You played in Reykjavik on Saturday June 2nd, can you tell me about that?
I expected a strange night in Iceland, somehow, and it turned out to be one. I was playing an Eve Online party at Nasa, I didn’t anticipate that. Different people from the other gigs I’ve played, but a surprisingly good party. People went crazy and I definitely had fun.
Your show was a part of a larger tour, how has the tour been going?
Good, very good, no bad gigs, each club packed every night, what can I say? I really enjoyed my time on the tour the last 18 months; it has been a good party. This part of the tour is called “Liebe Ist.. LIVE-tour” because of the release of my new LP, Liebe Ist. That will be over in the fall, but I will keep on travelling.
Can you describe your performance?
I perform live or play a DJ set. Sometimes I do both, as last night, depends on how much equipment I can travel with. The live set is new, last night I was performing it for the 5th or 6th time. I’m working hard on it at the moment. I’ve got many ideas; it’s a small baby and has still to grow.
What do you think is the importance of a live electronic performance?
It is not necessarily that a performance is important, but I am a musician, I can play live, I want to play live, it makes sense for me to play live.
During your set you project what you are doing on some sort of a touch pad onto a screen, why is that?
That is just to show people I am not just playing an Ableton-Live set. People who do that only use one file and tweak it. I’m playing a real live set and I want people to know that I am doing so.
Now I want to turn to your music. Can you describe how an idea you get for a song turns into something that gets put out on a label?
I make a track in my studio and the sound depends on the day and the mood I am in at the time. After I have the final version I start thinking about finding a fitting label for the song. I show it to some people and things usually take off from there. The exception to this is when I work with Marc Romboy, then the working sessions are divided between our labels Systematic and Herzblut.
Can you tell me about your label, Herzblut?
The idea of the label is to be really free, to do what ever I want, when I want. I have released records on so many good labels in the past two years. Big labels like Get Physical, Systematic, Gigolo and Datapunk to name a few. When I produced the first Herzblut tracks last year I thought that the only platforms to release the tracks would be Kompakt or maybe Border Community. Those labels get so many good artists in the melody stuff that I am making that it made no sense for me to go with my music there, so I launched a new label.
Where does Herzblut fit in with other labels in the techno scene?
Herzblut is in a group of labels under Plantage 13 which includes Kaliber, Giant Wheel, Rekorder, Spielzeug, Confused, Pickadoll and many more. My good friend Jan Langer in Bremen is the founder and manger of Plantage 13. He also manages my label and books my tour. He is the best man in the techno scene I know. He has lived techno since he was 15-16 years old and knows just about everything there is to know about the scene.
Where do you live and work?
I am also based in Bremen.
How is the techno scene in Bremen?
There is no scene in Bremen, well maybe a small scene, two or three clubs, but not really exciting ones. I never go partying in Bremen. I’ve got many friends there, it has a nice bar- and restaurant scene and the city is arty somehow. It is a good place to live and to work, but not to party. It is perfect place to come back to after three days of partying. I live by the river, it is very beautiful, it’s my home. I thought about moving to Berlin, but it is too hectic. At the moment I am thinking about moving to Lisbon, which is a great place and has a young, upcoming techno scene.
If you don’t party in Bremen, what do you think is the best place to party these days?
That is hard to say. All the people on the street on a Saturday night in downtown Reykjavik at five o’clock in the morning, I thought was really impressing. In Germany, go to Berlin, there you have everything all the night. Whatever you want, whenever you want, but it is over-hyped. I’ve been to Montreal a couple of times, it’s been fun every time, they’ve got crazy people up there. Of course in cities like London and Barcelona people know how to party.
You release music under a lot of names, why is that?
I would not be where I am if I had released music just under Stephan Bodzin. These different names allow me to develop different sides of my music. More importantly they allow me to disguise my music, if I may say so. No DJ wants to have 20 records by the same artist in his bag. This way a DJ does not know if half of the records in his bag are Stephan Bodzin records.
Where do see electronic music going in the next couple of years?
Forward. As long as there are innovations in the instruments used to make electronic music, the music will advance. I think the minimal genre will fade out, everything that gets big so quick is not sustainable. You only need one very influential individual like Jan Langer deciding minimal is not the way to go. Electronic music will evolve onward in a continuous process though sub-genres will fade in and out.
You travel with a female companion, who is she?
Her name is Luna, we are not married, but I am working on that. She is my greatest inspiration and strength. She has played a big part in my music, telling me if tracks are no good and I have to throw them away or if a track has reached its full potential and is ready to be released. She has also started making music, and her music is very promising. I think she might be the future of the family.
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