So playing music without words, do you think your political attitudes are expressed through your music?
I hope so. But like I said, because there are no words, it’s so hard to know the opinions of electronic musicians. But I think my music has something that you would describe as Dadaist or surrealist. And I think only people who are not racist can make this sort of music or art.
Yeah, I don’t think a racist could be a Dadaist. When you are racist you are probably a nihilist. Maybe you think you believe in Christ or religion, but you would have a false understanding of those things, so actually you would believe in nothing. You might think you are right, or a good guy, but in the end, every racist is a nihilist, so you couldn’t think Dadaistically. And writing tracks like “Geffen”, which we just heard, you can’t take yourself too seriously. But at the same time you really want to bring this message across. It’s a contradiction. You really want to say something, but at the same time you’re making fun of yourself. Racists never do that; They always really mean what they say.
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Of course, even music with words can be completely misunderstood and abused anyway. When the US first bombed Iraq, army radio played “Rock the Casbah” and Joe Strummer cried for days.
Yeah, of course, that’s super horrible. And let’s say I play something from Rotterdam and I slow it down, I’m not really sure – is it right wing or left wing? Sometimes these people even dress the same, it can be so hard to decipher the codes and to know what a song might really mean.
Do you think that House music can be apolitical?
No, I wouldn’t say that, because I think, luckily, listening to music without a message attracts people who don’t need messages. Techno-house music was a liberation because it doesn’t need a message. In the end, at least in Germany, Techno is really connected to the left wing. When the wall came down, techno had just arrived. It was connected to this revolutionary moment. And that was the first revolution in Germany in which people stood up against something. But in 1989 in Germany, the people of the East said, “We are the people, let’s end this state”. At that moment, techno broke. Derrick May produced his first record in ’86, and maybe House music was happening in Chicago by ’84, but in Germany techno was synchronous with the fall of the wall.
Were you born East or West of the Wall?
West, and I was really young so I really didn’t understand the importance, but I grew up with techno. For me it was great to see that people I could relate to were into techno. And in Germany it’s an interesting mixture – when there’s a good techno party, there will be working class people and intellectuals. Those are the best parties. And I can’t think of too much other music where this really happens. And I totally believe that that’s because there’s no message in the music; there are no words. I think the people who need messages don’t want to think for themselves.
Do you think that sentiment is carried around in the head or the heart of all 800 ravers?
Maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe that’s not the case. But I think it is; subconsciously it’s there. While only eighty of those people will be able to put it into words, the other 720 will still feel it. I believe in this.