Stop! In the name of love!

Brothers and sisters and those inbetween.
We rocked in the name of love.
We danced in the name of love.
We laughed in the name of love.
We kicked ass in the name of love.
We ate peanuts in the name of love.
We were the worst but most passionate djs of the world in the name of love.
You made us turn into the best djs of the galaxy in the name of love.
We drank beer, premium coke, vodkaredbull and water in the name of love.
We wore moustaches, pirate eye patches and hamster masks in the name of love.
We accidentally skipped your favourite song right in the middle but you danced on like a loon in the name of love.

Now we’ll stop.

But not without having a hell of a goodbye party tomorrow night!
We hope you will join us one last time.

22uhr, eintritt frei, k4 nbg

“Capture you in digital” – Linz photo blog

“I want to capture you in digital” B. Molko

Let’s have a little photo blog today. Once more back to Linz. Here are some pictures, most stolen from the Crossing Europe site cause I didn’t feel like snapping. This is the OK, a cultural center with exhibitions, the festival office center and the two moviemento cinemas. At the top of the building in the first picture you see the fifth floor lighted in red? That’s where the Nightline part of the festival took place, the Mediendeck.

At the first night I saw Red Worm Farm there. I had seen them years ago at the OBW9 in Stuttgart and have already like them back then but their show at Crossing Europe was even better than what I had remembered. Razor-sharp postpunk with playful rough edges. Check them out!

This was my cute little hotel room and the other festival cinema. It was just ten meters from the hotel.

These are Anatol whom some of you might recognize from Valina and who was curator of the Nightline part of the festival, my friend Judith who works at the OK (and she and her boyfriend Andi ‘Washer‘ took us to a restaurant with fantastic fake meat, I forgot the name but it was really really good), Joanna Hogg who made the rather good film ‘Unrelated’, and the most fascinating man I’ve met in quite a while: Jurij Meden, film critic and festival curator.

This is a still from the festival trailer by Dietmar Brehm:

These are The Bug and Warrior Queen who played on the Mediendeck on the second night I’ve been there. Awesome beats and sounds and sirens BUT I got no clue why Mr. Martin had to stop each track after two minutes to shove us a rewind-sound and start the next one. Attention deficit disco? I don’t know. First it was entertaining but after an hour or so it became annoying. Like listening to some promo cd that fades out every song after a minute or so. Warrior Queen did a cool job in doing her thing anyway, trying to keep the tension up with her toasting, no matter what The Bug played. Funniest moment was to see her waving her roses while they played ‘Poison Dart’. Apart from the song-hopping the music really was great.

The next night My Name Is Ann played live after the award part of the evening. They started good but sadly didn’t really keep it up. It was a bit like my pet hate band Robots In Disguise.

Then I was on and had mucho mucho fun with a wonderful crowd.

Al-“most natural” – berlin, cd vs vinyl, mad decent props for homophobic crap

“The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.” Italo Calvino
The train journey to Berlin sucked. I like travelling by train but sometimes you get all the negative sides at once: crowded waggon, subtropical climate, a kid shouting and bumping against your seat from the back, the couple sitting opposite to you unwrapping super-smelly salami-rolls, the female getting sick so the rest of the journey is spent with her holding a plastic bag chin-high in front of her and me trying mantra power repeating innerly ‘please don’t puke please don’t puke please don’t puke’. She didn’t. Phew.

I got off the train all exhausted from ignoring the sausage stench and heat and drove to the Hackesche Markt where my exhaustion was blown away quickly by meeting Frauke for a couple of pre-show beers, and René joining us later. It was warm enough to sit outside and that was really wonderful. Do you know that feeling when something – as simple and small as it might be – is so perfect that you seem to soak it up like a sponge? I forgot time and it was already midnight when I turned up at the Bang Bang Club which turned out to be one of those brit-o-phile nme-indie-mod clubs. It was nice to meet Christian of Headquarter so I finally got a face to all the mail exchanges, and to meet Ralf of 2FTR again, but I missed the bands and when I started djing it was the typical feared after-show scenario: The room emptied pretty quickly when the band stopped and for a while about 20 people stood around at the bar and the merch table, then they slowly faded out too. Some asked for the name of songs I played but no one danced. Tsk. Berlin indie crowds. Tsk. I was glad when the guy from the venue ended it after an hour and Ralf drove me ‘home’ as it’s not that much fun spinning in an empty venue.

It would have been tough to mix a whole night there anyway: The cd players were under the table in the dark, just above knee high. Console and mixer on the table. It was a very basic numark cdn thingy, working a lot slower than ours at the K4 and even rejecting some cds. I don’t complain, I use whatever is there but of course it has an effect on dj sets. I’d never thought I’d find tech talk blogworthy and I’ll try to keep it short but I’m in love. I’m in love with CDJ 1000MKs. I swear, it’s like we’re made for each other. I had the pleasure of using them in Linz and it was so much fun and so smooooth… wonderful.

The other thing is the cd vs vinyl talk. From time to time I stumble upon persons who claim that vinyl is the ‘real’ thing to dj with. I usually don’t let myself get taken into such discussions but secretly I have to admit that vinyl purists get on my tits. I love vinyl and still buy vinyl over cd anytime if it’s not much more expensive. My favourite medium is the 45. For djing though I prefer my map of cd-rs. It’s what I can work with most intuitionally. When I started djing I always had both with me, vinyl and cd-rs and I needed cd-rs for all the mash ups, remixes and edits that aren’t available on vinyl. I found out pretty soon that I always play out the cd version, even if I have the vinyl with me.  Is it about spending money for music? Do the vinyl purists think their dj sets are better cause they are more expensive? That’d be rubbish. I can’t see why to spend 12 Euros on a remix I play out 4 or 5 times. I rather spend it on the mp3, and preferrably on some system like snocap that makes the money go directly to the artist. I prefer to spend vinyl money for music that sticks with me and this often isn’t the kind of music that is made for party djing. Different music, different use, different media. I really can’t see what’s the problem. I have really seen too many djs who can beatmatch their house/minimal/electro/acid/etc. vinyl perfectly but are totally uninspired and uninspiring so please spare me that as a criterion for a ‘good dj’.

And now for something completely different: I’ve used to like the blog of the Mad Decent crew very much. Lots of unique mixes from baile over bass music to hiphop and ragga, lots of half-finished mixes that make the music feel alive and breathing and always in change. I also always have liked Diplo and the likes for tunes that were free of hatespeech and stale sexisms. Scrolling through some of their older postings I stumbled upon one in which they give props to Elephant Man ripping off a Culture Club tune. WTF?! It’s sad enough that by now Mad Decent publishes music by TOK (another seriously homophobic artist, with lyrics like “chi chi man fi dead”) through their South Rakkas mix release. I would have thought people like the Mad Decent crew (which includes for example the M.I.A. co-producer Diplo) wouldn’t be the ones to ‘tolerate’ homophobia like so many other ragga artists and producers do. Please – if someone like Elephant Man, who had quite some songs in which he incited killing gay people, rips off a song by a band like Culture Club with an outspokenly gay singer, couldn’t you at least drop a little comment in which you distance yourself from his message?
This is not some p.c. rant. I find it really sad. I hate losing respect for artists and labels that had seemed to make a difference. Musically I really like ragga beats a lot but I wish there would be more conscious choices of tunes and more outspokenness against homophobia amongst the djs and producers of that scene. Content DOES matter.

Sorry for the lack of pictures and tunes. I’ll make up for it soon.

“Oh, this ghost” – the counterfeiters, 7 dumpsters & a corpse, xberg 1st of may…

“Oh this ghost
Will win my host it’s lingering
In me, and around my neck
It taps on my head
While i’m asleep” Scott Matthew

Today I’ve watched ‘Die Fälscher’ (The Counterfeiters), a movie about a counterfeiter in a KZ who’s forced to use his abilities for the nazis. Stefan Ruzowitzky tells his story along the edge of a razor blade asking: how far would you go to save your life? I like how it shows the complexity of moral decisions. Is the criminal (Karl Markovics, he’s great! It’s been a long way from Komissar Rex’s Stocki to this, haha.) who helps the nazis partly to save his own ass and partly to satisfy his ego by creating a perfect dollar counterfeit ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when he also uses the power his abilities give him to get medicine for a sick fellow prisoner? Is the antifascist fighter ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when he risks his fellow prisoners’ lives just because he thinks it’s okay with him to lose his life in his fight? Isn’t his readiness for martryrdom more about pride and ego? Good movie.

Scanning some papers and news sites for reports on the First-of-May-Riots in Hamburg, Berlin and Nuremberg left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Of course it’s satisfying to see a nazi car burn and for some people it even might be satisfying to see a nazi lying bleeding on the ground. Still big parts of the outrage seems to be less about results and more about a testosterone-powered outcry for action. The whole adrenaline-in-the-air-&secret-society-conspiracy-thing you get from some people in the days before such big demonstrations somehow makes me doubt that these guys’ prime goal is making the world a less xenophobic and racist place. It has more of a ‘let’s do them in’ football fan mentality, looking forward to a blind raging ‘us’ versus ‘them’ fight club.

I spend a very nice day at the 1st of May in Berlin though, strolling around Myfest in Kreuzberg with Frauke and René, boozing and musing and watching people and bad bands and rappers, and a swan, missing political messages and banners other than some eco porn activists and these:

It was like a really relaxing tourist day at the annual Kreuzberg revolution routine.

At nine we were a bit exhausted and as there was no burning car action to wake us up again, we went to a cinema and watched ‘7 Dumpsters and a Corpse’ by Thomas Haemmerli, a film I wholeheartedly recommend (www.messiemother.com)! It’s a documentary in which the film maker and his brother clean out their messie mother’s home and her life story unfolds with the items they find. The beginning is a bit tough with a rentokil guy helping them cleaning out the remains of the decomposed corpse but that scene puts it clear with which openness and sometimes almost brutal honesty the movie is told. It’s very black-humoured and it is awesome how many different film techniques are used in it with it still coming across as a very consistent piece of work. What a great way of dealing with death.

After that we met two more exile-Nuremberg friends at a pub: Martin and Martin.Martin Müller has a new zine out you definitely should buy! Once more it is a great mixture of comic and graphic art and sociopolitical texts.

Martin Sulza is at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen today and I wish him big big luck to win the MuVi Award with his new video which he made for a hiphop track by Food For Animals. You can watch it on his site or on dailymotion.com (though first, as he told us, the clip was banned from dailymotion for being too explicit which is ridiculous: They have no problems showing regular sexist hiphop clips with ass&tit-shaking ladies but one that shows a nude male body to contrast that is too explicit. Tsk.)

On the next day, on my train ride home after a nice breakfast at the Croissanterie, I saw a rainbow. After listening to an audio book by Fitzek for 3 hours I switched to music and listened to Scott Matthews. Problem with him is that I like his songs and voice but lots of his lyrics are such damn bad poetry that even the saddest of his songs make me laugh.