genres on our platform. It was a great opportunity for us to put our songs on vinyl, but also as digital releases. We learned that making vinyls can be quite painful for a small label, but we're also very proud of this achievement. Most of the members have taken a step back from the label life - I have concentrated on my Kollektiv e.g. - but Lutz is holding the flag up high. There's still the irregular podcast series, with mixes from different DJs and genres on Soundcloud and the label keeps on publishing productions - especially digitally on Bandcamp. Since Lutz changed his job and is home more often now, I hope that there will be more great things to come in the near future.
You've been in the business for 20 years. What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you have to choose a few spectacular gigs from that time? What was so special about it?
I had some really nice times at the Muna, of course. I will always remember the special mornings, when I was the last one to play and people wouldn't stop to shout for one last track. Especially since I love the morning and midday times of a party, as the most gorgeous and unique people are left on the dancefloor then. I would also have to name the always energetic parties at the Gerber in Weimar, which our common friend Almi used to organize. Despite being a punk bar and concert stage, the people went also crazy on Electro & Techno in there. And you took the most intense smell ever home with you.
I was also very suprised during my gig at the Sisyphos. I was playing deephouse from 11pm to 2 am and people were really into the vibe from the very first second of my set. I think it was the first time that I saw people waiting for a warm-up DJ to start her set.
Also last year (La Chopardine in France) and this year (Nation of Gondwana & Wurzelfestival) I was truly blessed to play at wonderful festivals. La Chopardine is a very small Festival at a beautiful lake and there were only few people left on the dancefloor - but woman! - they fired some energy back at me that I will always remember. It really carried me throughout the last tough summer. Basically it's all these parties - little or huge - at which the audience loves the music and is celebrating it and you are the lucky one to share it with them. It always results in my best sets, with the best transitions and track selection.
Would you say that your way of DJing has changed over the years? How?
I would say that my approach and basic necessity for a happy dancefloor - however that happiness would look like - was always there since the very beginning. And I'm still a fan of long transitions whenever possible and playing songs that tell a story within themselves and of changing genres within a set to create an interesting journey for the audience and myself. But I still remember very clearly how hard it was for me to train my ears to hear separately - one ear on the speakers and one ear on the headphones. It just takes quite some time and when you start to DJ you are so absorbed by figuring out what's actually going on that you don't have so much time for other nice stuff while playing. So that really improved luckily. Now I'm confident with whatever setup you put in front of me. I just play much less on vinyls these past years. But hey, finally my turntables are repaired (after two years of not taking actions) and who knows what might happen in that area of my DJ garden.
In the past I was also playing a lot more funky, jazzy, groovy tracks, but nowadays I'm much more into deephouse, house, cosmic disco and techno. I still remember my first hour at your Cosmic Dancer party in Dresden in the Wettbüro. I was playing these funk house tracks and you were so honest to tell me that you were not so much into it. Now I understand why and I totally agree. :D These are vinyls I can't listen to anymore, I have to admit. If somebody is interested in those records, just drop me a message. ;)
You were one of the first guests at Conrad and Philipp's disco party series "Cosmic Dancer". What do you remember from that night?
Actually, I would have mentioned that party in your earlier question about the best parties during my DJ career, because I still like to remember it until this day. As I mentioned, my first hour was okayish (the people kind of liked it so it was fine), but the second hour...! When I played my house & electro vinyls the dancefloor was electrified. The place was crammed with people, everybody was sweating and shouting, I felt super uplifted and some of my very good friends were joining as well. So it was really perfect for me. You should post some photos here of it, because they kind of transmit the vibe that was going on that night. I still remember Almi springkling water over everybody and they loved it. It was special! So thank you once again for the invitation.
Finally, what’s the last song before the lights are switched on?
Aaahh, during one of our last parties I played a vinyl set and I rediscovered "You come along" by Seelenluft. It's quite old now, but really well produced. It lifts you, the lyrics are beautifully odd and after a nice journey on this pleasent bass guitar and the powerful hook it leaves you with a twisted smile as some kind of off-key sounds are taking over towards the end. It's the perfect ending before you're kicked out again into this world they call reality, I think.
Portamento Boys - Eighty Ain't
Space Manoeuvres - Stage One (Shan remix)
Kid Simius - El rio (Fort Romeau remix)
Gai Barone - Walking (Extended mix)
Talamanca System - Ocean grill
Cosmobrown - Browsers & sisters (Dombrance remix)
N'to - Starlings (Henry Saiz remix)
Whomadewho & Adana Twins - Immersion
Jetpack Riley - Amphibious (Diode Eins remix)
Mulya - Chrome extra
Highlite - Future days
Roy of the Ravers - Emotinium