I never post on weekends but this set was worth it.
Bart Skils baby take it awayyy
Monika Kruse will celebrate 25 years as a DJ next year. A female veteran in the game is quite a rarity and her formidable talent assures she won’t be slowing down anytime soon. She is in New York to play Output tonight and was gracious enough to answer some questions about the techno scene in America, playing at Sonus Festival in Croatia, and the daunting obstacles female DJs still have to overcome. If you are in the area go check her out in Brooklyn, tickets are still available at Resident Advisor here.
In the Top 100 Clubs list for 2011, DJMag magazine’s said of the club Berghain in your native Berlin: “No VIP, no mirrors in the bathroom, no expensive cocktails, just a good sound system and great crowd.” I feel that one of the reasons Output provides such authenticity that is usually lacking in the New York clubbing scene is because it follows all the same rules as above. Are these stipulations common in Berlin or Europe as a whole? Why do you think they arose? And how does it impact the experience for you as a DJ?
I wish that there would be more clubs in Europe which have these rules. I only know very few clubs who have the same policy. When techno started, we had no smartphones to take pictures, the crowd was open minded and the music was underground. But with time everything changed – the only good thing is that the sound systems got better. But to create the same vibe like back in the 90’s , it is needed for people to concentrate on dancing and not taking pictures or bad recordings with videos. It destroys the party. The same if some celebrities think they are better than other people, and need to be treated super special. So in my opinion these kind of rules help us to get back into what is really important: the music! the dancing! the tripping! losing your state of mind.
You’ve played Output before, how does the crowd and atmosphere stack up to Berghain, and other venues in your country?
Output is a great club,with a great sound system and a nice crowd. It is unique like every other club in the world. I don’t like to compare clubs, because every club is different, and has its own crowd and atmosphere.
Time Warp recently announced its first stateside event in New York City. The Space brand just opened its newest outpost in Manhattan two weeks ago, and veteran techno DJs have been making the rounds much more frequently in NY at Output, Verboten and local techno festivals like Hyte Park. Why do you think it has taken so long to take root here?
Actually I have no clue why in USA the “techno-hype” came so late. There are so many great artists who are coming from the states, but the techno movement just stated recently. Unfortunately I have the feeling that only after some businesspeople realized that they can make money with it, they started to support the scene with big festivals.
Are there any artists that you feel don’t get enough attention in the United States that should?
To be honest, I dont know which artist are hyped in your country and which are not. I don’t follow the bookings of my colleagues.
How would you describe your trajectory as a DJ?
I have been DJing now for 24 years. I started with Funk, Soul and Deephouse. After awhile my sound got faster and harder, but I was still playing house in a few events. Seven years ago I calmed down a bit and right now I would say my style is a mixture between tech house, house and techno, but all with a funky, sexy groove. Sweat with a smile!
Were you ever hindered because you were a woman in a male-dominated field?
Yes. Sexism is big in that scene. We were judged differently . We received different respect. And a lot of people try to undermine us. There are a lot good female DJs out there, but if you look at a festival’s line-up you will see only one or two female DJs.
Why would you think there has always been a scarcity of women DJs? And what do you think can be done to create more balance?
DJing is a tough job to do. And most women in the beginning have to fight against a lot of prejudice. There would be more balance if the boundaries in people’s minds were removed.
How was this season in Ibiza?
Ibiza was amazing. I played for Carl Cox’s Music is The Revolution party, and headlined twice for Marco Carola’s “Music On ” Party at Amnesia. I also played Sankeys for Steve Lawlers “Viva Warriors,” Space for ” We love Space,” and the Zoo Project! I am super happy that this year in Ibiza was so great!
You recently played Sonus Festival in Croatia, and stated that it was your favorite show thusfar. Why is this so?
When I was playing it was super packed with a few thousand people who just had such an amazing energy , it was unbelievable. There were constantly hands up in the air and screaming on every tune I played. It was like they were hungry for every electronic tune – even so it was the 4th day of that festival and other DJs were playing at the same time.
Is there a country or a city in the world that you would love to play but never gotten the chance to?
Hmm.. Uruguay would be interesting! I have not been there! I love Argentina. I played in Buenos Aires for Ultra Festival this year and that was another really touching and great party. So I want to go back and play in every corner of Argentina. I fell in love with the people and their positive energy there!
I’ve observed that you do a really good job of staying connected to your fans through social media, responding to them and showing appreciation. How have you stayed so grounded over the years?
Oh thank you! Well I don’t think we DJs are special or more important people . We shit the same shit, we have the same problems. In my opinion, we are just normal people who spin music. For me the real heroes are all these people who save people’s lives or animals and maybe even risk their own lives to do it. I see it as a big honor , if people come to my party to listen to my music, if people write to me, or even give me presents. It touches me so much! I just want to return the love that I receive.
What have been your goals and aspirations with your label Terminal M? How do you see it shaping up for next year?
My goals have always been to release music I like from artists I respect. I turned down some demos of artists where I knew that they bought the tracks and did not make it themselves; or if I didn’t like an artist personally, I don’t want to work with them. I do it with my heart. I don’t look who is “hyped.”
Are there any upcoming projects or special appearances you would like to share? Will you be returning for Time Warp?
Yes I will return to Time Warp whoohooo!!! I will play for Timewarp Netherlands this year. And for the “mother of all Time warps”- the one in Mannheim next year! Next year will be a special year anyway. It will be my 25th DJ anniversary and 15 years for Terminal M. So expect some nice showcases and heavy birthday touring . But no cakes in your faces. Sorry. hahahaha.
Have an amazing beat-filled weekend ya’ll!
It’s no secret that I’m a complete electronic music junkie. It adds such a vibrant dimension to my life. The fact is that with a DJ, at least the talented ones, the ones that have depth and play with passion and complexity; it’s not about just sitting there listening to the tracks. It is essential to see them in person, to be a part of the experience of this individual performing on the spot in a completely organic way. It’s something that I’m very drawn to. You go see a rock band or Beyonce for instance, you know their music and all of their songs. You can sing a long and you pretty much know what to expect and what you’re going to hear. With DJs they operate under this very broad scope of a genre, of their “sound” and there are truly no restrictions that are placed on them in this regard. They can draw from vast, eclectic sources of inspiration to manipulate, compliment or contrast different sounds and feelings, creating something completely new and different right on the spot.There’s this wonderful element of spontaneity that means that in any given night the mood can flow from colorful and expressive, to forceful and aggressive or even reach this culmination of transcendent emotion. As an individual in the crowd, as a person listening to this happening, you are in this amazingly privileged position to contribute. You are changing the direction of the experience. This feedback loop of energy and creativity constantly flowing and evolving between you and the artist. As Dubfire puts it:
“Those moments that happen…at given times within your set where a certain track that you’re playing or a group of tracks, or when you’re flowing they just really connect and resonate with the crowd. You can kind of feel a reciprocated energy and response.”
And because of this, this one night you went to see this DJ can never again repeat. It existed in that moment for that span of time that you were in each other’s presence. Incidentally every time you go to see this individual it’s different. And that is what makes it so great and stimulating, intriguing, moving and fun. It’s a beautiful thing, that I don’t see fading out of my life at any point in time.
So the point of waxing poetic about disc jockeys and their craft is to introduce these sweet ass videos from DJ Tech Tools. While Loco Dice demonstrates the equipment and techniques he uses when he plays “like a crazy mad professor,” Dubfire describes the metaphysical domain of the art. These videos really help to show how DJing can be such a dynamic, robust thing: very much taking place in the moment. Indeed even the artists themselves are drawn to the singular exchanges that occur between artist and music-lover.
“When you’re in perfect sync and synergy with the crowd it’s a great place to be, to exist in, those moments are like a drug, they can make you feel really intoxicated.”
How I Play: Dubfire
How I Play: Loco Dice
This Friday there will be some tough choices to make in Brooklyn as the livest ladies in the game hit the decks at Output while Verboten is hosting John Digweed, with a newly tuned sound system they claim was tweaked for his appearance. Although this detail sounds intriguing, there’s no doubt Digweed is going to be mobbed. If I were ya’ll I would succumb to the feminine wiles of Monika Kruse, Lauren Lane and Sophia Valence; not only to bring a little balance back into what is usually an all-male affair, but because it will be a very smooth and sexy night of grooves, the type that only a woman can truly finesse.
The beautiful thing about electronic music is that it takes muuuuch longer for a track or a set to become so familiar that it’s not stimulating anymore. Oddly enough, this hasn’t happened yet with any set that I love. All it takes is a decent span of time to pass between listens and it’s fresh again. This is the case with one of my favorite events from The BPM Festival 2014: the Stereo Showcase. Rafa Barrios was so much fucking fun. I couldn’t resist listening to it for the 290850923 time and found a few of the beats from that day, so here they are to liven up dat ass.
This track is by far one of the best he’s ever produced, which releases on September 29th. Get the EP when it comes out and support the super talented papito of tribal tech.
I’m surprised I haven’t heard this track more often considering it’s been out this long. The interjection of the cutting, almost mechanized-sounding detail is wild.
Super energetic featuring Coyu’s typical flare.
Christian Smith and Wehbba bringing some acid.