For those in the know, Rødhåd has been involved in the world of dark, underground electronic music for nearly twenty years now.
Originally recognized for throwing notorious open air parties outside Berlin, it is now his globe trotting DJing, as well as seminal techno imprint Dystopian, which has carved out his name in the 21st Century. Once Berghain recognized his distinct style and came calling for multiple appearances, the world opened up for Rødhåd who has since appeared at such venues as Trouw, Concrete, Rex, Lux, Fuse, as well as festivals like Awakenings, DGTL, Weather Festival, Melt! Festival, and Hideout.
Now, with Hideout Festival quickly approaching, we caught up with the elusive Berliner to discuss the event, Croatia, Berlin, and much more!
“[it] feels that some of our dystopic visions and stories we read and we put as concepts behind our music became reality now. “
This summer you will return to Zrce Beach, Croatia for another Hideout Festival appearance. Can you explain a little about the festival and what makes it special, especially given the highly competitive nature of the Croatian festival scene?
To Be honest, I still think that Techno music Belongs into Old warehouses and Dark Clubs ;)
BUT, I like contrasts a lot as well. And having this nature / water / beach environment makes it also For me special to play here.
I wanted to ask you about Berlin a bit…First off, being there for decades now, how do you view the city’s atmosphere toward its creative crowd? Stronger than before/weaker…or…?
I honestly think that Berlin is still really strong in terms of creativity. So many things happen here right now, so many artists and possibilities…
Naturally, I talk to many people who move there (seemingly each and every day) for the chance to “make it” as a DJ. It kind of reminds me about the old myths about acting and Los Angeles…what do you say, is it still worth it or is the market oversaturated?
Mmh, thats an interesting question. Just looking how many promos I am getting every day, I would definitely say there is an overkill on the market. But, on the other hand, it only shows that being a DJ is these days a realistic way of life, not only a dream anymore. So, it’s also a positive aspect in the end.
Do any other cities around the world remind you remotely of Berlin? For me, I feel like I like it so much because it reminds me of Brooklyn, NY
Every city Is unique. I don’t want to compare ANYTHING. New York Is New York. Paris has some amazing parts. I just came back from Tbilisi, Georgia with has a really unique feeling. But also cities like Belgrade Or Sao Paolo feeling really special to me.
Since we are based in Amsterdam, it’s only right I ask a little about your impressions here. I think the last time I caught a set from you was at Dekmantel, which was proper fire (aka it was good). How do you view Amsterdam as an electronic music center? Do you have any particular places you enjoy playing while here? Any places you like to visit?
Amsterdam was one of the first cities which supported me, thanks to the guys from TROUW and also from LET. I think Amsterdam was the first scene I saw that you can run clubs on a professional level without losing the passion For it…Now, these days, beside the bigger festivals like Awakenings or DGTL, Amsterdam still has to offer amazing clubs like De School etc.
Lets talk a bit about your label Dystopian…I’m curious as to why you chose that name when you did?
We looked for something which expresses our point of view and our lifestyle. That was in 2009. Looks like we were a time ahead.
Do you feel that having a name like Dystopian actually rigs more true than comfortable in this modern age of Trump, Brexit, and bigotry?
Exactly – it feels that some of our dystopic visions and stories we read and we put ss concepts behind our music became reality now. That’s super scary, BUT on the other hand also will always create new hope and optimism.
How would you describe the type of artists you ultimately curate on Dystopian? Do you strictly look at quality music or is there a wider philosophy or approach to artistry something you look at as well?
We want artists with an unique style or also just an unique creative opinion. Because of that we found a lot mind wise thinking people and artists in the last 8 years.
So, finally, what are you most looking forward to in 2017…this can be professional or personal? Any dates looking nice or in places you haven’t played before?
Looking forward to the upcoming releases of WOO YORK, RECONDITE and a Remix EP of my Tracks by DONATO DOZZY, Ø [phase], PORTER RICKS and SILENT SERVANT…