One of our favourite clubbing events in the city, mUmU blows up the balloons, hangs out the bunting and does its hair all nice on Saturday – it’s celebrating its fourth birthday. They’re back at the Black-E this weekend for their b’day shindig: Tobi Neumann, Laura Jones and a handful of others are set to appear, alongside global house music favourite Robert Dietz. Stephanie Heneghan sat down with the Frankfurt DJ for a chat before the big event.
You became aware of music when you were a teenager, with an interest in hip hop culture which grew into a love of house music – lots of people have a similar journey but very few make it in the industry. Was there a defining moment for you when you realised you’d “made it” as a DJ/producer?
I think this moment is still happening. Of course you realise after releasing your first records, earning your first money with DJ gigs and getting more and more attention from all over the world, that something happened and you’re now part of the industry. But the meaning of “made it” for me is still something bigger. It involves, as well, how long you are able to stay, grow and keep living that dream.
The technology for DJing has moved on extremely quickly over the past ten years, where once it was two decks and a mixer, now you’re more likely to see laptops and CDJs. What do you like to use? Are you a fan of vinyl still?
Now using a laptop for almost all my gigs, due to technical reasons and the easy way of travelling. Even it took a while for me to finally switch to the digital way of DJing as I’m still a big fan of vinyl. I keep buying records, collecting them and for some special gigs I’m still playing with vinyl, like two weeks ago at Robert Johnson in Offenbach. But I personally don’t think there has to be a fight between digital vs vinyl. In the end it’s all about music.
How would you say your music has evolved over your career?
Not that much in fact, house is still the basis and will always be. It’s just a question of feeling and desire – if it goes deeper, or is more focused on the dancefloor and the asses.
You’ve been on remix duty for artists such as Davide Squillace as well as your own discography of singles and EPs. Would you ever look at doing an album or do you prefer to take each track as a stand alone project?
Ah, big question. Well, the album thing bothers me a lot in fact. I know that I’m at a point of my career where an album is a relevant matter. And I really want to do it at some point, but I don’t want to do it without saying anything or just creating attention in the media. An album is something really personal for me and should have a wider spectrum than just the dancefloor. I need to feel right to do it and have something to tell… it’s an art of storytelling for me. And so far I haven’t feel like telling the story.
What’s the top three tunes in your bag right now?
Sound Patrol – Cruising With The Top Down
Tim Green – In Love (Robert Dietz Remix)
Funk E – Into it
And what are your top three tracks – ever?
Steve Silk Hurley – Dubs from the dungeon
Unknown – Roxy
Inner City – Share My Life (Kenny Larkin Remix)
This is your third time at mUmU now, after playing for them in 2010 and also for their birthday last year. What is it about the night that you like?
It’s the entire package: a great vibe, lovely and enthusiastic people, a kicking sound system and the great organization and support from Trevor who is running the show.
And what do you think of Liverpool as a city, have you had chance to explore it or is your schedule too tight for a bit of sightseeing?
Well I can tell you how great the Malmaison Hotel is. And the little shop on the other side of the club has a great selection of cold beverages and smoothies.
What have you got in store for your set on the 11th Feb? Any surprises?
I’m currently digitalizing some gems from the past, which I re-discovered in my record collection.
What have you got planned for 2012, any residencies in the offing?
We are having plenty of residencies with Cadenza worldwide that I’m part of, plus the next Ibiza season is almost here.
Robert Dietz @ mUmU’s 4th Birthday
Saturday 11th February
The Black-E, Liverpool