Published May 25, 2010Marcel Dettmann (current top dog in the world of badass techno DJs) releases his first album, Dettmann, on Berlin's stellar underground imprint Ostgut Ton. Dettmann provides us with an intimate glimpse into his world, one in which pounding techno rhythms collide with shimmering industrial reverberations to create a sound that's truly Berlin. Known the world over for his residency at the mythical dance institution of Berghain, there his DJ sets, constructed of choice vinyl from his collection, create memorable nights for club goers on a weekly basis. Dettmann is an album for all who live vicariously through the few great podcasts and interviews that have surfaced over the past few years, which serve to strengthen the myth surrounding Marcel Dettmann and Berghain. With his new album, Marcel opens the door to a world seen by few, one in which sparse, trance-inducing techno grooves unite people from all walks of life. By no means is Dettmann a pigeonholed techno album ― crossover appeal will likely find Dettmann's tunes on DJ playlists across the electronic music spectrum.
How does DJing at Berghain influence the music you make?
Berghain/Berlin is a personification of what "techno" means to me; it's futuristic, anarchic, uncompromising, unique and authentic. To bring all this together is my personal demand on my music productions.
You have done a great job staying consistent since the release of your first EP, Dawning/Dead Man Watches the Clock, in 2006. How did you manage to maintain that consistency with new album Dettmann?
You're permanently caught in a crossfire of influences, so I think that it's always a constant development, personally, and for the sound. I always try to give back what I got from other musicians. That means I want to be the inspiration for other artists to express themselves and make music.
Do you believe that vinyl is an important part of the electronic music industry?
For me, it's still a very important part, because I'm a DJ! For me, the physical aspect is a major one. The people should see that it's work what we're doing.
When you perform, what is your choice of platform? Do you prefer to play records or live P.A.?
I'm a DJ who plays records. What will happen in the future, you never know.
What artists inspired you to begin DJing and producing?
There was not a specific artist; rather, I was always interested in music. So, by the age of 14, I bought my first Technics turntables instead of buying a motorcycle like lots of my friends did. I started to mix my records together and had my first gig in an alternative punk rock club in my hometown [of] Fürstenwalde in 1993.
Do you have any particular favourite tracks that never leave your record box?
Indeed, there are some: Baby Ford "Fetish"; Depeche Mode "Photographic"; Reload "Peschi"; Kenny Larkin "Plankton"; TronikHouse "Up Tempo."
When can we expect to see Marcel Dettmann here in Canada? Do you have any plans for touring North America?
I was supposed to play at the DEMF this year, but unfortunately I didn't get my Visa in time. I would love to come to Canada to get to know that beautiful country, so I hope to get a chance very soon. (Ostgut Ton)