Interview: DIFFERENT TIMES talk their label and parties, inspirations and plans ahead of their PLUS Floor takeover on SUN 31/03

In an era where music is consumed at breakneck speed, predominantly as digital files, and exciting releases flood playlists and airwaves, there will always be musicians, labels, and fans who revel in the opposite – physical releases on vinyl. Music on vinyl, especially in club culture, offers a unique approach. It’s less about individual songs and playlists, and more about the continuous, immersive experience of music. Vinyl gains a timeless exclusivity and longevity through its physical format.

Munich-based label Different Times embodies this ethos. They navigate the space between Techno, House, and Minimal with releases and parties that boast quality music and a charismatic, back-to-basics approach in terms of sound, design, promotion, and more. They prove that the peak time isn’t confined to a specific timeframe; it’s an all-night affair, every minute of the night, when played right.

They’ve graced our PLUS floor with smart and sleek curations more than once, and we’re happy to have them return on Sunday, the 31st of March with Even Baggs and David Hornung, alongside Ben Klock, Fireground, Yamour & Zenker Brothers on the BLITZ Floor.

We sat down with the Different Times crew, consisting of David, Javier, Gregor and Fridor, to delve into their approach, motivation, and inspirations. And, of course, to learn more about their upcoming party at Blitz!

In the meantime, check out their Bandcamp page here and don’t forget to follow then on Instagram, too!

And their Soundcloud page with previews and mixes here!

Let’s start with an easy question. What is Different Times all about? Who are you? What does the name stand for?

The concept behind Different Times is pretty straightforward. It’s essentially a combination of a record label and a series of parties. As the name suggests, we aim to be both musically and temporally flexible. We’re all about capturing a certain vibe without being confined to any particular music genre. Different Times also serves as a counterpoint to the current trend of overexposure while striving to promote musical and social understanding between people.

How would you describe the sound of DT to someone who doesn’t know about dance music?

Once again, we can directly connect to the philosophy behind the label here.

We’re all about delivering high-quality output that feels natural. We collaborate with artists from diverse backgrounds, yet there’s always a distinct signature to our releases. It’s a back-to-basics sound infused with that extra touch of love for detail. We encourage artists to explore different directions, focusing on what fits the label best rather than chasing current trends. Our tracks have their own unique aesthetics, which are further accentuated by the medium of vinyl. They possess a blend of mechanical and organic elements, each telling its own story.

Different Times is a vinyl label, strictly. Why? Going back to vinyl remains a viable option for many dance music labels, tell us more about your own perspective on it, though.

In the end, it all started with our love for spinning records, which laid the foundation for Different Times. We understand that by sticking to vinyl-only releases, we may limit our audience. However, we don’t see ourselves as catering exclusively to beginners. Our aim is to take people on a journey of discovering new music and experiences. Our records are crafted by DJs for DJs, and that’s why vinyl holds such significance for us. Buying a record is a more deliberate decision compared to downloading a track. We view our EPs not as individual tracks but as complete works of art by the artists. Often, there are hidden gems on our releases that people discover and cherish over time after initially purchasing the record.”

How about our hometown Munich – where do DT’s ideas interact with our town, which challenges does DT face in Munich? Are there any musical influences from Munich on DT itself? Or is it the lack of influences in Munich that inspire DT? Where does DT align in Munich’s timeline of dance music history?

Munich boasts a rich history of disco, house, and techno since the early 90s, with clubs like Ultraschall leading the way. When we conceived Different Times, the gap between house and techno in the current scene was a significant inspiration for us. It prompted us to create our own events and offer fresh experiences for club music enthusiasts. While we draw inspiration from sounds in cities like Frankfurt, Berlin, and Amsterdam, where the tech-house and minimal scenes thrive, Munich has remained relatively quiet. The scene here tends to be introverted and lacks outward presentation, particularly through social media. This poses a challenge in promoting events and artists in Munich.

However, it’s gratifying to see that despite these challenges – and partly due to our residency at Blitz – we’ve managed to build a community that trusts us and our line-ups. We’ve made significant strides in putting Munich back on the map, but there’s still much work to be done. Our focus remains on quality over quantity!

What can we expect from the upcoming DT party with Evan Baggs & David Hornung on our PLUS floor?

We’re thrilled to bring one of the scene’s pioneers to Munich and Blitz. Evan Baggs epitomizes the essence of Different Times like few others. He’s made a name for himself solely through his music, devoid of any social media hype. His releases speak volumes about his less-is-more approach, characterized by subtle hypnotism and refined arrangements. We’re in for a treat!

Where do you feel Blitz & Different Times meet culturally? Why do you feel the DT takeovers of our PLUS floor are a good match?

Our first experiences in organizing parties go back a while. Most of the time, we rented an old hall or something similar in the countryside and threw private parties. We didn’t have a large budget available; nevertheless, we always set priorities and made sure to have a very good sound system and a good basic setup consisting of a mixer and two turntables. These, in our opinion, are the essential prerequisites for a good party – the rest arises from community and mindfulness.

We find these prerequisites on the Plus Floor. It also offers the space to get lost in the music, allowing guests to really dive into the night. This often creates a subtle and non-verbal connection between the dancers, which is not based on big drops, but rather builds up over the night.

You’ve done many more parties in Munich at other venues, too. Tell us more about how the different parties work.

In addition to our label nights at Blitz, we also organize other events in suitable locations, such as Zirka or Kunstlabor. These events have emerged from the concept of Different Times:  we aim to disrupt the Munich’s club scene and schedule as we know it! Often, the parties take place during the day and seamlessly transition into the night, totalling about 18 hours of celebration. Different Times indeed! For these events, we collaborate with our friends from Naiv Studio to craft a unique experience while staying true to our musical philosophy. We strive to blend international bookings with the local scene and maintain a focus on quality, both in terms of sound system and stage design, with a sense of sleek understatement. The next party is scheduled for April 13th at Zirka, followed by a special event on May 25th. This event will kick off in the afternoon at Kunstlabor and continue at the PLUS Floor from midnight onwards.

David recently mentioned your graphics are inspired by the Olympic Games in Munich. Tell us more about the inspiration behind the graphics!

We were all amazed by the visual and design identity of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. That was our main inspiration. Gerardo Corizzo, our art director and graphic designer, did the rest, paving the way for our identity with a wonderful concept.

Your whole aesthetic is stripped down and understated. There’s no flashy gimmicks, fast-paced video edits. It’s charismatic and about the music, but it’s not easy to promote music and parties like this nowadays. How do you do it, anyway? What’s your approach?

The idea was to depart from the common aesthetic approach of the current underground scene. Gerry’s goal was to offer the audience something unique, a creative direction diverging from the prevailing trends. We entrusted him with the freedom of expression, enabling him to accentuate the core values of the label and establish a distinctive, recognizable identity.”

David, many people who know you associate you with the Riviera Records store and Different Times in Munich. Can you point out how the two interact with each other?

At this point, it’s important for me to differentiate between both projects and underscore their similarities. Both projects are fueled by a great deal of passion, and the most obvious connection is, of course, the medium of vinyl. Moreover, they have motivated me to establish a communal space that may not have existed in Munich before. I’d da that Different Times represents my own musical style and vision more specifically, whereas Riviera Records is a shared idea and community space and platform for developing and exchanging ideas. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that both projects are interconnected and mutually influential.”

David, as you’re playing the next DT takeover: how have the work with Different Times or your past gigging experiences at Blitz influenced your musical approach?

Speaking about my upcoming performance at the DT takeover, I can only talk about my own journey. Blitz has been a huge inspiration for me over the past few years, broadening my horizons in unexpected ways. The club experience there is just something else, and I love going as a guest too. I feel like my style has evolved, leaning more towards techno now compared to five years back. It’s been a journey of experimentation, honing my own sound along the way. Engaging with the crowd is always a thrill; it’s a challenge that drives me every time. I’m definitely looking forward to opening the Plus floor next Sunday!

Final question: aside from personal connections and self promotion, networking, etc – what piece of music is on your personal heavy rotation right now?

Regarding the final question: To be honest, I try to prepare myself from gig to gig. This Sunday, I’ll be playing the warm-up for Evan Baggs, so I’ll completely restock my record bag. However, I have a homage to Munich with the appropriate motto for the Plus floor ready:

Foto Credit Different Times crew: Tobias Friedauer /