Note: After my interview with Ana, I was asked to write about my experience as a DJane in Electronica. So here we go…
In 2000, a friend of mine was looking for various DJs, because he had one floor at Moritzbastei every Saturday night for himself. I was experienced in DJing, since I was running a weekly disco and disco workshop for kids and teens at VILLA before. This and the opportunity to listen to my own favorite music (which was Rhythmic Noise and Industrial at this time, two genres you could rarely listen to in a club) as long and as loud as I wanted to, and present it to an audience, led me to tell him that I was in. I also asked my then new boyfriend, a long-time DJ for Industrial and the more guitar-based American Industrial, to join in.
Soon after, we, halo7 and INYAN, played almost every week at Box/Moritzbastei, the most hidden and tiny floor I have ever seen. We also showed background visuals that basically were Mangas in those days. Since we gained some attention with our unique taste in music and had guests travelling hours to come to our parties, Moritzbastei then offered us to have our own floor (one of the big ones) on Friday nights, which we used to create parties called Industrial Culture or Anakronism. We first invited to these events DJs we were friends with, and later also booked artists and bands to bring like-minded people together.
We went to label festivals like Maschinenfest, Forms of Hands and Elektroanschlag that were really underground in their beginning years, where we got our inspiration.
At some of them we also played, and we have been booked to DJ at parties and festivals all over Germany and also in England, Spain, Italy, the US and Canada. In 2001, we founded Global Noise Movement, an international network of artists interested in creating audiovisual events, and later on Adventurous Music, a project focusing on audiovisual arts presented in uncommon locations. Both, GNM and AM, are still going today.
I’ve never made DJing a business to live from, even though I got paid almost every time, which is not self-evident at all in those music subgenres and also not if you decide to switch from being a service supporter filling dance floors to being an artist playing unique one-hourly sets to present unusual sounds to real music lovers.
Even though DJing is a lot of hard work, it is also so much fun and worth the lack of sleep.
I have gotten the chance to meet and work with great artists, participate in amazing events, and experience things I’d never ever dreamed of. I’ve played at unofficial underground parties and at well-equipped festivals, in an old castle and in a modern style bar, in front of three and in front of 300+ people, at night and at daytime. I once had to use the worst technique of all and made the best out of it. Another time I played wearing a parka, cap, scarf and gloves, because the venue was freezing cold. And one time a woman even tipped me after she danced happily to my entire set.
When I started DJing Experimental Electronica (over the years I went on to play Drum’n’Noise, Breakcore, Dark Step, IDM, Ambient and Drone), women in this business were rare and they are somehow still today. I don’t know why, because I myself always felt very welcome and supported by fellow DJs, artists, bookers and the audience as well. I have been told that there is a difference in the sets of a male and a female DJ, some sort of variation you can only tell by listening.
I don’t know if there’s really such a thing. But I invite you to figure that out by yourself if you like: I am going to participate with another audiovisual artwork at Raster Noton Label Night // Raster Noton vs. Adventurous Music at Institut für Zukunft on Dec. 11th. It’s gonna be an outstanding event with high quality sounds and visuals. So if you’re into a/v arts, I’d be happy to see you there!
By Corina/INYAN (topa blog)
More info: inyan.globalnoisemovement.net // mixcloud.com/inyan // vimeo.com/inyan