Our 15th Blitzcast comes from the local native and firm Blitz favourite 600–Cell. The mix proves 600–Cell’s capabilities as an acquired selector and, as always, spans a wide range of genres that showcase his unique approach to percussive drums & grooves as well as the charismatic understatement that we love about him.
Besides our new Blitzcast, we took some time to uncover his musical past, his approach and perspective on current developments in the contemporary dance music scene as well as his favourite moments at Blitz – find out more about what makes 600–Cell so special in our interview and Blitzcast 015.
And catch him live at Blitz, playing alongside Jayda G and Young Marco on Friday, the 24th of March!
- Tell us more about your Blitzcast mix: how do you feel and think about it, did you follow a specific approach when creating it?
My main idea for this mix was to mostly use tracks I have played at Blitz before and that show what you might expect when you hear me DJ there, no matter the time slot. Additionally, I tried to showcase tracks from a wider range of genres like Disco, Acid House, New Beat & Italo-Disco that are all connected by a certain raw and drum-heavy energy.
- What has your musical journey been: what got you into music first, and then into dance music? What moments or experiences shaped your aesthetic and approach?
I started my first DJing attempts around the age of 15, when my brother introduced me to it and borrowed me his DJ controller. In the beginning I was mostly gravitating towards UK-heavy, broken beat sounds, like Post-Dubstep, that were booming back then. After years of digging and musical research I started to listen to Disco and House more frequently and became fascinated by it. I remember seeing Omar S opening his Sunday evening set at Panorama Bar in 2014 with the instrumental version of Zinnon’s > What’s Your Name < and being completely blown away by his raw mixing. Since then I was pretty much hooked on the whole sound aesthetic of Chicago & Detroit DJs.
For the next few years, I mostly played all-nighters at hybrid locations that featured a dancefloor but no proper club soundsystem. During these often more than 6 hour long sets I experimented with all different types of energy levels and sounds ranging from German NDW to Brazilian Boogie to Chicago & Detroit House. Additionally, I started to play biweekly radio shows at Munich-based Radio 80000. Both of these experiences helped me to refine my technical skills and grow my musical collection.
Besides mixing everything between Disco & House, I never really lost my passion for broken beats. Although I don’t these styles as often as I used to, I still enjoy mixing all types of UK orientated Bass, Breaks and Electro-styles (like at Blitz’s recent Kehraus party).
- In a time, where most (young) DJs seem to play harder and faster than before, you’re among the rare DJs that actually take a bit of speed out of it, and play music that’s mostly from past decades, in most of the time even before the Mid 1990s. Tell us more about why you decide to play like that and how it what it’s like to navigate to the current scene with such an approach, that in many ways is contrary to what’s hip and trendy right now (namely trance and progressive house). Is it solely a musical decision? Or do you see a sociocultural, maybe even political importance behind it too, that you believe is important about it?
To be honest, my choice to play a lot of music that was recorded prior to the Mid 1990s is more an aesthetical one than a sociocultural or political one. It’s just what I enjoy most.
Especially the raw energy that comes from pioneering artists of the past that still influences the sounds we listen to today have always fascinated me.
For example I was completely hooked when reading about the first NYC dance floors in Tim Lawrence’s book > Love Saves the Day < and how DJs like Larry Levan used to mix early Hip-Hop, New Wave, Disco and even added train or airplane sound effects on top of their transitions. I feel like many of these early dance music tracks are simply timeless and still sound futuristic after 30-40 years.
- We had a chat about the effects of galore covid-lockdown-streaming at one of your recent sets at Blitz – how do you feel about the current climate in electronic dance music and club culture? Where do you believe is your contribution to the scene, whether it’s a DJ or a part of the Radio 80000 community?
As somewhat of an external observer, I think one of the biggest changes in the electronic music scene in recent years has been the enormously increasing importance of visual aid, whether it’s in the form of Instagram posts or DJ sets in front of cameras. While I understand that it can be interesting to watch the mixing technique of your favourite DJs from anywhere in the world (s/o to the early days of Boiler Room), I feel like the increased emphasis on visuals sometimes leads to people rather wanting to see a “show” of their favourite DJs than listening to musical selections that they have never heard before.
I personally try not to put too much thought into the > performing < part of DJing. I am simply playing music that I love and want to share with others. Therefore, I am really thankful to be given this regular opportunity at Blitz to showcase dance music that might not necessarily end up on your favourite social media app.
- Tell us more about how you feel about your regular gigs at Blitz: How have they changed and shaped your style and approach, what highlights and challenges do you remember, special encounters, etc.?
Although my first time playing at Blitz was already in late 2017 together with the Ruffhouse crew, it took some time until I got booked as a solo DJ and not as part of a collective.
My first > proper < solo Blitz gig was opening the Plus Floor for Gerd Janson in December 2019 shortly before the pandemic started. I still remember that I was super nervous and meticulously prepared several playlists for that night. Then during the first Covid break David Muallem invited me to record two mixes for two Blitz takeovers on Radio 80000. After the first break ended, I opened for Gerd Janson a second time in November 2021, this time on the main floor. Then obviously another Covid induced break prevented Blitz from opening. When this second break ended in February 2022 I was trusted with the opening set for the reopening party on the main floor. Since then, I have played pretty much on a monthly basis on one of the two floors and loved every second of it. I am really grateful for this opportunity to regularly play in completely different settings on this amazing sound system.
Therefore, it’s hard to mention only one highlight, but one of my favourite moments was definitely playing a 4 hour closing set after one of my personal heroes Moodyman on the main floor. During these hours, I jumped through all kinds of House and Disco sounds that I always wanted to hear on that soundsystem, like Venus Dodson’s > Shining < or Voices’ > Can You See The Light <. I still remember how I left the club at 8am with the biggest smile on my face.
- Your next set at Blitz is opening up the night with Young Marco and Jayda G. What are your thoughts on that evening? What can we expect? Do you have an approach you follow, when preparing for such an evening?
I’m already really looking forward to that night, as I have been following both artists for a long time.
My preparation starts with learning the exact setting that I will play in. As a local DJ you will most likely open the dancefloor for international DJs. Although it can be really tricky and requires a lot of preparation to set the right mood for the night, I really enjoy these slots. A couple of days before the night, I usually group my recent digs together with old favourites by mood and energy level. When these playlists are done and my records are packed, I tend to roughly sort them by BPM in order to be able to gradually increase the tempo. During my warm-up sets I focus on not playing too intense too quick, as I don’t want to > wear out < the crowd, but rather set the right mood for the artists after me. Although I have no idea what I will play exactly, one thing is for sure: You can definitely expect a lot of House.
- Last question, aside from self-promotion or your personal network: what was the last piece of music, no matter whether it’s an album, EP, track, live performance, a DJ mix etc that amazed you?
It’s really difficult to pick only one thing here.
I’ve been hooked to > The Devil Made Me Buy…< by I.M.T. again lately. I really love the dark and almost haunting sound of the vocal, especially after discovering that it has been sampled from the amazing NYC Ballroom documentation > Paris Is Burning <.
Next to dance music, I listen to a lot of calmer and slower music when I am home alone. One album that I am currently rediscovering after it brought me through the first months of the pandemic is > Sublimity < by the German band I.A.O.. I especially like the tracks > Green Earth < & > Nothing Above Us <.