Hey NHOAH, welcome to Deep House London! Great to speak to you. How are you, what’s good and bad in your world right now? 

Hey Deep House London, very nice to chat with you. I feel very good right now thanks, although this is my usual state anyway, haha … after a morning coffee I’m still ‘extra’ motivated. Caffeine is quite a strong drug.

What was it like to get back to partying and DJing again after the pandemic? What did you miss the most about it?

I didn’t realize how much I missed it and I don’t even mean just my DJing, but listening to loud, preferably good music at the club, hanging out with friends, meeting new people. At the moment I also go out privately a lot. I still miss actual ‘new’ music a little. I mean never-heard-before stuff, sounds, arrangements, styles, whatever.

How much has the last year affected the music you have made, the style and sound of it? 

At first I was really paralyzed. Then came a phase of disorientation. Not that I didn’t have ideas, but I didn’t really get enthusiastic about things. Dance music without dancers is like making good wine without anyone but you drinking it. It’s ok, but in the long run …

As a result, I made bad music. Sitting-too-much-in-the-studio type music.

But then, suddenly it all clicked into place. And now I’m really doing something new. The songs are just bursting out of me.

Do you make music that suits certain labels or do you create first and worry about that later?

There are two ways to make music. One is to worry about what others like. But chasing after people means you see them mostly from behind. Or you make music that you like and best case, many others like it. That’s my way. If you succeed, you are deeply happy. If you fail, you are at least at peace with yourself.

What are some of the key bits of music making gear in your current set up?

A ‘Lexicon 480L’ reverb that I bought in the 80s and an EMT 240 ‘Goldfolie’ reverb plate. A ton of weight and fabulous in sound. Over the years of my production activity, I bought these highlights from their times. I bought them used. The EMT 240 plate e.g. is from Mousse T.. I truly don’t understand how he could sell this ugly but brilliant instrument. Maybe he meanwhile regrets it haha … This combination of special instruments defines my sound. Digital versions of these are very poor by comparison.

Where is your best environment as a DJ? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc?

I am so in love with music that I forget everything around me except the magic circle I form together with the audience. Unfortunately, big stages often distance you from the audience. If there are barriers and security in between, it gets even harder. When that happens, I immerse myself even harder because the music carries through the room and triggers the feelings. So it’s all a matter of inner attitude. Maybe you should judge by the funny moments: In small clubs I’m able to see the happy faces but always have to stop someone from putting their drink on my equipment and on big stages people dance on a delayed beat because the distance to me is so huge, I feel like I’m on the Holodeck of the Enterprise, music and dance totally out of sync – I personally love all those special moments though …

How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?

Honestly, the beginning is often torturous. I’ll be goofing around to get at least something out. Other times I have a strong text idea or a special sound or groove in mind. But then it’s possible what I implement will simply sound like shit. In short, there are no rules. But I always find a solution after a day in the studio. I won’t go home otherwise. I will go home at the very peak, when I start getting excited. That’s my way of working.

 Recently, I work a lot with frequencies. Mostly with modular synthesizers. I also chant mantras but that’s too extensive of a topic for this interview. I can only say that there’s a lot more to music on a global level than we at first perceive.

Tell us about your recent single ‘Wonderland’, what was the inspiration behind the track?

So, there was a thought … Who doesn’t like a wonderland. Alice in Wonderland – somewhere in between creepiness and total bliss. Could there be drugs involved or is it all about dancing. Expressing that lyrically and musically was my goal. The song took quite a long time to reflect good and evil perfectly. Almost a year. Now it works well in between nearly all kinds of tracks. When I play it at the club everyone grooves along excitedly and at the end, they jump when the acid sound ignites its hellfire.

 

What have been some of your career highlights to date and what are your aspirations for the future?

So many wonderful things have happened. Mostly, it’s the embarrassing things that give me joy today. On the inner sleeve of the vinyl version of my album WEST-BERLIN, I wrote down a story. Few may have already read it but hell, the story is funny. So here it is once again:

It was with one of my first electronic bands. At that point my band had already played a mini-performance which worked out very well. But to be honest, we only had three songs. Although they were already recorded (on a four-track cassette recorder). Our manager, asked me if we wanted to play a show in Antwerp together with Bronski Beat. To play with Bronski Beat and another band at a huge hall in Antwerp -that was a blockbuster! We started rehearsing but after a while we had to conclude that we cannot convert our demo recordings into live versions. With heavy hearts, we decided to make a full playback, mimic everything and let the music come from the tape. The alternative solution would have been to cancel the gig which was entirely out of question.

Every day we would secretly rehearse in the mornings because no one was supposed to be aware that we wouldn’t be playing live. If they would bust us, we would have been done. There was nothing more embarrassing for a band. Then, we were off to Antwerp. The hall with 800 people was completely packed and sold out. Beside our electronic instruments, we also had some gadgets, including a small hand circular saw. We planned to do a little sawing on the stand of the microphone during the show. In Germany, especially in West Berlin, there was a trend to create sounds with industrial tools thanks to Einstürzende Neubauten.

We were fairly tense due to the playback situation. Already after our first song, someone from the audience called out: “PLAYBACK!”. This was the harshest diss you can imagine. Fortunately, I overheard it, but none of my companions did. From the corner of my eye l noticed them suddenly acting stiff and robotic. The second song was the one with the circular saw. Jan, our singer, planned to saw at the microphone stand during the middle part of the song and if we were lucky, he would also manage to produce some sparks. But somehow he collided with a metal column that was standing in the middle of the stage instead, chopping into it full force. We were lucky the tool didn’t jump right out of his hands and fly past our ears. He succeeded, however, in producing a 15-meter-long shower of sparks which swept barely inches over the heads of our audience. If it had gone only a few inches lower, some people would have been at risk of going blind. After the song, there was the roaring applause we had hoped for. That was West Berlin, fuck the fact we played from playback! This was the primal power from the city they hungered for. Two guys and a girl on stage who almost had their faces torn up, totally hot.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

I‘m in the middle of composing and producing my upcoming album. Also I’m going to film a special event similar to the two long live sets you can watch on youtube (check for example LIVE SET IN A STORM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eMd5tTSnZ0 ). Not quite as ambitious but certainly entertaining.

Most of all I hope we’ll get through the upcoming months ok, stay healthy and will meet again at the clubs, parties and raves in the near future with lighter hearts.

You can keep up with NHOAH here