Having deejayed for as long as you have, what’s different today about dance floors you play to than in the late 90’s and/or early 2000’s?
I have been DJ-ing professionally for 20 years now. Jesus, time flies! Well to answer that we would probably start a long chat. To cut a long story short, nowadays everything is much more professional. I can’t just be a DJ as I was in the 90’s. Today I need releases, a record label, web 2.0 prescence, all kind of promo tools (social networks), remixes, radio shows, management and a booking agency. It wasn’t like this back in the day. Same goes for the dance floors. I almost never play those dirty small underground parties any more. All has become so pro. Big stages, big screens, big sponsoring and all that. I am missing a bit of this real underground feeling. Sometimes it happens still and then things can get really wild. The good thing about today is that Techno is happening almost everywhere in the world and I can travel all around to play the music I love. This hasn’t changed, I still play the music I love.
A lot has been made of the Techno scene in Germany. On your travels are you ever pleasantly surprised at how good the Tech scene is in other countries and if so which countries do you feel really ‘get your sound.’
Things have evolved a lot and Techno is almost everywhere. But yes there are differences in sound and style. My best place to play and be is, Brazil. There, people just love my music and the music of Beckers. Other good places for us would be Japan, Australia, Mexico, Israel and a few more. We almost never get to play in Germany. Somehow we haven’t had as big an impact on the German market.
D-Nox & Beckers has become a hugely popular and respected name for productions although you both also produce your own stuff as well. How would you say your solo production differs from D-Nox & Beckers?
You can hear that best if you take a D&B track and a Beckers track and compare them. Beckers solo tracks are much less club oriented than our tracks together. Whenever we get together we create dance floor tracks; tracks for DJ´s. Beckers has a musical idea before he starts a track. I don’t have that. I work on a moment, this magical moment that can only happen in a studio. I need to hear things before I get ideas and a vision. I make music for DJ´s and spend less time on the harmony part.
Do you and Beckers do more DJ set gigs together or solo gigs?
It’s 50/50. It depends on the promoter or event. Big tours we normally do together. Some clubs can’t afford the two of us or just want one of us. That’s the good thing about D&B, we can do it all. Together, solo, live or DJ. Whatever the promoter wants!
How different is your solo DJ set from when you and Beckers play together?
I believe that I was born to be a DJ, that sounds pretty pathetic but somehow it can feel it when I play solo sets. There, I get to create this very special moment and I am sure I am meant to do only this one thing. When I play alone, I play more of a mixture and I’m a bit more relaxed since I don’t need to follow Beckers’ mind too.
As a label owner and producer you have access to tons of unreleased material. In a two hour set how many of your own productions do you find yourself playing, more or less?
Running two labels (Sprout and Plastik Park), DJ-ing and producing. It’s a lot to do. What’s the biggest challenge to stay on top of all of this?
Being a father at the same time, that’s the trickiest part. Father, travelling and label gives me less time to be in the studio. This sucks but I promise I will work on this in 2012.
Do you find yourself playing more outdoor festivals or in clubs?
Which do your prefer?
Both, I just need this special magic moment I was talking about before.
You were last in South Africa something like 10 years ago – what are your memories of Cape Town from back then?
Yes I went there once about eight years ago. My memories are penguins at the beach. The party was fun but very small. I don’t remember much of the event just that we were a big group of friends. Cape Town was beautiful, love it there. I was always looking to come back. This is now a dream that became true.
Lastly, what 3 things make a good party?
The right sound system, the right crowd and the right time. If the crowd is not really up for it than a good sound system doesn’t do anything. On a good system and with the right crowd even a bad DJ can rock it and if we have good sound, the right crowd and the right moment than again, we can do magic!
Be sure to check out some his magic this week-end if you are in Joburg or Cape Town!