It’s Thursday July 23 2015 – this is the nineteenth TEA at the ZOO and we’re featuring one special DJ. Larry is waiting for this one since he heard him for the first time featured in the CLR Podcast series. Say hello to Simo Lorenz from BLAKKSHEPP, Club Lehmann | Berlin. So open your ears and hark to what he plays and has to say:
Could you tell us a little about your background, where you’re from and where are you living most of time? I am originally from Stuttgart but moved to Berlin 1.5 years ago. I spend my summertime in Berlin but I usually escape from the winter greyness here and move the center of my life to the mountains between December and May.
Where did your love for electronic music begin and why did you start DJing? I started DJing probably 9 years ago. I went to some raves and there was this DJ screwing up literally every mix. I didn’t know anything about turntables, a mixer, mixing itself or anything related, but I told myself – I can do that better. After a few screwed mixes he took off his shirt and played topless [laughter]. I went to buy my first pair of 1210s not long after and started to buy vinyl and to learn to beat match and mix.
Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why? There were some kinds of fully digital solutions existing when I started to DJ, but being able to play a proper vinyl set was always a “must” for me as this is the very basics of DJing. After I started producing a lot, I kind of felt limited with 2 tracks running and nothing to add or to tear apart, therefore I changed my system to a fully digital one. Right now I’m playing with 2 laptops, one with Traktor, the other with Ableton and Maschine. Next to the X1s for controlling the 4 decks in Traktor I’m also using a Faderfox LC2 for the different Maschine soundbanks, which are routed to different channels in Ableton. The negative thing about this setup is definitely the space it needs plus the shitload of gear and cables you are carrying around. But the explosive tests at nearly every flight are for free on top. The benefit for me lies on the hand. I am now totally able to play my very personal interpretation of techno and I am in control of what is going on!
How would you describe your music? Hypnotic and loopy techno.
Who are your idols? Regarding DJing – surely Jochem (Speedy J). The style and track selection plus the technical skills are pure techno for my very personal taste.
Where do you get your inspiration? Inspiration can come from everywhere. It can be this small little sound in a track you hear at a club, a painting or a sculpture. There’s not the “one” thing where I am going to when I need inspiration. Unfortunately 😉
What was the first vinyl you bought? Phew, hard to remember. Probably something from Kompakt.
What was the last vinyl you bought? The last vinyl I got was the Speak Silence album from Drumcell – still my favorite techno album.
Do you have any residencies? Yes, Lehmann Club in Stuttgart. The home for Techno!
Where was your first gig? My first gig was near Lake Constance. It was together with a friend of whom I started to spin and… well … it was a first gig [laughter].
Where do you like to DJ the most and why? Phew… there were plenty of cool gigs in the last year. I really enjoyed Bar Americas in Guadalajara / Mexico in May as the club had the perfect size, an awesome vibe and I could play a long set until the lights went on. That’s where the recording is from by the way. Of course I always love to play at #Home (Lehmann) as it always feels like a big family. Actually it is I guess. Awesome PA, great crowd and the best monitoring I’ve ever played. Then there are those really rough and dark places in basements like Stattbad or Tresor where my music fits in perfectly.
What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened to you at a gig? Well … not sure if you really want to hear THAT!!!
Upcoming gigs? I’m playing 2 slots at Nature One 31-02/08. August is a bit more calm (as always during summertime) with something in Munich, the Droid night at Lehmann with Truncate, Drumcell and Luis Flores.
Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff? Yes there are. A remix for Hours on his new label Concepts of Time will hit the stores end of July. Another one for A.Paul will come out in September (it’s in the podcast around minute 25) and I finished an EP which should be out soon.
What are your plans for the future? I am working on a lot of original productions at the moment, so there should be some more output this year from me. Then there is ADE nearly around the corner where we have a very cool Blakksheep stage hosting at the Dockyard Festival and some more showcases all over Europe. Also some gigs in countries I’ve never been too are happening at the end of the year so this will also be very exciting!
What is your favourite animal? I really like fennec foxes – small, cute with big ears and perfectly adapted to a very rough life in the dessert. Great contrast.
Try to catch Simo Lorenz playing one of his hypnotic and loopy techno sets; it was a pleasure doing the interview with this congenial artist and a pleaser listening to his set. And don’t forget to say hello from us!