Upcoming dates: Aug 24. Bielefeld @ The Forum Aug 28. Catch up on Netflix Aug 31. ???? @ Die Letzte Wiese Sept 6. Stuttgart @ Lehmann Sept 9. Hang with friends maybe IDK Sept 15. Malta @ In.di.go Sept 21. Karlsruhe @ Rheingrün Sept 25. Do people actually read these? See you on the dancefloor. #dogwhisperer #doggfather
Summer of 2008. I found this little gem in the archives. Sure it looks just like a messy bachelor pad, but this was my temporary home during my first ever European DJ gigs. This was a little room that I shared with my longtime friend @jpls25. In some ways it feels sons ago, but I still feel like I remember every place we ate, every new face I met, and just being in awe of the whole experience, and meeting up with my old friend and roommate from University back in Indiana only to relive it all over again in Europe while we were both doing the techno thing. This room was an absolute disaster, but details like this were just insignificant compared to the bigger picture. Times were also different. I can’t see what’s on my laptop screen, but I can promise you that it was either Ableton or MySpace. The resolution of every digital camera was so bad at this time, that staging photos to promote your career just weren’t even on the radar. The result? Way more photos depicting a daily and way less marketable life. Jeremy had a desk off in the corner. And I would just lay on that closest mattress all day, we’d both work on Ableton most of the time...then go to Jeremy’s favorite pizza spot in the evening, then rinse and repeat for a few weeks. Times have changed and I’m okay with this...but man, I hope new and young artists get to experience the same adventures that we got to. We didn’t even have maps on our phones really, so getting to wander around in a foreign country with a few u-bahn stops scribbled on a sheet of paper had a certain element of adventure in discovering things that you have to be way more intentional about doing today. We didn’t know what food bloggers thought about our pizza joint, we just liked the taste. We didn’t even know what the world thought about our records...we were just so happy to walk into a store and see it on the shelves. Now that I think about it, maybe seeing my record still on the shelves said something more bad than I thought, but it didn’t matter. 😂 I know it would have been ideal if we were in this photo too, but my sense of fashion was suspect at best...better things weren’t so well documented then. As a little aside: I know that I write these long diaries...but I should have you know that I was writing these long thoughts prior to the Facebook days, to friends and family on an email list I kept. I’ve thought about sharing some of those from the archives. My life was in a very different place then, and it’s clear that I saw the world through a slightly different lens, but they might be more interesting to release in their raw form. Thoughts?
Reunited! I’ve decided never to play the lottery as I’m confident that I’ve exhausted all my luck in my everyday life. I didn’t get a lot of sleep between the club and the airport, and this became obvious when I realized I forgot one of my shirts at the hotel. I arranged for the hotel to send me that, and was happy that all had been resolved. Thursday, I decided it was probably time to put my suitcase away from Sunday, which I remembered that my dirty clothes were still in there. I know, you should never air dirty laundry on social media, but it’s relevant because as soon as I took my clothes out, I was surprised by how empty my suitcase looked. Shit. Retrace your steps Kyle. Think long and hard, where is the most important part of your luggage? I called the organizer in a panic, certain I left it at the club...then noticed that my toiletries were also missing, which probably meant that I somehow left it at the airport security check. Horrible. I guess they’d pulled it to the side for additional screening, and I was so excited they let my huge, way larger than 100 mL container of Hummus from the restaurant through (is hummus considered a liquid?), that my little packing system got disrupted. I’m an idiot, and lots of people put in some nice efforts to get it all back to me. Shoutout to Dave, Peter, Micha, and Frankfurt Airport for helping resolve what could have been a very costly mistake. P.S. That little star alliance travel bag was given to me when they lost my luggage...it has now been lost more by me (and found) than star alliance has lost my luggage. I think it’s my little lucky charm. That’s all I got for today.
Sometimes in 2019, it can be hard to tell what photos are a reflection of a person’s humanity, and which ones are merely cleverly disguised advertisements. But I hope you take a close look at this one. When I came into the lobby of the hotel I was staying, this is the first thing I saw: A Russian DJ, living in New York, probably still incredibly jetlagged, and just off a flight from her gig in Oslo...taking time to play fun games with a strangers baby in the lobby. I was hoping I could sneak some photos of this moment without anyone seeing, and seem to have managed. This baby didn’t care about DJs, careers, flyer miles, or even the shiny Rimowa sitting right next to him. He cared about the person acknowledging and playing paddy-cake with him. This was taking place in the heart of Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel, where sadly many of the areas forgotten and ignored gather to try to survive through their battles with addiction. I’ve lost multiple friends to heroin overdoses back home in the last years...So I always make it a point to pass through these blocks on my way to my hotel and hope that these people have someone to at least acknowledge their humanity despite their struggles...and hope my friends had the same. Walking through some pretty dark and lonely streets to come in and see a jet-lagged, jet-setting DJ take time to engage with a little tiny stranger was super uplifting and a little, but significant act which plays a role in making the world a better and less lonely place. If you haven’t already, meet Julia Govor. A really creative DJ, such a good soul with so many stories to tell, and a contagious positivity that never seems to run out. These are the types of good that happen every day in the world if we look hard enough for them (I had to look a bit harder this time since she was behind trees and wearing an army green outfit 😂). People are good.
This really looks like one of those comedy sketches from the 80’s where they bring me a fancy dinner and when they lift off the silver shell it’s your friends head instead of a steak...and this is where I follow up by lecturing my dear friend Peter about how this isn’t really appropriate, and that someone could really get hurt with these silly jokes. Truth be told, I don’t know what I’m saying to Peter after the lights came on at Tanzhaus, but Saturday night in Frankfurt was so damn fun! This was the first time I’ve gotten to play on the newly configured floor, and it is WORLDS better. The crowd flows better, people feel less aggressive because of it, and the new sound is rockin’! It was really nice closing things down, and every time I play here, I feel like the techno scene in Frankfurt is evolving in a very good and positive direction. I have to also say that the dancefloor keeps becoming more and more diverse from my perspective. I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of seeing many smiling gay faces I saw in the crowd, at a party called STR8. Life is funny sometimes 😂. Just in case anyone is wondering, it’s an old name that was pertaining to the type of music being offered, as back when these parties started, the type of techno being showcased at these parties had all but disappeared from the Frankfurt scene. I could be biased, but the efforts of Peter and a few others are really the primary reason why this type of sound is still available in the 069. Thanks to all of you for raving until the bitter end! To Micha, I’m so sorry for screwing up and forgetting to write you on the guestlist...I’m an idiot sometimes, and will make it up to you next time. At any rate, I can’t wait to come back to give Peter more stern lectures. ✌🏼
My seat has a built-in tractor beam and I’m headed warp-speed to Frankfurt where I’ll close down the Tanzhaus floor at STR8 tonight. It’s been said my DJ sets are better than Tender and Instagram combined, so I hope you’ll join for the ride! Edit: I’ve been informed that it’s Tinder, not Tender. This is a generation gap I‘ll happily embrace.
Found this little guy while going through my storage in the US. It’s funny how little things like this bring back so many memories. I had just started working my first “real job” after graduating, doing retail management for what was once a big company in the US. A constant struggle as a musician is the utter lack of stability and uncertainty that comes with a job from music...and you always struggle with the assumption that stability rests in every career but yours. Turns out, the retail industry has its own woes, and the stock of the company was sitting around 38 bucks when I left, and is now sitting at about 80 cents a share. Maybe I should save up a few thousand Spotify plays and buy a single share of the stock for symbolic purposes to remind myself that there’s risk in everything you do. I didn’t like that job, but I remember being so excited to finally have money to buy this software, get a midi controller, and even a T-Shirt. Back then, it shipped from Germany if I recall, and when I got the free “XL” t-shirt, I remember calling Ableton (in Germany) to tell them they accidentally sent the women’s XL. I was informed that the shirts were unisex, and immediately realized that being glued to a computer screen for hours a day after work probably wasn’t gonna improve my predicament...but oh well. Fast forward a bit, this was the software that would change the course of my life as I know it today...and boy did my first tracks suck. Slowly but surely, things started to click. My tracks slowly stopped evacuating dancefloors, and then opportunities started to come. To the young and aspiring producers: know that, when I got my first chances I was accused of “skipping the line” as well. Ableton was viewed as cheating. It was the sync button, the well executed Instagram, the DJ who never learned how to DJ the “real” way. It made music “too easy.” My point is, don’t listen to us old farts...you are now in control and never second guess what you’re doing because someone thinks you’re undeserving. Older generations being reluctant towards younger ones is something that at least existed since my grandparents generation...so keep paving the way with reckless abandon. ✌
It feels crazy, but this weekend will be the first time this year that I've played at STR8 in Frankfurt. Part of my love for this crew is that I have always felt they have had not just their interests in mind, but the artists they support as well. Under normal circumstances, I would have played all the parties this year, but there seemed to always be scheduling conflicts that fell together, which would have required me to not do extended tours in other countries to make the dates work. Due to my private jet being backordered for at least another 4 years, decisions had to be made, and Peter not only understood, but encouraged me to take the tours. The term "family" is thrown around like candy in this industry...but I'm always reluctant to call any relationship that hinges on my performance as an artist family. The people in Frankfurt are an exception, as the relationship with them reaches far beyond the dancefloor, and far more honest than a lot of the business-like fodder we probably all experience, regardless of profession. I'm super excited to be back this weekend, and hope my little hiatus was long enough to where you don't get sick of me, but short enough to where you didn't forget about me! 😁So, see you this weekend, this time with the likes of Matrixxman, Julia Govor , nd_baumecker, and the usual suspects. Bis Samstag! P.S. I think this is a photo from the first time years ago that I played for the STR8 series. Always good to “accidentally” find a photo where you look 4 years younger!
Heilbronn was a good time as usual! To be honest, I wasn't sure how it would pan out, as my schedule has been all out of whack (partly due to choices that were none but my own). When that alarm went off at 2 AM to head to the club, it hurt a little more than usual. Ha! Getting into the club, the energy was good, and I was able to acclimate quite well before the start of my set. I always encourage ravers and club goers to be gracious to DJs if they seem a little distant or distracted when you meet them at clubs, as it's pretty likely they were asleep less than 60 minutes prior. I'm lucky in this world that I'm not shy by any measure, but I also think that any music scene would be so boring if it was only extroverts who had a place on stage. Some of the best artists I've seen were sometimes the most shy artists, so always try to understand that you might be offering a shot to someone who hasn't even had their first cup of coffee in the morning 🙂. Bukowski is a really unique place to have such a small room, with such a young crowd, who seem open to whatever the DJ is playing...I hope I always have a healthy diet of gigs like this that remind me of why I got into this whole deal in the first place. Thanks to all those who came out, kept an open mind, and for Thilo and Nils for all the care while I was there! See you soon! Fun fact: this shirt is super short on me so you’ll never see me wearing it out in public unless crop tops on middle aged men find their way back into fashion. But just like my Grandmother always told me, it’s what’s on Facebook that counts.
Höhe Düne last Friday, Hammer Döner this Friday. Tonight I’m back at the lovely little rave closet that is Bukowski in Heilbronn. Can’t wait! Last time I ate at this place, I was 4 days into a broken leg and was trying not to pass out from pain. I liked it better this time. See you tonight! #michelinstar #foodblogger
Well well well. Feel Festival was something. It started a few months ago I got a message from a guy named Alex, asking me if I wanted to play at this festival. I remembered his face as being a super enthusiastic guy I saw wearing a wrestling singlet in the crowd at one of my sets in Berlin, and just remembered how energetic he was, as well as how much he looked like an equally motivating, but younger rave version of Richard Simmons! He mentioned he wanted me and Vincent to play together, which we tend to enjoy. For whatever the reason may be, I don’t play a lot of Festivals, so I just went on to assume that it was a pretty small operation. Whoops. I really thought there would be a maximum of 500 people at this thing. 😅 I loved that the festival doesn’t announce the lineup beforehand. I loved how somehow it felt a little less transactional than a lot of festivals can feel. Every music event is a business, but it’s always nice when you get the feeling that it’s not just a huge cash grab, and that there’s a lot of people really emotionally invested in it. I’ve sometimes felt like festivals can be the Walmart of music events, so it’s really nice to see things like this and have my perspective broadened. Vincent and I obviously had tons of fun, played longer than expected, and as a result missed our shuttle back to Berlin (twice), so it’s our hope that you all enjoyed your time with us too. Thanks to Alex, Svenja, and so many others for all the effort you put into this event. Thanks to those who built the stages for not putting those silly 30 meter barriers between the DJ and the crowd. Thanks for making a 15,000+ person event still feel somehow personal. Now enjoy the moment where we briefly turned the techno floor into a 1996 MTV Grind episode. (Obvious) Track ID: The Bucketheads - The Bomb! Much love. Until next time ✌🏼
US tour finished a couple weeks prior, and the Louisville folks gave me too many IPAs to feel like posting anything the day after...and then, life outside of Instagram happened. Sorry! I do want to say that it was fun to be back in Louisville once again, and great to be right in the middle of the pride festivities for this one. But I gotta say, getting to play an unplanned extended b2b session with this guy was the highlight. Meet Trevor Lamont! If you’re from the Midwest and ever went to a rave in the 90’s or early 00’s, you likely saw him on the decks. For me, when I first started going to parties, Trevor was always the sunrise set specialist. There are DJs who you put on to send people home, but Trevor was one of those special ones who TOOK you home. When Trevor came on in the morning you knew you were gonna leave in good spirits, despite the stinky clothes and rave boogers. I could go on about all my first encounters with each and every Midwest hero, but this is definitely the one with regard to Trevor. I keep pushing him to ramp things up again, and maybe you should too. Much love to Trevor and all the people who made the night in Louisville possible!
Recovered from last weekends Kansas City and Chicago whirlwind, saw tons of good friends, made a few new ones, made a road trip out to Virginia to see more family and new nieces, and might have eaten more fried food that I want to talk about. 😅 It was great being a part of, and getting to see proper grassroots efforts in the Midwest being well received. People risk a lot on these things here, and there’s no place for snobbery or stupid bickering about what techno is or isn’t. Scenes like this need every head through the door they can get, and promoters support other promoters efforts. This stuff makes me really happy to see, as in my mind it’s the only way 95% of the scenes outside of a few major European cities can survive. Keep going, keep working together, keep supporting one another! I had lots of fun in both KC and Chicago, and I those who came out to both did as well. Thanks to all the sacrifices people put forth to make stuff like this happen. Now tomorrow it’s off to the home of Bourbon to play a fun little spot in Louisville with Trevor Lamont all night long. He’ll start things up, and I’ll finish them off! I’ve got a lot to say about Trevor, but character limits are saying I need to make you wait to hear about him until my next book. By the way, this photo is actually from the afterparty I went to after the gig I played at Exit in Chicago. Pretty much everyone who put in work to make the party I played possible went straight over to support this night with Function. I thought this photo I snuck of the crew captured the spirit of the Chicago techno scene best, despite taking place after my work was done 🙂 See you tomorrow night in Louisville!
Celebrating the Ibiza photo-op season in style. You know how much trouble you’d get in if you played fetch with Toto in one of those infinity pools over there? For this reason I decided to play it safe and do it where Toto is treated as royalty. See you tonight in what’s known by many as the Ibiza of middle America, Kansas City. I’m on right after Pinion from 1-3 at the Union Library. See you!
On the road with this jackass. 😂 It was only an hour flight, but I almost peed myself from laughing a couple times. Anyways, we’re headed to Kansas City for some classic Midwest shenanigans tomorrow night at the Union Library. On a scale of 1 to DropBass Network, I’m expecting some pretty good stories from this trip. Looking forward!
This week I had a chance to play a couple midweek gigs across Indiana, first in Indianapolis and then in my second home of Fort Wayne. It’s always nice playing in front of people who were there at the start of your life as a DJ. But I think the most special surprise was when I looked over and saw this wild animal. Meet Mirnes. I met Mirnes when he was still a teenager while working with his high school in Fort Wayne as a volunteer soccer coach (Football for the rest of you) at the school, among other things. When you volunteer doing something, you do it to try to help out, but it’s easy to forget about how deeply the people you’re helping may impact your life. If I had to guess, Mirnes was one of about 10 kids on the roster who was a refugee. I come from arguably the most suburban places on the planet, so meeting kids from all over the globe, many who experienced challenges that most of us cannot even begin to fathom, was something I felt incredibly unqualified for. But, they welcomed me into their worlds, invited me into their houses, and let me hear their stories. Kids like Mirnes unknowingly shaped my life and educated me on worlds previously unknown. I knew almost nothing about Bosnia until I met Mirnes and his little posse. I don’t think I'd ever heard the word Ramadan until I worked with these kids, and I’d certainly never tasted the magnificent Ćevapi. I can clearly recall asking dumb questions as well like “why are you yelling at your mom?” and him responding “I’m not yelling, this is how Bosnians talk.” 😂 All that to say, it absolutely warmed my heart to see him out at my gig. I try to avoid politics on here, mostly because I find it to be a pretty awful place for discussion and discourse, but I hope those in my life maybe on the fence about refugee policy would consider stories like Mirnes’, and recognize that if it wasn’t for both Germany (his german is still pretty impressive!), and America welcoming him and many others like him in, that his life would likely look pretty different, and I’m certain mine would to. Thanks for welcoming me in, Mirnes, and it’s still on my bucket list to play in Bosnia so I can finally see your home. 🇧🇦
Arrived in Indy and excited for a little 5 hour back to back session with Noncompliant! Occasionally, when I type Noncompliant on my phone, it’ll autocorrect to “non-confrontational” 😂. Not really so accurate in our opinion, but we’re excited to get down tonight! See you at the Patron Saint in Indy!
What a fantastic reason to miss my favorite techno weekend in Detroit. Congrats to my older brother and his wife Heather! We were far enough apart in age that we always kind of had separate lives, but so many of my first musical experiences that led to a lot of curiosity came from him and helped form a bond between us. I remember hearing The Chronic for the first time on his cassette in our living room (when mom was out running errands of course), hearing Burning Inside from Ministry while riding in his car and having this momentarily distract me from how terrifying of a driver he was, and I was always getting a healthy dose of proper metal from him. He‘s also strangely an absolute sports and car fanatic, which maybe subconsciously taught me at an early age to never put people in a box because of what they’re into. I always joke that if he had a roller derby name, it’d be Kurt Brobain due to his seemingly paradoxical interests, and I think it’s great. Apart from when he threw me up against the garage door for greasing his bedroom doorknob with Vaseline, me taking his Trans Am out on a joyride without his permission and unaware that he religiously counted the odometer, and him being always late and THE SLOWEST EATER OF ALL TIME...I’d easily consider our relationship over the years to be a net positive. Much love and respect to you and Heather. Love you guys. To the rest of you, enjoy Detroit for me, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do 🤠.
Headed to Indiana after a really nice couple days in Detroit. It’s been 3 years since I’ve been in this city (my mom’s first rave 😂), and it’s exciting to see how far the city has come even in that time. I’m sure there will be growing pains along the way, but the city has so much potential to become something really special for culture and arts in the Midwest. I hope that it continues to push forward, while prioritizing those who stuck it out through the good and bad. The gig was admittedly pretty slow with regards to attendance, but it was still great to play for the people who came out. I know I talk about it a lot, but we’ve created this illusion of perfection from social media. I want new and upcoming artists to also realize that not every gig you play is gonna be a packed house, but that there’s value in giving your best effort to even the smallest of crowds, and if you can keep a sparse dance floor engaged, then the packed ones will be easy. I’ve mentioned this story years back, but one of the most inspiring sets I ever saw when I was getting started was Chris Liebing in Chicago. He had just played a sold out I Love Techno the week prior, which at the time was one of the holy grails of our genre. He probably played in front of 5000 people that night, and then arrived in Chicago to play for about 20 of us. He could have blown the gig off, or pouted about it...but nope, he had that same shit eating grin the entire time he pummeled our tiny Thursday night crowd in the same way that he would have for 5000 people. Always give your best and be grateful that you even have chances to be in a DJ booth. Thanks to Dani for being such a wonderful host! Speaking of inspiring sets, how about a list of some of the most inspiring ones I got to experience in Detroit? Forgive me if the years are off. Richie Hawtin - JAK (City Club) 2001 Jay Denham - Underground stage (DEMF) 2001 Ben Sims - some afterhour that used carpet as the exterior wall for the 3rd floor of a warehouse 😱 2004 Marco Carola - DEMF 2002 Ryan Elliot - Underground Stage - 2003 Joris Voorn - Underground Stage - 2003 Rolando - Main stage - 2003? Heartthrob - Masonic Temple - 2006 Thanks Detroit :)
Arrived in Detroit and took some time to connect with some of the locals. Shocking how some of them will just walk up to you as a complete stranger and ask you to scratch their butt. Quite a forward but friendly bunch of folks in the techno city. 🐶 Now I’m all rested and excited to play tonight at The Highdive! I’ll start at midnight and play until they kick us out!
Thanks to everyone who came out to Berghain for what was hopefully another fantastic ride for all of you. I have to say, I struggled a bit at times earlier on to find my way on this one, but each and every time, you all in the crowd take control and give so much to help steer the ship. I’ve said it before, but the best parties are the ones where the DJ is a facilitator to the atmosphere, while helping sometimes to push and expand the boundaries in one way or another. I also believe it’s important for a DJ to think beyond the scope of their set time by also looking at where their set sits in relation to the cycle of the party. Thanks for allowing me the trust to sometimes go in different directions as I see fit to set the stage for the second half of the 36 hour voyage, and being patient even in times when I guess the wrong way. It’s environments like this one where I always feel comfortable and encouraged to try new things and see what doors open from it. Your love and support on the dance floor is a huge inspiration to me. Let’s keep it going together! I try my best to stay off all the message boards and forums, because I used to always find that even in the midst of a handful of compliments, I’d walk away remembering the one that wasn’t so flattering (I guess I’m a softy :)). But, I saw a couple inquiries about the last track I played...it was a track by Jimpster called Rollergirl. This track always stays in my arsenal for moments like these 🙂. Thanks for always giving me more and more great memories for my mental archives via nights like this. Much love. Now, I have to do probably my 7th least favorite thing on the planet, which is packing (coded language for forgetting at least 3 things). But, this means that I’ve got a trip coming up which involves a lot of family and friends, and a fair amount of DJing. First stop: Detroit this Friday at The High Dive!