Told her I knew a place down the street that had good smoothies. Did not lie. Kids: feeding their parents half-truths since the beginning of time. I can only hope I’m as good of a sport as this woman when I’m her age! Really looking forward to staying out past curfew with a lot of you this evening. See you tonight!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever be closing the best club in the world on it’s birthday. It’s always an honor to close this room down. I look forward to giving it my all and getting to know all of you on the dance floor. I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel incomplete without my friend, early inspiration, and longtime advocate: Lisa, aka Noncompliant. So glad she’s on the mend, and I know this isn’t a cancellation, just a postponement. Can’t wait for that day to come, and can’t wait until Sunday to guide the ship home once again with all of you! Gute Besserung, Lisa!
New press photo, new tour dates: Dec 16 - Berghain 14th Anniversary Dec 28 - STR8 @ THW Frankfurt Dec 31 - NYE in Los Angeles Jan 18 - Hangover in Guangzhou Jan 19 - Zhaodai in Beijing Jan 25 - Kashmir in Dali Jan 26 - TBA Feb 1 - Toilet Club in Qingdao Feb 2 - Beton Brut in Seoul Feb 6 - TAG in Chengdu
Today I heard the sad news of Output in New York closing. It was an honor to have gotten to play there, and I can say that this was a club that was operated by exceptional people, and even more uniquely, lovers of techno and house music who invested a lot of time into New York’s scene long before Output existed. I’m not a New Yorker, and don’t know the full details of the closing, but maybe now would be a good time to take a moment to zoom out and take an honest look at the musical era between Napster and Spotify. Times are certainly changing for music as always, but I fear this era has brought a new set of challenges for musicians and venues. The average age of a club-goer is approaching the amount of years that music has carried the illusion of costing nothing. I don’t blame anyone who grew in this era for not connecting paying for music, or cover charges as a means for people (not just musicians) to make a living and pay rent. But it’s definitely a reality, further cemented every time a great venue has to close its doors, and all the security, bartenders, technicians, owners, cleaning staff, and many others are faced with the scary task of finding new work, this time right in the middle of the already stressful holiday season. More often than many people realize, clubs are struggling just to break even at the door, and the difference between a club breaking even and someone losing thousands of dollars/euros on a night can be the difference of 100 paying guests. This brings up the sticky topic of...guestlist. What once was a unique phenomenon in select places, has now become a global problem. Of course there is a purpose for a guestlist, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. But if you’re a big fan of an act or a venue, there’s nothing better you can do than to pay money to enjoy them. When you pay for entry to a club, you’re not only casting a vote for the music you love, you’re investing in a culture that we all love and enjoy. Look at paying entry into a club as a conservation effort that will allow younger generations to enjoy what you have enjoyed. For better or for worse, we have access to the entire world of music, advertisement free, for the monthly price of what a single record used to cost. That’s insane (and alarming, but that’s for another day). I hope that in exchange we can challenge ourselves to make a better effort financially support the venues and artists we love. Otherwise, they might not be there tomorrow. Thanks to everyone at Output for supporting the culture, and for taking chances on techno and house music when a lot of other places wouldn’t. Respect.
I was really impressed with the energy in the bunker at Artheater in Cologne last weekend! It was really nice to get to build things up from the start and hopefully create a nice environment for all of you. Special thanks to the sound/light technician who honored my request to keep things nice and dark in the room, your work made a positive impact! Let this be reason #16754 to be nice to the technicians in the club, as they have a lot more power than many think! I’m always impressed with Alex Bau’s ability to swim against today's current in constructing slow building sets with rolling bass, while often abstaining from the super obvious. His sets really remind me of the DE9: Closer to the Edit era. Fantastic! Thank you all for the fantastic night. One minor thing: To the guy in the bright red Puma jacket constantly shouting to play harder and faster directly in front, while completely unaware that all the people you were obstructing were having quite a nice time: I am not your jukebox. I am not invited to a club to please only a single individual. Equally, no one is forcing against your will to stay in a room when there’s a DJ with whom you don’t connect. When there’s a part in a movie that you don’t like, do you shout “Fast forward!!!” in the theater, completely disregarding how unpleasant it might be making the experience of those around you? Just because you consumed 10 times more than everyone else around you, does not give you 10 times more say in what the DJ plays. Please trust that a DJ is constantly reading the room and will take the room on the best journey that they see fit. When you stand in front of the DJ, and just yell to play the hardest and fastest track in their collection, it doesn’t help anything, and really shifts the climate of a smaller room. Besides, no good story is written in all capital letters. Please respect what the DJ is trying to do, and if you can’t, quietly go to one of the many other rooms that were open on this night. I would never demand that you like the music I play, as it would be boring if the whole world had the same musical tastes. I simply ask you to be respectful, both to me, and to those around you. I hope to see you next time, and I hope you and I maybe connect in a better way. To everyone else, thank you for a wonderful night. This was by far my favorite Cologne experience. Hope to be back soon!
This iPhone and selfie party in my hotel is lit AF! It’s been really nice catching up with my longtime pal Alex Bau today. We always had a nice connection regarding musical philosophies, so it’s always nice to get to catch up on life, techno, and all that stuff, as we don’t get to see each other too often these days. Of course we grumble occasionally like old farts, but we still love the music and are also really excited regarding what the younger generations are bringing to the table these days. We’re playing later tonight at Artheater in Cologne tonight. I’ll be on from 2-4, and Alex will follow at 4-6. Hope to see you!
Whoops! It’s already almost the weekend again and I forgot to ramble on, and on, and on, and on, and on about last weekend! Despite the dialect being pretty hard for me to understand once they get a few drinks in them, Saarbrücken and all the people there were really fun as usual. The last time I played there, it was UnsichtBar, and now it’s grown into a much bigger but equally cozy venue in adding Mauerpfeffer. It was nice to get to go to the club beforehand and look through the photos of all the building work. Wahnsinn as the Germans say! (They also often say “or” at the end of saying an exclamatory statement, but that’s a topic for another day. Crazy! Or?). Thanks a lot for the great party, and it was great to meet and spend time with so many kind souls like Tim, Jake, and Linus. I look forward to coming back and testing out the new rooms...Happy birthday Mauerpfeffer! You’re among the survivors given another unpromised year in an often wobbly and unpredictable world. Keep going! And tomorrow it’s off to Cologne at Artheater! ✌🏻 Oh! One last thing, to the guy who reached into the DJ booth and hit the “info” button on the CDJ while it was playing and then took out your camera to take a photo of the track ID: please don’t do that anymore. Photo: not my shoes, but of a rave enthusiasts that I met. Was proud to have my first Puma 808 sighting in the wild, and was able to snap a photo before they ran away!
I like these guys. I’ve known Tim for quite some time now via his club Unsicht Bar, which is now Mauerpfeiffer, and just met Jake The Rapper today as we were getting off the plane. Funny dude, and yes, he actually is a rapper I learned. We’ll all be playing tonight for the birthday party of the club, and I will be sleeping today to charge my batteries. Hope to see some of you out! I’m in the techno bunker from 4-6! ✌🏻
Am I doing this elevator thing right? A little late on this one...but it was a great weekend getting to play in both Paris and Regensburg. Both places were fantastic hosts, and both parties honestly were better than I expected! I came down with food poisoning pretty much immediately after I finished playing in Paris, and it pretty much ran its course right up until me starting to play in Regensburg. People in our little world of DJing have been afforded a lot of great opportunities and amazing experiences in doing what we love. There are so many perks, but this comes in exchange for a few challenges like no paid sick days, and despite what we all try to communicate on Instagram, no paid vacation days. The point is, I’m very thankful for all those who were super accommodating to my needs during that tricky part of the weekend to get me to a place where everything could go as originally planned...it means a lot! I’m confident that without so many supportive people I meet along the way, this wouldn’t be near as enjoyable as it is. So once again, big respect to all those working behind the scenes to make stuff like this go off without a hitch. Lastly, happy birthday Jay, hope you had a wonderful birthday, and it was an honor to be a part of it!
Selfie plus vinyl record sprinkled with a bit of bedhead equals likes4days. 😂 I have to say though, I’m really excited to have gotten the test pressings for my next release on Materia. It’s a four track EP of originals, and tracks that I really believe in. I think you’ll enjoy it! I also want to say what this record means to me personally. Marco Bailey was one of the first heroes of mine that I met when I started my little career as a DJ. I had done some well received releases to get things up and running, and so many people helped me in that, none of whom I’ve forgotten. When you’re a new artist, with a little buzz behind your name, everyone will come to your side and be excited to work with you. But let me be real honest: once that buzz fades, so will about 90% of your incoming calls and text messages. Many, even most artists will have peaks and valleys in their career, and after that initial phase of being new and exciting, many artists will experience a minor or major comedown. Many because of this will experience an artistic crisis, and possibly an overall identity crisis. Marco is one of the more intense people I’ve met, but he’s also one of the most loyal. Marco stuck with me through some really dark places in my development as an artist, even at points when, if I’m honest, I was making shit music. He never once stopped answering my calls or emails (though once he wrote back in Flemish 😂), and always has believed in me more than I’ve often believed in myself. I guess my advice to young artists would be to always push yourself and your career, but also always take inventory of the people who are most likely to stick with you when your phone stops ringing like it once did. Super excited to get this new EP out and work with Marco once again, and I’ll keep you all posted on the release date!
Really happy to be a part of this 10 year compilation on Sleaze Records. So many of these artists on this project have known each other for about the same amount of years as this label is old. Really cool and inspiring to see so many friends still at it. I hope you enjoy my track “Abysmal”. To be honest, I don’t recall what specifically was abysmal that day, but it must not have been nearly as bad as I perceived it if I can’t remember. I’d reckon this applies to most sticky situations in life. 😂
Back to life after a couple really nice gigs over the last days. Both STR8 in Frankfurt and Gotec Club in Karlsruhe had a really feels to them, but they were special to me in that they both represent lasting and loyal relationships in this circus we call techno. It’s not always possible, but I’m super energized by relationships that have communicated a two-way loyalty. These two operations have stood behind me regardless of how high I was currently sitting on the infamous “hype-o-meter”, and I certainly hope that I show those same standards on my end. Thanks believing in me more than the hype...you folks make Chuck D proud. I was told to make sure you have someone to stand behind you and get some photos for you in every city you play. You folks wouldn’t believe how much better the lighting is outside of nightclubs for photographing the back of DJs heads! I hope you like (and subscribe). Don’t believe the hype.
Fantastic team photo before tonight’s match at Gotec Club in Karlsruhe. Here‘s Nur Jaber, Carolina (Half of No.Dolls) and the great Raphi. The sidewalk was a bit narrow so we decided to go for the family photo at Disney World look. Timetable is somewhere. See you tonight! 🇱🇧 🇧🇷 🇩🇪 🇺🇸 (not pictured: 🇨🇱)
Since we kind of have a pact to not have discussions on social media, we end up having a lot to catch up on when we meet face to face. The good news: our friendship has always endured any disagreement we may have. The bad news: Just as we were on the brink of solving all of the world’s problems, the damn restaurant said they were closing! My times with my buddy @_noncompliant_ are always a great reminder that tolerance isn’t about always agreeing, but respecting one another even in the presence of disagreements. 🖖🏼
Thanks to everyone who either woke up early, stayed up late, or postponed their breakfast plans on Sunday morning to dance with me in the mighty Berghain. Thanks for allowing me to take things a bit deeper at times, as I think it’s so important for DJs to be role players in the context of a party. Over the last year I’ve gotten to speak with so many DJ friends of mine, and there seems to be a consensus with feeling this growing external pressure to present ourselves as the hero every moment, every set, every track, every breakdown, every instagram story, every photo, every day. While this may be good for “business“, it’s often not so good for the bigger picture of a party. For me, DJing will always be more about storytelling than being a superhero...and Berghain is a place that has continuously worked to create an environment much more conducive for storytelling than any other place in the world. Thanks for making the party bigger than a single DJ. Thanks to all who come, respect, work, and play in this environment...and thanks for letting me be a part of it as well. It’s always hard to say if I love raving or DJing here more (because it’s the best place for both), so I felt I had better go back Sunday evening to do a side by side comparison. 😏 Much love.
Big thanks to Robert Hood for featuring a track from Hans Bouffmyhre and myself on his newest DJ-Kicks mix compilation. In our fast paced world of music, big respect for not being afraid to still rinse a track even if it's still a few years old! It's a great feeling to know that music you created isn't always forgotten after 2.5 days. I'm always a bit sentimental with things like this (shocker). But I just remember being in college, downloading DJ mixes on Napster and Soulseek (In between watching hilarious G.I. Joe overdub videos on ebaumsworld, of course) when I was first getting deep into techno. Artists like Robert Hood were kind of like these far off superheroes to me and my friends. I would listen to these mixes, and then go try to emulate things they'd do in these mixes I'd download, while trying to sniff out track IDs from my favorite parts on the mixes. It's always a special moment when I get news of any of the old veterans playing music from myself. Thank you!
It was really fun to be back in the house of Lehmann! Big respect to all those who put in the work this summer to make subtle, but very effective changes to the club and dance floor. The fact that a club is even thinking about the little details and their impact it can have on the vibe of a party says a lot about a venue. As beloved as a cliche it may be, “It’s all about the music” isn’t really accurate. The best venues always put music at the helm, but the things that separate good venues from bad ones is if the other variables in place amplify or detract from the music. Every light fixture, DJ booth, dance floor layout, chillout area, and even bathroom location should have this mind…and Lehmann took steps in the right direction on this one. If it was only about the music, we’d just stay at home and listen on a nice set of headphones. Respect to all the venues who carefully approach music as a 360 degree experience. Until next time!
This hotel restaurant is way fancier than we are. I wish you all could see the looks we’re getting, but I’m guessing they’re all just jealous of our bold H&M fall fashion #hatersgonnahate. Anyways...here’s me and my dear friend, DJ, and de facto bodyguard @raphaeldincsoymusic gearing up for tonight at Lehmann Club...excited to test out the rebuilt room! Rapha starts, and I end! See you soon! 🤠
Only boring people get bored. Just kidding, that saying is pretty much nonsense. But sometimes, when something gets a bit too familiar, it becomes easier and easier to notice all the little flaws rather than the bigger picture. I’ve spent the better part of 20 years experiencing and loving techno on a daily basis, and I’m lucky to say I still really do (most days). The past couple years though, I’ve maybe gotten a bit too comfortable with doing the same things in the studio, and even DJing. In the social media game, it’s really easy to become critical of all the things around you, and never stop to look inward. I’ve come to find that it’s usually my approach to music that’s gotten boring much more than the music itself. I’ve made it a goal to try to do things that completely remove my mind from techno and my eyes from my dumbphone, and learn something that interests me. I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, but didn’t get around to start doing it until weeks ago. I have to say, there’s something humbling about learning something that you know absolutely nothing about. It strips the ability to be cynical or critical when you realize you know absolutely nothing about that given topic. Here’s the end of week two, with my kickass teacher, Zutoia. Thanks for sparking a hunger for learning again, as I’m sure this will translate to helping my curiosity in the studio and a DJ! (And don’t worry, I still love techno 🤠)
Monday musings: Think of how much easier it was to hear a musician than to see a musician 20 years ago. Now think of how much easier it is to see a musician than to hear a musician today. Hopefully this helps answer some questions regarding odd and sometimes desperate looking social media behaviors...and I think this is responsible for a lot issues. I'll use the example of my favorite band: Nine Inch Nails. I would listen to NIN's music everyday, and have to literally hunt for magazines to try to get into the mind of Trent Reznor. As time passed between The Downward Spiral and The Fragile, those opportunities decreased because magazines had moved onto to something else. We later learned of how dark of a place Mr. Reznor was in between those albums, and it was obvious to everyone who listened to The Fragile for the first time. Not only was music the only way for a fan to know an artist back then, it was the only outlet for an artist to be heard. The Fragile wasn't an exercise of him blowing off steam, it was him blowing a f*cking gasket. Music was the ONLY way to get it out. Now, think of what social media does to that emotion. Artists rarely reach a boiling point musically, because they'll usually destroy their career with a tweet way before that. Any emotion for that matter, is way harder to reach its peak and be conveyed musically before it's been vomited all over social media in hopes of keeping the general public's 5 minute attention span. By the time we hit the studio, we've often ran out of things to say. We all know what happens when we're in the shower and someone turns on another faucet. The pressure becomes weak. If the studio is a faucet for expression, so is twitter, facebook, instagram, and all the other tools that are a double edged sword for artists. I think deep down, every artist has at least one of two fears: not being liked, and being forgotten. Social media has created an unhealthy obsession with being liked and not forgotten, so much that it's easy to forget to ever do something musically worth being remembered for. And yes, I'm fully aware that I am the king of long emo posts, and no, I'm not gonna stop. But I'm starting to maybe see how social media runs the risk of being a rat race to remind people we exist, while keeping us from digging deeper...and I want to be aware of the impacts it might have on delivering something worth being heard. Maybe I'll shoot for a few less instagram stories, and a few more musical ones. How's that sound? And maybe like most things in life, it's a balance. Happy Monday! 🤠