# 023 | 88UW

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It’s Saturday November 28 2015 – this is the twenty-third TEA at the ZOO and we’re featuring Berlin based DJ and Producer, 88UW. Fortunately I met him a couple of weeks ago at Kit Kat Club, when our friend Qu-Zen had a gig there. It was a really nice first meeting and after I heard one of his sets, I needed him on our podcast series! 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?
Born in 1978 I had the pleasure growing up in times when so much new happened in music, street-art and dance. Already in age of 12-13 around I started to sneak out into the night, not only to begin with graffiti, more because I loved the empty streets and the possibilities climbing on houses or going down the subway tunnels. At that time most kids around me tried to copy that gang habit from America. I never have been to deep into that Hip-Hop thing. Only graffiti bond me for many years.

Where your love for electronic music did begin and why did you start Djing?
My first tapes had been Depeche Mode and things like this. I have been surrounded by electronic music and somehow grew up with it. Already in age of 7-8 I had my first C-64 (Computer). I got used to 8-bit music and rhythms very early so the step to love Techno and Acid-House had not been that far. I already made my first “mixtapes” before I’ve heard about clubs and such things the first time. I recorded tapes with my one record player by counting beats and pushing the “pause” key on my tapedeck at the right moments. Sometimes I put a vocal sample in between saying “ok” or something like this. Around 91 I read the first articles about this illegal rave parties in England and somehow I already knew this will be my thing. I started to buy records from The Prodigy, LFO, Joey Beltram, The Hypnotist and artists like this. I always have been into more than only Techno. I need music with energy and the right bass to impressed me. When I started Djing then I never thought about how it could be playing in a club – I just made tapes. In fact when I played my first gig, age 16, in front of a crowd I wanted to crawl away and let friends play my vinyl, but they forced me to do it.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
CDJ2000+XONE92 CDJ2000 or now XDJ1000 as I never used the medium CD feels best for me nowadays. I have the option to play a lot more diverse music than I could if I would still use vinyl and I don’t have the problem with scratches, mixed sheets and my back anymore. XONE92, because of the EQ.

How would you describe your music?
Filled with bass, touched by acid

Who are your idols?
I don’t really have idols (or to many).

Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration is sadness and fear. I’m only able to produce music when I’m in not the best condition. But maybe, what I say is wrong. Sometimes a wave of inspiration comes but I’m not able to let it out and when I think there’s nothing to let out it just flows and I have no idea where it comes from.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
Depeche Mode – People Are People
LFO -We Are Back
Joey Beltram – Beltram Vol.1
Prodigy – Everybody In The Place
Moby – Go

What was the last vinyl you bought?
Alpha303 – Alphawaves EP (2011)

Do you have any residencies?
Not anymore, former Tresor Club Berlin (-2014)

Where was your first gig?
In Hamburg or around Hamburg. Not exactly sure anymore.

Tell us a bit about what it’s like when you’re a few minutes away from coming on and playing your first track?
I’m still pretty nervous and I still don’t really like to stand in front of people. I never liked the spotlight as I think I make strange moves and funny faces while I play. I’m of course really happy being able to present unusual tracks to an audience and having the pleasure to listen loud to the music as well. But it’s still always a inner fight to get my ass up on a stage.

Where did like it the most to DJ and why?
It could be everywhere and depends always on the people around, the sound system and my own mood.

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
Maybe on my own label again from 2016.

What are you plans for the future?
I don’t really have a plan, but there should be a beach

What is your favorite animal?
Sparrow

Try to catch 88UWs playing one of his bass filled, acid driven techno sets; it was a pleasure doing the interview with this sympathetic artist and a pleaser listening to his set. And don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/88.unlimited.whatever
www.soundcloud.com/88uw
www.unlimitedwhatever.bandcamp.com/

# 022 | Mike Wall

It’s Tuesday October 26 2015 – this is the twenty-second TEA at the ZOO and we’re featuring Berlin based DJ, Producer, Promoter and Label manager, Mike Wall from Wall Music. 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 was born in 1983 in Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg, East Germany. For 10 years now I’ve been living in Berlin and I love it 🙂

Where your love for electronic music did begin and why did you start DJing?
That was in 1997. The first Fusion Festival took place in the area where I lived. I saw Green Velvet playing destination unknown. This music has captivated and inspired me so much. My first turntables I bought in 1999. I was working in a nuclear power plant for almost 8 weeks during my Holidays.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
At the moment I try out new ways. I’ve been playing a few years mainly with two CDJs & one turntable or three CDJs etc. The feeling of doing more than one chip processor prepares a lot of fun to me. I’m flexible and that gives my sets a certain note.

How would you describe your music?
To judge for themselves. Not easy. I would say, that I like very much loopy driving techno with Chords and much melancholy. Everything else should be judged by others.

Who are your idols?
I am a very big fan of Speedy J., but Ludovico Einaudi is also great. There are so many good artists. It’s hard to really define. My taste is rotating, every month it’s an other.

Where do you get your inspiration?
All ascendancies around me influenced me and my thoughts and my actions. This again, is reflected in my music.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
Underground Poetry with Phunkey Rhythm Doctor aka Cari Lekebusch – Mad Poet (1997).

What was the last vinyl you bought?
Ha, that is easy… it was the old Album from Abdullah Rashim on Northern Structures from 2014 – Unanimity 2×12″.

Do you have any residencies?
Yes and I am also quite proud. I play for 6 years in Suicide Circus Berlin. I call it my Berlin living room. [smile]

Where was your first gig?
That is really hard to say. Can you count your first appearances on this? Otherwise, it was for the U-site people from Lärz in 1999 in the Tubebox, the area from the legendary Fusion Festival.

Tell us a bit about what it’s like when you’re a few minutes away from coming on and playing your first track?
Then I’ll be very focused. Try to arrange the moment with me. You can hear that in my sets. I’m trying to define my line for this moment, as an entertainer.

Where did like it the most to DJ and why?
That is hard to say. Each locality has its own charm and its own character. It is great fun to play in the Netherlands, or in many German clubs. So I can not really define it.

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened on a gig?
Some things you should always keep to yourselve. It was very funny.

Upcoming gigs?
There will be some.
07.11.2015: Pratersauna, Vienna, Austria
13.11.2015: Suicide Circus Night, 262 Club, Genoa, Italy
20.11.2015: RAH #2, Griesmühle, Berlin, Germany
More will follow in Munich, Cologne, Copenhagen, Paris ect.

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
In the near future a new vinyl will be released on my own label. Another vinyl will be released on Plastico Duro, Reloading Recordings and on Blackbrook Limited. There is an EP on Berlin Underground and one on Ausnahmezustand. And also some fresh remixes are on their way.

What are you plans for the future?
Easy, spending a lot of time with my family. Traveling much more. Staying healthy and continues to have the chance to play on many more clubs on the world.

What is your favorite animal?
Axolot 🙂

Try to catch Mike Wall playing one of his loopy, melancholy driven techno sets; it was a pleasure doing the interview with this sympathetic artist and a pleaser listening to his set. And don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/mikewallberlin
www.facebook.com/Wallmusicberlin
www.facebook.com/wallsevent
www.facebook.com/SuicideCircus-Berlin-123646714361799/
www.soundcloud.com/wallbrother

# 021 | Jaade

It’s Wednesday October 7 2015 – this is the twenty first TEA at the ZOO and we’re featuring Jaade from Cologne. So open your ears and hark to what she 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?
Well, I’m a native Persian but my parents and I moved to Germany when I was 9 months old. Since then we have been living near Cologne, which is a lovely and really great city.

Where did your love for electronic music begin and why did you start DJing?
My passion for electronic music began 2009 when I heard some house and electro tunes. This passion and love grew after I visited a techno club for the first time in 2012. The whole atmosphere had caught my soul and I was totally in love with the sounds. Techno is a different world and you can close your eyes and escape to a magical place. I started DJing because it’s fun to mix some different tunes together and let them become one for a while; it’s also an effective medicine if you’re in a bad mood.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
As I began in March 2014 I tried some different equipment. At the beginning my equipment were two cheap turntables which I used for nearly 8 months to learn some basic stuff. After that I brought a S4 controller from NI which I used only for 2 months because I didn’t like it. And since December 2014 I use CDJ’s, two 900Nexus with an Allen & Heath DB2. I really love them.
The handling with the CDJ’s is really nice and the pitch faders are long enough to be able to beat match correctly. The S4 just works with Traktor and I didn’t want to take notebook with me every time I have a gig. Additionally the jog wheels and pitch faders were too small.

How would you describe your music?
The music I play is somehow dark but at the same time there is some melodic stuff included. For me it’s important that the track is floating and has movement.

Who are your idols?
I don’t have any idols. I just have some Artists who music I like. For example: Niereich, Matt Mus, Luix Spectrum, Lukas Freudenberger.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My podcasts sound differently depending on my mood.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
Manic Brother – Hidden Mantis

What was the last vinyl you bought?
Len Faki – Sound Associates

Do you have any residencies?
Well, I’m going to work with Ambulance Club Cologne and Warehouse Club Cologne

Where was your first gig?
My first Gig was in „Elektroküche Köln“ in March 2015.

Tell us a bit about what it’s like when you’re a few minutes away from coming on and playing your first track?
First I am very excited, but after I started to play the first track all my excitement disappears. It’s like magic.

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
I’m working on that, but I have no exact release date.

What are you plans for the future?
So first to become a basic school teacher and work with children. And regarding music I wants to collect experience and reach many people.

What is your favorite animal?
I love lions, they are the best animals <3

Try to catch Jaade playing one of her deep and melodic techno sets. You got the chance on the 9th of October at Sound Contrast at Spirit Club, Primasens or on the 17th at Sonnenfinsternis at Elektroküche, Colone; it was a pleasure doing the interview with her and a pleaser listening to her set. And don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/JaadeTechno/
www.soundcloud.com/jaadetechno/

# 020 | Andrew Wowk

It’s Monday August 31 2015 – this is the twentieth TEA at the ZOO and we’re featuring Andrew Wowk. Andrew is good friend of Qu-Zen from Sydney and a friend of Qu-Zen is a friend us, especially if he is djing like bass. Say hello to Andrew Wowk from Time To Track, .darkroom | Sydney. 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 was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, but my family’s ethnic background is Ukrainian. I still live in Sydney, though I regularly visit Melbourne.

Where your love for electronic music did begin and why did you start DJing?
I first got into electronic music in the early 90’s (I was about 8 years old) through the popular dance music that was being played on the radio. I was into artists like Technotronic, Black Box, Corona, Ace of Base, and Rozalla, but at the time I didn’t really know what style of music they were, I just really liked them. I used to religiously read the liner notes from all the CDs I bought, and one of them mentioned “dance music”, which of course caught my interest as it was a term I hadn’t heard before. I spent time researching what this so-called “dance music” was, and discovered I really loved many of its various sub-genres. I can remember going through various phases of being totally obsessed with certain sub-genres and only listening to those specific styles (drum & bass/jungle, trance/hard house, funky house, techno), however eventually I broadened my horizons and started to appreciate a wide range of electronic music simultaneously. These days I love everything from techno to ambient soundscapes.
I was introduced to DJing when I was 16. I spent a week doing work experience at a radio station we used to have in Sydney called Rhythm FM, which exclusively played dance music. Before working there, I actually didn’t even know that two songs could be mixed together (I was too young to have gone to any parties or clubs, so I’d never seen a DJ in action, and all the CDs I listened to just had individual tracks on them). I spent some time in the studio one day and saw a guy mixing the music together and keeping it going continuously for a whole hour, and it just blew my tiny little teenage mind. I immediately asked him to explain what he was doing, and he happily obliged, showing me how the turntables and mixer work, and explaining the role of a DJ in a club or party. It was in that moment I knew I wanted to learn how to DJ. So I bought some turntables and a mixer and taught myself how to mix. And now here I am over a decade later still mixing and learning new things every day.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
I’ve been using Traktor Scratch with timecode CDs for the last five years, and I love it. Having all my music with me on my laptop means that I’m able to adapt to any situation, which means I feel more comfortable when I play since I know if I need to change up the vibe I have everything I need right there. I also use the looping function to extend transitions between tracks, and have multiple cue points set in my tracks if there is a particular part of a track I especially want to play (or skip). I like using the timecode CDs because I learned to mix on vinyl before moving to CDJs after about five years, so I still enjoy the process of beatmatching and the work that it takes to keep tracks in time. I just don’t get that same rush with MIDI controllers.
When it comes to the brand/model of the CDJs and mixer, I’m not too fussy (I’ll happily mix on anything), but my personal favourite mixers are the DJM-800/DJM-900 as they suit my mixing style and I like how the effects units can really add a lot to my performance. Though one thing I always ask for: three CDJs! I always mix on three decks, as I find it allows for more creativity and spontaneity, and it really requires that I stay on my toes and work hard when playing (I hate feeling like I’m being lazy when DJing).

How would you describe your music?
I love – and play – a really wide range of music, from abstract instrumental hip-hop to absurdly hard industrial techno, but despite being into so many different styles, something which is common to everything I love is soul/heart. If I listen to a track and I feel like I can really connect with the person who made it and feel like a part of them has been infused into the music, then there’s a good chance I will like it. It matters less to me that a track has a certain sound or vibe and more that it clearly was written to express the artist’s ideas, values, or feelings.
Another thing that is common to every track I love is an infectious bassline. If a track has a great bassline, it’s almost impossible not to move to it, and I’m very likely to be into it as a result. If I’m moving, then I’m liking what I’m hearing.
I’m also really attracted to interesting or unique sounds, effects and atmospheres. Tracks which feature elements that I don’t hear often in other tunes of the same genre will frequently grab my attention.

Who are your idols?
The DJs I truly love are those who play what they believe in and express themselves through their individual technical and musical styles, rather than worry about what they “should” or “shouldn’t” play. In terms of techno, I have always looked up to Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, and Ben Sims, as they are technically superb (my desire to learn to mix on three decks came from seeing these guys play) and they have their own readily identifiable sounds that are clearly unique to them.
I also look up a huge deal to James Zabiela, Jon Convex, dBridge, Trent Reznor and Justin Broadrick because they represent an ethos I really respect: genre doesn’t matter. All of these artists have worked in countless different styles of music and because they genuinely just love expressing themselves musically, they actually create these coherent narratives and intelligent palettes of sound that beautifully tie together widely disparate genres of music. It’s something I’ve always loved trying to do myself as a DJ as well. Finding the common elements that exist between two tracks that are in completely different genres so that you can smoothly go from one to the other is so rewarding, and those guys are the people I think do it best.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
As cliché as it sounds, I try to draw inspiration from everywhere I can. I frequently think about what I like about genres other than dance music and how I could incorporate those aspects into my DJ sets, whether it be more directly (e.g., distortion and noise from industrial metal) or more abstractly (e.g., the improvisational nature of jazz).
I often get inspired by movies, TV shows and video games which make me feel a certain way and push me toward certain tracks or artists who evoke those same emotions in me when I listen to their music. The podcast I recorded for you guys was actually inspired by a video game I recently played called “The Evil Within”, which essentially led me to spend quite a few days after playing it introspectively considering the darker parts of my psyche and the human mind in general. I tried to make the podcast reflect how the game made me feel, which ranged from lost and confused to intensely angry, and even genuinely hopeful for the future and accepting of all parts of the human experience, good and bad. I even included some of my favourite dialogue from the game throughout the podcast to demonstrate that.
Of course other DJs inspire me a great deal too, especially those in Sydney I get to see play regularly and interact with. Qu-Zen has played a big part in me learning about the darker, grittier side of techno over the last 18 months, introducing me to a lot of great artists I didn’t know about previously as I typically focused more on funky, percussive sounds. The Rivet DJs like Monako and Ohmage show how beautifully techno, dubstep, drum & bass and garage can be mixed together. Simon Caldwell has this wonderful collection of rare and interesting house music that constantly reinvigorates my love for that genre whenever I see him play.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
The very first piece of vinyl I owned I actually inherited from one of the DJs at Rhythm FM. It was “One Night In N.Y.C.” by The Horrorist. The first record I bought with my own money was this weird breakbeat track called “Check Out Ya Pa” by Sons of Slough on the now defunct Whole Nine Yards label.

What was the last vinyl you bought?
I just ordered one of the limited edition vinyl copies of the soundtrack from the video game “The Last of Us” – not to listen to, just to own as a collector’s piece because I love the game so much.

Do you have any residencies?
I frequently play at Chinese Laundry here in Sydney, supporting internationals that come through the club such as Jeff Mills, James Zabiela, Ben Sims, Dave Clarke, Ben Klock, etc. I’m also a regular at parties like .darkroom, Afterlife, and S.A.S.H., and I have my weekly radio show called Time To Track on Bondi Beach Radio, which Jchn B. was kind enough to record an excellent mix for recently.

Where was your first gig?
It was actually in a DJ competition! The university I studied at used to run a student DJ competition, and I decided to enter after I’d been mixing for about a year. I ended up making it all the way to the finals and coming third, which I was really happy about.

Tell us a bit about what it’s like when you’re a few minutes away from coming on and playing your first track?
It’s a strange combination of excitement and deep concentration. Obviously I’m really keen to play because I want to feel that rush of sharing the music I love with the crowd and emotionally connect with them for the next hour or more, but at the same time, I’m also thinking very carefully about the energy in the room, what time it is, who else is playing before and after me and so on. I’m very cerebral, I enjoy thinking. However it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole and start over-analysing things, so often to help keep me focused I pick out a couple of people in the crowd that I just observe for a bit and try to get on their level and relate to.

Where did like it the most to DJ and why?
I was given a five hour set in a warehouse a couple of years ago and allowed to just go in any direction I pleased musically. I covered everything from funk to classic 90’s techno, and the crowd happily followed me at every turn. It was so satisfying to be able to just play music to a bunch of people who were there especially to get a glimpse into all the different sounds and styles I like. I am itching to do something like that again!
Chinese Laundry is also always a lot of fun. The crowd there is great, and some of my most memorable gigs have been warming up for my idols at Laundry. The Gladstone, which was this dingy pub we used to have in Sydney was also amazing, as it just had this outrageously good sound system and it was so dilapidated that the only reason people went there was to dance and enjoy music, because it sure as hell wasn’t the kind of place you’d just casually spend time in.

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened on a gig?
So, something you need to know about me is that I’m nearly always hungry, and so I’m nearly always eating. When I played the five hour set at that warehouse party I mentioned above, I knew I would likely get hungry during the gig, so I brought some bananas with me. About 3 hours in to the set, I grabbed one of the bananas and started peeling it to eat it while still mixing tunes, not really thinking about the fact that it probably looked weird to the crowd that firstly I was eating a banana, and secondly that I was doing it so casually that I didn’t even stop mixing to eat it. I looked up and basically everyone in the room had stopped dancing and were either just standing there looking really confused or taking photos and videos with their phones!

Upcoming gigs?
At the end of September I’ll be playing a three hour set for my 30th birthday celebrations at Chinese Laundry, which will be loads of fun. I love long sets because I get to cover a wide range of styles and moods. Bodhi, who I love, are also playing on the night.
October 2nd I am playing a footwork/jungle/abstract hip-hop set at a club night called Riot, which features DJs playing all sorts of 170bpm music from drum & bass to early breakbeat hardcore.
And I might have already played this gig by the time this interview goes live, but on August 29th I am playing at a festival called Psyfari. It’s out in the Australian bush and it’s just amazing. The sound system and lighting is out of this world, and the lineup is stacked with incredible local talent. I’ll be playing a set that covers all sorts of techno-related sounds.

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
I dabble in production every now and then when I’m feeling inspired, and anything I write ends up on my SoundCloud as a free download. I also upload archives of my radio show every week, and typically record my DJ sets in clubs. So there is also something new to listen to if you follow me!

What are you plans for the future?
I’d really like to get into production more seriously, rather than just dabble in it here and there. I have a lot of cool ideas I’d love to actually get out of my head and into a DAW.
I’m also hoping to make the trip over to Europe within the next couple of years to check out the scene in various countries and if I’m lucky play some gigs while I’m there. It’d be amazing to get to play somewhere like Berlin, Amsterdam, London or Paris.

What is your favorite animal?
I love German Shepherds.

Try to catch Andrew Wowk playing one of his infectious bassline sets; it was a pleasure doing the interview with this diverse artist and a pleaser listening to his set. And don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Wowk/8919146867
www.facebook.com/timetotrack
www.soundcloud.com/andrew-wowk

# 019 | Simo Lorenz

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!

– Larry

www.simolorenz.de
www.blakksheep.com
www.facebook.com/simolorenzofficial

# 018 | bluscreen

It’s Thursday June 18 2015 – this is the eighteenth TEA at the ZOO and we are proud to present you someone, who also was with us straight from the beginning. Say hello to bluscreen from Animal Instinct | Bonn. 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 was raised in a small town in the “Sauerland” (some ppl call it acid land … ) where most inhabitants are either cows, pigs or sheep. In the beginning there was no electronic scene at all.. some things changed but most of the time it’s still like that. Anyhow, I moved to Karlsruhe for my studies which is where I’m still living currently.

Where did your love for electronic music begin and why did you start DJing?
I was fascinated by the early James Holden mixes and also influenced by some Sven Väth mixes. Then we started going to raves and all that. Since I had always been a musician and good with computers I started getting into producing quite quickly. At some point I sold my old epiphone guitar and bought a drum machine for that.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
I still kind of like this drum machine I got. It’s an E-MU XL7 and its not famous for its intuitive menus or great samples but it has a lot of functions and the best drum pads I’ve experienced so far.

How would you describe your music?
Unfortunately I don’t find much time at the moment to get into producing that much. The music I play vary between slow & deep trax up to harder and more progressive techno records. I’ve always been a big fan of the 303.

Who are your idols?
I think there’s a lot of great sounds out on the market… I used to really look up to James Holden as a DJ because he really had a streak of amazing mixes in… I think 08/09… I would have called him an idol back then.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Powerful plants.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
Trackleton – Jump (Still one of my favorites).

What was the last vinyl you bought?
Juju & Jordash – Clean Cut.

Do you have any residencies?
No. None. But I hope my booking agent is working on. [laughter]

Where was your first gig?
Actually that was in a bar in Brilon. Was a fun party though!

Tell us a bit about what it’s like when you’re a few minutes away from coming on and playing your first track?
I’m usually wondering if the turntables are ok and if my predecessor will finish up on time (which they usually don’t).

Where did like it the most to DJ and why?
I quite enjoyed playing in Xberg on the first of may. It was a very sunny day and the crowd was vibrant.

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened on a gig?
There was this one guy snorting some mysterious white powder from a running turntable.

Upcoming gigs?
You tell me! Probably Winterstein in August.

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
Nothing. Unfortunately I’m too busy with my “normal career” right now…

What are you plans for the future?
Exercise more and start my first album

What is your favorite animal?
I think crabs are quite fun… they always bring their scissors… Did you know some species meet and pile up on each other, forming a giant crab hill?

Try to catch bluscreen playing one of his crazy deep harmonic acid sets, it was a pleasure doing the interview with him and a pleaser listening to his set. So don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/bluscreen.X
www.soundcloud.com/gmbh
www.residentadvisor.net/dj/bluscreen
dj.beatport.com/bluscreen

# 017 | Eve Schwarz

It’s Thursday May 21, 2015 – this is the 17th TEA at the ZOO and we´re visiting another important Techno City w/ Eve Schwarz from Monophonia | Frankfurt. She established herself as a known figure in the Frankfurt Scene and from there the sky opened up for her to conquer the rest of the World. So open your ears and hark to what she plays and has to say:

Hey Eve, we´re very happy to have you here, could you tell us a little about your background, where you’re from and where are you living most of time?
Hey Larry, thanks for having me. I am originally from Hesse, Germany and I was moving around quite a lot, but since 2013 Frankfurt am Main has been my home base.

When and why did you start DJing?
I started around 2009. I loved techno and was somehow impressed by that kind of music on a vinyl disc, which I know from my parents and their “Oldies”. To touch the music I play was an attraction, as I’ve always played instruments.
I guess the final push was given to me by a DJane who played as a resident in a Munich club, she showed me that women can dj.

Which equipment/set up is your favorite and why?
Meanwhile I play with CDJ. I don’t need to explain advantages, but I still preserve my distance from DJing with software. This is a personal thing; it’s the feeling and the fact that I don’t feel the need to stare at a computer in a club (you can call me old school). I also don’t use too many effects or effect equipment, I rather choose effective tracks that tell their own story or fuse them to create a tension – keep it simple.

How would you describe your music?
Techno. Synthesic, pure, raw. It needs to be strong and energetic but also emotional, deep or hypnotic. I like defined beats, a clear line. And it is definitely not only a fun dance music; much more it reflects the way I feel as I don’t live on the surface, so the music I play can’t be.

Who are your idols?
It is hard to say a name of a DJ that I want to be like. In the end I need to go my own way and I’m not trying to copy somebody. Many artists inspire me but I think idols for me are people I am much closer to, people I know and people who influence my way and actions on a personal level, or assist me in difficult times. I think my friends are kind of my idols.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am sucking the world in – very much visually and emotionally …the craziness, the beauty of life and nature. Moments that touch me deeply, I think, I convert into sound.
A direct musical inspiration I get a lot from the southern European techno these days. Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy have some great artists. Sometimes combined with the English rawness I find is quite explosive.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
I don’t exactly remember but “Radio Slave – Grindhouse” was amongst the first I bought. However, I also own many records that are much older than my own DJ existence like Tresor, Kanzleramt or Hardhouse releases that I bought used– also many classics.

What was the last vinyl you bought?
“Eminor #20”

Do you have any residencies?
At a club right now, no. I shortly got out of the MTW / Offenbach to check out new perspectives. But I am a part of Anthony Rother’s event “Monophonia” which was born in 2014.

Where was your first gig?
In my living room.

Where did you like it the most to DJ and why?
One highlight was definitely the Monophonia Opening in Frankfurt, as I happened to be part of this concept quite from the first ideas. I grew with it and the opening night under the bridge was a blast. Location, atmosphere, sound – unique.

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened on a gig?
Most gigs have special moments, but definitely funny was when during a sound check the bass of my music opened the fridge behind the bar and the complete content of beer bottles slipped out. Only few bottles broke though, thank god for good German glass [laughter].

Upcoming gigs?
Check gigs.gigatools.com/user/Eve

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
I am still exploring music production and definitely needed a while to find the right methods and equipment to create the sound I really like. At the moment I am happy to have some time for the studio and the machines are running. This summer will bring a couple of new releases, 2 tracks are already signed.

What are your plans for the future?
Techno Techno Techno 🙂

What is your favorite animal?
Owls are really cool, funny and weird! And they represent the night activity.
This is why I chose the owl for this podcast.

Try to catch Eve Schwarz playing one of his emotional, deep and hypnotic sets; it was a pleasure doing the interview with her and a pleaser listening to her set. So don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/eveschwarzmusic
www.soundcloud.com/eve-schwarz
gigs.gigatools.com/user/Eve

 

# 016 | Florian Kern

It’s Thursday April 23 2015 – this is the sixteenth TEA at the ZOO and we are proud to present you someone, who was with us straight from the beginning. Say hello to Florian Kern from Animal Instinct | Nuremberg. So open your ears and hark to what he plays and has to say:

Where are you from?
I’m from Schwabach, a small town near Nuremberg, Germany.

Where are you living most of your time?
On the moon.

How old are you?
28 years.

When and why did you start DJing?
A few years ago, perhaps 6, I was bored of listening to bad music from others [laughter].

Which equipment/set up is your favourite and why?
Digital and/or CDJs. Not because of syncing (beat matching is something I learned years ago on my Technics 1210 which I got very cheap), but because of looping. I hated it, yes really hated it! And still hate this “bang“ beat in, “bang“ beat out style of mixing I heard a lot before I started DJing myself. Of course there were some masters where you didn’t really mention mixing the new track in, but mostly I heard “BANG” and in my opinion this is rude and not very sensible, especially not very musical. So I decided to play digital or with CDJs where I can loop the track. Perhaps I’m not good enough in mixing Vinyl for my standards, that’s probably a reason. Traktor or the CDJs allows me to loop the beginning and the end of tracks and it’s always my decision when this time has come. With that I’m able to put an end right in the middle of a track, if I want to, and switch in the new one as slow as I want. A normal ear needs time to acclimate to new sounds and if you’re putting in to many frequencies at one time it could lead to a strange incorrect feeling while listening.
Another reason for the digital decision was and still is that I’m allowed to have 4 decks at one time, so I always can prelist to 4 decks and take the track that fits most in my mix even if I know my library. But, having 4 channels open on the mixer at the same time nearly always sounds like shit and I tried it many times, there are too many frequencies. If you’re not Chris Liebing with a huge library of self-made samples etc. you simply shouldn’t do that. Same with CDJs, it’s possible to switch between tracks very fast if they don’t fit together with their harmony. Not so easy with vinyl.
Another reason for digital DJing for me is when you play vinyl, once your decision about a track is made you have to be very fast to find a new one if you change your mind in a short time, and the quality of mixing suffers in this example. Besides that, playing vinyl does not automatically stand for quality.
Equipment I use: MacBook Pro 13’’, Traktor Pro, Native Instruments Audio 10 DJ, Allen Heath Xone K2 and I always prefer an Allen Heath Xone 92 mixer. 2 Pioneer CDJ 850, 900 or 2000. Two USB sticks are easier to carry.

How would you describe your music?
From deep to dark, to bad ass industrial, to acid and often melodic. It depends on the season, but mainly I would call it Techno.

Who are your idols?
[Puuuh] There are so many people that influenced me privately or music-wise. But for my whole life I think it’s Ché Guevarra.

 Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere. If I’m bored, if I have a good/bad mood, being pissed off, if there are impressing landscapes at a vacation etc. everything is inspiration! Open your eyes and minds!!!

What was the first vinyl you bought?
A locked groove vinyl for practicing, can’t remember the name but something from Sender Berlin.

What was the last vinyl you bought?
Something from Len Faki’s Figure-Label, Cryptic!

Do you have any residencies?
Unfortunately I do not. Yet!

Where was your first gig?
At a small club in Nuremberg which does not exist anymore, with REBEKAH. Man, I was so excited; I almost peed myself [laughter].

Where did you like it the most to DJ and why?
In small dusty and sweaty clubs, no colored lights, just strobe. And at small open airs. I love being out in the nature with good music, this bear grills thing while mixing 😉

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened at a gig?
At Magdalena, a club in Berlin. A guy thought he was a masseuse during my gig – I guess in his world he was doing something really good to me, but in reality his kneading hurt a lot! But I always kept in mind that if I don’t say anything to him he probably might get bored giving me a massage. FAIL! Not until one hour later and me DJing like Quasimodo he stopped. Later that evening he was escorted out of the club, don’t know whom he massaged after me [laughter].

Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
Not yet, work in progress.

What are you plans for the future?
This is something I will see tomorrow.

What is your favorite animal?
Elk

Try to catch Florian Kern playing one of his harmonic but pushing sets, it was a pleasure doing the interview with him and a pleaser listening to his set. So don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/floriankern.official
www.soundcloud.com/floriankern
www.residentadvisor.net/dj/floriankern
dj.beatport.com/floriankern

 

# 015 | Dr. Motte

It’s Thursday March 26, 2015 – this is the 15th TEA at the ZOO and we got a big one. This time we were very proud to interview one of Techno’s legends, Dr. Motte from Praxxiz | Berlin. So open your ears and hark to what he plays and has to say:

Dear Dr. Motte, last year you announced to run for mayor in Berlin. Meanwhile, Mr. Wowereit has stepped down but you’re not mayor. What happened?
Well, I didn’t really mean it. But it’s fun to think of it, actually.

If you were in charge of Berlin for one day, what would be your first official act?
I would install an additional mayor just for the night time. They did something similar in Amsterdam. There would be one mayor for the day-to-day routine and a night time mayor, responsible for bars and gastronomy. At least 70 % of all people visiting Berlin come here for experiencing its nightlife. It’s important to keep that in mind. As my second official act I would lower the taxes for all events and clubs. It would be a simple way to support them.

Do you consider yourself a political person?
Yes, ever since my brothers took me to a rally against the war in Vietnam in 1972 as a twelve year old boy. Since then, I look at the world with open eyes. Also, I would describe myself as a social person.

Do artists have a political obligation?
Assuming that we are living in a political society, everything we do in the public space is political. Everything. The question is: what is politics after all? I think it is about creating a public spirit, a sense of solidarity. Politics must be for the people. Politicians as elected representatives have the duty to defend civil rights against the capital. I see that this poses various problems in Berlin as well as on a global scale – because politicians don’t live up to this duty! Take TTIP and CETA. It comes down to this: we won’t have a democracy anymore but will be dominated by others. It will be almost impossible to challenge that. Personally, I find it interesting to take not of these developments, analyze them, meditate and find solutions.

Obviously, you were not elected mayor. What would you choose to do for a living if it wasn’t DJing?
Be an architect. I worked as a concrete pourer on different construction sites in Berlin for six years and planned to become an architect. Since I also was a punk, this plan didn’t work out that well. Our band was called „Die toten Piloten“ (Dead Pilots).

What was your instrument?
In fact, I am a drummer. My mom bought me a drum set when I was 16 years old. It stood in our living room. I saved some money to get myself the Pearl “Syncusion”, a control module that worked with pads. I still have my drum set, but the Pearl is gone ever since I lent it to someone.

Why did you swap your drum set for the turntables?
I played in the band and worked on the construction site at the same time. It made me sick to wake up at 5 a.m. and start working at 6 a.m. every day. As I naturally get up late I had to throw up once in a while on my way to work. One day we had planned a concert with the Dead Pilots so I asked my boss for a day off without pay. He declined and threatened to kick me out if I didn’t show up. Well, obviously I didn’t go to work that day. Looking back, I should thank my boss. I struggled to pay rent and started selling tapes of my first recordings in bars and restaurants. I lived on that for a while. You could get by with 120,- Deutsch Mark a month back then.

You could live on your music right away?
Well, the job center made life easier as well. However, I started throwing parties soon. I always carried three tape decks with me: for winding forward, pre-listening and playing. I jotted down the BPMs of all my tracks in a small notebook. A friend of mine already worked as a DJ in a small club in Kreuzberg. That’s where I played my first public gigs. One year later we had the Turbine Rosenheim.

In 2015 you’re celebrating your 30 year stage anniversary with an extended world tour. Where will you play? How many gigs?
I just came back from a tour around India with DJ Rummy Sharma and DJ Gokul. I will spend spring and summer in Europe to play in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Luxembourg, etc. But we’re also working on turs across the USA and South America. In the fall and winter, I will be in Australia. The Goethe Institute invited me to give some lectures on Berlin music history and the Festival Genialer Dilettanten. And, of course, I will play some gigs, too. My team is also working on a tour through Japan and New Zealand. In December, I will celebrate the tour’s finale in Berlin.

Is there a location you’re particularly excited about?
Actually, all of them. I can’t get enough of playing, playing, playing. I’m excited to play at Promised Land Festival in Spanwoude, Netherlands, and at Silesia in Love in Chorzaw, Poland. I am also happy to be invited to Mayday and Nature One, yet again! Electronic music is an exciting adventure. I try to take people by the hand and guide them trough my universe of sound.

The tour is called „Friede. Freude. Eierkuchen.“ (the proverbial love, peace and harmony, in German: peace, joy and pancakes). It’s the same motto as that of the very first Love Parade in 1989. What did it mean to you back then and what does it mean to you today?
Back then it was an attempt to rally for something, not to demonstrate against something. We took a popular proverb but provided new contents. Peace – for interpersonal disarmament. Joy – music as means of understanding. Use music to express yourself and everybody else would understand. Everybody understands music because it’s a universal language. Pancakes – for fair food distribution. It’s an important issue more than ever, I guess.
The use of this theme has a second purpose as well. I’d like to bring the origins back to mind. I embrace that there are a lot of books about how it all started. We are originators. We need to pass the torch to the younger generation, the successors. That’s essential for human culture and for the culture of electronic music as well.

So you go back to the roots?
Only trees with roots will bear fruit. Only if I know where it all comes from, am I able to ground myself.

Do you really see yourself as a progenitor or is it rather an image others have given you?
I really have to contain myself here. The history of electronic music started in 1940. I am just a tiny rock in a huge mosaic.

Comparing the electronic music scene back in the days of its origin to today’s mass phenomenon – what comes to mind?
The essential question that everyone must ask is: How can I be the lighthouse in the sea? I don’t want to be part of the mainstream, that’s not special. I simply skip that. I’m thrilled when I get a request for re-mixing a piece that I normally would not even appreciate much. That’s a great challenge. It turns me into a nerd and I won’t stop until the result truly satisfies me. It’s about your musical skills rather than putting some samples together. You really need to know what you’re doing. It’s this: computers allow us to do almost everything these days. However, it would be absolutely crucial for many people to deal with a real synthesizer just for a day. In the end, it’s all about the music. Music lets you do whatever you want. It doesn’t judge.

What type of music do you listen to besides techno?
None! If I don’t listen to techno my ears need some rest. But I’m just kidding. To be honest, I love to listen to a lot of music. Funk, soul, jazz, classical music, chillout… Recently, I was at a concert by Glen Branca.

What inspires you?
I take my inspiration from my personal musical history. I grew up with classical music. My mom sang in a choir. In kindergarden they also noticed my musical talent, so what do you think my mum did? She put me into a ballet class (laughs). When I was 14 years old my brothers made me discover Free Jazz. I felt my brain exploding. Free Jazz caused the one desire that has never left me: fulfilment through music.

When DJing, how much do you prepare and how much do you improvise?
I am really bad when it comes to planning things. I roughly know how to begin. Everything else I do on the spur of the moment. I like to see myself as a spectator, as a catalyst of the present, the atmosphere, the vibe. I want to make people dance. Of course, I can only bring a limited amount of tracks to my gigs, be it vinyls, CDs or .wav-files.

Jeff Mills‘ approach is to ignore the audience most of the time. He only looks at his decks and doesn’t really care if people like what he’s doing.
Well, as an DJ and artist I play my sound resolutely. I don’t play “what they want to hear” because that means consent. I am creative and want to educate the audience and surprise them with new stuff they don’t know. Of course, I had a few gigs where nobody danced or some guys wanted me to play some sing-along songs or so called club hits. I never do and I don’t give a damn about it. Please take for granted that I want to make people dance! But I can only use the means that I have. I am just who I am – period.

From small clubs to massive open air events you have played at virtually every venue. Where do you feel most comfortable?
Last weekend I played in a tiny club in Heilbronn called Bukowski. It took no more than 100 people to fill up the place. That’s where I feel most comfortable. Close to the audience, wicked sound, authentic club. You stand right in the middle, it’s not perfect, it’s not posh, but it’s cool, simply superb. Powerful, saturated sound, just like it’s meant to be. It was great fun, people cheered, and we just had a proper party. I played for three hours. They had to drag me away from the decks (laughs).

What was the most exceptional thing that ever happened to you while DJing?
It’s something that happened in a dream. I dreamt that in Turbine Rosenheim the turntables were three meters in diameter. I could only feel, not see them. That’s the most extreme thing I can imagine. I woke up with cold sweat on my forehead.

Do you remember a moment when you were fed up with Techno?
(long silence) No. Well, actually yes, in 1992. It was an awful year anyway. Suddenly, Smurf Techno was all over the place and we had some issues within the Loveparade team. I just had enough when I couldn’t play in Planet Club the day after the Love Parade because some people had booked the place for their wedding. Nobody called me and I was really pissed because that was a club I helped establishing. After this situation I went to Hamburg. In retrospect, I should be thankful to these people because I produced my Euphorhythm album „Chill Out Planet Earth“ in Hamburg.

What’s your favourite equipment for DJing?
I keep it really simple: two USB-sticks, a couple of security backups on CD, that’s it. Yes, please, bitch about it! All that counts is the sound that comes out of the speakers. People dancing are not interested in a nerdy discussion. In the end, your equipment doesn’t matter. Quality matters. You must not hear transitions, ideally you mix musically or at least rhythmically. What’s worse: a DJ playing great tracks but totally lacking technique or a DJ showing off great technique but playing lame tracks?

What makes the difference between playing open air and clubs?
Oh, you play really different styles. But it depends on the festival or club itself. Every venue has its own vibe and so every set is different.

What’s the most recent track you purchased?
Well, people keep throwing promos at me all the time so I have barely purchased any track in a long time. I guess it was Octopuss by Johannes Heil & Len Faki something by Philippe Petit.

Do you still remember the first record you bought?
My first LP was Made in Japan by Deep Purple. The first single was Popcorn by Archaic System.

30 years on stage in 2015 – will you celebrate 60 years on stage in 2045?
When? Will I be able to experience that? If so: YES!

We hope so! Our last question: what’s your favourite animal?
I find the naked mole rat hilarious. Look at its teeth! (laughs) It’s not the most beautiful creature under the sun, but I guess it doesn’t really give a damn since it doesn’t look at itself.

Try to catch Dr. Motte playing one of his forward pushing sets, it was an honor doing the interview with him and a pleaser listening to his set. So don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/DrMotteOfficial
www.facebook.com/PRAXXIZ
www.facebook.com/PRAXXIZ.on.ACID
www.residentadvisor.net/dj/dr.motte
www.soundcloud.com/dr-motte
www.twitter.com/Dr_Motte
www.youtube.com/user/PRAXXIZtv
www.praxxiz.de

# 014 | Qu-Zen

It’s Thursday February 12, 2015 – this is the 14th TEA at the ZOO, after Europe and South America we’re yet discovering another continent, Australia. W/ Qu-Zen from .zenroom | Sydney, we got a real lady on techno-fire. So open your ears and hark to what she plays and has to say:

Where are you from?
Sydney, Australia

Where are you living most of your time?
Currently living in Sydney. I’ll be relocating to Berlin in September this year.

How old are you?
29 years young.

When and why did you start DJing?
I started DJing in clubs in 2010. There was never a significant moment when the decision was made, it happened organically. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t drawn to music and the dance floor has always felt like a second home to me.

Which equipment/set up is your favourite and why?
1 DJM700, 3 CDJ 850s. I find using 3 CDJs more challenging and layering/mashing tracks is just way more fun. All my podcasts are recorded using this set up as I really enjoy mixing and wouldn’t record any other way.
With production I use Ableton Live with a Roland Aira TR-8 and Akai APC mini controller.

How would you describe your music?
I love all styles of Techno and I always try to add a little bit of everything into my sets – that being the more delicate and intricate sound where you can just smile and let your mind drift, the funky stuff that gets you dancing, some acid thrown in for good measure, the deep and dubby groove you can bop to, as well as all things gritty and industrial where all you can really do is move side to side and stand there with your head in your hands because it’s so good it’s melting your mind and you don’t know what else to do [hahaha].
I pretty much go by my current mood and how I’m feeling, music is my therapy.

 Who are your idols?
Speedy J. I was lucky enough to support Speedy J at Chinese Laundry and it was a very memorable night. He just makes me dance to the point where I never want to stop. One of my all-time favourite sets is one by Zeitgeber for 7 hours at Trouw and it’s quite a beautiful journey. Floating ambience at the beginning, not knowing what was going to happen next and casually growing and piecing together a place in my mind, I like that about music and I love that about Techno…the way it draws you in.
I really admire Dave Clarke’s technical skills behind the decks, he’s always doing something to keep things interesting and the crowd never gets bored. A little flick here and there, and cut in and out of that, then tweak and tweak and TWEAK…….then BOOM! *crowd goes nuts*

 Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration is in everything. My creative process is natural and not something that can be forced, I wait for it to come to me. I always have something playing in my life which helps keep the process flowing whether it be techno, dub techno, drum & bass, rock or classical. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of African tribal drumming, I have this growing obsession with percussion rhythms and I love the way it can faintly build intensity in your mind and make you move. Dino Sabatini’s work is always inspirational to me, listening to it originally was what sent me down the path of production.
I taught myself how to DJ by watching others and I still do this today. Watching DJs connect with music, watching how they use the mixer, when they use their headphones and try to keep up with what they’re doing, how they move, how they react – all of this excites me and inspires me. Kate Doherty who’s a Sydney local is always a joy to watch, she has this infections energy and it helps me to being a little more animated and playful at my own gigs. Andrew Wowk is one of the most creative and smooth DJs I’ve ever seen and watching what he does makes me want to go home and try the same.
Environment is so important to me for inspiration as well and this is what’s encouraged me to move to Berlin. My time spent there previously was so powerful and I’m looking forward to making the permanent move there in September.

What was the first vinyl you bought?
I actually purchased a random milk crate of vinyl and remember there was a lot of Carl Cox.

What was the last vinyl you bought?
The Beatles – Abbey Road

 Do you have any residencies?
I’m a resident at .darkroom which is run by Gav Whalan. Our focus is on local DJs and the hardest techno in town. .darkroom is like my home and playing there surrounded by so many friends and Sydney’s biggest Techno heads is always ridiculous amounts of fun, and I never hold back!

Where was your first gig?
My first gig was in 2010 at a long running party called Plastic. The promoter went berserk with the decorations and it set the atmosphere perfectly, I remember the DJ booth was surrounded by tin foil madness and I felt like I was operating a giant machine of some kind. It was loads of fun and I just didn’t want to stop playing.

Where did like it the most to DJ and why?
Tresor in Berlin. The atmosphere was intense, the place was red, red and RED! I got to play alongside Damon Wild and 88UW which was very special. The dance floor was jam packed and I’ve never felt so much energy in one room before, it was a little overwhelming and my favourite gig so far.
It was truly an honour playing down in the vault. That room holds many stories and so much history that even just being there was so influential.
I was lucky enough to play in Globus as well for Electric Monday and that gig was just as momentous. The crowd’s response to my set kept me smiling from ear to ear for days after and that sound system is simply amazing!

What was the funniest/craziest thing that happened on a gig?
I seem be a magnet for cutting the power or blowing a speaker in nightclubs and it’s happened on a few occasions (must be the techno [hahaha])
I remember one night at .darkroom the fire alarm set off during my set and when I took my headphones off I thought the alarm was part of the track because they sat quite well together, and I thought “oh, I didn’t know the track did that, sounds cool” and then just kept playing.

Upcoming gigs?
In February I’m actually playing my first Drum & Bass gig at Afterlife which should be heaps of fun! I also have some international support gigs coming up that I cannot reveal as yet…stay tuned!

 Are there any upcoming releases or recently released stuff?
I put some of my music up on my SoundCloud for free so download away if you enjoy.
I also have a monthly Podcast series on Fnoob Techno Radio called .zenroom, these also get uploaded onto my SoundCloud for your listening pleasure.

What are you plans for the future?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m making the big move to Berlin in September this year. With a little luck I hope to play through Europe and take advantage of the fact I’m not 21 hours away from everything here in Australia. This is also a great time to dive even deeper into production. I’m going with an open mind, open heart, lots of Techno and that could lead me anywhere.

What is your favourite animal?
Black Panther.

Try to catch Qu-Zen playing one of her forward pressing sets, it was a pleaser doing the interview with her and listening to her set. So don’t forget to say hello from us!

– Larry

www.facebook.com/quzenofficial
www.facebook.com/groups/clubdarkroom
www.soundcloud.com/qu-zen
www.residentadvisor.net/dj/qu-zen