Das german techno experience

My weekend was as german as it can get: travelling through Frankfurt Airport, watching Bundesliga football, driving autobahn at close to 200 km/h, Mercedes taxis, Jägermaister shots, mixing Becks beer with Coke (tastes great but only in Germany I think?) and of course techno music. You gotta love germans not only for inventing it but also for pushing things forward all the time. What’s happening now in Berlin hits rest of the world in 2009 or 2010. Btw, if you have a chance – check out the great “We Call It Techno” documentary about early german techno scene. Great stuff.

I played couple sets during the weekend at the Frankfurt/Mannheim/Ludwigshafen area. Friday night Clash event at Soho venue was a warm experience with local heroes Stefano Libelle and Nick Curly playing some excellent fresh music with a nice atmosphere at pretty full and intimate (=200 people?) Soho. That was a perfect warm-up for Saturday which was amazing night. Local main club LOFT (past guests include Richie Hawtin, Paul van Dyk and Sven Väth) was packed with Monika Krause banging pumpin’ techno in the main room and myself & german Renaissance resident/promoter Steffen Herb playing the second room with a more progressive flavour. My set went from 115bpm techno funk (HOT TIP: Outmode: ‘Funky Music’) to me & David West collab, the 130bpm prog trancer ‘God’s Garden’ which worked surprisingly well for the german techno crowd. There were some interesting trends/things that grabbed my attention music wise:

  1. Organic sounds – minimal sound seems to be moving to a more organic direction. Lots of live instruments, vocals and percussions were present in some of the current big tracks.
  2. Dub influences – definitely a dub house trend going on in the Mannheim area. Lot of the house tracks were dub influenced with sub basses, dub echos, backbeat stabs and overall dubbyly positive feel in them.
  3. Playing vinyl – it was pretty interesting to see that every DJ was still playing at least some vinyl. Very nice to see and I guess with Sven Väth still playing mainly (only?) vinyl the german techno labels need to keep on pressing some to get über-Sven’s support. I even visited a record shop and bought some vinyls which hasn’t happened for a while with things moving to digital.

Iceing on the cake was seeing so many old german friends after some time. I booked Stefano Libelle the first time to Finland in 1997 after hearing him play at E-Werk in Berlin. It was the Love Parade Saturday and PvD’s night with a proper dream team line up with Paul van Dyk, Sasha, Digweed, BT live and Stefano Libelle. Stefano played the best set of the night (!) so we brought him over to Unity and Illusions @ Lepakko and we’ve know each other ever since. Stefano always insists me to bring some Tupla (=great finnish chocolade) to him from Finland and this time was no exception:) So big thanks and respect to Stefano, Marcus, Mark, Svenja, Evelyn, Marcus The Flatmate, Steffen Herb, Kai @ LOFT, Michael, Katinka, Britta, Susanne, Sue, Christian and everybody else for making the weekend so nice!