There might be not enough left to justify paying for it for some, but still a lot of writers have the knowledge or the research skills to put things into a perspective you can develop a better judgment from, or to learn about something you did not know before. There might be fewer writings that deliver that, but it is still important. As with nearly every other aspect of the music business the according journalism is in crisis, and sadly economic obligations made thorough criticism an exception, when it used to be the norm. I also hear that a lot of people do not see much value in music journalism anymore, but that is also often based on what they read. Which is mostly news items and social media threads, and less longer features or reviews that think about their topic further than a short and juicy opinion. If you do not need more than that, fine. But what you listen to could maybe have a higher quality, and if everybody would be as ignorant that would be much more difficult to achieve.“If you get it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. But you should probably read more.“ (Tony Wilson, 24 Hour Party People, FAC 424)
I enjoy working with the long and close connection of British people to club culture, and pop culture in general. You can sense the long tradition easily, there is a lot of attention to detail in UK clubs. There are more people gamer dating site that know certain records you play than in other countries, including Germany. You already notice that with the kind of music played in public spaces, cabs etc., or people you meet that unexpectedly come up with extensive knowledge about some tunes you thought only few people know about. And probably not any UK punter would agree, I also enjoy that UK club nights usually have an end. When I started going out in Northern Germany it was the same. Ok, maybe curfew was more elastic, and laws for alcohol were more relaxed than in the UK, but the way a club night proceeded was similar. You have a structure. Beginning, climax, end. Enough leeway for detours in between. You can choose records to reflect that structure, you can play with it. There is an urgency to take in as much as you can. A typical Berlin weekend has a beginning, and the end might be lots of hours later, and it often feels like constant peak time. And I just prefer to play at night.
What’s your main aim when stepping up to the decks? Is it to make people move? Or is that a byproduct of more personal goals?
I like to spread some knowledge, but ultimately I want the people paying to hear me play to have a good time. I’m old enough to keep in mind that a DJ should not feel more important than the music he or she plays. I think you have to obey the people on the floor, not vice versa. If I can help to achieve a night to remember by playing the records I have brought for the occasion, I’m more than happy.
We’ve just had record store day in the UK. Do you have any comment on it? Do you see it as a celebration or capitalisation of record buying culture?
A lot of people tell me that they don’t see the point in music writing and criticism. As a music writer yourself, what would you say to counter this?