Interview: Monika Kruse
Alongside running labels Terminal M and Electric Avenue, Monika Kruse is an active performer, producer, philanthropist, and ambassador of electronic music culture going on some two decades.
Monika has been across the industry in all directions, performing at everywhere from Space Ibiza to Berghain, and everywhere in between. She’s dazzled at festivals such as Time Warp, Melt Festival, Eastern Electrics UK, Ultra Music Festival in Miami , Sonus, Awakenings, ADE, and just about every other major festival, club and venue on the planet.
This October, Monika brings her take on Techno to Torino with an appearance at the massive Movement Torino festival. There, she will play alongside a heavyweight lineup featuring Apollonia, DVS1, Derrick May, Robert Hood, and many more. Anticipating that event, we caught up with Monika on a whirlwind leg of her tour to speak on her experiences in Torino, as well as her philanthropic efforts, and more.
“It’s a smoke machine, everything is fine!”
Are you excited for Movement Torino Festival?
Yes of course! It is one of the best festivals and a lot of great artists are playing!
Will this be your first time playing in Torino?
No, I already played for Movement Torino last year in the summer! It was outstanding. The outside location is stunning.I played last time quite early in the afternoon, as I had to host my Terminal m stage on a Dutch festival, but even so it was so early and about 38 degrees people danced their head of. Such a nice positive energy!
I understand you are playing at Awakenings in Amsterdam as well. Quite exciting! How do you prepare for such a massive show?
Yes it is great to be back at Awakenings and to play for Adam Beyers drumcode night is a big honour. So nice he invited me again after last year Drumcode Halloween party at Tobacco docks! My preparation will be to meditate before my gig and of course to check out all the new tunes which I got.
You already raised $100,000 with the “Non Historical Backs Spin” Events. Tell us more?
I started to do it in the 2000’s so it started 17 years now, it’s a long time project. We work together with Amadeu Antonio Stiftung (Charity), and they have the power to know where the money should go. They are connected with the victims, with special projects for the victims. For example, they pay the hospital bills or if they need a lawyer they pay the lawyer. I give them the money and they give it to the right people, because I can’t do I, they are better organized and have better connections.
Talking about Historical back spin. We’ve seen it in the news in the US recently specially in Charlottesville. What did you think of it when you saw the images?
I was really shocked when I saw it…, a weekend of horror. To see so much racism and hate, it’s shocking, and that a white suprematic is killing a person because of her different opinion it is so sad, this is another level of hate. I can’t even find the right words to describe what I feel.
How was it like in the 90s to organize raves in a WWII abandoned bomb shelter?
Back in the early 90’s, techno just started, we had no clubs at this time in my city. I wanted to spin this music so people can have fun with techno and I was looking for different locations like this one you mentioned. Besides doing it in a WW2 abandoned bomb shelter, I was organizing parties in a tram, in a moving tram, which was driving around in the whole city of Munich. We had a fog machine –laughs, the police stopped us because they thought the tram was burning, and I said: “It’s a smoke machine everything is fine!” We had to stop sometimes because people had to go to the bathroom. So people were dancing on the street when the Tram stopped. The cars couldn’t move but nobody was getting angry. Some people were even getting out of the cars and started dancing with us. I did some other parties in empty buildings as well. We always had nice experiences with the police, they didn’t know anything about techno, one day I did an event in an empty old house they told me we should put down the bass otherwise everything is going to break down. We always said: “It’s a birthday party!” We found someone in our crowd who had a birthday that week or month, so we told them it’s a birthday party, and said “sorry, we will take care of everything”. So the police were treating us ok at this time. this experience was special in the early 90’s. Now the Police is definatly not tolerating this anymore.
Do you think its harder now days for a female DJ to make it in the dance music world?
Yes I think so, you still see it’s not equal, line ups are still not equal. Also, you always get these (prejudice) assumptions such as “Can she really spin? Is she really that much into the music like men are”. Sometimes I get the feeling they just wait for a mistake you do to put you down. At the beginning it’s not easy you have to fight against so many (prejudice) assumptions, you have to prove yourself much harder.
You celebrated 15 years of Terminal M. Anything exciting coming up?
Yes I mean for me everything is exciting! Every artist I sign I truly believe in him or her and their music 100% so it’s really every release that’s exciting.
I have new names coming up. I really like to support newcomers like Ilja Djokovic, … He did some excellent tracks, soulful techno ! you need to check him out.
I like techno with melodies that touches you. Besides him Paride Saraceni , Victor Ruiz and Alex Mine are the next releases.
My fav track of you is with no doubt Monika Kruse @Voodooamt – “Highway Number 4” which you rereleased some 15 years later.
Thank you!! ☺ We had some nice remixes of this. I always loved this track and thought it would be nice to give it a touch of 2017. Skober did a great remix on it, and on the B side Oliver Huntemann did another version of “Luvsucka” We remastered the whole album “Passengers”. We made it a little slower because back in the days everything was much faster and put it out finally on digital.
You think this track will still be relevant in 15 years?
It’s really nice people are still playing these songs and listen to them. I play myself some old tracks, not only from my label but from other labels too. Good music has no age in my opinion, that’s why I like to play some classics in my sets as well.
Anything else you’d like to share for your fans?
I am very thankful for the support all over those years, I’ve Djed now 26 years and people have been following me for such a long time. The most important thing when I play is that we all –the crowd and me- have a connection, and we exchange these energies. I have so much fun when I play music, Thank you everyone who has been dancing with me and listening to my music.